ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:00 - 12th August 2013, by David West

Waiting In The Summer

Kaito Kirishima has a crush on the new girl in school, a redheaded transfer student called Ichika. But the object of his affections has a secret - she is an alien stranded on Earth after her spaceship crashed here. Ichika joins Kaito and his friends Kanna, Testuro, Mio and Remon in their summer project to make an amateur movie, and soon Cupid's arrows are flying around the set thick and fast.

Waiting In The Summer adds science fiction to the teen romance formula. The story sets up several love triangles for maximum bittersweetness. While it is always clear that Ichika and Kaito are meant to end up together, it is a bumpy road along the way, and their happiness means someone else getting their heart broken. The science fiction elements sit slightly awkwardly alongside the romance, and in the early episodes they feel superfluous until the over-the-top finale brings the sci-fi to the forefront.

The strong character design brings to mind the style of Rumiko Takahashi, and the animation does a great job of capturing the sense of a small countryside town, with clear skies at night without the light pollution found in cities. Meanwhile, to add to the drama and slice of life feel, director Tatsuyuki Nagai has a penchant for close-ups of hands being clenched in anguish to suggest unspoken passions. Kaito is a cookie cutter romance anime protagonist - orphaned as a child? Check. Slightly nerdy? Yep. Just a little bland? Inevitably, yes.

Snuffling guaranteed with this interplanetary tearjerker that wrings every drop of pathos from these star-crossed teens.
SCORE: 3/5
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