sola – 01
Early one morning, Morimiya Yorito leaves home and bikes to the waterfront so that he can take pictures of the first light of day. While it’s still dark, he notices that there’s a girl nearby kicking a vending machine because it ate her money. Yorito succeeds in getting a drink by kicking the machine, but by the time he does so, the girl is gone and the sun is coming up. Later that day, Yorito heads to the hospital with his friend Ishizuki Mana to bring his older sister Aono a birthday cake and a present. Nevertheless, when Yorito catches sight of the beautiful sunset outside, he races to the rooftop to take a picture of it and manages to get one with the nearby church in the foreground. Mana lectures him about it when they get home because it was his sister’s birthday and Yorito’s the only family Aono has left. She thinks that the sunsets are all the same, but Yorito disagrees because no two skies are the same. He ends up going on an errand for Mana, but on the way back, he gets caught in the rain. Yorito takes refuge by the waterfront near the same vending machine from earlier and by chance happens to see the same girl kicking it again. When a strong wind blows her umbrella away, Yorito notices that the inside of it is painted to look like the sky.
After the girl recognizes him, the two return to the vending machine where she attempts to charge to get it to dispense her drink. Yorito manages to get in the way, so she runs right into him instead. When the drink comes out anyway, the two have a good laugh about it. Afterwards, she asks him if he likes the rain, he admits to loving the sky. The girl is very interested in the photos Yorito has taken of the sky and shows him the picture she’s carrying of the sunset with a church in the foreground. Recognizing the rosy clouds in her photo, Yorito proceeds to tell her all about clouds. He then sees the girl standing as if she’s in a green field under a blue sky, and when his sight of her returns to normal, there appears to be a tear running down her face. After thanking him, she turns to go, so Yorito stops her to find out her name. The girl gets him to tell him his name first before she finally introduces herself as Shihou Matsuri. The next day, Yorito remembers how Matsuri looked like she was crying and the photo she had shown him. This reminds him of the photo he had taken before from the roof of the hospital since hers had the same church in the foreground.
That church is where Matsuri is staying, and on this very night, Matsuri wakes up to hear someone opening the front door. When she goes to check it out, there’s no one there, but when she turns back around, a man appears in the darkness and starts attacking her with dart-like objects that spew bright light. Matsuri manages to dodge the beams and heads for the windows, but the man is prepared with high-powered lights outside shining into the church. He corners Matsuri at the alter and draws his sword, but the entire scene gets interrupted by the arrival of Yorito.
ED: 「mellow melody」 by Ceui
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
The opening for this first episode wasn’t the real OP but rather a soft song that plays while the main character Yorito is biking to the park early in the morning. I assume the real OP will start next week, though it is already being streamed on the official sola website. The ED was okay, but not that great (I have yet to really like a Ceui song).
Most of this introduction episode was quiet and pretty to look at with all the sky and sunset imagery, and I originally hadn’t expected this to be anywhere near action-oriented. Thus, the end of this episode came as a bit of a surprise because all of the sudden Noto Mamiko‘s character was jumping around avoiding a guy armed with bright lights and a sword. It adds an interesting element to the story, along with all the hints of Matsuri not being human since she never shows up outside during the daytime and she has to avoid bright light.
Overall, with the good animation quality, interesting premise, and strong voice cast including Noto Mamiko, Nakahara Mai, and Shimizu Ai, I enjoyed the first episode and plan to watch/blog at least a little more of sola.