Of Reincarnated Vending Machines And Stargazing: Coffee Samurai and Hoshizora Kiseki

He’s a fighting machine, literally.

She lives for stars and night skies.

Last week I was browsing the Anime Network On Demand channel (as I do every week) when I found two shows that sounded interesting: Coffee Samurai and Hoshizora Kiseki. After doing a bit of research it turns out that they aren’t series but anime short films, each thirty minutes long. And they come out as a double feature on DVD in America May tenth, so yay for being timely!

Coffee Samurai centers on a, well, samurai named Jin. He makes a wish to be born in his next life with “an iron body.” And so his wish his granted, and he comes back… as a coffee vending machine. He still has battles to fight with other zanily reincarnated foes, but the one thing he never counted on was falling in love with a girl named Hemi. This is a cute, if odd, little tale. The awkward moments between Hemi and Jin are rather precious. And who wouldn’t want a boyfriend who can make hot milk coffee at the tug of an earlobe?

Date night: a darkened planetarium and a boy who literally can’t kiss you. Ah, young love!

Hoshizora Kiseki begins by introducing us to Kozue, a young girl who always has her eyes turned to the sky, so deep is her love of stargazing. She decides to take a journey to the mountains in order to watch a falling star, and that’s where she meets Ginga, a solemn boy with strange powers. Somehow he has inside information about the stars, and he uses this to help astronomers and scientists with their research. However, his life is not his own, as other people control where he goes and what he does. He even has to wear a spacesuit whenever he’s outside so as not to diminish his powers. Kozue can’t understand how anyone could live a full life without smelling the rain or feeling the wind on your face. Through their chance encounter she encourages Ginga to make his life his own, but does she succeed? Watch and find out!

Time to make the donuts!

Coffee Samurai is kind of retro-looking and brings to mind watching a quirky foreign film. French film quirky, not full-on German film strange. Hoshizora Kiseki was completely charming and definitely my favourite of the two (the opening theme was super cute; I wish I could find it somewhere!). Yet with both films I was amazed at how much storytelling and character development they managed in only thirty minutes. Plus it was rather refreshing, given the graphic nature of most of the shows from Anime Network On Demand, to have two genuinely endearing stories that are fan service-free. Both are subtitled and certainly worth a viewing, especially if you like short films and unconventional love stories.

Rating: ★★★ The rewatch value seems relatively low, but both are worth viewing at least once.

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