Note from Average Joe
As my first anime review, I want to outline how these reviews will work compared to my others. Like my movie reviews I will be primarily looking at story and characters, but since anime typically have more characters than in a movie, I’ll include small paragraphs within paragraphs for the main cast. I will also use the presentation category to talk about things like animation, voice acting and maybe music if it is appropriate. With that said lets get into this review.
Super Sonico the Animation – AnimeZing Anime
*I really need to find better titles for these things.* Anyway, Super Sonico is a Japanese anime character with a large media presence. She’s a company mascot, has video games, manga, various merchendise and music and figures. She’s popular because of her wide range of products, her fun ditzy and loving personality and her…”assets.” But this review isn’t about music or “assets”, it’s about the 12 episode anime that was made about her simply known as Super Sonico the Animation. It follows the titular character in various slice of life situations while hijinks ensue throughout each episode. While not exactly a well know anime, I have to say it’s one of if not my favourite anime. But why is that? i hear you ask, well lets find out.
As I said the story is a collection of slice of life episodes revolving around Sonico along with her friends Suzu and Fuuri. The three of them form a band and this factors into many of the stories that take place. I have to say that while none of the episodes are seemingly linked, I love the story in this show. I’m a big fan of light hearted Slice of Life anime, I’m attracted to the realistic nature of them while still having an also abstract nature to them that makes their world different from our own and creates investment. The episodes are a complete treat to watch, there’s never any bad episode there’s just ones that are better than others. I know some, if not most people like to have a flowing story that connects episodes, but I think it works here. Super Sonic as a franchise has never really had any flow, it’s a multi media franchise and to give it a big story, or even a little one, wouldn’t really work in my opinion. If I was to say my favourite episode it would have to be episode 9 ‘Sonico’s Longest Day.’ in the episode Sonico has to rush around at the school fair to try and fit everything in, needing her friends to help her out. There’s this real sense of camaraderie and care in this episode, with everyone pitching in to make sure everything flows, and when it does it’s satisfying to watch unfold. I’m not going to review every episode but I will say that along with episode 9 I’d recommend episodes 2, 7 and 11. That said, all the episodes are great, they have great animation, cute little pockets of stories and great character moments. Speaking of characters…
For this section I’m going to have a few small bullet points for the main cast while also speaking collectively about the supporting cast. Before I get into talking about said characters I just want to say outright that I love almost all of them, no character is dislikable outright, at most they’re either a bit annoying or too small a role to matter. Anyway, the main cast;
- Super Sonico – The main protagonist of the anime obviously, Super Sonico is an absolute darling. There is not a bad bone (if anime characters even have those given their anatomy sometimes) in her body and she is just the sweetest character there is. I guess she’s nice to a fault, with there not really being anything for her to develop from, but this show isn’t about development it’s about seeing these characters for who they are and their interactions with one another are simply adorable and endearing. Sonico herself is very relatable in many ways, having to balance her education, jobs and hobbies all in the same day, a part of life that I’m sure many can identify with. As the main lead, she’s a joy to watch and while she is too nice at times she’s never downright dislikable. 11/10 would waifu again.
- Suzu – Sonico’s friend and the more prominent one out of herself and Fuuri as the supporting girls, Suzu is the tomboy of the group with a real headstrong personality. I’d say she’s my least favorite of the main three because of her pushy nature but she is still likable on account of her supportive side as well. The way she pushes her ambitions for the girls’ band is something you can also relate to in terms of aspirations and desires. I also like her comedic sadistic streak, embarrassing Sonico at random intervals in quite hilarious fashion. Her relationship with Sonico is one based on mutual love for music and the way that she helps Sonico and Fuuri along the way with their band is something to admire.
- Fuuri – Aside from Sonico, who I has a bias towards, Fuuri is easily my favorite character. Her lax attitude and sheer dimwittedness is an absolute treat to watch and her adorable tired nature is a great contrast to the bubbly and lively Suzu. I also like her willingness to help no matter what, something that really shows how much she appreciates Sonico. Her constant gluttony is something that I personally really like because, much like her, I love to eat, and eat a lot. Her personality is the weakest out of the three, but that aside she is still an enjoyable character based simply on her charm and adorable demeanor.
- Kitamura – The only major male character in the anime, Kitamura is Sonico’s modelling manager, and an absolutely hilarious character. He has this terrifying external image, with his demonic mask, deep voice and threatening tone, but under all that the earnest nature of this guy really shines through. His protective attitude towards Sonico is one that is really endearing and it shows how nice the man behind the mask really is. His sinister moments are also hilarious, a lot of the shows physical comedy comes from his interactions with other characters. For the only male lead in the show he certainly stands out among the cats, from his design to his hilarious personality.
- Additional characters – The side characters serve mainly as plot devices in this show, with a lot of the episodes being centered around their issues and moments that rope the main cast into their lives. The main side characters are mainly Sonico’s school friends, her grandmother Leila and the elderly men from Leila’s bar. Her school friends are fine, not really special but they are charming and seem like good friends. Her grandmother is kind and supportive and has a vicious edge to her sometimes which I think is quite funny. The elderly men are my favorites, their recollections of old times is a nice touch for their characters and episode 11 centers around their tribulations and is fun to watch.
If I was to give any faults to the cast it’s that there’s no real bad guy in it. No character is inherently dislikable and while that allows you to appreciate them more, it would have been nice to have some sort of foil in the cast. Maybe a rival to Sonico, either in singing, modeling or even school, this would allow for Sonico to grow beyond this person and for that person to help propel their own character into new places. It doesn’t even have to be a despicable character it can just be maybe some prissy girl who hates being outdone by an airhead like Sonico. But that’s just a nitpick I have with the cast, it’s too likable as a whole. But the characters big and small are all vastly enjoyable to watch and give off this real feel good sensation.
In this section I will once again bullet point the three sub-parts of this section, animation, voice acting and music as all of these are integral to most anime.
- Animation – The animation in this show is consistently good. I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to analyzing animation, but I do appreciate and recognize when an anime is good. I really like the combination of bright and mellow colors, it really makes many of the characters and other visuals pop from one another. The character design are all varied and unique, Sonico herself being very distinguishable and the outfits her and her friends wear are somewhat identifiable. Characters are also animated well, there movements are distinct and there’s a lot of personality in their movements. For instance, Sonico walks around in a sporadic and clumsy manner while Kitamura is stiff and formal with only small steps. These styles of movement help bring out the personality in these characters. The facial expressions are also done well, little changes like mouth shape and even head orientation is something else that brings out little quirks in the characters. There’s never really any stand out moments in terms of the animation, but there’s never any bad moments either. So I’ll simply end with, the animation is good, not game changing or anything, just good.
- Voice Acting – The voice acting is good, it’s very solid in my opinion. You can tell who each character is simply by listening to their voice, and said voices are rife with personality and attitude. Sonico’s Japanese voice (Ayano Yamamoto) is very cutesy and is the type of voice you’d expect her character to have. Her English dub voice (Jessica Nigiri) is serviceable in my opinion, maybe a little too deep but it still works. The other voices are good too, I particularly like Kitamura and his deep yet soothing tone as well as Fuuri’s mellowed voice and drowsy delivery. Not much else to really add, the voice acting is good it’s as simple as that.
- Music – Music is subjective, and in my opinion this is why the music for this show is very middling for me. I like the upbeat Jpop style of the songs mixed with some nice rock and roll vibes, but I think it’s more subjective than the other two categories for presentation. I do like how the ending song changes with each episode and each with their own unique music video to go with it. I do like the funky opening song SuperSoni♥, but once again it doesn’t really stand out to me. Although I will give them credit, the episode background songs are very relaxing to listen to at times and do add atmosphere when necessary.
- Story: 4/5 – I like the very slack storytelling and while some people prefer long story arcs, I think it still works as a compilation of adventures for the characters to get involved in.
- Characters: 5/5 – The characters are a little too likable, but this doesn’t make them worse off for it. Sonico is a fun lead and the supporting cast are all kind hearted and enjoyable to watch.
- Animation: 4/5 – While no moment particularly stands out amongst the animation crowd, the visuals are consistent, physical personality is displayed well and the backgrounds are well drawn and immersive.
- Voice Acting: 4/5 – Again, no particular voice actor stands out as superior over the rest. I will admit that the Japanese voices to fit better compared to the dub, but both are still good.
- Music: 3/5 – This style of music doesn’t necessarily grab me, but I think it fits the style of the show and the background music is nice.
Final Grade: 4/5 – It’s a really good anime to me. I love the characters, the episodes are fun to watch and the show gives off a really pleasant vibe that makes it feel good to watch. Would recommend it definitely to lovers of Slice of Life