Yosuga no Sora Review

One of the series that I was following in the Fall 2010 season but didn’t finish until recently was Yosuga no Sora. I don’t think it needs an introduction, but for those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s an anime adaptation of a visual novel that kept the H-scenes. Many people disregarded the series as pure fanservice or softcore porn, but I kept watching it because of the excellent animation, and I’m glad I did.

Yes, there is sex, and yes, that initially pushed me away from this series, but looking back, it actually wasn’t that bad. There is no genitallia anywhere in the series; the most skin that is shown are some bare breasts, and considering bare breasts are perfectly legal in public (according to this famous court case) and common to other media, I don’t consider this series any more pornographic than a Hollywood film. Once you get past the “oh my gosh, this is so dirty” phase, you can start to enjoy the great story.

I was actually very confused after the first few arcs with how the characters acted between themselves. This was all cleared up when someone pointed out to me that each arc is actually a different timeline, but each timeline contains some similar events from the previous arc. Actually, the anime is set up like a visual novel more than anything, where some scenes are repeated only within certain routes. It’s a nice way of telling the story for all of the visual novel fans, but I think I would’ve preferrred a more linear format.

As I pointed out in a previous post, Yosuga no Sora has very well thought-out characters and plenty of drama to go around. With all of the jealously, hatred, anger, sadness, love, and lust, there is sure to be something shocking for everyone. The anime is actually like those soap operas that housewives watch during the day. You know the ones I’m talking about: where person A is going out with B, much to the envy of C, then A suddenly dies and B gets with C, but A is revived and goes out with D while B tries to get back with A, oh and D has a secret crush on C. Yeah, Yosuga no Sora isn’t as complicated as that (just barely), but all of the emotional turmoil is there. All of the tense moments between Kazuha/Akira and Nao/Sora/the class president (I forgot her name) were really well done. The sex scenes also played a major role in advancing the plot because you simply can’t get any more of a shock factor than a character walking in on her rival raping her love interest or making out on the floor.

While the main selling point of Yosuga no Sora seemed to be taboo relationships, there was actually very little content dealing with that. The yuri relationship between Kazuha and Akira never develops past a forced kiss, and even the brother x sister relationship between Haruka and Sora seemed sidelined by the flood of emotions that the characters feel. The only real resistance to the twincest comes from the class president, who preaches about morals and ethics to Haruka, although it is implied that she is less concerned that Haruka is making out with his twin sister and more concerned that the guy she likes has someone else. In my view, the writers really dropped the ball here. They had so much potential to turn the anime into a serious look at taboo relationships but decided to make it into a regular love triangle (or whatever other polygon you prefer).

So while Yosuga no Sora does have good animation, plot, and characters going for it, the lack of anything extra makes it less than what it could’ve been. Rather than being a great drama, it turned out to be a condensed soap opera starring high schoolers. It was still enjoyable though, as the drama that unfolds and all of the plot twists will keep you on your feet.

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  1. Ah, this was one show that I was vaguely interested. All because of a figure of Sora, the one in a swimsuit I believe. I also found interesting the way the different routes are set up. In the end though I didn’t pick it up, I wonder why though.
    Miette-chan recently posted..Poor Little Zaku

  2. Loved this show (not as much as Clannad or anon though^^). I really liked how Soras personality went xD
    Plus there was one of the weirdest/scariest scenes I’ve ever seen in Anime (right after the School Days incident^^) – when the twins were at it right behind the door :X that was… well, something else^^

  3. @Miette-chan:
    I know the figure you’re talking about, I almost bought it, but decided to go for an Asuka figure instead.

    @MkMiku:
    The Sora arc was my favourite out of all of them, but I’m kinda disappointed that they didn’t have one for the class rep/prez.

    @duqs:
    It may have raised the eyebrows of the older generations, but Japan’s younger generations seem more lenient to taboo relationships.

    @Arianna Sterling:
    You could always keep it as a backup in case you run out of series for your 150 anime challenge :)

    @Summey:
    The scene behind the door was really shocking, I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to witness that.

  4. You make a great point about the bare breasts. There’s far raunchier stuff from Hollywood and far more distasteful anime that doesn’t show nudity than Yosuga no Sora. It took me a while to realize that.

    Still even then, I don’t know if the drama is enough to grab my attention. I would’ve loved to see a serious story on incest. The everyday high schooler angst, not so much.
    Yi recently posted..Reversing the Irreversible in Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Future Predictions Using Physics

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  6. @Yi:
    More focus on the taboo relationships would’ve been a good change, it seems teen angst is getting really common-place in anime.

  7. Have to agree with most of the sentiments here…I understand they wanted to cater to every girl, but honestly the whole time I was watching I kept thinking “When’s it going to be Sora’s turn.”. And when it finally was it felt too short and underdeveloped…

    I’m sure all the other girls have varying levels of fandom for them, but honestly how many people went into the show interested in anyone but Sora? From the posts I’ve seen here and there I’d say not an awful lot…

    The whole concept of an Omnibus like setup for an Eroge Anime adaptation sounds good on paper, but when you have one character thats overwhelmingly more interesting it makes it hard to not feel like all the episode not focused on her were a waste…
    Ashlotte recently posted..Review- 1-8 Kousaka Kirino

  8. @Ashlotte:
    I know I would’ve enjoyed some more screentime for Sora, but I guess the producers didn’t want to turn their backs on other fans. On the bright side, you can buy the DVDs/Blu-Rays for just a single character since they’re split into the different arcs.

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