Title: Kaleido Star
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Summary: Sora, a young girl from Japan, comes to America in search of her dream. She wants, with all her heart, to be a member of the famous Kaleido Stage, a combination of musicals, acrobatics and magical effects. With the help of her friends, she struggles to make this dream come true.
Review: Kaleido Star is currently one of my favorite anime and really deserving of it. The plot sounds like a very typical anime, probably giving most people low expectations. After watching the first two episodes I was hooked, and I couldn’t believe how epic it turned out. The moral of friendship, love, and motivation couldn’t have been done better. The anime’s comedy left you with a smile on your face hours after finishing an episode; and tears in your eyes during the harsh moments of failure. The balance between the two different genres mixed better than yin and yang. It was as though the producers took a little from Column A, a little from Column B to create a mesh of unspeakable beauty. I was in awe at the magnificent art style, coloring, and motions of the anime characters. The art was no less than amazing for this anime, and I couldn’t have been happier with it. Any other style wouldn’t fit the theme. The best part was how versatile the art could be. The characters didn’t feel unnatural during simple scenes like having a conversation; and the crisp, clean lines went hand-in-hand during tournaments with fast pace movements and tricky spins. The best part about it was that the anime wasn’t linear. Although overall the anime does have a more upbeat than dark atmosphere, that isn’t to say everything just works out. Audiences watch as the main characters work countless hours to perfect a routine, skipping meals, sleep, and even overcoming injuries. After watching the struggles viewers can only hope the main event goes smoothly, but you can’t always bet money it. Kaleido Star shows the darker side to competitive sports, like mental (and sometimes physical) harassment. Something that only strengthens the attachment to the characters. The back story for nearly every character is explained in great detail, but not the long boring flashbacks most animes do. The past doesn’t always stay in the past, in fact most of the characters had to face their problems head on to resolve anything. The series is split into two seasons, both of which ended in an appropriate manner. The first season leaves you craving for more, and the second leaves you pumped and ready to work toward your own goals. The soundtrack is very upbeat and admittedly a bit kid-ish. I don’t want to say that it was bad because it did fit the anime, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t go looking for the soundtrack like I have for other animes such as FLCL, but didn’t mind listening to the opening/ending either. Kaleido Star is drop-dead gorgeous and I suggest it to anyone.
Final statements: I have nothing but praises for this anime, and it is well deserving of the rating given. I believe that anyone who enjoys watching a long series that deals a lot with character development this is the best pick. Even for entertainment value don’t pass this anime up. MUST SEE!