SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation Review (Anime)

I’m actually a pretty big Super Sonico fan (got figures and stuff to prove it, you guys) and watched this as it aired but with it finally releasing in the UK, it was time to watch it once again.

 

I like this show. I like it a lot. It’s not threatening my top ten anime picks or anything but it’s so bright, colourful and cheerful that I couldn’t help but enjoy every episode; I mean despite owning the DVD discs, I’m still likely to buy the blu-ray at some point. I’m a sucker for slice of life and, as a fan of Super Sonico already, this anime hit all of the right notes although I do have some problems with this release rather than the show itself which I’ll delve into later.

 

The show follows girl-band First Astronomical Velocity, comprised of friends the ditzy Super Sonico, the confident Suzu and the glutton Fuuri, as they practice and hold shows in an attempt to create a bigger name for themselves. Super Sonico has a part time job as a model so she’s already well-known, and we get to see her balance her jobs and school life in what leads to many comedic situations. It’s a chill show that I found myself relaxing too (not stimulated, those of you with dirty minds!), and I enjoyed it just as much as I did when I originally watched it.

 

2

 

You aren’t going to find much in the way of drama or deep plot here, just three girls trying to make their dreams come true and have fun whilst doing it. It’s hard to put myself in the shows of someone who begins watching this without any prior knowledge of Super Sonico but if you enjoy comedies with a slice of life tinge, then you’ll find plenty to like here; I’m happy to see Super Sonico get her own anime as she’s a notable character who’s hugely prominent in Japanese culture and even has music you can buy alongside an incredibly amount of figures, so it’s nice to see her being given a proper personality. The show has some very heartwarming scenes, proving it has a lot more depth then you’d be lead to believe at first glance.

 

White Fox have done a great job animating the show, and you might better know them as the studio that animated the Steins;Gate anime which, as most of you know here, is a hugely loved series here at Rice Digital. Super Sonico excels with colours and just made me feel all warm inside with how cheery it is in every aspect – it’s like a slice of Summer, complete with bikinis! Due to her job as a model, we get to see plenty of varied locales over the course of the series and it’s clear that White Fox had a fun time animating all the photoshoots and concerts. Yeah yeah there’s a lot of fanservice, as should be expected if you’re already familiar with Super Sonico, but it’s mostly used for comedy and didn’t make me uncomfortable when watching – she’s 18 years old (technically an adult!) which definitely helps!

 

The show uses some CGI, mainly for the ending sequences which are generally full CGI, but it doesn’t ruin the flow of the traditional 2D animation, especially as it isn’t very prominent during the episodes. The ED is constantly changing with each episode, both in visuals and audio, and varies from Super Sonico playing on a beach, being a giantess walking through a city or dancing with zombies in what’s clearly inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s good fun and compliments how lively the series is – you can’t help but greatly enjoy it.

 

4

 

I’d watched Super Sonico as it was airing so I’m familiar with the Japanese voice-over which casted the characters perfectly, especially Super Sonico, and I had a blast with it. My biggest problem with the reason is the English Dub and as most of you should know by now, I usually opt for English Dubs where possible but Sentai Filmworks have a bit of a track record for poor dubs and Super Sonico is captain of ‘Poor Dub Ship SS’. The fault can’t be directly attributed to the voice-actresses themselves, some of who might be great in other shows, as the voice director has to shoulder much of the blame here. Rather than the girls sounding cute and cheerful, they sound rough and, in the case of Suzu, just plain rude; it manages to change the tone of the show for the worst, and it’s an extremely poor job so hopefully when people slip the discs into their players, they’ll not realise that there’s a dub option as it’s on sub by default.

 

Jessica Nigri has had minimal voice-acting experience, only having voiced in RWBY which makes Super Sonico her first anime voiceover, and it really shows. Her voice doesn’t match Super Sonico as it is but that doesn’t mean she might not have potential to be a great voice-actress someday, though it’s clear Sentai hired her for free advertising rather than thinking of what would be best for fans. Again, it’s hard to blame the voice-actresses when much of it comes down to those who direct and cast the show and it’s clear that little thought went into casting here. Thankfully the original Japanese voice-over is present otherwise it would be a real struggle to watch and the contrast in quality between the sub and dub is undeniably huge – hopefully Sentai put more effort, care and love into their castings in future rather than adding a dub solely to slap it as a feature on the box.

 

Being an anime that has a huge focus on music, it’s no wonder that the OST is fantastic and something that I’ve listened to since its original airing. The tunes are so easy to relax to and, like the show, every note just makes me want to grin my face off! The OP and abundance of ED’s will surely sit well with you, too – of course, all the vocal songs remain in Japanese. There are a few extras on disc but, sadly, they only bother with the English side of the release including a segment that focuses on Jessica Nigri recording, a photoshoot and an interview which talks about how she got into cosplaying (fans will love this extra and even though I’m personally not a fan, it still proved to be an interesting watch), English outtakes, adverts for the English release, trailers and clean openings and endings. It’s standard affair but it’s a shame that the original Japanese release has been ignored almost entirely here.

 

3

 

You don’t need to be a fan of Super Sonico to enjoy this show, rather the anime is a great introduction to her and her music, modelling, etc, that she’s become popular for. The anime will plaster a smile on your face with its bright and colourful visuals, humour and loveable characters and each episode is well-paced and entertaining. Stick with the Japanese voice-over and you’re sure to enjoy this slice of life and music mix and you might be surprised to find that it may stick with you in a way you didn’t expect. It might look like a ditzy show with no depth and whilst Super Sonico herself is certainly a ditz, the anime is well-written and provides depth that helps it to feel like its own show rather than one that people will watch solely for the name attached to it, and if you fancy giving it a go then you can order it from us here on DVD and Blu-ray!

 

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