In the big city of Yanagihara, the masses of people and buildings make it a bustling place to exist, and yet, people will meet and fall in love here in this city.
A Hypothetical Fairy Tale
My Favorite Animal is Pegasus
Kobata-san is Cute
Dora-san... I think I'm pregnant...
The virtuous Lord Hawk!
Eek! Don't, they'll hear me!
The prestigous king will taste victory!
Is the busty cream girl here yet?
My heart is pounding!
Please, Always Be a Fan, Okay?
Are you familiar with imoto-moe
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa
As an individual who loves to be challenged by an anime, and pick up on a "things are not what they seem" theme, I stumbled across this series by complete accident and dare I say I enjoyed every nonsensical minute of it. We, Without Wings - Under the Innocent Sky isn't good for what it is, it excells at what it hides from you. It is hard to write this review without spoiling some major plot points but I shall do my best. In the City of Yanahigara, a seemingly large cast of characters live their lives affecting people that they meet and helping each other out the best they can, but are they hero's from another time and place or just normal folks living day to day? Takashi Haneda wants to leave this world, but is delayed by his duties as Class Representative, Graduation Essays, and his faux girlfriend Asuka Watarai. Shusuke Chitose is quasi-employed charmer who learns about acceptance while working part time at Alexander Restaraunt and bonding with his trainer Hiyoko Tamaizumi who happens to be a published author that Chitose must write a review about for another of his part time jobs at Men's Freeze (a fictional GQ magazine.) Drac is helping Naru Ohtori find her lost bike while dealing with various gang members and street folk along the way. Kobato Haneda is Takashi's little sister, dealing with issues with her brother and trying her best to keep him happy and grounded. Rounding out the main characters are a parade of colorful secondary characters from a very inappropriate little girl, Alice, to party hard Alexander waitresses, Tsundere Class Vice-Presidents, Over excited crushes from afar, a very lecherous restaraunt owner, a Crepe Vendor, and the various city denizens who pop in and out of our cast's lives daily. Story 7/10 Although We, Without Wings gets bogged down in it's own setting, characters and vast amount of ecchi, there is actually a very compelling story about dealing with emotional issues and self acceptance that taken in context can hit very hard. Every character has demons, and a place to run away to so that they can avoid the pitfalls of thier lives. Oddly most of the characters run away to a fictional fantasy land called Geruda but how does this connect these people who seem to not know each other? How indeed...it isn't until 8 episodes in do we finally get to the truth and if you make it that far, you are rewarded with the gotcha moment that hits your understanding (if you haven't put two and two together or spoil yourself prior). The last 4 episodes deal head on with these issues, and the realization that the series is not so much about the main character Takashi, but about the people in his life and how all these happenings affect them. Animation 8/10 The contrast between light and dark, night and day, clean schools, and dirty streets do a big job in helping tell the stories. Characters are drawn well, not copy and paste given the vast amount of humanity in the anime that exists. It tells me that the creators cared about every detail, and it works. Sound 6/10 To be honest, the OP and ED are bland, dime a dozen J-pop tunes. There was a nice Piano Jazz background soundtrack that could have been wonderous if it wasn't mixed so low in everything going on. When the anime shifts into the fantasy world, the music and sound becomes an afterthought. This could have been handles a whole lot better. Characters 9/10 Where this anime takes a lot of hits, the overwhelming amount of people on screen actually accentuate the busyness of it all. You do not meet anyone who do not drive the main group of characters on, everyone on screen serves a purpose and in essence drive the series. Without them, our protagonists would not have any reason or motivation to live their lives and handle their problems. The secondary/minor characters here are as much of the scenery and given the actual subject matter presented near the end actually make sense in the larger picture. Overall 7.5/10 Do not read further as I am now going to spoil the series in the overall:Ready?Really ready?Here goes:This anime deals with mental illness. How and why, I will let you discover on your own. Near the end, it deals realistically with someone who knows they need help and how they go about it. The first step to any kind of recovery is admitting you have a problem, and how this comes about and the who and why the people in their life wants to help is poignant and never forced. The downside to We, Without Wings is the ecchi. Although I am a fan of ecchi, fan service, boobs etc..this easily could have not been a part of it. There are a couple of scenes that border on out and out hentai, and it was a distraction rather than a welcome addition. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable experience that I recommend you check out for yourself. However, if you dislike ecchi, or slice of life you might want to steer clear. Cheers!
Finally here comes the end of Spring 2011, and I am watching WAY too much this season, nevermind that this is a review for the first anime I finished this season... Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai or We Without Wings –Under the Innocent Sky-. First of all this is another of those animes like Yosuga no Sora, if you can’t put up with the hardcore ecchi, you won’t watch it, this is clearly apparent in the first couple of episodes of the anime. Story: We Without Wings is interesting in the fact that the story is similar to that of Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, in the fact that the actual true story doesn’t become apparent until later in the anime, however this was dealt with clumsily and lead to a lot of people dropping the anime due to lack of interest in the story. The later episodes redeem this clumsy story-telling but throwing a timed curve-ball but, as mentioned earlier, this comes in too late. It explores many aspects of society, and delves into to psychological aspects later in the anime. In my opinion, if you can make it through the crappy first 5 episodes, it does a good job at redeeming itself. Animation: Very nice animation, and when it did delve into the explicit scene it was censored, so a plus for those who don’t appreciate such explicitness, this however does work against the anime in the earlier episode blatantly omitting fanservice shots with yellow tape, which is incredibly annoying... Yes I know I’m creating conflicting point of view, but I like fanservice not sex. The animation style is sleek and well animated, just like many newer animes. Sounds: Not really the best, I mean that added to the intensity but most of the time felt unapparent and dull, nothing truly memorable. Voice acting however plays a very important role in the story and the seiyuu performed this well, many characters were instantly recognisable through their voices, which eased the confusion of later episodes. The Opening and Ending(s) were good, setting the whimsical and happy mood, but littered with hints to the true intention of the story, which strays from whimsical to serious later in the anime. Characters: The large cast of characters is simply overwhelming, and most of these characters are introduced in the first episode, which caused me a lot of confusion and took 3-4 episodes before I started to make sense of it all. The leading males characters: Dora, Shuusuke and Takashi are strong character and are well developed (based on the circumstances) are clearly define individuality in personality... The leading females however, with their quirks, felt too similar to one another and none really stood out as an amazing character. Secondary Character play a large part of the story and everyone seems interconnected (similar to Durarara!) which makes gives it some redeeming points. Overall: While not the best anime this season, it was definitely worth watching, though stupid I felt for the character and grasped their situation, this anime I think will be like the H2O ~Footprints in the sand~ debate, some people will think it is absolute crap and others will really enjoy it. I really enjoyed the anime and would recommend to anybody who liked: Chaos;Head, Yosuga no Sora, or H2O ~Footprints in the sand~. It’s one of those animes you take seriously and enjoy or you judge it and don’t enjoy it. Reviewer’s Note: If your reading this please tell me what you think ^.^
I won't romanticize it; I watched this for the ecchi goodness. Burnt out after a stretch of serious/emotional anime, I needed something sugary for a change of pace. You can't write much about this show without spoiling it, so I will just say that the ecchi kept me going for the first few episodes but I would have finished this anime without it. An intruiging premise and a good story line are peppered with attractive, if two-dimensional, characters and tons of tongue in cheek humor. So good, and all the more so because I wasn't expecting it.
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