Monday, December 22, 2014

Heaven's Lost Property Season One Anime Review

Heaven's Lost Property Season One
Sora no Otoshimono
Funimation
Complete Collection - 5 discs
350 mins. - 14 episodes
$39.98 (2014) Blu-Ray
$64.98 (2011) Blu-Ray/DVD
ISBN 704400058844
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Hisashi Saito
Studio - AIC

Synopsis: One evening Tomoki Sakurai witnesses a strange object fall from the sky.  He's a regular high school student who lives in a small town and is perfectly happy with pursuing a quiet existence.  His life goes completely upside down when the object that fell from the sky turns out to be  a beautiful girl with wings!  Her name is Ikaros and she is an Angeloid fallen from the Synapse.  Making matters worse she declares herself Tomoki's servant and begins living with him.
Tomoki just wants to have a normal, quiet life
Poor Tomoki is stuck with Ikaros and has no idea what to do with her.  He's a typical horny teenager and she's a beautiful creature, but obviously not quite human!  He can't bring himself to lust after her.  She ends up going to school with him and it's a complete disaster.  Her wings stick out of the back of her clothing and people stare.  Tomoki just wants to have a normal, quiet existence and Ikaros is ruining his chances.
Tomoki recovers Ikaros after she falls to Earth
Ikaros has no memory or personality calling herself a 'pet-class' Angeloid yet she possesses incredible strength, endurance, and durability.  Tomoki confides in a small group of classmates who attempt to help him.  They include:
  • Sohara Mitsuki - Tomoki's next door neighbor, the two were childhood friends, a bit of a tomboy, has a great rack, and is not shy about smacking Tomoki when he acts like a perv
  • Eishiro Sugata - odd student who is head of the New World Discovery Club which has only one other member (Mikako), he is highly intelligent yet risks life and limb attempting to perfect a form of flight (usually hang-gliding)
  • Mikako Satsukitane - student council president and childhood friend of Eishiro, she is the daughter of a crime family and actually pretty scary, her intentions are mostly self-serving as she enjoys tormenting people for her own amusement (who doesn't?)
Ikaros totally makes a scene at Tomoki's school and embarasses him
Later another Angeloid joins Ikaros to live with Tomoki and her name is Nymph.  She calls Ikaros an alpha-class Angeloid while Nymph herself is beta-class.  Through Nymph we learn of the Synapse and its cruel Master.  What is Ikaros true purpose and why did Nymph follow her to Earth?  Is the Synapse actually Heaven populated by Angels?  Tomoki just wants a mundane existence in his quiet town, but thanks to Ikaros his life will never be quiet again!
Sohara walks in on Tomoki...not doing anything perverted to Ikaros...
Pros: Great animation and backgrounds, every episode ends with a different theme song (seriously!) and animation based on what happened in the episode, neat character designs, some funny comedy moments, a ton of ecchi/fan-service (like practically all of it), underlying story of Ikaros being on Earth is eventually brought to the surface at the end, some character development
Ikaros loves watermelons!
Cons: Ridiculous female characters, Tomoki treats Ikaros like crap, plot is slow and slightly convoluted, Ikaros has no personality, ending episodes get pretty dark with Master's treatment of Nymph, too much super-deformed character scenes (like every time Tomoki acts like a pervert), never been a fan of anime where female characters wear collars
Tomoki seeks help from Mikako and Eishiro
Mike Tells It Straight: Yes, I wrote this series off as another cheesy harem anime after watching the first couple episodes.  It's very rare that I quit a series outright so I continued watching.  I found myself actually starting to enjoy the series due to the comedy (the fan-service wasn't too bad either).  Don't get me wrong, this series is all about fan-service and the female harem surrounding Tomoki, but the story becomes more engaging and the characters slightly more endearing by the end.
Nymph followed Ikaros down from the Synapse and enjoys eating junk food
The animation is great quality with nice backgrounds and interesting character designs.  There's an overuse of portraying the characters as super-deformed (SD) and cutesy for comedic effect.  It happens all the time and is a signature of the series.  I was very impressed that the ending theme song and animation changed on every episode!  That's a lot of extra cost and it was pretty cool.
The group goes swimming, from left: Ikaros, Nymph, Sohara, and Mikako
The fan-service is pretty obvious and this series reminded me of DearS.  That series had female 'slaves' with metal collars around their necks as well.  I'd say Heaven's Lost Property is slightly better, but that may only be due to the fact it's newer (using better technology).  The male lead in DearS (Takeya) was also a jerk to the female lead (Ren) which was a similar turn off to Tomoki's harsh treatment of Ikaros here.
Some very unfriendly Angeloids come down from the Synapse to retrieve Ikaros
I enjoyed the comedy and outlandish stories in this series.  The cast is pretty funny and Tomoki is a complete horn-dog.  They get up to some zany antics in every episode, but then things get a little more serious at the end.  Nymph's sharp wit is a great contrast to the befuddled Ikaros, but Nymph's origin is pretty sad.  The greater mystery of the Synapse was a nice complement to the overall comedy/fan-service (it almost validated the series, but not really).
Ikaros unleashes a hidden power!
If you like fan-service and comedy then this series will be a good watch.  I'm not a huge fan of harem anime because they tend to be boring and predictable.  Heaven's Lost Property doesn't completely escape this problem, but puts a fresh spin on old tropes and gives a little extra in the story department.  Nothing really new or exciting happens in this series to move the genre forward or push me to give it a high recommendation.  Just pure guilty pleasure.
Sohara is confronted by Tomoki's morning wood!
TO BUY and Recommendations: