The story is set in the year 311 of the Orbital Calendar, when humanity has migrated to countless colony clusters in space. A space colony girl named Akiha Shishidou encounters a malevolent artificial intelligence named Leopard that has been installed on a colony.
Akiha is joined by an Inter-Colony Police officer named Itsuki Kannagi, a taciturn young girl named Honoka Kawai, and a robot named Imoko "Imo-chan" Shishidou.
I know I have been saying this a lot lately and I have come to believe this personally too. One must endure the "hardship" of anime to ripe its fruit. By this I mean the often boring, below-your-expectation type first few episodes of an anime series. One must remember that if the anime is 24 or so episodes long, taking 4 to 6 episodes to get the necessary background out of the way is reasonable. Dropping the show when it is not even a quarter done is very disrespectful to the series. So with all that said, what does it
have to do with Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo? First of all, everything I have said above applies to this show. It does not have catchy starting episodes and the story seemed to be going nowhere at first. In addition, there is a great big WTF episode shortly after the story seem to get going (seriously…that was the greatest WTF episode I have ever encounter from a series, but it was still entertaining). But all in all, the utterly absurd idea of space colonies actually having “hand-to-hand” combat is enough for anyone to give this a try, or at least watch the WTF filler episode (personal recommendation; no background is necessary though you will have to discover the exact episode yourself).
The show is not built around pure absurdity; there is in fact a heavy metaphor in this show. The show depicts modern day teenagers (and young adults) as human trapped in “boxes” (literally). There is everything one will ever need in the box, thus allowing everyone to be comfortable just by staying inside. This is analogues to how an ever increasing portion of the younger population are now satisfied by simply sitting in front of their computer or gaming console all day without the urge of going outside or having “physical” interactions with friends. The show has a good message behind it, unfortunately it is a bit ironic that the more successful they become, the more people will be glued to the TV screen or monitor.
The crew responsible for this series is the same people who did the Mai series a few years back (Mai HiME, Mai-Otome, the OVAs, etc). So it should come as no surprise that some story elements may sound familiar and that some characters may exhibit similar characteristics in terms of their personality traits. The story does indeed sound a bit generic with three girls saving mankind from destruction. However, given the setting is in a futuristic space environment with self-realizing AI controlling space colonies, many fun and amazing events can happen.
Animation-wise, Sunrise is trying to give the viewers some clean new looks. While it may look awkward at first, the animation is quite easy to get used to, and the unique character looks and potato-shaped robots are pleasant to look at. The colonies design varies dramatically. Some look like a fearsome battle fortress, while others look like a fish with a long waggy tail. But other than these unusual looking characters and colonies, the production value is solid, and the animation quality is consistent throughout the series.
In terms of the music in this series, let’s just say it is average. The first OP was bad, unless you are an ALI Project fan, I doubt you’ll enjoy it much. Noting too spectacular for the first ED either (a bit to kiddy if you ask me). Perhaps due to how poorly made the first OP and ED was, the second OP and ED seemed exceptionally well made. The difference between them can truly be described as night and day. Much to my surprise, some of the sound effects (especially during battles) are recycled from the Gundam SEED series. Putting the music aside, the seiyu in Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo is nothing but big names. Some of these talented seiyu include: Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch from Code Geass, Watanuki from xxxHOLIC), Ami Koshimizu (Horo from Spice and Wolf), Mai Nakahara (Nagisa from Clannad), Rie Tanaka (Lacus from Gundam SEED), Akira Ishida (Athrun from Gundam SEED), just to name a few.
There are many occasions from Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo and its spin off manga series that will remind us of Code Geass, one of the most successful series that Sunrise recently produced. While the parallelism may not be obvious to some at first (beside the undeniable evil Lelouch/Leopard’s laugh), it was hilarious to see Leopard stated that if he is a human he would look like Lelouch. Check it out here. http://i527.photobucket.com/albums/cc354/KaminaKun/lelopard.jpg It is from the official manga, not a fanart, although there are plenty of cute looking GIF with a Lelouch/Leopard mix all over the net right now.
You know how you watch some shows for deep story, while other you watch it because of the interesting characters or just because it looks like a high quality product. To be frank, Sora Kake is neither of them. Yet, it is quality. Quality indeed, but on a very different department.
One crucial thing that you must understand is that in Sora Kake things just happen. You don’t ponder about it and much less question it. It just is. The Girl who leapt through space is a show filled with idiocy and ridiculous situations leading
to more ridiculous events ultimately leading to some conclusion. However, Sora Kake is a special case you see, because in here being that random it isn’t a bad thing after all. You can say that it is one of those times that you may call a show stupid yet enjoyable.
In Sora Kake we are presented with several anime references such a Code Geass, Gundam, Gainax to name a few. In addition, we can see anime cliché are all over the place for example: girl with superpowers, the chosen one, friends who later becomes foes, evil villain who wants to act as god, mentally disturbed teenagers, and even coming from the dead to list a few. Think back on those typical anime moments and slap them together into a typical mecha show in space featuring comedy, girls with tight suits, people with funky hair styles and deliberate use of English language which would make any non-Japanese feel uncomfortable. Mixed them all up add Jun Fukuyama and you get Sora Kake. That's exactly what Sora Kake is. But you know what? As weird as it may sound, it isn't such a bad thing.
It should be clear that the major attraction of the show is a megalomaniac AI named Leopard (Lelouch). His innumerable rabid rants, rambling, delusions of grandeur and his epic Lelouch-like lines always makes the day. So don’t be misled by the title. The show is really about Leopard. He makes the show entirely, without him there is no Sora Kake.
For obvious reasons Sora Kake is categorically a hit or miss. Simple as it sounds, you either like it or you don’t. The chances of you liking it will be slimmer if you aren’t a fan of randomness and close to zilch if you are unfamiliar with Code Geass which is a must before Sora Kake. If for some inexplicable reason you’re looking for something deep, amazing character development, and complex story in Sora Kake you aren’t watching this show correctly. You are looking in the wrong place and even the wrong planet or galaxy. Thus I strongly recommend you stay far away from Sora Kake if you are unfamiliar with those titles because you just won’t’ be able to enjoy it at all.
To be summarize, you’re watching Sora Kake for laughs, the randomness, fanservice and to see how far Sunrise can push it while keeping the show as amusing as they can. I believe that we should all deem Sora Kake Shoujo as a product built around absurdity and pure LULZ made only for that purpose. I, for one, enjoyed the ride.
Oh my, where do i even start to review a show that is as absurd as Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo. To be honest, i didn`t even read a plot summery before starting the show, so it was alittle difficult to get used to the concept of Ai controlled, excentric Space colonies fighting against each other. But from the first episode onwards it should be pretty obvious that Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo is not Sunrises most serious show.
Actually i am not the biggest fan of shows that are too heavy on absurd comedy, so it was really hard for me to take Sora wo Kakeru Shoujos
plot seriously. Yes there is some drama in the show, but it is constantly burried in so much slapstick, that i couldn`t help but feel annoyed by it. Nonetheless the story in itself is not so bad at all if you can get through the first 4 or so episodes. Some people may even find the shows light philosophical approach about letting humanity live in harmony under their AI master vs the struggle of the main cast against this enslavement interesting at least. Sadly i felt like the overall theme was not handled subtle enough. On the other hand there are some interesting aspects about the main character having no real purpase or aim in life that are dropped after a while, which borders on wasted potential. Another thing that drags the show down is the overly fast pacing of the plot, even though not much was happening at all. It just doesn`t give you the time to let it all sink in. At times it felt like watching a child with attention deficit disorder. Nonetheless the story was OK, but nothing really stood out besides the absurd premise of fighting sentient space colonies.
Same goes for the characters. They fulfill their purpose, but don`t have many character traits that you haven`t seen somewhere else. Sadly though, the weakest chracter would be Akiha, the female lead of the show. Actually i couldn`t really care less about her even though the writers had some interesting ideas about her personality, but seemingly dropped them after a couple of episodes. The shows strongpoint are the excentric colony AIs though. Leopard, voiced by Jun Fukuyama (aka Lelouch from Code Geass), the AI Akiha "befriends" in the first episode has some hillarious moments and made me laugh out loud more than one time. Same goes for the other AIs.
Animationwise Sunrise did a great job, as to be expected. Especially in the final few episodes they do what they do best: Blowing s*** up in space.^^ The character designs though were really a hit or miss for me, some of them were fitting for their personality (Akihas nihilistic sister Nami for exaple), others were quite bland (Itsuki). The music was quite good though and reminded me a little bit of the "Fushigi no Umi no Nadia" OST. So much actually that i had to check out immidiately if it was composed by Shirō Sagisu... Well, it wasn`t.^^
Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo isn`t the best show by studio Sunrise, nor is it the worst. If you like shows where "comedy" is the predominant genre, you will like the show, if you are looking for a drama filled realistic Sunrise anime (like Zeta Gundam or Mugen no Ryvius) you should look elsewhere. All in all it was a mediocre show that was entertaining enough to watch to the end, but i wouldn`t go out of my way to rewatch it. If the writers expanded upon the ideas they had for the MC it could have been much better though.
There is no doubt that Leopard is the character who makes this series. Don't get me wrong, it's not like the other characters are totally uninteresting, but his Lelouch-like rants and megalomania (even as an AI) single-handedly raise the score of this show by a full point.
Don't watch this if you're looking for a lot of plot intricacy or subtlety, I found that the pacing can be a little ADD-mode sometimes. Then again that might be exactly what you're looking for.
This series has been somewhat episodic so far, though there is obviously some buildup for a larger underlying plot. In the most recent episodes it
seems like we might be beginning to see the forming of something a little bigger. Despite being fairly light-hearted and silly so far, I'm inclined to think that things are going to get a little more serious eventually.
In short, it's an entertaining show to watch, not exactly time for deep-thinking, and it's a great way to get a weekly dose of Lelouch. ;)