Waiting in the Summer Anime Review
Welcome to the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
The theme for August was summertime, and users from the Secret Anime Club voted for three summertime anime. By a large margin, Waiting in the Summer (Ano Natsu de Matteru) was chosen for the August anime review.
Waiting in the Summer follows the lives of Kaito Kirishima, Ichika Takasuki, Kanna Tanigawa, Tetsuro Ishigaki, Mio Kitahara, and Remon Yamano over the course of summer vacation as they set out to make a film starring the new transfer student Ichika. The series explores summer love as the characters start to realize their true feelings for one another, making the most memorable summer of their lives.
I struggled with the story of this anime because while the whole series revolved around making this film and discovering love, there was another story that kept popping up every often; the story of Ichika. While I don't want to give any spoilers away, I felt that Ichika's story was more of a side plot device that showed up now and then, more so towards the end of the series. Also, I found that the main story slow to start.
I would have preferred not having Ichika's plot device to push the story because it really wasn't needed. I found that the best part of the story was using the idea of making a film and each of the characters finding out their true feelings for one another. The film aspect alone was great, but I felt the series was forcing the Ichika story a bit much.
Story Score: 6/10
The animation is one of the best aspects of the series. On the surface, you have your everyday style of animation, which is great already. But two other animation styles frequently show up that bring the anime to life.
One style is when Kaito and Remon use their cameras. That gritty film-like animation from an old projector film added depth to the series. I love that style because it brings home the idea of film making. It was great seeing the animation switch between the film making and the regular animation itself, really building the foundation of the series. The moments where the film was rolling, and that animation was present were some of the more essential parts of the anime.
The other style is the daydream/fantasy style that Kaito has when his mind wanders off. I thought this was very brilliant because it showed another side of Kaito. That style of animation captured his inner feelings and brought depth to Kaito has a character. It was even more brilliant when at one point, nearly all of the characters started having that same daydream animation. It brought depth to each of the characters. I was disappointed, though, when halfway through the series, this animation style just disappeared.
Animation Score: 9/10
This is where I think the anime truly shines. Each character goes through some major developments. Kaito starts stepping forward about his true feelings. Ichika allows herself to open her heart despite the risks. I could technically go on with each character, but I don't want to spoil the series if you decide to watch it. I am saying, though, that each character grows significantly throughout the 12 episodes. Even though this is a short series, you can see the level of depth each character has and what they go through as the story progresses. Each character gets that summer love experience, all except for one.
Remon is the only character that does not get significant character development. No, she is something better altogether. Remon is the glue to the whole story and all the other character developments. Without her, the story would have never progressed as it should have. None of the characters would have gotten the development they deserved. Better yet, Remon knew this and, in a way, made it her mission to help the characters grow. She did different things to try and get the characters to realize their feelings like when she made them drink that Dynamite Drink beverage or by pairing certain characters together in different unique scenes. By far, she is one of the best characters in the whole series, and I love what the writers have built her up to be in the series.
Character Development: 10/10
You may think that there is not much world here to build because the characters live in a small, unassuming town. But world-building can have many different perspectives. Waiting in the Summer had two distinctive world builds. Just like how this series has two stories, this series has two worlds.
Let's point out the obvious one of Ichika's background. The story of Ichika and the place she comes from is pretty easy as she tries to explain to Kaito where she is from and why certain things exist. This becomes even more apparent in the later episodes of the animal around episode 8 or so. You start to see more of Ichika's world-building as new elements are introduced into the anime quickly. Then you discover more about her, her people, and her family. Around episode 10 is where Ichika's world starts to build as new information comes to light, adding to the lore behind her. While this is an okay concept, I prefer the next world-building scenario as Ichika's world tends to be more of a short plot device.
Now the other world-building scenario that I want to talk about is the film making story. I mean, the characters are quite literally building a world within a film. That is what makes this anime very good. The characters are coming up with the plot, the scenario, the environment, literally the world they want to make. Add that to the story behind the characters themselves, and you can see that the world they are building is shaping the world around them as a person. Their character development is part of the world they are building. Even the animation styles help shape the world-building aspect of the anime. Also, something else I really liked was the different anime and video game references made throughout the series, such as the Metal Gear Solid reference made by Remon.
Final Thoughts and Overall Score
Overall, I thought Waiting in the Summer was very enjoyable. I did like the animation and character development. The world-building was great too, but the story could have been better. The story is okay, but Ichika's plot device made it hard to grasp the true intent and emotion behind the series. I enjoyed it very much, and I recommend this anime to anyone, especially if you love summertime anime and are a fan of love-type anime.
Overall Score: 8/10
*All images are from the My Anime List website. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images.