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View Poll Results: sola - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 54 24.88%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 48 22.12%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 50 23.04%
7 out of 10 : Good 43 19.82%
6 out of 10 : Average 10 4.61%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 6 2.76%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 0.46%
3 out of 10 : Bad 1 0.46%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 4 1.84%
Voters: 217. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2007-07-06, 00:51   Link #21
Bemused Scholar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Age: 30
OK, amidst this very exciting week, I'm finally going to take the time to gather my thoughts on Sola. This will be my first time really using a large-scale system to guage a show for real. It's kind of humbling to go after people like Ascaloth and Sorrow-K, as I didn't think I can pump out enormous volumes of analyzations and criticisms capped with pithy quotes and pictures. I'll do what I can, though. ^_^ At least Skane hasn't posted yet. >_>

Earlier on, I stated that I didn't like to use structured rating systems for anime. Well, I'm going to eat my words. I decided I could use a good way for comparing shows and making my thoughts more organized. By categorizing ratings, I am also better able to notice just what works and what doesn't within an anime. However, I recognize that it's not completely right to just lump together scores to evaluate an anime; that's why I left room in the scoring system for stuff that doesn't fit neatly into conventional categories.

My new scoring system is comprised of 8 categories rated on a 1-10 scale: Characters, Plot, Setting, Directing and Pacing, Animation, Music, Voice Acting, and Brownie Points. The first 7 are somewhat self-explanatory; the 8th section is devoted to all sorts of stuff that may make a show unique or endearing without falling into one of the other categories. While all of these categories are subjective, some are obviously more so than others, with Characters and Brownie Points being by far the most subjective. Not all categories are worth the same either. I personally value Characters as the most important factor in an enjoyable show; I can stand a show with a horrid plot if I can love the characters, but a show with a brilliant plot can still lose my interest if it lacks characters that I like (Death Note comes to mind...I don't hate it, it's just that the characters don't hold my interest). The Character score is multiplied by 2; Plot and Setting are both multiplied by 1.5. Yeah, I do lay rather heavy emphasis on Setting (that partially includes premise too). Fascinating worlds are a key factor for drawing my attention (that's what drew me to .Hack/SIGN in the first place).

Total possible amount of points is 100/100. All but 2 categories will be in only whole numbers of 1-10 without any decimals. A score containing an interval of .5 will be allowed for Characters (since this is such a large section) and Music (which is comprised of 2 parts). As I have stated before, I really can't explain the difference between a 7.6 and a 7.7, but I sure can explain why I would rate something a 7 instead of an 8.

Anyway, here are my scores and thoughts for Sola, with some spoiler tags for length:

Characters - 4.5

Characters are judged based on both how much I personally like them, and to a lesser extent how well the story handled their development (the latter bleeds over to plot and organization). Some minor characters may be selectively omitted. The final character score is not a simple average of the individual character scores. Main characters will carry more weight, as they should naturally be judged by a heavier standard due to their increased screentime. Sadly, that's something that doesn't help Sola at all, as many people have noted. The side characters were interesting, to be sure, but to call the main trio and their affairs lackluster may be an understatement.

Individual scores:

Yorito - 2

Matsuri - 5

Aono - 4

Mana - 6

Koyori - 7

Takeshi - 8

Mayuko - 7

Plot - 5


Setting - 7


Directing - 7


Animation - 9


Music - 8

This score is an average of two scores: one for the background music, and one for the OP/ED/insert songs.

Background Music - 7

OP/ED/Insert Songs - 9

Voice Acting - 8

Brownie Points - 7


Final Score - 66/100 (rounded up to a 7 here)

In the end, we're left with a show with above average production qualities and likable side characters. Unfortunately, the real tragedy of the show was the lackluster main cast and a promising plot riddled with one too many holes. I'm comfortable with calling it just a little above average, but I may have been a bit too generous at times. I'd watch it and enjoy it, but not dwell much on it afterwards. The only episode I'm likely to rewatch is episode 9, just for the Takeshi and Mayuko love.

And that concludes my evaluation of the show. My apologies and thanks to whoever actually bothered to go through all that.

Edit: After reading your review, Sorrow-K, I found it rather amusing that you also mentioned Utawarerumono. That was the first anime that came to mind when I was thinking of a show I'd rate closest to how I rated Sola (I believe I also rated it a "7" here on AnimeSuki). However, the point distribution for that was different; I thought the Uta characters were more likable (especially the main characters), but I'd rate it even lower than Sola for plot. Uta also had better music for me, while Sola would win out on animation, etc.
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Old 2007-07-06, 01:29   Link #22
Somehow I found out
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Utawarerumono is an interesting comparison, and I'm not sure it's a widely known fact that Sola and Uta have the same director (which is one of the reasons I mentioned it in my review). Uta I'd have given similar rating, but in my eyes it's a slightly better anime... although obviously very different. But both series have flaws and, in my eyes, both series had awesome potential that they just didn't live up to. And while Sola's flaws were weak lead characters and inconsistent plot, I'd say Uta's flaws were inconsistent pacing and too many side characters that turned into chess pieces. But purely from looking at Kobayashi's list of projects, I can't say I'd rate him highly, and Sola hasn't changed that opinion... although on the other hand, ep 5 of Rozen Maiden was a work of genius.
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Old 2007-07-06, 07:54   Link #23
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A pretty nice and trough review, Mirrinus ... though i can't say i agree on some of the points and complains you make.

First... your Yorito's comparison to Yuuji.
Spoiler for minor Shakugan no Shana spoilers:

was even willing to forgive the fact that I'm clueless why she loves Yorito, but some of her other actions baffled me further. For example, why didn't she leave town immediately after promising Aono that she'd no longer interfere? Or why was she aiming to kill Aono with the sword at first during their fight (I'm assuming she didn't know Aono was using a paper clone, otherwise she wouldn't be wasting time with a fake)?
Love needs no explanation. But this excuse isn't even needed in this case, as it is not hard to figure out why Matsuri likes him at all. What are the chances of her falling for, possibly, the only human that has treated her like a normal girl since god knows when? I would say rather high. If this explanation doesn't suit you - refer to the 1st sentence of this paragraph

Not interfering =/= leaving town. She wasn't trying to interfere; it was a chance meeting. Perhaps she had other things to do in the town (Mayuko), or simply hadn't decided where to go next.

Aiming to kill Aono? Quite impossible, considering that a stab in the stomach is not very lethal to yakas, and the effect from the wound is not long lasting, if Matsuri herself is any indication. Besides, we could see in the Takeshi-Matsuri flashback that her initial reason for learning how to use the sword was to turn Aono back to a human.
I've already stated my opinion on her sudden change at the end from not wanting to live without Yorito, to being all friendly and happy. Not explaining something as important as this will most definitely damage my opinion of the character.
It was not explained, thats for sure... it is one of my beefs with the situation as well. However, it isn't sudden at all. 1 year had passed since then, meaning Aono had plenty of time to sulk in a corner and think about what to do. The fact that she appeared only 1 year later means she did do something during that year. We do lack the information as to what inspired this change, but the change isn't sudden.

Hope you don't mind this bit of criticism
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Old 2007-07-06, 10:03   Link #24
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Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
Aiming to kill Aono? Quite impossible, considering that a stab in the stomach is not very lethal to yakas, and the effect from the wound is not long lasting, if Matsuri herself is any indication. Besides, we could see in the Takeshi-Matsuri flashback that her initial reason for learning how to use the sword was to turn Aono back to a human.
And then I can point out that that particular sword is a magic sword, and as we've seen, it has a magical reaction when Matsuri stabbed herself with it, which means she must have been intending to knock off Aono when she stabbed the Aono-clone with it.....and then you can say that perhaps the magic sword only does that when the user wishes that to happen, and if she doesn't it simply acts as a normal sword, thus your assertion holds true regardless, and then I can say this, and then Mirrinus can say that, and then you'll rebut with something else, and then Sorrow-K'll point something else out etc. etc. ad infinitem ad nausem.

See, that is why I feel that my beef about Sola being so riddled with inconsistencies is highly relevant. Without consistency, we can go on like this forever and still go nowhere in the end.
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Old 2007-07-06, 13:07   Link #25
Bemused Scholar
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Oh no, I don't mind the criticism. While your points certainly are plausible, Skyfall, the problem is that much of it still feels like mere speculation. Your assumptions are reasonable, to be sure, but since the show never actually revealed much of that, I can still fault the show for not properly developing the characters, even if what you say is true. Assuming your theory about Matsuri and Yorito is true, we still run into the fact that the show only bothered showing a total of maybe 2 or 3 minutes of them together in flashbacks. It still lacked ample development and exposition for such an important relationship. Now, I don't want to sound like I want everything to be served to me on a silver platter, but I expected a bit more in terms of storytelling.

As I've stated in the episode 13 thread, I think a fair number of my criticisms can be patched up depending on the OVA material. Unfortunately, this topic is for the series review, and I can't take any possible answers the extra episodes may have into account. But then again, Nomad did rather impress me with Rozen Maiden: Overture, so who knows?
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Old 2007-07-08, 06:42   Link #26
Join Date: Dec 2004
overall i think this is a very nice series
with great music and great plot
and yeah yorito is quite hopeless in the series XD
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Old 2007-07-08, 13:07   Link #27
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Here are my thoughts

Animation Quality: 8

one point off for pointy chins. Another for not going the extra mile in when it needed to.

Voice Actors: 10

It worked. Can't think of ways to make it better. I have to have lived in Japan for 10 years to offer any criticism for this series.

Script: 6

Could have been better. I really wish they would have taken more literary ( artistic ) approach to the plots and character growth

Editing: 10

This is the part that made Sola work. They inserted just the right elements and events at end of each episode to make the viewers become very curious about the next episode. They also made sure that there would be at least one 'MOE!!!' moment every episode.

Emotional Involvement: 10

All those Moe-ness, darkness emanating from the characters, and the cliff-hangers had me very engaged in this series. This was the series that I got most emotionally attached to since 'Koi kaze'.

main Opening song: 8

Need more thematic development

prelude and 1st episode opening song: 8

Quite. need more development, again

main Ending song: 9

Good. needed some theme and variation moments

BGM: 8

Mostly adequate. Could been better

Occasional insert songs: 6

Nice use of its own materials, but needed variety
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Old 2007-07-11, 04:05   Link #28
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that's a good review ascaloth
sth with tree logs and romance
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Old 2007-07-15, 11:15   Link #29
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I loved this series I give it a 10/10 ^_^ I understand what the majority is saying when coming to the inconsistency of some of the show. But I have to remain with my original statement I absolutely loved this show.
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Old 2007-07-18, 01:11   Link #30
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Wow. We got really rough critics... I don't see myself as much of a critic, so my post won't be as big... So, here goes:

I personally liked Sola. It wasn't another vampire story or super hero-ish story or any other story that seems to be touched upon repeatedly enough that it starts to feel old. Like a few stories out there, it was fresh and new in my eyes. It's refreshing to know that there's still some form of creativity out there where someone can't just randomly say, "Yeah, they've done that type of characters in..."

When I watched the first episode, I had the thought of, "Oh, great. Another vampire anime. What number is this now?" But, I was wrong to think that so quickly as the episode progressed. Instead of vampires, it was yakas. What exactly is yaka? Well, people say "woe" or "calamity." I liked one of the fansubber's own translation of the word in english. "Night Dwellers." I'm not one to much describe what a yaka truly is, but as far as I can really say, it's like a vampire, but closer to being human... Oh, and varying powers. That whole idea impressed me. Most stories now-a-days are easy to compare to other works we've personally seen in the past. With this one, I had a hell of a time trying to make a connection to other things. That's why I find it so creative.

The music helped set the mood and the flow of the colors just kept me wanting to watch for more. Sure, I can say that there were some disappointments and questionable moments about the story, as well as I wished the last episode ended differently, but it was amazing that it kept me attached to the series to the very end. The emotions it tried to invoke on the audience wasn't overwhelming like other animes and that helped. Some animes just invoke so much emotion that it makes it so hard to watch the whole series, and I end up either watching each episode at longer gaps of time or end up just putting it off until I felt that it was just a little too much for me to handle. This kept it at a good balance, though I will say that if it invoked a tad more emotion on the audience, it would have helped.

Oh, the storyline. I'll have to agree with those who say that there seemed to be several things that made me question or wonder/linger, but never ended up getting or finding an answer. I personally think that could have been resolved if the series had been expanded to 26-ish episodes instead of 13. I know I would be one of the audiences that would have hung on to the end.

Ah, the character development was highly criticized by many. I personally won't break it down per character. I actually liked them all, though for some of the supporting characters, I wished there were more to them than just showing up at convenient times. As for the characters that we were able to know more in-depth about, I was content, though it left me wishing for more. Several flashbacks and glimpses just give me a puzzle to work on while making me feel like there should be more pieces. Other than that, I liked how the characters started out personality-wise, and I liked how it progressed. They tried their best to explain why the characters acted these certain ways, and I'll give them kudos for that. But, like I said, if the series was longer, it probably would have helped expanding on that.

Overall, the anime was great and I'd love to buy it once the DVDs hit the shelves here in the US. (I'm praying they do.) The story could have been expanded further for a longer running anime. And of course, I do wish there would be more coming out later on, but with the way it ended, I highly doubt it... Unless the manga manages to continue the story past what has transpired and enlightens the director/producer/etc to continue the anime based on the manga.
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Old 2007-07-24, 11:24   Link #31
Sai the Dreamer
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There's always been a self analogy I've been wanting to use. I feel it's most appropriate here:

"It struck the right chord one too many times and broke it."

My main concern is with the storyline; it sets expectations far too high and fails to meet them later on. That said, if you don't expect too much as I did, Sola is a quite enjoyable series.
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Old 2007-07-27, 22:32   Link #32
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7. Despite numerous flaws I do like the series. Mana was possibly the best character in this series and probably carried it about as far a supporting character can. The series itself had a lot of standout moments: a chase scene in which the protagonist is running away from the light instead of toward it, the rooftop scene with Mana and Yorito, and the fight between Aono and Matsuri was the epitome of style of substance. It didn't make sense but sure looked cool.
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Old 2007-08-02, 01:37   Link #33
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Originally Posted by Phantom-Takaya View Post
God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only choice is how."
That is truth. "Sola" has been a series like few times we got to seeing . Even though we can find resemblances and similitudes with another stories, the truth is that this was a new proposal and original, a mixture of mystery, romance and very measured action, with one than another little smile. The story has a great beginning and an excellent conclusion, because every last one instant maintained us attentive to what going to succeed, but definitively 13 chapters were not sufficient to tell the story of Matsuri, Aono and Yorito. More than incoherences, what I see is short time, because so much the background as the characters were there, finding themselves ready to tell us his story.

Matsuri was selfish in the past and was for selfishness that she put new life into Aono. Centuries after she has changed, no longer is the same one and even she falls in love, but she must abandon this sentiment because the same one is an illusion created by its friend, there is who she has found after having separated some time ago and than the same as her, could not be alone. Now she accepts his mistake in the past and wants to remedy it, although this mean destroying the only thing that has done her to feel human and that's why she suffers and hesitates. We all know as she concludes the story, the keys are there. Regrettably Nomad never reported the so extensive and wonderful background that meant going from chapter 1 to the 13, creating a new universe to where solitary creatures wander around in the evening and under the rain, laughing, crying, loving and suffering .

I give this series 9.9, no for what it is, so that can be. More than a chapter 14 or 15, what this series needs is to be taken again all along and the story that we all know exist, now really was revealed, because that it´s "Sola", a story eat no another one and only this way transform with many others animes, films or books in something unforgettable (story, characters, environment, development and two cans on a table ).
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Old 2007-08-19, 18:22   Link #34
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This series gets a solid "9" from me, purely based on my enjoyment. After reading parts of the very critical reviews of the series in this thread, I am surprised that people take so much time to analyze anime so methodically, in fact some of the reviews read like chemistry equations to me . Anyways to end my digression I will say that I found most aspects of the show well done, especially the music and voice acting. The animation was very good for the type of show this is, obviously not even close to the level of my favorites, Production I.G. and Kyoani, but definitely adequate. When I first watched the show, another anime immediately came to mind, "ARIA". I compare this show to ARIA because of its powerful atmosphere. ARIA, has no plot and very average animation, and yet (for me) is a very enjoyable show because of its atmosphere. While it is not a perfect comparison, it is the same type of enjoyment, so my rating of the series is based on that. I find that most anime series have problems with plot consistency, so I choose to avoid constant in depth analysis of the plot and average in all aspects. Prose on the other hand only has plot and characters to go on, and so lends its self more favorably to intense analysis. (I say this not to criticize those who analyze anime like this, but rather to explain how I can rate a series with such plot inconsistencies, lack of character development, i.e. all the criticisms rendered upon the series, so highly). So in short for me, good animation, (decent) plot, likable characters, good ending (not reset or completely happy, catharsis present), great voice acting, music and atmosphere = 9,
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Old 2007-10-04, 10:06   Link #35
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Originally Posted by Sorrow-K View Post
Utawarerumono is an interesting comparison, and I'm not sure it's a widely known fact that Sola and Uta have the same director (which is one of the reasons I mentioned it in my review).
Aww don't compare Utawarerumono to sola. Uta actually has a story while I dont know what sola has but its definitely not a story.

Sola gets a 1 from me because the story is soo cheesy and bad.
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Old 2007-10-05, 21:38   Link #36
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I loved it, mostly on account of Matsuri...and the ending. Oh, the ending, which is still rivaled only by Air in my mind.
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Old 2007-12-24, 22:22   Link #37
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Sola gets a 2.5 out of 10 from me.

Though I'm going to be honest and say that I didn't exactly finish the series. I didn't watch the last episode but read a summary.

First of all. I found the series predictable from the start. I only watched because I hoped it wouldn't be predictable.

The theme of "sky" was what I first noticed, it was predictable. However it's theme hardly has a core importance to the plot and overall the Yorito's fascination of it is rather....irrelevant

Characters. All the side characters with the exception of Sae (Ami Koshimizu has some good roles coming up though) are good.

The relationships aren't particularly strong between the characters with the exception of Matsuri and Yorito (which sadly, I didn't pay attention to).
I was really annoyed with Yorito simply pushingf Mana away when he was going to "disappear". Instead he just takes his goddamn pictures of the sky

Terms. The Yaka is almost just plainly the story's take on a vampire that does not drink blood. I found the story's fantasy rather dull and uncomplicated. Alright. I might be being very critical here. But maybe I just found the story very cliche with one character "in love with the sky" and another "who can't see it"

Originally Posted by Sassarai View Post
Aww don't compare Utawarerumono to sola. Uta actually has a story while I dont know what sola has but its definitely not a story.

Sola gets a 1 from me because the story is soo cheesy and bad.
This post made my day.

One crazy B****
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Old 2008-01-15, 22:07   Link #38
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Virginia Tech
So, a couple days ago a friend of mine and myself decided that we wanted to try marathoning a series. Neither of us had before, so we decided to give it a try. We chose this series firstly because it had a really cool name. Secondly, we chose it because it was apparently voted best anime of 2007, according to wikipedia. Third, we chose it because Matsuri is voiced by the ever wonderful Ichinose Kotomi voice.

So, this story to me is a three parter. At the start, it was the story of Matsuri being involved in the lead's life. In the middle, it was her disappearence. And in the end, it was about his disappearence. The middle got a little frustrating, as do most disappearing animes to me, but they handled it very well.

His disappearence sounded VERY familiar. After playing through "One", it sounds ever more so. But, I think they handled it well.

This anime left me light of heart. It was a fun anime, and a little saddening too. But, I like saddening things.

Overall, I'm going to rank this a tier I production, a 9/10, only a little bit behind Kanon and EF, and possibly Clannad. I wouldn't call it the "best" anime of 2007, but it's pretty close.
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Old 2008-01-19, 03:09   Link #39
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Wow was this show a huge let down for me. Being a KEY fan hearing who wrote it, I was expecting much much more. This was so bad! Nothing was as sad as it was supposed to be. Really bland characters for the most part. I can completely see Jun had set out most of the outlines for Kanon story for Naoki.

Not sure if the manga has a better representation, but the anime was not very good.

Characters were bland, uninteresting and had poor backgrounds. I could not like Matsuri, she was fake to me and had no charm to her. Aono was completely annoying in every respect. Her reasons to a point were worthwhile but then she suddenly changes in a blink of an eye.

Best characters Takeshi and Mayuko. There story would have to be more powerful than any of the others. If that were the main focus, it would have been a better series.

Music was acutually one thing that was good about the show I really enjoyed the OP.

Animation was odd at times but overall alright.

I just can't believe it was voted best anime of 2007 >.> it was so bad I can make a better story. Man.....this can not even compare to anything made by KEY.
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Old 2008-01-25, 06:54   Link #40
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Animation Quality: 8
Voice Actors: 9
Script: 8
Editing: 9
Emotional Involvement: 10

Gave sola a total of 9.

Thouroughly enjoyed it, and it's the only anime series that had me stop watching anime for a few days. Really got emotionally involved wuth the final two episodes and the somewhat sad ending.
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