For nostalgic reasons, I decided to give the sequel Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora a try. If that name is a mouthful to remember, then I suppose Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Sky would be an easier alternative for you to remember. Ah, those were the days. It does bring back fond memories when I was watching the prequel many years ago.
 
One thing very unique about this series and probably the first thing that will hit viewers is the drawing and art. The producers here mixes and blend real 3D images to complement the 2D animation. So it is either you love it or hate it. For me, at first I wasn’t used to it but after a while it’s rather okay and nice seeing that it’s quite refreshing to see such images after watching too many conventional anime drawings. Sometimes I find myself immersed in the breathtaking and picturesque backgrounds, which provides much needed eye candy (no, not pretty fanservice girls, mind you). However, these backgrounds are inanimate and those objects which moves are done so in 2D animation, which is sometimes awkward because it seems like time has stopped.
 
This particular series is a sequel spin-off in the sense that it is not a continuation of the prequel but the basic setting and premise still remains. Like how this world are divided into people who can use magic (mages) and those who can’t. Young mages who reach the age of 16 are required to attend magic school to effectively harness their powers for the good of society which including an internship training programme by attaching oneself to an experienced mage. So for those people who aren’t into slice-of-life genres sprinkled with a little magic, you’ll find this a yawn fest and might want to skip this.
 
Of course as mentioned since this series isn’t related to the previous, obviously we have a new character taking the limelight. This time round, we have Sora Suzuki, a cheerful girl from the countryside of Biei, Hokkaido Japan. Viewers are treated to the lush greenery and vast space of Sora’s family farm. Just like her dad, she is a mage and in episode 1, Seiichirou Hara of the Magic Of Bureau in Tokyo has called her mom to confirm of her internship. Since Sora is out on a bicycle delivery, her mom takes the call and is ecstatic that her daughter got accepted. Sora too gets excited when she hears this new when she comes back. She’s going to the big city. Sora then goes to talk to her late dad, which has been buried next to a giant solitary tree about her acceptance. Something about fulfilling and keeping her promise by becoming a full fledge mage.
 
Thus Sora calls her best friend, Michiru Satou about the good news as they meet and chat under a bridge. I think Michiru feels sad that her close ones are leaving her. Besides Sora, the crush of Michiru’s life, Touyama, is moving away too and he doesn’t know her feelings yet. Sora decides to help her confess and to meet at the barn that night. All goes according to plan as Michiru confesses to Touyama while Sora puts up a splendid display of magic: White snow falling inside the barn? Well, Michiru did hear how he wanted to watch how winter look like in Biei. With that spectacular sight, Touyama is glad that he manages to do so with her. With that over, Sora is all excited about her new future back home and the next day, she says her goodbye to her family and friends as she is sent to the airport. Her mom tells her not to be afraid of making new friends and to go see the world. Sora boards a plane to Tokyo as she receives an SMS from Michiru wishing that she’d come back sooner so that she won’t be lonely.
 
Sora touches down in the prefecture Shimokitazawa, Tokyo in episode 2. Since Sora is a country bumpkin, she is amazed with all the tall buildings and takes her time sight-seeing while on her way to her magic school. While getting some directions from a local police, Sora hears a screeching sound and notices a truck going off the bridge and endangering the lives of innocent passer-by. At the same time, a young guy was helping a granny to cross the road but that impending disaster was too shocking for that granny to take, thus paralyzing her in the middle of the street. Quick thinking Sora uses her magic to float it down slowly. She is applauded by the crowd and wonders if that boy and granny are alright, in which they are. Sora then continues her journey. Because she has been taking her time, she realizes that she is late but manages to reach the bureau of magic. Class has already started but her serious no nonsense homeroom teacher, Kawada, gives her a warning. Kawada has an assistant, Morishita, who looks like a strange senile old man (you can be forgiven if you think he’s a serial killer. Just kidding). Sora introduces herself and since her motto is trial and error, everyone gives out a heartily laughter.
 
Sora quickly make friends with classmate Hiyori Yamabuki and finds that the boy who was helping the granny earlier on, is also in the same class as hers. He is Gouta Midorikawa and his outlook seems distant and unfriendly. After taking a short written test to gauge their basic knowledge on magic, the students are then to take a practical test to gauge their magic ability by freezing water in a fish tank. Sora’s ability seems to be impressive because she made an ‘ice chandelier’ of it! Uh huh. They call it Heaven of Ice. But her other classmate, Honomi Asagi, isn’t impressed seeing that such shape isn’t practical for transportation like hers, which is an ice block. Then another classmate, Kouji Kuroda, chides her for Asagi’s impracticality too because unlike his, there isn’t a hole to let a rope through. You’ll notice how these 2 are loggerheads and even though Asagi sounds obnoxious and arrogant, it’s just the way she sounds but she’s a good girl. Kawada then says how magic isn’t a competition but to determine what kind of mages they’ll be. Asagi then asks Kawada about the magic resurrection, in which Kawada dismisses it as a rumour made by people who can’t use magic. Once class is over, Sora takes a walk back to meet her mentor Hara and it seems she will be living in his dorm too. Sora goes to her room and wonders why it is decorated like a boy’s. Then she spots Gouta within the dorm area when she opens her room window and thinks that this is his room and also a resident of this dorm. Yeah, fate just keep bringing them together, eh? By the way, you’ll notice a street performer, Yasuko, who plays her guitar to the crowd and she writes her own weirdly themed songs. A song about jellyfish?
 
In episode 3, Gouta wakes up early to go surfing but gets a warning not to do things without permission from his mentor, Saori Shiraishi, an elderly lady who also lives along Hara in the dorm. While Gouta later tries to read up books on magic (seeing that he is quite uncomfortable with that fact he can’t use it properly), Sora gets her first client in her first practical training with Hara as they have received a magic request from an old lady, Mami Motohashi. Her request is simple. To open a safe in which she has lost her key to it. But there is one thing weird about Motohashi. After requesting a magic request to open the safe, she shortly check its contents before locking it back up again. And this has been done many times over and over again. So why not leave the safe unlock? Are the contents that precious? If so why not change the safe or get a new key (I’m assuming she’s rich because of her large traditional Japanese type mansion).
 
Sora is intrigue by this fact and is reluctant to fulfil her request but Motohashi remains stubborn. Once Sora manages to open the safe, she runs out with its contents, which are photo albums of her life. Woah. Can she do that? Out in the yard, Sora pleads to stubborn Motohashi not to live in the past. Hara tells Sora not to get involve in their client’s personal affairs as they are here to only do their job. As Sora gives Motohashi her photo albums back and the latter puts it back into the safe, she finds the safe locks broken and that Sora has cast a destructive spell. Though Motohashi is upset, Sora tells her that locking up those photos won’t bring back her loved ones. With that, Motohashi realized so the ladies had a little chat about Motohashi’s family and loneliness (in which Sora too felt the same about her mom back home). I’m impressed that Sora’s innocent and frank ways can change the outlook of an old lady. Meanwhile Gouta is having a tough time doing his magic training with Saori but the old lady is patient and convinces him to stay on further. As Sora and Hara walk home, Sora apologizes for her act but he doesn’t mind. Sora then says although the sky in Biei and Tokyo are different, they’re both beautiful and loves the feeling of this city.
 
Episode 4 focuses on Gouta. Gouta finishes his breakfast first while eating with Sora, Hara and Saori. In class, he remembers the time when he was in school with his other male buddies (they’re talking about how pretty Gouta’s mom look?). Later Gouta goes out with Saori for a magic request. Their client wants them to find his lost insurance card amidst his messy room. Uh huh. It’s like he wants them to clean up his room. Not only that, this guy is bloody rude and is talking on the other line of his handphone. Anybody would understand that Gouta is extremely upset about his behaviour and decides not to fulfil his request and leave. But Saori tells him he shouldn’t run away when he is faced with such difficulties. Gouta then has a flashback about a time whereby his dad admits to his mom that he is a mage. His mom couldn’t accept the fact that he had been hiding it for many years (although he had stopped using it for a long time) and decided to leave the household though his dad was very apologetic and guilty about it, the reason he didn’t went after her. Gouta didn’t follow her since it was too sudden and that he had school to attend. Ever since then, his friends have distant themselves from him and even thought that he used his magic to attain high test marks. Humans can be so cruel. No wonder Gouta is quite cold and distant himself. In present time, Gouta decides to deal with this problem as he apologizes and proceeds with his request. In the end, they manage to find the card and that jerk at least shows his nice side and apologized for his earlier behaviour. Saori praises Gouta for his patience.
 
Later Gouta invites Sora out for dinner at a sushi restaurant and he finds out that she can eat quite a lot too. Soon Gouta gets another magic request from a lady who wanted some nostalgic taste of sweet and gentle but couldn’t recall what it is. I see magic requests can come in the form of such too. How would they know that kind of taste if the client herself only knows it? Ah well, that’s what magic is all about and don’t mind those minor details. After some analyzing, Gouta fills a glass in which the lady finds the taste to be horrible. But upon finding out that drink is breast milk, she sips it again and finds it acceptable after Gouta explains it to her. She thanks them for bringing back the nostalgic taste and reveals that she has breast cancer and will be undergoing surgery but won’t be giving up. Back home, Sora learns that the goldfish in the pond was caught by Saori 3 years ago with her daughter. And since Saori hasn’t seen her since, that goldfish is precious to her.
 
Episode 5 begins with Sora and Hara attending another client’s request, an old lady by the name of Kikuko Akaike. She wants them to restore some cinders back to its original form. It is an item in which her lover held on to dearly until his death during World War II. As Sora tries her magic, the cinders suddenly bursts into flames and it would’ve gone out of control if not for Hara’s intervention since Sora started to panic. The item seems to be a comb which Akaike gave to her loved one before he had left for war. As they leave her house, Sora feels guilty of her failure but Hara reassures her that’s what this training is for. Back in class, the usual Kuroda-Asagi spat when Gouta asks Kuroda how he knows how to use magic. Meanwhile, Hara is seen visiting a pub to chat with his old friends and things indicate that he was once part of a rock band. Later, Sora and Hara goes to visit another client’s request. This time Sora needs to use her awakening magic because the client’s wife, Miona, has been in a coma for a year time so much so their son, Shion, has forgotten how her mummy sound like. Sora promises Shion that she will regain Miona’s consciousness. After casting her spell, Miona did open her eyes but has amnesia as she doesn’t recognize her own family. Sora wants to try again to bring back her memories but is stopped by the father who is okay with it and Hara saying that they have fulfilled the request of waking her up and that magic isn’t perfect and cannot solve everything. Sora is visibly upset. As they leave, Hara visits the bar and meets a very inspired young rocker while Sora is obviously having lots on her mind back in her room.
 
In episode 6, Sora is still depressed and Gouta seems to notice this because she isn’t having her usual portions for breakfast. So after class, Gouta tells Sora that she look best when she smiles. That afternoon, Sora is to meet up with Hiyori and Asagi for an outing. Initially Hiyori asked Gouta to come along but the latter wasn’t sure and decides not to. As the trio heads back to Sora’s place, they spot a little girl sitting outside, Ruriko Nishihara. It seems she wants a magic request to have a baby! Yikes! Does she know what’s she talking about? She goes on to say how her real parents died and is currently living with her step parents who are cruel as well as her 2 step sisters. Doesn’t this sound a little like Cinderella? Though the girls have never heard of a magic type to create babies, I’m sure there’s an ‘easier’ way, don’t you think? ;p. Because they are unable to fulfil her request, Ruriko runs away while saying she’ll take one from the nursery instead. So no choice the girls have to spend all afternoon searching high and low for Ruriko. Thankfully, they checked the nursery and no kids were missing. They could’ve used their magic to make the search easier but unauthorized magic use especially from apprentices will land them in big trouble. Ah, nothing like the good ol’ manual needle in the haystack search. Asagi and Hiyori then notices a cafe’s logo the same as Ruriko’s handbag and soon finds her there. After calling Sora, the gang gathers to hear the real story. Ruriko’s mom explains that Ruriko had a fight with her friend so she wanted a baby to play with. Sora suggests for Ruriko to patch up their friendship like reading a storybook together. With that, Ruriko is back to her normal self as the trio leaves. Hiyori thanks Sora for today’s outing and says how this is the first time she’s doing things with her mage friends. Back home during dinner, Gouta receives an SMS from Kuroda, saying that he is quitting training. Gasp.
 
We see why Kuroda wants to quit his training. At the beginning of episode 7, Kuroda’s failed magic attempts and his client’s petty complaints and ungratefulness is the cause of bringing down his confidence on magic. Those clients didn’t think well of an apprentice and would prefer the mentor to do it. Asagi receives a call from Kuroda, asking to meet up at an old shopping complex. Well, it looks like a date to me because previously Kuroda’s body language seems to indicate he has some feelings for Asagi even though the duo bickered. Asagi asks his intentions of inviting her out and he wanted to know her reaction if he brings her to Nakano Broadway, a place which she has never been to. After all that tour, Kuroda then asks Asagi if she was satisfied with her training. Since Asagi isn’t going to listen to his complaints because it seemed like he was beating around the bush about his problems and frustration, Kuroda walks away but Asagi stops and tells him that if he has something to say to her, then just tell it straight, among other ‘lecturing’. Kuroda is annoyed by her insensitivity of other people’s feelings but she hits back by saying that though she cares for her own feelings first, she respects the feelings of others too. She then walks away.
 
Because of that, the next day, everyone gets to know that Kuroda is planning to quit training. Asagi as usual comes up with a stinging comments like people with too much self-esteem have problems facing normal problems (did she look in the mirror lately?). Hiyori suggests to go visit Kuroda and talk to him but Asagi refuses, claiming it’s a waste of time. That night, Sora ended up with a fever so she can’t tag along with Hiyori and Gouta. Kuroda has locked himself in his room as Gouta and Hiyori tries to persuade him but to no avail. Surprisingly, Asagi shows up and you got to love how this girl applies her reverse psychology on her stinging lines. It made Gouta and Hiyori’s persuasion look so tame. Asagi’s rebuke include about how she’d understand if Gouta quit because he doesn’t understand magic but is working hard to use them, how he never put in effort to understand magic nor human feelings, how humans fail and that what he did isn’t wrong, that it’s important to pick oneself up after a mistake and move on, and wonders where has that cocky guy she first met when to because at this rate he’ll always run away forever. As Asagi storms off, Gouta and Hiyori soon leaves seeing that there is nothing further that they could do. Kuroda is seen crying in his room. As the trio wait for their train home, Gouta SMS back to Sora to tell her what has happened and hopes Kuroda will change his mind.
 
Kuroda is still missing from class in episode 8 though Sora has recovered. Was the lecturing too much for him to handle? But the gang remains confident that he’ll return. However Kawada’s class is interrupted when Morishita rushes in with a panic look after receiving a request from the ministry of magic. It’s pretty funny to see the little struggle as Kawada tries to seize the report which Morishita is clinging on so tightly in his fists. It seems there are several beached dolphins and there aren’t enough rescue workers to push them back to sea in time. Kawada dismisses class and the gang will attempt their very first teamwork magic in public. Though Morishita will be tagging along to supervise, he looks more panic and worried then the rest. Onboard a train, the gang talks about their future aspirations like how Gouta wants to be a pro surfer, Hiyori to open a magic branch of her own and Asagi a diplomat (I’m not so sure with her kind of speech). Once they arrived, they are given several instructions by a rescue worker to assist them. The plan is to have the mages float up the dolphins in a water bubble and then hurl it far away towards the ocean so that they won’t swim ashore anytime soon. Since this is their first time, the water bubble keep bursting and it’s hard landing for those poor dolphins. In my opinion, they’re going to kill the dolphins that way. But it’s tough seeing that they need immense amount of concentration.
 
Asagi has a tough time handling one when she hears a familiar voice to imagine wrapping the dolphin like in a paper. She is successful and Asagi is glad that Kuroda is standing next to her. Gouta too is having a hard time so Sora encourages him and lends a hand as they combine their powers. They manage to lift several dolphins and toss them away into the ocean. Sora says how he can now use magic and Gouta seems confident now. Once it’s over, Gouta and Kuroda chat and the former is surprised to see him here. Kuroda mentions how he came right away after watching the TV news and as mages, that’s the least they could do. The tired gang takes a train home as they fell asleep except for Asagi who welcomes Kuroda back. Sora and Gouta are being congratulated by Hara and Saori. Once the kids sleep, the old ones discuss that seeing them reminded Saori of her daughter who is 18 years old now and wonders if she would call her.
 
Gouta and Sora out on a date? Well it seems that way in episode 9 because Gouta invites Sora out with him to Enoshima as thanks for helping him out during the dolphin rescue operation. No matter how you look at it, it’s a date, right? They even walk hand in hand. So it’s a date. Sora finds out that Gouta has stopped surfing because he doesn’t want to get into trouble with Saori. Then Gouta’s handphone starts to ring and it’s from Hiyori, who is inviting him to an outing with everyone else since this is their last day of vacation. Upon learning he is with Sora, Hiyori gets disappointed. I see, this girl has a crush on him. But Hiyori soon gets a call from Asagi who wonders why she’s wasting such a beautiful day locked inside her room and invites her out for some ice cream, cheering that girl up. As Gouta and Sora are strolling at the beach, they spot a lost kid, Sota, crying for his mom. The duo helped in to do so and in no time, his mom comes looking for him and is grateful for their help. The duo commented on how the boy’s name ‘So’ from Sora and ‘Ta’ from Gouta as they both laughed. Hmm… a premonition if they ever get hitched? They then head to the temple to get their luck reading and Gouta’s one was moderate but Sora’s body language didn’t indicate so as she tries to hide it from him. Later the duo had a meal by a beachside restaurant overlooking the magnificent sea. Sora gives Gouta a little rock that she got during their walk on the beach. Then up the tower they go, and I think they both kissed. Can’t tell it’s them or not since they only show silhouettes.
 
The next day as class begins, Asagi chides Kuroda for not knowing about Sora-Gouta relationship when he mentioned how they all could’ve gone together. As Gouta is getting a drink, Hiyori approaches him and tries to start a conversation but a crowd of other students soon gather around Gouta and are impressed of his magic abilities during the dolphin saving operation. Instant celebrity? Hiyori just walked away quietly and disappointed. After school, Kuroda teases Gouta on Sora and the former did the same too on the latter on Asagi. It started to rain so Gouta has to rush back home. Upon reaching home, a bright flash of lightning occurs when he spots Sora and Hara in a very ambiguous position across the room. Is he like hugging her and his face on her chest? Gouta is in shock so the rest of the night in his depression he wanders around town and ends up at a bar (the one Hara visited several episodes back) and even asks for something strong. Thankfully the bartender isn’t going to spoil this kid and serves him tea instead and offers him curry to eat.
 
In episode 10, Gouta wakes up in that bar not remembering much of what happened last night. Though he gets scolding from Saori when he comes back, he punches the wall in his frustration to learn Sora and Hara are out together on a magic request. In class, the rest notices how Gouta is awfully quiet and wonders if he and Sora got into a fight. Then we see a weary Sora calling her mom to tell her how she wants to go back to Biei soon. Later Sora is seen talking to the husband of Miona as she wants another chance to recover memories. However the husband is reluctant as he and Shion are happy to make new memories with her. He is also afraid that God will punish them if they ask for more. Sora leaves disappointed even though she spots happy Shion and Miona together outside. Gouta comes home to find that the mentors are talking about how Sora has escaped from hospital and is bad for her condition. Gouta is now mad as he gets rough with Hara and yells what he has done to her. Hara then punches Gouta after all that violent shaking. Hara says Sora is dying. Oh dear. She has a condition whereby if she sees bright lights or hear loud sounds, her heart will beat faster. That time when the lightning occurred, it triggered this condition, which is only present in mages, and Hara was just trying to protect and shield her from it as he scolds Gouta for jumping the gun and imagining stupid things. Sora inherited this condition from her late dad, who died of this way too. But this isn’t the first time Sora is experiencing this and the last time was last summer. With that she only had a year to live. Gouta is extremely shocked to know about this and couldn’t believe it because Sora has always been a lively and cheerful girl. Gouta rushes out to find Sora and the others agree to do the same.
 
Gouta searches throughout Shimokitazawa but Sora is nowhere in sight. Then when he passes Yasuko, the street performer wonders what happened to his girlfriend because she always notice seeing them together. She then mention how she did saw Sora but that’s 40 minutes ago. Gouta gets permission to use magic on her and some pink smoke which resembles Sora comes out from Yasuko’s mind and starts flying towards the direction of Kitazawa. Gouta thanks her as he follows the smoke. Yasuko thinks how magic is interesting. Gouta soon finds gloomy Sora sitting alone on a park swing. Though she said he could get into trouble for using unauthorized use of magic, he didn’t care for all that as he only wanted to find her. Gouta listens to Sora as she pours out her woes of her recent memory recover failure and that she is going to die soon and all that will be left of her are memories in everyone else. Gouta then says how Sora hates magic and wants to cry more than anyone else. Sora denies it but Gouta persists until she breaks down and cry in his arms. Sora wonders why this has to happen to her as she wants to go on living.
 
In episode 11, Hara and Saori are relieved to know that Gouta had found Sora. Thanks to Gouta, Sora feels much better as they both walk home hand in hand. This episode sees the apprentice mages having their final written and practical tests. We see that everyone has matured and powered-up a lot as they made beautiful ice sculptures with their magic during the practical test. I guess the best is Sora’s which looked like coconut tree and leaves because Asagi herself is praising it. Soon the results are out and everyone passes. Everyone is a certified mage now. Hooray! As Kawada gives them their certificate during graduation, she has a few words for them as they have for the rest. Except for Kuroda because though technically he passed, he missed several classes so he has to attend them and his graduation is delayed by a week. I don’t know why but Morishita got real emotional when Gouta came up to took his certificate. Does he really like that kid? I mean, I noticed that this guy always encourages him from time to time. Also, the other mentors are there to witness their graduation and other guests include Motohashi and Gouta’s parents. Once over, Sora and Motohashi had a chat as Sora finds out Motohashi will be going to England to see her daughter. Also, Gouta finds out that his parents are getting back together so he introduces Sora to them and says if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t have made it as a mage. And I thought he was going to introduce her as his girlfriend…
 
Sora and the rest gathers in classroom as they talk about how they plan to visit Sora back in Hokkaido. Later as Sora and Gouta are walking outside the building, Sora mentioned how she initially wanted Gouta to forget about her but decided that she doesn’t want him to do so and to think of her from time to time. Wait a minute. Are they parting ways? Is that a tear Sora is shedding? But Gouta just take her hand and says "Baka". Then Yasuko finds out that the duo have graduated and offers her congratulations and plays them a newly written song to cheer them up. Back home, Hara and Sora talk about things as Hara mentions how he wants to have a daughter like her. Sora is embarrassed so she tells him to find a wife first. That night, I think Gouta see off Sora at the train station. The next morning, Gouta is seen sitting alone by himself while Sora catches a plane back to her hometown.
 
Sora returns to Biei and is welcomed back by her mom in episode 12. She talks to her about her experiences during her Tokyo stint during dinner. Later she goes over to the tree of her late date to tell him that she has finally become a mage. She gets an SMS from Gouta who is now surfing as she replies an SMS including a picture of herself and that tree. A flashback sees how Sora loves fulfilling requests her dad wished and the one he wrote on a piece of paper before his death was to see Sora in a wedding dress. Sora uses her magic to show a vision of herself in a stunning white traditional bride outfit and Gouta as her groom. She then passes out in the arms of her mom once it’s over. Five years down the road, Hara continues to take in another magic apprentice while Hiyori is seen consoling and giving words of advice and encouragement to an apprentice of hers who is saddened by her magic failure. Also, Kuroda and Asagi are seen eating together and they look very mature. They plan to visit Sora in Biei but Asagi doesn’t want to stay at Sora’s home. Also, Yasuko seems to made it big with a hit record label as she plays to the crowd during a promotional stint at a music shop. This time her song is about her experiences at Shimokitazawa.
 
Surprisingly, we see Gouta riding a superbike through the vast lands of Biei and he spots long hair now! He is asking directions to a solitary tree to see his girlfriend. Isn’t that Sora’s mom that he’s asking directions from? But this is the most shocking thing. Upon reaching that tree (thanks to that SMS Sora sent him back then), Gouta says how he finally gets to see her. OMG!!! HAS SORA DIED!!! NOOO!!! I can’t believe this!!! That cute cheerful innocent girl is gone?! Gouta sits under the tree and talk about their times together and his experiences of surfing the waves all over the world. He notes how he has always been by her side as he takes out that rock Sora gave him during their date back then. Though he doesn’t know when he’ll see her again, he’ll keep doing his best and tell her again. Before he leaves, he decides to use his magic to show her the seas that he has seen. Ankle-level sea water then floods the area to give a sea-like atmosphere and feeling.
 
I have to admit that the ending was a real shocker and my heart really sank to learn that Sora has passed away. I really couldn’t believe it. And I was ready to conclude this series to be another one of those nothing-much-happens-in-the-end or rather a good-but-dull-happy-ending. Even if it is revealed that Sora is dying or other signs which hinted of Sora’s numbered days, it still didn’t shake me up as bad as her death. Just like Gouta once, how could such a cheerful little girl be dying? But that is life. So unfair. So unexplained. I think Sora didn’t want others to worry about her condition and hide it all behind that happy face. Even with Sora’s passing, the rest still go on living, doing their best.
 
I couldn’t really compare if this sequel is better than the prequel because they are both different storylines amidst the same setting. In this sequel, it concentrates more on the magic apprentices, especially Sora and Gouta. So much so the other characters didn’t had much impact. Like we won’t get to know more about Hara’s background about being a musician (maybe that’s just about it), or if something really happened between Saori and her daughter, and Kawada is just the apprentices’ teacher. Maybe they wanted to make this a light series. Nothing too deep. I wonder why that graduation episode spent some time on those other classmates of Sora who don’t even appear anywhere else. Perhaps not to forget that they too exist? I was also initially hoping that some love triangle would come up between Hiyori, Gouta and Sora. But in the end, I guess Hiyori didn’t even let Gouta know her feelings because I think she knows that those 2 suit each other well.
 
I like the opening theme, Fly Away by THYME because it’s a lively pop rock. However the ending theme, Kawaita Hana by micc is a slow rock piece and it doesn’t appeal much to me. Although there are several nice and easy background music, I didn’t find them appealing as the prequel. They are still easy on the ears, though. Seeing that this is mainly a drama-driven series, sometimes the voice acting may sound a little flat. Therefore, I still like Asagi’s voice best because she does sound high and mighty. The only seiyuu who could play such a proud character is no other than Marina Inoue, who also voiced similar character roles which include Tsukiumi of Sekirei and Kana of Minami-ke. Kana Hanazawa does a nice job portraying Sora as a cheerful innocent girl. Her previous voice roles include Sora of Sketchbook ~Full Color’s~ (am I seeing something here?) and Kusano in Sekirei. Other casts include newbie Tomoaki Maeno as Gouta, Rikiya Koyama as Hara (Kogarashi of Kamen No Maid Guy), Daisuke Namikawa as Kuroda (Maiku in Onegai Twins), Mikako Takahashi as Hiyori (Rushuna of Grenadier) and Yoko Soumi as Kawada (B.C. in Vandread). However, I find that the sound effects like the waves of the beach or the buzzing sounds of the insects to be quite surreal.
 
Previously I did mention that the drawing mixes real still photos with 2D animation. Upon closer inspection, I find that the 2D animation lacks a lot of details. In short, they are quite simple so much so that some of the side characters have this weird look and in my opinion, ugly. No offense, but they do look a little horrible. Maybe the reason I can think of is that they try to blend both real and 2D animation as one. So if you don’t look closely, you won’t really tell the difference. Also, sometimes the 2D animation can be a little ‘jerky’ and it is quite obvious when it is especially not in detail. There are some short narrations during the sponsor screen which feels like comments from fans. I wonder what’s the significance of that?
 
There are important aspects that we can learn from here. Always look forward for a brighter tomorrow. The most important things that you do in life and how they will affect the people around you. Sora is a girl that everyone of us should emulate. Without her, people like Gouta could never get his confidence in using his magic capabilities. Thus, we don’t really need any magic to make happiness and miracles to happen around us. Dear Sora, may your soul rest in peace. Damn it. Can’t believe that she’s gone. Hey, I shouldn’t wallow in such depression but move on in life with a smile.
 

Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora