I just recently finished sola and I wanted to start off by saying that I am very strange in what interests me in an anime and instantly, from the first episode, I knew that I would love sola. The song in the introduction of the first episode caught at my soul and moved my heart and I also have a personal attachment to taking pictures of the sky and my digital camera, which is what the main character in this anime is like, of course he doesn't quite understand why he is obsessed with the sky, but there is a deep and wonderful meaning behind it.
The anime, as I said, for me, had an awesome introduction, the music, the setting, the mystery of the night, the going to take pictures of the sunset and all that was beautiful, but I also loved how normal and cute the main girl character came off as when the main character first met her. She was not remarkable or amazing (although beautiful, one of the most beautiful I have seen), but she was very cute and charming and he instantly adored her as so many people would have.
The anime does go a bit slow from there and moves from the main characters a bit, going into parts of their stories, but I really enjoyed the weird flashbacks they threw in there because they were extremely interesting and made you really want to know what had happened in the past, so when the anime did slow down a lot, it could keep you going for a bit.
The anime is very serious at some parts and also very mature and what some people would consider slow in action, was just the blossoming relationship between the main characters, which, to someone watching this kind of romantic and supernatural anime would expect. There are very cute scenes between the main character and the girl, Matsuri and as the title says, it is very focused at the sky and Matsuri's power/ailment/curse is quite awesome in my opinion, I just wished she had used it more.
I really enjoyed the turn it took with the main character's sister, Aono and her history and just her in general. She was insane, but that's what I like in anime girls and she was fiercely loyal and loving, which is awesome.
The art was really wonderful, in my opinion! I adored how they were drawn and Matsuri, especially, is one of the most beautiful anime girls I have ever seen. I enjoyed how Aono and Matsuri were both very unique and splendid looking, but the main character and his normal friends were generally normal looking, since they were somewhat normal people. The main character's best friend, Mana, was also very enjoyable, unlike her part in many other animes when she is just in love with the guy and depressed all the time, but a tomboy, this time she had personality and caring and she was smart and curious! The settings were beautiful and the time that the main character and Matsuri did spend together was basically magical, in my opinion and the way it was animated gave off this unrivaled feeling of wonder and love.
I always enjoy when in anime, people have normal responses to things and can act all sneaky and weird about things - example, the friend, Mana, thinks someone is at the main character's house, so she gets him out of it and then goes snooping! Normalcy!
The turn that the anime takes is very unique and the true story behind who you think is bad and good and everything else is also very interesting. The fights were fun to watch, even though not enough of them, in my opinion and I overall really loved this anime.
Let’s check off the things that annoy me, shall we?
~ A world where kids conveniently don’t have parents. Because that would mean the writers would actually have to be skilful enough to write stories including them. The only featured adult in the whole story is obviously a hindrance to everyone, except midway when he suddenly becomes every male pervert's role model.
~ Girls that fawn over one witless guy who doesn’t deserve any of them. They fight to the death over him, but why should we care? Why should we be invested in any of this if we cant understand why anyone would want him in the first place? He is completely and utterly undeserving of it all, and it renders everyone's actions perplexing. Well, not so much perplexing as it is tiresome to watch this anime go through every cliché in the book to appease undemanding 'fans' of the genre.
~ Main protagonist boy who is an empty cipher throughout the entire story. A complete plank of wood with no personality and no discerning features other than his hobby of taking photos of clouds. This is not 'characterization', its an excuse to make him look interesting. He is in actual fact no different than a million other one-note protagonists of this genre. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that the main characters of these stories are usually ciphers, rather than fully fleshed out and interesting people. Because it makes it easier for male viewers to project themselves onto the character. How sad.
~ Girl character who is treated like a wayward sexual pet by guy. At least Elfen Lied had the decency to make the female character a bloodthirsty psychopath.
~ Boring characters. Every single one of them. Except for maybe the little girl in the green dress, she had a nice attitude.
This anime panders to all the moe-loving adult perverts and too-young-to-have-developed-decent-taste youth. Sola's great animation and brief flashes of what could have been an interesting tale are let down by all of the above. There was potential here; to explore people that can never live in the sun, the affects of immortality in a child's body, but the producers were more interested in filling a quota than in story and character. Some of these characters are supposed to be more than a hundred years old yet they still act like brats. Thats because logic is thrown out of the window in sola, because the characters are designed for viewers tastes.
Japan's most popular anime of 2007? Depressing.
Don’t downgrade this review because it’s negative. Downgrade it because you've yet to grow out of this genre and realise that this anime is the equivalent of a McDonalds happy meal: planned by a committee, packaged prettily but ultimately tacky, cynically driven and bad for you.read more
As the title implies, this Romance, Drama is heavily themed on the sky (sola), which is definitely different than the usual anime but that may not always be a good thing. It’s quite interesting how something we take for granted like the sky can be such a treasure to other’s but it’s irritating that the bulk of the story has something to do about the sky.
The other main focus of the show is on the blossoming romantic relationship between the two main characters; Yorito is an average guy who’s obsessed with taking photos of the sky and Matsuri, she’s the “special girl” usually found in these types of anime. This type of set-up has been done many times before and compared to other masterpieces, Sola just seems average. With such a dull premise, a lack of action and unanswered questions it’s easy to lose interest in this show. At least as the story begins to develop all of these issues become a thing of the past and the show ends up being good to watch.
This anime ends up doing a not-so-good job in the character department, with the same 7 characters throughout the series. The characters are really average and have the sort of personalities that have been seen many times by an anime fan. On the other hand the show does manage to surprise us with some interesting developments on Yorito (male protagonist). The only other interesting characters in this anime are Matsuri and Yorito’s so called sister Aono because of the mystery that shrouds them and they’re the only ones that are developed well, throughout the series.
The visual quality of this animation is definitely above average with this anime embracing various new animation techniques and styles. Just like the title implies, a lot of detail was put into the skies, clouds and lighting effects. Even the water looks superb, yet it’s a shame that some of this effort wasn’t put into adding more dynamic characters to the screen.
The music was decent with a unique blend of piano, string and harp melodies as background music. It is certainly suited to the calm and dramatic nature of this anime however it did little to add excitement, on the rare occasions of an action scene.
Overall this anime closely resembles “Lunar Legend Tsukihime”, in the sense that both shows revolve around two mysterious girls romantically involved with the male protagonist, who’s unsure of himself. Both shows have the same sort of pace as they start of slow but then finish quick. As a Romance Drama Sola does a decent job in both departments but it was only halfway into the short series that it really kicks in, with shocking character developments and intense fights. The show ended well with the final dramatic confrontation and happy-sad ending, so I only recommend this anime to fans of romance and drama but not for the action lover.
It was kind of boring at first, because after the first episode, nothing interesting really happened. It did get better during the middle, then better turned weird, but it wasn’t that bad. Let’s just say it has something to do with paper. A lot of paper.
Characters are really weird. First you have Yorito – someone completely obsessed with the sky. I don’t even know why he’s that obsessed. Then there’s Matsuri, who surprisingly, is kinda ecchi in her own way. Aono – you either love or hate her. She’s naturally funny, but towards the end, you just might hate her. Mayuko, the gothic Lolita, is kinda tsundere, and Takeshi, the guy who’s always with her, I just don’t get him at all. His personality changes all of a sudden during the second half. Mana’s actually pretty insignificant.
I’m a bit surprised that Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu are both in Sola, and once again, they’re playing close friends. Mai Nakahara plays Aono Morimiya, while Ai Shimizu plays Koyori Ishizuki. Mai Nakahara does not sound like her usual, cheerful self though. This is probably my least favorite out of all the characters she played, since Aono lacked emotion in her words. In fact, it was the same for almost all the characters. I just didn’t feel their presence.
Animation is pretty good. The backgrounds are really nicely drawn, and I like the incorporation of real images with the animation. My only problem is the character design. The characters look really skinny – I know this is common in most anime, but their faces are really skinny. The characters tend to look old because of that, especially Yorito.
The opening and ending themes were really nice. I like how mellow and soft the songs were, especially the ending theme, titled appropriately as “mellow melody”. The opening theme, “Colorless Wind” wasn’t bad either. In fact, I think it’s nicely done. I love the strings in the beginning, and how it really fits the story of Sola.I do have a problem with the BGM, because during the beginning of the series, the BGM used didn't really fit the scenes. I did like the BGM tracks that were variations/instrumental versions of the opening and ending themes.
It was a good attempt – it had a nice plot but again, it’s the fault of bad execution. The story was a bit hurried once again, that the important details/events felt like they were lacking something. I find myself getting surprised now and then, but not because it was shocking. It’s more of like “Oh, why is she there?” or “How did that happen again?” I just might rewatch it, not because I liked it enough to watch it again, but because to understand it better. Maybe by then, I’ll like it more.read more
Animes are seperated into 3 categories: good, bad and exceptional. Sola belongs in the exceptional range, with the likes of Elfen Lied, eureka 7, Samurai Champloo, School Rumble etc..
This is definitely the series strongest point. Although it starts of slower then most animes but picks up quickly.The story is interesting and is very "deep", tackling many subjects such as existence, isolation and other. The story also makes effective use of symbolism and foreshadow, such as the sky, the night which the audience may not recognize at first but will realize along the series. Its these attention to details and little things that make the story exceptional.
It is also worth noting that this series has one of the best endings ever, it is not a generic "happily ever after ending" which has been done to death, not much more can be said without spoiling the story, however the ending does not leave the audience feeling sad or "empty" as it wraps up all its loose ends and reveals everything to the audience.
The art is great, the action scenes are beautifully choreographed. However, my only gripe is that all the characters had a very triangular chin, which i can't stand.
Voice acting is wonderful, especially the voices of matsuri and Aono. The theme music employs a light piano melody, which isn't spectacular by itself, but when combined with the animation onscreen, it really comes alive.
Characters in Sola may seem empty and lifeless at first, however once the audience watches the entire series, this will be explained and the audience will realize what a fantasic job the directors have done. Character design is also exceptional, especially Aono and Matsuri
Overall, Sola is something truly beautiful. It is hard to tell you how so without revealing the plot but I am 100% sure anybody who watches this series will be deeply touched by it's wonder story. read more
As with any new review of mine, there is generally a TL;DR part at the end with a basic summary of the positives and negatives.
Ah… Sola, what a wonderful show. I had quite a bit of fun with this one, it kept me hooked enough to finish in two days. It would have been one if I didn’t exercise self-restraint, but I did, so it ended up being two days. One thing that really surprised me about this show was how mature it was handled, especially in the Romance aspect. It was well done, and a very believable romance. The show itself knows what it’s trying to be, and together that allows a truly great story to be told.
There is just one problem. It’s not a problem for me, but it will be for some others. Sola is not a fast paced show. There are a few action scenes, and they are quite well done too, but it does have a rather slow/relaxed plot pace, mainly at the beginning. It’s a show that brings out its story not through large action scenes and complicated plots twists, but through the actions of the characters, their dialogues and the way they handle the situation.
If you cannot sit through at least two episodes of no action, and only talking and character development, this is not your cup of tea, and you will most certainly not like this show, or at least it will dampen your overall thoughts of it. I will repeat again when I say, it is not a fast paced show.
Story - 9/10
The story of Sola revolves around 3 main characters (technically it has seven prominent characters, but in terms of development and plot, they are not as important, and they are not main charecters), Matsuri Shihou, Yorito Morimiya and his sister, Aono Morimiyam, and the various mysterious circumstances surrounding the three. Yorito is in school, Aono, his sister in the hospitalized and Matsuri, they mysterious girl he meets at a vending machine while taking pictures of the sky. But not all is as it seems. Why does Matsuri disappear and reappear, having a great yearning to see the sky? Why is she only outside when it’s raining and dull? Why is Yorito’s sister hospitalized, why does she always have the curtains drawn closed in her hospital room? What about Yorito, he seems ordinary enough, but is there some hidden mystery to him?
These questions are ones that will rattle around your head when the show progresses and goes on, as it slowly goes on to explain them all. Looks can be deceiving, memories can be misleading and not everything is as it seems. Another thing I really pride the story on is the fact that even though the plot is not that big, in 13 episodes, the show felt complete. It ended, and it didn’t leave any strings attached, it didn’t leave some mystery unsolved, some plot element in-complete, and THAT is something that I see few shows doing. It was well paced, well written, and most of all, it was executed very nicely.
Art & Sound – 8/10
The art of Sola certainly was a pleasure to see, especially the really beautiful, but simple picture of the sky that Yorito took. I really liked the background, and for a show that takes place in a fairly dim environment, the colors used really brought out the scenes. It didn’t leave out anything in the action scenes either. For a show that is not about large-scale, action packed battles, the animation for them were done really well. Props to the studio. Since it’s a Drama & Romance show, they could have easily not animated the scenes as long or as good, but they took the effort to do so, and I appreciate that.
The sound was fairly well done as well, a bit above average, the opening and ending were nice enough, but nothing to write home about. The BGM (background music) was decent, and it fit the scene when it was played. There are one or two stand out tracks I really enjoyed, but overall, it was a decent set of tracks.
Characters – 9/10
Another thing I loved about Sola was the characters. While Yorito might seem a bit plain, he is still an interesting character. Not as interesting as Aono and Matsuri, but still interesting. He’s simply a high school student who loves taking pictures of the sky, and can see a world of things in a simple picture of the sky, whereas others simply see clouds…… Either he’s got an artistic mind, or he’s hallucinating… Just joking, I actually liked that artistic part of him. It’s not a usual hobby, but it is a perfectly plausible one. The romantic & character development of all the characters are very well done, but I especially liked the development he went through, especially after a certain plot element was revealed.
Masturi and Aono are both two very interesting characters. They both know each other, but Yoirito doesn’t know Matsuri at the beginning. This gives them both an air of mystery surrounding them. I don’t want to give too much out as that will spoil the plot a bit, but I never felt that at any time their actions were unwarranted. They are very believed and understandable characters.
The other 4 are sadly not explored that in detail. It's a shame as they were a little bit interesting. It is for this reason I will just lightly mention their names. Mana Ishizuki, Koyori Ishizuki, Mayuko Kamikawa and Takeshi Tsujidou. I felt they needed more development, but it was shelved so we could focus more on the main. That's both good and bad, but I was annoyed how we didn't get good character development for them. This is one of the negatives, and almost brought the character score down to 8, but I decided to give it a 9. We do get a bit of back-story on Mayuko and Takeshi, but still, much more could have been done.
Overall though, the interactions were handled really well between the characters, and the drama was nice, without ever giving you the feeling it was trying to be melodramatic. It did not try to force you to feel emotions using melodrama (You know, lots of teary scenes, screaming fits, deliberately butchering characters to make you feel sad) like several shows try to do (These are not necessarily Drama shows, but that’s not the point.) The characters handled themselves maturely, the romance was done well, and the characters felt like individuals, their own people, and not stereotypes or cookie cutter figures.
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10
Sound – 8/10
Characters – 9/10
Enjoyment – 10/10
Overall (Average of Above) - 8.8/10
Pros and Cons:
+Great Character Development (For the main three characters)
+Interesting/Well Rounded & Believable Characters
+Good Romance Subplot
+Enjoyable, but simple animation.
-A bit show paced. Not a negative for me, but not everyone's cup of tea.
-Not that much action - Same as above, No problems for me, but that's a personal opinion.
-Lackluster Character Development for side Characters
-Forgettable Opening and Ending (I'm really nitpicking at this point).
Overall, a great show, BUT not for everyone. If you cannot stand a slow pace, especially at the beginning, and need action every episode or two to keep you going, you will mostly likely not like this show. If your not a fan of Drama, Romance or Supernatural, this show will most likely not interest you. Regardless of that, give it a go. You might even end up liking it. :) read more
Characters designed by Naru Nanao, Check
One of the writers from Kanon the game, Check
Charming slow paced romance, Check
Mamiko Noto playing an energetic, rain loving, zettai ryouki wielding character, Check!
Perfectly consistent and plot-hole free?...ok, I guess not
I guess I’ll start with my complaints with the series. Sola started very slowly with an almost slice of life feel. The premise is quite typical of the romance genre. You have your typical boy meets interesting girl and both fall in love. The way the characters interacted was very charming as well as having an overall happy mood with a sense of sadness/intrigue in the backgrounds. That intrigue comes from the fantasy elements, in particular, yakas. This isn’t what bothered me, in fact I liked the inclusion of fantasy elements, its just that Sola doesn’t know what it wants to do. First we have the nice calming slice of life aspect, which characterizes the beginning of the series. However, the 2nd half, was dominated by the fantasy/action elements, which was distinctly different and will probably alienate those initially watched Sola for the slice of life aspect. While this was a perfectly normal setup the transition wasn’t very smooth. How else can I easily categorize this anime into 2 distinct parts, first half and 2nd half?
Also, I felt that quite a few characters were neglected. Mana and Koyori really felt like token friends and didn’t contribute much after the 1st half. This was quite a shame as I much rather liked Mana, unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) she was a perfectly normal person. Takeshi and Mayuko in the end fell in to a smaller and smaller role, especially when their background was explained. In addition, there were several aspects that I felt they should have really expanded on/explained. For example, the sword that Takashi wielded. Even worst there were a few character inconsistencies especially near the end, something I won’t delve into as to avoid spoilers. In general, I thought the writing was weak.
Structure-wise, once again had a poor transition between the 1st half and the 2nd half. Also, I really hated that fact that they explained so much near the end. While we can infer most of what happened, I felt that it could have been better if they simply told us what happened earlier. I must admit that it was quite interesting to discover the source of conflict juxtaposed with the falling action during the 2nd to last episode.
Ok enough of the bad…
During the first half the way the characters interacted was quite charming. In particular, I loved the exchanges between Matsuri and Yorito. Their growing love for each other was nice to watch. In addition, there are scenes of immense beauty and serenity. The 2nd half, the story started to hit and when it hit, it really went. Each episode was fast paced and exciting. Also, they torture the viewer each week with a cliffhanger, this is something that should be marathoned. Not only should it be marathoned for the painful cliffhangers, it should be marathoned due to the fact that Sola breaks down under scrutiny, as evident of the above paragraphs. However, what made me rate this an 8 is that when I was watching I was quite entertained. I just wished that I had watched it when the series had ended instead of watching weekly.
As for the technical aspects, there isn’t much to talk about. The music was very serene and overall quite nice. VA work in particular was very good, especially Matsuri and Aono. Although, I wasn’t really fond of Yorito’s VA, everyone else was pretty good. Animation-wise was above average and featured some nice fight scenes and beautiful scenery. While I love Naru Nanao’s artwork I felt that Sola didn’t do as good a job with converting CG art to anime art. Where as I though Da Capo and ef ~A Tale of Memories~ did a much better job.
In the end Sola probably won’t stick with me for a very long time, I hate to say it but it was a bit forgettable. Also, there were a few problems with the structure and the story itself as well as consistency. However, that won’t change the fact that when I was very entertained when watching. Just remember to marathon the series. read more
If you are looking for just something where you need to chill, you've come to the right place.
Sola just has this calming feeling. It moves rather slowly for just 13 episodes. I was expecting it to fly by but no, it progressed slowly allowing us to get to know the characters very well before the grand finale.
The art is amazing, I loved the way Aono looked. It makes sense how the characters would react, and the flashbacks want to make you know more.
If this was any longer it would be boring. Just saying.
I give this a 10 because of...
Sola is an anime that will have you wondering until the end.
Watching Sola is retty relaxing for the most part but don't get fooled by the first 20 minutes, this is not a slice of life but rather a supernatural with the pacing of a romance. By pacing of a romance I mean it's kinda slow but in the end it all comes together.. or does it? This anime will sometimes tell the plot through flashbacks and have it explained later through dialogue between certain characters.
Sola has some confusing story bits scattered throughout all the episode which I can't mention a single bit of the story without spoilers other than the main character likes to take pictures of the sky and visits his sister in the hospital frequently.
There isn't a whole lot of characters in Sola, but because of this, the characters are easier to remember. The side characters take larger roles than expected. The side characters actually help the story move forward without even knowing what's going on.
There is action in Sola but not enough to fit under the "action" genre.
The soundtrack is really relaxing. The art is good and it has an older look but the environment looks really nice.
Sola has 13 episodes and 2 specials. The 2 specials don't really add to the ending but more like extra episodes. The 1st special is somewhere in the middle of the story and the 2nd special is right before the first episode.
I don't have much else to say other than "I like it."read more
Ranged from love triangle , fantasy , mystery and even Existential theme
At First I did not believe but later on after I watched this anime without bias like someone here
I've found that Sola deserve it's place for the best 2007 anime (Well , I wish Higurashi-Kai were 2nd)
Before I seriously watch series anime , I did watch a lot of movie both Hollywood/popular ones and (So-called) Arthouse/Indie ones. I watched many Asian drama/romance some are boring as hell but some has it's value as good spiritualizers. And one of the directors I like best is Shunji Iwai who've made splendid All About Lily Chou-Chou , Picnic , Love Letter (renamed as "When I close my eyes" in US)
What do they have to do with Sola?
I'm going to say that Sola could match any Japanese Drama/Romance movies and even better than some. For more as drama/romance movie-watcher I know that the Characterization will not be the same as action (movie or anime) which they should make it obvious to make the story on with action and focus on character personality only to move on and on. But Drama/Romance ones are to make their personality more ambiguious. Still someones might find that "Oh! they lack of personality" just because they're unable to cope with ambiguity.
Sola has Love-Triangle theme BUT it's UNCONVENTIONAL ONE! Many may found that it's absurd for some fighting scene. But if you've read a little of japanese culture or literature you'll know that fighting is something more than competition, it's something more meaningful than "Oh! I'm going to kick yer asses hard!" like in some action anime.
And , seriously , how can you said that girl characters are sexual pet in this anime? Haven't you watch the scene where Matsuri get close to Yorito first (and...kiss). Don't you see how Aono is manipulative in both apparent and deeper ways. Every! I really mean Every! girls in this anime have power over men characters. Mana , Yorito's close friend , do not fall in love with him like in many other conventional romantic anime (or even some movie) and she tried so hard to manage things around her to be in appropriate way.
Adding that , I recommended Sola for a woman who have been working for Gender Issue. And she said she like it!
Will you still want to act like a Pseudo-Feminist and ween "Oh! why hero get all girl" like a crybaby? It's you who need to grow up.
And for character , the best character for this anime , surprisingly it's Matsuri. She may seem like Everygirl character but that's when you judged her from "Action anime Characterization". Matsuri is common in personality and yet more real (Well I'm talking about personality so exclude her speciality) . She acts cute as many real girls do (not overact) .She is not too innocent and yet not too teasing , she express innocent appropriately I mean she's not forced to do.
Haven't you ever appreciated scenes when Yorito and Matsuri were together?
They are very simple romantic scenes that I even recall some in my real life. They're simple yet heart-warming and wonderful.
Still this anime add humanistic value to it. There will be a moment when you dislike some characters and later on you sympathize them. Some characters seem to have conflict , but later on you'll know that how much they want to be closed together like before. This anime portray human's tragedy without being (needlessly) sophisicated.
Music is one of the most important things that make Sola Atmospheric , apart from it's splendid background. But the flaw is Character Design which make some character less charming.
In later Episodes of the anime , where all breezy scene in first half ep. has been blown away , the story tend to get more focused about meaning of life and death. It may not portray this issue as more intense or intellectualized one. But still it move our heart. Existential theme is nothing new , but I appreciate how they fit this theme into the story without ruining it's Drama/Romance approach.
Do not let moe-moe appearance fool you.
Sola deserve more than average Romantic anime. It has no harem , no fanservice , free from sex appeal , innocent and yet brilliant
Finally , many of Sola scenes make me feel the similar way I feel for Shunji Iwai's movie. Feeling that is deep and hard to explain.
If you want shallow existantial story without soul ... go awayread more
If I asked you to name an anime from 2007 off the top of your head, I would be amazed if you came up with Sola out of the 200-odd possible choices, but in a 2007 poll, Sola was voted the best anime of the year. It has since been relegated to a lowly 915th place on this esteemed website's rankings (which is short-hand for forgettable and not worth watching. The more discerning of you may conclude that that is why I have chosen to do my first review on it, and you would be correct in your conclusion, as I know that the chances of this review being equally forgettable are high). Has there really been that much good anime since then, or was it merely audience-pleasing at the time, and now considered generic and dull? Or is its low ranking unfair and does it deserve to be upheld as a shining example of a much maligned genre? (Well, no; I won't mislead you that much, it's no masterpiece).
Well, I say we tackle the negatives first, because I'm a 'glass-half-empty' type (figuratively- in the literal sense, I'm more a 'drain the glass, refill it, drain, continue ad nauseam [literally]' type) and I love looking for faults in things- firstly, it probably hasn't helped that the characters and plot have been reused countless times after this came out. I don't know if they were clichéd at the time of release, but they sure are now, which limits the enjoyment of both. Calling them 'plagiarised' would be going too far, but a few of them could be described as generic and unoriginal.
Secondly, the plot is really quite slow-paced, despite the occasional fight scene which is obviously (some might say clumsily) trying to attract the viewer's interest and make them feel that something is happening. In fact, you can't help but get the opposite impression- that not much is happening, if anything at all. And when things do start happening, they're weird and, saying this as quietly as possible, similar to Air (which was made in 2005). So far, we've got elements of unoriginality and clichés. Time to go look for some redeeming features...
Unlike many anime, Sola does have genuine merit on the art and sound front, it's extremely well done (for its time; animation techniques have improved noticeably since then). The opening music is catchy enough that it will stick in your memory, and you might find yourself humming it if you are engaged in particularly repetitive manual labour or studying (or that might be just me, which would be awkward). And you can't really hum the chorus as some of the notes are too high, but we'll ignore that. Also, the characters aren't all tediously unoriginal, and there are some very funny moments in the series, despite the genre. I'm still laughing at some of the jokes weeks later, much to the concern of those in physical proximity to me when I start laughing for no apparent reason.
It is also a short series, at thirteen episodes; whereas too many episodes can kill a series through repetitiveness, I think too few can strangle it just as surely through lack of exposure to any sort of publicity that can keep it in the spotlight, and I reckon that's what happened to Sola. I personally have a preference for short series like this, so if you're like me and don't want to watch the same stuff over and over again, then Sola is a good option.
Pour conclure, I haven't told you anything which will swing your opinion one way or another. If you hate romance/fantasy anime or people taking pictures of the sky or assaulting vending machines and household appliances, then Sola is very clearly not for you, as it features all of these quite heavily. If you live in England and would like to see a blue sky for the first time in about eight months, then you might want to watch this, because staring out of the window isn't going to help, and of course, if you do like romance/fantasy/vending machine killing anime, then this is obviously an anime which has been aimed specifically at your particular niche, and you will be in heaven, as someone has finally catered to your needs. If you do find yourself in one of these situations, then I am very happy for you. If you are undecided, watch the first two episodes, and you should have an opinion one way or another.
Happy anime-watching!read more
I haven't written a review of an anime before, but this show both moved me, and made me feel things I wasn't expecting to feel. Maybe I'm just a sucker for romance, but right from the first episode, I felt Sola was something wonderful and different.
The story is a really sweet and beautiful one with the blossoming romance of two of the main characters. The beginning is slow. It helped to build the characters as who they are in the present and helps the watcher (you) get attached to them. This slow start may have the unfortunate side-effect of turning away those who go into it more casually, as the story doesn't pick up until about episode 5 and even then, slowly. The second half, however, has action and drama and backstory... and confusion. Everything makes sense on the surface, but if you look deeper, some things are just never explained. Sola has very well written characters, but stumbles a little in world building. The focal character changes in the last 2 or 3 episodes to add to a mysterious tone and for story reasons, but I personally was not fond of that
The art in Sola is wonderful. Which is to be expected when the characters and story find the beauty of the sky so important. I wasn't a fan of the actual photography that is prevalent in the ending credits, but I understand it's use. The action scenes are gorgeous and the character kept moving through space during it. In some anime, as soon as the battle is in the air, they just seem to float there when they fight. Sola doesn't have that, and that was very nice to see. The character designs are very good, especially on Matsuri. You can tell that a lot of effort was put into designing her, and I'm not one who normally finds anime girls beautiful, but I found her extremely so. Yorito has an emphasis on his normalcy, even in art. He's a good character, and the fact that he's so normal looking is of sharp contrast to the two female leads. Aoko is very very similar in both design and personality to Angel from Angel Beats or Rei from Neon Genesis Evangeleon. So that's kinda meh.
The soundtrack is absolutely beautiful. It wasn't perfect or outstanding, but it was really nice. Special emphasis on the opening theme for both capturing the allure the show, and to somehow remind me of the peacefulness and turmoil the sky always has.
The three main characters are... good. Again, Matsuri seems to have been spent the most time on. Her character is complicated without being confusing, and the fact that she can still be a source of humour and fun, made her a very enjoyable character to have on screen. I really liked Yorito's character, as he was normal without being bland, and he's not just our way into a more fantastic world, as he can still hold his own. His motivations are simple yet, anyone who's been in love can understand his occasionally rash behaviour. Aono's personality, however, was a draw on the show's emotional energy at some of the more intense scene's but it wasn't overpowering. It was especially refreshing the few times she breaks her emotional distance.
I loved the show. It made me laugh, it made me gasp in fear, it made me cry. It's something that's really hard to put down once the initial establishing character lull was over. There was one really odd thing with my enjoyment, though. While it was really hard to put down, it was also extremely hard to pick back up once I had. I marathoned it in three sittings... over the course of more than a month. I decided that I was going to write this review as soon as I had finished it, as Sola has the interesting trait that I kept forgetting how good it was and how much I loved it. It got to the point in which I'd skip over it for weeks at a time and have to almost force myself to pick it back up. But I have no idea why! I have no idea why it was so easy to forget the quality of this show, but maybe someone else had the same experience and can tell me why.
Overall, really, really good. It has its flaws, and even though I may have to remind myself repeatedly that I loved it, I still did.read more
One of the first anime's I ever watched so maybe I have a small soft spot for it. I first watched it when I was 14 and rediscovered it over 5 years later. I must say I still love the anime. The story, as many have mentioned is slower then some, and the anime may appear a little odd - defiantly not what you would expect when reading the plot. However, it is underrated and not many know about it. The story is refreshing and easy to follow though also dives into deeper meanings. The characters may not have the best development but it is the plot that sucked me in, twists and turns and a ending that you won't really expect. The anime is a hidden work of art that any anime fan needs to watch at least once. read more
I must say, I had higher expectations for this series because of my love for the slice of life/romance genre. I was also interested because of the supernatural tag, and although it did make the story more interesting, this series still lacked an important element; pacing. One of the biggest problems with anime adaptions of manga and visual novels are the pacing. Managing the pacing of a series is tough work, especially when you’re working under a 13-26 episode restriction. Most animes deal with this in a cool and brilliant fashion, and others, not so much. Sadly, in that respect, Sola falls under the “not so much” category.
Sola is a story about a high school boy named Yorito, who loves to take pictures of the sky. His older sister Aono has been in the hospital for several months, and is visited frequently by his friend Mana and her sister. Yorito doesn’t devote much time to seeing Aono in the hospital, and Mana gets annoyed by this. Instead of caring for his sister, he prefers to spend his time taking pictures of the sky (.... I know, right?). On top of that, he has been becoming close to a mysterious girl named Matsuri whom he met by chance one early morning. What he doesn’t know is that Matsuri has her secrets, and there may be more to her than meets the eye. The story is actually pretty good. It’s fairly original, and as I vaguely mentioned before, the addition of supernatural elements makes it much more interesting.
Another thing that bothered me was how bland the characters were. For example, we have Aono who is your generic “silent girl” role which has become pretty overused these days. I have nothing against Silent types! They rock my socks. But, Aono in this case did nothing for me. Mana, plays the typical “childhood friend” ( Even though they had just met recently ) so there’s nothing very interesting about her either. Overall, Matsuri was the most interesting as well as Tsujido Takeshi ( A side character who you can think ofas the bad guy or the good guy, it’s up to you. )
The visuals are pretty standard, and aren’t very impressive, to say the least. They aren’t terrible, but I think that the viewer’s enjoyment of the series would have been greatly amplified if this series had better animation. The music however, is very good in some parts, and is one of the aspects I enjoyed most about the show.
Ultimately, Sola is a good anime to watch if you have a great deal of patience. It’s sad that such a good story is essentially ruined by poor pacing. Perhaps, reading the manga would satisfy my dissatisfaction of this series. read more
A sad, short little anime about little precious things.
Yorito loves to photograph clouds. He seemingly lives a normal, if not dazed life. He vistis his sister, Aono in the hospital, who is suffering from an affliction that is never explained. He's friends with a sweet girl, Mana and her sister Koyori.
One morning, while waiting to see the sunrise, he meets a strangely familiar vampire girl, Matsuri.
This is an unusual vampire anime, for a variety of reasons. One being that it doesn't really focus on the vampirism as much as the immortality of the chracters and the pain it can cause them, and the inevitable loss of loved ones.
Matsuri is such a person. Both haunted and hunted for her vampire blood. This is a whimsical anime that has darker undertones that mostly deal with what happens when you try to make yourself happy at the cost of others.
Without giving too much away, none of the characters are what they seem, and as they begin to realize this, they have to make heartbreaking decisions--which ultimately leads to Yorito wanting to show Matsuri the sunrise.
All of the characters are superficially silly but genuine. Each has their own personality and are generally likeable for they all have a motivation for their actions, even if they seem cruel on the outside--with the exception of Matsuri, whose kindness and sweetness actually hides a selfish act she's hoping she can get redemption for. The music is light and airy, and fitting, and there's good use of skies and bright colors to emphasize the fleeting and precious mortal world.
There are two "DVD" specials that accompany it, one being a fanservice filler episode and the other being a prequel to the events of the story--and the meeting of the two main characters.
This is a sad little romance that tries its best to smile through the pain, and one of those sweet anime that can't do much wrong.read more
I've finished watching this anime a few days ago and actually like it. I thought it was going to be an all boring love story from what I saw in the first episode (a girlfriend told me to watch it, so what could I expect?) but the anime get's better as it reaches it's end and finishes both sad and nicely. So is a very good anime to watch in your free time but don't expect it to be even as half good as, for example Kanon or Clannad.
Let's start with the aspects of this anime. The story is really a common one at the begining: "a girl stays in the house of a boy for any reason at all". Other thing is that this boy (Yorito) has kind of a obssesion with the sky and everytime he can he take's pictures of the "different skies". Don't worry you'll learn the meaning of this later on in the story. But putting aside the common events like this there is a great deal of fighting and use of supernatural powers (sort of vampire like) and the plot twists that makes a story really interesting. The thing is that, overall, the story is shown in a really annoying way that really ruins it baddly. The reason are this flashbacks to the distant past that occur in the begining of one or two episodes and on the last one. I think this flashbacks do a really bad job trying to give some spectation to the viewer. Well at least in my case I found those flashbacks really irritating and out of context. They definitely spoil what could have been a fantastic tale.
The art and design in this anime is really well done, it reflects what the anime is aiming for depending of the event: sadness, darkness, etc. The looks on every building: Yorito's house, the hospital, the doll shop, the church, the school (lol take a look at it's endless roof xD!) and specially the different type of skies shown in the anime are very nice to watch. The character design is one of a kind in every character specially Matsuri and Aono look really great and opposite one to each other. So almost from the begining you know that there is going to be serious problems between these two girls.
Now the sound is the best this anime has to offer: it's rich and the BGM's are adequate for each ocassion. The opening is really good (adding it to my list), the battle songs are amazing (a techno-electro mix) and the sad themes are really heart breaking. The sound really does make this anime feel awesome and different from any other due the quality of each and every track.
Talking about the characters these are really awesome as well, specially Matsuri. She just looks gorgeous and her personality is just so different of what you expect when first glancing at her, very funny indeed. She is so different in just too many ways: from her war cry when trying to get her favourite juice (Sennoooo!!!) to her sort of a "french" look, she really makes a difference with any other character I've seen. All the other characters are very well designed but it feels like Matsuri's personality and looks totally opacate the other characters, a pity because there are other interesting characters in this anime that I would loved to see having a more important role.
I spended less than two days watching this anime. I know I watched it in a rush but overall I really find it very fun and worthwhile watching but this is not a "must watch" anime so if you are aiming for something really GOOD and sad then go watch Kanon, Clannad or even Air (that if you haven't yet). On the contrary if you'd like to watch a anime that has drama-love but action, supernatural ocurrences and great battles as well then this is the one for you. In the end this anime is different from the lot but not as good to be called a unique or innovating anime. This ends sad as well so if you must watch it grab you pack of tissues or just do as I did: right after you finish it watch the the DVD Special 1, only the first one (it's about a waterpark), you will find it really funny. But don't watch the second DVD Special (it shows some bonus scenes about what happens before Yorito meets Matsuri and it ends precisely when that meeting takes place) right away because you will end up as sad as you were when finishing the anime...
A quick review to give people a vague idea of how this anime is and not just throw in my own unidentified views like most people-starts off exciting, slows down, reaches climax, comes to an epic end.
My Personal Views: (hahahaha), you have to have a little desire in a love or passion for or of something more pure and honest to undestand the first half, the later half you need some experience in letting go and contentment (I THINK) to be able to appreciate the ending. Although the ending did PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!!! that' why I gave it a nine =\
sola is one of those little gems that comes once every few years, and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone... Why? Because IMHO I don't think that there's a person who wouldn't enjoy it.
The story is quite something, the mystery starts at the first episode but every episode what you originally thought how the story was going to develop, turns out to be even more mysterious, suspense keeps increasing every episode and to me that is something very important in a series, that grasps you in a way that you desperately want to know what is going on and that the main story is not only great but just plain awesome!
In regards to the animation, I honestly believe this is studio NOMAD's best series yet, I've seen some of their other works and by far, sola is the best one when it comes to animation, background detail, and character animation consistency.
When it comes to the music, Ceui's Bikan no Fuukei (first episode opening theme and insert song in some of the episodes) is my favorite song of the series. The OP/ED themes are good, but Bikan no Fuukei is soooo related to the story and the characters that if it were the _only_ song featured in this anime, it'd be OK :P.
Overall, if you like fantasy, romance, sibling-love (not the bro-con/sis-con one, you have a lot of choices for that one) and drama, this is a must watch! ;)read more
Ever watch an anime just for the genre it is place in? I know I do.
I will not lie, I like to watch romance anime. I don't know what it is, but I am a fallen victim of things like romance or supernatural anime, which is usually the reason why I ignore this site's rating system, because people rate on ingenuity, not things like enjoyability. One thing about anime (especially romance) is it is very predictable...I was wrong about Sola. One thing I hate about Hollywood movies or movies in general is that I am always able to guess the ending, I listen to a song I have never heard and I guess correctly a word they say. Let me just speak on behalf of all those who have seen more than about 10 days of anime, you will think you can guess what will happen, and guess what, you won't, so here is to a great show I think everyone should watch and can enjoy. read more