8.11.2008

Someday Dreamers: Natsu no Sora

Third installment in the Someday Dreamers universe, Mahou Tsukai no Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora (Someday Dreamers: Summer Sky), follows your basic "Someday Dreamers" plot. After reaching a specific age, one of magic descent leaves home to train via the Bureau of Magic, and live in-house with mentor and full-fledged mage learning the ropes and fulfilling individual client requests. In "Natsu no Sora," Suzuki Sora, a just turned 16-year-old country girl from Hokkaido sets to leave for Tokyo for her mage training. There she meets several other hopefuls along with Midorikawa Gouta, a young boy who just recently found out he's of mage descent. "Natsu no Sora" triumphs where its predecessors faltered a bit - and that is with story telling and, more importantly in this case, in its visuals.

When talking about "Natsu no Sora" or even when watching it for the first time, I guarantee the first aspect of the series to be brought up is its visuals. It achieves in high respects with its absolutely realistic and stunning background visuals that have you questioning what's real and what's rendered. I can only guess the backgrounds are made of a mixture of real use of photography and CG rendered work. The backdrops remind me of the work we normally see from Makoto Shinkai including "5 centimeters per second" and "A Day Promised in our Early Days," and in the ranks of "Denno Coil." The actual animation (non-background elements), on the other hand, is very simplistic and clean. That fact alone has brought in some differing views - like HAL Film production spent much of its focus on the background and skimped out on the actual animation. But I have to say that the simplistic animation kind of counter-balances the real-life background. It had a old-school kind of feel, sort of Studio Ghibli-esque a la "Only Yesterday" and "Whisper of the Heart." It makes for a nice artistic aesthetic in my opinion.

VA work is on point and OP/ED as well as other music tracks dispersed throughout the series are appropriately melodic and lyrical. "Natsu no Sora" has got me curious and has made it on my watch list. Now if only I didn't have to wait for the next episode to air.

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

speaking of animation, you should check out YEAR OF THE FISH! it's so beautiful & the rotoscoping is really cool!

here: http://www.yearofthefish.com/