Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo
Minamisakojima island centers around an aerospace company, which announced its gradual departure two years ago. Since then shops closed, and people continue to move away. Due to falling student population, the girls and boys dorms were merged. Wataru is the only male, with six girls also living there. In just 6 months, the dorms will close and they'll separate. Time is short, but life changing experiences remembered for a lifetime can happen in just such a span.
When I say
Kono Aozora is low budget with crude designs (inconsistently appearing okay or bad depending on the scene), and poor animation. I'd guess the music music is adapted from the visual novel, but not always used appropriately. These things could be overlooked in lieu of good characters and story, however the characters are on the bland side, and the story is often boring. Each girl gets 2 episodes, but the first 3 girls have clunker stories. Going 6 episodes in requires a lot of faith it will improve, but thankfully two of them do okay.
Umi (ep 7-8) spends much of the show nearly in tears, but it isn't until she becomes the focus that it's clarified how mentally fragile and messed up she is. Umi and Wataru are childhood friends, with a bond much deeper than that. His mother and her father had an affair, causing a scandal which still scars their families today. Through this the two stuck together, although it's mostly been Wataru looking after Umi. This makes their relationship unusual, in that he's so protective of her. It evolves into a story where she tries to be more outgoing which works okay.
A year or two ago, Wataru decided he would try his hand at being a ladies man, thus sets his sights on the hottest girl on the island: Naoko (Ep 11-12). After being shot down countless times, she finally agrees to a date. It turns out she was only using him, hurting him immensely. Now years later, both live at the dorm. It's interesting how the two have a torrid relationship, but it isn't until nearly the end when you see they actually have a history. This is a feature I liked about Kono Aozara. The characters seem quirky at first, but as the stories explore the characters, their behaviors make sense. Naoko acts polite and dignified at school, but in the dorms is fairly direct and abusive towards Wataru. Considering their past, and how unclear their feelings are currently, it makes for a good story.
The last episode is a farewell between characters, which feels appropriate. However in only 12ish episodes, it seems like a stretch to look back over all that's happened when... not a lot has happened (compared to far longer running shows). This would have been so much better if Wataru had picked a girl, but that goes for most of these shows. With all I've said about Kono Aozora, I wouldn't recommend it, but I don't dislike nor regret watching it. If you're a visual novel fan, tolerant of the same old setup, or maybe in the mood for it; Kono Aozora has a few good points. I'd probably recommend skipping episodes if a girl's story isn't grabbing you.
Wataru: Humans are beings that can express their feelings to others. So we use words more and more to discover feelings.
Naoko: True. Instead of carying those feelings around with you forever, it would be easier to say them aloud wouldn't it? But I still can't say them can I...
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