Sora no Otoshimono Forte – Series Review

Looking back at season two of Sora no Otoshimono, I’d have to call it something of a mixed bag – with more good than bad. At its best, it could be both hilarious (the Buddhist retreat episode) and powerfully moving (episode 8, the first “defeat” of Chaos and lots of relationship development). Even within the same episode you had the dual nature of the series – as in episode 9, the first part full of awful chibi moments and Mikako, the second a delightful and hilarious kawaii-fest with Ikaros and Nymph.

That split personality is intrinsic to what SnO is and always has been, so I’m not faulting “Forte” for that. But somehow the two sides of the series seemed less harmonious than in the first season. The balance was off, for starters – there were way too many episodes where Tomoki was in chibi-mode almost full-time, a sure sign of pure fluff. There was way too much focus on Mikako and her annoying little contests. It seemed to be an all or nothing proposition – with a couple of exceptions the eps were given over entirely to ecchi comedy or (too rarely for real balance) dead serious drama. In season one it felt like many more episodes had a balance.

The other reason why, for me, Forte didn’t quite measure up was that the comedy bits were generally less funny than they were in S1. There were some big hits, like the aforementioned Buddhist retreat and the subsequent “Penis Matsuri” ED. That ep rivaled the flying panties for pure laughs. But there were too few of those comedic home runs, and too many episodes where the skit seemed to drag on well past the point of maximum return.

In terms of character, it was as often as not Nymph who was at the center of the emotional storm. She was always the most “normal” of the angeloids in terms of her personality, and her situation was the most tragic and heartbreaking among them. By contrast Ikaros was too often relegated to a supporting or comic relief role, that changing for the better only in the last few eps. Astraea’s introduction was fine – she was good for a lot of laughs, though her plotline was not nearly as engaging as Nynph’s was in S1. The Chaos arc was pretty effective in terms of dramatic buildup, thought it ended rather predictably.

On the whole, this was a pretty good follow-up if not quite the success S1 was. With an OVA and movie to follow it’s certain that SnO is going to get even ecchier and that should be a sight to see. But will they finally give me a real commitment between Tomoki and Ikaros?

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