Autumn Weather Prediction calls for LOLis and #delecioustears
This has been one of my most anticipated releases for this Fall. So without any further ado, lets get into this….
“In the skies above this town…”
Noel will dance the dance of her people…cafeful girl…
I suppose there is something I would like to get out of the way before I get into the show proper, and that is comparisons. I guess it’s only natural that a show that paints it’s backgrounds so vividly, and has a certain choice to it’s character design, we are going to see shades of P.A. Works, and specifically Nagi no Asukara. I’ve also seen some bits in about Ano Hana. And while I can see the similarities…those are two of my favorite shows, I much prefer to work with differences. This being the first show by a small studio, 3Hz, and an anime original work, I think that is the best place to start. Fresh.
Visit scenic Lake Kiriya and it’s….saucer…
Well, so, are we gonna get a moe version of District 9 here? Oh, I very much hope not. But in all seriousness, I found this to be incredibly intriguing. I had expected some sort of prologue about the saucer, and am happy that this never happened. That leaves it in the realm of metaphor and revealed mystery. For an ongoing story, that is the best approach. At this point we can only assume it has something to do with Noel, and that it might have something to do with the wish this group of friends committed to some seven years ago. So rather than being a turning point, it’s a point around which things can turn.
I hope they earn this peace
Our story opens with Nonoka returning to Lake Kiriya after a seven year absence. In that time her mother has passed on, and if the affairs of moving into what looks like their former home are any indication, Nonoka has found herself in the home making business. But despite that responsibility, she is still a child, and can get rather grumpy and impetuous. Her arrival back into town is not unregarded as our mysterious blue-haired LOLi can detect that by a seeming instinct. I really like the meet up these two had; from Nonoka’s complete failure to notice the LOLi in her room (some kinda of magic?) to pressing her into service, in the limited fashion that a small child can comply. It felt odd, spontaneous, and out of place. I would assume that Nonoka figured that this was a girl that just somehow snuck in, but the reality of the situation fixed that in due time. They played around with memory very well, as it really can be a tricky bugger to pin down in the best of times.
….graceful in one moment…
…not so much the next…
Foundations for Friendship
I love this composition
We are not left with much to go on with this opening episode, so far as this group of friends is considered. They were close in the past, as children can be at that age, but what drew them to this observatory, and what compelled them to make a wish as a group is left untold for now. In Ano Hana ,little time passed before we understood the primary goal. Here, we get nothing. Which I admit to liking this at all on first viewing. But in some respects as it gives us time to settle in with these characters, and puts the wish on the back burner for the time being. We understand that something has been growing in the past, but the present is just as important. We have some potential to explore. And if the previews are to go by, they look like they meet up in school, so the new dynamic will be coming soon.
I love how they got to Souta and Koharu’s introductions. They both have different viewpoints about the saucer, with Souta holding a begrudged acceptance of it, and Koharu looking at it’s silver lining. But beyond that, we get very little on them. The boy looks as if he is running on the typical callow youth that makes his age group putter along, while the girl is made of ditzy and kawaii gap moe.
Shinoe? Say something to the bus driver!
…and they don’t stop painting is basic colors with our next set of introductions. Yuzuki (on the right) looks determined and hard working…or at least she likes to pack up on the drawing supply sales? Little late to catch her bus, but I’ve been there. But the real piece of work looks to be Shione (seated on the bus). She is willing to put the headphones on and detach from the world around her, but that doesn’t stop her from noticing Nonoka out of the blue later on…
…not even a hello…
…and so life continues…
So what future will Noel bring to the story? It was hard on Nonoka to leave her town and her friends behind, but the LOLi took it in stride, waiting patiently, letting time pass, but never on her. She remains unchanged the entire time. I’m eager to find out what possibilities she opens up in the ongoing drama that will surround this group of friends. The one emotional moment that sticks in my mind so well is how Nonoka’s mother may be connecting things. Her father broke the picture frame, which was blamed on Noel spurring an angry dismissal, which prompts Nonoka to drive all out and search for her missing link to the past. And all the while, the humming of a song that Nonoka shares with Noel, a tune that she learned from her mother is the source that drives. I might also add the humming of this tune makes Nonaka’s father instantly think of his deceased spouse.
You have to admit, they gave us some rather sparse information and development this first outing. But what they did say, I think, spoke much more than you could see in first blush. They’ve built just the framework here, and it seems a bit shaky. I feel that is done with some purpose in mind. I don’t think we are meant to have even footing here as the lack of definition puts us the shoes of our characters, more so in Nonaka’s than the others.
On the technical side of things, I love pretty much every visual they have brought to bear. The backgrounds are as said, vivid and lush, and the character design by QP; flapper works very well with this type of storytelling ( or maybe not…last thing this group has credit for is MM!), and hits me in the moe strike zone. The OST was vibrant, and both the OP and ED fit very well, with the ending instantly catching my attention in both animation quality and in one of my top three favorite singers, fhana, lovely piece of music. We have a talented voice cast, with a good mix of newcomers, up and coming voices, and a long time vet. About the only thing I find myself shy on is Naoki Hisaya. I’ve never experienced any of his previous work, and haven’t ever been plugged into the VN scene. But I do recognize the pedigree. We have a very moving piece of work in store. What did you folks think?
I’m wrong in thinking Koro-pok-guru, but I couldn’t help it
Catch you later, folks!