Thursday, 7 August 2008

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora - Episode 4

So, we've hit episode four of Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora, yet even by this series' own liltingly gentle standards, it has to be said that not a lot particularly happened in this instalment.

The good news is that this episode does at least let us in on more of Gouta's back story, covering his family situation as well as hinting why he is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish at being a mage. We're also starting to see a much softer side to him as a character soon, which has occurred rather faster than I expected - Not that it's a bad thing, it's hard to stand smart-assed characters for too long, especially in a show like this.

Quite strangely for a series about magic, Natsu no Sora seems to be at its best when it's simply showing normal, every day life - Conversations over the breakfast table, a shopping trip out with friends and sharing one another's music tastes, talking to parents and so on. There's nothing mystical or magical about it in the slightest, yet it does give off that warm feeling of life that somehow goes at least some way to making it worth watching.

If you're hoping for some kind of Japanese equivalent to Harry Potter from this show, then you'll doubtless have been rather disappointed so far with little more than a smidgen of magic on show in this opening handful of episodes, and even then it's all been rather underwhelming (unless watching breast milk being created via magic is your kind of thing, and no, I'm not kidding). Whether this will change or not further down the line I really don't know, but right now this series seems more than content to concentrate on the otherwise normal lives of the students, with more of a feeling that this is some kind of 'coming of age' story (for Sora and Gouta in particular) than anything. To be quite honest, I don't mind that particularly as long as it's done well, and the fact that even what could have been a rather dull episode here kept my attention has to be a good sign.

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