Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sora No Manimani

Overall Rating: B+

Summary: A romantic comedy/slice of life series, Sora No Manimani is alternately titled "At the mercy of the sky". The story focuses on Saku Ōyagi, a quiet teenager who spends most of his time reading books. At the beginning of the series, his family has just moved back to his hometown as Saku begins high school. He has dreams of a girl he knew as a child who was of a much more...wild spirit then he was, and was constantly dragging him around on adventures. The girl, Mihoshi Akeno, loved star-gazing, and Saku was often dragged along with her on starry nights. Before his family left town they went on a final star-gazing trip, but Mihoshi fell out of a tree. Saku caught her, but broke his arm, and when Mihoshi didn't visit him in the hospital he vowed never to see her again.

Of course, on his first day back at school, Saku runs into Mihoshi who is promoting the astronomy club. She is on top of the school throwing gold stars down on the students, and encouraging them to join the club. Saku tries to avoid her, but that only makes things worse. Mihoshi tackles him in hallways and is always trying to find him after class. Eventually, Saku realizes that Mihoshi didn't abandon him, but instead was in the hospital herself and wasn't released until after he was. He also discovers that the Astronomy club doesn't have enough members to stay a club. He joins up to help make amends, despite his desire to join the literature club.

Thus begins a slapstick romantic comedy centered around Saku and the astronomy club. It's not quite a harem anime, but it's close with multiple women having a crush on Saku, and he doesn't know quite what to do.

I have to say, I'm not usually a big fan of harem anime. They simply strike me as completely ridiculous. Take one awkward high school boy, add in cute girls, some slapstick comedy, and you're done! Maybe I'm just jealous since I was an awkward high school boy, and that never happened to me. As I mentioned though, Sora No Manimani isn't quite a harem anime in my opinion, and although it has some of the common tropes it's a lot more interesting and engaging than the standard fare. The characters are interesting, and that's really what drives slice of life anime. Saku is believable as an awkward teenager, and Mihoshi is hilarious. It's worth checking out for a fun, kind of fluffy series.

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