For as long as he can remember, Tomoki Sakurai has woken up crying to the same dream: an angel he has never met disappearing into the skies, saying, "The sky has captured me." But one day, the dream is different. Now, the angel descends from the skies, desperately asking Tomoki for his help.
After falling asleep in class, his childhood friend Sohara Mitsuki, wakes him up and notices the tears in his eyes. Worried, she has him consult Eishirou Sugata, their eccentric upperclassman who is obsessed with "The New Continent"—a flying anomaly whose existence no-one can explain. With the anomaly set to pass over their town, Sugata decides the trio should meet up at midnight in a bid to solve Tomoki's dream as well as gather more information on The New Continent. Being the only one who showed up, Tomoki is about to leave when an angeloid falls from the sky and binds herself to him, declaring him her master.
Shortly after, Sohara forces him to join the New Continent Discovery Club, whose sole member is Sugata. Together, they work to uncover the secrets behind The New Continent, angeloids, and the girl behind his dreams—but what they discover may be much more sinister than what anyone expected...
Everyone has a perverted side to him or her, whether they want to admit it or not. It’s a very fact of life of which makes us human in every way, to heighten our sexual desires in private or in some cases publicly. For us that are of the latter and are fans of anime, the ecchi genre has fueled that encompassing aura in our psyche that makes us like to see sexy and beautiful girls. Throughout the millions of ecchi manga that are of an overabundance over the past decade or so, there’s always that one remarkable ecchi manga that each of us thinks
puts all the rest to shame. For me, Sora no Otoshimono comes to mind the most.
It’s important to realize that, with how typical ecchi is as a genre, it’s not the kind of medium that has had its fair share of brilliant writing or story with most of them being stale or forgettable on almost every level. There are some that do manage to give some original characters in the mix and add some interesting plot devices that eventually don’t help to their credit, especially in the harem sub-genre. With that said, Sora no Otoshimono can be construed as that one shining beacon of light that dissipates the overwhelming shadow of blandness that has plagued the genre in this area.
While the story overall does not shy away from weak writing since there is an uninspired villain whose intentions on being evil are for a boring purpose even with the explanation at the end, that’s not the best way to describe the excellent quality of Otoshimono. What the writing does make it up for is how brilliantly paced the story is from how it slowly builds up the development of the story and how it balances out the comedy and the drama with each chapter. There’s no sudden awkward transition from comedy to drama on one page to another or a couple down the road. Although there are a few instances of this happening in the manga, they don’t feel very contrived of those moments, and they feel fitting based on the context of the situation. It takes it’s time to let us take in the mystery on the potential scenarios that they might hint upon in the next chapter.
The one word to describe the greatness of Otoshimono’s comedy is “magical.” In the sense that, the comedy is absurdly childish and stupid in almost every scenario, with flying pantsu in the sky and a little chibi Tomoki running around naked with his Angeloid partner in crime Ikaros. Despite this, it has a ton of charm to every single joke. It doesn’t feel afraid to push the boundaries of what a perverted protagonist, such as Tomoki, can do in any comedic situation and is self-aware of this fact as the jokes themselves are seen at face-value. Normally with comedy, this inept with crude gags that involve tormenting poor girls in sexual positions would seem childishly mean-spirited, but Otoshimono manages to one-up this humor by giving it more of a slight edge in creativity that makes it fun to read instead of squirm in pure disgust. The creativity involves great comedic writing that feels fresh and bold in every attempt at doing so, from how it draws out “one-page moments” where there’s one substantial comedic moment that genuinely shines throughout the chapter.
When there is a good comedy to be found in any medium, there has to be a colorful cast of characters that manage to pull off their charisma to make the comedy work, right? Well, have no fear because there’s plenty to be found in Otoshimono. I want to begin this by talking about the manga’s primary source of fun and energetic charm, Sakurai Tomoki. To me, this bundle of perverted glamour is this generation’s Kintaro Oe, of Golden Boy fame. His general wicked nature comes into full circle with an extremely captivating presence thanks to the great comedic timing he has in these specific scenes in question. That is not to say that Tomoki is always the perverted nut everyone on the show makes him up to be, like Kintaro, he has a big heart to his actions and is written very well in being a more three-dimensional character in that he cares for beautiful girls despite always being lecherous to their innocent bodies. It’s one of those things where it’s so hard to dislike him in spite of how despicable his actions might be if someone did the same things in real life.
Another main character that needs to be praised is the beautiful Angeloid Ikaros that Tomoki first possesses after she falls from the sky to Tomoki’s peaceful life. Ikaros, unfortunately, has no emotion to speak of to constitute anything to show that she is happy, sad, or anything from facial expressions alone because of how her Angeloid type was built in the first place. In essence, this is a very nice explanation of letting in a typical anime character with an unemotional appearance to make her have a purpose for being this way rather than pander to the dandere crowd. Her lack of emotions serves as a brilliant development to her character as she is Tomoki’s master and he teaches her all of the things that contributes to emotional value. It’s sort of similar to how one would show a little child how to live their lives accordingly in how to function in social interaction and that’s not to say that negatively in Ikaros’s part. You feel an emotional attachment to Ikaros because you want her to realize her true nature because of the upbringing that she was brought up in a dark past in synapse from her previous master, to which the writer built it up extraordinarily well.
Of course, that’s not to say that these two delightful leads are what make the manga’s cast great, oh no. I can say without hyperbole that there’s not a single character in this manga that is unlikable or poorly characterized whatsoever. They all have a unique charm in giving us endless hours of joyous entertainment thanks to their gag that involve a part of their distinct level of humor that feels genuine and original. Many may point out that they are cliched to their very nature with Sohara and Nymph being the tsundere archetypes and Astraea being the stereotypical dumb blonde character. To which I agree that they are but in a good way. They are cliched, but at the same time, they manage to become inherently more than their initial archetypes in particular thanks to how amazing their characterization is. The comedy that involves both of these aspects more than makes up most of that as well. These juxtapositions can be warranted praise enough to look past their cliches by this very element alone. To succeed in wonderful comedic characters, you must give them a lot of things to work on. Otherwise it’ll fall flat very quickly and Otoshimono gets it right from beginning to end.
To preface each character individually to expand this, the cute little Nymph starts as your typical tsundere who calls humans bugs and wishes to squash them. Like I said before about how great the characterization is, Nymph’s growth from disliking Tomoki into falling for him feels more natural thanks to the excellent pacing because of how Tomoki works hard to get her attention in showing her that she’s a special person despite her slave nature to her own master. Her love for Tomoki feels genuine, along with the rest of the girls who do. For instance, Hiyori, who appears later in the story, starts off her character with being in love with Tomoki from love at first sight. This situation could easily be conceived as contrived or lazy from a writing standpoint, but it surprisingly works based on how beautiful the dialogue is that details her deep reasoning for liking him in the first place.
Sohara, Tomoki’s childhood friend, manages to become more than just your quintessential “childhood friend living next-door” character. Her hilarious attempts in literally chomping down Tomoki’s devious antics are always fun to see from how they built it up so dramatically as a horrifying experience to go through. The last girl that Tomoki has for his Angeloid harem is Astraea, the big-breasted blonde girl who loves to eat anything that is in her way. Always calling Tomoki baka even with her ridiculous attempts at trying to be cool, only to be put down by her stupidity. She ultimately proves herself worthy in not only being an entertaining character but being an ultimately important character later on that brings her characterization in full circle.
There are Mikako Satsukitane and Eishirou Sugata which I’m putting them together since they’re very poignant to describe with them together. There’s an essence of sarcastic humor from Mikako because of her funny, sadistic quality to her, while Sugata has more of a serious side to him even though there have been many moments with him that are worthy of gut-busting laughs. Then there’s the tragic character Chaos, whose name is quite fitting compared to how much she has gone through in her lonely existence. I use the word tragic loosely in my opinion, by the fact that although her struggle to understand what love is is endearing for many, I couldn’t help but find it a bit redundant after the fourth mistaken communication that makes her upset. Not to say she doesn’t have her moments but out of all of the girls, she’s the weakest of the bunch.
Going back to the story, I will say that the ending was a bit anti-climatic, to say the least. With the last few chapters before it being the most serious than the rest of the dramatic ones in the past, you’d think that they would have more guts in giving us an ending that makes us question how great an ecchi story such as Otoshimono can be. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and all we got was a rushed ending that is not bad by all means but it could’ve been so much more than what many would’ve hoped for. If they had done one last plot arc that ran for at least three or four more chapters on the final chapter alone, then I would’ve had fewer problems with it.
The artwork for Otoshimono is no less than stunning from how creative the characters are in their comedic chibi forms to how immensely beautiful they are in the more normal scenes. I would argue, however, that the show did more justice with the artwork because of how lush the colors were that they added to the animation. The manga still manages to be pretty to look at thanks to Suu Minazuki’s brilliant skill with his drawing utensils. There’s never an instance where a drawing felt like it was rushed or done superficially. All of the dark lines on the edges of the character make them very pleasing to see whether to be emotional or delighted about what is on the panel.
To set up my final thoughts on this manga overall, this is one hell of a manga to experience. It’s one of those things where even if you are not a fan of the ecchi genre in general, there’s still plenty of other things to experience that will please fans of any different genres such as action, science fiction, and romance; all packed in, in one glorious set of volumes. It’s hard to pack in melodramatic moments and hilarious comedic scenes together in one story in any medium and prove to be successful, but Sora no Otoshimono manages to be one of the few to succeed in almost every measure. There are a tremendous amount of moments that will make you laugh, cry, or both but most importantly, those moments will be unforgettable, and you’ll have this manga to thank for those great memories.
Sora no Otoshimono is a typical example of a manga that tries to do numerous different things at the same time. More importantly, it is also a not-so typical example of a manga that actually succeeds with all of those things just splendidly.
I’ve always enjoyed romance/ecchi comedies in manga but this one stands out a bit because, *drumroll*, it actually has a story! Yes, you heard me right, and a really solid one at that as well.
Generally, Sora no Otoshimono has two different sides of it going on side by side progressively. On one hand we have the more serious, over-arching story about the mysterious
Angeloids coming from high up in the sky and how they are connected to the fate of the world and its human denizens. On the other hand we have the story of Sakurai Tomoki, an extremely perverted teenager who never strays from his beliefs, and all the endeavors he comes across along with his harem, partially consisting of supernatural beings.
These two sides of the same coin might feel a bit too far from each other at times which can occasionally make it harder to really appreciate what you’re currently reading for what it is quite as much, but at the same time they’re both just done so well that I could mostly let that slide.
The grander story is not going to blow your mind away with its plot twists, but it will definitely not disappoint you. The pacing gets interrupted ever so slightly every so often whenever it switches to some non-serious chapters for a while, but it doesn’t really feel like such a bad thing as it provides a lot of character development along the way. It leaves just enough questions for you to ponder on while you take a break with the more light-hearted parts, and then comes right back at you with some really cool twists. Above all, although I naturally won’t mention any details, I have to say that the ending of Sora no Otoshimono was one of the most emotional and satisfactory ones I’ve seen in a long time, and it really felt like something way above what you’d ever expect an ecchi manga to be able to bring out story-wise.
The comedy portion of this manga is absolutely hilarious. The ecchi aspect is not much in the way of fanservice, but almost entirely used as a baseline for funny gags. And let me tell you, there is no manga out there that I’ve come across other than B Gata H Kei that pulls off perverted sketches on quite this level. And of course, it pulls off the non-perverted humour just as well.
Something that also massively enhances said jokes is the art style. The artist uses a very characteristic chibi art style for its non-serious moments and it just looks fucking fantastic! Seriously, I kept finding myself stunned at just how much a pair of perfectly square eyes or a V shaped mouth could do in order to enhance the hilarity of each and every situation. It’s overly simplistic but it allows you to instantly understand *exactly* what the characters in the story are thinking with their reactions, and with this level of humour in the first place it just delivers an amazing final result.
That’s not the only side of it though, as if we once again head back over to the serious side of Sora no Otoshimono, then we suddenly find ourselves with jaw dropping landscape sceneries, highly detailed facial expressions and spectacular special effects. I can’t say I felt like it was dissatisfactory at any point at all, the art just gave an immensely enjoyable experience for the eyes from start to finish.
It is an almost universal rule that every harem protagonist ever must be either inhumanly dense or excessively perverted. In the case of Sakurai Tomoki, he falls 100% on the latter side. However unlike the norm, in this case that is actually not a bad thing, because in the case of Sora no Otoshimono it results in one thing and one thing alone: non-stop hilarity. The way his mind works is completely outside the realm of normality and the author really puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to thinking of new absurd ways of getting Tomoki’s perverse nature to yield more and more laughs from the readers.
As far as the harem cast goes, they’re not exactly what one would call normal either (and we all know that originality is an instant plus) as it’s made up almost entirely of non-human Angeloids. Because of their complicated backgrounds and circumstances, not to mention their personalities, Sora no Otoshimono manages to smoothly avoid many of the overused clichés that you would normally find in harem series. The character development for the heroines in question is a bit up and down, but over time it really delivers excellently in that regard. Especially the last third or so of the story has considerable depth to it, as every single one of the main characters really grow on you in a way that I suspect will make many readers find it hard to say goodbye to them.
The supporting cast consists of all kinds of characters, all with their own very specific personalities, but none of them ever really feel redundant. They just add *more* to the awesomeness and there is no way that could ever be considered a bad thing.
PS: There was also some childhood friend involved there somewhere but no one cares about her.
It will make you laugh non-stop and captivate you for almost every second along the ride. It will also make you care for the characters in it as well as make you think about what is going on. I shouldn’t have to expand upon this topic any further after all that’s already been said, but the bottom line is that you won’t be able to stop reading it. Period.
Sora no Otoshimono is a very creative supernatural ecchi/comedy that will make you cry with both laughter and from sadness. It showcases why you should not blindly label a series with stamps based on their genres alone, and it succeeds in areas where so many others have failed. Look as hard as you might but there aren’t really a lot of holes to dig into if you’re feeling critical. It’s just one of those series that is extremely hard to dislike.
In the spirit of the upcoming anime adaption of this series, being the movie Sora no Otoshimono Final: Eternal My Master, I decided to give the manga a shot completely reading through it in 2-3 days. Now, when looking at my measly 6 of a score you might be wondering: "The average score for this manga is above an 8.40 and about all the other reviews are giving it 9s and 10s. So, what's the deal with this asshole?" Well, I admit to being a bit of an asshole, but my score isn't without reason. Although Sora no Otoshimono has a pretty interesting story premise
and isn't your average "ecchi"/harem/romance shounen manga, it also has some major flaws.
(Note: This review is on the long side and I understand everyone's not into reading what is essentially an analytic paper on some series that they're wondering whether or not to pick up. Skip to the very end if that's the case.)
First, I would like to address those genres that this manga has typically been placed in, being: "ecchi", harem, and romance. Depending on how you swing with manga/anime, those three words could be all you need to see before diving in. But I know there's a few of you out there who, like me, don't really care much for "ecchi" or harem manga; and, while we don't mind romance in our stories, we don't want them to be too poignant to the point of slapping us in our faces and reminding us why we all hate Valentine's Day. Well, the good news is that this manga doesn't really fit into any of those categories. In the case of being "ecchi", the manga itself is not perverted. Just the protagonist. What I mean by this is that there are hardly any angles or special shots (i.e. the convenient wind) that are showing us every other page that high school girls do indeed wear panties underneath their skirts (except for that one tomboy that wears the shorts). What we get, instead, is Sakurai Tomoki.
Our great and mighty protagonist, Sakurai Tomoki, with the ability to change bits of reality to how he wishes thanks to the god-like power of the strange mechanical cards provided by his angeloid servant, Ikaros, is perhaps the most perverted character I have ever had the pleasure, and sometimes displeasure, of witnessing. Sora no Otoshimono's plotline could essentially be divided into two parts: One that's serious concerning the mysterious angeloids and the purpose of Tomoki's strange reoccurring dream; and one that's mainly Tomoki wanting to do everything perverted. When I say everything perverted I pretty much mean it. From sniffing worn panties to groping breasts to sneaking into the woman's public bath, restroom, and locker-rooms, he doesn't really have any boundaries, and it seems like he's fully naked half the time. But as a result of this, we get a convoluted jumble that is the plotline, and, well, not much romance.
To elaborate a bit more on the plot in conjunction with the poorly written synopsis provided by MAL or whomever, 14 year-old Sakurai Tomoki has been having the same basic dream where he finds himself in a grassy meadow upon which a female angel descends to speak to him. This dream has been repeating for the last 10 years, and Tomoki always seems to wake up from it crying. Worrying for him, his classmate and childhood friend, Mitsuki Sohara, takes Tomoki to see upper-classman Sugata Eishirou, an eccentric genius, who tells him that his dream is due to the "new continent." Sugata further tells them both that this "new continent" will be passing over their town and lays out a place and time for the three of them to meet and witness the event; however, due to the other two being preoccupied, the skeptical Tomoki ends up attending alone. As Tomoki is about to head home a beam of light hits the designation with a winged female laying in a crater unconscious. Unintentionally forming a pact together, the winged female reveals to Tomoki that she is the "entertainment-purpose angeloid: Type Alpha, Ikaros."
My apologies for the long elaboration that is basically a summary of the first chapter, but this is pretty much the premise of the story. What we get from this premise is three fundamental questions that lay out the rest of the plotline and those are: What is the exact purpose of Tomoki's dream? What is this "new continent"? Who is the mysterious girl, Ikaros, that fell from the sky? Although they provide some good layers of mystery to the story we have to remember that there is another side to this being the great form of perversion that is our protagonist. As far as how the two sides balance out, well . . . they don't. There's about a 2:1 ratio of Tomoki getting his freak on to the actual serious plotline of the manga. In other words, 1/3 of the manga is actually based on the original premise while the other 2/3 is pretty much bullshit. Don't get me wrong I like a little bullshit every once and a while in my anime and manga, especially after some serious arcs. The problem with Sora no Otoshimono, however, is that we may get one chapter of actual plot development while the next three chapters could be a random assortment of things; and, normally, it'd be fine to have a story that's for the most part slice-of-life, but not when there's an already perfectly good premise that needs to be explained, expanded, and expounded. I honestly can't see what the mangaka had in mind when he created this manga nor where he was going. In addition, there's a strange lack of time management. While I'm pretty sure that 2-3 years pass within the manga in order to keep up with the fact that it' monthly serialized, Tomoki is still 14 at the end and beginning of it. A little like Ash Ketchum.
Along with this lack of time management is the lack of much needed character development, and this is a real shame considering there are two characters that are just ripe for growth -- Ikaros and Tomoki. This is partly due to the inert nature of the story as it does not allow much development in order to continue the same basic gags that persist throughout the entire manga. As stated before, I don't know what the mangaka wanted for this manga, and, quite honestly, what this manga wanted to be. It could have either been an interesting sci-fi mystery or a "ecchi"/harem/romance whatever, but not both. I would have preferred some elements of the latter while keeping true to the former, but as the manga progresses it loses track of what it really stood for and this really impedes any character development. In addition, there are the pseudo-harem and romantic elements that don't really do anything for this manga or its plot. For anyone that likes good plot development and romance, you'll know that harems are your worst enemy as they hardly EVER get resolved. In the case of Sora no Otoshmono, the female characters spend a great deal of time confirming and re-confirming their feelings for the protagonist, but even after they do, none of them really do anything about them whether it be confessing and just simply acting on them. Since Tomoki is ignorant of all the HAWT action that he could be getting, this manga is excluded from any good romantic, or even harem, potential.
In regards to the art style, there is very little I have to say. It is a little rough in the beginning chapters, but the author does find his groove and improves it quite exponentially by the last chapter, which naturally makes sense considering this was a monthly serialized manga that ran for about 7 years. The battle scenes are acutely drawn, and he conveys the humor/non-seriousness of some scenes quite nicely by occasionally drawing the characters in a chibi-like form. The problem here is that Tomoki eventually gets drawn in this form almost exclusively which could get annoying at times especially when the reader would like to take him seriously.
As a summary of everything and for those who skipped to here, Sora no Otoshimoro encompasses several things. A good plot premise, a decent amount of humor, a "unique" protagonist, and a binary story that has both serious and pointless elements. I do not quite understand my impressions on this manga nor can I reflect it in a numerical digit. The biggest problem for me was trying to take this manga too seriously as I read it. When reading this for the first time, my advice to the reader is to look more for the pointless nature in Sora no Otoshimoro rather than expecting the serious part because there's quite a lot more pointlessness than seriousness.
I should really get around to reviewing mangas instead of just saying that the manga did it better while reviewing the anime version. Although, if I end up doing one for a series that has yet to see a finish line, then it acts more like a review journal because the review will have to be dated for all its updates for new chapters/volumes if I fall behind. Guess I'll just stick to mangas that are finished for now.
So here is a series that I have read through as many times as I've watched the anime series. Sora no Otoshimono, or Heaven's Lost Property, is
a manga series that I read back in the beginning of my anime fascination. It is also the only manga to pull emotion out of me every time I read it. Let's fly through, this one shall we?
We all have desires and dreams. Some may have complex dreams, but others, like our main character Tomoki, simply dreams of living a quiet life in his little mountain town. I wouldn't blame him with a scenery like the one he is in. One day though, a storm hits and an angel crashes down in front of him. He takes her home and as he says along the way, his simple peaceful life is shattering before him. Now he must adjust to this new being living with him and must teach her to be more like a human.
I would say that the story is what really sells it for me, next to the characters themselves. The chapters may feel a little episodic but they also have a certain flow to them. But that's not to say that they really only focus on Rom-Com shenanigans, oh no. In fact, they actually have a lot of genuinely sad moments and happy ones as well. I would actually say that the comedic episodes are really there to simply balance the story out. It's a story about love, not pleasure, and is treated as such. I will admit, as much of a manly man from Manville as I am there are moments that made me feel really depressed and a few rarer occasions where I would shed a few tears. Again, even after already knowing the plot already. That is a really welled structured plot line.
It's great, really great in fact. The level on detail in each character and panel really brings out the emotion that is inside the dialogue. It's one of those scripts that doesn't need a voice actor's help to bring out more emotion in the scene. Although, I will say that the anime did do a good job in that department. What's better is that the chibi sprites they use in comedic scenes have just enough detail to bring the humor home. When it came to action scenes, the line effects looked great and gave the weapon or person an aura of power.
The second reason to my love of this series is, as I stated before, the characters. It's both a mixed bag and a generic one too, but this time not in a bad way. You see, they make a few characters basic archetypes but either add a little bit more, make that character entertaining to watch anyways, or both. Take Tomoki for example. He is just as dense as many Rom-Com male leads tend to be, but he is unique in the fact he is perverted but really kind-hearted to the point where he will get in front of danger for his friends. And even though he acts dense, his reason is actually believable enough that you wouldn't look at it as him being dense. And this is just one of many characters that has this kind of characterization. One of my favorite characters is Chaos. she was designed to be the newest and strongest angeloid in existence and was sent to kill the main crew under the explanation that the two that betrayed them were "Infected by Love". Unfortunately, she was never designed or taught the concept of love and now seeks to find out what love is before carrying out her mission. She soon becomes victim of the miscommunication game a few too many times and is sent down a dark path and you can't help but feel bad for her, even though she was a villain.
There are a few characters that don't get the detailed character treatment, but are entertaining all the same. One character I am not to much of a fan of is Mikako. She is a mob princess and now has a sadistic way of thinking that usually means bad luck for Tomoki. Honestly after about four or five plots to do him harm, it starts to feel old. Other than her, everyone else is cool.
It pulls on my heart strings and I love/hate it. Love it because it makes me feel for these characters, hate it because it pulls on my heart strings (I like to keep cool, calm, collective so as to always be able t react effectively). It is definitely a joy ride no short on laughs, cries, and drama. A title that will stick with me throughout my life. And to think I picked this up simply because I was curious about the title. I watched the anime version first and it's fair to say that I got hooked there. But you will have to read the review on the anime for my opinion on it.
Have you ever seen a cute girl in your favorite anime trip, falling to the ground unharmed but embarrassed, and felt the overwhelming desire to help her up? Congratulations, you've just encountered a dojikko. Let's take a closer look at this adorable anime archetype.