Sora no Method (Celestial Method) First Impressions
Opening: “Stargazer” by Larval Stage Planning
I personally liked the opening. It was a little fast, a little slow, and very much matched the pace of the first episode. As for the animation, it felt like a little clip showing us how good the art in the show is and what we can expect to see. Even if you find the character designs ‘too cutesy’ (which I don’t) you must admit that the backgrounds are good, especially that space ship in the sky. It feels like half of the budget went to making the space ship look so gorgeous and it worked. I’m interested. Keep it that way, please.
As for the episode, it starts off with Nonoka and her father coming to Lake Kiriya City, a place they apparently lived seven years ago. In true anime fashion Nonoka, appears to remember nothing of her childhood in this town and this, along with the space ship in the sky, appears to be the main conflict of the story, or at least this beginning part. So Nonoka goes on with life, fixing up her new house (or rather, old house) but a twist comes in the form of Noel. I’m going to assume Noel is an alien; it’s pretty obvious she isn’t normal. All of the flashbacks of her show her to be the exact same as she is now, so something seems out of the ordinary with her. Noel waits in Nonoka’s room for the other to find her and tackles her with excitement when Nonoka finally comes into her room. Nonoka, however, doesn’t remember Noel. She feels like she knows Noel, but can’t quite place her.
At this point Nonoka becomes a typical anime character and accepts the stranger in her house and offers to make them lunch, which requires her to leave to shop for ingredients. And Nonoka does leave, without Noel. She just leaves her in her house and expects Noel to do nothing. However, Noel believes that it would be good to help Nonoka by unpacking her things and precedes to do just that. Of course Nonoka comes back and sees Noel messing with things, specifically a picture of her mother (presumably dead from that opening scene), which happens to be broken. Nonoka blames Noel and yells at her. I won’t spoil the end of the episode, but I think we all know where it’s going.
Now let’s talk about the other characters. The first girl we see, who had glasses as a child, runs a shop, the only boy help her, the girl with short brown hair went shopping for an expedition (maybe?), and the last girl seems to be the uncaring type. We only really get one of their names and, honestly, even though I watched the episode twice, I can’t remember shop girl’s name. Koharu? Something with a K, I think? We don’t have a lot to go on for any of them. It is the last girl, though, who offer us the most insight into things. The ponytail girl sees Nonoka in town and says something along the lines of “Why did you come back?” and then immediately walks away. Nonoka is completely confused, but since ponytail girl left, Nonoka decides to ignore her question. It is noteworthy to mention that the kid, who had glasses and is now running the shop, doesn’t appear to recognize Nonoka when she sees her. This, along with some flashbacks, gives us a lot of questions to ponder. It is clear this group of kids was close and now they’re not. It almost reminds me of the set up to AnoHana, except without the obvious soul crushing feelings you can tell are in store. We also learn that Nonoka never told them she was moving. I can see why this will affect Nonoka’s relationship with the group, but why did the group apparently fall apart? And seriously, what is up with Noel and this spaceship?
The ending: “Hoshikuzu no Interlude (星屑のインターリュード)” by fhána
The ending theme was like the first in that it was slower than the typical theme we find in anime today. Both themes go well with the atmosphere of the show and I personally see myself listening to both even after the show is over. One thing I particularly liked about the animation of the ending was the part where the kid versions led the older versions along. This is something I love seeing in shows. I love the connection to the past and the proof that it is very important to these kids and is making a big impact upon how they conduct themselves. To me, it is a very worthwhile message that these kinds of shows often strive to impart on to the audience and I love being told it, because it is always true.
I’m very excited for Sora no Method. I’m truly a sucker for slice of life shows that also feature a plot and that appears to be what we are getting. So far I’m mostly interest in Noel, and her spaceship, but also in Nonoka and why her memory is so bad. There’s the possibility it has to do with her mother or maybe she had some sort of accident. I love little mysteries like that in anime and this will be no exception. I think those who enjoy gentle atmospheres, cute characters, and easy-going mysteries will enjoy this show.