Yosuga no Sora: In solitude, where we are least alone: The Kazuha Arc

It’s February! That means it is the month of love! While it isn’t our Summer of Love quite yet, I wanted to celebrate this month with a series I’ve been meaning to look at for quite a while: Yosuga no Sora: In solitude, where we are least alone.

Now wait! I know what your thinking! “Dewbond is reviewing that weird twincest series? Look dude, we were on board with the hentai shit, but this? THIS?”

We’ve all seen the jokes and memes about this show, I won’t deny them. But Shallow Dives in Anime isn’t a blog that shies away from anime, any anime. I’ll review whatever I feel like I want to talk about, and frankly I am really interested in giving this show a fair and honest review. I want to look at series for what it is, not what the internet has made it to be. So this month, I’ll be reviewing Yosuga no Sora, all twelve episodes, one arc at a time with my final thoughts on the series as a whole afterwards. Lets not waste any more time, join me after the cut as I dive into the first arc of the series: The Kazuha Arc.

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Kazuha Migiwa: The rich girl bound by duty.

Before we get into Kazuha’s arc proper though, I want to discuss the first two introduction episodes, which set the scene for the entire series. Yosuga stars the twins Haruka and Sora who, after the death of their parents are forced to sell their family home and live in the countryside. Sora who has always been frail and weak is dependent, almost too dependent on her brother, while Haruka is a kind and generous boy who makes friends easily.

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Sora’s dependence on Haruka is thankfully sprinkled throughout this arc, which helps set the series up for it’s grand finale.

Right off the bat, I loved that Yosuga is set in the countryside. Removing the series from the hustle and bustle of a Japanese city gives the series a gentle and innocent vibe that plays into the overall theme of the series. With both Haruka and Sora whose closeness is the central point of the show, moving to the countryside with no parents to guide them, it makes the actions that take place, if not more believable, then a bit more easy to digest. This is helped further with the music of the series which is almost perfect. I haven’t talked about soundtracks in anime before, but Yosuga is the first time where a musical theme has been so crucial to a story. It pulls you into the melancholic but incredibly peaceful atmosphere the anime portrays, but also fill you with a sense of uneasiness and emotions that are just waiting to burst. There has been many anime theme songs that have defined a series, but this for me, is the first time a background theme has done that for me. I mean just take a listen for yourself.

Anyway, the Kazuha arc is the first real story of the series, which concerns itself with Kazuha Migiwa, a rich girl from a well to do family that by all accounts, has a good peaceful life. The comment I made on the first picture can best sum up the story of Kazuha. She is a woman bound by duty, determined to be a supportive pillar for her younger sister Akira who has been abandoned and neglected by her father. Yet when Haruka, the nice and handsome young man who seems to make girls swoon just by looking at them, enters her life, things begin change.

Despite the short length of the arc (clocking in at about two episodes after the initial introduction) there isn’t a moment wasted in the run time. The push-pull between Kazuha’s growing feelings for Haruka, and her self imposed duty to not only Akira, but her family is told well. While Kazuha absolutely wants to dive into her passionate love she is developing for Haruka, she knows that her sister always has to come first, not because Akira needs it, but because Kazuha believes it to be true. This continues even after Akira confronts her about this, letting her know that it is OK to not place her feelings first, that it is alright for Kazuha to have her own life. Like I said before in my look at Issei Hyodo in High School DxD, Kazuha’s arc is all about accepting the simple words: It’s OK to want this.”

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Kazuha’s devotion to her supposed half-sister Akira is a good story, serving as a bit of counterpoint to the relationship between Sora and Haruka.

That is a great story, and Yosuga tells it well with the minimal time it gives, but what make things really land is what is at the heart of the series: It’s use of near softcore hentai. While not an out and out porn series, Yosuga is probably one of the few adaptations of an eroge visual novel, that actually doesn’t shy away from it’s eroge roots, but instead indulges in them completely. Not ripped out like it was for YU-NO, or compromised like it was with the Heaven’s Feel movies, Yosuga is a series that is proud of it’s eroge and decides to indulge in at as much as it can. This so far, has turned out to be the series secret weapon, as it helps make the emotional punches land. Seeing these girls in erotic situations, seeing the deep and intense kiss between Haruka and Kazuha, and yes, the sex scene at the end of the story makes everything work. It is a well deserved payoff, and gives weight to the emotions and atmosphere by actually delivering the goods, not just depending on the viewer to connect the dots.

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This kiss and the sex scene later feel wholly earned.

The Kazuha arc of Yosuga no Sora is a solid start to a series I didn’t think I would be un-ironically enjoying. While it is no high art, or even above average storytelling, it so far has been far more compelling and interesting than one would let you believe. The animation is solid, the music is absolutely stellar and the setting has so far pulled me into a world of innocent melancholy. This first arc does it’s job with the characters and while it doesn’t rewrite the book, the emotions and actions by the characters are effective and have enough love and effort put into them. I look forward to what comes next, so join me next time as we dive into the second arc of the series: The Akira Arc!

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The pool cleaning scene gave me a surprising laugh too.

7 thoughts on “Yosuga no Sora: In solitude, where we are least alone: The Kazuha Arc

  1. While it’s often easy to overlook the Kazuha arc simply because it started the series and concluded in a typical (but satisfying) fashion, this first arc’s importance cannot be understated. As you’ve noted, the core is setting the stage for Yosuga no Sora‘s later arcs through use of the environments, and I personally believe that the setting is critical to the story, to the point where had Yosuga no Sora been set anywhere else, it would’ve been ineffective. I’ve actually got a talk on why I feel this to be the case, and if you’re interested, I’ll be happy to share it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this anime! Each route had its own tale to tell and each successive arc was more sexual. Nothing wrong in that.

    The ending is rather mysterious to me. It felt like they could actually be dead in the lake and the train scene could be an alternate ending to that. Sora doesn’t look like a rescue swimmer to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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