Yorito is downright obsessed with the sky. So much that his room's ceiling is a big collage of the sky, made with photos he has taken; he is willing to ditch classes just to lay on the school's roof, watching the sky (much to the chagrin of his friend Mana); he even forgets his sister Aono's birthday because in his mind there's nothing but sky, sky, sky.
He's even willing to wake up at 4 AM just to take shots of the dawn sky. And that's how he meets Matsuri, a rather intriguing girl.
From then on, Yorito is half-dragged into a story that spans centuries. A story filled with sadness, unforgettable sins, and dark secrets that are related to him more than he would like.
Sola is a 13-episode series (+ 2 bonus DVD episodes) aired in 2007, based on a manga published in 2006. The original work was the collaboration of Naoki Hisaya (main writer of Kanon) and Naru Nanao (designer of Da Capo). Japanese fans chose it as the best anime of 2007, according to Spider Networks.
The sky is a prominent theme, so expect plenty of Scenery Porn.
- Art Initiates Life: Aono exhibits the power to bring her paper creations to life. This includes Yorito himself, who is a paper golem copy of her brother who died hundreds of years ago.
- Badass Normal: Takeshi.
- Badass Longcoat: Takeshi.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Matsuri manages it, but it draws blood.
- Bittersweet Ending:
- In the anime, after the two make a pact to save Aono, Yorito 'dies' protecting Matsuri from Aono. Matsuri sacrifices her life so that Aono may become human again. The rest of the normal cast forget Yorito, but Aono and Mana meet and become friends. Two tomato bean soup cans are on the table of the familiar park.
- The manga's ending shows how Yorito and Aono lived after Matsuri dies to turn Aono back to human. Yorito keeps up with his photography... and then disappears one day to join Matsuri, complete with ghost Matsuri making an appearance. Aono, in the aftermath of her brother's disappearance, has to cope and copes only after Mayuko tells her Matsuri's last message. It ends with Aono agreeing to attend Koyori's party, and we see the two tomato cans again.
- Blood Magic: Aono's living paper creations involve this.
- Book-Ends: The series begins with Yorito setting up his camera to take a picture of the sunrise and ends with Aono, Mana and Koyori doing the same thing.
- Catchphrase: Mayuko's "saitei" (rendered in fan translations as "you suck!" since it's often directed at Takeshi).
- Cue the Sun: This is usually a bad thing for the Yaka.
- Cursed With Awesome: The Yaka. In exchange for a weakness to sunlight, they get immortality, heightened strength and speed, and their own inherent gift. Matsuri explains that due to the fact that Yaka are the embodiment of human agony, sin and pain, such creatures are meant to always be alone.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mayuko, occasionally.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Mayuko wears these kinds of clothes.
- Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Matsuri can cause any object to instantly decay. Mayuko's power is never directly revealed, though she has a tendency to appear in odd places. Aono controls paper and can imbue it with life.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Yorito running into Takeshi and Mayuko at the water park.
- Go Through Me
- The Hero Dies: Both Yorito and Matsuri die.
- Idiot Hero: Yorito and Matsuri.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Though only during the first half of the first DVD special, where Yorito is hilariously impervious to the girls' increasingly unsubtle teasing.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: The Yaka wish for this.
- Ill Girl: Aono. This is because she used a lot of life energy to create the paper Yorito.
- Imagine Spot: Matsuri has a few revolving around the sky.
- Improbable Weapon User: Takeshi has a normal (relatively speaking) sword, but also tosses darts that explode into light. Quite handy against yaka.
- Insistent Terminology: Mana lightly karate-chops Koyori on the head whenever she calls her Mana-san instead of Onee-chan. There are also a few scenes in which Aono chops Koyori when she refers to Mana in the third person as Mana-san.
- Keigo: Koyori always speaks in keigo, despite being only in elementary school.
- Light 'em Up: Takeshi has darts that create light.
- Little Miss Snarker: Mayuko
- Make Them Rot: Matsuri has this power, and as long as she makes direct physical contact she can make nearly anything, from metal and stone to flesh and bone, rapidly decay.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Yorito.
- Mystical White Hair: Aono has this, as she's a Yaka.
- Never Bare Headed: Aono ties her bangs with red ribbons, and Mana has a fish-shaped hairclip. Neither of them ever remove it.
- Nice Hat: Matsuri has one.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Yorito and his friends.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Although never called that, the yaka are basically a cross between witches and vampires that don't need to drink blood.
- Paper Master: Aono.
- Parental Abandonment: Nearly everyone, though at least important characters tend to have an excuse. Like being immortal, or The Hunter, or the Tomato in the Mirror.
- Percussive Maintenance: Matsuri's first appearance has her attempting this on a vending machine, and it works (though she hurts herself in the process). Her later attempts on Yorito's household appliances just tend to break them.
- Really 700 Years Old: Matsuri, as well as Aono and Yorito.
- Replacement Goldfish: Yorito died over a century ago, the current Yorito is a paper golem with false memories created by Aono.
- Scenery Porn: Matsuri wants to see the sky, and there are plenty of pretty shots of the sky. Yorito promises to show her it one day.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Applies to the title. While all Japanese sources insist on spelling it "Sola", given what the greatest symbolic focus of the show is, the title should probably be romanized as "Sora", which is the standard, accepted spelling of the word for "sky" in Japanese. The "Sola" spelling also works thematically as the feminine form of "alone" in various Romance languages.
- Super Window Jump: Matsuri busts through a stained-glass window early on, but she's immortal, so whatever.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Takeshi tries this on Matsuri. He misses. Later, he tosses his scabbard at her as a decoy.
- Tomato in the Mirror: "Yorigami" Yorito; see Replacement Goldfish, above.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tomato Shiruko for Matsuri.
- Wham Episode: Episode 10 reveals the truth about Yorito being a paper golem.
- Wistful Amnesia: Yorito has this of his past life.
- Yandere: Aono is obsessed with Yorito to the point of creating a copy of him that took enough power to leave her bed-ridden for years.