Anime: Celestial Method
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Retail Price: $59.98
The anime series Celestial Method brings Nonoka Komiya (the protagonist) back to her hometown after a lengthy seven year departure from Lake Kiriya City. Nonoka has previously craved a return to the place she once called home, expecting changes – but nothing as radical as what she could have ever predicted. Nonoka is met with a flying saucer/spacecraft hovering high above Lake Kiriya City, and it turns out that the unidentified flying object has been a looming presence since her and her families exit all those years ago. The residents of the city either fall into the category of someone who are adjusted to the saucer and make profits from it, or those who can’t bring themselves to entirely put their trust in the unknown beings that float above them.
Nonoka isn’t sure what to make of the vast transition from her prior experiences to the drastic change that remains a major mystery to Lake Kiriya City. She is met by a girl named Noel, who in actuality has been waiting for Nonoka – even claiming to have a past with the returning (and confused) resident. Noel adds more confusion to Nonoka’s perceptions of the situation when she insists they know each other from before. Unfortunately for Nonoka, she has no idea who the girl is and it begins to unfold into a question of if she has anything to do with the unusual circumstances. Nonoka does her best to re-establish relationships with old friends, and it begins to cause suppressed memories to surface regarding her deceased mother. Seeking whatever truths lie out there, Nonoka enlists her friends help to uncover the truth about the history of the city and the string of possibly connected events that lead to more truth, mystery, and promises during the anime series.
Something surprising about the anime is the idea to generally take focus on Nonoka’s friendships over anything introduced. They have multiple opportune moments to primarily discuss issues that overlap with grief and science fiction, but that’s not the target goal for the anime. Seeing Nonoka chase the attention and acceptance of her peers was a practical storyline for a youthful character (that moldable stage of life) but it just didn’t contain enough intrigue to overshadow the other concepts that were presented. Nonoka spent so much time with her persistent (and somewhat annoying) tendencies, that anything else they hoped to include felt like secondary storytelling for the oddly blended series. The ending doesn’t contain any effective severity to the outcomes, and feels as if the anime was frivolously stretched out for an underwhelming overarching plot.
The animation in Celestial Method has a few decent uses of art to create visual attraction to the anime, and is more consistent than the plot. Being a recent anime, I would have expected stronger art and audio, but it could be argued that it was a rushed anime. That’s not to say that it wasn’t decent, because there were those select moments of strength, I just didn’t feel that way in every episode. The opening and closing songs weren’t too bad either, and I would describe the art and sound additions as average in comparison to other series. The colors that popped from the Blu-Ray version of Celestial Method were certainly reasons to appreciate the artsy animation (in most occasions it was the scenic frames of the anime.)
Overall, the anime Celestial Method has a few positive traits that can be found beneath the surface they created, but it doesn’t have enough depth to make it a series you’d want to return to. The wacky Nonoka and her constant desperation for others became too repetitive to make her an effective lead character, and the others (whose time was more limited) were more interesting than she was most definitely. I would recommend the series to people looking for a slice of life/friendship based anime, but for an example of stronger quality Waiting in the Summer would probably suffice more for that in an enjoyable way. Celestial Method is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks, so if you are interested in alien (ish) suspense but overwhelmingly forced friendships, make sure to check it out!
Overall Score: 6/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
– It could have tried to encompass more of the storylines they hinted at frequently.
– Nonoka was borderline annoying as a lead character (but did have more heartfelt moments too)
– The animation had found more success than the other elements that made up Celestial Method as a whole.