RogerBW's Blog

Hoshiai no Sora 31 December 2019

2019 high school sports story, original anime in 12 episodes: AniDB. The boys' soft tennis club is the joke of the school; the student council decrees that they'll be disbanded unless they win at least one match at the summer tournament. Then a new kid joins the school… vt Stars Align.

Underdog sports story, yeah. But it's a bit more than that, because every member of the club has their Problem: one has a deadbeat father who turns up every so often and steals money, one is unsure of their gender identity, one learns he was adopted, one has an overbearing mother who regards any sports as a waste of time… it feels at times like throwing all the plot threads in to see which ones will stick, and while it wouldn't be reasonable to expect any of these situations to be resolved within a 12-episode series, for most of them there's no progress at all from the problem's introduction to the end.

Which I suppose is realistic – though that in itself is oddly jarring in what's otherwise mostly a standard story template. Tōma is the captain and the only one who takes the game seriously (though where's the fun in doing a sport for which you never practice and always lose?), and he has to bribe Maki into joining the club at all; but Maki turns out to have found the thing he's really good at, and carries the rest along with him.

But it is that dissonance which led me to watch in the first place, and which kept me watching. And which leaves me intrigued, rather than frustrated, by the final sequence after gur arprffnel tnzr unf orra jba: va juvpu Gōzn svaqf uvf zbgure vf qvibepvat uvf sngure fcrpvsvpnyyl va beqre gb yrnir Gōzn uvzfrys oruvaq, naq Znxv ohlf n xavsr naq frgf bhg gb zheqre uvf sngure.

Kazuki Akane, director and writer here, hasn't had this much control on many other series; I know I've seen Geneshaft, but I don't remember a great deal about it (a quick scan suggests I might enjoy watching it again). No sequel to Hoshiai no Sora has been announced.

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