Teenage melodrama in an all girl’s high school. Feel the excitement.
Aoi Nagisa is a freshman who has transferred into an all girls academy called Miator which happens to neighbor two other academies. Once there though, Aoi is quickly confused by a huge new world in front of her and the students she meets.
In the first six episodes she’s meet a mysterious student who represents all three schools carrying the rank of Etoile Shizuma Hanazono, her roommate named Tamao Suzumi, the student council president of Miator Rokujyo, president of the third school, Saint Le Rim student council Chikaru Minamoto (and member of the Le Rim cosplay club) and their lower classman room keeper Chiyo Tsukidate. While also getting to know Spicas conspiracy to get an equestrian star named Akane into the next Etoile role.
Good and the Bad
Six episodes. That’s how many episodes there are on this first volume. This is also the amount of episodes that I sat through as I waited for something to happen. Something, anything! The episodes on this volume do follow a very simple linear format as we follow Nagisa through her school year as she gets to know the other students and the traditions of the school. We also get the start of what I suppose is a love story as she grows closer to Shizuma. What we don’t get is conflict. There is certainly a small amount of emotional conflict but other than that, there really is no story here to grasp onto besides ‘follow Nagisa around and hope that something interesting happens.’
Admittedly the pacing of this volume isn’t bad and I wasn’t entirely bored with watching the adventures of Nagisa. But with how much time the volume spent following her around, I still don’t feel like I really know her that much better than when the series first started. I certainly can’t say the same thing for any of the other characters either. This becomes a bothersome fact for me if I’m expected to sit through four more volumes of this.
The character design of the series was pleasant to look at though I did find it hard to get past how similar every character looked. Besides hair and eyes, the designers really didn’t provide much variety in terms of distinct characters. This makes it harder to individualize the characters and can confuse people. I know that it confused me a couple of times at least.
The size of the cast is already starting to become cumbersome with I believe somewhere around a dozen regular and supporting characters introduced so far. While some of the characters are easily identifiable as minor characters that you don’t need to remember much about, there are quite a few more characters that have yet to be really fleshed out enough to know if we need to remember them or not. Six episodes should have been more than enough time to give the audience some idea of where some of these characters are going and who we need to pay attention to besides Nagisa and Shizuma.
Ending theme is “Himitsu Dolls” sung by Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu who also happen to be the seiyuu for Aoi and Tamao. What’s bothersome is that the sound quality and voices is exactly that of the anime and the music is very electronic which makes it hard to hear the voices and connect them to the live action music video.
All of the background music is instrumental with a strong emphasis on strings and piano. Most of the music sank into the background and played well though I can imagine that out of context this soundtrack could put just about anyone to sleep with how soft all of the melodies are. I didn’t notice any drops in sound throughout the episodes.
Dub vs. Sub
There’s no dub cast with this one but the Japanese cast did an admirable job with their roles. Admittedly the dialogue in this volume was beyond dry with a big helping of pointless meandering but the cast turned in good performances none the less. It did feel like all of the characters were delivered in such a timid fashion though with very few of the characters actually ever really standing out.
Just clean animations.
I suppose if someone were to go into this volume knowing ahead of time that they are going to be watching six episodes that ultimately go nowhere, you could enjoy this. I did find that the characters were cute and sweet but after I stopped watching this volume, I didn’t feel any sort of satisfaction that I had seen something special. In the end, this is just another series that desperately wants to be dramatic and is trying to build up to something but at this point it’s really not looking like anyone is going to care when it gets there.
Final Grade: C+