OP Sequence

OP: 「風さがし」 (Kaze Sagashi) by 清浦夏実 (Kiyoura Natsumi)
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2


Something is weird today. Something not quite right. Aria-shachou, asa desuyo…

Wait, wrong show. Did I ever mention that Sora’s seiyuu sounds a lot like Akari? Yes, the chick that voices a pocket-sized moe blob that pees on your head and has a two word vocabulary consisting of “honyi” and “sunya-o” just happens to sound a lot like a gondola rower on terraformed Mars. Only in anime.

Sora starts her day by tracking down all the local cats, not only because she seems to think cats are cute, but also because in anime, all stray cats are cute and do not carry rabies. But (!) the cats aren’t in their usual places! Where could they have run off to?

Today is a bit different from usual.

For example, today’s lunch consists of foie gras flavored cream-filled buns. Today’s classroom pet is a lobster. And today we eat bread with our left hand while drawing with charcoal on our right. Don’t mix up those hands!

Hey, is that a cat making eyes at the lobster? Hey, is that a cat making eyes at the pet chicken the teacher brought in?

Indeed, today is quite a bit different.

Daichi barricades the lobster tank. LOBSTER MUST LIVE! LOBSTER MUST SURVIVE!

Teacher brings in her secret weapon! Inspiration in form of a… clay bust that looks like… whoops, no time to see, as chicken mcdoorstop provides an excellent moving object to trip on.

Hey, the cat is back to its usual spot. Today was different, but now, everything is as it was.


You know, all common sense indicates that I should have fallen asleep watching this. And yet, while my mind seems completely empty due to the fact that absolutely nothing happened, I’m wide awake. How is that possible?

I believe it’s because this show is able to fill me with something entirely different – not plot, not action, not anything readily identifiable, but rather a sort of emptiness. It’s not that kind of retarded emptiness or that ignorant emptiness, but rather the kind you wish for after a hectic day at work. The kind of calm and quiet mind after the noise of the looming biochem test or the English essay has finally blown over. That sense of relief you get when you wipe the last item off your to-do list. Then again, that list probably never ends for some people, but to watch an episode of Sketchbook can definitely make you feel that moment of calm.

And it does it by presenting the whole package. And making it all fit together. The soft music meshes with the soft voices and the soft colors. The slow pacing of the scenes mirror Sora’s slow pace of life. The only that doesn’t really fit is the fact that the mascot of the local bowling alley is an extra-terrestrial cat, when no multicellular life was purported to exist on pre-terraformed Mars.

As for my format in blogging this show, next week I’m going to try something different – I’m going to cut down the summary portion to a super general episode synopsis, instead adding some mouse-over captions to the pictures. It will probably fail horribly, but I think it’s worth a try.


  1. cats and anime are a winning combination! xD

    matsuri episode next week already ^^ i never really knew about the girl yukatas (and i wont either ahaha), but the one for guys are horribly uncomfortable. peh… x,x

    1. In the 18th -19th Century Art Academies it was said that Bread could be used to remove charcoal and graphite — a type of cheap available eraser to rescue your drawings when you screw up while outdoors drwing — I tried it and bread acted more like a paper stomp for making blendings.

  2. Chicken remind me of the one from Airantou!

    Aren’t yukatas the same for male and female except the sleeve and design pattern?
    I own a guy’s yukata, and sleep in them often when it’s cold. It’s pretty comfy in one over here. Though mine is one of the rare items I own labeled 日本製, instead of China (Pretty much everything else).

  3. @yoz: pretty much, altho women’s yukatas also have a more elaborate (and larger) obi accompanying it.

    part of the discomfort for me is because im not used to wearing zori (the clogs) with the traditional two-toed socks…

    1. Wrong—- Kimono require an obi – some are more elaborate than others. Yukatas are casual wear, the simplest and lightest fabrics being for post Onsen relaxation and hydration period.

  4. cure:
    iirc, bread is used as erasers for charcoal drawings. Doesn’t leave any residuals compared to normal rubber erasers. Or you could use kneaded erasers as well. Personally, I’ve no idea what bread is used for exactly. But if I were handed one, I’d use it to even out any shades that I’ve done. At least it’ll keep my fingers clean. 😛 I bet every single artist who read this will be screaming curses at me…

    Like i said commented before… I LOVE Sketchbook… Such a calm and relaxing show. Makes me want to remarathon the first 2 seasons of aria again.

    1. Oatmeal also works in the way you describe. The issue is not erasure crumbs, but rather oil from our fingers. a
      Brushing away of erasure residue often is followed with our oily skin changing the tone of the paper.

  5. Jaalin, how do you always pick the winners?! Is it the VAs? The production pedigree? An extensive network of insiders and analysts giving you the critical info about the good and bad? Or is it your mysterious Jaalin-man power, the extra-sensory ability to cut through manufactured hype and commercialism and innately see the true merits and failings of all anime?

    Well, whatever it is, I’m rooting for you! Fight on Jaalin-man! Fight on!

  6. Hey there man,awesome blogsite, just came over it while browsing…

    I’m a comic blade fan. (ARIA andSketchbook magazine) Love this slice oflife genre

    watch it on all the seasons (if there are any during each season that is )

    awesome story synopsis

    Cats.. man I love em

    ARIA shachou as a bowling mascot ( I was laughing when i saw it)

    p.s. you got the Pote and Sora connection right.. But as far as I know being a ARIA fan.. the Seiyuus are different…….. I think… I know a few of the seiyuus from ARIA are in there but sora isn’t voiced by the same seiyuu as Akari .. check the credits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *