Well, with this episode it’s now officially official that Yosuga no Sora is following the omnibus format that’s all the rage this season. The Kazuha arc wrapped up and the Akira arc begins next week, but with a twist – the story picks up at the end of episode two. And indeed, it appears that this is going to be the format the series takes for the rest of its run – all of the girls’ arcs will pick up from some point of shared continuity rather than “reset” all the way to the beginning.
A lot of how one feels about this series is, I suppose – as with Amagami SS – dependent on how they like the format. I confess that I’m not a fan of the omnibus generally. I like the approach taken in a series like “Kanon” or “True Tears”, where things play out and characters develop naturally over the course of the entire run. In a sense I think all these resets are cheating. That said, this is clearly a better show than Amagami SS – the writing is more subtle and interesting, the visuals and music superior, and the content generally more mature. They’re taking a more interesting tack with the omnibus as well – I like the idea of branching storylines much better than the universal reset. If omnibus ever makes sense, I suppose an adaptation of a dating sim is a case where it might.
As for the ep itself and the wrap of the Kazuha Arc, it was fine – no major surprises but no groaners either. Kazuha isn’t the most interesting of the girls from my perspective – Akira is more to my taste for starters – but the development between she and Haru was handled reasonably well. Even if this was her arc, as much of the ep involved Akira in any case – the drama between her and her father (and by extension, Kazuha and her father) was wrapped up rather nicely. Her kiss with her sister was interesting, too – like so much in this show it’s not explicitly clear just what the meaning of it was. Rather than a yuri/incest moment, I think it was Akira’s way of forcing her sister to confront her feelings for Haruka. I’m also glad we didn’t get cheap melodrama surrounding her illness. Another interesting element – perhaps inconsistent with her behavior in prior eps – was Sora’s surrender to Haru’s relationship with Kazuha. She seemed to give in rather easily.
Finally, speaking of what’s not “explicitly” clear, we get another nebulous sex scene – this one the most “explicit” by far, between Haru and Kazuha. We get lots of nudity and some serious petting, with an implied consummation. It’s a bit shocking to see such openly graphic sensuality backing a pretty serious anime, but this is an eroge after all. I wasn’t immediately clear whether this was happening in Haru’s imagination or his memory, since it was revealed to be in his thoughts while listening to her play the viola – but the game vets seem pretty sure it was a memory, so I’ll take their word for it. Haruka is definitely establishing himself as the full-on stud of the season, chock full of the kavorka – to the older women he’s a cherry boy, to Sora he’s twincest material, and the other girls can’t seem to get physical with him fast enough. Hiro Shimono’s never played anyone quite this much the player, I don’t think…