Monday, 13 February 2012

Completed Rewatching: Kaleido Star

Originally posted on july 14 2011 on tumblr

I should clarify
I will be talkign about Kaleido Star, Kaleido star New wings and the little OVA at the end of new wings (ep 26)
so yeah… since i’m talkign about so much there will be spoilers… but i will keep it to a minimum

Kaleido Star:
I’ll start of by saying i really enjoy this series, i have watched it three times in english (i really like to re-watch things) and once in Japanese.
The story follows Sora Naegino, a young girl from japan, as she arrives in LA in hopes of auditioning and joining the circus troope there The Kaleido Stage.
However due to a man trying to steal her luggage after she’s already gotten herself lost in town she ends up being late for the audition. Ken, a stage hand who has become quite smitten with Sora, shows her around before she’s supposed to fly back to japan. When another performer Is injured (well you can call it injured i guess) The boss, who saw sora outside of the stage on her way using gymnastic techniques to catch the earlier mentioned mugger, tells her to replace the performer and go onstage.
Of course she isn’t great at first, hit by nerves and a choreography that she hasn’t had time to practice. Soon enough she gets into the groove and realizes how much she loves the stage…. too bad she has to go back home because she missed the audition….
Oh we all know how this goes… the boss passes her and she’s a new member of the circus. However she keeps hearing this odd voice who calls himself fool.
The ‘hallucination’ introduces himself as a spirit of the stage and that she has been chosen to do “the legendary great maneuver”. However she’s not ready to try it so he can’t tell her about it. From there the story goes from Sora’s start at the bottom and follows her through her journey to the top and eventually attempting that “legendary great maneuver”
The series is cute and harmless. other then some of the moves they try are not physically possible and fool the show has a heavy base in realism. Even though sora is chosen for the stage she still has to train constantly to even be competant at any give move or trick. Sure she seems to be able to learn an amazing amount in only 3 days (i swear every move has a 3 day deadline.. why?) but she does work hard so you buy it.
The characters are enjoyable, sora can be a bit too cheery but thast just my personal hatred for perma happy characters… and the reason i can tolerate it is because she isn’t always cheery… this show has it’s sad moment and for anyone who has ever performed anything it’s very easy to relate to.
The music, specifically the training and battle music… it’s stunning, it can easily inspire me just hearing that change from the harsher quick strokes of violin to the more melodic bit in the middle.
Animation can be a bit inconsistent… the animation is always good but there are some eps that focus on too many upclose face shots and other that focus on too many unflattering angles…. the show is targeted to girls so why is there so much damn fan service.
The happy music… it’s just not memorable.
Not enough time spent with fools backstory, why does he search for someone to do this maneuver (yes we eventually do get an answer kinda but more on that later) I love his character but we know so little about him in the first season.

Ok here come the spoilers
Kaleido Star: new wings
So we’ve done the legendary great maneuver, gotten the stage back becuase it was bought out in the last season and The main star has had to leave due to injury. Sora, Now the top star, is finding it hard to draw a crowd with her name alone. The Owner calls in Leon Oswald, A french trapeze (any anything else you can find in this circus) artist. his name is drawing crwds easily…. too bad he’s a jerk and he doesn’t accept Sora. infact in their debut performance of Saiyuki he outrigth walks off in the middle of the performance forcing sora to play both the hero and the heroin…. which will be tricky for the love scene later.
Anyways it all seems to be going well, Sora is tried from not having any breaks thanks to playing both parts and finally the love scene arrives…. and the crowd begins to boo… they came to see leon. Suddenly a mysterious girl jumps onstage and clames to be better then sora and they start fight in the middle of the stage to become leons partner. The girl is May (sp? i never know how to spell this) Wong and she scored the highest of all those who auditioned in the last batch.
This season focuses on sora’s struggle to stay on top and deal with other peoples feelings about the stage and competition in general. Fool is still around, now he wants to see a true star being born.
A lot more real issues in this… it’s no longer “can i perform this trick in this amount of time” but instead “how can i be on a stage that is making people miserable” or “how can i please certain people while showing them a new way to look at things”
This season maneuver has a better name…. i mean… angel’s maneuver vs Legendary great maneuver…. hmmm tough call.
Still has great music, especially the intro song.
May Wong, her character is annoying and remember how i said sora worked her ass off to perfect moves… well mei does too but she’s a bitch about it… not sharing equipment and just always being negative. granted by he end she is a better character but still the first half i just want to punch her.
We get even less of fool…. i love this guy… and all he does is mumble about constalations from time to time…. i want to knwo more about him…
Why doesn’t he ever get the girl…. this makes no sense…. mayeb he does in the mange but i wanted him to get sora in the show… they were so cute together.

ep 26 of new wings.
It’s kind of like an OVA. Rosetta, a girl who’s shown through both series, is the new one to be chosen for the stage, she is workign hard to continue perfecting trapeze while still goign back to her forte from time to time. The new show will have her as the lead along with sora. It’s about a girl who will not smile and a clown (or fool) who does everything in his power to make her smile. it’s half based on a painting where… surprise surprise the princess looks like rosetta and the clown looks like…. Fool?
The animation is more fluid and very pretty
FINALLY we find out a little about fool and his back story. it’s really good… the best part of both series in my opinion.
What the hell is with the fan service in this? there are some really awkward shots in the intro song and it’s creepy due to rosetta’s age. also all the ass shots…. it just comes out of nowhere…. again this show will only appeal to girls so why the fan service…
WHY is it only one ep…. fool should have gotten a full season or at least a full arc…. his story is interesting and would have added to the show…. it just felt a little rushed.
why is sora the prince… they have male cast members…. hell they even have Leon still… well whatever.
Overall i love this series or i wouldn’t watch it so much…. it’s got it’s good and it’s bad and at time it can be really girly and sappy but i enjoy that…. Now go watch if this sounds like your kind of show!

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