Super Sonico is one of the main mascots for the visual novel studio Nitroplus. When word came out that she was getting an anime by White Fox, the studio behind the excellent anime adaptations of Steins;Gate and The Devil is a Part-Timer!, no one really knew how to react. Does Sonico shine, or did this anime go tits up?
Shockingly Heartfelt and Profound
I'll admit, when going into this series literally the only knowledge I had about Super Sonico was the art and figures based on her, and nearly all of these things were at the tamest your typical ecchi-based fanservice and at the worst full on erotic. This led to me expecting this show to just be wall to wall PLOT. But....it's not. It really just isn't. Compared to what I was expecting, there is very little of it, actually. Instead what I got was just under half the series being truly heartfelt and rather emotional episodes, such as the episode where Sonico recollects how she became a musician, or the episode where she simply travels the Japanese countryside connecting with people all in the name of getting song inspirations, or even the Christmas episode which legitimately made a couple of tears roll down my cheek with its ending.
Full Figured Beauty
One of the biggest strengths I think this show has is that it focuses so heavily on full figured female characters. Specifically Sonico and her friend and bandmate Fuuri. They are shapely, but proportionate. They aren't just giant tits slapped onto an otherwise thin frame like so many female anime characters are. And that is honestly really refreshing to see.
A Hidden Character Arc
Not all of the character arcs in this show are up front and in our face. In fact, the best character arc of them all involves the origin of another Nitroplus character, the relatively recently created Super Pochaco. And the best part is all of this is done in the background. The first time we see Pochaco as she is sheepishly buying a magazine with a photo spread of Sonico in a revealing swimsuit. And each other time she cameos in the background a little bit of her design has changed, culminating with her appearing like her official art. It was nice seeing how Sonico helped another woman with a body similar to her's become comfortable with herself.
Leila, Sonico's grandmother, is an awesome grandma. She can still shred a guitar like she did as a youth, she's got a sweet ride, she's got awesome connections, hell she's even not afraid to threaten freaking Santa! She's easily one of the better side characters in this show.
I know, I know, people typically don't like moe. Hell I don't like moe most of the time, either. But it just works in SoniAni for me. It is just such a cute series. For crying out loud, one of the episodes follows Sonico's cats. Her CATS. And it is freaking cute as all hell.
Each episode except for the last episode has their own ending sequence, and most of them are awesome. With my two favorite ones being the endings to the zombie parody episode and the episode focusing on Sonico's cats. The former features Sonico hacking up zombies with a chainsaw and doing the Thriller dance, while the latter has Sonico as a cat being found and cared for by a humanoid cat. It's weird, but really cute.
SoniAni lacks any continuous plot. This show just covers literally a single year in her life, and that's it. No end goal, no contest they absolutely must win, nothing. And yet, I was perfectly fine with that. Not every series needs a plot, after all. And really I think having an actual story here might have hurt the experience for me.
Odd Use of CGI
Every now and then they would use CGI animation for the characters. Usually reserved for the endings, though. Now I don't think the CGI animation is bad mind you, it just really clashes with the traditional animation.
Look, I am not one to shy away from the PLOT. I'll fully admit that some series I view just for it. Hell that's why I even started watching SoniAni in the first place! However, as the series goes on and the overall quality of the episodes get better, I'm just a little let down with how they keep finding ways to shove Sonico and Fuuri into revealing outfits. They are even forced to wear skimpy outfits in the middle of freaking December for crying out loud.
I gotta be honest here guys, out of the 28 series I watched this season, SoniAni is one of the very few of them to get better as they progressed. The majority of them regressed, or simply stayed the same. As such I say with a straight face that SoniAni was one of my favorites this season. It isn't a revolutionary series, hell it isn't even anywhere near my Top 10 favorites, but it is a nice surprising series that I could sit back and relax while watching....most of the time.....god damned Christmas episode.....
I definitely recommend watching this. However I think entering with low expectations would be to your benefit. I know, telling you to lower your expectations usually raises a red flag, but I went in with low expectations and had a blast watching this series. I definitely think White Fox has done it again, and now they have solidified themselves as one of my favorite anime studios.