“Iriya’s Sky Summer of UFOs”
A six – episode OVA series – a school story with a mystery, set against the background of an unexplained war.
Asaba is an ordinary high -school boy who lives with his parents and younger sister. During the school holidays, he sneaks into the school swimming pool building for a quiet swim, and is surprised to find a girl swimming there. She gets into difficulties and has to be rescued. They are disturbed by an intruder and when Asaba leaves he is shocked to find a whole security detachment outside, waiting for the girl.
When the term starts, Asaba has another shock when the girl enrols in his class. She acknowledges Asaba but is rather distant with the other students.
Asaba is a member of the Newspaper Club (actually just two people at this point in the story) which has been trying to investigate activity at the nearby Sonohara air base. When they learn that the girl, Iriya, has some connection with the base, the club president pressurises Asaba (who needs little persuasion) to date Iriya and so find out more about the base.
As the series progresses we find out more about Iriya, and a state of military emergency is declared.
I was sufficiently intrigued by this series to download all of it after seeing episode 1. It’s the kind of drama that makes more sense when watched for a second time. In retrospect it is more than a little reminiscent of “She, the Ultimate weapon” which has a not dissimilar premise. The sense of crisis and threat of war also looms in other anime, for example the recent masterpiece “The Place Promised in our Early Days”. (Do the Japanese feel they are living in a potential crisis zone?)
In places “Iriya no Sora” is very funny, and in others sad and touching, and occasionally just unconvincing. So worth watching? In summary it’s no masterpiece but worth a look.