Yosuga no Sora
Finally doing a review again. I really need to stop rambling so that I can get to more of these.
I love myanimelist.net. I really do. It’s the best place to figure out where to begin when you’re trying to diverge from “mainstream” anime. Being that the site aims to catalogue every anime in existence, I’m bound to come across a lot of junk. But then there are those anime I find that are real gems. Yosuga no Sora is one of those gems.
Twins Sora and Haru have just lost both their parents. The first scene of the show opens with the two of them sitting across from each other on a train. Sora and Haru quickly move into a quaint little town and get to know all of the other young teenagers who live there. The short series, concluding at 12 episodes, follows 4 story arcs each at 3 episodes. Each arc involves Haru befriending and later developing a sexual relationship with a different girl.
Obviously, this show is famous for its incest content, which does not even happen until the final story arc. I always hear “Oh it’s not as taboo in Japan but still considered wrong”. Granted, it is only anime but at the time I was watching this I’d only seen around 10 anime and of these 4 of them (the other 3 being Elfen Lied, Kaze no Stigma, and Fruits Basket) had paired off family members! That’s nearly half! Clearly this is a popular issue in Japan.
I really didn’t know what to expect upon watching the first episode but by the end of it I was not only entertained but very interested in seeing what happened next. At first glance, Yosuga no Sora can be written off as an ecchi, sometimes labeled as “soft hentai”, but with eye catching visuals, an enchanting, mystical setting, and surprisingly well-developed characters those terms just wouldn’t do the show any justice.
Episodic anime can be really boring. I always try to steer clear of them. Yosuga no Sora isn’t quite an episodic anime but it doesn’t follow one distinct story line either. Each beginning of the story arc begins as if the previous one never happened. It may sound repetitive but it actually somehow always manages to pull you in each time.
The sex scenes are surprisingly tasteful, with the nudity very soft and the scene more so adding to the content than just being pornography. Though, the idea of each story arc starting off as if the previous never happened is also a way to get Haru to have sex multiple times without making him into a player. Despite that, the individual arcs are all satisfying, light on their feet throughout with a dark twist hiding beneath the layers.
As for the Sora arc, that was my favorite. Partially because Sora is my favorite character and partially because the controversy makes you think. I was almost feeling “wrong” when I found myself rooting for her and Haru. You just get so attached to Sora and Haru long before it actually happens that when it finally does you can’t seem to distance yourself from them.
Yosuga no Sora dares to go beyond anime such as Elfen Lied that pairs off cousins without questioning it and actually has the characters say to them, “What you’re doing is wrong”. Begging the question, “Who decides what’s wrong? Who makes up these rules anyway? As siblings who have only each other and are very codependent, it seems almost natural that their relationship would become more than brotherly-sisterly love. The word natural here is not to imply that incest is natural, but to say a lustful love here for these two almost makes sense. Yosuga no Sora does not make an argument defending incest, but rather asks its audience to see the other side.