The anime calendar has been something of an addiction of mine for the past five years. It has gotten better over time–what was once four calendars a year has now turned into one–but I still love these things as much as I did when my set of coveted anime calendars arrived at my door during my senior year of high school.
For those who don’t know, the made-in-Japan anime calendars don’t really function as calendars. They’re giant B2 pads that contain seven pages illustrations; a cover page, and six other pages that cover two months each. Dates are shoved into a small area of each page, and aren’t easy to mark off to make a notes or something. These calendars are in effect a set of very nice posters that you change every two months, and what makes or breaks a calendar is obviously the quality of the illustrations at hand.
Generally the illustrations aren’t anything ambitious, but they tend to be a step up from generic stock artwork and sit more on level with anime magazine pinups. In the case of an otaku-oriented program like Sora Kake Girl, the pages of its respective calendar are all about the girls looking cute–often times in very little clothing.
The girls in Sora Kake Girl all sparkle with their own unique brand of cuteness, and each page does well to make sure their good sides are showing. These good sides are of course their breasts, butts and legs. Whether it’s Nami thrusting out her tight body while grinning maniacally, Itsuki adjusting her bikini bottom with her butt to the camera, or simply Akiha striking Japan’s favourite V-sign, each illustration is executed with professionalism.
It goes without saying that the quality of these illustrations is better than a random screencap. What’s on display here happily occupies the realm of DVD cover or Megami poster illustrations. The colours are rich and bright, and extra care is taken with the shading and lighting effects. The highlights glow, and the shades are made deeper with choice use of gradients. Dirty pencil lines are obvious up close, but that becomes a given when one’s room is filled with Megami posters. It’s nothing ambitious–like I said before–but it’s all well done.
There are some issues, however. Firstly, only five of the seven illustrations are originals (to my knowledge) and the remaining two are simply re-used Megami posters. They aren’t bad illustrations, but it is rather lazy. That said, the images are printed in the calendar’s larger dimensions, and their colouring comes out more brilliant than their respective Megami pinups’. Secondly, the paper isn’t really strong stuff. My Hayate no Gotoku and Zettai Karen Children posters from years previous were printed on more resilient stock. Because of this, the pages took something of a beating during shipping, and it shows if you look closely.
Putting those nagging issues aside, however, this calendar is a great buy if you’re both a fan of Sora Kake Girl and need a calendar for the year. It’s not the gold standard of anime calendars that Kyoto Animation calendars are, but it’s a nice set of cute T&A pictures to compliment all the others hanging up on your wall.
And since I couldn’t think of a good place to dump these, here’s some bad photos of each page. There’s no scan of this calendar to my knowledge, so if you want it, you have to buy it! Don’t worry! You still have until the end of February before that first page becomes useless!