Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu

(“Iriya’s Sky, Summer of UFOs”)
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance
Score: Good
Rating: 15 for nudity and mature themes

Asaba is in his school’s UFO club, tracking down phenomena related to the nearby military base. But when he meets the strange girl Iriya, she turns out to have some connection to the sightings. Can he protect her from the military and from his friends, or is he just in way over his head?

The billing for this short series sounds a lot like SaiKano, and it will appeal to much the same audience, but the story is quite different. For a start, it isn’t as apocalyptic. As the opening tells us, the world may be at war with aliens but governments have done a surprisingly good job of keeping this hidden from the populace. In contrast, the personal story has none of the stability: we meet Iriya as her life and mind are starting to seriously unravel, and it may already be too late.

I found this story quite touching, and at only six episodes long it doesn’t waste a second on unnecessary cliches.