Kaleido Star Season 1 Complete Collection Anime DVD Review

When I first watched Kaledio Star in 2006, I was immediately captivated by its story and characters. Four years and many viewings later, I am once again watching it as Funimation re-releases the first season. My opinion of the series has not changed despite knowing every beat of the story, every twist and turn. It is a simple story; Naegino Sora is a young girl with a dream of performing on the Kaleido Stage and must overcome physical and emotional adversity to achieve it. Sounds a bit clichéd and predictable. The audience knows Sora will overcome all obstacles; when the "Legendary Great Maneuver" is first mentioned, they can be reasonably confident that the climax of the season will be her performing this very maneuver. However, the beauty and charm of the story is the journey to this destination. The focus of the story is not on the maneuver but on building the characters into a tight knit family of performers. They have all joined the Kaleido Stage to entertain people, and they strive to put on the best show possible. There are moments of jealousy, bickering, and the usual strife that comes with people in a competitive atmosphere, but the core cast grows closer through the hardships. Their struggles, tears, and laughs build up to the climatic "Legendary Great Maneuver" and draw you into becoming part of their on-screen audience. You hold your breath wanting to see something magical at the end.

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