Posted on 17 November 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hoshiai no Sora

I’ll say this for Hoshiai no Sora – the tennis scenes look good. Characters are shown positioning themselves, swinging, and following through with remarkable consistency. The shortcuts that once plagued Baby Steps and Prince of Tennis rarely appear during this series, and that’s worth celebrating. There were even a few serves in this episode that approached Hanebado levels of frame density, so it’s clear that the show’s animators are reaching for the stars. That said, many of the characters are given the same form on their forehand shots, and the matches are composed with ample time for them to set up in front of the ball. Without mixing in more backhand winners, smashes, and diving returns, games will start to feel too familiar once we enter the eventual tournament arc. The alternative would be to be to rely on gimmicks, and judging by this episode’s third match, that’s not Sora’s strong suit.

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Posted on 9 November 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hoshiai no Sora

Let’s have a round of applause for Maki the Genius, everyone. In a tennis club full of clashing personalities, only he was incisive enough to see that hotheads and shy boys shouldn’t be paired together. Imagine everyone’s surprise when he put compatible players on the same doubles teams and they immediately started to work in synchronicity. He even took it easy on them to boost their confidence, a gesture that the script bends over backwards to illustrate. And just in case you missed his masterful makeover of the tennis team, Toma directly thanks him for bringing about all this change in such a short amount of time. How does Maki respond? “Naw, everyone is just trying their best.” Sasuga Maki-sama. Is there anything this kid can’t do? Apart from stopping his new best friend from signing his own death warrant, I mean.

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Posted on 26 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hoshiai no Sora

After a relatively tame second episode, Hoshiai no Sora went dark again in its third week. Child abuse is a recurring theme at this point, and I’m already wondering how the series could possibly conclude its scant one cour run when its teenage characters are this emotionally damaged. As if watching Maki’s father assault his son wasn’t hard enough, this time we were subjected to a story where a mother poured boiling water on her infant child’s back. This was brutal stuff – so brutal, in fact, that the episode’s sunny resolution felt wrong to me. Of course, it’s possible to depict parental cruelty without soaking your entire series in despair. Not every anime with strained familial relationships needs to take the Evangelion route. Sora went so far in the other direction, though, that it threw me for a loop.

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Posted on 19 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hoshiai no Sora

Hoshiai no Sora picks up where Mix left off in terms of character-driven sports dramas. Between those two and Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru at the start of the year, we’ve had a strong representative for the genre at all points during 2019. Though it’s just two episodes old, Hoshiai has the potential to be the best of the lot, thanks to the steady pace of its character writing and the lack of shortcuts in its athletics animation. While this episode didn’t have a bombshell ending to match the final moments of the premiere, it pulled its weight by deepening the show’s cast, among several other improvements. This was one of my most anticipated series of the fall, and things are looking good so far, but to put it in tennis terms, it’s still early in the first set.

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Dr.STONE – 19/20 [To Modernity/The Age of Energy]

Hello all, to this double feature of Dr.STONE, as this lazy bones plays catch up. Apologies for missing last week, but a combination of factors made getting the post up in time… difficult. Enough excuses though, onto the episodes! Starting off, since I missed two episodes, let’s talk about the production for a second. As […]

Hoshiai no Sora – 06

I’ll say this for Hoshiai no Sora – the tennis scenes look good. Characters are shown positioning themselves, swinging, and following through with remarkable consistency. The shortcuts that once plagued Baby Steps and Prince of Tennis rarely appear during this series, and that’s worth celebrating. There were even a few serves in this episode that […]

State of the Season – Fall 2019

Welcome to the second official State of the Season! I’m your host, Amun, and joining us are the esteemed Wooper, Mario, and Lenlo! For Fall of 2019, the anime community awaited more sequels than Star Wars – surprisingly, some first-season hidden gems lurk among these established franchises. In this State of the Season, we’ll take […]

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 2 [An Unfamiliar Ceiling/The Beast] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all and welcome to week 2 of Neon Genesis Evangelion! I know a lot has been going on lately, what with the site scare, but don’t worry. A lot of work is going on in the back and we have plans. In the meantime, how about we just jump into this week’s episode of […]

Beastars – 06

This episode marks the beginning of the next chapter after introduction phase in the first five episodes. This week it’s all about expanding its unique settings. Many new players are introduced, most notably Juno, the female underclassmen grey wolf, and Gouhin the Panda, who all make a nice first impression. This week is also the […]

Chihayafuru S3 – 06 [Tatsuta River Ablaze]

Every time I try to take notes on this series, I get sucked into its rhythm and hit the end of the episode before I know it. The show arranges bursts of competition, moments of inner monologue, and diverse crowd reactions for maximum effect. In wondering how it manages to cast that spell so consistently, […]

Fire Force – 16 [We are Family]

This episode of Fire Force…was all over the place.  I can’t decide if the show loses points for being so absurd or gains them back for being self-aware.  At any rate, we have some back stabbing, some donkey riding, and … Shinra, you’re killing me here.

Psycho-Pass 3 – 03 [Herakles and the Sirens]

It’s a slower episode this week for Psycho-Pass 3 but there is so much to unpack when it comes to details of the characters and how it relates to the latest case of the candidates for the governorship of Tokyo. There are family connections, hidden pasts and plot threads that point to something far bigger.

Hoshiai no Sora – 04/05

Let’s have a round of applause for Maki the Genius, everyone. In a tennis club full of clashing personalities, only he was incisive enough to see that hotheads and shy boys shouldn’t be paired together. Imagine everyone’s surprise when he put compatible players on the same doubles teams and they immediately started to work in […]

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I have reviewed a lot of odd shows recently. From Paranoia Agent to Serial Experiments Lain, they each had their own… je ne sais quoi, their own unique flavor. Keeping with that trend is Mononoke, a sort of Horror Anthology reminiscent of Tales From the Crypt or a Stephen King short stories collection. Though where […]

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