OP: 「Stargazer」 by Larval Stage Planning
「円盤の街 」 (Enban no Machi)
Sora no Method is another anime that starts off with the same old introduction we’ve seen many times before. The main character, Komiya Nonoka (Natsukawa Shiina) comes back to a small town that she left seven years ago. The kicker is that this town is known to have a “flying saucer” over it. After driving back into town less than 24 hours later, Nonoka finds a young girl in her home by the name of Noel (Minase Inori) – who has been waiting for Nonoka to return for the past 7 years! The first episode is quite emotional as it reunites these two old friends and starts to introduce the other four individuals that were once childhood friends of Nonoka’s. It also alludes to the secrets behind the flying saucer in the sky and who Noel is.
I don’t like giving away too much in the opening synopsis, but seeing as this is pretty much an original series (with the manga only preceding it by a month), it’s not like there are any spoilers available anyway. The real heart of this series will come much later on when we see how the five friends interact with one another and how Noel ties into their history. The story doesn’t seem like a romantic one, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some drama and angst between the five friends. After all, Nonoka just got up and left without a goodbye so if there are any grudges there, we’ll be seeing them. There are also flashbacks of Nonoka’s mom which seems be a heavy topic between Nonoka and her father. I don’t know if this is going to be explored later on, but family issues are not foreign to me and I think some anime portray that burden well. Either way, if you’re looking for similar anime vibes, Sora no Method reminds me of Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, Nagi no Asukara and even Glasslip with its general premise so far. It’s a story about friendships, hardships and a coming-of-age story.
Now I don’t claim to know the plot for Sora no Method so in case it turns out to be a total train wreck like… some other nameless series, there are other reasons to stick around. First of all, I find the character designs absolutely adorable. I love watching anime that’s drawn with a softer touch, the huge eyes and the delicate backgrounds. Honestly, it depends on the genre and atmosphere of the anime, but I think Studio 3Hz has nailed this one for me. Speaking of which, they’re a new studio and for a first production, I think they’ve done a fabulous job. The seiyuu are not all A-listers, but the staff working on this production have several well-known pieces under their belt (sola’s creator, Hisaya Naoki and Strawberry Panic!’s director, Sakoi Masayuki). Generally, this is not something that I’d concern myself over, but for an anime original piece, you have to create a basis for your expectations somewhere. The soundtrack for the series is so far so good. It’s not terrific or a standout masterpiece, but the use of inserts always get to me and when paired with tearful reunions – I always get emotional.
Overall, I think this anime has captured my attention for the upcoming season. It was initially on my radar, but it’s definitely going to be given a spot my regular schedule to watch. I will not be blogging it on a weekly basis but keep an eye out on the Monthly Impressions for it. My expectations for the series hasn’t skyrocketed, but the plot is intriguing enough and the characters are not overly annoying or bland. I’m also a huge fan of the character designs because hey, I love my anime characters with massive glossy eyes. I always have my eye out for an anime original series because everyone is in the same boat, experiencing the anime as it airs without spoilers. Let’s hope that this one ends up being another gem.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #SoranoMethod has better animation than I expected =D the plot reminds me a lot of Ano Hana, Glasslip or any stories about old friendships.
ED: 「星屑のインターリュード 」 (Hoshikuzu no Intaaruudo) by fhána