Monday, March 02, 2009

Anime — Mahō Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora (魔法遣いに大切なこと ~夏のソラ~)

AKA, in not at all literal translation of the main title, Someday's Dreamers: Summer Skies, a one-season series from Q3 of last year. I'd not seen the earlier series, but picked this up on a whim in a fairly thin season (shared only with Strike Witches); but this stand-alone story didn't need that.

Rendered in an interesting style -- nigh photorealistic settings (rotoscoped?) with characters overlain -- this follows Sora Suzuki (the sub-title being a pun on her name), a girl from Biei on the northern island of Hokkaido on a one-month apprenticeship in Tokyo to become a properly licensed mage, permitted to use magic on specific request by clients made via the Ministry of Magic. While that may sound like a girl from the Highlands coming to the Smoke in some Harry Potter-esque scenario, that, fortunately, is the last thing it resembles.

The magic here is quiet, for all its power -- to stop a falling petrol tanker, Sora just gestures and concentrates, with no whirling magic circles or brightly coloured beams such as Nanoha might have employed in the same circumstances. And as such, the series falls into a peaceful slice-of-life style, split between Sora (and her classmates) making their first supervised house calls, learning and living in Tokyo in the summer, and, in Sora's case, finding a first romance with the surfer dude lodged with the same supervisors.

Oh, and surprise plot twist in the last quarter of the series.

Of last year's series the one whose OP and ED themes have found themselves playing as "what is that tune running through my head?"

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