The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

SoniAni- Super Sonico The Animation: First Episode Impressions

SoniAni is one of this season’s slice-of-life anime, set around the daily life of a girl called Sonico, and her endeavours in academics, modelling career, music and part-time job as a waitress. The first episode proceeds at a very relaxed, casual manner, dropping viewers directly into the midst of Sonico’s life, which is set in a very optimistic and cheerful world. In addition to being the mascot of Nitro+, the anime illustrates that Sonico’s life is very busy, filled to the brim with activities typical of the above-average undergraduate student. SoniAni, thus, marks one of the few anime I have to be set in a university setting, which is appropriate given the direction the show has taken insofar: some of the moments or events are unsuited for the high school level, even if the remainder of Sonico’s activities outside her modelling career are reasonably safe. Of course, as we’re only an episode in at this point in time, it’s too early to ascertain whether or not this anime does its job, but with a very cheerful disposition, and artwork of a consistently high quality, the anime will probably succeed in helping push the Nitro+ brand further.

  • Despite being depicted by various artists, Sonico’s trademark traits (i.e. her headphones, colour and large bust) are typically kept consistent to ensure that her character remains recognisable as the mascot to Nitro+, a company that develops visual novels.

  • Sonico is sitting through what appears to be an ecology class and answers a question posed by the lecturer rather nicely. Sonico might be considered by some to be the personification of an ideal, being academically capable, but also managing several careers and is proficient with a guitar. Sonico is presented as being hardworking and ensures that she does is done to the best of her capacity.

  • Sonico’s headphones accompany her wherever she goes, even when she’s in lectures or while swimming. A sharp-eyed viewer will notice a picture of a younger Sonico with a smaller pair of these headphones later in the anime. Because these headphones are a visual signature, I’m going to completely disregard existing discussions about their practicality.

  • My spidey senses tell me that this is probably going to be the reason viewers will continue watching SoniAni. They also tell me that I may be short on material for future posts, which may or may not be limited to ten screenshots each.

  • Of course, if future episodes continue the trend and provide scenes such as these, I’ll probably just find something else to talk about for the figure captions, like the NP Complete problem. If, for whatever reason, one is interested in having a variant of this or the image above without the camera alignment cross-hairs, I could probably clean the images up and return the results reasonably quickly. Requests are being accepted in the comments section (hint hint).

  • Sonico occasionally helps out at her grandmother’s Izakaya, the Japanese equivalent of a pub. These establishments serve smaller dishes at a more casual pace, including Yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), Kushiyaki (grilled meat or vegetable skewers), Sashimi (slices of raw fish) and Karaage (bite-sized fried chicken), in addition to sake, beer and cocktails. A ways back, one of my friends noted that a pub was a superior place to hang out relative to a bar on the virtue that a pub serves more substantial meals, such as burgers, meat pies and steaks, in additional to traditional bar food such as nachos and wings. I myself prefer pubs, as I can hang out with friends and order a substantial meal before downing a few drinks (or else dibs being the designated driver, which spares me of having to drink).

  • SoniAni‘s inner K-On! is being channeled here: Sonico is part of a band called First Cosmic Velocity, and here, she is speaking with Suzu Fujimi, the band’s bassist, although at present, her background is not yet known. First Cosmic Velocity is minus a keyboard player, though, compared to Houkago Tea Time. I wonder if the music will be as memorable as that in K-On!, whose music is still something I listen to on a regular basis and use in the game Audiosurf. This is, of course, a note to do a short talk on Audiosurf somewhere in the future.

  • Fuuri Watanuki is the drummer in First Cosmic Velocity and is said to be suffering from a broken heart. She’s sleeping off postprandial somnolence: notice the pile of plates to her left.

  • Reading the documentation carefully finds that the story in SoniAni is to be motivated by a concert in a later episode where Fuuri and Suzu are unable to make it to the performance venue, leaving Sonico to play on stage alone.

  • The first episode ends with Sonico preparing to perform the new song Suzu has prepared, and I’ll probably have a better reason to watch SoniAni beyond Sonico’s assets alone, with what is set to happen in upcoming episodes.

As far as episode one is concerned, its depiction of Sonico’s everyday life is one that is remarkably similar to that of a high-achieving university student. Not too long ago, I was an assistant instructor for Chinese language classes and Gojuryu karate; in the same year, I was also spear-heading an effort to publish a paper to a journal, on top of an MCAT. I eventually pitched the extra-curricular activities to finish a thesis the previous year, but life is more or less similar for most students, as they balance academics with part-time jobs and other events. With very little in the way of story for the present, however, SoniAni is going to be a series that few would be inclined to continue following as the season wears on, as the pacing is rather slow and wouldn’t appeal to those seeking something more substantial in the story and world-building departments. Of course, for other viewers, Sonico herself is probably sufficient a motivator for continuing to follow this show: easy on the eyes and with a friendly personality, I happen to fall in the second set of people and will continue blogging this in my typical format (i.e. there will be two more SoniAni posts: one mid-season and one final reflection) such that screenshots can be viewed by the interested reader. I will bring up one final point: unlike other parties elsewhere, at the very least, my posts are written in full, coherent sentences, rather than bizarre bullet point summaries.

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