Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm [Review]
“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.” -ANN
Seeing as this was actually based off of a Visual Novel, I had little to no hope for this one. But as it turns out, it’s a little bit better than your typical adaptations. Especially the final episode, because it was a DAMN GOOD FINAL EPISODE.
From someone who has yet to play the game, and just went straight for the anime, I have no problems with the story. I thought it had a really nice flow to it, the routes though not involving the main male protagonist, still made sense with the story. The tension of participating in FC competition is there and it’s quite thrilling! There are still a lot of question left unanswered, like the Kagami-sensei’s past with Masaya. AND ALSO DID ANYONE CATCH THAT MISAKI IS THE REASON MASAYA QUICK FC?!!?!?! LIKE IT WAS JUST NONCHALANTLY THROWN IN THERE.
Artwork & Animation:
The FC races are very fun to watch because of the streaks of light that the gravishoes emit as the competitors fly across the sky from buoy to buoy. The OP is just lovely from its composition to its visuals along with the music. The character designs come off a bit flat for me, as much as I love them, the coloring is just too straight forward. Some more highlights to bring out the hair and eyes would’ve been perfect.
LOVE the characters, there’s just so much each of them has to offer on the table. Misaki, in particular, stands out the most in my opinion. When she loses to Shindou and feels the heaviness of defeat and to see Asuka excel, she feels left behind and thinks about quitting FC. All of us have those days where we feel powerless because maybe we’re not as good as other people and we lose the determination to move on. We gotta learn to take the fall and get back on our feet, and Misaki shows us that it’s possible. Not everyone can be an Asuka and just lose and move on like it’s nothing. Each character deals with defeat and victory in a different way and I think that’s powerful.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
A big pet peeve I have is changing voice actors for anime adaptation or gaming ports. And unfortunately, Aokana makes that mistake. The PC game has a set of voice actors, and the PSV and anime adaptation have a different set. Maybe there was a conflict with the schedule of the voice actors, but if so couldn’t they just delay the anime a bit? A big negative for this. I will admit, the use of music throughout the anime, and especially the final episode with the championship match, was extraordinary!! The timing was perfect to pump you up for the final match!
I did enjoy Aokana quite a bit, just wish the character design had a bit more “umph”
Overall: Score 8
With questions left unanswered, and the flat character design it knocked some point for Aokana but other than that the anime wasn’t too bad. Not something I’d recommend but I didn’t regret watching it either.