Natsuiro No Sunadokei

June 23, 2007

Imagine if you have a short glimpsed of the future and you have just witnessed that your loved one is gonna perish. What would you do? How would you avoid such a catastrophe and disaster that may befall on the person you love? Ah… Something to think about in this short anime series Natsuiro No Sunadokei.
 
The main protagonist of this series, Koutaro Makimura is overjoyed when the girl he has a crush on for some time, Kaho Serizawa, finally accepts his love. But that love isn’t gonna last long and is gonna be abruptly cut short when he accidentally took a time travelling trip into the near future to see the inevitable. Naturally, one would be really really worried about it, right?
 
This series is another one of those comedy, romance and drama OVAs with only 2 episodes lasting around 30 minutes each. Probably you would say, hey, there isn’t much to tell since there’s only 2 long episodes and you could finish it in 1 hour. But at least with some science fiction element in it, it makes you think a little, though you don’t really have to crack your head real hard to figure things out or understand it in detail. So let the time travelling tale begin…
 
Episode 1
The first episode starts off with a sandglass broken and a vision of a girl, Kaho, to be exact. What does that all mean? It means Koutaro’s daydreaming in his boxing match. Because of that, he gets punched and is out. It’s important to keep one’s mind clear at such times. Later, he’s walking with his friends home and Koutaro tells them that he plans to confess to Kaho tomorrow, which is the start of summer vacation, and asks Ai Senou to help deliver his love letter to her because he thinks Ai’s her childhood friend. At the same time, a girl in a trenchcoat is watching them from afar.
 
At home, Ai agrees to do it but in return Koutaro has to treat her at Paradise Cafe. Koutaro then spots somebody spying and approaches her. Though Koutaro grabs her, he accidentally grabs her chest! Of course any girl’s normal reaction would be to scream in horror and in addition, she took out a sandglass to smack right into him. With the sandglass broken, she runs away but Koutaro has slightly distorted visions after the attack and heads straight for home.
 
Next morning, Koutaro’s awaken by his mom’s voice and notices a different date on his handphone. He thinks summer vacation has just begun as he meets an old man outside his house who’s saying how sorry he is for him. Koutarou’s confused with his words. In school, Koutaro finds nobody in class and is greeted by his friend Takeshi who takes him to the gym. There, the principal announces kaho has died in an accident on 31st August. Koutarou’s in shock. Ai apologizes and cries while saying that it’s her fault. Koutarou then is being told by Tomo sensei that since they’re going out together, he may not want to accept the situation as it is. Koutarou’s still confused as he hasn’t confess to her yet. All of this seemed so sudden. And suddenly, Koutarou blacks out.
 
Koutarou wakes up and finds himself lying somewhere in the school compound. He notices the change in date again. He meets Kaho who’s standing there and thinks the previous incident’s just a dream. Kaho then returns his love letter and despises how he uses his friend to do it and is quite angry. As Kaho walks away Koutarou tries to chase her but bumps into Ai and Takeshi before passing out again.
 
This time Koutarou wakes up in the park and again he notices the change in date. Kaho soon arrives and apologizes for being late. It seems they’re on a date now. And since it’s like that, the 2 have some fun and the time of their lives. Later Kaho tells Koutarou of things he did yesterday in which Koutarou wasn’t even aware of. Back outside Kaho’s house, she tells him not to go closer anymoreas her father’s strict. Oh oh. Her dad’s there already. Kaho mentions it’s pass her curfew time and soon they both parted.
 
Back at Koutarou’s home, he’s thinking about the events that has happened when he fell asleep. When he wakes up, he’s back to the current time he’s supposed to be in and saw that trenchcoat lady who says how he broke the sandglass and that she’s having lots of trouble. Koutarou thinks he’s still dreaming and pinches her face. Shouldn’t he pinch his own face? Because of that she punches him. Soon Koutarou’s asking so many questions (so much that I don’t think that he’ll ask this much in school ;p), she telss him to shut up as she can’t answer so many questions at 1 time.
 
She introduces herself as Ligene, a time patroller from the future. What’s Koutarou’s first reaction? He’s laughing of course. Ligene gets mad but tells him that her job is to correct any irregularities in time and she’s here to correct Kaho’s future. Koutarou finds out that on 31st August at the time of 13:30, Kaho’s waiting at the train station for Koutarou. The train’s running late so she decides to take the bus. When she gets off, she got into a fatal accident. So Ligene’s here to make sure Kaho doesn’t get into contact with Koutarou and asks him to immediately break up with her. Of course Koutarou isn’t gonna listen to her and just to that. He wants a win-win situation and asks Ligene for another solution.
 
Ligene reveals why the train is late is because a girl named Mana Kawamura, is crossing the railroad. Ligene even shows Koutarou her pic and it seems she’s Koutarou’s junior in his school and is part of the swimming club. Mana’s supposed to participate in some competition but got injured and is wheel-chaired and it seems her wheel-chair got stuck while she’s crossing, thus holding up the train. Koutarou thinks that if Mana doesn’t get injured, she wouldn’t be wheel-chair ridden and the accident could be avoided. With that Ligene leaves and decides to leave things up to Koutarou since she blames him for breaking her tools.
 
The next day, Koutarou rushes to the school’s swimming pool. On the way there, he caught a glimpse of Kaho practicing her play lines. Kaho blushes when she saw him. Koutarou said to himself that he’ll vow to protect her. At the swimming pool, Koutarou meets Tomo and tells her everything. Tomo explains that sandglass he broke must’ve been some time travelling instrument and when he lost consciousness, his body starts jumping to different dates randomly and calls it ‘day drops’. I think Tomo’s a science fiction buff because there’re more sci-fi blabs from her which I don’t really remember nor understand. Something like if 1 gets others involve, he/she might cause chaos in the future, thus Tomo says only Koutarou can do something about it. Maybe it’s Tomo’s way of saying I don’t wanna get involve with whatever mess you’re in a also be held liable for it.
 
Mana is seen lying in the swimming pool and is soon ready to do her practice dive. She makes several rounds as Koutarou watches. Then Mana suddenly slips from the board. Koutarou rushes to her and asks her to rest but Mana ignores his advice and goes back diving again. But this time Mana slips and injures herself. Mana tells Koutarou how people have high expectations of her bla bla bla. You’ve heard it all before why people push themselves to be the best. She then pushed Koutarou into the pool but unfortunately, Koutarou can’t swim. Mana dives in to save him. So some talking here and there like how Mana says "I swim because I like water". Yeah, "I watch because I like anime". Hehehe. Some more words of encouragement and realization on what’s important. With that, Mana thanks him.
 
On the day of the competition, Mana gets to participate in it. Ligene then says that everything has gone well since her absence. Koutarou says now Kaho’s accident will be prevented. Ligene checks her tool but to her surprise, she says the accident will still happen. Oh oh. Did Koutarou forgot to do something? Anyway, that’s the last you’ll see of Mana. She won’t be even appearing in the next episode. Unless you count that opening sequence as one.
 
Episode 2
Well, everything seems going perfectly as we see Koutarou and Kaho dating. Having lunch together, watching a movie together. Ah, how lovely. At the end of their date, Koutarou realizes Kaho doesn’t have much time. So all’s not well it seems. The scene changes to Tomo being robbed and harrassed in the underground car park. Luckily, Tomo electricutes her assailant with her stun gun. Koutarou arrives a little too late. Tomo’s got the situation under control.
 
Back home, Ligene’s sitting on his bed and tells Koutarou that the accident will still happen. Koutarou’s in disbelief after doing all those stuffs to prevent the accident. Yeah, how is Tomo’s mugging gotta do with Kaho’s accident? But you know, it’s like a chain, one thing does lead to another. Ligene heads off to do more research.
 
Later, Ai is calling from outside asking Koutarou to take her to school for some club meeting. At school, Koutarou once again caught a glimpse of Kaho practicing her play lines. Ai saw them both together and she looked rather sad and leaves. Oh dear. Don’t tell me this girl too has a crush on Koutarou. Must be. So typical and predictable. Later Ai calls Koutarou to invite him to some festival with Takeshi. Koutarou’s asking to invite Kaho as well. Ai’s spacing out. Uh-huh. She likes that guy. Confirmed. But Kaho says she can’t go because her dad’s strict and won’t allow her to.
 
You know those raging hormones. It’s the time where teenagers rebel against their parents’ advice. It’s because at Kaho’s home, Koutarou sneaks in and ‘takes Kaho away’ to the festival. I guess this girl too wants to have some fun rather than getting all cooked up in her room. Ai lends Kaho her yukata as the gang heads for the festival and had their share of fun. Koutarou’s asking Kaho if she’ll go out with him if he invites her. Kaho gives her strict father answer again. But Koutarou says nevermind him because more importantly, "Do you want to be with me?". With that Kaho says yes. Koutarou gives her a handphone so that he could keep in touch with her. Some blushing moments here and there. Then this is the funny part. Kaho wants to call Koutarou by his first name (all along she’s being calling him Makimura). He agrees. When Kaho does, Koutarou’s asking her to say it again and again. Wah like so shock like that. They eventually embraced and kissed! Ai and Takeshi passing by and saw the two. You know what this means.
 
But it seems Koutarou’s relationship hasn’t got the green light from Kaho’s dad yet as we see him getting beaten up by the latter. Why he even destroys the handphone Koutarou gave to Kaho. Kaho could do nothing as she watch in horror from her window. Kaho’s dad warns him not to come near his daughter again. Even so, Koutarou asks him to let Kaho stay at home on 31st August but he just walked into the house ignoring him.
 
Ligene comes back into Koutarou’s room and spots him writing a letter to warn Kaho not to go anywhere that day. Well, Ligene thought it was a love letter at first. Girls will be girls. Ligene thinks Koutarou’s got a fever but he doesn’t care if Kaho dumps him, as long as he can see her smile. With that, Ligene gets all excited to help him out and starts suggesting to put some future happenings in the letter to increase its credibility. Uh-huh. Ligene’s like his English teacher, telling him his wrong usage of grammar here and there so much so Koutarou’s annoyed and mentions how he should’ve done it on his own in the first place. You should have.
 
Next morning, Koutarou saw Ai outside his house. He asks her for a favour to deliver his warning letter to Kaho. Though Ai is reluctant, but she agrees to help out. Because Koutarou’s up all night burning the midnight oil writing the letter, he goes back to bed. When he wakes up, it’s d-day, 31st August. Umm… Ligene’s sleeping next to him as well. And she thinks Koutarou may have done something on her. Yeah, Ligene’s really grumpy in her sleep. Anyway, thinking that Ai have already delivered the letter, Koutarou’s telling Ligene how everything’s gonna be okay. Ai then comes in and asks who Koutarou’s talking to and says is it Ligene. Koutarou’s shock and wants to know how she knows that. Ai apologizes and says she did a terrible thing, she didn’t deliver the letter. Oh no. But Ai’s crying won’t stop the accident from happening.
 
Ai tells Koutarou that she didn’t do it because she loves Koutarou and is envious of Kaho. See, what did I tell ‘ya earlier on. But now Ai realizes her mistake. I’m still wondering how Ai knew Ligene. Did Ligene tell her or what? That part is still a mystery. Koutarou rushes out to save Kaho. He’s really peddling his bicycle real fast. When he reaches the train station, he can’t find her there. Even at the city square, Kaho’s not in sight. Then Koutarou saw her across the road and yells her name. Kaho is happy to have spotted Koutarou and runs across the street. But a speeding car is heading her way. Hasn’t anybody told her to look left and right before crossing the street?
 
Maybe Koutarou shouldn’t have called out to her. Yeah, in a way, you could say that he’s responsible for the accident that’s gonna happen. Koutarou dashes towards Kaho. But it’s too late. That’s because Ai suddenly appears and pushes Kaho out of danger. And that speeding car just zoomed pass by. Hasn’t that driver stepped on the brakes once? Or even stop the car to see if he killed anybody? Noooo, he just continued his journey. Because of Ai’s heroic act, she and Kaho fell unconscious.
 
Once Ai comes to, Koutarou asks why is Ai and Takeshi here too. Takeshi says that Ai called him and explained things. Then Takeshi adds "If Ai’s gone, I’d be lonely". So now this guy’s got a crush on Ai. I should’ve seen this one coming too. Kaho regains her consciousness and asks what happened. She thought it’s all over but the 2 soon briefly embraced each other. A weeping Ai too hugs and apologizes to Kaho but Kaho says it’s alright. I suppose if you wanna hug somebody, better do it with somebody you really love as Koutarou and Kaho hugged each other a bit longer.
 
Back at school, Ligene shows Koutarou that the sandglass is fixed. Ligene is happy now that she can go home. Koutarou asks if that sandglass enables her to go to any time she wants and wants her to show him a little of the Koutarou-Kaho future. But after some ‘warning’ words and ‘that look’ from Ligene, Koutarou put a little thought into it and says he’ll pass it. Soon Ligene leaves through a portal and wishes him goodbye.
 
Then Koutarou gets a call from Kaho and tells her he’ll be right down with her soon. Kaho and her other friends are waiting down at the school gate. In the last scene, we see Kaho taking an early leave from her drama club rehearsal to meet with Koutarou. I guess love can’t wait. Luckily her club members are so understanding. Girls will be girls. As Koutarou’s waiting outside the school gate and reading Kaho’s SMS, a girl who look so much like Ligene comes up to him and asks him for directions to the train station. That girl leaves when Kaho arrives as she thanks him. Though Kaho asks who she was, Koutarou said just somebody asking for directions. Koutarou even felt like he’s seen her before but soon drops the subject as they both head off for lunch. What do you expect? Some jealousy? Kaho’s not that kind of girl.
 
At the end of time…
Well, what can I say. Everything seems okay to me. Though there are a few questions that boggles my mind at the end like has Kaho’s dad give Koutarou the seal of approval for dating his daughter? What was hat last part with that Ligene look-a-like meant? Does it mean Ligene has erased Koutarou’s memories of Ligene’s time with him? Or is it that there are several Ligenes in several time zones? Is Ai and Takeshi an item? Whatever it is, at least it all ends on a happy note.
 
So the drawing, art and animation seems pretty okay to me. Typical Japanese anime bishoujo drawing standards. By the way, I happen to notice that the voice actress for Kaho is Nana Mizuki, who also sang the opening song for the series, Drive Away Dream. Well, actually nothing to it, since Nana Mizuki also voiced several famous characters from well known animes (like Fate of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Sunao of Tsuyokiss, Shinobu of 2×2=Shinobuden, Tsugumi of Jigoku Shoujo, Oboro of Basilisk and Yui of Ichigo 100%), so I suppose doing some one off OVA is kinda a little ‘surprising’ for me. As for character development… What character development? Except for Koutarou and Kaho in the end, I’m even wondering what happend to Tomo. Maybe her character’s ‘unnecessary’ after that mugging incident, huh.
 
Just like a normal teenage love story with some sci-fi in it, you could say that the power of love transcends time and space. Wouldn’t anybody go to any great deal of length to save their loved ones? I know I would. If only in today’s world those people have a glimpsed of their undesirable future and would take action to mend it, probably it’ll be a lot better. Yeah, don’t tell me to prevent all that married life chaos, they’d break off and forget about the whole relationship. I think some things are better left unseen. It’s better to discover it ourselves. And learn from it.