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October 14, 2012

Anime Review: Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo

This is one of those rare anime that feature adventure, action, and comedy in space. Not to mention that the main character is a girl and that the anime is pretty much about AIs with personalities.

Sora wo Kakeru ShoujoSynopsis:

The story is set in the year 311 of the Orbital Calendar, when humanity has migrated to countless colony clusters in space. A space colony girl named Akiha Shishidou encounters a malevolent artificial intelligence named Leopard that has been installed on a colony.

Akiha is joined by an Inter-Colony Police officer named Itsuki Kannagi, a taciturn young girl named Honoka Kawai, and a robot named Imoko "Imo-chan" Shishidou.

Review:

Let me start off by saying that the anime is basically a war between overly chatty AIs. How is that interesting? Well not only do these AI tend to ramble on a lot, they actually have a unique human-like personality to them. This sets the overall picture that this anime paints. It starts off in the year 311 of the Orbital Calendar, when humanity has left the Earth and migrated to various parts of space. A space colony girl named Akiha Shihidou encounters an AI named Leopard that is determined to shut down a rival colony, Nerval. Along with Akiha are Itsuki Kannagi, Honoka Kawai, and a robot named Imoko "Imo-chan" Shishidou. Along the journey, they encounter many different people, new findings of truth and the hidden secret of "Terra Abduction". The story is quite fast paced and exciting to watch.

The art was really well done and the environment felt alive. This is probably due to the high quality and detail in character design, backgrounds and sceneries. The space ships were pretty unique and the colonies were imaginative. Animation was fluid and smooth, and the various one-one-one fight scenes were well choreographed.

I had some issues with the theme songs, particular the first opening theme song; it was terrible. Anyhow, the rest of the theme song were pretty average and weren't that catchy or special at all. That aside, the character voice acting was really well done. The voice acting suited the characters really well. The background music was a bit hit and miss and sound effects were decently transposed onto the scene. All I can say is that the sound quality is pretty average throughout the series.

I quite liked the variety of characters here, but it took some time to distinguished the relationships between the characters at the start. The anime somehow dumps all the characters on you at the start and so you will find it a bit confusing at first. Even after watching half-way through the series, I was still unsure at some characters whether they are a friend or foe. Lastly, it felt that some characters just jumped around a little too much and their actions were pretty unpredictable. Akiha Shishidou was pretty average in this anime. She starts of as a hopeless and clueless girl which slowly turns into a "hero", so to speak. Itsuki Kannagi was more for a lively character in this anime with her actually taking risks and actions to find the truth she has been seeking. On the other hand, Honoka Kawai is more of a mysterious character that keeps cool and calm all the time.

Overall, it was an entertaining anime to watch. The first episode may seem like a typical slice of life anime, but it quickly turns into an epic space adventure. There are a few minor nuances that appear every so often, and there is a major plot twist towards the end of the anime. In regards to how this anime fairs to other space sci-fi anime, it does pretty well to entertain. I certainly enjoyed it and I'm sure you will to.

STORY: 8
The story starts of average then quickly spreads like wildfire into an outer space action adventure anime.

ART: 8
The art was really well done and the detail in the design was vivid.

SOUND: 7
There were some issues with the choice of songs for the theme songs, other than that, the voice acting was really good.

CHARACTER: 8
There was quite a few characters that played a major or minor role in this anime. In the end, the characters did not get developed extensively.

ENJOYMENT: 9
Disregarding the background details, the anime is quite an entertaining piece of work to watch. It nearly sits in the "fan service" category, but it manages quite a good story and presentation of characters.

OVERALL: 8
I would say that this would be one of my favorite animes that is set in space.