Sora has always dreamed of coming to L.A. and becoming a member of the Kaleido Stage performing troupe. She makes the trip and with a little luck, gets accepted into the troupe. Her cheerful attitude and relentless determination quickly make her some great friends and fierce rivals. The girl she idolizes, Layla, is beautiful, graceful, strong, and everything that Sora strives to become. She eventually earns the chance to play a role as Layla's partner. The 2 of them have the potential to become a legend in the acrobatic world. But they will face much adversity and many trials on their way to achieving their dreams.
At first I was a little hesitant about this anime. Being a guy, I wasn't sure if a PG rated show about acrobatics and the circus would appeal to me. I'm glad that I took a chance on it. Even though it is definitely geared toward females and a younger audience, it has an uplifting and universal appeal that can grab the interest of almost anyone, despite their gender or age. Kaleido stage has a captivating story, great characters, and plenty of drama. The animation, soundtrack, and voice acting are all very well done. Watching this anime makes you forget about your troubles and escape into a dazzling would of fun, dreams, and determination. It has some great lessons to teach. Never giving up, always doing your best, and having faith in yourself & your friends, are all major themes in this series. It's extremely uplifting.
After hearing all the great things I said about it, and seeing all the other 5 star reviews, you are probably wondering why I'm not giving it 5 stars. I have seen a lot of anime, and I own over 300 titles, so my standards are a little higher. Than most I think. I can't give it 5 stars because I don't think that Kaleido Star achieved it's full potential. I think that there were some episodes that really didn't need to be there. Instead of some of the "filler" episodes, I think that they should have developed a stronger bond between Sora and Ken. Ken has very strong feelings for Sora, and would lay in traffic for her. Much to my aggravation, Sora didn't even acknowledge him most of the time. This is very annoying to me.
Another thing that I don't like about this show is the spirit of the stage. There is a spirit named Fool. He is sort of like the familiar for acrobats that have the potential to achieve greatness. I don't like him. He is totally creepy. His voice, appearance, and mannerisms all make my skin crawl. I think he takes away from the show.
I realize that these are not huge issues, and there is another season of Kaleido Star that can resolve my first complaint about the lack of romance. I just think that it could have been developed in this season. Despite my 2 little complaints, I really enjoyed Kaleido Star. I'll definitely get season 2. If I could rate this a 4.5 I would, but I can't. I'll just have to give it 4 because it doesn't quite earn all 5. Overall, Kaleido Star is very good. It is suitable for almost all ages and genders. I highly recommend it, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.