It's the successor of Someday's Dreamers, which was released six years ago -- which we both like very much. So when this one popped up on the radar, we knew it would be interesting.
The story is about Sora, a young magician, who leaves her hometown of Bie (in Hokkaido) to go to Tokyo, to study magic. As in the previous series, Sora is put under the tutelage of a certified magician to learn what it means to be a mage in the modern world. She also has to attend lectures at the magic bureau, where she meets many different people with different styles of magic.
One of those people is Gouta, who is quite sullen. While his father is a magician (which makes him one too), he has never been able to cast an actual spell. He has some family circumstances that don't make him very fond of his dad, which doesn't help either. And it turns out his tutor is in the same magic practice as Sora's -- which makes them housemates.
Through an emergency, Gouta learns what it is to help others with his magic, and he makes some progress. Sora herself, meanwhile, proves herself to be strong willed, which brings her into conflict with some of the clients that she has to perform her magic for. Things do get smoothed out in the end (don't they always?) -- Sora's reaction to some of the requests is very assertive and almost un-Japanese when compared to those of her more experienced tutors...
Sora and Gouta develop a 'thing', and they go on a few dates. And then Sora dies of a magical disease, leaving Gouta behind.
Plotwise, Natsu no Sora is a direct descendant of Someday's Dreamers -- the similarities are striking. But visually, the two don't look alike at all. The backgrounds here are quite detailed (mostly CGI), while the character designs are very basic and almost abstracted -- the pastels of the first series are completely absent. This gives the series an unpolished feel, visually.
Voice acting is decent, but doesn't really jump out at you. The music is pretty nice, though -- there's some scenes with a street musician which yields a few nice songs.
- Interesting premise;
- A deepening of what we saw in Someday's Dreamers.
- Unpolished visuals;
- The ending.
If you're really interested in the world of Someday's Dreamers, then this is a must-see. But otherwise, this one isn't anything special. I'll give it a 6.5.