Been getting back into the 2007 “Sola” anime and recently bought its visual fanbook on a wave of nostalgia lol, so I thought I might as well post my Japanese LE DVD imports of the series.
I think I’m going to start a Sola anime merch collection soon like my Kara no Kyoukai one since this anime has become rather important to me over the years, both personal for what I was going through in my life at the time of its release and for the story/drama plot.
If I can try to remember on how I came across this anime series…it probably would’ve happened back when I was attending a local anime club in Uni screening it. I was curious in checking it out after seeing the first two episodes and borrowed it from the anime club’s library. In terms of the plot, it had a decent amount of romance and drama being the main focus to the story with elements of mystery and action. The characters were quite likeable and really pulled me into the story with their personalities and developing relationships. This made a great impact for the climax of the series for me and gave a bitter-sweet feeling on the conclusion of the plot. I think the word “bitter-sweet” is the perfect description for Sola to describe the series as a whole in my opinion.
Its also “bitter-sweet” for me personally because I was going through depression in 2007 and this anime series struck a chord with me for some reason. I think it might have had to do with the pain and sadness depicted in the anime between the character’s relationships with each other, but also getting a sense of hope and happiness from going through those trials and tribulation. It wouldn’t come as a surprise though given the manga Sola is based on is written by Naoki Hisaya; who wrote the majority of the story for Key’s “Kanon”. It’s also one of the few anime series where I felt the ending for the series was satisfying (although others may disagree) and doesn’t need a sequel.
The other major aspect of Sola that I fell in love with is its soundtrack and both the opening and ending themes. Again, they really gave me bitter-sweet feelings (particularly the ending theme “Mellow Melody”) but also set the calm and melancholic tone throughout the series to its plot.
Opening Theme “Colorless Wind”
Ending Theme “Mellow Melody”
Insert Song “敏感な風景” (Binkan na Fuukei)
A really calming song sung by Ceui that was used throughout the series in various episodes but set the tone for the series early on.
Final Episode Ending Song “見上げるあの空で” (Miageru ano Sora de)
This ending song played in closing scenes of the final episode always makes me emotional. Especially since the lyrics to the song describes perfectly on what many of the characters in the series feel having gone through all the drama and sadness in regards to their relationships.
I wouldn’t come to fully appreciate this anime until about 2 years ago when I fell back into depression and re-watched this series, helping me to pick myself up and get on with with my personal life. I can see why this was voted the best anime of 2007 by Japanese viewers. Despite that, it’s still really not well known in the West and given how old this series is, it probably won’t ever get much recognition. Most of that had to do with Bandai Visual USA licensing it for North America in 2008, but delayed its release significantly. Ultimately releasing it quietly in 2009 as a barebones 15 episode subtitled-only boxset after the company folded.
I imported all 5 Japanese limited edition DVD volumes of the series back in 2010 I think. Well actually, I got the entire 5 volume set brand new as a bundle on Yahoo Japan Auctions back then for 10,000 yen! Saved an incredible amount considering each volumes retailed for 7,800 yen. Each volume came with a set of postcards (2 for the 1st volume while volumes 2-4 had 5 each with the final volume containing 3; 20 postcards in total across all five volumes!), a digipak packaging housed in a chipboard artbox, bonus CDs containing some audio dramas, characters songs and episodes of the second Sola internet radio shows the voice cast did back during the anime’s initial airing in Japan (そらいろらじお出張版 – Sora Iro Rajio Shuchouban) and various advertisement flyers. The first volume also came with a first press bonus postcard album holder to store the 20 postcards from the single volumes.
Volume 1 (Color I)
The bonus CD for volume 1 featured Mana Ishizuki on the title and her character song, “Lime Mime Time”, as well an audio drama track and episodes from the second Sola internet radio show.
Volume 1 (Color I) First Press Bonus Postcard Album Holder
Took some photos of the postcards that came from each volume. Not all 20 though! lol
Volume 2 (Color II)
The bonus CD for volume 2 featured Koyori Ishizuki on the title and her character song, “明日のアルバム” (Ashita no Album), as well an audio drama track and episodes from the second Sola internet radio show.
Volume 3 (Color III)
The bonus CD for volume 3 featured Mayuko Kamikawa on the title and her character song, “光と共に” (Hikari to Domo ni), as well an audio drama track and episodes from the second Sola internet radio show.
Volume 4 (Color IV)
The bonus CD for volume 4 featured Aono Morimiya on the title and her character song, “Singly Sing”, as well an audio drama track and episodes from the second Sola internet radio show.
Volume 5 (Color V)
The bonus CD for volume 5 featured Matsuri Shihou on the title and her character song, “夜想の日々に” (Yoru Omoi no Hibi ni), as well an audio drama track and episodes from the second Sola internet radio show.
An extra flyer in this final volume advertised cosplay costumes for the series lol
One final photo is the backside of the chipboard artboxes for the individual volumes that featured just a simple artwork of the sky and title of the series.
I am looking into getting the Japanese blu-ray boxset re-release of this series soon though (which came out in 2012) but looking to get the .ANIME exclusive version as it has alternative cover artworks drawn by the original character designer, Naru Nanao, since the JP LE DVD volumes I imported had the anime-style cover artworks drawn by Makoto Koga. That way, I get to have both alternative art styles instead of seeing the same artworks from the LE DVDs for the blu-ray boxset! 😄 Expect me to do an anime collection spotlight post for Sola sometime in the future for all the series merchandise I currently have for it, and others that I will be getting in this year!