If Boys Be were to be made hentai...
...Wet Summer Days would be the result. I am really astounded by this title's production values. It has beautiful artwork—though at times some of the characters look like they came from some other anime—and plot lines that are unbelievably..."un-hentai". From the onset it is clear that Wet Summer Days, which is also known as Suika, has obviously been made to impress.
Wet Summer Days features a different love story per episode, albeit you will notice that some of the characters in some episodes do cameos on the others. They are, after all, set in Tokiwa Village, a place isolated from the city. One constant character throughout is a bespectacled beauty named Chisatsu, who calls herself the 1,000 Summers.
What struck me most is its bishoujo game feel. The episodes are just too melancholy in a surrealistic way, reminiscent of bishoujo storylines, that they couldn't have been haphazardly drafted by some bored horny guy. It was only later, when the credits rolled, that I realized that it indeed was based on a b-game. Scenes obviously from the game, with a look and feel that differ from the anime, are flashed during the credits.
To my knowledge, this has three licensed episodes. All of which are depressing, to say the least. Even though at times you'd feel like the love stories are reeking of high school cheese, you can't help but weep for many of the characters. The personalities of the protagonists may not be distinct, but the circumstances they find themselves in are. I mean, for instance, the first chapter stars a girl whose father has been rumored to have murdered her mother. The second deals with sibling love and rivalry, the tragedy of which results from the elusive affections of a certain boy. The third, well, let's just say that after the first two, you'd be sure to discern that there's something supernatural going on, and that sometimes, earthly tendré and supernatural duties just don't mix. I may not be a fan of teeny bopper romance, but I was pretty sure I felt that telltale lump in my throat—a sign that I was on the verge of tears.
One thing I observed in Wet Summer Days is the attention to the little details that most people tend to overlook. The backgrounds are breathtaking, and the way they focus on individual elements such as sunflowers, coins, and bells produced dramatic effects. Here's also something weird I will mention: I like how they drew the female body, especially the breasts. Now everyone knows that not all boobies have huge nipples. Heh.
The English dubbing is satisfactory, although I can't help but wonder if they cast the same voice actors for all episodes. All the central characters sound the same. Of course, you can't avoid hearing some screeching females, but realistically speaking, not everyone can sound good. Sometimes Wet Summer Days is lacking when it comes to background music, which is why some scenes tend to feel dead.
Hentai scenes are mild, and I see them more like gentle lovemaking compared to the usual sex marathons. In fact, you can remove all h-related aspects of Wet Summer Days and it will still stand on its own. This is one hentai presentation where sex takes the back seat while substance takes the wheel. I did get bothered with the third episode's apparent Lolita theme, but thank goodness they gave the heroine a bit more flesh on her breasts.