The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora

Title: Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora aka Kyoshiro and the Eternal Sky
Genre: Drama/Action
Company: TNK
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 5 Jan 2007 – 23 Mar 2007

Synopsis: Shiratori Kuu is a normal, somewhat klutzy girl in the peaceful world of Academia. When a new student, Ayanokoji Kyoshiro, who looks exactly like the Prince of Kuu’s dreams transfers to her class, her heart is instantly captured. However, Kyoshiro’s arrival shatters Kuu’s peace, and a strange turn of events leads Kuu to find herself caught in the middle of a battle between the Absolute Angels – a group of warriors with incredible powers – one of whom is commanded by Kyoshiro.

The Highlights
Music: Amazing; makes me pine for more from Kubota Mina.
Plot: Fairly predictable, but not totally.
Characters: Main characters well analysed, but not the most compelling personalities ever.
Story-telling: Weakens in the second half; riddled with flaws.
Style: Has zero capacity for subtlety.

My experience of anime based on a Kaishaku work can be summed up by three things: amazing music, yuri and melodrama. An alternative universe spin-off of Kannaduki no Miko, Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora steals character designs from the aforementioned and gives them to characters in minor roles, in much the same way as Mai-Otome did with My-HiME. Admittedly, its story doesn’t boast an amazing example of a well-written script, but this is a series that knows what its strengths are and has no qualms about shamelessly playing to them.

I can’t be the only one who wants to hear more from Kubota Mina in anime. Her involvement in the medium is very limited at this stage, but her talent as a composer is incredible as she demonstrated clearly in Kannaduki no Miko, and she again puts out an outstanding soundtrack here. Also deserving of credit is CooRie’s playfully confident J-pop OP song, “Cross Heart”, but it’s an entrée to the true aural main course that begins when the OP song ends. The music comes to a fore to complement the atmosphere during the plot twists, all of which are executed in a grandiose, over-the-top manner – much like the rest of the show. This is a series that has no sense of subtlety in its execution, but provided one is willing to accept this, it ends up working as a strength, rather than a weakness, establishing a rather unique, almost unrestrained melodramatic style.

The main characters are well developed and have sufficiently explained motivations and backgrounds, but our primary protagonist, Kuu is, for lack of a better word, slow. The secondary characters are regrettably neglected, though; you are almost required to have seen Kannaduki no Miko in order to understand at least one relationship. Plot-wise, things follow a reasonably predictable course, but it does have the occasional curveball. It manages to remain intriguing thanks to the meticulous characterization and relationship development of the main three characters, but the second half is unfortunately riddled with occasions of deus ex machina and out-of-character behaviour. The final episode culminates in an ending that’s uninspired and, in my eyes, leaves at least one character with an unfitting resolution.

And yet, despite its long list of flaws, I still can’t hate this series. Its story does unfortunately fall over towards the end, with the introduction of an overly simple antagonist who’s there almost purely to provide a source of conflict. However, the way it relishes in its total incapacity for subtlety and respects its major protagonists early on in the series is a definite highlight. I wish this series chose a different path in its final episodes, but with the exception of a few instances, I can’t berate its technical execution. Arguably its unusual approach and genre-mixing limits its appeal, but for an oversized dose of melodrama and awesome music, this series has no problems delivering.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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