Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A First Impression: Super Sonico the Animation Episode 1

My kind of alarm clock.

Sonico is a bright and buxom, , constantly-headphoned, clumsy yet energetic lass who always sleeps in but manages to squeeze a whole lot of activities into a single day. She studies marine biology at university, works as a gravure idol for various magazines, helps her grandmother out at the bar and plays guitar in a band with her two friends. Plus she can look after a whole load of cats! That's kind of it.


You may recognize Sonico's likeness from the many, many figure incarnations made of her every year, figures that are basically saucy pinups in PVC form and tend to have multiple versions with slight colour variations - which makes sense, as the figures are all based on pinup style images of the character. She's the mascot of Nitro+ and although she was given a (vague)back-story, a whole load of official artwork, the aforementioned figures and even a game, she miraculously never got an anime series until now. While I can't see myself buying any of those figures myself, there was something I always kind of liked about Sonico. I think she's got a great character design that lends itself well to merchandising and gosh darnit just look how cute she is, mystery irremovable headphones and all ( seriously, she sleeps with them on. She wears them in the bath. Are they fused to her head?) Exactly how they planned to make her into a full-length anime series I was less sure about.

Super Sonico the Animation keeps her established backstory (that she works as a gravure idol), but I can't really say how much of the rest is exclusive to the anime (such as her bandmates). The end result is something like 'a day in the life of Super Sonico': a slice-of-life cute-fest that includes a whole load of screencap-ready shots of Sonico (the gravure photo shoot is a given). The thing is, Sonico is super cute and all and she sure does a lot in one day but its just not terribly exciting. I kind of feel like all that really happened was a bunch of people went on about how amazing Sonico is. She's adorable, she can play guitar, she can cook, she helps everyone out, she's intelligent, she's got a dynamite body, her only flaws are adorable cluelessness and the fact that she's late I get it already, I don't need multiple characters reaffiriming this.The only time there is anything resembling conflict in the whole episode was during the photoshoot when she was nearly made to wear an even more revealing costume (which is never actually shown), which she clearly doesnt want to wear, and then her real manager ( who wears a monster mask and seems to be on fire a lot) shows up and prohibits it. It's hardly rivetting stuff, and there were times where I wondered if the material would be better suited to shorter episodes.

But I can definitely see how this would appeal to Sonico fans, and the next episode preview looked more interesting than this one. The animation is also ludicrously good for this type of series (I like how much attention they spent on Sonico's hair alone) so at least its certainly nice to look at. For me, it wasn't necessarily good or bad, it was just Sonico.

I wouldn't mind getting to know her bandmates a bit better. What is going on with the drummer's hair, though?

Out of 5,

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