There comes a time when most of us tend to dislike reality. Boring people, normal unending days, and nothing much to do. Then we turn to fiction. We visualize ourselves as someone we’re not and, in extreme cases, live up to our fantasies. That’s what Aura’s story is mainly about. Aura is about a story of former chuunibyou (8th grader syndrome) case who’s now trying to become a normal person, that is until a faithful encounter with a girl who calls herself as a “researcher” searching for dragon terminals. At first, he hesitates on helping her as he doesn’t want to have a relapse again but soon finds out that she needs his help. There is honestly nothing we haven’t seen before about Aura. It’s a more mature look at what a victim of chuunibyo suffers from, but everything plays out like a typical high school bullying story. There are no twists or turns. Everything can be seen coming from a mile away. Yet the story still works well and it’s not simply due to the directing.
First off, the dialogue is certainly well written as there’s this genuine sense of realism in which the main characters speak that many will be able to resonate to. And secondly, the drama is simply well done. The art and music of this show is about average and there’s nothing much to revolve about in the story but the main driving point of the show are the characters. This movie is all about character development. You start off with a doubting protagonist that would end up as a dependable friend for a lot of people. That’s the norm and this doesn’t deviate much from it except for the fact that the heroine has not depended on him but he changed her. Everything feels natural. Angst and conflicts are perfectly and realistically presented instead of a cheap means to manipulate the viewer’s emotion. All of the characters can give you the proper emotions. You take pity on those who are being bullied and you get mad at the antagonists. Personally, there was a time I was afraid I’d punch my monitor because of the rage building up inside me. That’s how well the characters can pull you into their simple lives, something most shows can’t do.
Unfortunately, the drama could have been more powerful too. Whether it was simply the writing itself and simply because the film was too short – I take blame with the latter – Aura felt just a little lacking. It takes its generic story much further than most and turns it into something great, but not amazing. The characters are likable and easy to sympathize with, but are far from being anything spectacular. Its major themes and the romantic relationship between our lead couple did hit many notes with me but ultimately they don’t feel fully developed to truly became powerful and thus it just misses the mark of being truly remarkable. Because honestly, I found the final scene where the male lead confronts the female lead at the tower of desks to be absolutely brilliant and it would have been more so if we were given just a little more development.
Overall, the movie is enjoyable. The flow of the story is smooth. Despite the abrupt turn of events in the middle to last scenes, the story progression feels natural and believable. It feels like you’re seeing real people and not just an animation so kudos to the voice acting staff in that division. You’re surely bound for a roller coaster of emotions for this piece that would lead you to tears, anger, and smiles. Just try to view this movie with an open mind (Please don’t try to compare this with Chuunibiyou demo Koi ga Shita since they are both different) and I’m sure you’ll enjoy every twist and turn you’re gonna go through.