Celestial Method (First Impressions)

When my buddy Josh inboxed me to let me know about a new anime called Celestial Method that was written by Naoki Hisaya, the same writer who wrote Kanon, Sola and One: Kagayaku Kisetsu, my interest was piqued immediately. Why? Well let me put it like this: Sola is a great, well-written anime, while One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e is a wonderful visual novel which functions as prime evidence of the humble beginnings of visual novel company Key (Clannad, Little Busters). Finally, the 2006 version of Kanon is my favourite anime of all-time. I wrote a whole article about it, check that out here. One of the things I always praise Kanon for is its incredible story writing, and I love anime series with strong plots. That is why I gave Celestial Method a chance, despite reading before hand that it was a 'slice of life' anime which tends to mean a group of pixie girls doing pointless stuff, but as I watched the first episode, I soon learnt that this was not the case.

Celestial Method is about a girl called Nonoka Komiya who once lived in Lake Kiriya City, where she met a blue-haired girl named Noel. Seven years later, Nonoka returns to the city, which now has a mysterious saucer floating above it, and reunites with Noel, who promises to grant her wishes. Sounds simple, huh? Well, from the get go, the anime was setting up plot on me. In fact, the whole first episode planted so much intrigue in my head I was surprised my head didn't explode. What on earth is that mysterious saucer? Why is it there? What does it mean? That's what I want to know. We see glimpses of characters (which will become increasingly more important as the series progresses) dotted around the town going about their every day lives, which we also learn were part of Nonoka's past. Speaking of Nonoka's past, the episode also had a brilliant grasp over flashbacks. Random flashbacks from Nonoka's past that felt disjointed in this introduction but will undoubtedly be pieced together as the series progresses. The flashbacks gave you just enough hints to help you understand what was going on, but left you with just the right amount of intrigue to keep you interested.

Moving away from plot and onto sound, the music was something that didn't just sit in the background. I noticed how effective and moving it was on many occasion. Reverberant pianos set up a fitting backdrop for emotional moments and flashbacks, while more upbeat music sat comfortably where necessary for when things weren't so intense.

The animation was something that grew on me as the episode went on. At first I just thought it was your average animation, until the more moving parts of the anime occurred. That was when the animation really shined and it was at these points that I really thought to myself, 'this anime looks like it's going to be great'. The first episode left me hungry for more and there are so many questions I want answered. Was this all part of Naoki Hisaya's plan to get me watching this show every week? Oh Naoki, you crafty genius.

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