Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue Review

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I’m not sure how I came to end up watching this show. It isn’t by a studio I aim to watch a lot of shows from, nor does it have any staff members that get me to watch a show. It wasn’t talked about a lot and I haven’t read the source material. It’s a sports anime which I don’t watch much of too. Why I watched it doesn’t matter though. What matters is what I thought of it in the end.

The story follows an air-headed, energetic girl, Asuka Kurashima who recently moves to our main setting (Kuna Island) and meets up with other “main” characters Misaki Tobisawa who has two personalities of serious and cat and Masaya Hinata who is set up as the protagonist at first but really ends up taking a backseat near the middle for the rest of the story. We get hints of his backstory but it never full gets explained. The rest of our main cast is introduced somewhat quickly with Mashiro Arisaka, a kouhai that’s obsessed with Misaki and a gamer, showing up and speaking within the episode and Rika Ichinose, who is likely much more important in the visual novel, showing up half naked in her window twice before being properly introduced a few episodes later.

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In this world there are special shoes called “Grav-Shoes” which essentially allow one to fly and a sport called “Flying Circus” was created to use them. One thing viewers will likely notice quite quickly is everyone has and uses Grav-Shoes (they’re even part of the school uniform) yet the girls still wear skirts. The anime follows a predictable story. Main character discovers sport, joins school club (which is usually either one of the worst or one of the best), is either amazing or terrible, trains super hard, enters the tournament and without spoiling it never gets any less predictable right down to the main antagonist using some somehow legal methods to become the best.

While watching (and knowing this was adapted from a visual novel) I noticed all of a sudden episodes would focus a lot on a specific girl and her troubles which would be her route. While I can’t say the transition from route to route flowed smoothly it was still a lot better than a lot of other adaptations and Masaya didn’t solve anyone’s issues which was interesting. It’s quite obvious just by watching a lot was taken out however so I have a feeling he did solve their problems in the VN. It’s hard to give any examples besides Masaya’s backstory without giving spoilers, however.

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The animation was really fluid and the CG used for flying was quite good. Sometimes characters got very noticeable drops in detail in facial features when they weren’t close to the screen but it was nowhere near the level of Dragon Ball Super nor was it all that distracting.

I really liked the soundtrack (including both the opening and ending). Presumably most the tracks came from the VN or are remixed versions but that doesn’t stop it from being great here. I also don’t praise voice acting as a whole very often but Aokana definitely deserves it. I loved most of the voices and the ones I didn’t love I still really liked.

 

Written by: Conor

Hi there. I’m Conor and I helped with the creation of Blazekick. I like video games, anime, manga and read visual novels. I do stuff relating to those on the site. I help run the Blazekick Twitter and Youtube accounts as well so drop by and say hi. My favorite games are Pokémon Emerald, The Walking Dead Season One, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, LittleBigPlanet 2, Tearaway and Uncharted 2.