SONIANI: SUPER SONICO THE ANIMATION

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert

SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation is the 2014 misadventures of Sonico: marine biology major, occasional waitress, model, and frontwoman for three-piece indie rock outfit First Astronomical Velocity. Given her origin as company mascot for video game firm Nitroplus, her calculated appearance and personality traits are hardly surprising. But it’s for this very reason why she never develops, instead left static and relegated to avatar status. As a list of traits (a ditsy, overburdened do-gooder with a penchant for sleeping in, homeless cats and oversized headphones) she fills out an entertaining 12 sessions.

Like the series’ namesake, the recurring characters don’t develop. Her fellow band members, leader and bassist Suzu Fujimi and snack-obsessed drummer Fuuri Watanuki, both featured in Nitro+’s visual novel Axanael, and it’s much of the same here. Her affectionate manager Kitamura, who sports a kabuki mask and sometimes a sword, shows nothing but fatherly concern for Sonico, but the air of ambiguity prevents any real empathy. It’s only minor characters that prove dynamic and relatable. In Session 5, New World, Sayaka Kinomoto, a disillusioned journo with shattered dreams and a half-finished novel, reluctantly covers Sonico for a magazine spread. After spending the day with her, Sayaka is soon inspired, her whole dour outlook changing. She even finishes her novel!

Session 6, Cruising of the Dead, throws a demented spanner in the works when zombies show up at the halfway point. The tonal shift after the feel-good glitz and jangly J-Pop was whiplash-inducing, as the band try and survive against a hungry horde. Episode 7, Star Rain, is the show’s highpoint, where you get an insight into how good a series it could have been if a few of the odder ideas were tossed out and the rest was tightened up. It put the comedy on the back burner and saw Sonico as Forest Gump, travelling alone and encountering and affecting a variety of disparate people. It’s the episode which allowed the luscious animation to really indulge itself in the delicate glass-blowing sequence or the mesmerising star scape.

The series pulls in too many directions for it to be taken as one complete package, its tonal detours and narrative shifts only work against it. The creative team, headed up by Black Lagoon handyman Kenichi Kawamura, never seemed to fully understand what they wanted to do: Session 9 is a ‘murder’ mystery, while 10 is all about Sonico’s cats. Super Sonico The Animation is a bittersweet slice of life, that’s oddly affectionate and bursting with untapped possibility. Another series might just set the record straight.

Special Features: Opening and closing animation / Outtakes / Blooper reel / Radio spots / Photo shoots / Trailers

INFO: SONIANI: SUPER SONICO THE ANIMATION / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: KENICHI KAWAMURA / SCREENPLAY: YOUSUKE KURODA / STARRING: AYANO YAMAMOTO, MAMI OZAKI, MAI GOTOU, RYOUTA TAKEUCHI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

  


Suggested Articles:
Long before Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch ever portrayed Sherlock Holmes on our screens
Polish writer/director Walerian Borowczyk was quite the card. In a 40-year career (he died in 2006),
Getting a new release from the BFI following their recent Scorsese celebration, Alice Doesn’t Live
Make no mistake, this isn’t competing with the likes of The Abyss or Das Boot, either for expansiv
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 22 March 2017

THE STORY OF SIN 20 March 2017

ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE 20 March 2017

THE CHAMBER 20 March 2017

THE WARTIME CHRONICLES 20 March 2017

PIECES 18 March 2017

SOLARIS 18 March 2017

WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR 18 March 2017

THE DOCTORS: THE JON PERTWEE YEARS 17 March 2017

FRIGHT NIGHT 14 March 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner