First Impression – Sora no Method


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…”

Sora no Method 01-03

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.

Sora no Method 01-02

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.

Sora no Method 01-04

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.

Sora no Method-balance

….graceful in one moment…

Sora no Method- balance 2

…not so much the next…

Foundations for Friendship

Sora no Method 01-09

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.

Sora no Method 01-06

Differing views?

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.

Sora no Method 01-08

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…

Sora no Method 01-07

…not even a hello…

…and so life continues…

Sora no Method 01-01

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.

Sora no Method 01-10

Final Thoughts

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?

Sora not Method- Nonoka and Noel

I’m wrong in thinking Koro-pok-guru, but I couldn’t help it

Sora no Method- Grins

Catch you later, folks!


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

32 Responses to “First Impression – Sora no Method”

  1. jimbobi says:

    Like you’ve said, less tell and more show was the theme of the episode (and hopefully will be of the whole series). A bit early in the day to be guessing what will happen but I think Noel’s words about making wishes come true is going to play a big part – as well as the drama that goes with the rest of the groups reaction to all this.

    I’m guessing the connection to Nonoka’s mother will be playing a big part too and therefore some catharsis maybe. I’m confident this title’s going to keep me in anticipation each week.

    • skylion says:

      We could be wrong with the mother’s involvement, but it felt apropos to the situation to feel that her absence is going to be a larger part of the story, and not just for Nonoka and Noel.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Hmm… This looks like going to be a mellow Slice of Life show.

    *Files it in the maybe section*

  3. JPNIgor says:

    Well, for a brand new studio, the animation was surprisingly consistent, specially in the ending. Judging from all the bits of story around, the story seems more dramatic than what I thought and there seems to be a lot of things waiting to surprise you, which is also surpring, since it’s an original work.

    I’m very pleased by the way things has been going up until now and I can’t wait to see whatever is coming next.

    • skylion says:

      …I am hoping that 3Hz can pull out all the stops for upcoming episodes. It’s not that unusual to spend a big chunk of budget on the premiere, only to cut back on later episodes. They have some deep pocket backers, and if I read the credits right, JC Staff is involved, probably as finishers in some capacity.

  4. HannoX says:

    This was one of my most anticipated shows for the season and it didn’t disappoint. I liked the fact that the saucer was just there–no explanation of its appearing and how people reacted to it, etc. It’s just there, hovering over the lake and it’s an accepted fact of life in the town. When the fantastic is part of your story in an otherwise seeming ordinary setting, it’s usually best to just have it there as if it were part of the ordinary.

    I think this was an excellent starting episode. Next episode give us a better introduction to the other main characters. Then start peeling back the layers surrounding the mystery of the saucer and the wish.

    • skylion says:

      …the saucer being “just there” somewhat reminds me of a Terry Pratchett quote, which I will mangle from memory, “Used to be climbing Everest was something special, now you have weekend grannies having to go back up cause they left their spectacles behind”..

  5. skylion says:

    Minor Edit: I added a link for Lake Kiriya as the actual Lake Toya, in Hokkaido. Seems the show models it’s town after Toyako…

  6. Overcooled says:

    I didn’t even remember what this show was about, but I downloaded it anyways. So I had no idea what was going to happen when I pressed play. It turns out what happened was pretty darn great.

    I hated Ano Hana, but I’m really digging Sora no Method. I think it helps that the first episode really knows what it has to focus on to create viewer interest instead of just going through the paces of character introductions and explaining everything in sight. I’m also pleased they didn’t launch into some scientific explanation about the giant lens in the sky. This show has the right amount of slice of life serenity mixed with exciting mystery and DRAMA. I was actually feeling the drama, so that’s a good sign. Sora no Method looks promising.

    Enjoy your newest loli of the season, skylion =w=

    • skylion says:

      Thanks, OC! Will do….

      …another reason why I wanted to dismiss Ano Hana off the bat…lots of people hate/dislike the show, so why start off on the wrong foot?

      And yes, it’s important to let the saucer/disc remain as it is…Unusually Uninteresting Sight.

      • thorgriim says:

        So at first I wasn’t really into the Supernatural aspect of this series, but that wont keep me away really, and well it adds to the show that makes it interesting. As for Ano Hana, was ok.. Fosh killed it for me.. nah I’m kidding, But it was ok.. after the mystery it sorta left me like.. oh okies neat..nothing more or less really.

        So seeing the Saucer I was slightly turned off, but as you said, it’s an uninteresting sight, everyone sees it and accepts it, kinda like me, at first it was ehh.. but now i’m ok with it.

        so this one will replace Glassslip it seems. Hopefully that’s not the cause later.

        • skylion says:

          The only way it can fail, being the type of show it is, is to give into cheap melodrama. They’ve got a very natural flow happening, so I hope they don’t need to pile unnecessary baggage onto it.

          …and I beg to disagree, if it feels like Glasslip, to me it will be even better.

          • akagami says:

            …and I beg to disagree, if it feels like Glasslip, to me it will be even better.

            I agree! As a P.A. Works fan, I don’t think I’ve ever disliked any of their series.

  7. Soliia says:

    I really enjoyed this. It was calm and sweet and REALLY FRIGGIN ADORABLE. I loved the art and animation. I’m mostly excited because it’s by the writer for Kanon. Definitely looking forward to more.

    • skylion says: is comments like this which make me wish I had the Kanon viewing under my belt. Just like Glasslip for True Tears. Well, that’s why fans have backlogs…

      I hesitate to call the show SoL, as drama works for it. But it does have quite a few slices to admire…

    • thorgriim says:

      Oh neat, usually I’m on top of things but I’ve been lazy, But writer for Kanon eh.. awesome, that a plus for me hehe

  8. AllenAndArth says:

    It has great art, soundtrack and the best thing of possible… pwetty colors *w*
    i like pretty colors in animes…there’s no point more important on a series than having pretty colors…to me at least i’m color fascinated!

  9. thorgriim says:

    Awesome, when I heard you where doing this Skylion I was already booked for the comment section, So I’m looking forward to it.

    So far im digging this series, its got a lovely mix of the type of drama I like to see, And as it was mentioned above, Kanon writer so Thats one point for me. The animation is Kawaii desu!~ very pretty to look at. for the first episode I felt it gave me everything i needed to start me off, I’m most curious about this wish, and why they seem to “not” really welcome her back, it can’t be just because she left without telling everyone, can it? Kids/children eh?

    • skylion says:

      …well, there are shows that wear my stamps….

      Lots of stuff is still unknown about the wish business…but I assume hints of it will come the next episode as the previews showed us a “typical” sort of school scene. Don’t know if Headphones is gonna be there, her uniform is different…

  10. akagami says:

    As you mentioned skylion, reminds me of bits of AnoHana and Natsu-iro Kiseki, both shows I highly enjoyed (let the waterworks begin!).

    I found it was done pretty well for a season premiere, the music fits really well and the presentation was done well, imo. The animation is pretty good too, so that helps.

    Of the 10 new shows I’ve watched so far (I’m going by air date ^^), this is my favorite so far. I like the mix of mystery, supernatural, friendship, and drama.

    I want my own dinosaur sign-kun~

  11. […] moe looks are very strongly reminiscent of one of my favorite and past blogged shows, Sora No Method. But there is quite a bit going on in the action department and that comes from Regalia: The Three […]

Leave a Reply