285th G-View: Aokana: Four Rhythms Across the Blue

My initial reaction to the show was mixed but I calmed down and kept on going till the end. Question is whether it kept me amused or made me regret continuing. This is Aokana.

Aokana Cover

Alternate Title: Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

Genres: Drama, Sci-fi, Sports

Number of episodes: 12

G-Rating: 7/10

Plot Summary: In a world where flying is as simple as riding a bicycle, there is a popular sport called “Flying Circus” (dogfight race). The protagonist who once hoped for a future in this sport suffered a setback due to an overwhelming defeat, and withdrew from the sport for this and some other reason. However, he met the transfer student Asuka Kurashina, and in teaching her to fly the skies, the old passion returned. He takes part in the Flying Circus again.

Aokana possible ship 3

The guy and the true heroines.

After finishing this show I ended up comparing it to Show By Rock!! in that both had the potential to be great but ultimately ended up only being good. The reason being is that while I personally felt the show did nothing wrong, it never left first gear and only showed signs of shifting into turbo during the finale. Since the anime is primarily sports themed even though the sport in question, “Flying Circus”, is fictional it is still a sports show. However, if it were compared to other sports anime out there it would not stand out very much despite it being original. The reason being once again that it does not do much to stand out besides its premise.

Kaleido Star.jpg

Show with a great first half and a so-so second.

I initially compared the show to Kaleido Star because its emphasis on aerial acrobatics and Aokana certainly has that in spades. However, unlike Kaleido Star Aokana did not succeed in making a huge impact. To be fair a defense for the show can be given in the form of it only being 12 episodes long whereas most sports anime go past the 20 mark, meaning that based on the conclusion Aokana was just getting ready to take off. However, Taishou Baseball Girls was also 12 episodes long but it managed to make a strong impact despite its short length and only having cult status.

Defeated Asuka

The show has sports themed drama that can be applied to other genres as well.

Having said that, let me rephrase myself. Even though the show is not great, it is still good. As far as telling a vintage sports themed story goes complete with sports themed drama that can be applied to other areas in life, Misaki and Asuka’s dilemmas come to mind, it does that well enough. Each of the girls has their own challenge to overcome and the classic “Hard work and determination will get you far” and “Losing/failure is a part of life. Do not let one big loss get you down” messages are in full swing. Basic storytelling that is done well.

Misaki not backing down

Misaki taking on the reigning champion.

As far as the sport itself it is one of those sports that is best enjoyed when not trying to understand the rules. Even though Flying Circus is a sport that involves racing, for understandable reasons (Just racing would not be that exciting for some) most of the time matches focus primarily on the “dogfight” aspects of it, or as I like to call it “Extreme Aerial Tag”. There are some pretty cool matches with the one in the finale being the coolest.

The animation quality is pretty good I would say and the soundtrack contains more “fits the mood” tunes than memorable hits. Oh and the show has sexy moments that are basic ecchi stuff. No breast physics, just basic raging otaku boner material.

Asuka ready to rumble

Asuka nails the “cute and sexy” combo well.

For Nation members concerned that Hinata (the guy) is the center of attention because he is the protagonist of the visual novel source material and has the option of courting several of the hotties, worry not for his role is merely the “helpful coach”. It is safe to say he has a “He’s just there”aura. Sure he does a fine job as the coach and has a backstory but ultimately he is just there. Not lame but not interesting either. Asuka (pink hair) is cute and sexy. Every time she says “hai” I squee. She is also a “jobber with great potential” type character and seeing her do her best to be awesome while overcoming obstacles is one of the show’s highlights. Other characters besides the TRUE PROTAGONISTS are also delightful, even the uber opponents.

Mashiro's brilliance 1

Aokana’s main protagonists.

Saved the best for last, the show’s true protagonists Mashiro and Misaki. The story is primarily about them after all even though Asuka rightfully gets an equally bright spotlight. Mashiro (twin tails) is the main protagonist who is an video game otaku who despite initially not being into it eventually works hard to not only be strong for her teammates but her beloved senpai as well. Speaking of said senpai, Misaki (purple haired sexy beast) is a cat girl who has the potential to be great but just needs the right attitude and drive to reach for the stars. Also because she is a cat she makes cat puns and loves udon. As far as the yuri goes it unfortunately did not go as far as the Nation would have hoped. Our heroine fights the good fight but the sexy beast is a tough nut to crack. Also there is a second couple that sadly does not get enough screen time. Basically the yuri is there but it is insufficient, unless you go for the third pairing that is introduced near the end of the second quarter. Or you could follow Vampko‘s example and seek out alternatives, which there are several of. In a way the show has a bit more yuri but the viewer will most likely need to adjust their goggles a bit.

Overall Aokana is a good show that could have been great. The pieces were all there but the writers decided to keep it safe, which is not bad if the point was to make a solid show, which I highly doubt is the goal of most aspiring studios who want to make more money. In any case it was good enough to make me say “A second season would be nice”. The main duo are great, Asuka is delightful, Hinata is there and the other cast members are entertaining. I do not know who to recommend the show to but I would say it is worth checking out.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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14 Responses to 285th G-View: Aokana: Four Rhythms Across the Blue

  1. cirno9fan says:

    May as well get this out of the way now:
    I was actually shipping Misaki and Shindou by the end, and Mashiro and Rika. Misaki could go with Asuka decently too. But it just felt like Mashiro was always going to be 1-sided when dealing with Misaki, but Rika really responded. I see Misaki as her first love that never worked out.

    As for Shindou, I just…those two got lots of moments together! And Shindou was more the reason that Misaki ended up not giving up entirely. And there are other reasons, but I figured it best to not go on about this here xD

    Asuka and her have a lot together as well, especially being a sort of “rivals who push each other to stronger and stronger heights”

    Mashiro is fine, she’s got a girl who’s more than ready to return her affections. Misaki was a nice try, but there are things which are impossible.

    Irina and Inui were a great couple too~ I was about to think that it would never work out, but then Irina showed that she was happy that Inui was actually enjoying herself. I figured that would be the case, but there was always the possibility that she was too obsessed with her “perfect FC” and was merely using Inui as a means to that end. But that wasn’t the case!

    And of course there was Mashiro’s childhood friend and her “oneesama”!

    Another interesting hetship could be the teacher and the coach. They seemed to have a good amount going for them as well.

    Anyway, as for the non-shipping aspects, It got really far into “suspense of disbelief” with aspects of FC, but it remained fun. I thought they handled things pretty well. I do think they could have done better with more episodes, as some of the times it really felt like the plot was just jumping ahead, but that’s what you get when you get a one cour timeslot.

    Mashiro was the best character by far though ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Edited the review thanks to your broader view on life and stuff. In fact you gave me an idea for later on down the line.

      Good show that could have been better.

      Mashiro and Misaki are Aokana’s main characters even though their chemistry is weak.

      Like

  2. 0mniessence says:

    I still have yet to watch this show! I’m so excited excited I finally get to comment on one of your posts. I have been “following” your yuri nation blog for like 2 years now, I think? Always just reading, never commenting, but I finally got a WordPress, so here I am 🙂

    Thanks for all the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DrAnimaniac says:

    It’s starting to get scary how alike we think lol. I felt like I was reading my same thoughts from my review with different wording. So just to make an overall comment, I thought the show was decent, but never quite used the potential it had to be great. Mashiro and Misaki are definitely the more notable of the ships, even though they didn’t go as far as we hoped. Inui and her manager also seemed like a good ship, but the manager (forgot her name) was very unlikable most of the time until her final scene. Inui was the best girl for me and their sensei looked crazy good after throwing that jacket off. All in all, it was enjoyable and I would watch a season 2.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Mashiro has Rikka as cirno9fan pointed out.

      She’s more like a heel manager, but unlike wrestling managers this one cared about her client deep down. She was just enjoying the carnage her badass client was causing a bit too much.

      Sensei is hot without a doubt. I said so the first time I talked about the show.

      A season 2 would be nice..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. yurimylove says:

    Fair review of a show that’s definitely worth watching once. As you stated more yuri would’ve been great for the nation…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alright, I’ll give this a watch I suppose. It’s got an interesting enough premise and one of my friends insists I do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on haveyouexperiencedshitsurakuen and commented:

    Alright, I’ll give this a watch I suppose. It’s got an interesting enough premise and one of my friends insists I do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. K says:

    Nice review.

    This anime was quite interesting. I loved how things escalated in the last episodes. It was such a blast. It’s also nice that it didn’t use the usual cliches that VN adaptations like this one use.

    I have nothing against the characters in this one. I think they played their roles well and they were very likeable. Even Irina, since her smugness was entertaining to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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