Plot: Haru and Sora are a pair of recently orphaned twins. Deciding to return to their hometown to live together in their deceased grandfather’s old house after the tragedy, Haru finds love in many places in the village – and even at home.
Breakdown: I got onto this show through a very short but heated review on THEM where they shot it down to one star and basically called it poorly written disjointed non-hentai hentai. After giving the first episode a shot on Episode One-Derland, I was inclined to agree. After I watched another few episodes, I got confused.
Even though the review explained that this series tries to show all of the different routes of the visual novel on which this anime is based from, they didn’t explain that each arc was its own contained story. None of the arcs are supposed to run into each other outside of a few episodes that act as bases for the individual arcs.
The flow chart available on the Wiki explains it better, but I have already reviewed all of the arcs and the foundational episodes in the list below.
Episode One – Whole show foundation
Episode Two – Foundation of Kazuha and Akira’s arcs
Episodes Three and Four – Kazuha’s arc
Episodes Five and Six – Akira’s Arc
Episode Seven – Foundation of Nao and Sora’s Arcs
Episodes Eight and Nine – Nao’s Arc
Episodes Ten, Eleven and Twelve – Sora’s Arc
Here’s the thing, though – if you don’t realize this structure immediately, you’ll be left insanely confused and thinking Haru’s a heartless man-whore with lovers that conveniently develop amnesia after their stories are over.
Even if you do figure out the structure, they don’t point out beginnings and ends well enough for you to not be confused whenever a new foundation or arc starts. For example, episode seven is meant to start both the Nao and Sora arcs, but it acts so much like it’s just the start of Nao’s arc, made all the more confusing when Nao and Haru start dating in the end of the episode.
Many VN adaptations try to have their cake and eat it too, which usually results in a complete mess. The MC will have some degree of romance with each available love interest, making him come off like a total slut who couldn’t give a shit in a bucket about any of the girls he’s pursuing – most certainly not whichever one is meant to be the canon partner.
Amnesia, as much crap as I give the series, did it best because they had a structure where the MC would jump from one world or timeline to another where each world she visits is one where she’s dating another guy. She does technically get with all of the guys in some way – but she’s never really cheating on any of them at any point. Not to mention that she has amnesia, so if she is dating any of them in her real timeline, she wouldn’t know it. Despite having wet toilet paper for a MC, it’s a rather brilliant way of pulling this off.
Yosuga no Sora, on the other hand, is too sloppy. I appreciate that they try to show all of the routes and stories without making Haru into an unlikable whore, but their structure, without a literal guide helping you along, is too confusing. Even with the guide, it’s a little frustrating.
Amnesia clearly defined when they were changing arcs. Each arc change was triggered by the MC friggin’ dying in a terrible accident and then suddenly waking up in another world.
What does Yosuga no Sora have? Nothing to introduce anything and only a small ‘To be continued…’ or ‘fin’ at the end of each episode.
I would say that a sex scene will usually cap off an arc (It’s literally that way in every arc but Sora’s.) However, some arcs have sex in them even without ending the arc, so it’s still hard to tell.
Because each arc only has two (three for Sora) episodes to work with, obviously the relationship development is very fast, to the point of ridiculousness sometimes. They basically become lovers overnight much of the time.
The odd structure and pacing is made even worse by the fact that each episode is 20 minutes followed by the main theme song, and then we have an omake to go with the episode that also has its own ending theme song. Basically, a fifth of the episode isn’t even an actual episode.
Finally, even though I can see the weird structure being a benefit to whomever wanted to see the various routes animated, it’s disappointing because that means, in canon, none of the development that happened in the other three arcs actually happened. Canonically, Kazuha never dealt with her baggage regarding Akira nor did she come to see her father in a better light. Akira also never dealt with her parentage or found her mother’s necklace. The only one that doesn’t really matter to me is Nao’s arc because all of it was basically just her and Haru kissing Sora’s annoying ass the whole time.
I think the THEM reviewer was a bit harsh on the characters. I didn’t think they were as bad as the writer let on. Sora is definitely human feces in lolicon fodder form, but everyone else is pretty okay. Even Ryouhei, who I initially wrote off as being entirely the token pervert best friend, proves a couple of times that he really cares about his friends and tries to help them out. He’s still mostly just a massive pervert, but I’ll take whatever small victories I can get in this show. And, hey, he could be worse. He could be Daisuke from School Days….
Yeah, you can pretty much categorize all of the girls into their typical harem cliché types (Kazuha – prim and proper princess: Akira – energetic goofball: Nao – responsible glasses girl: Sora – useless lolicon bitch who can go die in a hole) but I think they have enough character to them for me to not just see them as that.
While you should read my full analyses on each arc to get a good grasp on my opinions of each route, here they are briefly.
Kazuha – Looking back, it’s kinda dull, but that’s really the worst of it. Kazuha’s relationship to Akira is a bit extreme, but also somewhat sweet. I think Haru’s at his best, boyfriend-wise, in this arc.
Akira – The story involving her origins was more interesting than her relationship with Haru, and they actually did make me give a damn about her parentage. Akira was definitely my favorite character, and she’s the most hilarious character in the omakes, so I enjoyed this one quite a bit. More interesting than Kazuha’s arc, but the relationship wasn’t as well done.
Nao – This arc is very uncomfortable and pretty much impossible for me to enjoy or support because it’s origins lie in Nao raping Haru when they were twelve. Then they pretty much sweep it under the rug like it wasn’t a rape. After a pathetic rape “apology,” they develop a sexual relationship, and the rest of the arc is dedicated to kissing Sora’s annoying bratty ass so she’ll accept Nao into their lives, which she doesn’t do because she’s a bitch.
I did like Nao because she makes an honest effort to both respect Haru’s relationship with his sister and legitimately build one of her own with Sora, having a bit of a badass moment in the end for her troubles, but the rape sitting in the back of my head won’t go away. If that didn’t exist, I would fully support this relationship, even if it is just enabling Sora’s terrible behavior even more. She has a good thing with Haru and she’s a pretty decent person. However, this arc is a chore to sit through because Sora’s such an annoying character and the focus is heavily on her.
Sora – The worst of the lot, made all the worse because it’s the canon arc, Sora is a horrible, garbage-tastic character who lines up well with the likes of characters such as Iku from BwInKwS and Heroine from Amnesia in being a useless tool – now with an added dose of ultra-bitch.
She’s completely useless in everything, is petty, lazy, disrespectful, possessive of her brother, treats her brother like crap, has massive tantrums over the smallest things, whines and moans about not wanting to be alone yet makes no effort to care about or hang out with their friends at school (only when Haru is there does she partake in anything, and even then it’s very unlikely) and causes nothing but problems whenever the focus is given to her.
She “loves” Haru out of dependency and lust, and Haru “loves” her because of lust and a love of her needing him because of the aforementioned uselessness. It’s like a much less interesting and very watered down version of Seh-Wah and Seh-Joon from Flowers of Evil, and they even have basically the same background story of the sister falling ill as a child and the brother becoming overly protective as a result.
There are no real emotions here. There’s no tender love. It’s all just sex and horniness, and we’re all supposed to feel bad for them in their struggle to be together against all odds. Kiss my ass.
I will admit that some of the drama involving Haru is done okay in this arc, because he actually acknowledges and feels the weight of such a taboo on his shoulders, unlike Sora who doesn’t give a shit, even if it hurts Haru, but that good point is very short lived.
I am forever annoyed that this is the canon route. In any other game, her route would probably be some messed up bad end type route, but nope. It’s canon, and it’s supposedly the best end. Pft.
Motoka (Omake) – Motoka, who is the maid of Kazuha’s family and a college student somewhere in her 20’s, Motoka stars in her own little non-canon arc in omakes that play after each episode. She develops a relationship with Haru, it becomes sexual very quickly, and they eventually get married. I won’t lie, these omakes were pretty entertaining, especially whenever Akira was on screen. They’re funny, and the way they’re animated is cute. I think the sex scenes are too out of place here, though. They switch to the regular art and animation style whenever a sex scene pops up because of course they do, and it kinda just takes me out of the whole thing.
Also, the age difference might put some people off.
Art and Animation: I think this show fares pretty well in this department. Some of the character designs are memorable, the backgrounds are quite nicely made, and everyone has decent proportions and details to them. While this isn’t the most animation-heavy show ever, it’s animated perfectly fine.
Music: Actually pretty good, but also fairly repetitive. The song that plays at nearly every slightly emotional moment is so frequently played that it got stuck in my head many times while I was in the process of watching the series.
Voice Acting: Japanese – While no one was really outstanding, no one got on my nerves either. Akira’s VA got grating sometimes when she was being overly excitable, and Sora’s VA was annoying just because it perfectly fit her shitty garbage can of a character….which…good…job? It’s childlike, low and whiny while also being shrill and obnoxious when she throws tantrums.
Bottom Line: I was surprised to see this show didn’t get panned across the board, but it’s also really difficult to find level-headed people who have both watched this anime and chose to review it. It’s weird when I can safely say the most well-written analyses on this show came from the comments section on the website I watched it on, and most of those comments were crap.
Most of the people who were having shining (10/10 ratings sometimes!) reviews for this show I just…don’t get.
First, most of them just seem to be out against the people who don’t like this show because of the incest. I know because that’s what most of their reviews start with. Like everyone’s just throwing this lost gem away because ew icky brother and sister. It’s like they want to brag about not caring about the incest aspect and want to seem more mature and refined because they look beyond such things.
Second, they seem to give WAY too much credit to Sora and Haru’s story, to the point where several said it was their favorite. I just check out after that because I cannot compute those words. I stated in my full review of Sora’s arc that, even if they weren’t related, their relationship is unhealthy bullshit built on lust and codependency – and it is. Even if they were as biologically and legally far away from each other as possible, I still wouldn’t support them.
Third, people keep claiming the sex scenes have meaning…..No…they don’t. Almost all of them are random and pointless.
Kazuha’s was, what, celebration sex after realizing her dad wasn’t as much of a douchebag as she thought he was initially?
Akira’s was ‘thank you’ sex for helping figure out the secret of her parentage, I guess.
Nao’s first one was pointless child on child rape. The second may have had a point just to call back to the rape, maybe at least where Sora is involved, but also could have gotten across in a better way. And the final one was…what? Celebratory ‘Sora gives us her blessing’ sex against a wall outside at the summer festival?
Sora’s masturbating scene had a point, I suppose, because it made Haru realize that Sora was all horny for him, though he could have been made aware of that any other way, like, say, her laying in the doorway nearly naked and asking in a flirty voice with a smirk if he’s turned on and then offering her naked body to him. Yeah, that might work. If only they did that—oh wait.
The first actual sex scene was just sex, the BJ scene was also just random sex – about the only one I’ll give credit to is the one where they do it in the doorway because it was the catalyst for them getting caught….and that was pureblooded stupid.
And don’t try to tell me that one of the main points of this series isn’t just flatout showing sex. At two points in the omakes, the writers apologize for not having ‘porn.’ They know what they’re making – stop trying to make this out like it’s so much deeper than it is.
I am really baffled, quite frankly, at how many reviews I keep seeing that make this anime out like it’s so poignant and beautiful. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as the THEM review made it out to be, but it’s still loaded with significant problems and massive annoyances.
However, the ones that are in the opposite extreme seem just as bad. They don’t really give credit where I believe credit is due, and they write off everything as just being terrible and cliché without going into detail beyond many of the characters fitting archetypes. I think I’m one of very few who settled on the middleground here, even if it is more slanted towards the negative just because the negative parts take up more episodes.
If incest squicks you out or you’re looking for a fully well-written romance title with various routes to it, look elsewhere. Even if you don’t mind incest, there has to be better titles than this that you can enjoy.
I’d at least watch Kazuha’s and Akira’s arcs since their stories technically link and have some pretty interesting material in there, but skip Nao’s arc because it’s so uncomfortable and loaded with Sora being an immature twat, and skip Sora’s because it’s completely insufferable. It will be easy to separate the series like this since Kazuha and Akira’s arcs are on a completely different branch of continuity.
If you’re just in it for the sex scenes, might I direct you to inputting the word ‘hentai’ into Google?
I’ll be serious with you on this matter for the moment. The sex scenes are usually pretty tasteful and well-animated, even though Haru hardly ever takes his clothes off and that bugs me more than it should (I just don’t understand why he doesn’t do it). The second (or first non-rape) sex scene with Nao is a bit weird because, due to the way they censored it, it’s almost like Haru and Nao aren’t even in the same space. Like I don’t see how he’s in the position he’s in and she’s in the position she’s in without seeing either of them on screen together at all when they’re given focus. Not even a little shot of leg or arms. Nothing.
But really that’s not a good reason to watch this show. There are well-written and nicely animated hentai out there – they do exist. Go off and get off somewhere else.
Additional Information and Notes: Yosuga no Sora was based on an adult visual novel of the same name. The series was directed by Takeo Takahashi, who also directed Aki Sora (Which is another twincest nightmare that is basically non-hentai hentai…..Oh god, I feel like I have to review that now. Urgh.) Love Love?, Spice and Wolf and Citrus (Which is also basically incest and insanely problematic, which means I’ll probably also review this sometime in the future….When did I get on this weird, infuriating and icky train?)
It was written by Naruhisa Arakawa, who also wrote Blue Seed, DN Angel, Elemental Gelade, Spice and Wolf and a whole lot of episodes of Tokusatsu series.
Yosuga no Sora was animated by Feel, who also did work on KissxSis, Da Capo II, Corpse Princess and….Uh…Bikini Warriors.
Believe it or not, the series is indeed licensed in America.
Gee, I wonder who holds this license.
Golly, it’s Media Blasters.
I am shocked.
Recommended Audience: Just short of being hentai. You see plenty of boobs and full-on sex, complete with thrust motions. There are also two masturbation scenes, a blowjob, and the super uncomfortable child on child rape. The only thing that separates this from being hentai is that you never see genitals and usually Haru is cut out of the shot so you just see the girl moving, and when you see Haru moving, the girl is usually out of the shot. It’s basically as hardcore as ecchi gets. Also, I guess I’ll throw in incest here, since that is an iffy topic for people. 17+
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