Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo Revisited (Because Sometimes The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction)

sorakakegirl-ed

What A Stunning Collection Of All Of Moods At Any Given Time.  Could Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo Be An Exploration Of My Very Psyche?  Stay Tuned

Because I’m feeling lazy and don’t much want to come up with an entirely new article yet I felt it would be fun to re-explore an old one of mine instead.  The year was the far out retro and old school 2008, it was a lazy October and a certain show named Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo had just been announced.  I didn’t know what to make of it, I still don’t know what to make of it, but even with an imagination as wild as mine I would have never imagined what I got when I first started to take a serious (aha aha haha) closer look at it.  It turned out to be to Sunrise mecha series what Slayers is to the Fantasy genre and it doesn’t believe that anything is sacred either.  I had asked for more Gaogaigar….and this is what they gave me:

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Pink haired girls doing Sailor Moon like poses. Because everyone wants to be reminded of Chibi-Usa….

Underachievers that hang out with Brain Colonies.  What’s a Brain Colony?  Fuck if I really even know.  Akiha is like the Jack of All Trades heroine that anybody could find something to like about.  She’s got pep, she’s competent, she’s got a temper, she’s cute….but she just doesn’t seem to pick up on much quickly.  Hmmm…I think Akiha is supposed to be a proxy for the viewer.

Tropes Parodied:

Girls with guns and colony lasers:  Yeah that’s right, she has this little golden gun she carries around that can be used to fire off Leopard’s giant colony laser/final weapon from a Gundam series.  Why wait till the end of the series to unveil a super weapon when you can just do it at the beginning.  This show is pure acid man.

- Falling into a Gundam:  They call her the girl who leapt through space, but rather it’s more like she fell through space and into contact with her super weapon in Leopard.  Much like how your average Gundam pilot just happens to stumble upon and end up inside of a Gundam in series openers. 

- Reluctant Heroine:  Akiha has the equivalent of Sudden Gundam pilot syndrome in that she randomly stops trying to help Leopard at one point after he screws around with her suit (don’t ask) and decides to try and go back to her normal life……only to be pulled back into helping Leopard faster then you can say “AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZIIIIIING!”

- Masked Character:  In episode 09 (Baseball episode) Akiha is seen sporting a mask while pitching that bears a striking resemblance to the maskes worn by Gundam antagonists.  Specifically Rau Le Creuset from Gundam Seed.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Green haired girls with no fashion sense. Because if your female character is meant to be a badass and has more clothing to skin ratio then she just isn’t going to cut it in today’s modern anime world.

Badass cops that impersonate high school students for some reason before getting roped into conspiracies.  And you think James Bond has it tough?  Itsuki is like the mid-tier back up character in a buddy movie who always gets the smaller gun and is always upstaged by the other lead.

Tropes Parodies:

- Moe it up:  I’ve wondered if Itsuki’s moe disguise mode is supposed to be a shot at the part in Code Geass where C.C goes all moe for like 5 episodes and isn’t her normal anymore.

- Ressurection:  In what I’m sure has to be a joke at the companies own tendency to have characters that were thought to be dead suddenly show up alive and well, Itsuki is “killed off” in the second episode for about 5 minutes before she turns up in her disguise to spy on the girl who leapt through space.  This is part of a running joke for a while too.

-  Innappropriate outfit:  Itsuki seems to have the tightest fitting clothing and the most bizzare sense of what passes for good fashion among any of the characters.  In one episode she even wears a red outfit which I’m sure is supposed to be a shot at Nunally’s red dress from the final episode of Code Geass

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Girls that think they’re cats. Because it’s important to recognize that cats are people too…..or something

Borderline unstoppable demi god fighters.  I don’t know what Honoka’s deal is other then she’s got EX-QT powers, but damn is she just insanely strong and broken.  When those eyes glow red you better watch out!

Tropes Parodied:

- Hyper Mode:  As mentioned Honoka’s eyes will occasionally glow a menacing red before she does some improbably feet like controlling objects with telekenisis, making the ground explode or just going completely medieval on someone’s ass.  At one point Honoka also uses what looks like a Bakunetsu God Finger type move on Itsuki that Akiha intervens to stop.  She really just does have to be seen to be believed though.

- …….quiet one…….:  Yeah Honoka’s also got the quiet and taciturn thing down pat.  She almost never speaks and when she does it’s usual only a couple of words in that really quiet barely audible sort of voice that Yuki Nagato of Haruhi fame popularized.  A possible shot at Anya Earlstreim from Code Geass R2 as well maybe?

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Girls that are probably busty scientists. Because any female character that wears glasses must invariably have large breasts as well

Girls that are busty leaders of shadowy and secret organizations that are meant to protect the safety of mankind

-  The Organization:  TERRA, NERV, GGG, like all of them before it Sora Kake Girl is no stranger to having a super secret, yet extremely impossible not to notice when in action, organization created specifically for the defence of humanity against it’s mortal enemy.  They are Kazane’s Angels The Shishidou Foundation.

-  Lelouch’s Hat:  I don’t know, but that freaky doll that Kazane carries as the symbol of her leadership of the foundation has clothes that look an awful lot like Lelouch’s imperial outfit from Code Geass R2.

- Bright Slap:  Kazane’s brutally honest dressing down of Nami before she runs of and joins Nerval was reminiscent of Bright’s dressing down of Amuro that caused him to desert the White Base.  Minus the slapping and the taking a powerful mecha and plus the joining the enemy of course.

Tropes Parodied:

“Now Printing”

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Girls in hot pants. Because in anime there’s an inverted relationship between character age and the amount of clothing they wear

People that are  so vain I bet they think this articles about them. Well to be honest I don’t really know a whole lot about this character other then the tropes she seems to parody.  Oh scratch that, she’s apparently a popular U-15 idol or some equivalent thereof

Tropes Parodied:

- Idols just want to see the world burn:  In what seems like a shot at Gundam 00′s Wang Liu Mei Nami seems to dislike people as a rule, even if they idolize her and wishes they would all die and/or go away.  Kind of disturbing.  Then again Japan does seem to have a bizarre love hate impression of their idols anyway so I guess it’s not too surprising.

- Possible split personality:  In what also seems like another shot at a Gumdam 00 character in Allelujah/Hallelujah, Nami appears to have a sadistic split personality that is seen embracing her in the opening and is shown in her minds eye at one point.  Are their no sane idol characters in anime anymore?

- Key Virus:  In episode 09 Nami is seen apparently suffering from some mysterious disease that makes her body physically week in what seems to be a parody of sickly girls with inexplicable afflictions that are seen in some anime and visual novels.  Most predominantly in Key/Visual Arts games.

- Hikkikomori:  Nami’s lifestyle of sitting around the house, browsing the internet and being extremely uneasy whenever she leaves the house and sees people looking at her is reminiscent of the hikkikomori subculture in Japan.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Girls that are lolis. Because if your anime show doesn’t have at least one loli character in it then it’s pretty much Dead on Arrival.

Child prodigies who like to cop a feel with their scarf and to literally bounce all around the room.  Also she looks like C.C lolified.

Tropes Parodied:

- Mad Scientist who builds super robot:  In a revelation that I’m sure surprised nobody, Sakura turns out to be a child genius who builds crazy contraptions for a living, like a human sized super robot she calls Mr. Black Belt who not even Honoka could take out.

- $#&%^&#!:  Sakura has this thing where none of what she says actually makes any real sense and it’s all mostly gibberish.  I could swear it’s a shot at that one character from Gatchaman that was massacred in the butchered American adaptation called Battle of The Planets to make weird utterly random noises whilst apparently somehow being a genius that everyone could understand perfectly.

- Newtype Flash:  Sakura gives off a Newtype flash when she uses her EX-QT power of inspiration and can make other people hear it.  What I’m trying to say is that Sakura could give the Innovators a run for their money.

- For The Children’s Sake: In episode 09 Sakura is seen living in an orphanage run by Nina and her spirit and plight motivates Itsuki to return to the sports field.  This trope is often used more with Greco-Mexican Wrestler characters than anything else.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Girls that are probably shrine maidens. Because even in space you need someone to keep the faith

Girls that are explorers and who can hold their own in a fight.  It’s also possbile she might be able to hide in a fridge to avoid Leopard’s Soul Shout.

Tropes Parodied:

- GUUUUUUUUUUUNDAAAAAAAM! or is that the DragonRanger:  Takane can summon her QT-ARMS by playing a mouth instrument and she does so while perched atop a narrow pillar.  To drive home the G Gundam parody her QT-ARMS comes from pretty much out of nowhere just like the Shining Gundam.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

……Thing…….

Yandere Potatoes.  To be honest Imo-chan still freaks me out and puzzles me even now.  She’s some sort of  Maidroid at the beginning of each episode, but at some point she does a FACE OPEN and this thing pops out usually to fawn over Akiha and randomly jump into a car and start driving.  You never really no what to expect.

Tropes Parodied:

- Emo characters:  I’m sure it’s a coincidence and that the name Imo wasn’t deliberately chosen because of what it sounds like, but damn if it doesn’t fit the bill.  Imo is easily traumatized and prone to fits of unrestrained anger over minor issues like being called a potato and boy does she freak out and complain about it while making the innocent “offender” feel like crap in the process.

-  Mascot Character:  I’m tempted to call Imo-chan this shows take on the Haro concept as she seems to do a lot of the same things.  Float around, act cutesy, do random chores, annoy other characters, annoy the audience?, drive vehicles for people and be infinitely mass marketable all in one go.  The sign of a true mascot character.

Errrr….Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Mecha and…..thing. Because like Frank Miller and prostitutes, Sunrise would probably be unable to function without some form of mecha-based action in one of their shows

Sinister looking counterparts to other mascot characters.  Soldier-Ul is Itsuki’s backup and seems pretty competent at what he does.  He’s also got a cool support craft that he pilots around as well.

Tropes Parodied:

- Bad/Devil Haro:  I’m thinking Soldier Ul is supposed to be poking fun at Nena’s menacingly sinister and overtly agressive Haro which is a counterpart to all the other one’s on the Ptolemaios.

- Hard Boiled Pilot:  Ul also seems like he might be poking fun at the uber-serious demeanor of your average mecha series pilot as compared to the infinite peppiness of our lead character Akiha and her friends.  Ul is always talking in a deep and curt tone mixed with Engrish and acts like the straight man in a Manzai routine.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

Evil colonies. Because they’re damn well fed up with just sitting around and waiting for somebody to drop them on a planet.

Megalomanical colonies with delusions of grandeur.  Leopard has a fondness for tea, cute girls, bragging about how superior he is too stupid humans and for copping out more often then note.  Really though he’s kind of alright.

Tropes Parodied:

Lelouch Vie Britannia:  Yeah I’m calling it that, because there’s little doubt that Leopard basically is Lelouch if he were a colony instead of a human.  He’s got the whole ego thing down along with Lelouch’s high brow tastes, but he still gets made the fool of by every woman around him just the same.  He’s also voiced by Jun Fukuyama so he even sounds like Lelouch.  Still need more convincing?  Thought not.

-  Colonies in space:  Every Sunrise series that takes place in space seems to make a point of having colonies in there at some point it seems.  Well this one is no different, only instead of it being a colony that people live on it’s a “Brain Colony” and it’s totally abandoned.  Ooooooohhhhhh~ how mysterious…….

- Hikkikomori:  Apparently Leopard is just really really lonely after years of being uninhabited (if he ever was) but can’t comprehend how to communicate with people, which is why he takes to Akiha and Imo so much, but can’t find any sort of way to relate to her that doesn’t come down to insulting her and her race.  Also apparently he can’t stand sunlight….who knew.  Looks like Honoka was on to something about poor old Leopard….

- Colony Drop:  In one episode Leopard gets suplexed by Nerval in a move that he likes to refer to as the “Colony Drop”.  An obvious parody on that ultimate of last ditch maneuvers from Gundam.

- Overfreeze:  Nerval also uses an attack on Leopard that resembles the Over Devil’s overfreeze from Overman King Gainer and which of course freezes him solid so he can’t use his Soul Shout.  Incidentally Nerval is also like every evil A.I entity from a Sunrise series all rolled into one.  His body resembles a Devil Gundam tentacle, his core looks like Pasdar from Gaogaigar, and he attack like the Over Devil.

- Monsters:  One of the monsters living inside of Leopard bears a striking resemblance to the sea monster that Roger fought in an episode of the Big O.

- Tea Meister:  Aside from sounding like a jab at Gundam Meister, Leopard’s nickname for Akiha, “Dead Leaves” appears to be a reference to tea leaves and how she’s always spoiling his tea ceremonies.

- <1 Million or die:  The bit about Nerval rebelling against and trying to quash humanity after the population of the people living inside of him seems like a joke about the Anti-Spirals trying to kill humanity once their population reached 1 million in Gurren Lagann.  Also the wall carving visuals in the way the prophecy of Akiha and Leopard are portrayed are a trope of their own.

- Geass Symbol:  In episode 09 Leopard plays the role of the Demon of Baseball and manifests as a field of red energy.  At one point when talking with Nerval this field of energy takes the shape of a Geass symbol as seen in the anime Code Geass, also by Sunrise.

- Benkei Musashibo:  The colony Benkei’s obsession with collecting mirrors and being 1 short of a 100 before his showdown with Leopard (apparently representing Yoshitsune) is an obvious parody of the legendary warrior monk Benkei Musashibo quests to collect 1000 swords from warriors he has defeated.

-FADO IN!:  In episode 15 Leopard says this as he’s being taken inside Sakura’s ship.  This is a reference to Akira Hibiki’s shout as he’s literally fading into Raideen in the show Yuusha Raideen, Sunrise’s first ever mecha series from 1975.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

bouginvilleamintao

Characters that just never seem to catch a break

Tropes Parodied:

- Looks like Team Rockets blasting off again:  These two serve roughly the same function as Team Rocket.  They’ve been assigned to investigate the girl who leapt through space, but always end up getting humiliated and blown away from the scene in some comical fashion only to show up with minor scrapes, get chewed out by the bosses and yet still keep their jobs and their lives.

- Tomino names:  Bouginvillea is just a messed up name….kind of something Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise as a whole are infamous for.  Then again this could just be more of that and might not actually be a parody at all, but I’m asking you, does it really matter?

-  Symmetrical Docking:  They can do it with their mechs, just like Horyu and Enryu.  By the way, yes, Symmetrical Docking came from Gaogaigar in case you all didn’t know, not from some 4Chan meme or whatever.  I get the impression that some people are confused as to the origin of this one.

Sora o Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

ctu-aleida

ROBOTS?!!!!

Tropes Parodied: 

-Masked Character:  Okay apparently Aleida is a woman and a Super S Class EX-QT user or some equivalent jazz, only she wears a mask to conceal her identity.  Who could she be?  Holy shit tis’ a mystery? *shrugs*

- The Sword That Cleaves Good?:  Okay so some shows have this thing with featuring really long sword like weapons that seem to grow to improbably sizes via the will of the pilot himself and Aleia has this ability too.  Thrill as her beam saber like EX-QT weapon grows just by having her shoot spikes out of her arms.  I wonder how big it can actually get?

- I Am Your Mother:  Aleida’s big reveal as being the same woman in Akiha’s dreams and possibly even the matriarch of the Shishidou family is an obvious play on Darth Vader’s big reveal relationship to Luke and Leia in Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.

Sora Wo Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got

nina

Girls that are almost certainly Lesbians

Tropes Parodied:

“Now printing”

Sora o Kakeru Shōjo, it’s got….

something I can’t quite put my finger on, but which makes it surprisingly adictive nonetheless.  It’s also one of those shows that a lot of people misjudged as some sort of serious piece of storytelling instead of the good old fashioned cornball fun parody/action/comedy series that it is.  It’s one of those shows where you really don’t have to worry too much about the plot to enjoy it because it doesn’t really have one other then the wacky stuff that is going on around the equally wacky characters.  At least not yet.

I’m going to be continually updating this article with new tropes and tidbits as I progress through the series rather then blogging it in depth (inconceivable) or leaving it to die so folks might want to check back on this one each week if they want to see what I’ve added. 

Updated up to Episode 07 material.

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14 Responses to “Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo Revisited (Because Sometimes The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction)”


  1. 1 The Animanachronism February 20, 2009 at 11:50 am

    This show’s been a pleasant surprise for me too, in some ways. Good point about Imo’s anger when provoked. She’s pretty irrational about machines too – like a mecha fan proxy, perhaps?

    I like the idea of updating this post over time – I seem to recall Super Fanicom did this recently with one or two Haibane Renmei posts, I wonder if it’ll catch on as a useful format for certain things.

  2. 2 Epi February 23, 2009 at 7:49 am

    UI reminds me a lot of those Oswald guys from Mai-Otome, the guys from the Black Valley. Isn’t there one of them in the robotic suit?

  3. 3 unequivocalhorizon February 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

    A VERY pleasant surprise, admittedly, though for all its goofy comedy it might turn 180 degrees in the later episodes and head into Dark territory. I mean, this is the SAME TEAM that gave us the HiME series, it bears mentioning.

    Also, viva la Leloupard!

  4. 4 Duo Maxwell February 24, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I won’t call that kind of attitude from Leopard is hikkikomori, instead it’s better fitting in “tsundere” term in my opinion, but who cares? He’s awesome, lolz.

    Imo-chan still freaks me out with that kind of appearance, though. The idea of something popping out of the cute maid’s brain is, well, unpleasant.

    But Sakura makes everything fine.

  5. 5 Kaioshin Sama February 24, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    @unequivocalhorizon: I think you can almost certainly count on it. The drawback is that people who are only introduced in lulzy comedy will then label it crap and it probably won’t be as popular. In a way I sort of hope it doesn’t go the usual route too. I like the show enough the way it is, it’s quite….unique among mecha series right now. Some folks sort of have a point about the genre being a little too steeped in emo at times, just not to the degree that it is implied.

    @Duo Maxwell: All of the characters are weird on some level and Sakura is no exception.

  6. 6 Terrestrial Dream February 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Wait what… there is a symmetrical docking? Damn that is weird, kinda makes me want to watch this show. But wow those clothes are just terrible, is there lack of pants in the future or something?

  7. 7 Kaioshin Sama February 26, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    @Terrestial Dream: Yeah the clothing has been pretty much universally lambasted since the day it was announced. And yeah, Bou and Min’s two mecha can combined on top of each other and seperate. It still doesn’t make them any more useful though.

  8. 8 ETERNAL February 28, 2009 at 2:22 am

    It’s got everything, basically, and that’s why I’m still watching it. It’s quite a nice break from the recent Geass and current Gundam as well, and really, who doesn’t love yandere potatoes?

  9. 9 Lost soul March 24, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    If you look at Akiha’s name written in the original japanese kanji, you will see that it means autumn-leaves. The “dead leaves” nickname is probably a pun on that.

  10. 10 CCCP May 9, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I really love this show. Leopard is friggin’ hilarious, but he’s not the only funny thing in this show by any means. I really do love Imo, and am actually somewhat interested to see how Nami=Anakin Skywalker is gonna turn out. Who knew? A comedy with an actually interesting plot, IMO. Also, Nerval/Box-Humans seems pretty cool too, kinda like a more metaphorical/symbolic take on the Matrix (wanting to stay in what you know, it actually being a prison, and you don’t want to leave).

  11. 11 CCCP May 9, 2009 at 4:42 am

    P.S.@Terrestial Dream, I actually like it when sci-fi shows set in the future have really weird clothes; People 350+ years ago would think our clothes are really weird. I like it when shows like The Fifth Element and Sora Kake Girl have really weird outfits. Now I wonder how long it’ll take before someone spews something like “You only like it ‘cuz of the fanservice the costumes bring, you perv.” I’m a guy, and because I view fanservice as so stupid/desparate, I’m actually immune to it. That, and I have a girlfriend who deserves my loyalty.

  12. 12 Riya December 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    what is the animation software called do you have to buy it or download please tell me -Arigato!
    —-Riya P.s IM in love with anime

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