all will be honky dory

I recently finished marathoning the last seven episodes of season six of Skins with the help of drugs, sex, alcohol, and terrible trance music. That was right after I watched the final episode of Waiting in the Summer (Ano Natsu de Matteru). It got me thinking: those must be the two shows on the exact opposite sides of the scale. It’ll be odd if the typical audience of Skins will like Waiting in the Summer and vice-versa. Even though both shows are about teenagers in high school dealing with love, loss, and acceptance, the two TV series go about it in totally different ways.

Waiting in the Summer is about high school friends who come together and deal with their issues as a team and with honesty and consideration of others. Skins is about high school friends who cannot deal with their issues so they resort to petty bickering, substance abuse, backstabbing, promiscuous sex, and listening to MC Hammer. A common gift in Waiting in the Summer is a watermelon. I think Tetsuro and Kanna must have brought like fifty of them to Kaito’s house before the show was over. By the same token, for Skins, the common gift would be pills, marijuana, alcohol, or venereal diseases. It’s just so different. Huh, Kaito is supposed to be a year younger than Frankie… I guess that gives Kaito a year to catch up. Maybe the horrible drug kingpin who rapes him and then gives him milk-less Cheerios afterwards is the OVA special for Ano Natsu de Matteru.


Standard attire for Skins

Just how different the two shows are just got me thinking how different Japanese and UK societies picture their youths. Or at least how they’re entertained by or stereotype them… at some degree, the TV shows represent a zeitgeist of what the society thinks or wants. The audience in Japan want this simple, friendly life that examines people are wholly good while people in the UK prefer to look at the hope and good in people as a rare commodity. I guess that’s reason one why I loved Waiting in the Summer: it’s the anti-Skins, and I can appreciate it for being that. And here’s four more reasons:


Two: Rinon is awesome. She’s the unholy combination of Sumomo, Potemayo, and Juiz. She has Sumomo’s ability to interface with computer networks and people alike, Juiz’s ability to Just Get Things Done™, and Potemayo’s blobby adorableness. (The closest analogue to Rinon in Skins is Siri and Grindr on iPhone. Every character except the dumbest two have iPhones, and one uses Skins’ version of Grindr a bit too much. And, strangely, after Frankie’s iPhone was tossed out of a car moving at least 140kph, she gets an iPhone in the exact same case in the following episode as if nothing happened… mmm…)

(As much as people love to call this series “Onegai Sempai,” I can see the similarities, just it doesn’t give this series enough credit for solving three key issues of Onegai Teacher: One, it’s a lot less creepy. Two, Kaito is a lot less indecisive and annoying than Kei. Three, all the characters are interesting… except maybe Liv who is just Alex’s BFF this season.)

Three: Remon is awesome. Even though she looks like a typical wrathful loli, she destroys the typical loli archetype… she ends up being the omniscient troublemaker that everyone comes to depend on. She is an one loli demolition crew in the final arc; she’s the Thunder God Cid of Waiting in the Summer. Andohbytheway, she has that great fufufu~ laugh. (Of course, Skins had to top Remon by having Alo bone a loli and then having Rich drop the epic, “Are you a thirteen year old girl, or you do just fuck them?” line. Yes, there’s an extended sex scene featuring Alo, a thirteen year old girl who likes My Little Pony and Peter Pan a lot, and Star Wars Kinect. Let’s just say it put the asari x hanar sex scenes in Mass Effect to shame.)


Four: The fundamentals are good. Animation, sound, pacing, and direction are all solid. There’s no let down like with the pacing for Endless Eight or Angel Beats or direction a la season two of Ararararagi Under the Bridge. Tatsuyuki Nagai did make this series feel a bit like the spiritual successor to Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Friendship Anime) with the feel and music of the show, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing since Friendship Anime was pretty damn good. Oh Manma. The outfits were in-line with the time period, and Ichika’s spacesuit looks a lot like Birdy’s. The voice work of Nobunaga Shimazaki is also pretty solid, and that’s refreshing since there hasn’t been a lot of different male voices for this genre of anime.

Five: The characters developed. Kanna, Ichika, Kaito, Tetsuro, and Mio all grew as the season progressed. They all got over their personal blocks and weaknesses as the season progressed, and this progression was done in a satisfying way: the characters all supported one another, sometimes helping to the detriment of themselves. They were stronger as a whole than as individuals. You’ll enjoy this show if you’re looking for some light romance summertime anime… since, you know, summer is coming.

8 Responses to “all will be honky dory”

  1. Enjoyed this a lot. Remon is waaaay crazy but Ano Natsu is still one of the two really good shows of last season. Wish I had a Rinon.

  2. The characters developed. Kanna, Ichika, Kaito, Tetsuro, and Mio all grew as the season progressed.

    While Lemon just grew yet more awesome. She totally stole the show. Ufufufufu~

    This has been my favourite show this season, and while at the start there was such a worryingly high concentration of stereotypes and stereotypical situations, I though it would go downhill very soon; as the show went along more and more ended up being deconstructed and broken away from. A love triangle that gets decisively resolved mid-season, and was never allowed to become that stagnant even before that? A childhood friend who throws herself at the male lead just because she’s on the rebound (and he figures this out)? A male friend who isn’t just the Sunohara? I found it rather refreshing.

    There’s quite a feel of Ano Hana as well, and not just in the name. They’re both well executed shows that use their single season well, and the art is similar too.

  3. Came for Tamura Yukari’s “Ufufufu~”, stayed because the show was great.

    I was a bit disappointed with the ending, but I’ll settle for the poncho in the epilogue.

  4. Ufufufu~ is the best loli ever

  5. Also you gotta give the anime props for Remon promoting safe sex when she gave the new love birds a condom. Juxtapose that with how much sex is show in SKiNS and how little people use protection.

  6. Tbh I enjoyed the show very much, I agree that it’s a spiritual successor to ano hana, but also onegai teacher

  7. God I love this show, in my opinion it’s on a whole other level compared to Dat Flower and revives my hopes in original anime to come.

  8. Three: don’t forget that Remon looks great in a suit.

    Six: the glorious ending song by Yanagi Nagi (who also sang “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari”). Maybe this decade’s Arai Akino?

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