There are many sources that anime can come from, whether it is adapted from a manga, novel or game; there is a big bad world out there for anime to come from. More so, we see anime adaptations coming from toys or inspiring toys themselves. We all remember the days of Pokémon, Beyblade and Yu-Gi-Oh where we needed the newest expansion packs of the cards or the newest toy. Times have not changed, only the toys. Now as adults we see anime coming from new trinkets for us to have. Which leads into the inspiration for this week’s Otaku Review – SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation.
Before we jump into the Super Sonico anime, I’ll give a quick rundown of who she even is. Most anime fans will know Super Sonico to see since she first appeared as a mascot for a music festival in 2006, which was sponsored by her creator Nitroplus. Now she is an advertising icon that has become a multimedia franchise. Bountiful of media opportunities were born from the headphone wearing, pink haired and perky young women. This included manga series, video games, music products, figurines and a TV anime among other merchandise; if they could sell it, Sonico would be on it.
Due to her popularity brimming, an anime adaptation for the character was bound to be underway, and low and behold the anime was announced at the 2013 Nitro Super Sonic event that was held in Tokyo.
The slice of life and music anime, SoniAni, introduces us to the eighteen-year-old Super Sonico. A clumsy, well-meaning and well-endowed first year marine biology student. She goes about life with a smile and she lives alone with her adopted stray cats (who she takes in because she is a sucker for the little cuties, or anything cute and adorable really). Super Sonico is not just your average college student who studies and hangs out with her friends; her life is a bit more chaotic than that.
Her life is a constant balancing act of being a student and studying, but Sonico also helps out in her grandmother’s restaurant. She is also a professional model and performs concerts as lead guitar and vocals for her band, First Astronomical Velocity, with friends Fuuri Watanuki and Suzu Fujimi. We see Sonico go about her days trying to balance this along with trying to find her own place in the world but she never lets the bad things keep her down. She faces all challenges with a smile and usually a song.
On the surface, this anime comes off like any other slice of life and music anime; a generic story with generic characters that would just be a day in the life. Although I have been a massive fan of Super Sonico for a good while, I had never taken the time to watch this anime, partly for the same reasons mentioned but also because I had originally thought there was no need for her to have an anime. I knew they had created a narrative for Sonico which was fine, but was it enough to fill an anime? Upon watching it, I am happy to say I do not regret it.
The story was of course, simple. It was not simple in the generic sense, however; it was simple since it did not need any bells and whistles put in there for the viewer to enjoy. Each episode plays like a one shot of a day in the life of Super Sonico as she balances her eventful life and the interactions with her friends. Sonico herself is exactly as you would
imagine, clumsy, sweet and always smiling.
She is currently a worldwide symbol for everything that is fan service, which was an aspect that worried me about this anime, but (thankfully) although fan service was very much alive in this anime, it was not overused. If anything, the anime pokes fun at the fact Sonico is this symbol. Sonico herself is embarrassed of her curves and well-endowed chest, not wanting people eyeing them all the time, however everyone around her (whether it’s one of her band mates wanting more risqué outfits for their performances or clients she models for trying to take advantage of her curves with skimpy outfits) loves them. The fan service coupled with the personality given to Super Sonico makes for a really enjoyable watch and gives it a comedic factor that further enhances the anime.
The thing that made the anime were the individual characters from the different aspects of her life; you’re not bombarded with characters in this anime, but there are quite a few. Each are introduced smoothly as you learn more and more about Sonico’s life. Along with this, there is an obvious emphasis on music within the anime as it is Sonico’s passion while it also promotes that aspect of the Super Sonico franchise. The show kicks off with the infectiously high energy opening theme SuperSoni by Super Sonico voice actress, Ayano Yamamoto. Although the sub of this anime with the original Japanese cast is fantastic, I have to recommend the English dubbing of this anime with cosplayer Jessica Nigri taking the mantle of Super Sonico.
If you are looking for some light hearted, comedic and easy watching anime with some high energy beats to it then SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation is the anime for you.