Many years ago, right before he moved away, Ooyagi Saku was coerced into following his childhood friend Akeno Mihoshi into going stargazing. She had fallen out a tree though, and Saku had caught her, hurting himself in the process. Seven years later, he’s moved back to the same town for his first year of high school, but he can still remember clearly how Mihoshi terrorized him as a kid. On his first day of school, he arrives to find gold stars falling from the sky, and it’s because there’s a girl on the roof advertising the astronomy club. That girl turns out to be none other than Mihoshi, and Saku accidentally says her name in shock. She of course hears him, realizes who he is, and chases him down despite his best efforts to get away. Fortunately for Saku, Mihoshi’s friend Sayo get her off of him, but Mihoshi still wants Saku in the astronomy club. Saku is saved from having to answer by the student council president Fumie who’s furious at what Mihoshi did.
As the day goes on, Saku tries his best to avoid Mihoshi every time she comes looking for him, however she finally finds him in the library after school. She’s happy to see him again, but he makes it clear that he doesn’t want her bothering him. Mihoshi refuses to accept this though and tackles him again, trying to remind him of the great times they had as kids looking up at the stars. This only makes Saku angrier and leads to him citing everything bad she did to him, including how she didn’t see him off when he moved away. Mihoshi, however, feels that it was Saku who wasn’t there when she got out of the hospital, and Saku remembers how, after the accident, he hadn’t wanted to listen at all to what his mother wanted to tell him about Mihoshi. Realizing that this was all due to his own loneliness, Saku apologizes to her and even agrees to join the astronomy club.
Afterward, Mihoshi and Sayo show him around their club room, and Saku learns that even with him joining, the club still needs at least one more member. He thus tries to help them recruit, but in the middle of it, they’re interrupted by Fumie who warns them of how much time they have left to find one more person. Mihoshi argues with Fumie, and she’s alarmed when Saku notices that Fumie is in the literary club since he loves books. She later accuses him of not wanting the club to form and talks about how she wants everyone to see the sky of stars just like her father had shown her. Mihoshi then comes up with a daytime activity to attract members, but by the time she gets it ready, it’s started raining outside. Since they’re stuck inside, Saku decides to go to the library to find pictures of celestial bodies so that they can stand out. It’s nighttime by the time the group finally leaves school, but it’s no longer raining, so they’re able to see a sky filled with stars. Mihoshi uses this chance to officially welcome Saku back and into the astronomy club.
This is another series where I think the OP and ED were only so-so. The opening song is by sphere, who last did Hatsukoi Limited’s opening, and it’s kind of catchy and better than Future Stream, but still not that great a song. The ending song is by CooRie, who I haven’t heard anything from in a while, yet the song still sounds the same to me as all of her other works. The ED sequence this week was also part of the episode, so I imagine there’ll be an actual ED sequence starting next week.
Having read some of the manga, this first episode of Sora no Manimani turned out to be pretty much how I expected. It’s a slice-of-life romance comedy with an astronomy theme, and it’s got some very cute moments (courtesy mostly of Mihoshi and her voice actress Itou Kanae) along with a good deal of humor. The first episode followed the manga pretty closely though, so that humor fell a little short for me since I was already familiar with the jokes, however it was still fun to see it acted out. Studio Comet did a decent job with the animation, which won’t knock your socks off or anything, but it’s more than good enough for a series like this. I will say though that I refuse to watch the AT-X broadcast because – as is almost always the case – it’s horrible compared to the broadcasts on all the other channels that come only half a day later.
I know this may not have sounded like the most full-throated endorsement of the series, especially considering how excited I was about it when I wrote up my season preview a few weeks ago, but I still enjoyed watching the first episode and will be tuning in for more. If you like romance or comedy and haven’t read the manga, then I’d definitely suggest giving this a try. In any case, I’m looking forward to next episode since Tomatsu Haruka will be voicing one of the yet-to-be-introduced characters, and, as Patrik pointed out yesterday, she’s very talented.