Posted by psgels on 11 May 2009 with categories: Natsu no Arashi



Okay, that’s it. With this, you can consider Valkyria Chronicles dropped and Natsu no Arashi picked back up. Not only was the past episode of VC incredibly bad, but the current episode of NnA was also incredibly good. We’re really talking about a wolf in sheep’s clothing here: after the silly first episode, did anyone expect that five episodes later, we’d see the characters in the midst of a sea of fire after a bombing in the second world war? Thought so.

And seriously, before this season started I really didn’t expect that I’d like the next series by Shinbo this much. After Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, Maria Holic and watching Tsukuyomi Moon Phase, I really was through with the guy, and especially that announcement of him trying to regurgitate yet another season of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, which really hit its expiration date long ago made me worried. And yet here he comes, picks out a great manga and adapts it really well so far. The storyline has been getting really interesting in its focus of past vs present, and the filler episodes are a lot of fun to watch (like last episode’s cross-dressing bit).

This episode was much more serious, in which we for the first time see Jun and Kaja go back in time for the first time (making interesting use of the fact that Jun’s actually a girl), and we turn to the place in which she herself grew up, and we get to know her first love right before he died in a bombing. Since Kaja is less confident than Arashi, a large par of this episode is spent on her wondering whether or not to change history.

And poor Jun gets dragged around all the way, but we really get more insight into ‘her’ character in this episode as well as she sees Kaja struggle with her past love. I also like the reason she has for cross-dressing, how she holds some sort of grudge against the average female.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
Wonderful art style, a really dark and deep episode for such a seemingly innocent series.

7 Responses

  1. Westlo says:

    I have to wonder why SHAFT decided to animate a gag manga chapter as their first episode… I really think they lost a lot of viewers with that choice.. episodes 2-4 have been great fun… going to watch 5-6 later tonight.

    You should be pleased to know that SHAFT/Shinbo’s next project has good source material… also it seems Shinbo will play a straight bat with it.

    http://absolutef.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/bakemonogatari-interview-in-newtype-channel/

    This is clearly the SHAFT series to keep an eye on for Summer.

  2. Machi says:

    Hey! Sayonara Zetsubo isn’t bad, if you continue to read on with the manga, the issue with the animes latter seasons incarnations is that they don’t focus on the great chapters of social satire and parody but instead focus on anime or genre jokes :( In any case Sayonara Zetsubo sensei is still a fountain of knowledge, just that the anime neglected that aspect more and more T___T though the first season did have more of it.

  3. AKI says:

    Glad to see you picking this up again. Valkyria is incredibly dull: did not finish the first episode. ^_^

  4. x says:

    I’m enjoying only two series this season, this and Eden. the point is: Eden is thought as short story, I like now, and i won’t regret its end, because it will be its “nature” to be brief.

    Natsu is a different matter, though: I’m already sorry for being unable to have more than 13 episodes; it feels unnaturally too short, the Ark it’s a universe i would like to not go away, and I’m already missing the characters.

    And among the two – i wasn’t expecting this – i’m liking Natsu MUCH more.

  5. Morgoth says:

    I don’t know the Manga so I judged the series from it’s previous episodes and because of them I’ve thought I would watch a comedy series. But then suddenly in this episode the tone got really serious, dramatic and so on. Not that I dislike this episode but I don’t know what to expect from a series that makes such a turnaround after six episodes. So either they will mix comedy and drama, balanced and taking the best from both or one of them disturbs the other in the process of archiving the former.

  6. Polaryzed says:

    SOOOOooooo glad you dropped VC for this. I’ve been secretly in love with this series since the first eps and I’m glad to see people are starting to realize it’s worth.

    I always love it when a series can make you love or hate their characters so much. The worst series are the ones where you feel indifferent about them. Cross Game is another great example of good characters. I really hope this series doesn’t fall flat on its face in the second half, or just as bad: have a non-ending end without a second season.

  7. aha says:

    This should teach you not to drop a good series for no good reason!

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  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:42 AM)
    Even Anno admitted that Evangelion’s success was heavily reliant on Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s unique and attractive character design. It was familiar but still original. Rei and Asuka’s designs as well as the plug suits and the look of ye Evas had a huge impact in the industry and inspired a whole slew of future animators. You could’ve done the same exact series with a cruder art style and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:19 AM)
    @Aidan: art-style is integral to the overall quality of a product, that’s why it irks me so much when Type-Moonies endlessly praise Nasu and underappreciate Takeuchi as if he didn’t contribute all that much to Fate’s success.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 02:38 AM)
    @Bam, it’s a rough style admittedly. But mate I played Umineko with the original artwork. It’s hard to find anything worse than that…expect Higurashi’s artwork…(shivers)
    Ryukishi, great writer but not an artist.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 12:24 AM)
    You guys made me want to go see Fury Road in IMAX now.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: you know I tried looking into Muv Luv since it’s supposedly a seminal LN, but that character design is horrendous. The story sounds interesting but there’s such a divide between that and the art style that there’s no way I can get into it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Another Muv luv spinoff gets an anime adaption. Sure, lets adapt everything except the work that made it famous in the first place.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 04:10 AM)
    Muthafuckas cancelled the Constantine tv adapatation…
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:45 AM)
    Come to think of it, Tsugumi’s personality at odds with her monster design. I’m getting reminded of that mech from zone of the enders dolores that had the personality of a young girl .
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Aidan: The bear will be explained as it was done so recently enough in the manga, Ochiai remains however a very dull villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:27 AM)
    You know when grabbing screenshots Sidonia really does look better when you look at it in still images. I really do think that if they just gave the models more natural movement then it would look metric tons better.

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