Posted by psgels on 15 February 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



Wow… just wow. To everyone who was expecting this to be a fluffy and light-hearted series: this episode is here to prove you wrong.

But yeah, that’s one of the things about anime: while it’s often relatively simple to tell whether a series is going to be good or bad, after blogging for more than four years I still can’t predict at all when a seemingly innocent series like this one is going to blow me away. This episode caught me utterly by surprise: what an execution!

While this show has its moments of innocence, it’s moments like this that remind us what would happen if war would break out again. And really, this episode revealed that it’s been lie, what? Five years since the last war? This episode didn’t just do a wonderful job in fleshing out Phylicia (it only took one episode for us to understand EXACTLY what kind of a character she is, without making her a stereotype), but it also showed how fragile the setting is.

This episode also gave a lot of more hints about what happened to the past. First of all, the Japanese somehow took over Europe. After that, or during that, there followed a technological boom, and what I expect is AI going out of control (humans in machines don’t control them like the way they moved in that flashback). In order to get rid of them, nuclear weapons were used. The Japanese died of the aftereffects of the fallout, and the French resettled the area. My guess is that we’re currently at one of the few areas that were unscathed. My guess is that the current generation of wars either is about a few survivors of that strange AI (that would explain why they called the attacker of Vingt the “Invisible Angel of Death”, rather than just another war, or it’s a power struggle between the survivors for the last remaining patches of fertile land.

I must say, I’m impressed by the director. His two previous works, Elfen Lied and Denpateki na Kanojo both had some very good direction, but both were held back by a certain degree of unbelievability: characters would do stuff, just to advance the plot. In this series, his focus is EXACTLY to fix this. And here this episode comes and shows that he can also hit really hard when he wants to. I really have to say that Elfen Lied would have been a truly amazing series if it had its characters as well written as in Sora no Oto.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

20 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    I really had low expectations 4 this anime, but this anime proved me wrong. It’s easy to spot stereotypes by just looking at a picture and I admit it was easy to spot stereotypes in this anime by just looking at photo posted in ANN aswell, but I dont seem to mind coz what this anime showed me is awesomeness. I also love the THEMES for this anime…

    this anime showed us that mankind is its own worse enemy. Though I didnt expect that thing to show up in a SUPPOSED TO BE FLUFFY MOE ANIME…

    Hope this anime will keep on breaking barriers

  2. Alhazred says:

    Hmm… there’s every indicator that biological weapons of some sort were the force that wiped out the Japanese side in the last ‘high tech’ war. The mother that died of the ‘invisible angel of death’ died of some sort of incurable disease shortly after escaping the town, the village’s legend speaks of a monster of some sort that was subdued by the maidens and their ‘spider,’ there was a giant winged skeleton in the lake that Kanata fell into, and the reflection of wings could be seen in the broken windows right before that laser blast took out the spider tanks.

  3. al103 says:

    1. Japanese side wasn’t wiped out. It clearly shows that at least 1/4 of population have japanese ancestry in some way or other.
    2. While French is main language it’s really expanded Switzerland (Helvetia is old name of that country) – french is one of main languages there. Also i spotted some German and at least one Russian name – so in fact it was something like survivors of international coalition fighting with something, not Japanese taking over Europe.

  4. Alhazred says:

    There is that, though it’s a bit odd that Kanata would find a book in Japanese in the old school house if the area wasn’t already heavily settled by the Japanese before the fall of civilization. Also, all of the ‘old tech’ in the area seems to use either Japanese or English as the primary interface language.

  5. aubrey says:

    I sort of thought the invisible angel was a plague.

  6. al103 says:

    1. There is Japanese music school in Switzerland. Somebody even noted that somewhere near where they are after compared maps. Life is stranger than fiction, yes…
    2. Language could be easily because of international coalition. Something like NATO + some other countries.

  7. death13a says:

    If before war Japan sank underwater but not over night, that would explain how Japanese resettled over the world.

    This anime sure is surprise at how it can stay moe and serious at same time.

  8. Hogart says:

    Nice. This is the first episode that really impressed me, and saves it from being dropped. I really hope they don’t squander the rest of the 12-ep run, now that they’ve given it some real potential.

  9. Reltair says:

    To me it seemed like they were fighting other human forces since during the flashback war scenes, they shot a shell at another similar tank and the shell passed over what I thought were enemy soldiers lying in wait.

  10. Des says:

    Hi, im kinda new in posting comments here.

    Sidetracking a little,correct me if i’m wrong but is the girl who played amazing grace a princess?

    Also, is it me or is Rio the princess’s daughter? She seems to have a striking resemblance to the princess.

  11. Des says:

    Hi, im kinda new in posting comments here.

    Sidetracking a little,correct me if i’m wrong but is the girl who played amazing grace a princess?

    Also, is it me or is Rio the princess’s daughter? She seems to have a striking resemblance to the her.

  12. Alhazred says:

    @Reltair: The flashback scenes were mostly from Felicia’s memories of the war that ended only five years previous. It seems the current humans have much more primitive walking tanks that they use to wage war against each other. The only part of the flashback that was from the war that ended civilization was the part with the spider tanks, while the soldier’s ghost was talking to her.

  13. chounokoe says:

    Well we don’t know exactly who the enemy in the previous war was. The zombie-soldier in the underground just told Felicia that they saw no other way than to use ‘it’ against ‘them’, which is a rather broad statement. So it could be that the large ‘bird’ skeleton under Seize is just one of the enemies they fought.

    Concerning language, as it seems Japanese was already a ‘dead language’ when Felicia fought in the war, at least in writing, as she apologized for not being able to read the soldiers dying message and said it was some kind of pictography or hieroglyphs.
    We know they still use it in church as a kind of ‘christianization’, because the priest gave the baby in episode 6 a name composed of Kanji and explained to the parents what it meant. So it could very well be that the order of the world as we know it has vanished longer ago than we thought.
    This is also underlined by the statement of Felicia’s superior, when she says that life in the ocean is almost fully extinct and that humanity is on the brink of annihilation.

    I never expected this anime to be so fun to analyze concerning what has actually happened to the planet.
    But it seems that must people don’t remember either, even Felicia seems to be still in the dark about many things…like the princess regent who came to save her.
    Concerning that I’d also like to know who exactly Rio is, as she also had contact with her, so she shouldn’t be just another commoner.

  14. Des says:

    @chounokoe: yea! and Rio has the exact same D flat bell as the princess and have the same hairstyle too! Also, remember the Father of the church had a strong reaction when he saw Rio? my guess is she’s the daughter of the princess (:

  15. vee says:

    @Des – They do have a resemblance, but in one of the previous episodes of Rio’s flashback the mother was not the princess and the mother and princess were in the same scene. After releasing the lantern Rio called out for her mother and sister, so the princess might probably be her sister.

    Anyway, this episode is really good. I was equally surprised by the tiny bits of revelation of Noel’s participation in the war, as well as the fate of Kureha’s parents.

  16. m says:

    If you were going to build a machine that scaled over buildings, your control system would be fairly automated with a simplified interface presented to the pilot. We already do that with airplanes and to a certain extent with cars. So those aren’t necessarily rogue AIs destroying man, but instead enabling them to crawl over buildings.

  17. Bored_Ming says:

    Wow, an amazing episode.

    Last week we had the girls training in the tank simulator. We’re thrown a slight curve and made to think it was real. This week we’re thrown in the tank again, only it was a real battle in Phylicia’s past. That is a great setup. Seeing Phylicia basically being an innocent Kanata and seeing that innocence lost in a horrible way was heartbreaking. No more paper cutter characters here. They even have the setting as an active and interesting character.

    There is a relationship between Rio and the Princess. Right now it’s just another tidbit for us to chew on.

  18. AKI says:

    This is the last time we’re going to compare it to K-On…

  19. twilightlegacy says:

    from the looks of it, the time of spider tanks is around the WWII era (although tech like that didn’t exist).

    you should check this site out
    sora no woto wiki

    the charts and stuff show all the translations for the lost languages and stuff, as well as speculations regarding the history of the sora no woto world.

  20. ippius says:

    so much for moe moe and kyun~

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:43 AM)
    @Friend: perfect, I on the other hand am not as fast lol
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:19 AM)
    I should have the rough draft ready by the next 24 hours, so I’ll show it to you then.
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:16 AM)
    @Bam :-) “Rome wasn’t built in a single day”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:14 AM)
    @Friend: very pragmatic- I like your style ;)
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:09 AM)
    @Bam Heres what I’m planning to do: I’ll draw the city as it might have looked like pre-industrial revolution and post-columbian. So, maybe the late 17th century. Then, I’ll add in the changes brought in by industry. Afterall, every building isn’t built at the same time, so it’ll give that contrast of old/new, making the city much more authentic.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Friend: hard question … needs some serious thought if we’re trying to feel authentic.
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:04 AM)
    What would they use electricity for, if they’ll even accept it?
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:04 AM)
    @Bam I’ve been thinking about that as well. Their irrigation was already a masterpiece, so I think hydraulic piping would only perfect their skill at city planning. Now, energy is what I’ve been stuck on.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:02 AM)
    @Friend: you’re on the right track with the modernization of the culture, but I need to ponder a little bit about what would’ve happened in that scenario. Metals, medicine, energy and irrigation would be the significant advances that they could use without serious industrialization, but I need time to think what these would’ve all meant to them and where they could’ve taken their society with it.
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 05:56 AM)
    @Bam Yes, it’s very bright and sentimental. It is a morning prayer/celebration. \.0/

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