Yurito is a high school student fixated on taking pictures of the sky. Most days he accompanies a classmate to the hospital to visit his sickly sister, but often gets distracted by simple things like cloud formations. One night, Yurito waits for the dawn to photograph a sunrise when he encounters an odd but cute girl named Matsuri beating on a vending machine. A few days later they encounter each other again, this time when a man with a sword is attacking her. Yurito saves her just before she collapses into unconsciousness. Not sure what to do with her, he takes her home.
Matsuri reveals she is a creature called a Yaka - a creature of the night which can't stand in sunlight. Concerned for her safety, Yurito decides she should stay at his house for a while. Matsuri has lived for hundreds of years, but never seen the sunlit sky. Yurito is determined to show her that sky, but her secrets may drive the two apart very soon.
I must like shows of this kind because I keep watching them. It looks like the typical formula of guy meets a mysterious magical girl, "stuff happens", then some minor conflict with a semi bittersweet ending. That's what I thought in the beginning anyway. The characters are unremarkable but likable enough. The story meanders and appears to lack direction. After the first 4 episodes (volume 1 of the DVD), circumstances made me take a break from Sola, but I figured I had this review already written in my head.
Sola doesn't elaborate on much in the beginning, but shows potential. Baggage from other titles that never went anywhere, influenced my expectations, making it a surprise that Sola lives up to some of that potential. Instead of working up to a single big climax, Sola hits some good story points by the middle. One key piece of the puzzle completely changes what you think you know, and transforms the nature of the relationship between Matsuri and Yurito. Sorry I have dance around that topic - it would be a shame to ruin the story if you intend to watch this one.
Sola is unusual because the so-so characters are rescued by a strong story (usually it's the other way around). It has attractive designs, a well done soundtrack, and good (Japanese) voice acting. Besides that, I liked the ending. It's not the "we're trying to be poetic so we'll do the tragic bittersweet ending" kind of thing. Instead Sola concludes in an upbeat yet appropriate way, and is something you can feel good about. Even though it coasts through the first phase, Sola has enough to make it better than similar titles, so squeaks by as above average.
Matsuri: I'd like to repay you. Is there anything you'd like me to do?
Yorito: Do something?
Matsuri: Anything is fine.
Yorito: Uh... something...
Matsuri: ... ... pervert.
Yorito: I didn't say anything!
Screen Caps: >