Cue the antagonist!

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue
Tasty things are tasty.
  • A lot of people I know hate this show, and looking at it from a different perspective than I already do, I can understand why. The show can be very formulaic a lot of the time. We have the regular tropes of the poor guy walking into a room with a semi-naked girl, the bath scenes, the ‘swimsuit’ scenes (only here they’ve been replaced by skintight Flying Circus outfits), the crushing kohai trope…
  • …A lot of things are checked off on that list, even though we’re only a quarter of the way through the show. At this stage we’ve gotten to know all of the main characters and have made a judgement on whether we like them or not. The other two shows I’m covering, Myriad Colors Phantom World and Dagashi Kashi, have stand-out characters that catch the interest of the viewer; the big-bosomed tomboy Mai, the uber-cute Reina, the sugar-crazed Hotaru and the so-normal-it’s-good Saya. In Aokana, everyone is just too wishy-washy. Masaya has no real outstanding qualities or traits; all we know is that he used to play Flying Circus, and it seems he was a big name until he quit. Asuka is all in a world of her own, staring at every Flying Circus player with awe and wonder, whilst performing her own moves out of sheer luck and not of actual skill. Misaki has all the traits of your general average girl who just so happens to be friends with a boy; that muddled area between classmate and childhood friend. Mashiro acts all cute with her crush on Misaki, although that can be very grating, and is also the only redeeming thing about her. And new girl Rika likes meat. The secondary characters are no different either; they all have one identifiable trait, and…that’s it.
Hinata, AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue
“That’s my job.”
  • I will admit, since last week my own personal opinion towards some other characters has changed considerably. I initially figured that the Flying Circus powerhouse school, Takafuji Academy, were all full of horrible people, like the kind of people you’d find in a house of a boarding school… That house that everyone loves to hate because they’re all so snobby and obnoxious…like Slytherin, almost. But they, along with other schools I’ve discovered recently that will feature in Aokana, are just your average school/academy who just happen to have a good amount of Flying Circus players. Remember that snobby girl from the first episode? Reiko was her name, and she was taunting the captain for being bad only to get her behind handed to her by Asuka. Well, she may be the drill sergeant type, but it just shows that she’s just very passionate about the game, and doesn’t like time-wasters.

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue

  • However, no show is complete without someone who purposefully goes out of their way to annoy the main characters. While hiding under the veil of experience and wisdom, Takafuji captain Shindou already has his menacing eyes on the male MC. I’m pretty sure he’s well aware of Masaya’s past, and intends to use it to his advantage…and no doubt the final episode will see him and Masaya facing off in the air, and everyone will live happily ever after. Curious how he is a very minuscule character in the eroge; I suppose the studio needed someone to be some sort of antagonist towards the (so far) rather dull male MC. A show purely about half a dozen girls playing Flying Circus (and nothing else) would make a very dull show.
Shinjou, AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue Episode 3
“It’s not my fault I’m so smug!”
  • As I said before, people have taken a dislike to this purely because it is not really that exciting. So what has got me hooked? Well, I like the way it presents a light-hearted atmosphere most of the time. This is the kind of show that could have gone really really badly, and GONZO have, I think, gotten away with it. But only just. It still has time, though; Asuka still has time to practice, and Masaya still has time to reveal why he quit (and thus the time when he’ll get his Grav-Shoes out of the trash). I’m being patient with this one, and the reason why I am (instead of the other two shows I’m watching) is because the story itself is a believable one, even though the characters themselves could have been written better.