Sora no Woto

Title:Sora no Woto
Sound of the Sky
ソ・ラ・ノ・ヲ・ト (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - A1 Pictures
Animation - Anime no Chikara Project
Music - KAJIURA Yuki
R1 License - Right Stuf Intl
Set in the future in a land marred by a long-lasting past-war, that now has settled into a quiet cycle of decline. SORAMI Kanata is a 15-year-old girl who fulfills her dream of enlisting in the army and joins a unit of five girls who protect an old castle that looms over a rustic village. Kanata wants to be a trumpeter and together with the other girls, they learn play music that reverberates across the skies, over the meadows, towns and river valleys that surround the 'Time-Telling' fortress. (Source: ANN)

This title is reported as using the Spanish city of ↗Cuenca and its nearby Alarcón Fortress (image link) as a model for the storyline.

Sora no Oto (The Sound of the Sky) should not be confused with Sora no Otoshimono (Lost Property of the Sky).

12 TV episodes (~24 min) (+2 OVA episodes)
Animation by A1 Pictures
New series set to air on January 4th, 2010

The OVA episodes are to be released on disk #4 & #7 of the BlueRay/DVD releases.

1:30 min promo vid - Stream from offical Web Site

Crunchyroll confirmed to stream this series.
Episode Details 
Ep01, pic1, pic2, pic3, Fire, Char
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 10 9 10 9 8 7 Dreamer [series:2208#2279]
Although the series got less than spectacular ratings and reviews, I finally decided to pick it up anyways.... after procrastinating for the longest.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork was just breathtaking! Wow! Everything about the artwork and animation was awesome and a real eye treat. The lighting effects were just amazing and really really brought the animation to life.... a beautiful mixture of soft lights, luminescence, refractions and reflections. Animation was silky smooth. Must have been a really high framerate. Finally, the character designs. Another A++. Rich colors, rich details and just a plain wow-factor. All our girls were just kawaii too!

The OP was a.... a galic piece? It sounded galic, or I want to say irish-scottish sounding. It was really beautifully composed. Another Wow here. The soundtrack had some nice orchestra pieces that really gave the series life and gave a sense of a big-production anime. At other times, we have a bit of old-world style of music... nice.

Series and Episode Story
If you've picked this one up thinking that you might get to see some military actions or wars, you're waaaaay off! Sure there's a military setting, girls in military outfits and a few guns.... but that's it. Nothing ever happens and no wars are fought (almost). Instead, we get to see 4 girls enjoying and passing away their time in a dead fort, in a dead town. Sound boring? Well, ya, but somehow, this series gives off a charm that pulls you in. Actually, what really pulled "me" in was the amazing artwork and breaktaking lighting effects. I'm a sucker for those.

I'll be the millionth person to mention this, but yes, it does remind you of K-On. The plot doesn't really go anywhere and you'll probably dislike the ending as I had, but nevertheless, the series is brought to life by our characters... the 4 main girls. Their charm, their antics and humor is what makes this series.

Overall, it's a light hearted series with plenty of charm and kawaii girls. Pretty much everything shines minus the plot... which was pretty much lacking. But then again, it was mostly episodic.

Last updated Wednesday, February 23 2011. Created Wednesday, February 23 2011.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:2208#1573]
Hmmm....1 episode watched

All I can say is

K-On rip off, K-On rip off, K-On rip off, K-On rip off, K-On rip off, K-On rip off, K-On rip off!

Last updated Tuesday, February 09 2010. Created Tuesday, February 09 2010.
Watch 9 8 8 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2208#1552]
(4 episodes watched, 3 years ago)

I was first brought into seeing this series when I seen a trailer for it a month before its release and despite the moe character designs, I thought it would offer up a decent enough premise with teen girls being in the military. But my perceptions of the show were very mixed in the four episodes I seen of it. On the one hand, it takes place in a world after some major war destroyed a good amount of the original civilization so things like schools and dolphins no longer exist and there were hints of the series potentially being more serious in later episodes with the town legends discussed and some of the pasts of the girls hinted about. Unfortunately, the series is still milking quite a bit to the moe crowd with the run-of-the-mill character archetypes and personalities that the fandom loves to oogle for with a sleepy, soft-spoken genius girl reminding me of Nagato Yuki from Haruhi Suzumiya (minus the sleeping part), the spacey, carefree and non-talented Konata reminding me enough of K-ON's Yui and a bratty tsundere girl. While the moe oogling for Sora no Woto is nowhere as bad as K-ON where it made the music second fiddle to the antics of the female cast, it's still contagious enough where it blends with the show's development making me question whether the show wants to be a serious drama or a moe-oogling title. I think four episodes is enough for me to judge Sora no Woto so I'm gonna drop the show without a final review making it the first dud of 2010 for me.

(All episodes complete, as of now)

My thoughts on Sound of the Sky haven't changed much since I seen it three years ago as I've completed it. The series is mostly slice-of-life with light-hearted comedy and elements of moe pandering with the cute girls and their quirks despite the military focus and post-apocalyptic setting, which is a bit disappointing as these elements serve mostly as a backdrop to the everyday routines with Kanata and the girls. The points where the series gets serious in exploring how war affected the girls and a later conflict towards the end of the series make for the better moments in the series. But it's not quite enough for me to want to consider it a Rent thanks to the title's large focus on slice-of-life. Visuals are pleasing on the eyes with beautiful scenery shots, vivid color and nicely animated moments that feature the war moments that are faced by the girls. Unless you're a sap for the slice-of-life genre and looking for a different twist to the genre, you're not missing out on much here.

Last updated Wednesday, July 10 2013. Created Monday, January 25 2010.
Watch 10 10 7 8 Xenoknight [series:2208#2967]
watching now... 9 eps watched in 720P HD...

Ep 9: This was an interesting episode. Cranking the quality level up a few notches, this ep had an increased 'serious' feel to it with the ties that bind Rio, a missing boy, a terrible typhoon, a rescue operation, and Kureha's admiration for the Desert Wolf. The major's words of fearing to break Kureha's dreams rather than of dying, was something to think about. I enjoyed it (as usual) and want to see how they plan to end this series without letting it just simply fade from our memories. Great ep...

Ep 8: Kana is assigned to watch the emergency line for the entire day and she is entirely committed to completing her mission. I'll tell you one thing right off the bat - Kana was moaning and breathing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much in this episode. Be careful of your surroundings as it just might give people the wrong impression of what type of anime you're watching if you catch my drift (^_^). Besides that, it was a good ep with some good laughs and interesting experiences for Kana. Who says daily life isn't dangerous? Good ep...

Ep 7: Felicia is the star this time around with her reminiscing about past war days. A soldier never truly recovers 100% from a battle and this ep showed just what kind of stress and trauma she deals with on a regular basis. The brutality of war is a necessary evil, but it goes without saying that Felicia wasn't prepared for what happened that fateful night. The whole ep in general was of a different caliber than the rest of the series so far and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The 720p presentation, this ep in particular, is nothing to sneeze at. Splendid ep...

Ep 6: Don't let the episode title fool you, there was a crap load of stuff going on in this ep and you might miss a few things if you take it lightly like the others. I was a bit rattled and had to review certain scenes over again to pick up the missing pieces I couldn't get on my first viewing. It's Kanata's day off and the circumstances couldn't be better as the pink squad's job this time around couldn't get any shadier. The multi-episode effect was a nice touch as one circumstance lead to another and both sides of the coin (Kanata and the pink squad) ended up helping each other without even knowing it. To top it all off, the viewer is treated to another emotional trip with plenty of back story to help understand the importance of a certain character's motives. This ep was just the kind of ice breaker that was needed to introduce a type of 'climax' while the viewer is prepped for the ending half of things to come for this title. Involved ep...

Ep 5: This series is great. Here we have another ep that featured a well balanced mix of history, comedy, and chemistry. The higher-ups issue an order to the "pink-squad" as they are to survey important points of interest. Rio and Felicia decide to kill two birds with one stone and teach the kids more about the history of the land in a more "related manner". I was cracking up when I saw the heavy backpack scene (^_^). Watching the kids suffer and band together as a team is what this title is all about. In the end, they got to see the end of the world (historically - LOL). I loved this ep as it turned out to be great fun. Splendid ep...

Ep 4: Another heart-warming ep. Kanata and Noel are the main leads in this ep and they compliment each other extremely well - one hyper-active rookie and one seasoned vet with restricted emotions (my favorite). This ep was filled with chemistry (both in the character and scientific senses), morals, and life experiences. It all results in Kanata getting better at her trumpet and Noel cracking a smile. It's always a big deal for me when the emotionless character is so filled with happiness, that they have no choice but to display how they feel. I love the open-ended story-telling approach their using. Since there is no set story, they can focus more on character development and simply entertaining the fans with no strings attached. Great ep...

Ep 3: A wonderful episode. Kanata and Rio stay behind as the rest of the gang leave on a replenishment errand. They practice and learn more about each other as well as their reasons for choosing the military when something goes horribly wrong. It was as if two tragedies were somehow mixed into one as Kanata's condition played perfectly into Rio's scarred past. Her drive to save Kanata made me proud and brought her overall character to light, especially her feminine side. Later, Kanata referred to herself as Omiso (Miso dregs) and how she described it was tough to hear since she is such a pure person. In order to show her a better way of thinking, Rio brought her to the tank where she got it to play a song I know all too well - ↗"Amazing Grace". I loved how they were both basking in the glory of that song and Rio's excellent people skills brought the best out of the situation. Did I mention that the end-theme is amazing to listen to. Wonderful ep...

Ep 2: Platoon 1121 is introduced and I can easily say that there is a something about this crew that I love (besides them being all girls). The team is as follows:

Lieutenant Felicia Heidemann- the mother figure, tank commander/captain
Sergeant Rio Kazumiya - the cool-headed second-in-charge
Corporal Noel Kannagi - the lazy Primula-type pilot/mechanic
Private Kureha Suminoya - the hard-a** gunner
Private Sorami Kanata - our heroine and trumpeter

Contrary to Sorami, the other girls are all equipped with combat skills as they are battle-tested (?) soldiers (LOL). I laughed watching Kureha give Kanata the tour (them staring at the phone that will never ring was hilarious). It seems that their squad sees very little action and they became very lax as a result. The ep turns into the standard horror ep with Kureha and Kanata exploring the fortress one stormy night for a ghost. It was all good fun and we came to understand many perspectives between the characters. The ghost was the owl and he is named, Shuko (an instant "G"-status character). The end-credit theme "Girls, Be Ambitious" is really catchy, that's for sure. I had a lot of fun. Great ep...

First Impression: Holy Crap! This title is like being at an all-you-can-eat restaurant for the eyes and I'll just say that I left the place with a satisfied appetite. It's the type of visual quality that makes me want look out my window at the world and claim to how fake it looks! I was speechless for the better half of the episode as I let myself become completely absorbed in the experience.

The plot is wide open for great story-telling adventures as they kick it off with a grand tale about the 'Fire Maidens of Sieze'. The story was strangely captivating though simple in nature. It goes to show that any story can be amazing - it just depends on who is telling it (some food for thought). Sorami Kanata, our 15 year old heroine, is in the military, but as a trumpeter (not soldier) and she arrives at the village just as the 'Fire Maiden' festival celebration begins. I was shocked to see everyone acting a fool until they explained why it was so important. Kanata's simple attitude and klutz-like abilities come across as pure gold as far as enjoyment and entertainment are concerned. I love that owl as well and even he/she will play a role in this title. The overall pace was calm (which is good) and I found myself entering a new world of original qualities. These kinds of shows are very important in more ways then I care to mention. I can't wait to see how it plays out. Absolutely watch it in high-definition 720p or higher. Amazing ep...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, March 01 2010. Created Tuesday, January 12 2010.
Rent 10 10 8 9 7 8 Silence [series:2208#2939]
All episodes watched.

The setting is in future where humanity collapsed upon itself after reaching a golden age of science and technology. The population has declined, and most of the advanced technology has been lost. Some relics of the past can still be used, but most of them cannot be reconstructed, at least without considerable talent and effort. The story takes part in the quiet town of Seize.

The main characters: the klutz Kanata, who experienced the war as a young child, and had been left with a strong desire to learn the trumpet; tsundere Kureha, who was orphaned by the war; moe Noel, who is a genius, and her past actions haunt her. Rio, with a complicated family background; motherly Felicia, whose gentle demeanor hides a dark past in the military.

It started out as a very light hearted, comedic and character focused show, much like K-On!. We go through the very laid back daily lives of 5 military girls, like finding ghosts, learning the trumpet, fixing the tank, taking hikes, bootlegging (o.O), etc.

War is very far from this town, despite the war leaving a mark on every one of the girls. So they are content just playing around. But in the last few episodes, the precarious peace process is on the verge of breaking down, and someone has to make the sacrifice to try to remedy the situation. Even so, war approaches the town of Seize, as an enemy combatant is caught, and an enemy platoon shows up.

Overall, I find the ending a little cheezy and unrealistic, which definitely squanders the potential for a very powerful ending. The fun and joy in the early parts are ok; they give us a good sense of the characters, which back up their later actions (not too well though). But as things turn serious, it is hard to expect that innocence can pull off a happily ever after in the face of war. Specifically, final trumpet piece blown by Kanata could not have achieved that effect. Then the timely appearance of the princess is rather convenient (given that the enemy side has been followed for so long, the decision to fight occured only at the last minute, hence it is hard to imagine her getting here in time. Rather, a long range communication from the headquarters would have been more likely, though even that may not be able to stop of the momentum of the war machines.) The actions of our girls can easily amount to treason, yet they seem to receive no reprimanding without any explanation. The return of our missing heroine is also somewhat unconvincing.

Such a beautifully drawn and animated anime is hard to come by. Furthermore it had the potential to go a very long way. But sadly it fell short of the mark. Hence I can only award it a rent.

Last updated Tuesday, March 23 2010. Created Thursday, January 07 2010.
Watch Stretch [series:2208#628]
(Eight episodes watched):

So... something about a girl who is a bugler in the army and is reassigned to a place called "The Time-Telling Fortress" (with an all female garrison), near a town with a strange legend about "Fire Maidens". Yet, after the first episode I still can't help feeling that I have little idea where this story is going or what it will be about. Time travel? War? The Supernatural? Mecha? The artwork was excellent but I'm frustrated that for all the effort that was put into this episode, I still feel that I learned little more about the plot than I would have from a brief promo. Based on general anime trends, then, I would guess that there's about a 50-50 chance that the girls will turn out to be reincarnations of the original Fire Maidens. I'll need to watch at least one more episode before deciding whether I like this show or not.

I was thinking that SnO was leaning in a high class, artistic, Ghibli-esque direction (which might be difficult to follow), but episode two headed in a different direction. The goofy antics of the all-girl platoon were amusing, and inspired a pleasing spirit of sisterhood among them. The character designs of several characters and the general situation remind me of K-ON!. This episode gave us an idea of what goes on from day to day at the fortress. This place was once a school, apparently; what other discoveries about its past will be made (maybe this is why it got its name)? What remains to be seen is what the major challenge/threat which the girls must deal with will be (or, like K-On, will this be a largely nonsensical slice-of-life show?).

I can't help feeling that Sora Woto is based on the question of what would happen if the cast of K-On enlisted in the army (and tried to go beyond just silly comedy) sort of show. Episode three reveals that Kanata has a sort of inferiority complex; otherwise, it didn't seem to go much of anywhere. The series as a whole is still largely a mystery. "Amazing Grace" was a strange choice for the song that is dear to several of the girl's hearts. This show seems to take a laid-back, slice-of-life pace. On the one hand, the girls are charming and likeable; on the other, I'm impatient for something intriguing to happen. Going into episode four I couldn't help feeling that there would be more 'getting to know the girls' but little overall plot development, and as a result I wasn't particularly eager.

To be honest, I don't exactly look forward to new episodes of Sora no Woto. It doesn't look like there will be much of a plot at all, and the largely nonsensical things the girls do don't tell me much about them. So, I have a hard time identifying with them or caring about them. It's almost like a series composed entirely of filler episodes. There are a number of nice touches to this show, but those have the effect of making the feeling that it is going nowhere all the more frustrating. The show seems kind of caught inbetween being comedy or drama: not funny enough to work as a comedy, and having no particular plot keeps it from working as a drama. I ultimately shelved the series when I found myself several weeks behind on shows which I liked much more.

Last updated Thursday, May 13 2010. Created Wednesday, January 06 2010.
Rent Jan-Chan [series:2208#967]
I think that I have fallen in love… with this title. It is all about ambiance, artistry, music and camaraderie…
  • Ambiance – The setting is northern Spain: a green land sparkling with rustic stone villages and cobbled streets.
  • Artistry – The artwork and colours are vibrant, lavish and beautiful – a visual feast. (Think ↗Ghibli!!)
  • Music – Harpsichord and harp instrumentals, lots of trumpets and horns, and even songs sung in French (?).
  • Camaraderie – A story about five girls who are in the military, but are not soldiers. They are sent to watch over the fort, but are left alone to practice music and have fun.
And while the setting might be in the ↗Iberian Peninsula, the story is something all together different. The first episode tells of a village festival celebrating the ‘Fire Maidens of Sieze’, whom legends tell protected the city from a daemon.

So despite a number of short comings and problems in the story, I somehow still love the characters, settings and imagery of this series. Well worth the time spent watching this fun RENT+ type of series.

Here are some snaps from the first episode.

I found some pictures of the village of Cuenca and paired them up with screensnaps.

Last updated Thursday, May 13 2010. Created Tuesday, January 05 2010.

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