Wednesday, February 10, 2016

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue Episode #5 Review

What choice do I have...but to overtake them with spirit?!

What They Say:
The Kunahama Institute is one of the first in the world to give out new anti-gravity footwear to its students. Not only does this invention change the way the basic world functions, with students now being able to shoot across the sky, but it also gives birth to a new sport -- The Flying Circus. Asuka Kurashina is a new transfer student at Kunahama who has never wanted anything more than the ability to fly. Suddenly mixed in with students who have already mastered the art of flight, Asuka must overcome physical and mental barriers as she adapts to a new environment filled with new people, all while trying to master a new way of life.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
The time has finally come for all of Kunahama Institute's harsh training to pay off. That's right, at just five episodes in, the summer flying circus tournament has arrived. Asuka, Mashiro, Misaki, and even Shion are competing against various flyers from other schools -- some we have met, some we have not. With four matches at the episode's disposal, however, there isn't much time to focus on really anything apart from actual flying circus matches. This lightens the amount of filler, yet surprisingly boosts the amount of comedy that we've been getting used to over the past month. So, before we get any further into detail about the subtleties of the episode and the deeper evaluation, let's delve into the actual sports recap stuff.

Our first match of the tournament is Mashiro (Coming off an entire episode centered around her last week) vs...Oh crap, it's Reiko Satouin again. Having faced off against her in the past, Mashiro plans on changing up her style this time around. Reiko, remembering Mashiro as a fighter-type, starts the match off at a slower pace, ready to counteract that playstyle. But just seconds into the match, Mashiro takes off, showcasing the new skills she obtained through her tough week of training with Rika. However, even though Mashiro got off to a great start, the match would soon come tumbling down as Reiko is just too damn good at flying circus. And even though Mashiro winds up losing, her team still cheers for her as she managed to score several points against Takafuji's blonde bombshell -- which is a feat on its own.

Up next we have a battle between two of the source game's heroines -- Misaki and Rika. This battle could also be known as "The Battle of Potential Yuri Partners for Mashiro Arisaka" which I think fits a lot better. Anyway, Rika gets off to a good start, using her speeding tactics to score a quick first point. However, just seconds after, Misaki counters and manages to start a dogfight against her first-year opponent. After getting knocked around for a bit, Rika attempts to lure Misaki into a trap in which she will use her attack's momentum to make a getaway. However, Masaya figures that out and lets Misaki know in order to secure Kunahama's first victory of the day.

And now we finally get to see the team captain fly. Moments before his battle, Shion Aoyagi announces that in order to win, he just needs to harness his willpower and be "Fast, faster, and fastest". This doesn't necessarily work out for him the way it should have, though. His opponent, Saki Inui, is a transfer student from England: the birthplace of flying circus. Donning grav-shoes called "Avalons," Saki gets off to a roaring start and easily outraces Shion, culminating in a match he had absolutely no chance of winning. That's fine, though, because he still flew extremely fast and made his entire team, as well as himself proud.

Our final match is none other than Asuka Kurashina pitted against a girl from Mashiro's childhood that we were introduced to probably ten minutes beforehand. Though that girl, who we will call Tuna, seems to know what she's doing, she makes some minor mistakes with her flight patterns that even Asuka is able to decode. After letting Tuna by her the first time, Asuka quickly recollects herself and turns the tide, starting a dogfight with the fish girl that would go on to consume the rest of the match. The thing is, the dogfight winds up being Asuka's favor the entire time and it allows her to collect the second victory of the day for Kunahama, giving them a record of 2-2. I'd say that's not too shabby for a first competition. Especially considering none of them have ever really competed before apart from Misaki (And maybe Shion? I'm still not sure about him).

In Summary:
Episode 5 of AOKANA is the most action packed of the season so far. In fact, I'd say it's the one episode that actually made the show feel like a sports anime instead of another slice of life with a touch of cute flying girls. Each match is interesting in its own way and it's great to see the characters developing as players and not just...well, characters. AOKANA has done a subpar job of making flying circus interesting thus far, but this episode serves to change that. That might be attributed to the fact that we're actually witnessing a tournament now and not just practice, but it's still refreshing to see a new wave of characters introduced to the series that I'm sure we will wind up seeing again. This was a good follow-up to last week's episode and I hope there are more like this to come.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

No comments:

Post a Comment