「星の海原」 (Hoshi no Unabara)
“Sea of Stars”

Let’s get right down to business and address the elephant in the room, shall we? Claire Cruz as Nina Viento? I did not see that coming. At all. And really, I’m still reeling from the shock of the revelation, which was game changing both in terms of the series itself and the impressions I have of the series as a whole. Because even though I’ve spent the last few episodes discussing how Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta has potential, this sudden twist makes me realize that even I may have underestimated the series, and it’s a pleasant surprise to say the least.

It goes to show how important it is to properly execute developments though, and Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta hits the nail on the head with this one—sucking us into its pacing since the very beginning by hinting at darker things to come, then striking us with probably the biggest reveal this series has to offer when we least expected it. Here I was, thinking it was merely going to be a straight forward rescue + character development episode, and look what we got instead. This is pacing and shock value done right, and it’s a revelation that completely changes the dynamics between Claire and Kal-el from the viewers perspective. The sudden “fairy-tale” couple turns out to be just that—too good to be true—and it’s something that both leaves you in awe, and wondering what the future ends up holding for the two. Could they be star-crossed from the beginning? Or will Kal-el really find out what it means to forgive?

There’s so much they can do from here, and it’s a testament to how much they’ve managed to develop here without us even realizing it. The gradual flashbacks to the past have started giving way to the big picture, and as I mentioned in my previous post, it’s a picture that notes just how similar Claire and Kal-el are. Indeed, it can be said they are two sides of the same coin—similar in the respect that they’re both on the same coin, but also literally (and eternally) separated by the fact that they’re on the opposite side of the same coin, just as they were during the Wind Revolution and just as their developmental paths were.

That said, it’s interesting to note that despite the many revelations we’ve been getting, we’re still far from the full picture. The series is doing things in such a way that we can’t really confirm or deny whether or not the Wind Revolution was warranted or not, and like many of the other developments we’ve gotten so far, it keeps us guessing at what’s to come—a notion that separates this series from the rest of the pack in terms of viewer engagement and development. At the same time, it’s important to note that this revelation suddenly makes it possible that they can wrap things up properly in the one-cour time slot given to them, and I don’t know what else to say here.

I’m just eager to see what Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta has left to give us. With the whole plot between Claire (Nina Viento) and Kal-el, Ignacio and Kal-el, and the inevitable developments regarding the “End of the Sky” all left, there’s just a lot of great plot lines to explore, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s one of only a handful of new Winter shows with this kind of potential left. Many of the new series have already shown most of their hands in terms of what to expect, but this series looks like it’s just getting started, and I’m darn excited to see how things end up. It may yet fulfill the high expectations placed upon it.

Full-length images: 18, 36.




    1. I’m super interested in Claire’s back story now because when “Nina Viento” was judging Kal-el parents I though she look drugged. lol She didn’t say a word and she looked totally spaced out. I’m wondering if she just a political mascot i got he impression of last episode.

  1. She went home and then they started to show her getting undressed and I was like “really you’re going to throw a little ecchi scene in at the end of this kind of episode” and then the credits rolled. “Well there is only one way this show will end”
    *goes to music folder and starts playing Lilium song from Elfen Lied*

  2. Already saw that coming from miles ago, particularly because of the fact that both Claire and Nina Vento share same VA. Nearly all of the jigsaw pieces about her had arranged themselves in previous eps, so it didn’t come across as particularly surprising for me. But what intrigues me now is the inevitable disaster should her identity revealed to Kal-el, and the mystery surrounding her willingness in aiding the destruction of Kal-el’s empire . It’s just getting interesting from now on and i can’t wait to see how the show’s going to handle her character.

    On a side note, i got some nice chuckles at the idea that Kal-el has basically got himself a harem in the form of three non-blood related sisters

  3. Oh for crying out loud, Ignacio, say more than one line per episode (excluding the previews).
    I foresee a lot of drama now that we’ve confirmed that Claire and Nina Viento are one and the same. As we find out more about Karl and Nina, the fog of mystery surrounding Ignacio only seems to thicken in comparison (Ariel seems to be the only one not hiding any secrets of her own). Did anyone see how he was staring at her when she left in the car? That, coupled with Claire’s reaction to him walking in on the Centezual kids’ little party, makes me think Ignacio and Claire/Nina are personally acquainted with one another.

  4. The series preview pretty much spoiled who Nina Viento really was. The whole “Give up on hatred/revenge and learn to love” was a massive spoiler from the start, almost wished I hadn’t watch the PV since this was supposed to be a shocking plot twist surprise which I didn’t get to enjoy. Also the seiyuu credit listing, damn.

      1. Ignacio definitely wanted to save Nina.
        Ariel just mistook his action as an attempt to save Kal. Probably because Kal was his classmate and Claire was not.
        Show Spoiler ▼

  5. …And the revelation and my observation from last week are coming together…


    -We got Claire/Nina Vento’s reaction to Kal-el’s identity (looks like she’s trying to deny it atm), anyone care to guess Kal-el’s for Claire’s reveal?

    btw – answering this – I cannot comprehend why Kal-el would hold on to TWO empty casings

      1. Exactly, during my army service it was obligatory to bring back each of them after shooting. That was the prove that you actually shot out all of your bullets and don’t try to sneak out some of them.

  6. I saw This revilation coming a mile away, It just seamed so ovious, tho personaly since she was a wind goddess, or magic user or something i kinda figured that her transfermation to long white hair was going to be magical based, didnt expect it to be a wig.

  7. oh wow… last week i noticed they had the same eye color..but totally dismissed the idea because the difference in personalities .. wow still shocked.. . omg when karl finds out… ok this gearing to be a huge huge drama in the future.

    also.. why Ignacio tried to go after Karl… afaik he should hate Karl. … or mebe he KNOWS who Claire really is (and was trying to save her?)? but how? o.O

  8. Well this could be seen as an obstacle in their relationship. Let´s face it, Orihime and Hikoboshi had it though, Guenivire and Lancelot were dead meat from the begining, Clod and Aerith didn´t end up so well (thanks a lot Sephiroth), but this is a whole new level, a tragedy the geeks would be proud of. I don´t want to be pesimist but a happy ending is a miracle and we´re only in episode 4!.

  9. I’m going to bet that Nina Vento has in fact been exiled.

    Think about it she is beloved and praised by the common people but is still young and easily controlled. However now she’s getting older and the nobles currently in power fear the influence she has over the commoners. So what better way to eliminate the threat to their power then to send her away on that flying island which has little chance of coming back.

    1. You right, the empire just change to Poland-type republic (is called Noble Republic), the Nina’s “father” is mastermind and the true “emperor”, when Nina become older, she will aware the situation and claim the power for herself, the “republic” goverment fear that and try to exiled her, or worse, try to kill her from far away homeland. Maybe the hostile force in begin of episode 1 is “republic” airforce come to kill her.

      1. Well the fact that Poland was still ruled by the king makes a great difference. And there was no mastermind behind the nobility or anybody, if we don’t count obvious foreign agendas. There was also no “we don’t need the king” idea supporters (or they were so unimportant the history mainly forgot about them).

  10. I saw some minor spoilers last week with the whole Claire & Nina Viento having the same voice actor but even without them,that option was definitely there so I think it was a good choice they made this reveal so early on.

    This might be far fetched but after this episode,the ED gave me a bad vibe(bad as in unfortunate for our two main protagonists). I wonder if these scenes where Karl is shown together with Claire but he’s alone afterwards are foreshadowing things to come…

    At any rate,I’m getting quite engaged in this show. It’s rapidly rising on my winter 2014 favorites list.

  11. This really was an amazing episode and yeah I would love to see more talking from Ignacio we barely get any from him in the episodes. Well at least I finally found out Ignacio is Show Spoiler ▼

  12. Ok so Nina Viento and Karl La Hire are on a plane together…

    Sounds like a joke, but I know it will be a source of much angst for the main couple of this show. It’s textbook tragedy: Two rivals fell for each other.

    I can’t wait to see how the author handled the ending. Let’s hope the anime would be loyal enough to the novel. I’d hate to see an anime original end without reading the canon source.

  13. I think it’s quite a convenient stretch for Claire/Nina to suspect Kal-El’s identity just from what he said.
    His parents died after the Rebellion? She did Tornado an entire airship with probably some collateral damage to other people’s parents.
    He lived in Alex-somethingcity? Unless it was a ghost town, I’m sure other people lived in the capitol.
    He didn’t do much? He was nine and an only child. Most only child’s are spoiled. Not that rare.

    1. okay, lets string that properly…

      -Kal-el lived in Alexander before the rebellion (til the age of 9)
      -he got servants do stuff for hime just like Claire now
      -lost his parents “in the Wind Revolution” (straight from the subs)

      And then the facial characteristics of DAT angry face during the formal arrest and “bowing down” (she saw the siblings with the said faces last episode)

      I can’t blame her for having an inking of a suspicion.

    1. Expecting it. I mean because of Claire, Kal’s parents got murdered by traitorous rebel scum. I guess you could almost say Claire is the symbol of those rebel scum. I can’t wait for Kal to deliver righteous imperial judgement up their asses.

      Also, this year’s Comiket will be full of delicious hate-sex between the two, which will probably end up as generic vanilla coupling…

      Meh, Kal just had to fall for his parent’s murderer. It just kills all the righteous hate feeling.

      1. Actually it depends on the series potential. I don’t usually sexualize or relate a series to doujins because not all series has doujin potential. Take Maouyuu for example: it has no potential whatsoever. And I was right: it had terribad doujins. Unlike Outbreak Company: there’s racial descrimination, poor ignorant masses, medieval fantasy setting. It’s just begging for a very violent and R-18 doujin that even the most indifferent(?) person would blush trying to read it.(Too bad FatalPulse and ShindoL were busy with other matters, *cough*kancolle*cough, to care.)

  14. OH yeah another thing
    Kal-el (Superman) likes high places likes to fly and same name
    Claire Cruz (Batman) when she wear her costume turns to Nina Viento her voice change to a deep one 🙂

  15. now this definitely turned interesting, though i haven’t read the light novels yet. so claire is slowly getting the idea that Kal-el might indeed be Carl. this is going to hurt. A LOT.

    i am curious, does claire have a split-personality of sorts and she turns completely into nina viento whenever she wears the dress or does she merely act out the Nina persona? also. carl saw the same Nina when he was just nine. so that does mean that claire (who is nina) is a lot older than Kal? or is Claire merely the second Nina (in continuation of the “Nina is just a role” theory from above)?

    will definitely keep watching this 🙂

    1. Well ur guess is almost right. actually Claire was trained to act as “Nina” . And at the time of wind revolution Nina(or Claire ) was only 9 years old. So there isn’t a second Nina. Well maybe her make up makes her look much older 🙂

      1. i checked episode 3 again,. you’re right, nina was indeed a kid in that episode’s flashback. so they are just the same age.

        i also noticed the 2 bullets kal stole from the the plane during their target practice. i have a baaaaad feeling about this 🙁

  16. that…twist. lovely!

    plot twist is always a center for commentary and criticism. because twisting isn’t something that should be done light-minded, but I think Toaru Hikuushi is doing it great. it’s not for nothing we had this pace and swinging around between past and present, showing the big picture little by little from different perspectives. Toaru Hikuushi built that moment thanks to the previous engagements.
    and this show is like a leading dancer. it takes us the exact steps it want us to set foot. even with twisting, this show stays calm and looking ahead.
    Zephyr talked about potential and I think this show bring it out, because this twist was done with a lot of thinking and remained loyal to what Toaru Hikuushi wants to bring out in its story and characters.

    let’s talk a little about Nina Viento, the priestess, last week I’ve mention she was a kiddo in the past, and even now she looks like a teenager. and with the last twist development..the question pops in to my mind – is Nina Viento actually a marionette? it’s true she looked active enough in the revolution and the beginning of this journey. but this could be no more than a kiddo with power being controlled here.
    in the end of the day I think Nina, or Claire, seeks to feel freedom. that’s why she is disguised as Claire Cruz. and indeed when she first met Kal who gave her a ride and all..it’s first time she really had that feeling.
    as to her feelings for Kal-El. well, the romance between the two is developing well. I like they way it’s being developed when they talk each other, embarrassed in front of each other..I mean, this feels genuine. it’s not for the sake of romcom as other shows present the two MC who meant to be. they really establish a connection between each other.
    what’s more interesting is that Nina/Claire thought for a moment that Kal is the prince Karl. but she repressed that thought. I don’t think she knows, but deep down, implicitly, she maybe suspicious a bit. but in the end..because with Kal she is so free…she is that Claire (and not Nina), she doesn’t want to think about it.

    now we have to wait for the next upcoming development – Kal-El to discover Nina is Claire. of course other developments will come before that. but that development is probably the core of the show and the main theme. because Kal and Claire will probably continue working together as a team and all. yet Kal memory is still fresh and he seeks for revenge. but we also know that Kal sees the glass full half, like this time when he talked to Claire about his first time flying that plane. what I am saying is that Kal’s mind isn’t only “black”, it has some purity and naivety (especially around Claire..yes, ironic). but for sure..when he’ll find out it’s gonna be..tough. what will he do?
    I don’t believe he’ll be able to take that shot with bullets he kept (although it depends on circumstances). but, if those are meant to be..will it still be possible after that?for them to live as Kal-El and Claire Cruz…or their “second” identity will control it and they will forever by archenemies of each other (probably what’s Claire/Nina doesn’t wish for)?that depends on the development which suppose to come next. we’ve already been told that this journey hasn’t met yet “how cruel the world could be” as stated in the end of episode 1. so are we going toward irony with tragedy?romance?in between?
    I don’t know what the outcome will be, but for sure it takes us toward the unknown end (of the sky) with a lot to think about. because there is great theme here behind the story which is very intriguing (the story too).

  17. OH DANG SHEET. Makes me jaw drop during the last minutes of the show followed up by that ED which makes me think: Will love prevail for Kal-el or will it be the hatred within?

    And dang, as an Episode One-viewer, you just CAN’T see the appearance of a timid Claire Cruz as the emotionless Nina Viento. Wow. So plot twist. Much epic.

    Red HeartGold ZX
  18. Oh Holy Mother of Everything…I knew this is one of the series to follow this season. Unlike before, I stray from reading Wiki, reading casting VA, and etc…so much to say -I didn’t see that coming. O_o I like it. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  19. Serenading A Certain Enemy! What a perfect plot twist at the beginning of the show. If Claire’s going to teach Kal about love, its gonna be the hard way. Im really hyped for this series now

  20. “Let’s get right down to business and address the elephant in the room, shall we? Claire Cruz as Nina Viento? I did not see that coming. At all. And really, I’m still reeling from the shock of the revelation, which was game changing both in terms of the series itself and the impressions I have of the series as a whole. Because even though I’ve spent the last few episodes discussing how Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta has potential, this sudden twist makes me realize that even I may have underestimated the series, and it’s a pleasant surprise to say the least.”

    I kinda had my suspicions since the last episode and this proves it.

    Now I wonder how it’ll continue on from here…..

    P.S. That scene between Kal and Claire out in the sea was just so beautiful. Makes me want to watch the movie again

  21. Wait… people seriously didn’t see this coming?

    The mysterious love interest and the mysterious sworn enemy being the same person wasn’t sticking out like a sore thumb the entire time?

    I would have been shocked if they weren’t the same person, like there were twins involved or something.

    1. I’ll say to everyone’s face who “saw this coming” a bald faced liar, unless they read the source material before the anime came out or couldn’t wait for episodes to come out and read ahead.

  22. I hope they do the reveal in grand fashion. Something like, they are in a terrible situation and the plane is about to crash, Claire goes all Nina Viento and summons the wind to save them. Claire is elated they are safely on the ground and happily glances down at Kal, who is looking back at her with abject horror in his eyes. :play ED

  23. Holy Plot Development Batman. You could see this one coming from 100 miles away,but it still hits you hard. What we have here is a Drama Atomic Bomb. Here we are, helplessly watching it fall. When it goes off it will be a spectacle like few we’ve ever seen.

  24. That’s an Unbreakable style plot twist right there, M Night Perfected! Even if I rewatch the previous 3 episodes, I doubt I’d be able to find the hints and connect the dots. I don’t think there were any hints at all to be honest.

    I actually felt a little bit of a chill, like a villianous type thing when Claire was “transforming”. The makings of a Final Boss.

    They called me, Nina Viento

  25. I think they are hiding her in that academy.. why? no idea… maybe they need her there for some reason (to reach the end? maybe they need her powers for that)

    what i dont get is why the wig? i mean when she was young she wasnt wearing one , right? i would then expect her to wear a black wig (to desguise herself as Claire)… not a white one (unless she was wearing one as a child..but that makes no sense) … it could be she is just impersonating Nina (a body double to keep the real Nina safe?) ? but then again she HAS memories of Karl.. if she was not the real Nina then she shouldn’t have those. Maybe she had some accident (maybe trauma… cause by little Karl?)? that caused her to change her hair color, she could have just outgrown her white color phase (maybe for her her hair start white and goes darker the older she gets?)

    Im 90% sure Cecil = Nina .. but there are some issues i cant get like “why in the academy?” and “why a white wig?” … lol last week i just discarded my suspicions on their same eye color.. wont be doing that now!

    PS: could be that im just thinking too much and she could be in the academy cus she wants to fly … and they need a white wig cus she dyed her hair black.

    1. I’m pretty sure she has always worn the wig as to cloud her identity to people like Kal-el. And if that’s not it, then there’s a plethora of other possible reasons. Also, judging by the screencaps, it could’ve very well been a wig when she was young too.

  26. oh please PLEASE! NOT a tragedy!!

    I already got a very bad feeling since the first time I saw the end credits with kal being alone on that bicycle (+ I watched the movie which happens in the same universe and Show Spoiler ▼

    ), but after this revelation, it’s screaming: bad end for the main couple.
    The only way out I see is: forgiveness. But forgiving her doesn’t mean it’s going to end up well anyway, we were told from the start there was no coming back from their adventure…

    I want a cliché happy ending dammit!! */me know it’s useless but still throwing a tantrum*

    1. Psht,take your happy ending away from my revenge filled tragedy! J/k lol 😛

      Seriously though,I’m sure we’d all want a happy ending but rather than a badly written happy ending,I’d rather have a well-written sad or bittersweet one.

      Personally though,I think this show’s gonna go for a happy or at the very least bittersweet ending. It seems a bit too innocent to walk on darker paths. But IMO,whatever’s fine as long as it’s well-done and leaves an impact on the viewer.

  27. OMG…they made a simple “let’s get changed” into a the shock of the year and possibly in anime history lol…excited to see how kal-el is going to handle this when he finds out and hopefully he’ll be able to forgive *fingers crossed*

  28. If Kal-el and Claire are around the same age, doesn’t that mean Nina Viento was around 9 years old when she helped in the revolution? Even with powers, that’s still a young age…

  29. Great episode.

    Though I have to say, Ariel and Kal are terrible at keeping his secret. Even without being the girl responsible for the whole thing, if you put his sentences together it narrows down his possible identities to a very small number. Ariel’s isn’t quite as bad, but it’s in a similar vein.

  30. Well, damn. And here I was just about ready to drop the show because I figured nothing in the premise would surprise me anymore. Can say I appreciate a little twist of fate like this, and you just know everything’s going to hell in the end. Bonus points for revealing it so early (reminds me of Deadman Wonderland), so the twist really gets the time to raise the tension.

    Welp, guess I end up watching this after all.

  31. I don’t know about you guys, but right after I watched the very first episode of this, I went on checking the seiyuu list like I usually do. And well I knew I got spoiled when I see that the seiyuu for claire and nina viento is the same person. W T F.

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