Yuri Anime: Kaleido Star, Volume 5 (English)

October 12th, 2008

My relationship with Kaleido Star has always been one of love-hate. One moment I’m ready to put my fist through the screen, the next I’m sobbing because of the intense emotionality, and the inexpressible, if impossible, beauty of the performances.

Volume 5 (Volume 6 as a standalone, Volume 5 in the box set) of the series focuses almost exclusively on Sora and Layla. Having realized that her perfect and only true partner is Sora, Layla puts everything she is on the line to perfect the Legendary Manuever with her. Yuri’s continued attempts at being an asshole alienate everyone around him. In his final attempt at making fools of Layla and Sora, he provides them with an intensity they might not otherwise have been able to muster.

Of course, the Legendary Maneuver is perfect, magical and filled with all the unspoken things Layla and Sora can never say to one another.

No, this is not Yuri in the sense that they are in love or lovers or anything like that, but this is Yuri in the sense that the two of them have eyes only for one another. In fans’ minds and hearts, we can fill in the rest of the relationship as desired. :-)

As much as my relationship with this series is totally love-hate, I would not hesitate for a second to recommend it to another person. While there are many things in the series that I do not like, there are many moments that make this series absolutely magnificent.

Rating:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 1
Service – 2

Overall – 8

Once more I find myself thanking Ted the Awesome for sponsoring today’s review and being an Okazu superhero!

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3 Responses

  1. Eric P. says:

    I agree this series was magnificent, with an almost entire cast of likable characters. The performances were really imaginative, and seeing Sora’s happy-ending rendition of the Little Mermaid even made me think of what the original story could’ve been (precluding the disney film, of course). For a show with no violence or action per se, from start to finish it was totally intense. For all the odds that kept hammering against Sora, it made me cheer harder whenever she discovered a break and made a victory. Upon reaching the final episode, it really felt like Sora had come a long way gaining everybody’s trust and reaching toward the top. I’ve just started the sequel series, and it’s more the same stuff that makes the series great to watch while expanding on the next chapters in Sora’s life, throwing more challenges her way that keep me glued

  2. Filo says:

    One thing I couldn’t help but notice; the animators seemed to like doing a lot of navel-gazing. It’s understandable that the characters would wear half-shirts most of the time, since they’re athletic gymnasts. But they wear what they wear almost all the time; even the doctor lady whose name I forget wears a half-top during her off-time

  3. Anonymous says:

    IIRC the story’s set in California though, innit ? I understand the place heats up something *awful* in the summer – Mediterranean latitudes and all…

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