Celestial Method

Celestial Method

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Nonoka Komiya is a young girl who once lives in Lake Kiriya City when she was a lot younger. So young that she can barely remember it. After moving back there from Tokyo seven years later, Nonoka sees a large and mysterious flying saucer hovering above the city. She also  meets a small blue-haired girl named Noel, waiting for her in the dirty room that will become her bedroom, who promises to grant her wishes. The girl looks vaguely familiar to Nonoka, but she can’t quite put her finger on why. As she familiarises herself once more with the surroundings and her school friends, things begin to trigger her memories, reminding her of old promises and forgotten friendships.

It’s no real mystery of what we’re in for with Celestial Method. In the first few minutes I knew I would be seeing three things: sweet young characters, stunning visuals and a coming-of-age story. As the first episode progressed, I also sensed a melancholic air running underneath everything. Coupled with the ominous flying saucer hovering high in the sky above, I gathered that this would be an emotional one.

This was something that I was intrigued by straightaway. Not that I’m adverse to these kind of animes that have a cast of earnest characters living in tranquil surroundings, but I judged Celestial Method to be one to keep an eye on because, underneath all the ‘ordinary’ introductions and conversations, there was something unexplained. It set a peaceful scene but it also struck early with the sense that all was not what it seemed, and that something unsettling would soon be making itself known – and I wanted to stick around to find out just exactly what that was.

IMG_1033.PNGAfter watching the first three episodes, I’m pleased to see that things are starting to unfold at a good pace – but only on a small scale. The tensions developing between Nonoka and Shione, as well as learning some of the mystery surrounding cute, blue-haired Noel, are leading the plot to move revelations. Some recollective scenes have begun to show the viewers why the saucer has appeared over the city. Mainly through Yuzuki, we know that the initial calm that we felt in the first episode is not shared by all the inhabitants. The saucer’s dormant presence is actually affecting the townspeople because of the changes that it has made to their lives: certain areas have become prohibited, fireworks and the like are no longer allowed, and it seems that a lot of people have just come to willingly accept the huge saucer as a part of their daily lives.

The first revelation of Noel having links to the great saucer wasn’t exactly an earth-shattering one. If you didn’t at least suspect that she had something to do with the appearance of the UFO then you might want to have your head examined. I hope that the bigger focus now will be on how this impacts Nonoka’s relationships with her schoolfriends, particularly as she has just recently joined Yuzuki’s efforts to try and rally some people to at least do something in trying to remove the saucer from the sky. Things are certainly aligning to guarantee a tearful ride, but I’m hoping for a couple of plot twists along the way. Although things are unravelling at a good pace, I feel like I can almost predict what is going to happen in future. If I’ve already guessed the plot, then I don’t want to waste my time watching something that’s not giving me anything new. Only by watching a few more episodes can I decide whether this anime is going to turn a straightforward plot on its head.

IMG_1034.PNGThe character to watch here is Noel. I feel like she will be the main driving force beyond this plot and is able, at this point, to direct it in any way she wants. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding her appearance and her abilities, and I’m hoping that the next handful of episodes will reveal more about her and how she will react being surrounding by restless humans who are more perturbed by the flying saucer than they would like to let on.

IMG_1035.PNGAs a starting point, Celestial Method has set itself up to address some very big ideas about the universe and what we know of it. So far it has only focused on a small group of middle-schoolers and their feelings on it. Though the burning is somewhat slow, it has the potential of expanding this concept as far as they would like – here’s hoping that they take up this challenge in later episodes.