Let the summer miracles begin!~
|The girls of Sphere have gotten their own show and I’m more excited then ever! These four have some of the most recognizable voices in anime, and even if you’re not a big fan of shows like Natsuiro, at the very least the characters might entertain you.|
With the cicada chirping away in the background and the sky clear and blue on this classic summer tale, four friends place their open hands on a large rounded rock. Saki, the blonde girl, hesitates as Natsumi, the brown haired girl, remembers the time four years ago when her friend was the last one to put her hands on the very same rock. At that time they believed if they all wished for the same thing with their hands on that rock any wish could come true.
Natsumi wakes up to the sound of her cell phone and looks out her window into Saki’s room, who has her curtains closed. Before heading out to school she texts Saki, telling her that she better go to tennis practice. Saki gets the text, but ignores it and continues eating breakfast. At practice Saki never shows up and Natsumi puts her anger into her swing. In class Yuka, the green haired girl, along with Rin, the white haired girl, show Saki the latest single from Four Seasons, an all girl singing group. Saki is indifferent to it all. Natsumi walks in, grabbing Saki and pulling her outside.
Let the DORAMA begin too!
You can’t show us this and then NOT give us a character song album …
Natsumi asks her why she hasn’t been showing up for practice, still pretty angry at the situation, and Saki only replies by telling her she can take over as president of the club. She quits, and Natsumi tells her they’re no longer friends. The other girls in the club notice how upset Natsumi is, and meanwhile back in school Saki pays a visit to the staff room.
Natsumi, Yuka, and Rin get some ice cream after school and take a seat in the shade to enjoy it. They talk more about Four Seasons and their diminishing popularity. Yuka then remembers many years ago when Natsumi and Saki would gets in lots of fights and always tell each other they’re no longer friends. Natsumi reminds her friends that she’s grown up now and it’s different, thinking back to how Saki was the one who wanted to shoot for nationals in tennis.
The next day the three girls arrive to class for the last day of school and notice Saki hasn’t arrived. The teacher then walks in followed by Saki and they reveal that she’s moving away to Tokyo. Saki shows no attention to her friends until after the class has all dismissed. Natsumi gets angry that she didn’t tell them sooner, but Saki reminds her that they’re not friends. Natsumi runs out upset.
In her room Saki packs up her belongings and notices an exchange diary she had shared with her three friends. Her mother walks in and asks her why she hadn’t told their neighbors, Natsumi’s family, about moving. Saki says she forgot. Later in the day Natsumi gets a text from Rin asking for help because Yuka passed out by the shrine (the one with the round rock). She quickly gets her things and heads there, but when she arrives she realizes it was all a ploy. Saki also arrives from the same text.
That feeling when your favorite girl is almost killed off in the first episode. (╥﹏╥)
Yuka reminds them of four years ago when together they all wished on the rock to become idols and soon after won a singing competition. Yuka believe that if they use the rock they can make up and all become friends again. After some convincing both Natsumi and Saki agree to go along with it and place their hands on the rock, but instead of wishing to all be friends, Yuka and Rin wish to become idols together. Saki and Natsumi are both surprised, but Yuka believes that if they all become idols they can be friends forever.
This makes Saki very angry, and she tells Yuka and Rin to just grow up. Yuka begins crying, but Natsumi takes their side to convince Saki. While they both argue, Rin looks into the clear sky and wishes she could fly. The other girls all become silent and look into the sky as well, subconsciously wishing they could fly as well. Suddenly a blue sphere (hurhur) appears and waves begins to pulse all around them. Within seconds the four girls are midair flying higher and higher. They grab hands and realize their wishes could actually come true. They eventually make it back to ground level and Saki immediately leaves.
“Yeah guys, this is totally normal.”
For many viewers I’m assuming the biggest incentive to watch this new somewhat ambiguous series was Sphere, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they delivered as both seiyuu and the voices behind the OP and ED. As for everything else … well, it was kind of dry. As I said, Sphere, along with some great character designs, made the cast really shine. If anything the highlight of this episode was the four girl troop. I love when Aki Toyosaki does soft spoken roles (compared to say, Medaka or Fam), even if she only got a few lines, and Haruka Tomatsu did an amazing job bringing some spirit into the genki girl, Yuka. (Who is easily my favorite character! :3) For anyone who followed Symphogear last season you’ll very easily recognize Ayahi Takagaki as Saki, who is strangely similar to Kurisu-uuuu~ in a lot of ways. There’s not as much personality in her voice here, but I shouldn’t forget we’re comparing a normal school girl to a neko-chan who fights gloop monsters.
So while the characters had a lot going for them, I felt the drama fell short in a lot of ways, over-dramatized at times and uninvolving as well. Maybe it’s because it’s only the first episode, but WHAT is Saki’s deal? That girl is just a mess, no wonder there’s so much drama. It’s almost as if she argues just to argue, which might be a side effect of having poor characterization. That’s probably why I really enjoyed the lighthearted moments, like the bench scene, compared to the arguments between Natsumi and Saki. In all honesty, the interaction between the girls is very sweet and can even sometimes be comical, they all play off each other’s personalities very well.With that said, I much rather prefer them all as friends then as bickering enemies, because this could make a great series without all that trivial arguing.
The stand-out part of this episode was definitely the ending, opening up TONS of possibilities for this show to be more than just another typical drama filled SoL. This is a Sphere themed anime after all, so if they do end up taking the idol direction I might really find myself enjoying this, but if instead they continue as it is I’m not so sure I’ll want to watch 11 more episodes. I have to wonder if “Four Seasons” is somehow alluding to Sphere in some way, I doubt that though since they all get roles like crazy! So, where will this “summer miracle” lead? Only time can tell, and I will definitely be watching in hopes that it takes some risks.
Also, USE YOUR STRENGTHS SUNRISE!~ (More music pls.)