The Series (5/5)
Kaito Kirishima is a film obsessed teenager who wants to leave something important behind. He has lost both of his parents and lives with his emotionally unstable older sister. Kaito goes around filming everything he sees with an old camera he found at his grandfather’s house. While testing out a new film brand, he discovers an alien crash landing. At first he believes it was a trippy dream, but when he sees his dream girl he soon discovers the truth. The girl in question is named Ichika Takatsuki, a study aboard student who is secretly an alien. Kaito and his friends decide to spend their upcoming summer break by making a short movie. While preparing for a production meeting, Kaito discovers that Ichika is homeless. He offers her a role in the movie and a place to stay. So starts the summer break none of them will forget.
Going into Waiting in the Summer, I had the idea it was going to be a silly Love Hina clone with all the beautiful women in the series fighting for Kaito’s love. Now there is a love triangle, but nothing like that. Waiting in the Summer actually turned out to be a clever surprise that I quickly fell in love with. The series deals with the cute missteps of young filmmakers and the bounds of friendship. None of the kids have any film experience and it becomes touching when they start making their first fan film. The series shows the hiccups of bad takes, lighting problems, and actors having to make up their lines on the spot. The series also has neat little references to the dull state of zombie movies and a “stolen” Lucas film script.
The series is also quite great at developing characters. Kaito is a likeable main character who is honest about some of his horn dog fantasies and his joy of filming everything. All of his friends have unique and three dimensional characteristics. The Alien is sweet and slowly starts feeling the powers of human emotions. The writing is just so much fun. One aspect I enjoyed was every character has day dream scenes where did scenes get replayed. Sometimes it’s hard for characters to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. one hilarious running gag involves Ichika’s fear of the Men in Black characters! You quickly fall for the characters, and like me probably want to binge watch the series as soon as possible.
Waiting in the Summer has some incredible animation. The characters are all unique and visually interesting. The backgrounds have eye popping detail and a wonderful blend of colors. Everything looks lived in and you can believe this is a real world. One coo aspect that shows the attention to detail is the various changes in animation to show the film stocks. The loving use of grain and softness of costumes gives it a real film look.
I don’t want to spoil much, but Waiting in the Summer is a fun nostalgic series for people who love making film and showing off enjoyable characters. Their summer of love and fun is very heart warming.
The series comes with the original 2.0 Japanese audio, mastered in DTS-HD. The audio is wonderful with zero hiss or hiccups. The track comes with easy to read English subtitles. The video is in full 1080p HD with a lovely sharp picture. The colors shine and pop off the TV. The animation is just beautiful to look at. A handsome transfer overall.
Extras are sadly limited to clean opening and closing credits animation. Not bad, but it would’ve been cool to see an interview with the creator of the series.
Waiting in the Summer is one of the most refreshing animes I’ve seen in quite a long time. It’s 12 episodes and one OVA of fun characters and good times. The nostalgic look at teens making their first fan film while falling in love, may sound silly, but it really shines with its wit and heart. Sentai Filmworks gives this series a handsome release that I highly recommend adding to your anime collection.