A Bridge to the Starry Skies Episode #02 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Release Date: Thursday, April 21, 2011

The first day of school for a transfer student is one of the hardest with the grilling they get.

What They Say:
It Shouldn't Taste Like Cheese

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kazuma's first day at school goes about as expected considering the situation as he gets to know the girls that caused him a bit of trouble in the woods as well as Ui, who works part time at the inn. As is tradition when a new transfer student arrives, the class basically begs to grill him, though the teacher doesn't allow it until after class when she's not there. The whole thing turns embarrassing because Ubuki is in the class as well and ends up revealing what happened in the woods, which generates a whole lot of buzz and excitement amongst the kids as he's the daring type that's suddenly there. At least until the next class starts and then it's back to normality for a little while. Ibuki's pretty cute with it though as she does her best to keep Kazuma away from Ui.

Ui doesn't stray too far from the traditional character type here as we see more of her in school. She's helpful enough when it comes to Kazuma but she's also an absolute glutton as she hauls out cases of food for her lunch that are beyond lavish and extravagant. Lunch is one of those times that really lets the characters express themselves and both Ibuki and UI share desks with Kazuma for this, both to keep him under control and to make sure he doesn't feel too left out. It'd be preferable if he got to know a few more people, though he does end up befriending a student named Daigo whose mother happens to be their first teacher as well. That has some amusing moments to it which lets us know exactly what type of character he is.

Life in the area is explored nicely for the kids as Kazuma is shown by several of them some of the fun places to go, such as the very exciting convenience store that's open from seven to eleven. It's cute in a way how excited Ui gets over it but it's even cuter how she has such a huge cheese fixation, which leads to the episode title and an awkward moment on her part as she misunderstands what Kazuma sets. Largely, the episode does a good job of showing where it is these seemingly happy and well adjusted kids spend their days, some of the local folklore and to take in the beautiful landscape. It does look like a little slice of heaven in how its portrayed, making it wholly inviting and setting the atmosphere just right.

In Summary:
The show does through a bit of a curveball towards the end when it comes to a couple of these characters, but there's enough room open for interpretation with the reality of it that I'm hesitant to put too much stock in it just yet, though it wouldn't surprise me. This episode doesn't have quite the fun of the first as that introduced everything and moved along, mostly because this one is just showing off more settings and getting the cast grown a bit through the school and after school time the kids spend together. Nobody really stands out but nobody is out of place either. So far the show largely feels conventional, with some nice looking designs and expected decent animation. It's surviving on creating the right atmosphere, which the backgrounds help out a lot with, but it hasn't exactly resonated yet. There's a nice blend of humor in it that works well, but the show needs just a little bit more oomph to it.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi – A Bridge To The Starry Skies