Posted by psgels on 2 July 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Whoa, I might as well start this review in the same way as I did with my Rocket Girls Review: I really need to be more careful on choosing which series I want to drop. When sola originally aired, I basically dumped the series after episode one, without giving much thought to it. If I recall correctly, I dropped it because the characters looked too moe. Little did I know that I was ignoring a great mystery-series.

Sola indeed starts off slow, but it’s a series that carefully builds up its storyline until its own climax. Every episode, a little bit of what’s going on is revealed to the viewers, while the rest of the airtime is filled with how the different characters live their daily lives, and are affected by this storyline. There is a lot of symbolism at the sky, and even though the graphics may not look like anything special, the soundtrack has a sort-of soothing feeling.

The end result is excellent. In the final third of this series, the whole story comes together like a charm, with a number of excellent plot-twists and a surprisingly great ending for such a series. The characters have done a pretty good job of bringing this series alive, and it’s partly thanks to them that the finale turned out so well.

There are a few problems in this series, though. When you start looking at the details, a number of small plot-holes appear that could easily have been answered. Things like, where did Mr. Goatee get such a fancy sword? How did he learn about Matsuri, and other things I can’t reveal due to spoilers. This series, however, is at its worst when it tries to be funny, because quite frankly, nine out of ten cases, it isn’t. This becomes especially apparent in one of the DVD-specials, which degenerates into a boring pool episode.

Overall, Sola is another reason why Spring 2007 was an awesome season for me. From the outside, it looked like your regular dull harem series, so I never suspected there to be anything deeper beneath it. This is just one of these reasons why I need to give everything a chance, no matter how dull the premise looks. The mystery in sola was excellent, and despite a few flaws here and there, I’m happy to have watched this series.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

17 Responses

  1. Ivy says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, its a great show.

  2. essesus says:

    “the characters look to moe”…that is one of the DUMBEST reasons I’ve ever heard

  3. filtered.water says:

    if i am to say…you are missing out on alot of great anime because you are just too allergic to moe. One little moe, and the anime is horrible in your opinion. if you ever do decide to change your mind, just make a post and we can recommend some animes with alot of moe in the beginning to filter out people like you, then drop the moe and continue with the story. with it ending up to be a GREAT anime.

  4. bobo says:

    Right, so….what’s moe?

  5. lostty says:

    This is actually one of my favourite series of all time, but I would have to agree on the fact that the jokes were never very funny. I wish I never watched the DVD specials because both weren’t that interesting…

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Bobo: hard to explain, but think of it as having overly cute girls.

    filtered.water: go ahead. I love to be proven wrong in my expectations. ;)

    essesus: so, what makes that reason different from the ones who didn’t give series as Himitsu a chance, because the promo-art only featured a bunch of men?

  7. essesus says:

    It doesn’t. That’s why I said “one of the dumbest” insted of “the dumbest”.

  8. Solaris says:

    Back then everybody was deceived by the slow pacing of this serie. It indeed happens quite nothing for 6 episodes, then something for 3 more, and it really exploded in the last 3!
    I was back one of the supporter of this serie, but nobody ever cared trunsting me a bit :(

    …And it is called “SOLA”, couldn’t somebody named SOLA-ris not like it? :P

  9. Houlgrave says:

    Gotta disagree with the review’s overall evaluation. This wasn’t a completely awful series by any means…but neither was it particularly good. The premise was boring, the humor (as mentioned) failed, and things seemed to happen for no reason or (in the case of several episodes in a row) nothing happened at all. And don’t even get me started on how Yorito’s character was handled *cringe*.

    As someone who has seen a fair bit of moe, I can attest to Sola’s mediocrity. Air was sappy, Clannad and Kanon were passable, but trying to watch Sola and look past the glaring angst and pointlessness of it all was just plain painful TBH.

  10. Shensu says:

    Agree with Houlgrave except the last passage.

  11. sovayfox says:

    I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! WHY DID IT TAKE YOU SO LONG? Just reading the title of it makes me cry I can’t not still cry thinking of this series.

  12. issa-sa says:

    Yea, the humour sort of failed, but I didn’t find the story coming together as nicely as you did in the end. Oddly enough, I think sola worked best when it wasn’t trying to be anything ‘original’ at all, the ‘duller’ slice-of-life scenes which matched the mood of the story was what kept me. Found the supernatural elements rather tacky and played out for the sake of “Look! You thought this was moe/slice-of-life-ish, but you’re WRONG”

  13. BlueYoshi says:

    HA. You actually came back to finish this show. xD

    I have a guilty pleasure of liking this show actually. Before I watched Higurashi, got hooked to your blog and started enjoying obscure shows like Kaiba and Shion no Ou, Sola (for a very SHORT time) was my favorite anime.

    Maybe it was because of the unexpected twists that the story took after Ep 6, because I was bored at the start, and wanted to drop this. Maybe it was the relaxing soundtrack along with the great art that hooked me to the show’s atmosphere. Who knows? I even started a SolaxHigurashi fanfic, to try and solve the plot holes that the story left. That is currently failing at the moment, like most fanfic in general.

    I’m a little surprised you came back to finish it, and even more surprised that you also turned out to like it. Now if you would only get back to Sketchbook~Full Color S~…

  14. S.A.I. says:

    Sola has been a surprise: a regular run of the mill anime, but done right. They’ve had a plot and a solid scenario to back it up, excellent (if midi) music – try and succed in all the suspense, drama and sincerity all those high-budgeted monster projects consistently fail at.

    Except for the ending: I really feel the ending was rather artificial, hypocritical and unpersuasive. Even though factually there could be a place for such events, all that was quite unmotivated (and extended fight extended too much for the show’s own good bringing out misery of the state the budget was in rather than the misery of characters’ complex feelings for each other…)

  15. Michael says:

    Yeah, looking back on the series, I think I liked it more because I can understand the main character’s obsession with the sky. (What can I say I like pretty views and landscapes). That said, what really made this series was not its overall quality but a single out of nowhere amazing plot twist, that I see very few shows actually pull off. I agree with S. A. I. though. The ending was a little bit too cliche and silly, though some parts of it were certainly nice.

  16. Michael says:

    Yeah, looking back on the series, I think I liked it more because I can understand the main character’s obsession with the sky. (What can I say I like pretty views and landscapes). That said, what really made this series was not its overall quality but a single out of nowhere amazing plot twist, that I see very few shows actually pull off. I agree with S. A. I. though. The ending was a little bit too cliche and silly, though some parts of it were certainly nice.

  17. Z.N. Singer says:

    I’m really not sure why you call it a mystery anime at all – it was a character drama, that’s what powered it forward. So some parts were mysterious, I would never have thought to call it a mystery anime. The whole thing with Aono – she achieved what should have been impossible, only it turned out that in order to do so – the level of obsession it required – meant that once she had it, she was unable to appreciate it anymore. She’d become someone who clings so tightly to happiness that it crumbles through her fingers. What those two did was the only thing that could free her to move forward…and smile.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:50 PM)
    *for.
    Also I finished out Amanes route in Grisaia and am genuinely pleased with how it rounded out as being/capped off.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:49 PM)
    Shame they can’t be relied on from anything else however.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:48 PM)
    Ah, .hack bee-train can always be relied on for good music.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:48 PM)
    I recently rewatched petite cossette actually and it still holds up for me as an atmospheric, creepy and trippy and dreamy macabre story I wish Shinbo was still that good.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:44 PM)
    As much as I love .Hack’s score, I can’t help but feel that Le Portrait de Petit Cossette has Kajiura’s best score.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:37 PM)
    I will agree that the tsundre archtype should have been Rin and not Kugimiya pseudo-lolita’s, far less irritating, less of a love/hate thing for me. That said I don’t care all that much for finding the personalities of fiction characters all that attractive, it tends to be the character designs, more often I end up wanting to black eye most tsundere characters, actually alot of characters.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:32 PM)
    And I also read that “realistic tsundere manga” I believe I mentioned it a few times on here, I never really got into reading it, can’t really remember the title.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:30 PM)
    I rather like Yuki Kaijura’s music for fate/zero, don’t care about kara no kyokai’s soundtrack, madoka or sword arts much.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 PM)
    @Gedata: God they didn’t even research it correctly.
    In regards to clannad theres an example of one which I retrospectively am more critical of and find the drama remarkably silly in parts.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:38 PM)
    @gedata: For my own sanity after a while I began skimming episodes and following flawfinders posts here and there.
    @Vincent: Must rewatch that one and flags of our fathers sometime, need to get round to soldier of orange also.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 11

Well here’s something you don’t see often in shounen series. Consequences. It’s another quiet episode and due to Shirou pulling that magic trick last episode he is now suffering from after effects. Having what looks to be a painful night and going through the day with the left side of his body numb. Though it […]

Recommendation corner 02 – Light novels #1

Its very easy to disregard the light novel genre completely as it is responsible for the creation of quite a number of unoriginal, bad and shameless pandering anime in recent years. However there still are worthwhile stories within the genre. They are just a little less known.   Mushoku Tensei Description: A 34-year-old NEET otaku […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 10

Very nice start to the beginning of the episode with the Unlimited Bladeworks chant. Sure, it has been parodied to kingdom come but I still love it and all it’s broken engrish glory. But now I can say it with certainty. This series is not suitable for being watched weekly. In watching this episode I […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 10

Fights blew past fast this episode. We had four fights in one episode so my previous fears of this getting dragged look to be untrue.  Notables being the fight between a mystery girl and a holy knight whose head is so disproportionate from his body that you could swear someone took the head of a […]

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 06-10

So I’ve been gone for a while partially because of work, school, and my political activities, but also because I wanted to try approaching how I review in a (hopefully) interesting way. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback on this, as I am trying to inject more of my own personality into the way […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 09

The pattern continues with another building up episode. Admittedly I find this somewhat disappointing. I feel that this show would be better marathoned than watched weekly as the wait for what is a essentially a build up to the next episode can hamper the experience a bit. As I said before, this show would work […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 09

The fight between explosives girl and the sins was ended quicker than I thought. When King entered the fight it was settled almost immediately.  King made short work of her as Elaine provided some supposedly badass exposition saying how King is originally known as the king of the fairies, harlequin. I say supposedly because it […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 08

Another episode has come and gone. This episode marking the first casualty of the holy grail war. Looks like Rider is out of the running. It is a bit sad to see her go so unceremoniously and even defeated off screen. Well, we shall see you again in the upcoming heavens feel movie, where you […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 08

There was a few questionable things here this episode. The episode starts with the new villain quite literally killing herself to enter the kingdom of the dead. Which is a big risk considering it was based on one sentence from a child she was threatening. True being a shounen show there’s likely some magical biology […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]