Monday, March 02, 2009

Sora Kakeru Shoujo Episodes 1-3

A rare moment of quiet in this series

Girl on girl mech battles

Service cleavage? check.

Honoka, the bipolar telekinetic girl in a cat hood everyone loves to love

Itsuki, the angry archetypical cop

Oh yeah, Akiha also has weird dreams in a jazz club with a woman that looks just like her

Leopard Lamperouge

and a random cute shot until I realized that the potato-bot was saying they were eating potatoes, mecha-cannibalism! O_o

I have to admit, when I first started watching ep 1 of this yesterday I was confused as all get out about the premise because they start off with something that seems pretty grounded and then it gets ultra-convoluted very quickly. Akiha is the third daughter of the Shishidou family and her sister Kazane, who is the eldest sister, is trying to force her into an arranged marriage. Though I was well aware this was set in the future by the fact that she has a potato-robot maid who is also her best friend, when it gets to the point of the colonies and ICP (not insane clown posse, ugh, in case you were wondering) and loads of "old era" debris floating in space I thought maybe it was going to turn into time travelling or something. So it turns out that Akiha meets an "AI Colony" named Leopard, whose seiyuu is the same as Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass (it was weird to hear him be so "wacky") and along with him we're introduced to Honoka, a girl who is in some way connected to Leopard and has telekinetic abilities. Akiha ends up helping Leopard, and thus our story begins in earnest.

Throughout the next two episodes things become slightly more transparent, ICP is a police force in the colonies, of which Kannagi Itsuki -- your anime hot-blooded tough as nails woman that's bad at social graces archetype -- ends up going undercover at Akiha's school to investigate her and why the ICP is trying cover up the whole Leopard thing. Honoka ends up at Akiha's school as well to try and get her to help Leopard some more. There's a mech battle that spills from ep 2 into 3 after Honoka convinces Akiha to "borrow" some golden energy orbs (balls) from a nearby colony and we have a fanservice moment with both of them being stuffed into cleavagey suits to operate their mechs, called QT-Arms.

So far Sorakake is a pretty action-packed series. After watching a lot of Gundam 00 it seemed a little wacky, but I think that's like eating a handful of salty potato chips and then drinking a glass of Kool-Aid. Naturally you're going to say that the Kool-Aid isn't sweet enough after eating all of that salt, wow that was a really bad analogy. Anyway, I think if I go back to it for episode 4 I'll appreciate it more. Not that I don't now, it's a really entertaining series of which there is no shortage of gimmicks. I like the idea of the jagaimo(potato)-bots, the colony thing seems like it's going somewhere, the mechs are kinda cool, and Akiha seems vaguely original in that she's not explosively tsundere or too cutesy. It's also one of the few shows that isn't based on a pre-existing manga that I actually like (*retch* Wolf's Rain). I just wish they'd refrain from making a manga series around the anime after the fact, those always seem to turn out horribly. Oh yeah, and I'm happy that this didn't turn out with Akiha's escaping the arranged marriage thing being a major plot point so it ended up being Inuyasha in space or something...

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