「劇場版 そらのおとしもの 時計じかけの哀女神（エンジェロイド）」 (Gekijouban Sora no Otoshimono: Tokeijikake no Enjeroido)
“Heaven’s Lost Property the Movie: The Angeloid of Clockwork”
Whenever something perverted happens, Tomoki is the yardstick by which I measure it. If Tomoki would have done it, it was probably awesome(ly perverted); if he wouldn’t have, you better get back to work, bud. As such, it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to cover this movie. What might come as a surprise is the tone it takes, though that’s only if you’ve forgotten about the deeper side of Sora no Otoshimono, which is what makes this series so much more than your typical ecchi comedy.
Let’s take this in order. After starting off with some faux gattai action and a giant Sohara beating up an equally giant chicken – a chicken which has apparently appeared in the series before? I dunno, the characters had forgotten about it, and so had I. Moving on – we move into a 40 minute retread of the first two seasons. Now, let me quickly reiterate that I love Sora no Otoshimono. Interesting characters, a good plot, and plenty of Tomoki-level perversion make Stilts a happy camper. That said, those first 40 minutes were a slog. I understand that the idea was to retell the story from Hiyori’s (Hikasa Youko) point of view, t show how long she has been watching Tomoki, but the problem was that they stayed on each part just slightly too long. If I wanted to rewatch the infamous flying panties scene, or watch Tomoki get breast slammed by a masked “stranger”, I would go back and watch those episodes! As is, the movie didn’t spend enough time on each scene to fully convey the humor for someone who hadn’t seen them before, and it was too shallow of a retread for those who already had. I only cracked a smile once during the whole thing, and the fact that it was at Tomoki’s nipple song probably just says worrisome things about me. The whole bit should have been 20 minutes long at max, and with a much heavier focus on Hiyori. As is, it just felt like they were using old material as padding because they weren’t confident enough in their new material, or possibly were trying to get a decent run time for the marketing material. For shame.
That said, within a minute of Hiyori joining the New World Discovery Club, the good times were back. Tomoki’s initiation, and Hiyori’s willingness to go along with it, was fantastic. Sniffing panties, white swimsuit, nurse, miko…Tomoki-sama, I highly approve! But still, the “special sushi” was the best. Not only was it great that he’s apparently such a connoisseur of panties that he actually eats them, but the rightful punishment he received had me cringing and laughing at the same time. I’m not surprised Kaichou went for the light bulb, but eeee! That’s the Kaichou I remember, but keep her away from me when she goes into evil mode.
But hilarity aside, the point of these scenes – and really every scene prior to the confession – was to get us attached to Hiyori despite the tragedy that we all knew was coming, and that was a job that was done quite well. The scenes with everyone having fun together were so heartwarming that they made a creeping dread grow in my heart. That’s right, while Sora no Otoshimono’s characteristic perversion and hilarity were on full display, that’s not what this movie was about – it’s about us getting our tragedy on, and just enough clues were sprinkled throughout the first three-fifths of the film to make it hard for anyone to forget that. Which brings me to a little theory of mine – heavy foreshadowing, even up to the point of spoilers, do not necessarily ruin a tragedy. In fact, they can even enhance it. Let me give you an example. It will be from my experience watching Kanon (2006), so if you have for some reason not seen that show and don’t want to be spoiled (even though I just said it doesn’t really ruin it), skip the following paragraph. Also know that you’re missing a great show, and you should go watch it immediately. Like, before you finish reading this post. It’s really good, I swear!
Okay, so tragedies and spoilers Vis-à-vis Kanon. So back in 2006 when Kanon was airing, I was a little behind on keeping up with the episodes, and I caught a spoiler – that Nayuki’s mom, Akiko, was going to get hit by a car. You’d think this would make the event less impactful, right? Wrong. Now I knew what was going to happen, but not necessarily when, or how. Now I was looking for the signs, and since I had grown to like Akiko, I was dreading what would happen. The dread grew as the signs started appearing, and my heart began to pound faster and faster as she walked down that fateful road. Some of you might think me silly for getting into it so much, but sh-shut up! *tsun tsun* Anyway, I see Akiko looking in at the cake shop, and the screech of tires, and then nothing. And it was worse than it ever would have been had I not known what was going to happen ahead of time. As any good horror writer will tell you, the anticipation is always worse than the actual event, and that applies here too. The scene was heart wrenching and well done, but my knowing about it ahead of time made it far more powerful than it ever could have been alone, because my mind did most of the work.
Such is the case here. Though I didn’t catch a spoiler like in my example, the signs were clear enough that things were not going to end well for Hiyori. Hell, some might even have remembered seeing her back in episode 5 of the second season, but that just gives you bonus points, because all of the necessary foreshadowing was done here. Throw in a memory of Synapse from Eishirou, some worrying comments from Nymph and Ikaros, and an early flash forward of a determined Tomoki, and all the heartwarming moments – including Hiyori’s very cute confession – were like burning flags amidst a field of pristine snow the color of the whitest panties. And yet, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when Hiyori had a close and personal meeting with a delivery truck. Perhaps I’ve become more desensitized to vehicular violence, but I don’t think that’s it. It just wasn’t time. After all, the alarms going off in the back of my head weren’t “senseless death” alarms, they were “tragedy” alarms, and as much as getting hit by a truck sucks, it isn’t a tragedy. Or at least, not by the definition my Literature teachers used to yell at me. They were very passionate about their jobs, let me tell you.
And ohhh boy, I was right. As soon as Hiyori dies, she disappears – and with her goes all the memories of those she met in her time on earth. As Eishirou suspected (eventually), Hiyori was not human, and was in fact an angel of Synapse who was living a sweet dream down on earth. But alas, as with all dreams this one had to end, and though Hiyori dearly wanted to return to Tomoki and the others, apparently this wasn’t possible. What’s more, it doesn’t even sound like it wasn’t possible because the Man of Synapse is a dick, as is usually the case when anything horrible happens in this series. No, from the sounds of it the angels wished for it to be that way – that they get to experience a dream on Earth only once, and then they wake up…and never existed at all. Is that tragic? No, not quite yet. In my eyes, a true tragedy always requires a flaw or a mistake. It requires the active participation of the individual in their own downfall, and we’re not there yet. Everyone forgetting about Hiyori isn’t tragic, it’s just very, very sad.
Well, almost everybody. Cementing his role as the only guy that constantly thwarts Synapse’s designs, Tomoki does not forget about Hiyori, despite everyone else – and every thing else – having done so. Well, except for Ikaros and Nymph, of course. I must admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for Nymph. She’s so conflicted, between wanting to respect Tomoki’s decision and her desire to have him be her master. On the subject of masters, I always feel like there’s a fundamental disconnect between Tomoki and Nymph on this point. While I wholeheartedly agree with Tomoki that the angeloids should be left free so they can live their lives as they choose, I get the feeling that Nymph just doesn’t get that. It’s even understandable…she’s not human, after all. She was designed to serve, so that feels right, and safe. I’m not sure how these two will ever come to see eye-to-eye on this matter, but I hope Tomoki stays strong. Just as Nymph feels guilty for lying to him, I get the feeling that Tomoki always regrets having become Ikaros’ master instead of letting her be free like the others. Stay strong, my perverted brother, stay strong.
Back in Synapse, Hiyori comes fully awake, and meets the Man of Synpase. And now we have all the elements of a tragedy! Sure, the Man of Synpase is still a total bastard who loves playing the serpent to Hiyori’s eve just a little too much, but the important part is that he doesn’t make Hiyori become an angeloid. She made that choice herself, which means she now has some measure of responsibility for whatever comes next. And I don’t think anyone thought for a second that it would be pretty.
It was not. Hiyori returns to Earth and is reborn as Zeta, the titular Angeloid of Clockwork. And she is not fucking around. Under orders from the Man of Synpase to kill all the “downers” (as he is so fond of trying to do), the newly reborn Zeta starts doing a number on Sorami City, using her Time-based powers to take blocks of the city back in time. Once again Nymph is prepared to take one for the team, but fortunately Tomoki arrives to stop her. While not holding a candle to Hiyori, Nymph can be quite a tragic character herself, what with her willingness to hurt herself for the benefit of those she cares about, so I was glad that Tomoki showed up and stopped her. But while Tomoki and Eishirou rode off to do who-knows-what, we were treated to some high-powered angeloid combat as Alpha, Beta, and Delta attempted to knock the clockwork off Zeta’s back.
I have to give it to the Man of Synpase. He might be a sadistic bastard, but he’s not stupid. With him already well aware of what the three renegade angeloids can do, he decided to give Zeta the tools necessary to fight back – such as some epic-level counter-hacking to defend against Nymph’s inevitable hacking attack. Smart, but if he was really smart, he’d have sent the harpies down with Zeta, because it was still 3 vs 1, and the 3 are kind of awesome. Zeta didn’t really have a chance.
Yet though they managed to break Zeta’s clockwork, that couldn’t be how it ended – this has always been and always will be Tomoki’s show, so it was up to him to save the day. Mind you, now that I’m writing this I’m not sure why he didn’t just ask one of the angeloids to fly him up to Zeta, instead of wasting all that time getting to a good launching point…but maybe that would have been seen as a hostile act, I don’t know. The fact that I didn’t think about this until now means that the whole scene was done well enough for a little bit of fuzzy logic to be safely ignored, so moving on. Flying into Ikaros’ nearly self-sacrificing shield, Tomoki gives Zeta back her hair ornament…and with the words he said so long ago, returned Hiyori to herself. This, gentlemen and gentleladies, is why Tomoki is so amazing. He may be an epic-level pervert, but he is a chivalrous pervert, and he knows when to turn off the pervert entirely and be all chivalry.
Not that it could end like that. Tragedy, remember? After hugging Ikaros and stealing just one kiss from the boy who made her fall in love with Sorami City, Hiyori flew away and sucumbed to the bomb within her. Goodnight, sweet princess. May you dream a beautiful dream unending this time around.
Or did she really die? Having not read that far in the manga, I don’t know, and of course the AIC ASTA might decide to go the anime original route anyway. Here’s what I do know…generally when a character dies, I want them to stay dead. There are some acceptable exceptions – Rei of Neon Genesis Evangelion comes to mind, because it served to reveal something about her character and the plot – but mostly a resurrection just cheapens the moment. I’m not sure if I would be mad if Hiyori really does reappear in Season 3, though. Part of that is a function of how well the writers made me like her during the first part of this movie, which heightened the tragedy by making me so dearly not wanting it to happen. More than that though, it might have to do with the general tone of this series. Even though it can get awfully dark and sadistic at times, it’s still generally a carefree good time, and a permanent protagonist death might cast a pall over that. Still, I suppose I’ll have to wait until Season 3 to update you on that. Be excited!
Alright, it’s time to wrap this up before I need to start inserting chapters. As is my wont, let’s bring this back to the central question of anime viewing – was it entertaining? Overall, I’m a pretty easy guy to please. Throw in some panties jokes, a little well deserved comedic violence, and some blushing from a haremette or two, and I’ll be as happy as a racoon digging through the trash cans out behind a four-star steakhouse. Yet this movie was more than that, giving us a modern take on the ancient form of tragedy that would make at least one of my old Literature professors squeal in inappropriate glee. But there was still the mostly useless first 40 minutes, and the fact that condensing the entire thing into one sitting didn’t let us come to care for Hiyori as much as we could with Nymph in season 1, a character we spent weeks getting to know. There also wasn’t nearly enough Tomoko, which is nearly a sin in the Book of Stilts.
So, the verdict – was it entertaining? As is so often my answer, yes, it was! (Clearly I need to get a new question, or worse taste in anime). Solid jokes, character development, and a tragic plotline that tickled my writer’s heart all kept me entertained throughout (after the first 40 minutes, at least), and left me with that slightly hollow but cleansed feeling of a proper catharsis. It’s not a pure tragedy since Hiyori was partially saved and might be coming back, but it still worked overall, and was a good addition to the series. Hopefully you enjoyed it as well! And if you haven’t watched it yet…why the heck did you just read this entire post?? That was silly, spoiling yourself. Though, if I’m right and spoilers don’t matter for tragedies, maybe it’s okay? However you watched it, give me your thoughts in the comments below.
ED: 「そらとまぼろし」 (Sora to Maboroshi) & 「Second」 by blue drops