Genre: Romance
Score: Excellent

Morimiya Yorito is a high school student with a keen interest in photography, specifically of the sky. He lives alone: his only family, his elder sister, is ill and has spent many months in hospital. One day, he decides to take a picture of the dawn over the sea. While setting up his equipment, he meets a young girl, but she leaves before he is able to ask her name. The next night, Yorito once again meets this girl, who introduces herself as Shihou Matsuri, and discovers that she shares an interest in the sky. The third time they meet, he discovers that someone is intent on harming her, and that she may not be human.

This series starts off as a fairly light hearted love story. I mean, fair enough, one of the participants isn’t human, but that’s not really important (yet). The characters feel realistic, interact well together, and they develop with each episode. But despite the seemingly happy scenario, there are as many questions as there are answers. Where does Matsuri come from? What’s her connection to Yorito’s hospitalised sister? Why is Matsuri being chased by a bloke with a goatee and a big sword?

That’s the first half of the series. The second half moves away from light-hearted romance into a much darker series. Episodes 7 and 10 are like a punch in the guts. Yorito’s sister discharges herself from hospital and returns to the family home. The connection between Matsuri and Yorito’s sister comes to the fore, and their past is explored in some depth. Where does Yorito fit into all this? Who is he? Does he really exist?

This is one of only two or three series this year I’ve been so glued to I’ve watched each episode within a few hours of it being released. It’s that good.