Two days from Christmas and those of us in the land of Aus are dying from excessive waves of heat and humidity when we aren’t having our roofs blown off by summer storms. Seems odd that I’m still reviewing the Autumn 2016 anime season while summer is in full swing but even odder that we’re about to move to Winter 2017. But enough of that and let’s get to today’s feature (though admittedly this is more of a lazy discussion than an actual feature).
It seemed to me that it was a good opportunity to look at the common events that anime characters get up to over Summer Holidays. Not my favourite or the most annoying (this isn’t a top 5 list) but rather just a nice and laid back discussion about these common occurences. Anyone who watches a lot of anime should already know the seasons are really important in Japan and that is reflected in their anime.
First of all we have the obligatory beach or pool trip. This kind of screams summer because it’s hot and the characters want to cool off and generally the animators want to put the various characters into swimwear. We also then get the beach volleyball, the throwing various people into the water, the guy/girl who is lazing under the umbrella, sandcastle building, shell collecting, part time job serving refreshments and all the other clichés that go with being at the beach.
Of course most of you already know how I feel about water and the beach so needless to say these episodes don’t exactly appeal to me or my ideas around summer.
But that’s okay. Anime has plenty of other summer activities in store for us.
For instance we can go to a festival. This usually involves laying out or buying the appropriate clothes, everyone blushing and looking shy, eating some fantastic looking food, goldfish scooping (though what happens to all those goldfish is a question I’d rather never have answered), and probably a fireworks display. It’s fun, it’s energetic, it’s not entirely exclusive to summer as there are festivals in other seasons in anime, but it comes up a lot over the summer holidays and is kind of entertaining to watch.
Not to mention, I really want to eat all of that food. Looks so good.
One cliché that I actually don’t understand at all is the ghost hunt or test of courage. I’m not really sure why this seems to come in around summer time or what the obsession with walking through the woods/abandoned school building at night is but it’s another time honoured cliche that we’re going to run into.
If the characters are younger we’ll almost always be treated to a bug catching session (or if your characters involve Haruhi Suzumiya in which case you’ll definitely get sick of bug catching by the end of the endless eight). This is usually light and harmless fun and kind of reminds you of just how easy it is to find entertainment when you find joy in little things.
Last one I want to mention is the going to a relative in the country and then proceeding to bash around in semi-wilderness areas or mountains and usually making a random friend that at the end of summer you need to say farewell to.
All and all, summers in anime always look fun and full of things to do (as well as hot and there are a number of characters who would prefer to sleep at home). So for our discussion today I’ll ask you how you spend your summers or which anime summer would you most want to be in?