Summer 2009 First Impressions: Sora no Manimani

I was cautiously optimistic about Sora no Manimani. The description wasn’t that interesting and the character art didn’t seem that great, but for some reason – whether because School Rumble director Shinji Takamatsu was directing this, or because slice of life + romcom is right up my alley – I was intrigued. So did it live up to my modest expectations?

Mii-chan straddles Saku
Say no to bullying. Say yes to straddling.

Things I liked:

  • It’s a good sign when you like the main character, and I loved Mi-chan. She reminded me of a Haruhi, if Haruhi was more deredere and focused on one particular activity. But like Haruhi, Mi-chan has her head in the clouds (literally) and lets her excitement get the best of her.
  • I wouldn’t go as far as calling Saku, the male lead, a loser, but while he didn’t come off as very likeable, I thought he was still hilarious. A self-professed bookworm, who just wants to be alone so he can read, I like that he’s at least honest about who he is, and the scenes in which he tries to avoid his former tormenter, Mi-chan were great.
  • Speaking of which, this was just a really funny episode. While not as zany as School Rumble, the bits of gag comedy were really well done and very, very funny.
  • The artwork and animation wasn’t anything special, but it’s really clean and fluid. And I love the chibified and disformed design styles.

Things I didn’t like:

  • There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this show. I mean, I was laughing out loud at certain parts which I don’t normally do… so, I guess if it was too much funnier, I could possibly injure a lung.

Random other thoughts:

To answer my rhetorical question above, yes, it met my expectations and exceeded them. Like I mentioned above, I don’t usually laugh out loud at shows (I’m more of a quiet chuckler), but there were a couple instances where I burst out laughing. I was hoping for a School Rumble-style, slice of lifey, romcom, and for at least one episode, this show delivered everything I wanted. If they can keep this up, and don’t pull a School Rumble type fail of an ending, I think this show could become one of my favorites.

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