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Team First Impressions: Super Sonico – The Animation, The Pilot’s Love Song

Posted on the 08 January 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Super Sonico – The Animation

super sonico soniani DS

Kuuki: Super Sonico is a super name for a super human being!

That being said, let me start with a simple statement, I have no idea what came to me when I said I would be watching this and review its first episode; however I regret nothing!

In case you managed to escape the case of Super Sonico (I was under the impression it was widely talked about before it aired but I might be wrong) the story of that is simple. It follows the daily life of Super Sonico. Yes that is her name, apparently. And…nothing else.

I still cannot say it was boring. Because Super Sonico has a super busy life. We only saw one day of her life but it seems like a week has passed, in a day she: went to class, worked as a model (not wearing much), helped her grand-mother at her restaurant and had band practice.

I tell you, she is super human.

Super Sonico - The Animation
Now though in anime that was a good thing. I was honesty afraid I would be bored to death at best, annoyed to death by Super Sonico at worse. None of that happened and it is nothing short of a miracle.

I don’t think the daily life of Sonico is believable at all, nor can I say it was overly interesting, but at the very least it wasn’t boring. I even found it amusing.

I especially liked the scenes with the manager, that guys is Krauser reincarnated and that is amazing. And very entertaining.

And I also think he is my favorite character.

I obviously cannot say as much for Sonico-chan. I didn’t completely dislike her, far from it, but she definitely suffers from the Mary-Sue syndrome.

Her teacher said it himself, she would be perfect if she wasn’t always late.

Other than that, well, she has a bright personality, a bit too naive and innocent for my tastes, as can be seen during the modeling scene. However, this was exactly what I expected so it wasn’t too bothering for me. Or at least not much. Somehow, I even found it a bit fun to watch. Go figure.

Super Sonico - The Animation
I cannot say a lot about the animation, only that they could have made an effort on the first scenes, this somehow rubbed me the wrong way, there is nothing worse than a first scene badly animated. (But of course, Sonico’s body is more important than cats, we all know that, it is still not good enough as an excuse.)

The only thing I might have found a bit annoying in Sonico is her voice but I guess I can deal with that, I’ve heard worse.

As I write this I try to remember what I thought of the music but I don’t seem to be able to, that should tell you enough.

In the end, I think my overall impression of the first episode of Super Sonico (note that I only said “first episode”) was pretty good and, trust me, that’s a surprise for me as much as it is for you.

The Pilot’s Love Song

The Pilot's Love Song Screenshot 1 Super Sonico

Muse: I’m not sure what to make of this show from just the first episode. A steampunk romance story sounded really awesome, but the episode itself was underwhelming. The setup covered some interesting stuff, but not a lot actually happened to get me invested aside from the cool setting. This episode proves that a bland presentation can take a lot of fun out of even the most interesting premise. I mean, we’ve got Final Fantasy airships, steampunk airplanes, and a giant floating island that houses people who are looking for something called The End of the Sky, how could this not be cool?

…Except that our main character will apparently be going to Anime School while living on the giant floating island, alongside lovable stereotypes such as Energetic Sister Who is Not Really His Sister and Guy Who Leans Against Trees And Looks Angry. I am normally perfectly fine with school setups, but after the opening threw the doors wide open to a fascinating original world it was more than a little disappointing for it to go straight back to anime cliche land.

It also doesn’t help that the characters are painted with the broadest of brushes, like I stated above. The show doesn’t bother to distinguish them outside of their archetypes, and judging by the number of characters that didn’t show up in this episode but are in the OP, I’m wondering if they ever will. Even the main character gets the broad treatment; he’s clearly mad at the girl in white, but the show doesn’t tell us why. I’ll eat my hat if it isn’t part of a tragic backstory reveal.

The animation doesn’t really help the show either. The CG in this show does deserve praise though, since it’s some of the best I’ve seen in a TV anime. However, it’s clear that it ate the rest of the budget. The characters suffer from sameface syndrome, and a lot of time is spent off-model. And not for just a couple of seconds or only at a distance, which happens with most productions; there’s weird hair, off-center facial features, and odd limbs all over the place in this production, even in the OP and ED, which is typically has the best animation. As a result, the voice acting and music seems to be far more into the show than the animation is. There’s a scene where the voice actress for a female character puts a ton of excitement into a line, but the character’s facial expression is deadpan. There’s another shot where the camera pans across the crowd for a few seconds, yet they look horrible.

The Pilot's Love Song Screenshot 2 Super Sonico

Because of all of this, I’d pretty much checked out mentally by the time the big romantic moment showed up. I have no opinion on them either at the moment, even though marketing and the ED have made it clear where their relationship will go. Even with all the problems in the first episode, The Pilot’s Love Song still shows a lot of potential as far as the world and mythology go. The earlier parts of the episode reminded me a lot of Last Exile, which is a good thing in my book as far as anime steampunk goes. I feel that it’ll succeed or fail based on how much it develops the original parts of its world and premise versus how much it relies on stock tropes. And after seeing those airships, I really hope that it does the former.

These series are streaming on Crunchyroll.

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