Yosuga no Sora: In Solitude,Where We Are Least Alone

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Ignatius Bagussuputra
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Synopsis

After losing both their parents to a car accident and being orphaned, they left the city life and sold their apartment. Haruka “Haru” Kasugano with his fraternal twin sister Sora “Sora” Kasugano, travel to the countryside and start life anew at their grandparent’s house, where they used to spend their summer holidays.

They met a lot of their childhood friends back when they were still kids. Haruka didn’t remember at first, but as the story develops, he remembers his memories of the past where he used to play with a lot of his childhood friends at the village.

Plot

Yosuga no Sora was originally a game (2008) that was adapted to a manga (2009) and eventually into an anime (2010). Based off an adult visual novel, this anime adaption follows quite an unusual approach where it is presented in a multi-arc branching format that independently tells the story of Haruka as the main lead with 4 different girls in 4 different arcs.

It’s pretty reasonable for every girl to have their own story considering this was made from a visual novel, there’s even some from the game that didn’t get their own story in the anime, but they’re still here as a supporting role.

Episode Flowchart

1 2 7 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 Kazuha Akira Nao Sora

Each arc is its own story with independent plot and should not be confused with one another. Episode 1 is the only episode where all the story happens together, it serves as a starting point for 4 of the story which first diverges on episode 2 and 7 respectively. You can refer to the flowchart above.

Yosuga no Sora finishes after only 1 season of 12 episodes. Each episode consists of a 22 minutes feature segment and a 3 minutes omake segment. The bonus segment focuses on Motoka’s story that is continuous between episode 1 to 12. So you could say that the bonus segment is the only linear plot line here.

In total, there’s 5 endings, 4 as the main storyline and another one in the extras.

Yosuga no Sora Backdrop
Source: TMDB

Highlights

This is not a hentai, if you’re going in on this with that mindset, you’re better off watching something else. There is of course some sexual scenes, but it is served reasonably for the story to progress and has deeper meanings with how they got into it and not just there for the sake of something sexual.

4/10 | Story & Plot

Originally coming from a game, you won’t be bored by the lack of content and useless fillers. Even though I appreciate its uniqueness by having the plot executed like a game with a save point to experience all the paths, I feel it’s a lot of wasted potential and it could’ve felt better with just a linear plot.

The story is interesting and I was kinda into it after episode 3. But, I didn’t know better at the time and was confused why it repeated itself on the 4th episode. It’s pretty generic and predictable for most parts.

The first couple of endings were pretty generic and boring too, and the last one isn’t really that satisfying either. But, I do still appreciate and enjoyed this regardless.

7/10 | Artwork & Animation

For a show released on 2010, it felt quite timeless and was done beautifully. Backgrounds are colorful and vivid with good attention to details. The characters are well designed, Haruka as the main male character which is a kind guy with quirks that makes females find him cute and handsome.

Each characters, especially the girls are portrayed differently, each with their own unique and memorable style that is easy to remember.

10/10 | Sound

I absolutely love the soundtracks composed here, albeit a bit repetitive in some cases. I would agree if some would say they’re being lazy by overusing one track for all the (attempted) sad or happy moments. But, I guess it’s more of how they delivered it.

Regardless of all of that, objectively speaking of the sounds alone, I really enjoyed it. It was the one thing I immediately noticed to be spectacular. I didn’t know what I expected when I first got into it, but a couple of episodes in I found out that this hits a spot as one of the recommended anime with absolutely stellar music. Even if you don’t know about this, you’ll still feel how amazing the soundtracks are.

5/10 | Characters

The characters are pretty weak, especially Haruka as he’s the lead here. He’s boring but still enjoyable in a way. Although, the development for each girls are noticeable and pretty nice. Each one carries a unique personality that depicts their personality. You might see they’re boring at first, but with each one getting their own story, you can tell how they’re developing as a character.

Verdict

Quite an underrated show. I believe as a subject in literature or film-making, the term taboo should have a broader meaning other than something to disgust, forbid, or completely avoid. But, for anyone looking for a good romance drama, this is unfortunately not one you’re looking for, quite far from being the ideal recommendation.

This is not a show with the usual fluff and fun harem, it’s a serious drama with consequences for everyone depending on the girl chosen. I think a lot of viewers (including me) who didn’t know better were expecting the usual comedy, but that’s clearly not what the writers are aiming for. It wasn’t easy to watch to the bitter end, but it’s a lot better than I expected. So, here’s the verdict from me…

  1. Watch this if you’re willing to keep an open mind.
  2. DO NOT, watch this if you can’t handle sad/depressing things.
  3. Only watch episode 1 to 9 and stop there. You’ll still get most of the story and experience from that and you won’t need to see taboo and sad part with it, but it’ll completely feel like a typical and generic romance/drama show.

The final arc (10-12) didn’t treat incest as something simple or for fun and excitement, they gave all the serious weight it was due. Society will see it as wrongdoing, and there will be little to no understanding for those transgressing on taboos. It was certainly not a laughing matter, but it did a really good job of making us empathize and feel the pain they were feeling. It was also thought provoking, at least for me.

If you’re still uncertain, perhaps give the first 2 episodes a chance before deciding if it’s worth your time. Do decide early before regretting your decision.

If you do choose option 3, you might understand why some people are bashing this show for being “generic” and “boring”. But, if you choose to continue through the last 3 episodes, then you might be able to see something else with a deeper meaning and that’s what really caught most people’s attention.

Be sure to come back and check out the spoilers section below when you're done.

CLICK TO REVEAL SPOILERS

Clicking this card will reveal the another section below which will contain major spoilers as we will be breaking down most parts of the story as well as the ending, and dicussing any related theories to it, please proceed with caution.

Soundtracks

Main OP - Hiyoku no Hane by eufonius

Main ED - Tsunagu Kizuna by Team.Nekokan [猫] (feat. Junca Amaoto)

[w/Lyrics] Specials ED - Pinky Jones by Momoiro Clover Z

Original Sound Track (OST) Mix


Reference(s):

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