Natsu no Sora: Episode 1
Sorry for the late post on this one – it took me forever to find subs! Anyway, on to the review – Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~ (from here on referred to as simply Natsu no Sora) Episode 1.
OP: “Fly Away” by THYME
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t a really big fan of this song. It was upbeat, and I think it fit the anime pretty well, but not something I’d listen to on my MP3 player or anything…I get the feeling it’s going to be one of those that I skip in the future. Screenshots are above, molded into a killer montage for your viewing pleasure!
This was pretty much your basic introduce-the-characters episode. We got a good look at Sora’s family – her mom, her dog, and her dead (I presume? That wasn’t particularly made clear…o_O) father.
We also see her uncle and cousin Mitsuki, who she seems to be very close with. In addition to being introduced to the characters, we also see a fair amount of scenery and get a good feel for where Sora lives…which is pretty much Hicksville, Japan-version.
And then the true story begins – Sora’s mom gets a call from the Magic Bureau, informing her that Sora has been accepted to the Mage Academy! I kind of got the feeling that she had applied more than once for this, so… yay, Sora! She’s gonna go be a mage like her daddy! Unfortunately, this means leaving Hicksville (population: you and you dog), and going to stay by herself in Tokyo. Everyone congratulates Sora, but she has one thing she needs to do before she leaves – she’s gonna go help Mitsuki confess to her secret object of affection, who happens to be transferring schools.
Mitsuki says she wanted to see the winter scenery with him before he transfers away to Hokkaido, so Sora uses her magic to make snow fall from the ceiling while Mitsuki is confessing. All together now: AWWWWWWWWW~!!!
Finally, a tearful goodbye between momma and Sora, as Sora hops into the pickup to be driven to the airport. The last shot we get is Sora on the airplane, wondering what Tokyo will be like…
I like the storyline and characters thus far – episode one was a good hook. I want to see where this goes – especially on the magical front, since this is supposed to be an anime about magic, and so far magic has only had about 1:30 minutes of screentime…
Art-wise is where I hit difficulties, though. I find the contrast between the style of the characters and the style of the backgrounds to be rather distracting. I wish they would have put as much work into the moving characters as they did the backgrounds. On that note, I wasn’t sure whether the backgrounds in some scenes were pictures or photographs. See the bridge picture above for an example of that. If anyone can tell, please let me know…either way, however, I wasn’t a big fan.
…although, I’m really interested to see the Tokyo city-scape with this kind of background detail…
3 / 5 (meh. the art is a big let-down for me, but I’m curious to see what they do with the story… )