A Memorable Sky

Cuteness doesn't go far.

It’s not just about Manabi Straight anymore, honest!

The realization came when watching Sola 7 – the show has changed from that mysterious lukewarm eroge-anime-wannabe to …well, a more memorable eroge-anime-wannabe. Realizing the show has “gotten good” it sort of poked me into thinking about how it did so.

But first, it wasn’t so much the show has gotten good, but rather that it has gotten somewhere. Sola is still a show cloaked in mystery and they managed to reveal as little as possible without making it like Higurashi. But what’s great about Sola in the first place is that it isn’t the mystery that is driving the viewers, but the characters and their unsettling relationships. It’s not the same as how NHK ni Yokoso is memorable because that’s just shock and “interesting social issue.” It’s not the same as how Paprika is memorable by being “very pretty and thought provoking.” It’s not even like how Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo was memorable as charming and moving. Sola is memorable because it is “unexpectedly charming” and “cute.”

And I don’t know about you, “cute” doesn’t go far for a redeeming trait for an anime. It’s almost a genre definition. To be honest I don’t know what would go far, as people find different things to be remarkable and memorable. But one thing that makes memorable is something that echo with the audience’s experiences in a visceral way. Like FLCL’s first episode.

Uninstall is a good example of being memorable in the short-term through something more visceral.

To be fair, Sola is still in limbo: it’s going places but where will we end up when we get off the bus? Will we roll out of a train wreck or get high like a cable car up Hakodate? And that’s the other sort of impression, the one a lot of us like: impression through superior story and theme.

One Response to “A Memorable Sky”

  • dm

    Sola was always good, you just didn’t trust it?

    Since this doesn’t have game-fans it needs to pander to, this series can capture what’s good about the bishoujo genre (romance and melancholy) without bringing what’s bad (the need to do a forced-march through all the game paths, so each characters’ fans are appeased (or at least mollified)).

    Episode 7 did give it a nudge it might have needed to avoid becoming treacly (though the flashbacks in episode six, and their implications, may have been sufficient for that). There’s mystery and puzzle to keep you watching to see what’s next, and the characters are (mostly) appealing enough that you want to spend time with them.

    Even more than the glass at the end was the news that Mayuko has been with Matsuri for a month or more.

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