Argh, I’m very sad to see this show end. Even though the romances didn’t pan out, I hope they’ll have a second season that’ll continue the love triangle/square and settle the final Saku and Mii-chan pairing.
It’s the last day of the astronomy field trip, which means onsen time! Fuwa Fuwa-chan is a damn brilliant nickname. I’m a Mii-chan shipper, but Fuwa Fuwa-chan’s twin tails are cute enough to die for.
I’d always figured Mii-chan was a doggie-paddling type of swimmer. I like the fact that she seems to enjoy everything with such gusto, whether it’s watching stars, making mini-snowmen, swimming in an onsen, or pulling a gender role-reversal by shamelessly peeking in on the guys’ side of the onsen.
While the underclassmen are having fun on their astronomy trip (I wonder why the two seniors that are on the trip weren’t studying), Roma and Oumi get some intimate face time. The only knock is that there was no kiss, but Roma shows that sometimes you’re better off without the harem ending. While Saku’s stuck in between Mii-chan, Fuwa Fuwa-chan and Fuumin since episode 1, Roma shows that sometimes all you need is one girl who knows what she wants to get a happy ending. I’m glad she’s not facing off versus Mii-chan for Saku’s affection, because I like Oumi a lot. She’s pretty, smart, takes initiative and knows how to lead. An excellent combo indeed, Roma could not have done better if he tried.
There is a strong nostalgic feeling that emanates from this episode, what with the scenes of Roma and Oumi’s studying for their college examination and the two seniors reminiscing about their past, and handing over the leadership torch to the younger generation. It sort of reminds of Genshiken in that sense. If there is an eventual second season, there’ll be new characters, old characters will probably gone, and other characters will grow up, although their behaviors may not change much. It’s a bit of a somber thought, but I like the sense of change.
When Mii-chan reveals her set of telescope eyepieces, it triggers a nostalgic moment between Mii-chan and Saku. One of the unfortunately few good moments between the two in this episode. Saku should’ve held her hand for that moment.
That is the largest hobby telescope that I’ve ever seen. That must have cost a pretty penny. It’s no wonder that I’ve never seen Saturn, or Jupiter for that matter. It blows my mind that you’d be able to make out the rings on Saturn by looking through a hobby telescope. Could you also see the rings on Uranus? If this were K-ON, Vixen sales to the otaku market would be through the roof.
Meanwhile, in a scene that probably only existed to titillate ExecutiveOtaku, we see Fuumin showing some poor judgment in walking around without her glasses. I’m surprised she made it into the onsen without tripping on a rock. And is this what all clubs do in the wintertime? Go on hot springs trips?
In a shockingly fast turn of the calendar, the next time we see the gang is in the spring. It’s a new school year. Oumi and Roma have moved on to shack up at college, and the Astronomy Club is desperate to find another member so they can stay alive (I guess Edogawa’s still not an official member). This leads Mii-chan to create a ridiculously cute star suit for herself. Although I think I could’ve done without the eyes at the top. It seems like this transition would’ve been better served by making this a 13 episode season, and covering some time in between the astronomy trip and the start of the new school year. I’m a little sad that we didn’t get to see a proper sendoff for Roma from the Astronomy Club. The way he was separated from them in the final couple episodes, it was almost as if they forgot about them. Oh well, hopefully there’s some backstory that’ll either be provided in the DVD special or in the manga (somebody go help Drat translate these!).
I really liked the way they animated Fluffy-chan’s eyes darting from the ground to Saku and back again, during this scene. Poor girl, not only are her shipping chances fading, now she’s been transplanted into another class. I sure hope she gets to hang with Daisuke Ono’s Musa a lot more in the second season. If only because I want to see Scamp go nuts. 😉
Meanwhile, Saku embarrasses Fuumin by writing really good Astronomy Club recruitment fliers. Just a little bone thrown to Fuumin fans still holding on to hope for the unlikely, but potential couple.
A somewhat fitting end to a show that seems well set up for a potential second season. Like Janette mentions over at Borderline Hikkimori, Sora no Manimani was one of those shows that always seemed to deliver exactly what I wanted. The animation was never spectacular, but always solid. The shipping, misunderstandings, and the on-screen gags and chibi faces were gold. The "educational" sequences were usually interesting. The background music was surprisingly good. The characters were all likeable and carved niches of their own. And the story always seemed to strike the perfect mood between hilarious and heartwarming. Is it the most inventive story ever? No, but sometimes it’s just the execution that matters. And SNM’s execution was always good. Besides, having a derivative story hasn’t stopped my enjoyment of shows like Gurren Lagann, Aria and Manabi Straight. You can add Sora no Manimani onto that list.
I also had a lot of fun writing about SNM, largely because I enjoyed the shipping wars between myself, ExecutiveOtaku and Scamp. Even though both showed poor taste in choosing their respective romance leads. Mii-chan forever! :-p Although I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t resolve the romance, even that’s caveated, because I figure this’ll increase the likelihood of a second season.
All in all, I gave SNM a 9, simply because I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Bring on a second season, dammit!