Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: AOYAMA Yoshino
CHIBA Shigeru
Natsuna has an online friend, Itsuki. They've never met in person, but Itsuki has proposed that they do. Then the game that they use to communicate shut down abruptly, completely severing their contact. Natsuna has an old address that Itsuki once gave her, and goes looking for her.

12 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch Stretch [series:3795#628]
(Watch+ or Rent-)

(All episodes watched):

This was a show whose first episode, in the space of just a couple of minutes, made me sit up and take intense interest. The premise of going looking for a person you know well yet have never met was intriguing. What sort of surprises await Natsuna? Might Itsuki turn out to be a boy rather than a girl? Anything could happen. The show seemed to have a sentimental tone to it and wasn't just a goofy comedy; this business of finding a recently lost friend is being taken seriously. I hoped it wasn't just a sort of commercial to attract tourists to a certain region, and fortunately it wasn't. I was frustrated to find that such an engaging story was just a short rather than a full-length anime. It's not often that I complain about an anime being too short, but I think that is a problem with Natsunagu. It is trying to tell a story of sorts, not just present 4-koma style jokes, so a mere three minutes or so is hardly enough time to move the plot forward and in particular have something that the viewer will remember a week later happen. A half-length, twelve minutes or so format probably would have worked better, but maybe this is just a short story. Maybe I should have waited until I had downloaded the entire series then watched it en masse; it would still only have been half an hour or so. Still, I was curious about Natsunagu and intended to continue watching. I notice that this anime employs a simple but pleasing drawing style. There is almost no blending of colors, just colors well chosen. Once in a while there is a LOL joke, like 'If I drink a little more, I might remember'. The address Natsuna has turns out to be out of date, and for most of the series she doesn't have much luck tracking down Itsuki, but she makes some new friends instead. In episode nine Natsuna finally gets a lead on where Itsuki might be, but there's a ominous hint that Itsuki has some sort of problem and it might be better not to meet her at all. She finds a person who won't say definitively whether she is or isn't Itsuki, and the whole adventure seems destined to end in a thoroughly disappointing manner. But Natsuna decides not to give up. In the end, Itsuki's problem turned out to be something relatively minor and anti-climactic, and I was at a loss to explain how the misunderstanding between the two of them had gotten so out of hand, so the conclusion was less than completely satisfying. But I don't regret watching. An unusual, intriguing premise which didn't completely pan out--that seemed to be a common theme of the Winter 2020 season.

Last updated Thursday, April 02 2020. Created Friday, January 17 2020.

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