Our look at the anime series Yosuga no Sora: In solitude, where we are least alone continues! We have covered the first two arcs and we are now moving on to the second half. Like with before, these two arcs have points were the plot diverges into each character. Today we are looking at the first of these, so join me after the cut as we dive into The Nao Arc!
I’ve found that the Nao arc is more difficult to talk about and discuss compared to the other two we’ve discussed. Unlike the Kazuha and Akira arcs, Nao’s story lacks the external threat that threatens to change their lives. In actuality, it is Nao who is the antagonist of her own arc, serving as the force that is changing the dynamics between Haruka and Sora. The story is more personal and intimate, and lacking that clear cut antagonistic threat that makes the two previous stories easy to digest. However that does come at a bit of a cost towards Nao herself, who doesn’t really have the agency and central focus that Akira or Kazuha had. There were many times throughout the three episode arc, that I felt this story felt like the first part of Sora’s arc. In a way that fact is true, as the route divergence apparently doesn’t happen until well into the story. Sora herself, who was a minor character in the last two stories takes more of a focus here as she struggles with the reality of Nao re-entering their lives.
For the plot itself, it is something again that has been done before. Nao struggles with guilt over her first sexual experience with Haruka and doesn’t want to upset the relationship the siblings have. Yet she has a clear desire to be closer to Haruka and have a relationship. Sora meanwhile is riddled with anger that a stranger might take away her beloved brother, the last thing she has left in the world, away from her. There are arguments, there is fighting, and thankfully Haruka himself doesn’t stand in the background like with the last arc, actually taking the initiative and making a choice between his relationship with Nao, and his responsibility to Sora.
If there are two things I can say about Nao herself, is that she seems to serve as a sort of foil for Sora. While Sora is frail, petite and young, Nao is the exact opposite. She is athletic, strong, and drew more than a few aces when it came to the puberty pool. Yosuga wastes no time showing both Haruka and the viewer that Nao is a very beautiful woman, with many scenes focusing on both the ‘plot’ and the ‘backstory’ to help drive this point home. The second thing is that Nao is, for lack of a better word: thirsty as fuck for Haruka. Anime and manga often run into this problem of displaying sexual desire from woman as a joke, or litter it with gags. There are few series outside of hentai (and even within hentai) that play an woman’s sexual needs seriously. Yosuga no Sora is one of those stories and Nao brings it on full display in this arc.
Nao’s desire for Haruka, both in the past and present is not something the show shies away from. I’ve said for each arc, but it is worth repeating again: Yosuga no Sora fully embracing the eroge roots of it’s story, and not compromising on its sex scenes is the secret to the shows success. It is a story about teenagers, teenagers are horny and teenagers fuck. Yosuga embraces that with both arms and by doing this, it allows the intimate moments between Nao and Haruka to really stand out. The handful of scenes between the two characters show you the deep carnal desire they have for each other and especially that Nao has for Haruka. This being played straight, with no attempts at humor, or gags is damn effective, and it is refreshing to see, even in anime, that a woman can be just as horny as a man.
The Nao arc of Yosuga no Sora: In solitude where we are least alone, is a well done arc, and I enjoyed it a bit more than the previous. The conflict is personal, the stakes are intimate, and the reasons are understandable. These are teenagers struggling with their developing feelings, stuck in situations they can’t understand, and without the support systems to help them through it. While I do feel that Nao doesn’t have the presence that Akira or Kazuha had, and that the arc doesn’t feel like ‘hers’ all the time. I found the story to have far more connective tissue to the overall idea of what Yosuga no Sora is. Whether or not the arc needed that external threat, or that it does well enough is up to the viewer to decide. I enjoyed it, and you will too if you’ve made it this far.
Join me next week as we finally delve into what everyone has been waiting for: The Sora arc!