Super Sonico: The Animation is a twelve-episode anime series starring Nitroplus’ pink haired mascot. The Japanese developer of visual novels debuted the character back in 2006 during a musical concert they were sponsoring. Her resultant popularity has since seen Sonico appear in a multitude of games, comics and other merchandise (the bikini clad figurines are supposedly a big hit with male collectors.) Basing a series on a mascot character may sound like a bit of a stretch, but if anyone can pull it off the Japanese can. They are after all the nation where virtual idols can sell out stadiums and the country where television shows featuring anthropomorphic battleships never cease to register decent ratings.
Don’t let Sonico’s stunning good looks fool you – she is the crazy cat lady of anime. The show’s first episode reveals that the titular character owns a quintet of moggies. Every morning the adorable pets do their best to awaken their master, as the array of alarm clocks strewn across Sonico’s apartment are ineffective at raising her from her slumber. You can’t blame Sonico for being exhausted though, given that she leads such a busy life. Not only does Sonico attend college, but she also works three different jobs! Helping out at her gran’s restaurant is fair enough, but her other choices of employment are somewhat odd. Despite being presented as a bashful girl, Sonico is a swimsuit model and also the lead guitarist for a rock band that performs in front of large crowds.
Although Sonico’s shy demeanour should disqualify her from a career in bikini modelling she certainly has the body for it. The only thing that rivals the size of her chest are the headphones she is never seen without (she doesn’t even remove them when taking a shower.) Thankfully for Sonico her protective manager doesn’t permit photographers to take any pictures of her that are overly risqué. Kitamura the manager is pretty much what you would expect from a Japanese businessman. He dresses in a smart suit, is a consummate professional and he um… also wears a demon mask for some reason. The mask covers most of his head, aside from Kitamura’s Saiyan like spikey hair, and it emits smoke whenever he gets mad. Weird.
Moving away from gravure modelling, let’s touch upon Sonico’s true passion in life – music. The headphones wearing beauty is a member of a rock group named First Astronomical Velocity. The other members of the band are Fuuri Watanuki and Suzu Fujimi. Fuuri is a bit of an airhead who reminds me a little of Rail Wars‘ Sho Iwazumi (they both have ginormous appetites.) Suzu is an avid cosplayer who performs onstage dressed in a nurse’s uniform. To drum up concert attendances she regularly encourages her chums to wear all manner of revealing outfits. One episode for example has her asking Sonico to don an ice cream themed costume that is designed to melt whenever the wearer perspires!
Prior to watching the DVD, I didn’t have high expectations for Super Sonico: The Animation. Based on the character’s design I was expecting a shallow ecchi show or even worse a glorified Nitroplus commercial. In the end however I was pleasantly surprised by the anime. The series may not be memorable, but it is good fun to watch nonetheless thanks to its quirky sense of humour. Sonico does on occasion pose in skimpy attire, due to her career, but in terms of fan service the eye candy on display is rather tame. Props must go to the scriptwriters for making Sonico an affable protagonist rather than a ditzy bimbo. No matter how packed her schedule is she is willing to make time to aid those in need.
Despite the limited material they had to work with White Fox has managed to deliver a comedy series that has heart. Then again I shouldn’t be surprised as the studio has previously worked on some excellent shows including Jormungand and The Devil is a Part Timer. Intermixed with the wacky episodes are a few sweet stories, such as the penultimate Christmas caper were a disillusioned girl is reunited with her papa. Super Sonico may not win any awards for its plot, but as a piece of light entertainment it succeeded in putting a smile on my face. If you decide to watch this anime I’d recommend going with the subtitled option because Jessica Nigiri voices Sonico in the dub. She looks the part, in terms of bosom size, but the way she delivers lines exposes her lack of voice actress credentials.
FINAL RATING: THREE AND A HALF STARS