Sora No Manimani

May 8, 2010

Starlight, star bright. In our daily hustle and bustle city life, how many of us have really actually stop and take a good look at the starry night sky? Perhaps most of us would have answered nil and I would have been part of the growing statistic if not for the anime series Sora No Manimani. Not to say that this show got me into loving the night sky or so, but at least it made me remember my childhood days when I was in awe looking up at the magnificent and beautiful stars in the sky.
 
This short romantic comedy and slice of life series focuses on a group of star gazing lovers, the astronomy club of Souei High School. Well at least some of them. While viewers can get insights on the several constellations and simple terms of astronomy in this series, don’t worry they won’t turn it into a bore fest and making this show like some sort of educational programme. Besides, I did say it was a romantic comedy too.
 
Saku Ooyagi, the bookworm and literature lover has recently moved back to the town he once grew up in after 7 years in episode 1. However, he doesn’t have many fond memories of this place. Especially of a devil in the name of Mihoshi Akeno. This hyperactive girl loves watching the stars just like her dad and since Saku was the only child her age, she always forcefully drags him out to gaze the night sky instead of leaving him in peace to read his beloved books. Until an incident whereby Mihoshi climbed up a tree and fell off. Saku broke his arm while trying to save her. Bad memories. He’s still having nightmares though. Now he’s going to relive them all again. So on his first day at school, he sees a flashy club recruitment from the astronomy club and his reaction and surprise has him call out Mihoshi’s name. Realizing his mistake (because Mihoshi instantly has recognized Saku), he makes a run for it but Mihoshi the persistent devil gives chase so much so she ends up on him. So much for the quiet high school life he’s hoped for. It could’ve been out of control if Mihoshi’s astronomy club pals, Sayo Yarai and Takeyasu Roma hadn’t shown up. Oh wait. My mistake. Not till the student council president, the strict Fumie Kotozuka appears. You don’t want to mess with her. Plus, she has some seemingly grudge over the astronomy club. So anything they do is like annoying to her. Yeah, some may call her a b*tch.
 
Saku may meet fellow classmate and photography club Masashi Edogawa as his friend but the constant stalking from Mihoshi doesn’t do him any good. How is spying from the opposite of the block or rushing right to his class at the ring of the bell do him any good? So I guess he has had it enough of her ‘enthusiasm’ so Saku rejects her invitation to join the astronomy club. Oh, I need to mention that a club needs to have a minimum of 5 members or else it will be disbanded. The astronomy club currently has only 3. No wonder Fumie is happily counting its days to its non-existence. But Mihoshi isn’t giving up yet. Uh huh. Emotional teary eyes pleading of all that precious memories. Precious memories his foot! More like nightmares to him then. So when Saku says she didn’t even bother to come wish him farewell after he was released from hospital for his broken arm (because he moved soon after), that’s when he realized that Mihoshi was hospitalized too. She did come but he was gone. Mommy never told him because he was always in a bad mood whenever that incident was brought up. Feeling guilty, he realized he wasn’t the only one lonely all this time, apologizes and joins the astronomy club much to Mihoshi’s delight.
 
Mihoshi and Sayo bring Saku to see their astronomy club. Not the most modern or updated but at least there are a few models. What’s that out of place futon for? It’s for Roma, you see. Uh huh. That club president is like a zombie and it’s like his constant coughing, bleeding and collapsing could send him to the next world anytime. Anytime. So the gang continue their member recruitment drive and as usual the typical confrontation between Mihoshi and Fumie. Fumie learns about the new guy and what do you know, she’s part of the literature club too and is somewhat ‘interested’ in their conversation. I guess the duo could’ve gotten real close and him joining the club (gasp!) if they continued with their ‘friendly’ conversation, interrupted courtesy from Mihoshi. Jealous? Maybe not. But a close shave indeed. Saku hears Mihoshi’s desire to let everyone experience the excitement of watching stars, so Mihoshi decides to organize a sunspot observation. Unfortunately it rained. What a damper on their plans. But when it’s over at night, the sky is clear as the gang watches the beautiful star lit sky.
 
Mihoshi’s persistent harassing must be really getting to Saku in episode 2. She’s in his class every time a period ends. That’s why one of Saku’s classmates, Hime Makita, doesn’t like it. Apart from the fact that she harbours a secret crush on him. A short flashback reveals how she first met Saku on a bus on the day of her entrance exam. She was nervous and her nice fluffy hair somehow got entangled in Saku’s shirt button, making it a very embarrassing incident for her. However he calmly unfastens it and compliments her beautiful hair. That’s when her love began. Besides rejecting Mihoshi’s outright invitation to join her club, Hime tries to get to know Saku and possibly remind him that they’ve once met a long time ago. Of course their conversation is interrupted when Mihoshi crashes in. She invites them all to the rooftop for stargazing. Hime is lamenting her fate that she has no chance whatsoever with Saku because of his childhood time spent with Mihoshi. But when she learns the duo aren’t dating, she immediately signs up to be a club member, delighting everyone. Just like that, huh? Now she’s got a chance. Now the club has got a chance too. Edogawa too must be a permanent non-member because he’s seen spending most of the time with them. Must be the school’s policy that one can only join a club. In his case, must be the cute girls. As the gang celebrate, Fumie and her obedient servant, oops, I mean vice president of the literature club, Haraguchi, enter to mock the club’s activities always being affected by the weather unlike their large club.
 
Roma then decides to organize a stargazing event for the club that night but it seems the weather always isn’t on their side. Yeah, it’s raining cats and dogs. With their plans on hold, they get this idea to visit Saku’s house. Majority wins, pal. It doesn’t help when Saku’s mom is a little child-like spewing details about Saku. However she notes how he was more animated in this town and smiled more these days. The next night, they try their stargazing plans once more and thankfully no rain. Hime is having a hard time because of her fashion sense and since she didn’t have a bicycle, she has to ride pillion with Roma (he’s the only one with a double seater). Hang on for your life! Not sure he’s dead while steering the two-wheeler. Because of that, the duo are ‘knocked out’ when they arrive at their destination while the rest have their field day watching the stars. Saku is still knowledgeable about the stars since he read books and his past ‘nightmare’ with Mihoshi but for Edogawa, he manages to connect the stars with his otaku head. Fist of Northern Star anyone? He’s really hooked now. Considering giving up the photography club for the astronomy club? Sayo talks to Saku and to her relief he isn’t burdening himself with what happened during his elementary school days and wishes for him to take care of Mihoshi.
 
Saku’s plan of staying out of the limelight is always hampered with Mihoshi barging into his class. In episode 3, she even says ambiguous lines of doing that on an exciting night. We all know it’s stargazing but for the other boys, they really want to hear the details of his path to manhood. Yeah, talk about the rumours spreading fast throughout school. He decides to take some time off from club activities and doesn’t want anyone to come look for him. He takes a ride to the town’s library and to his surprise sees Fumie there. The duo chat as she wonders if joining the literature club ever crossed his mind since he loved books. His reply was though he still loved books, whenever he looked up at the sky, a part of him becomes awe. But she still opens the door for him to join and even if the astronomy club is disbanded. Yeah, she still hates it. Saku goes home and is surprised to see Mihoshi waiting at his doorstep. She apologizes for going overboard. I guess he couldn’t keep a grudge after a cute girl sincerely apologized so Mihoshi is back to her energetic self. Yeah, dragging him for more stargazing activities. However it continues to rain so yeah, sad day for Mihoshi. Fumie comes in to brag about her club being ‘weather proof’ so Mihoshi does an astronomy quiz to prove otherwise. Say what? Saku gets an idea to bring the gang to the local planetarium since it’s raining. They meet a navigator, Haruko Hatori, who guides them around the place and the projection dome. At least when the weather is unfavourable, they can come here and watch this small universe unveiling right before your eyes. You could feel like reaching out and touch the stars!
 
Perhaps Hime’s crush on Saku has become obvious that her pals even hints of trying to help and support her. But summer has arrived in episode 4 and that means summer camp. While Roma and Sayo go to get the student council’s approval, Hime tries to get closer to Saku but always gets sucked into Mihoshi’s pace. She can’t take it anymore, their friendliness so she yells what Mihoshi thinks of Saku. Her reply: I love him. Gasp! Hold your horses. She adds: I also love everyone else. Phew. The astronomy club and other clubs arrive at their designated lakeside for their camp. And yeah, another confrontation between David and Goliath. When it’s time to move into their summer dorm, the astronomy club gets to stay in a rundown ruined and dilapidated house as compared to the cosier one the rest will be. Talk about double standards. But no use feeling down as the gang pick up their cleaning gear and starts cleaning and sprucing up the place. As for Edogawa? He just wants to have fun and pick up girls. Go pick up yourself. He’s so tanned at the end of the day. That night, they have candle light dinner (not for romantic purposes, mind you) so that their eyes could adjust to the lights to watch the night sky. Though it may be the same sky, it’s really beautiful and different from where you’re watching, the city or the wilderness. They camp outside and sleep underneath the stars till sunrise. Next morning when Fumie comes to check on them, she is very annoyed to see them all sleeping in ‘shameless casual positions’. At least to her.
 
Fumie gives them a ticking off lecture in episode 5 but the real reason was that they were so tired from last night’s star gazing that they just collapsed when they returned to the house. But even so, Fumie would hear no excuse. Abide the rules or else. Anyway they’ve been forbidden to do night activities so the gang try to win Fumie’s heart by doing charity work like cleaning up the beach. Not going to work. Fumie even forbids her club members to go near them! However a couple of them, Yoshinari and Izumi, went over and get friendly with the astronomy club members. When Saku learns from them Fumie’s morning visit was that she negotiated on her behalf for the club to use the baths, he rushes to Fumie to apologize. He learns that she cares about the club since you know, being an astronomy club means doing night activities and the impression that will impact on people. I get what she means. Perverts and night stalkers gazing at their ‘stars’ from the other side. So Saku says the she may come to know the beauty of stars if she sees them herself and will perhaps see the star of words. Suddenly they hear screams from Yoshinari and Izumi. A couple of punks are harassing them. Fumie puts her foot down and slaps one of them. That jerk was going to retaliate with a punch. Saku rushes to save her but trips and accidentally got punched. This activates ‘protect Saku’ mode from Mihoshi and Hime as they beat up the punks in no time. And they’re exaggerating his light injury… Later Fumie goes to thank Saku for what he has done and gives him a chance to show what his club can do.
 
This mean, they will do a stargazing event with the literature club. The next morning, the gang divide their chores to prepare for the event. Roma is in charge of doing to brochures, Sayo to scout for the location and the rest to obtain supplies. A short flashback on how Fumie and Mihoshi as an odd pair. It goes a long way back. Meanwhile Roma has completed his brochures but he’s on the verge of dying because he has handwritten all of them for there was no photocopier. As for Hime, she is being made as the announcer-cum-guide since Mihoshi finds her well versed in the stars as well. Night comes as the literature club members highly anticipate what they will see. Hime though nervous at first manages to guide her audience on a starry trip, making everyone in awe and holding their interest in the subject. Fumie understands now what Saku meant by star of words and compliments Mihoshi for showing something great to her. However she saw straight through her and won’t increase her club’s budget.
 
Back to school in episode 6. As usual, Mihoshi spews ambiguous lines of wanting to show photos that they took at night. Hehehe… As for Edogawa and his photography club, they scored big with successful pics of babes in swimsuits. This episode sees a new teacher replacing the one of Saku’s class. He is Nozomu Souma and okay, he’s got the looks enough to make girls’ heart pound. However Mihoshi recognizes him and calls him Sou-nii and in return, he too is surprised and recognizes her. I guess it’s enough to make the whole hall go into gossiping mode. And I guess Saku’s whole class is intrigued enough that Saku and Souma have something to do with Mihoshi and unanimously picks Saku as volunteer for handouts. Saku himself wonders who is Souma to Mihoshi and must have been someone during his absence. With Souma around, looks like Mihoshi is ‘shifting’ her attention to him. Yeah, right after the bell rings, she’s seen trying to look for him. At least it takes the attention off Saku but why does he feel lonely and bothered? Aha… Souma later surprises the astronomy club when he announces he’d be their advisor (there was no teacher available all the while). They learn he just returned to town and wishes to see Mihoshi’s dad, a university professor whom he is indebted to. More surprises are in store for the gang when they learn Souma got approval for their club to do a planetarium dome for the upcoming cultural festival. Not to mention a slightly bigger room. Furthermore, there will be a best event competition during that and the top 3 clubs will get their funding increase. Enough for them to buy a much needed telescope. Now there’s a motivation to get started. Later Fumie nervously talks to Saku and wishes for him to help out with the literature club’s publishing works during the summer for their literature magazine. Though he doesn’t have to give an answer nor is it compulsory, after seeing how happy Mihoshi is, Saku mentions he has plans to help other people out, surprising them all.
 
Saku is really regretting why he agreed to help out the literature club. But Mihoshi was like so ecstatic because with Saku helping them out (since the project work is a joint between the literature and astronomy club) it’s like he’s a diplomat for their club. So in episode 7, Saku plans to decline to offer properly. As he faces Fumie, he spots Mihoshi in the background and panics. Yup, he’ll help out. Serious slip of the tongue. Now he can’t back out. Saku starts helping out by giving ideas to enthusiastic Yoshinari and Izumi while the astronomy club members plan on their dome and go buy supplies. At the end of the day, Saku stops by the astronomy club but finds nobody. Then Mihoshi comes in. At first she acts like nothing then suddenly she hugs him like a girlfriend who has never seen her boyfriend in decades. Till she realized what she was done, that is. Souma saw this and misinterprets (on purpose, I guess). Later Souma talks to Saku alone and asks if he loves astronomy and should read up more about it. Everyone works hard to prepare for the festival which is less than a week away. Fumie finds Saku working alone late in the literature club room. She feels something is going on since there’re lots of rumours going about between him, Mihoshi and Souma. They carry on talking about this small town and the likes. Since Saku went on his nostalgic chattering, Fumie asks if he would join the literature club before taking back her words as just a joke. She assures him that he is who he is. When Saku leaves, he sees Hime presenting to him a notebook of their daily progress of the planetarium. After realizing his pals are doing their best and will be waiting for him, he rushes back inside.
 
The cultural festival begins in episode 8 and thanks to Saku returning back to help out the astronomy club, they get to finish the wonderful mini planetarium in time. They even have their own t-shirt design for the festival. The usual hustle and bustle. Hey, there’s a male host club too! Is this allowed?! The astronomy club tries hard to woo people to their planetarium but to no avail. Perhaps they need to reconsider their advertising strategy. Saku’s mom is at the festival and she’s totally in awe and swooning with the theatre club doing some Rose of Versailles act. "Oscar! Oscar!". Haruko also visits the festival and since she has the experience of being a guide, she manages to draw people to the planetarium. All goes well with Mihoshi as the presenter. Edogawa’s cute sisters pay him a visit but are shocked to see him well erm… Let’s say he’s a semi-nude model for anybody who wishes to take a photo shot. Elsewhere, an author praises Fumie’s literature magazine as it is different from her previous years’ work. The festival is soon over and the astronomy club didn’t win the best event competition. It went to the theatre club. Then it’s time to tear down the dome but nobody has the heart to do so and sink into depression. Just then, Fumie barges in with her usual ticking off tone because of the pile of junk cluttered in the hallway which they bought cheaply at the bazaar (including Elizabeth from Gintama?!). After the usual get-your-act-together lecture, Mihoshi gets renewed determination because it’s stargazing season. First up, moon gazing at Sayo’s place. Since they’re sleeping over, I guess Sayo’s dad has every right to get suspicious about the guys. Or maybe he’s just plain weird to begin with. Though they don’t have a telescope, they still enjoy the full moon view (no dirty thoughts here). Then Souma tells the gang they’ve received a video letter from the astronomy club of Nogishiro High School. Its president, Ayumi Oumi, was amazed at their cultural festival and invites them to participate in the Prefecture High School Astronomy Network’s stargazing session that they’re hosting.
 
The gang takes up on the invitation in episode 9 and as usual the surprise of seeing a school much bigger with more facilities than theirs. Their astronomy club members have more members unlike some you can count with your fingers and still have spare. Oumi is a very sporting girl and is very excited to greet her Souei counterparts. She thinks she has met Roma before but the latter says otherwise. While Hime’s wish that no new love rivals would appear may come true, she should also wish that there were no guys hitting on her. Yeah, that polite Musa guy must be getting on Hime’s nerves. The Souei gang get more surprise in their lives to see such a full fledge telescope and a huge congregation of enthusiasts alike which include a pair of girls who have hots for certain stars (the ones in the sky instead of Hollywood hunk celebrities). Oumi wishes for everyone to get along but she’s getting along too well with Saku. How’s holding his arm for a start? Pray hard to the stars that there won’t really be a new love rival, Hime. Everyone is divided into groups for their stargazing activity from which I understand to count the number of stars in a certain area. To me, that’s like counting sand, right? I’m laughing out loud at Edogawa’s group because that shutterbug kid is being grouped with a couple of astronomy photography boys. They’re holding his hands while giving lessons on how to press the switch! It’s so gay! As for Hime, her unlucky fate has Musa in her group. Musa, trying real hard to be a gentleman… Hime, trying real hard to stay away…
 
Before the actual event starts which is around midnight, Oumi has Saku help her out patrolling the area to keep in check ‘unwanted’ activities when they hear a scream coming from inside the building. It seems to be Hime. Due to a misunderstanding, she beat up Musa. He was trying to save her from a falling planet model but in her vision, she sees a perverted monster coming her way. Oumi ticks Musa for being irresponsible while Hime is still feeling frightened from it all. Saku’s words comforted her so Musa thinks he is the person she has a crush on. He gets another beating. The stargazing event soon starts as Oumi mentions that not everyone in her school are astronomy club members as some are here to participate in outing events. Like Musa, who is from the light music club (K-ON! club?). Saku also learns of Oumi’s wish to have everyone to see the stars even if they don’t own a telescope or such and in a way she wants to repay the person who taught her to stargaze (hint: the one which resembles like a zombie). They start the event with Roma narrating the myths and legends of the stars. The next day as Roma and Oumi talk, we learn they were both from the same astronomy club but Roma quit suddenly due to his weak body and Oumi worried about him. As everyone prepares to leave, Edogawa snaps and needs to feed his urge to take girls pics. Well, better leave now.
 
Mihoshi comes back from her Hokkaido trip in episode 10. However, Edogawa and Hime become suspicious when Mihoshi and Souma plan to go out together one day and decide to tail like stalkers, dragging Saku along. I guess they too are curious to see Roma and Oumi together and would want to follow them but seeing that they’re in a train… Then Sayo unwittingly joins the gang on their stalking mission following them around town and finally when their presence is busted, they realize that the duo were visiting Mihoshi’s dad’s grave. It hit Saku that he didn’t even know he passed away. Souma reveals that he died in a car accident back from a stargazing event. Mihoshi apologizes for surprising them. Even though Mihoshi is back to her usual self and cheers them up, Saku still can’t help but feel gloomy. Meanwhile Fumie thinks of giving a bookmark to Saku as a souvenir. No more than that. Ahem, I think not. She’s trying hard to sum up her courage to give it to him but hesitates. Then one evening she gets to speak to Saku but a baseball comes flying their way. Saku saves her but accidentally broker her spectacles. Good news: She looks less intimidating. Bad news: She’s as blind as a bat. It’s like she’s ‘attracted’ into bumping into things.
 
So Saku helps walk her home. At the playground, Saku feels nostalgic during his childhood days spent at this place which he has not visited since his return. Fumie manages to give the bookmark as appreciation for what he did during the festival. Yoshinari and Izumi appear so they take over to guide Fumie home. However Saku has something troubling him and wants them to hear him out. Seems he has got Fumie and the principal to approve a onetime event to cheer up Mihoshi. When Saku’s other pals find out, they too want to help. Mihoshi is back in her room feeling that Saku may still be mad at her when he turns up at her doorstep and brings her to school. At the rooftop, she sees everyone waiting to stargaze with her. Mihoshi is overcome with emotional and starts crying like a child. When that’s over, everyone gathers under the kotatsu as Mihoshi tells Saku that she feels it’s like her dad is still living inside of him and thus did not intentionally wanted to keep his death a secret from him. Then they hold hands while watching the star lit sky as Yoshinari and Izumi are excited about the so called lovey-dovey development and power of love thingy. Till Hime tells them they aren’t dating that really caught them by surprise.
 
The Souei astronomy club members are being invited by the Takami Girl’s School’s counterpart for a winter camp at Nagashiratsuri in episode 11. Except for Roma because he has to study for exams. Plus, I think he’d freeze to death with the weak body he has. Since Hime can’t take the cold and the clothes she is wearing isn’t enough (probably due to her fashion ego), she has trouble settling down. Furthermore, the heater at the camp is being fixed at the moment. That night, she thinks of getting warmer apparel and goes to the nearest convenient store. It isn’t convenient because it is closed and what’s more a blizzard is building up quickly. The rest soon realized that Hime isn’t with them and fears she may have gone out by herself. Mihoshi who earlier on spotted Hime going out by herself, also went out to search for her alone. The situation is too dangerous for the rest to go out for a search as they are stuck in the camp house and hoping for the best. Hime treks her way back in the snow and she’s starting to lose it when she sees Saku coming and hugging her in his worry. But all that was just her hallucination. Weakened, she starts thinking this may be God’s punishment for being a jealous and dishonest girl and reflects upon her life (isn’t that more like her life flashing past before her eyes?). Thankfully out of nowhere suddenly Mihoshi finds her. It’s amazing she’s so energetic. They take refuge in a makeshift snow shelter and chat about things like I’m-your-rival and I-won’t-lose-either. To you know who lah. Then the wind stop as they get out of the shelter to find the blizzard gone. Wow. Such a dense but starry sky! I guess they could use the stars to lead them back. But it is the flashlight of the telescope from the camp (idea from Edogawa’s flashing camera) that guides them back. In the end, everyone’s relief and the usual lecturing for going-out-like-that-when-you-should-know-better-yourself. Finally to Hime’s dismay, she realizes that Mihoshi’s interpretation of rival refers to the best stargazing spot or who could stay out and watch the stars the longest. Yeah, that’s her first love always.
 
The camp continues in episode 12 and I guess the hotspring fanservice in the final episode isn’t too bad. What fanservice? Nothing much lah if you ask me. Edogawa eavesdrops into the girl’s area and their mischievous talk has him thinking that they’re really inviting him to peek. Thankfully Saku restrains the pervert but to their surprise Mihoshi takes a peep at the guys and even suggests washing Saku’s back! Meanwhile Roma is having a hard time with his exams so Oumi takes him out on a date to lift his spirits. And their date wouldn’t be complete without stargazing, wouldn’t it? Back to the camp, the gang are ready to take photos of the night sky with several cameras courtesy from Edogawa’s photography club since the air here is clearer and lacks the city pollution. The usual talk about next year like how the seniors will be gone and the low confidence next-in-line would have to take over or for Souei’s case, would there even be an astronomy club. But cast aside their worries because it’s stargazing time. With an eyepiece belonging to Saku, everyone watches in awe via the telescope, a vision of planet Saturn. Soon it’s spring time and a new term begins. Mihoshi is now the new president of the astronomy club as Roma has passed with flying colours and is currently living his campus life with Oumi. Hime is sticking with the club since she and Saku aren’t in the same class anymore and as for Edogawa, you know why lah. It’s the astronomy club’s first duty to recruit new members to replace Roma and I think Mihoshi is too enthusiastic because she’s wearing a star outfit! Saku has written a publication to better introduce their club. Fumie, who has won re-election for the student council president, takes a look at his writing and is impressed. Yoshinari and Izumi tease that she complimented a paper, making her blush but gets back with usual strict ways with them. Finally, Mihoshi unleashes that flashy tactic she did back in the first episode to recruit members to watch the stars together.
 
Of course if you buy the DVD, you’ll get special clips. About 6 of them, each lasting around 2 minutes or so. Half of them are short extra fillers which won’t be anything conclusive while the remainder are short music clips. The first special, Summer Memories, the Souei gang are returning from their summer camp and are making a stop at a train station. Hime is having problems in deciding what souvenir to get when the train comes. Saku swiftly buys 6 weird key chains before he and Hime manage to get onboard in time. He gives everyone a piece and this makes Hime happy. Elsewhere, Fumie too bought the same key chain. The second special, Meteor Distance, Saku must be in seventh heaven because he gets to read his books as Mihoshi is on a field trip. As expected, she calls him and they talk about the beauty of the night sky and the city lights. However their conversation is cut short when angry Fumie has found her (Mihoshi left a dummy as a decoy?). As for the music specials, they are just recycled clips from the series and the songs mainly reflects on the character who also sings the song like Mihoshi’s Heart Pounding Constellation Meteor Shower and Hime’s Dive To The Sky.
 
So looks like it ends another short series. Not to say that there are lots and overwhelming development. What kind of development? Take the love chemistry for instance. Hime’s not giving up on Saku though she hasn’t really confess her feelings yet. Fumie? It’s because of his passion for books that she sees him on a different view. Since he’s on the astronomy club, she gets an even different perspective. Charming, is he, don’t you think? Or else she may have just lump him with the rest of the astronomy club. Maybe if she really wants him in the literature club, why not change the rules and allow one to join multiple clubs? Then Edogawa don’t have to be an ‘immigrant’ too. What about Mihoshi? We all know her first love will always be the stars but that part whereby she hugged Saku in her reflex, was it she was just missing him or some deep inner feelings she never knew? Glad to see Roma and Oumi going steady, though. Nice guy Souma’s presence seems lacking in impact as the series reaches the end. He made a little stir when he first appeared but other than knowing Mihoshi before, that’s so much about it. I wonder if Haruko has a thing for him since she introduced herself to him with sparkling eyes during the cultural festival.
 
Though the art and drawing is your typical today’s standard Japanese anime, one thing I need to say though is how the stars of the night sky are beautifully drawn. I know it doesn’t beat watching the real thing but it was still awesome and magnificent enough to make me go "Ooohh…" and "Ahhh…". The visual representation of the constellations are nicely rendered too. The opening theme by Sphere is Super Noisy Nova and sounds like an upbeat Japanese anime pop song. If you’re the person who skips opening credits then you’ll miss the title because that’s where it is after several seconds into the song. The ending theme is Hoshikuzu No Surround by CooRie. If you are familiar with her style of singing then you can easily identify with her slow pop piece here. The special ending theme for episode 4 also by CooRie, Yami Ni Saku Hoshi No You Ni, is a slow ballad.
 
Till this day, I still couldn’t see how joining a few dots here and there would conjure a picture of a certain constellation. I guess you must have a damn good imagination to do so. I too have my own interpretations. For instance, if I wasn’t being told that star was Orion’s Belt, that set of stars would look like a lobster to me! And the Big Dipper looked like a petrol pump! Need I go on? I’m sure there are basics on how you connect the stars together. Me, I’m just lost. I wonder if I can name a few stars of my own if I just simply connect. Yeah, even discover a new constellation. Dream on.
 
If the anime series Sola made me appreciate the bright clear blue sky, then this series made me appreciate the starry night sky. It’s been a long time since I’ve stopped and take a real look at them. But I can’t still see much since you know, city pollution gets in the way. But I do remember seeing such beautiful stars during my childhood and thinking back just made me realize how insignificant we are. The universe is vast, scary and unknown but yet mystifying and so captivating at the same time. I may not have any interests in stargazing or stuffs related to astronomy (heck, not even the horoscope – don’t even read that section in the newspapers) but this series made me take a little breather and break from continuously watching the idiot box filled with 2D animation. Hmm… Since it’s a little cloudy today, I guess that’s over with and back to my usual programme routine. :)
 

Sora No Manimani