First episode event for Sora no manimani: tiny girl throwing golden stars like confetti from the school roof and proclaiming the existence of the astronomy club to all who have gathered below. As with so many first episode events, this dose of concentrated lunacy is quickly forgotten and its impact on the story only goes as far as introducing the fire-cracker Mihoshi to the more grounded Saku - reunited after an extended separation.
All of this has been roadtested before of course, neither the situation nor the character archetypes are anything new, Sora no manimani's mark is made in sporadically excellent comedy timing. Sharp cuts give enough momentum to keep the three opening episodes going, but each one quickly becomes a saga of different situations and storylines that it's almost a relief when the jaunty, lilting credits fade in. The hook for this series is the Astronomy club, and following such shows as the recent K-ON and more historically Genshiken, the first storyline involves coercing enough members to join to remain a club. Saku is emotionally bullied into it while the token infatuated love interest is next; like Genshiken this club also houses a gaunt, malnourished president - enigmatic only through their absence - his role being more to provide the occasional gag, to pad out the numbers and otherwise get out of the way. There is something very familiar and inoffensive about the entire set up.