A Bridge to the Starry Skies

A Bridge to the Starry Skies

SS1A Bridge to the Starry Skies (Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi) is a 12 episode anime series based on erotic visual novels and otome gaming created by Feng. The protagonist here is Kazuma Hoshino. He and his little brother Ayumu are moving to the country for the  benefit of Ayumu’s weak health. They are living with their aunt, who runs the local inn/hot springs (Love Hina, anyone?) Very soon, Kazuma makes the acquaintance of a group of girls. Let the harem commence!

Ui, a cheerful and likable girl; Ibuki, strong-willed and temperamental; Tsumugi, their friendly (and big-breasted) senpai; Koyori and Kasane, Tsumugi’s younger sisters with opposite personalities; Madoka the shy local Shinto shrine maiden and Hina: tall and taciturn, but often distracted by anything cute (think Sakaki from Azumanga Diaoh!)

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I was surprised at how much Starry Skies appealed to me, actually. There was nothing new that t brought to the slice of life/harem genre, but I was always looking forward to the next episode. Slice of life’s often walk a fine line between realism and boredom, and often harems have far too much fanservice for me to take the plot seriously enough, but I felt that the two genres blended well here. It quickly developed an enjoyable balance which is often difficult to achieve.

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Admittedly, there were a lot of characters, but they were all well fleshed-out (s’cuse the pun) and detailed enough for me to like them all. How the writers managed to develop 10+ characters enough to impress me within 12 short episodes I’ll never know, but they certainly did. I think because everything was so detailed. The characters, the scenery, even normal situations managed it effortlessly. Each character is given their own lives away from the male lead, which I always like to see, and they all have their time in the spotlight without becoming the spotlight themselves. On another point (a personal preference), the way the characters’ eyes are drawn are just gorgeous. Check out Ui here to see what I mean:

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Another good thing about Starry Skies is that it reaches a romantic peak with one of the girls, and it’s not immediately obvious. The writers really stayed true to the otome roots, and it really worked here. But when the ultimate love interest is revealed, it is a clear winner with a nice crescendo and a really sweet scene. Everything is very well-balanced throughout and it all culminates into a very satisfying ending.

Sweet, colourful, engaging and funny, A Bridge to the Starry Skies was one of the first ‘slice of life’ animes I ever watched, and still one of the best. Stumbling across this gem was a happy accident in my case, and I am now here to spread the joy.