Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na koto: Natsu no Sora 1
In childhood I was taught not to judge a book by it’s cover, to value the content greater than the presentation, to withhold prejudice on exterior outlook. Oh what bull this was!
Everything is presentation.
When you see a car advert, possibly the second biggest purchase in life, do you see To-toya explaining why you should buy their car? No. You get a something wizzy, arty shots of CG moving through some stunning panoramas; or even more abstract, a dancing robot.
Animé, even within it’s vast umbrella of products, films and TV series, is broadly the same in principle. Presentation sells products, details and longevity comes second. Take the car advert, substitute the dancing robot for oddball moé anime character x,y,z and put her on the DVD cover. SOLD!
The inevitable fact is that in Animé is largely a visual product and it pays to make your product look good, nobody cares how it’s done. Someday’s dreamers: summer skies looks stunning, there is almost no argument about this. Because of this, there has been and will continue to be alot of coverage on the premise of its visuals – for better or worse. I think the ultra-realism looks disjointed with the foreground, but my jaw traitorously drops at every breathtaking backdrop.
Okay, you sold me the car, but is there anything under the bonnet?
Well there’s a pretty decent engine, not much pace but quiet and reliable – it could become quirky. Not much happens in the first episode as fulfills the prologue, it shows Sora’s (the little girl in this animé) life before the city and is a well polished introduction to the series.
But pull a thread and something starts to become undone, though it does not at all fall apart. There are little niggling things: the backgrounds are made with Photoshopped photos (like the technique used in some visual novels) leading to static backgrounds and disjointed overlay; the backgrounds are HDR but the characters are not.
It is harsh to criticise these most minute of details, especially when taken in context of other products like Naruto or Code Geass. However, Someday’s Dreamers clearly sets itself apart by aiming for realism and I think it should be judged according to these standards. So far it’s a pass but I wonder how consistent this animé will be?