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Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue Discussion Thread

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  • [Winter 2016] Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue Discussion Thread

    Widgets Magazine
    蒼の彼方のフォーリズム

    A show about a sport for flying acrobats. One guy in particular quits the sport after an excruciatingly painful defeat, but after becoming a coach for a transfer student, his passion returns.

    Airs: Monday, January 11

    Studio: Gonzo

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    In a world where flying is as simple as riding a bicycle, there is a popular sport called "Flying Circus" (dogfight race). The protagonist who once hoped for a future in this sport suffered a setback due to an overwhelming defeat, and withdrew from the sport for this and some other reason. However, he met the transfer student Asuka Kurashina, and in teaching her to fly the skies, the old passion returned. He takes part in the Flying Circus again.


    Notes
    As usual, please try to follow these three easy forum courtesy habits when replying:
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    For more guidelines please refer to this thread.
    Last edited by Chris Beveridge; 01-08-2016, 01:00 PM.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
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  • #2
    Episode 1

    I believe I can fly.

    And so it starts off with Asuka getting started with flying using special shoes, and then there's this sport called Flying Circus where players fly over the ocean. Asuka is just getting started, but right off the bat she's challenging an elite player to a match, albeit with a huge handicap. It looked like she wasn't going to get that point, but she did. It's off to a decent start there as the girls are cute and the sport looks pretty interesting. It's full of cliches, but I really like the premise of this show all while the artwork is pretty good considering that Gonzo hasn't been stumbling as of late, so I'll keep on watching for the time being.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
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    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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    • #3
      Re: Episode 1

      Actually a pretty good premise, but the execution kills it a bit. Not awful by any means, but sloppy enough that I'm not inspired to stick around for any more. Surprisingly watchable for Gonzo.
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      • #4
        Episode 2

        She's getting a kick start.

        Turns out that Asuka has the talent to be a FC (and that means Flying Circus here, not Football Club, which is part of the joke made about the USA upsetting England in soccer) player with the air kick turn, which is quite a difficult move to pull off, but she's having a hard time executing that move again. It doesn't help that they don't have the right equipment, and that Masaya isn't motivated to be Asuka's coach. But of course he can't ignore the situation when Asuka is having a hard time even maintaining her balance. So pretty much, this episode is all about explaining the mechanics and the formation of the FC team as Asuka, Misaki, and Mashiro all join. That's a pretty good episode there, and so far I'm really enjoying this show. I'm not quite ready to call it a keeper just yet given Gonzo's bad track record as of late, but at this point it's a show I'm really getting into.
        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
        Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
        Simulcasts: Too many to list
        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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        • #5
          Episode 3

          Cooler heads will prevail.

          Seeing that Takafuji doesn't appear to have much to gain by holding a training camp for the Kunahama FC that it was a surprise that they agreed to it, but Shindou is doing this so that one day he could square off against Masaya in a match seeing that he was the reason why he got into the sport, but one day he suddenly quit the sport. That's something that could turn into an interesting development someday.

          Rika is introduced and even though she is one of the main heroines, she attends a different school, while Reiko has become a better person ever since Asuka won the bet. Everybody is getting along quite well, and that's certainly something that will go a long way. The camp ends with practice matches, and as expected Kunahama wasn't competitive with the experience gap, but Asuka did pull off that move that she couldn't do in practice, while Misaki learned to keep her cool and not give into Shindou's provocations to score a point against one of the best.

          So far, I have been really enjoying this show, and certainly I can't wait until the girls begin their matches seeing how great Misaki looks in her FC outfit. Misaku and Asuka showed that they have what it takes to play the sport, while Mashiro is still trying to find her way. Its great to see all of the strategies and techniques in play here. So with that, this show will be a keeper for the season.
          MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
          Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
          Simulcasts: Too many to list
          The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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          • #6
            Episode 4

            This calls for a class change.

            Misaki is a pro while Asuka is getting much better. As for Mashiro, she is falling behind fast and seeing that she thinks that she would be cut off from her if she doesn't get better fast that she happens to bump into Rika. And with some training from Rika, Mashiro has gotten the basics down all while she point to the fact that her small body makes her better suited to be a speedster rather than a fighter. So with that change, Mashiro has stepped up her game. Of course, it also helps that Asuka fell for the oldest trick in the book during that sparring match.

            Mashiro is such an amusing character seeing that she likes to put on the chuunibyou act as a means to approach FC. Of course, all she was focused on was leveling up not realizing that she's trying to do it in all the wrong places. Those friendship moments between Mashiro and Rika are pretty cute. Next time, it's onto another training camp where that student who picked up Asuka's cell phone that she had dropped attends.
            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
            Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
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            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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            • #7
              Re: Episode 4

              I keep waffling on this show. I've dropped it a couple times and then pick it up again. I think I'll probably keep it even though I'd love to winnow down my simulcast titles for this season (I'm currently at 24 normal length titles and 3 shorts). It was nice to see Rika get some screen time. Broadcast Girl seems fun in an annoying way and I am curious about Phone Retriever. One of my beefs with the show is that the FC game is pretty dumb. It's the same dynamic every time: a speeder tries to touch a buoy first and a fighter tries to block her. And really, why does Coachy have to instruct players to take shortcuts to block a speeder each and every time? Shouldn't it be obvious?

              Comment


              • #8
                Episode 5

                Just keep calm and carry on.

                And so, the first tournament for the new FC club begins and everybody sure is fired up. First it's Mashiro vs. Reiko, and Reiko totally dominates once she quickly realizes that Mashiro has changed from a fighter to a speedster, which is the only reason why Mashiro was able to score on her. Then it's Misaki vs. Rika, and she puts her experience to use in keeping Rika off-balanced, and then she circles around her to stall her and run out the clock. Next is Shion vs. Saki, and with her blazing speed having learned to play from the daughter of a famous Grav-shoe maker, he got owned. She is the one that swooped in to save Asuka's cell phone with that speed of her's. Finally, it's Asuka vs. Arika, and Arika's movements totally got Asuka confused, but by matching movements, she turned the tide around, and then she unleashes her air kick turn for the win.

                That was some nice game action here, and going 2 for 4 is a pretty good result seeing that this team has two beginners and two others who are far from being elite players, but with a former elite player coaching them that everybody has a fighting chance. The new characters are an interesting bunch, especially Irina seeing that this Brit knows Grav-shoes inside and out. Can't wait to see some more action now that the girls have become tournament-ready after all that training and that they are finally wearing those suits.
                MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                Simulcasts: Too many to list
                The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                • #9
                  Episode 6

                  He's making a splash.

                  Asuka wins her second match, and Misaki faces Shindou in the second round. After falling behind, she mounts a comeback having learned the air kick turn, but she runs out of time against the FC juggernaut. Next up is Asuka and like Misaki, she falls behind quickly as Shindou unleashes his secret techniques that literally make a splash. Asuka mounts a comeback using consecutive air kick turns, but she gets exhausted and her headset fall off. Shindou shows off his air kick turns for the clincher.

                  I had a feeling that Asuka and Misaki were not going to last for long in the tournament. After all, the true battle comes after losing, and now that everybody from the school's FC is out a new battle is about to begin. Next time, it looks like Saki and Shindou will battle it out, and that should be great to watch with these two juggernauts battling it out.
                  MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                  Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                  Simulcasts: Too many to list
                  The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                  • #10
                    Episode 7

                    The true battle comes after losing.

                    The qualifier comes down to a showdown between Japan's top player Shindou and the speed freak Saki. It was close, and just when Shindou thought he had it in the bag using the recoil to score the decisive strike, Saki beats him to the punch with her speed. While everybody was looking forward to the fall tournament, Misaki has decided to quit the sport.

                    That was a nicely done match there, and seeing that the true battle comes after losing, this is what it is all about with Misaki all depressed about losing to a half-serious Shindou. Of course, Shindou isn't discouraged one bit as he is always looking to refine his game, just like football coaches do seeing that the game has changed so much seeing that playing styles get outdated all the time, but Misaki just isn't getting the message. Next time, Misaki does some more soul searching, and it will be intriguing to see just how the club responds to this distraction seeing that she didn't go to the cliff with the rest of her friends.
                    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                    Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                    Simulcasts: Too many to list
                    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                    • #11
                      Episode 8

                      Her wings have been clipped.

                      After some crazy attempts by Mashiro to reach out to Misaki, Asuka finally gets through when she jets away, and Misaki doesn't find FC to be fun anymore. She and Masaya have a talk where Masaya explains why he quit FC, and that's because he didn't find it fun as there was a lot of pressure being Japan's representative in the World Cup, and he suffered a humiliating defeat to a newcomer. Arriving by chopper are Saki and Irina as Saki challenges Asuka to a practice match. While Asuka shows her fighting spirit, Saki is just too strong for her and she falls into the sea after her last move caused a Grav-shoe malfunction.

                      That was unexpectedly funny seeing Mashiro's silly attempts at getting Misaki's attention, but things changed once Saki arrived. That match was pretty brutal. As if her speed didn't make her a juggernaut already, her reflexes are on an entirely different level seeing that Asuka couldn't get an opening she needed to score off her. While losing to her is one thing, it's the fall that had Asuka not feeling right. That was a good way of explaining just what it feels like to be losing and how something that was once fun is suddenly no longer fun.
                      MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                      Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                      Simulcasts: Too many to list
                      The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                      • #12
                        Episode 9

                        Look up for the answer.

                        After taking a huge fall, Asuka is not exactly feeling herself as she tries to fake it during school, but in practice it's obvious to everybody that something was not right. So she recalls the time there and she met a boy who is a huge fan of the mecha anime Zephyrion, and she received a figure from him before moving away. Asuka and Misaki have a talk while going through some photo albums from a time when Misaki was commonly being mistaken for a boy, and the two are feeling better seeing that everybody goes through slumps. So they have a match that Misaki wins, and the club is back together again.

                        That was quite a nice way to dig into Asuka's past there and explain the significance of her hairpin. It just goes to show that many problems can be solved by having a talk, and those two supported each other seeing that she's in the same boat. Now that everybody is back, it's onto practicing for the fall tournament and I'll be curious to see how things will end.
                        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                        Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                        Simulcasts: Too many to list
                        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                        • #13
                          Episode 10

                          Back into the sky.

                          Now that everybody is back practicing for the fall tournament, Masaya has some special training designed to counteract Saki's Birdcage attack that she picked up from Kagami. As they practice, Asuka calls Reiko and Rika to train together, while Misaki does the same with Shindou. Then after Masaya and Misaki have a conversation, both of them break out their shoes and show off some advanced techniques for Asuka to learn from.

                          That was great to see everybody getting together like that united by a common goal of figuring out how to beat Saki in the fall tournament. And it's nice to finally see Masaya and Kagami getting actively involved the sport again. Even though Saki and Irina come out as being guys who look down on everybody, at the very least they have a soft spot there seeing that Saki was seen looking after a cat. It should be quite an intense tournament coming up now that everybody has improved their game and the players for both schools are starting to become great friends.
                          MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                          Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                          Simulcasts: Too many to list
                          The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                          • #14
                            Episode 11

                            Freed from the cage.

                            The girls fall tournament is underway. In the first round, Mashiro and Rika square off, and Mashiro puts on her moves for the win against her best friend, while Asuka and Misaki take care of business. Mashiro is out in the third round having lost go Ganeko, while Reiko was no match for Saki's Birdcage technique. Then comes the semis with Asuka making quick work of Ganeko, while Misaki and Saki battle. While Saki gained momentum early on, Misaki kept up with her by flying backwards to avoid getting caught and Saki slowly opens up. Misaki tied her, but Saki soon took over using her own style of FC for the win.

                            That battle between Misaki and Saki is nicely done. Saki had just been Irina's puppet this whole time, but that battle made Saki realize that part of the fun of FC is to find her own style of play, and seeing that she was a pretty good player even before learning the Birdcage that she was right on top of things when she went back to her pre-Birdcage style of play after it was was busted. Even though Saki won, Irina is none too pleased about it, and I wonder how exactly she will change seeing that her cocky attitude has rubbed a lot of characters the wrong way, and none more than Aoi's. And then there are Saki's shoes as Aoi thinks there's something suspicious about them. One more episode to go as Asuka and Saki have their match to decide the champion.
                            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                            Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                            Simulcasts: Too many to list
                            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                            • #15
                              Episode 12 (Finale)

                              Together, they're soaring to new heights.

                              It's Asuka vs. Saki for the championship, and Asuka grabs the early advantage with her Pentagram Force maneuver, but Saki turns off the balancer in her Grav-Shoes to overwhelm Asuka and tie up the score, and for the overtime period, Asuka decides to fly with the balancer off. In overtime, Asuka and Saki trade blows and five minutes later, the score is still tied with the two wrapped around in a ball of light. Then in the sudden death match, Asuka's shoes malfunction apparently giving Saki the opening for the win, but Asuka avoids it and delivers the winning touch. With that win, the sport has evolved and everybody makes up with each other.

                              That was beautiful and intense that final match. They really put the circus in Flying Circus seeing that it's something that's supposed to bring joy to everybody. Saki and Irina certainly didn't see it that way, while Aoi and Masaya could only think about the bad memories the sport brought them. But Asuka and Saki were having fun there while putting on a dazzling light show in the process for everybody to enjoy, and that brought Masaya back to the sport. Certainly, everybody is a much better person after witnessing FC unlike anything else, and for that this show ends in great way.

                              Overall, this is a show that I didn't really have any expectations for knowing how much of an afterthought Gonzo is these days, although I had some hopes for this show seeing that the visual novel it is adapted from is quite popular and well-received. The show got off to a rough start trying to be more of an advertisement for the game than to actually construct a meaningful story while the character cliches were flying rampantly. However, the show improves greatly after the midpoint where the clubmates deal with losing and trying to rediscover their passion for the sport. Those parts are nicely done and that sets the stage for a great finish to this show. To summarize things, I really like this show for the cute characters, the FC action, the atmosphere, and the character development, while this show stumbles with the wavering focus of the plot, the large amount of setup that wasn't handled in the best of ways, and the character cliches. And one other thing I like are the FC outfits as they allow for the girls to wear something revealing without actually baring skin in those areas.

                              MAL Rating: ********--
                              MyAnimeList | Avatar: Super Bowl LIV in Miami
                              Watching: Ultramarine Magmell, Release the Spyce, Toonami Stuff
                              Simulcasts: Too many to list
                              The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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