Asaba Naoyuki is an ordinary high school student. As a member of his school's press club, he's just spent the summer camping outside the local military base, in hopes of seeing the UFOs that are secretly kept there, according to local legend. Returning to school, he meets a strange girl, Iriya Kana, and gradually comes to realize that she is more than merely strange - and that a dark secret lies beneath the world that he knows.
Sounds Saikano-ish? You bet. I haven't seen Saikano myself, but this one gave me a mental breakdown; much less than Iriya herself experienced in the anime, but more than what I experienced after watching any anime (except for Now and Then, Here and There, perhaps) so far.
The 2005 vintage anime is a both sweet and dark love story, intermeshed with sparse humor and lingering suspense that draws you into the story. From episode 1 to 6, the mood changes dramatically, from somewhat ecchi humor in the first, to a quite of a heartbreaking finale. However, the speed is just perfect, not too fast to cram
in the plot, but not too long that it bores people. The remarkable thing is the abrupt changes in mood. In one moment you have a sweet scene where Asaba and Iriya is together, and suddenly Iriya collapses with blood pouring out of her nose, along with a seizure to boot.
To tell the truth, I was expecting something like Yukikaze, with a fast-paced combat scenes. However, the main attraction is the love story; all combat you get is in the OP scene. That said, all the CG animations is very smooth, while the hand-drawn parts was constantly beautiful, with some noticeable quality drop every now and then.
Wasn't the most original, but has a lasting impact.
Constantly very good, with the CG animation excelling everything. However, some parts are just...subpar; thankfully, none too often. Character designs are quite moe, which adds to the enjoyment.
Stock characters (eg, the over-the-top club president and the bratty imouto) are used sparingly yet effectively, without negative effects to the plot. All the main characters are round characters though, and most characterizations are always done subtlely. Though some traits are idealized, in general, the casts are round and realistic characters.
I'm quite a softy, but I really feel I'm about to cry seeing the end of the last episode, having throughly absorbed in the atmosphere. I couldn't believe they wouldn't add a happy end, but for the sake of the plot, it might be better this way. Still though...
Why bother at all?
If you really need that anime that gives you sweet and dark love story with a sci-fi touch and beautiful character design without an unnecessarily deep plot, this one's for you. Casual UFO fans will also find the subtle UFO theme quite pleasing. Beware the bittersweet tragic ending though.
Like Yukikaze, this story is drawn from a series of novels that is nominated for the Seiun Award (Japan's prestigious sci-fi award; Nausicaa anime and Dirty Pair novel won this award). Also, this anime has been made into a visual novel game for the Nintendo DS.
Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu is a 6-episode OVA. It aired between the 28th of January, 2005, and the 8th of July, 2005.
The genres include: drama, romance, sci-fi, mystery, comedy, action.
The two main characters, Asaba Naoyuki and Iriya Kana meet during the final day of summer break. Shortly after, Iriya transfers to Asaba's school, and the both of them get to know each other better, although there are many mysteries surrounding Iriya. When you think it's going to be a sweet love story, it comes with a dark sci-fi spin, though the series mostly focuses on their relationship and their ups and downs, till
the very dramatic finish. Although, I have to say, it gets more and more dark and sad with every episode.
Toei did the animation for this series. It's very nice to look at; it's fluid, it has good character designs and the backgrounds are beautiful. The CG was a big plus to the series. However there were bad parts, but thankfully not very often.
Except for the awesome OP, the sound was so-so. The voice actors did their job, but sometimes their performances were pretty bad. There's not a lot of BGM, which could have been used more to enhance some scenes etc.
The characters were the best aspect of the show. The two main characters, Iriya and Asaba are great together, and the supporting characters did a great job; the over-the-top club president, the feisty little sister, the strict military guys and so on. All the characters were realistic and made the story easy to watch.
I have to say that I enjoyed this anime a lot. Sure, it's short, but the impression it gives you is pretty damn strong. The genres were all over the place; at on second you have a sweet scene with Iriya and Asaba, and the next you have a totally hilarious hand-to-hand combat scene involving two minor characters. The story isn't rushed even though the entire anime is about two hours long. Everything progresses slow and steady, from the beginning to the climatic ending. I'm not sure to whom I should recommend this, since it's such a different kind of love story, with dark sci-fi influences. I guess you have to be into the romance parts to enjoy this fully (like me).
Don't know what more to say. If you decide to watch it, be ready for a good ride. :D
Overall: Iriya no Sora, was a very touching anime, albeit short with only 6 episodes. I enjoyed watching this series very much.
Story: Its a sci-fi kind of romance story, that I dig, so some people arent into the romance thing, and its up to them if they wish to watch. One thing is that since there are only a few episodes, they didnt do very much explaining, some things are left completely in the dark.
Art: The art was very good, usually pretty colorful and rich, especially in those memorable moments where you feel kinda warm and fuzzy inside.
Sound: Not a bad opening and closing for
this kind of anime, and there were no objectionable bgms either.
Character: They didnt have much time to develop the characters, however, the main characters were quite memorable, especially Iriya.
Enjoyment: I have to say that im a big fan of romance anime so I enjoyed this series very much, however if you dont really like romance, then there isnt much else that may get you hooked, so its a kind of love hate thing.
"Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu". I saw this was recommended to people who enjoyed Saikano, so i thought i'd give it a try. Even though the story seemed awkward from the synopsis, i was actually looking forward to it.
My first impression was "Oh, i hate how the main character is drawn". I decided to let it be, that i wouldn't let such a minor detail smuther my enjoyment, since i had heard and read good things about this. Fortunately, he was the only eye-sore. The art was pretty well made, and in the end it was one of the best qualities of this
The setting was the average cliche school drama anime. Girl/boy meets boy/girl under peculiar circumstances, and the next day boy/girl transfers to girl's/boy's class. This didn't bother me at all, i actually didn't even think of it as cliche until now, while i'm writing this. The story was rather unique, and was another of the animes better selling points.
What wasn't so appealing were the characters personalities. Some of the characters seemed more like they were created for the sole purpose of creating humorous situations. Let's take the club-president (i forgot the name) for example. An overly eccentric UFO-maniac who doesn't seem to have much relevancy to the plot. This wasn't the biggest problem with the characters in this anime, however. What i found more disturbing were some of the characters actions and responses, that reaked of irrationality, and wich i would deem unnatural and melodramatic. Often even unlogical, but that can be swept under the carpet due to the reasoning of "actions caused by feelings are rarely logical".
"Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu" is an anime with a unique plot and great potential, wich is ruined by badly made characters, and their badly made personalities.
This anime deserved a 3, but i gave it a 4 in the end due to the pretty graphics and unique story.
This was a tacky review made by me. Forgive the tackiness, it's past midnight and i'm sleepy.