This is a review on the first 6 episodes of the Starry Sky ONA. Each episode is 10 minutes. Short, but does it work. Sometimes yes, sometimes no...
It's not the best. If you've read the synopsis, you can tell that this will end up being a rather cheap series. A harem of 12 guys almost always leads to a cheesy disaster. Surprisingly, it's not as bad as one would think. There is always a laidback atmosphere to Starry Sky making it a easygoing slice-of-life series. Albeit boring. My favorite arc so far is Tsubasa's arc. It portrayed him well and made use of two
10 minute episodes. It was realistic for the most part, though it didn't manage to fully escape the cheese that plagues this series. There really isn't much really romance in Starry Sky despite its title. The first arc, Yoh, was the only one in which Tsukiko is a romantic interest. Speaking of that particular arc, I suggest you to just skip it. Really. When I first watched this series, Yoh's arc was what almost made me drop it. It's just terrible. Just skip it. Tsubasa's arc, which follows Yoh's, is much much better. Kanata's arc wasn't as good as Tsubasa's but it was still enjoyable and again, did not have much romance. Still, however good Tsubasa's and Kanata's arc was, this show really does not make optimal use of 10 minutes. The pacing is wonky and despite only being 10 minutes long, the story tends to drag. A lot.
I was stuck with this rating. The character designs were drawn by Kazuaki and are therefore very nice to look at. Kanata's hair is especially a source of win. However, the characters are often drawn off model and sometimes just look ridiculous and ugly. In addition, there is very little animation. In effect, there's just flapping mouths, no blinking, a lot of background shots, and little movement. This anime's more like a slideshow with a drama CD voice over. Studio Deen was never a bunch of animators, more like a bunch of artists. However, they couldn't make this series look good, despite the little animation and lots of still images.
The music for the OP and ED are both instrumental and short, but they're decent. Very average, but decent. But what makes up for it is the amazing cast of voice-actors. If you go down the list, I'm sure you will find someone you know. This anime has most of the top male voice actors in Japan right now and they make the show much more high-quality. The monologues in Starry Sky can be long and boring, but since it's these guys who are saying them, it's not as bad. ^^
Given 10 minutes per episode, there really isn't much time to flesh out the characters well. However, each character has a distinct personality, a distinct objective, and a distinct past. Two 10 minute episodes are dedicated to each character. The first episode tends to be about their past and objective. The second usually wraps it up by either having the character complete their objective or reflect on their objective. Excluding Yoh, the characters have so far been realistic and enjoyable. Once again, however, there really isn't enough time to flesh them out and they all end up somewhat flat and one dimensional. Tsukiko being the worst as she has little backstory and a very cliche harem lead personality. Very plain. But, it's not too bad since she's really only a background character for the most part. And it seems that she will get fleshed out through the other character's arc since we learn more about her in Kanata's arc. But we will definitely not get any more information on the first three guys and they are all flat, but enjoyable.
Given the not-so-great art that gives me a headache, cheesy, slow story, and flat characters, it's very hard to like this series. However, somehow, it does make up for it. The voice actors are superb and are reason enough for watching their series, the character designs themselves are still pleasant, and the story doesn't come out as bad as it would seem to be at first glance. It's a very average series that I only watch when I am bored, but it's not a bad way to pass time. However, once again, I will say it again. Skip. Yoh's. Arc.
Dec 4, 2009
This is my first review for one of my favorite manga, please cut me some slack guys. :D
Spiral Suiri no Kizuna has been an amazing read for me, in every way. There are very few lacking aspects in this manga. Upon finishing it, it left me both happy, sad, and thoughtful, which most mangas fail to do. If Spiral were a song, I'd say that it begins mysteriously and ends both beautifully and in a simple way.
The storyline is just very nice, very well-done. Kyo Shirodaira-sensei did a good job. Even though Spiral is an action and a mystery manga, there are many emotional aspects ... to the plot as well. It has a good amount of suspense and tension, but not a ridiculous amount that makes your brain freeze up, just enough to keep you on the seat. In addition, the many tiny comic relief moments are very well placed, so Spiral, with all its darkness, is still rather light, but not inappropriately so. But, the most outstanding aspect to me was that between all the action and humor, we have many of those...I can't even describe it, but, BEAUTIFUL delicate moments that touch your heart. The only complaint I have is the beginning, which implies that Spiral is going to a manga that is just about a bunch of random murders and Ayumu catching the culprit (FYI, the actual story is NOTHING like that). However, the seemingly random murders in the beginning does indeed play its own role in the main storyline. Also, the ending, though beautiful, leaves you hanging which can annoy some people. For Story, a Solid 9.
The art is up to par. I love Eita Mizuno's style and I wish that he would do the artwork for some other manga as well since I just fell in love with his art. Everything is water-colored and the drawings are always very nice. I bought one of the Spiral Artbooks (which was quite expensive costing 40 bucks) and it was well worth it. The art in the actual black-and-white manga is also gorgeous. Like the story, however, the art is a bit messy at the beginning. And enjoyable aspect to me as an artist was seeing Mizuno's work develope thoughout the chapters. The characters in the end look a little different, but not so different that you don't know who is who. For instance, Eye's hair becomes more and more wispy thoughout the book. The art is a bit shoujo-like and is run amock with cute girls and hot guys (eye candy!) which I enjoyed. The art isn't typical shounen, however. And some shounen readers maybe a bit upset about that. The characters all have their unique style of clothes and are very attractive and colorful. For art, also, a perfect 10.
This was a major defining factor in Spiral. All of the characters are very likeable and, thanks to the art, attractive. The wide cast of characters was a plus, but some character "types" get copied a bit. But that's perfectly fine since most of the "copies" still retain their own personality and that makes the cast more realistic since its only natural that someone will have a similiar personality to another. There is no good or evil in Spiral. All of the character have goodness and darkness in their personality, which makes them more human to the audience. Another 10.
Spiral is a very enjoyable read. The suspense and tension mixed with comedy and the nice scenes and both the physical and mental battles all add to the enjoyment. Sometimes, the individual manga books (translated by yen press) and reading them book at a time can seem...lacking. But the story as a whole is amazing. The mysteries can be vexing, and this manga is chock-full of WTF moments, but to me, that just adds to experience.
Spiral was an amazing manga. It made me laugh and cry and could really bring out my emotions. In most manga, I end up going like "awww, that's so cute" or "oh, that's too bad", but Spiral actually got me smiling, like, physically, and crying, as in, tears actually running down my face. I would always impatiently think "oh god, what on earth is going to happen". The art is great and the cast is such an easy one for audiences to fall in love with (and when I say cast, I mean EVERYONE, not just a few characters here and there). Spiral has it moments of comedy, action, mystery, foreboding, comedy, and even some romance that makes you smile.
Spiral gets a 9 in Story. A 10 for Art, Character, Enjoyment, AND OVERALL. It expands over many genres. Whether you be a mystery lover, a romance lover, an action lover, or even a sci-fi/fantasy lover, you're sure to fall in love. There are also a few biblical references in the book that spices things up. Highly recommended for just about anyone out there that love manga.
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