Minor spoilers for the first episode.
Kaito Kirishima Is our protagonist. Kind of an ordinary, smallish, geekish guy with glasses. He is obsessed with shooting Super 8 movies. Of course, he’s an orphan. No parents, just big sis, who is supposedly going off to Bolivia on business.
Nanami Kirishima – that’s big sis. Personally, I think she the sexiest female on the show.
Ichika Takatsuki is the girl who fell to Earth. I get the impression she ran away from home in a starship. She was searching for something lodged in her memory when she ran into some space debris and made a forced landing on Earth. Once here, she decides this is the place she was looking for.
Kanna Tanigawa is the tomboy who has a thing for Kaito but is reluctant to claim him.
Tetsurō Ishigaki is Kaito’s obnoxious friend. He is very tall, carefree and outgoing to provide a contrast to Kaito.
Mio Kitahara is a shy girl who also has a thing for Tetsuro. She also a nudist in a family of nudists but doesn’t let anyone know because of their possible reactions.
Remon Yamano is a mischievous and clever girl who claims to have written a script for George Lucas. She encourages the group to make a movie over the summer. She gets them drunk. She tries to get them to do lewd things and then films it. But we all love her. Remon is older and mysterious and a legal loli to boot.
Rinon is the cute little animal mascot thingy that all aliens come equipped with. At least it isn’t Kubey.
Kaito is out at night, standing on a bridge, experimenting with a high-ISO film used for low-light photography. A spaceship falls from the sky and crashes into the water. The blast knocks him off the bridge, seriously messing him up.
As he plummets to his death, a beautiful hand reaches out of the sky to save him. Guess who!
The next day Kaito wakes up on his futon unscathed. Even his broken glasses are fixed. He doesn’t have any memories of what happened.
Ichika shows up at school as a transfer student to his class. After school, he happens to meet her fishing for her dinner in a stream that has no fish. She ends up going home with him because she has no other place to go.
At his home he suggests that Ichika should take a bath. Kaito feels a pain in the neck, becomes weak and collapses. A red spot that has been thought of as a bug bite or a hickey was really one of his healed injuries starting to fail. Ichiga hears something and rushes out of the tub in just a towel. She calls on Rinon who busts out of its suitcase and does glowie techie stuff. The way to fix this is for her to kiss him.
Of course, as she’s doing this in the living area, Big sis and Kanna walk through the front door to see Kaito in the arms of a gorgeous redhead who is smooching on him. And of course, the towel slips a bit while they watch. Kanna is not at all happy. Sis faints.
“But this isn’t what you think it is!” Trope attack!
That’s pretty much the first episode. Nothing horrible, nothing awesome. But if you continue to watch you’ll find more depth here than one might expect. This isn’t just a rom-com. There is drama with along with its comic and sci-fi trappings.
It is Manami, Tetsuruo’s older married sister. Of course, Ichika sees this just as she is mulling over her relationship with Kaito.
I also like the fantasy interludes with the extra intense color.
Kaito films in order to record for the future memories that might be lost. This is the result of losing his own parents at an early age and having little left to remember them by. Ichika does not belong here and there are those who would take her back. Relationships develop and change as multiple triangles come into play. Remon is not just comic relief, she is a strong and assertive character in her own right. Kanna goes through some serious character development
Yeah, it is cheesy. But it is a flavor of cheese that like. If you aren’t into cheesy romances, you might not like it.
Mostly though, it is a coming-of-age anime where the summer and the movie become more than a vacation and a project. It becomes a turning point in everyone’s lives. Not something as stunning as “Kids on the Slope” but still worth watching.
It is not an anime to give up on quickly, despite the mild cheddar. The final scene of the final episode, after the credits, is brilliant.