First Impressions – Between the Sea and Sky

Sora to Umi no Aida or Between the Sea and Sky is a very unique and exciting anime. Its definitely not what you expect from the series synopsis that was released:

“In the future in Onomichi, Hiroshima fish disappear from the sea around the world and only whales live in the ocean. The Ministry of Fishery decides to set up giant experimental Universe Fish Tanks in space. The Onomichi Universe Fishery Union is established and begins to train space fishermen. Female fishermen are in demand due to the strengthening of an equal employment law for men and women. Six new female space fishermen are selected, and the story centers on supporting their growth.”

Source: Anime News Network

The story follows Sora Harumachi (Karin Takahashi), a 16 year old girl who arrives in Onomichi to be a space fisher woman. After spending the day touring the town and getting lost, she arrives at the Onomichi Universe Fishery Union to ask for help. When she gets there, however, she gets forcibly roped into her first fishing hunt as there’s not enough people on the girls’ team led by Makiko Maki (Maori Komeno) and Namino Murakami (Rika Tachibana). Forced to learn the ropes while on the mission, Sora acquires her first guardian deity and launches into space with the girls alongside the male team.

Once inside the orbital fish tank, Sora finds that the fish there are not your typical fish. Instead there are giant monster fish, sharks and crabs there, which Sora learns is what the guardian deities are for. They not only only protect their spacecrafts, but create weapons and can launch attacks at the creatures using the pilots’ supernatural power.  As the girls try to wing their way through their fish hunt, they are soon attacked by a Megacrabit which is a giant monster crab and have to be rescued by the boys team. Back at the space station, the boys are lecturing the girls when their instructor appears on the monitor and yells at the girls for going there without permission. As Namino starts blaming Sora for their screw-up, the two girls get into an argument which causes their instructor to blow up at them and yells that she is training them from the ground up when they get back to Earth.

So, that’s the basic gist of the first episode! Now, a lot of the seiyuu especially for the main girls are new, so they take some getting used to. Of course, there are some veterans like Takahiro Sakurai and Wataru Takagi which helps balances some things out. Sora definitely takes some getting used to and Namino can occassionally get on the viewer’s nerves sometimes. Sora comes across as very air-headed and flakey who tends to go with the flow a lot without really understanding what is going on, so she’s definitely a hit or miss character with the fans. Makiko Maki is the most level-headed character of the girls. She’s very mature and less selfish than her partner Namino Murakami who yelled at Sora for her inexperience despite being the one who dragged her into it without asking and without properly instructing Sora. From what I saw the other two girls Maiko and Makoto, they seem to be okay. I don’t particularly hate them based on what I saw.

Animation-wise, the animation is very colorful and the character designs and settings are very beautiful. The creatures and the battle or fish hunt sequences come across as very childish and Yokai Watch~ish, so I imagine that this series is set for young kids and pre-teens. The guardian deities come across as a mix of very cool, beautiful and cute with most of them being based on well-known deities. The opening and endings are very cheery and cast a summer beach vibe. So overall, this is a pretty okay series to watch. If you are very interested or intrigued by this series, then viewers will definitely enjoy it.

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