Archives for : Hiroyuki Yoshino

Sound of the Sky (anime review)

Title: Sound of the Sky (Soro no Wata) Complete Set on Blu-ray
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Writer: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Studio: A-1 Pictures
U.S. Distributor: Nozomi Entertainment
U.S. Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: DVD/ 12 episodes/ 355 minutes
Genre: Sci Fi, Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama
Age Rating: 14+
Personal Rating: A
Similar Titles: Air, Kanon

Sometimes our goals in life lead is to do things and impact others in way we would never expect. They also put us in situations that just might make all the difference in the world.


A young girl, Kanata Sorami, joins the army to learn how to play trumpet because she saw a solider play “Amazing Grace” and was touched so deeply that it is the only goal she has in life. The army sends her to the outpost in the town of Seize to become the bugler. Unknown to her she becomes one of the Fire Maidens of Seize. These are the historical protectors of the Village. The other members of the squad are Rio Kazumiya, Kanata’s trumpet teacher, Filicia Heideman, the company commander, Noel Kannagi, the mechanic and Kureha Suminoya the other private assigned as the gunner.

In the beginning Kanata does not know how to play the trumpet very well but she has a great ear for sound and with some training by Rio she manages to become wonderful player and even the village begins to enjoy her playing. During this time she becomes a valued member of the platoon and the bonds of these 5 women become so close it almost seems as though they are sisters.

There is a tentative peace between Helvetia and Roma. The current talks are not going very well and the platoon must always be on the watch for anyone coming across the no-mans land just outside Seize. During this period of stress there is a secret about Rio that comes to light that drives her away from the platoon to eventually end up having a overreaching impact on everyones life.


This wonderfully crafted anime brings together several key elements that makes it one to be seen. The first of these elements is the bonding of the main characters that creates a group of women who become true sisters and find that they each have their role to play. They are each very different and have a dramatic past that is at the core of who they are. This is highlighted by Kanata who has the loss of her family and the contact with a beautiful bugler who was playing “Amazing Grace” in such a way that made her think to was the true Sound of the Sky. That was the motivating factor behind her having no fear and wanting to be able to play that piece for all the world to hear. The others also have past experience that make them so special that they each bound together make an unstoppable force. All of this is accentuated buy the strong character development and the wonderful series of events that bring them together.

The second of the outstanding elements has to be the plot structure and the way the story is told. By the middle of the series I was a little concerned that Sound of the Sky as nothing more than a string of unrelated events but in classic Japanese story telling fashion all of these events all roll up together and provide a ending that managed to warm even my cold heart. The stories told about these women and girls consistently brought a kind smile to my soul as I moved through the series and at the end I wanted only good to happen for this loving group of women.

The final and possible most impressive is the high quality of the animation. I found myself blown away by the impressive artistry put into creating the world that these intrepid ladies lived. The monastery where they lived was so well developed it made me feel like I was there and the landscapes were Miyazakiesk and created a peaceful place that we all would want to be a part of. At every turn I found myself in awe of the talented work that went into this loving series.

Overall Grade: A

Sound of the Sky is not one of those knock down drag-out anime that is all about the action, it is a kind gentle anime that does not shy away from action, but rather uses it only when it is important. The creators have given us something to contemplate and use as a guide to what it is to truly care about those others around us. This series should be put on everyones must see list.

Because of the gentle spirit of Sound of the Sky I would recommend Air and Kanon as the two other series to get that loving feeling from.

A Certain Magical Index, A the Movie: Miracle of Endymion (anime review)

Certain Magical Index, A the Movie: Miracle of EndymionTitle: A Certain Magical Index,  the Movie: Miracle of Endymion

Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori

Written By: Kazuma Kamachi, Hiroyuki Yoshino

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 17th, 2014

Format: Blu-ray / DVD / Feature Film / 90 Minutes

Genre: Harem, Supernatural, Action, Fantasy

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B-


Welcome to Academy City, a futuristic metropolis populated with super-powered students. As the brightest intellectual minds in the city work to complete the world’s first space elevator – a towering spire capable of taking citizens into the heavens – perpetually unlucky Kamijo and nun-in-training Index befriend a talented street musician named Arisa. When the beautiful singer lands a big break, her miraculous voice attracts unwanted attention, making the songstress a target for magicians and scholars alike. As the battle between sorcery and science blasts into space, Kamijo, Index, and their allies in Academy City are rocketed to a psychedelic stadium thousands of feet above Japan in a desperate attempt to keep Arisa – and the rest of the world – safe.


Well, I am not going to stand up and cheer for this film. I found it to be a little pandering to the audience and simply put I am somewhat disappointed that it did not wrap up the series. It is just a plan old filler that can be taken or fleet for what it is. Of course it can’t just stand on its own as a story because you must understand all of the back story or you will be lost. I didn’t see anything out of the film that helped make any of the characters better. There was no revelation that makes a difference to the series and in the end everything goes back to the way it was. There aren’t even any new characters to add to the pantheon of players in the series.

As a film is was entertaining for what it is. As a fan of the series I understood what was going on and knew most of the characters. It felt like one of the many Bleach or Naruto films where they run off to save the girl and in the end nothing really happened, well almost nothing happened. I guess the focus of the movie was to sell a music CD, but the music is not that interesting or even good.

Overall Grade: B-

I really wish that there was something positive to say about A Certain Magical Index,  the Movie: Miracle of Endymion, but in reality I just found it flat. The writing made Kamijo even more preachy then usual and very much the dunce who just happens to be there. I also found his final speech to be lacking any convincing arguments it just comes down to the reality of remembering the past that makes the difference.

So, if you are a fan of the series you just might find it entertaining, but if you are not familiar with the series don’t waist your time.