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~

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 02:53 PM)
    “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” – Samuel L. Johnson
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 02:50 PM)
    What are we numbing ourselves to? The pain of band stress of modern life? Failing to fit or preserve the image that they tell us to uphold? This certainly needs to be brought to attention and critically analyzed.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 02:45 PM)
    Then there’s the 90 million daily opiate users, which basically means one out of every four people you meet are on one form of these things. Mothers, daughters, doctors, cops, teachers, all circling the drain. The US is nowhere near the most populated country, but we are by far the most consumer of prescription narcotics. That has to say something about our society.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 02:41 PM)
    There are 4 million patients, mostly kids between 8-16, that are on a daily dose of Adderall. That’s a straight mixture of several amphetamine salts, so for all intent and purposes crystal meth. Ritalin is also a powerful stimulant, and the cost/benefit analysis of this approach has always been proven to be damn reprehensible. ADHD is very rare, but used as a blanket term to just sedate the hell out of children that lazy parents don’t wanna deal with.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 02:37 PM)
    @K-off: well these drug-peddling doctors are just dealers with 20 years of schooling and half a million dollars in student debt. There are good caring doctors, but way far in-between. The few cases of actual neural chemical imbalance that benefit from these drugs are a shocking minority. There has been too many scandals of uncovered “donation” from big pharma to medical boards and hospitals.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 02:25 PM)
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 12:04 PM)
    Ah, I definitely see where Bam is coming from with the its easy to trade one addiction for another, that happened with my aunt, although I fundamentally believe that the smoking has kept her away from abusing alcohol.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 10:01 AM)
    Well, accidentally deleted my next comment. Basically just ranting about the geniuses at the VA suddenly cutting off veterans from oxycodone after they’d been dependant on it for decades.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 09:26 AM)
    @Bam I had a mild dependence on ritalin during my first year at ucla, and I just went cold turkey after spring. While I didn’t have it nearly as bad as my meth-addicted friends, I tried to distract myself in those first few weeks by working part time as much as I could to get my mind off that shit along with a joint at night.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:27 AM)
    Also I wholeheartedly agree that marijuana immensely helps with quitting other harder drugs. Benzodiazepines like Xanax are a powerful tool as well, especially against the anxiety they’ll be going thru, but they are also very easy to get hooked on. Don’t want to trade one addiction for another.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 13

When I heard about this arc being hard to watch I readied myself for a number of things. I was prepared to see Subaru die gruesomely, to see him tortured and broken. However while I was ready to see him get destroyed by others; I didn’t expect him to be the architect of his own […]

Kiznaiver - 12 1

Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

Kiznaiver - 12 2

Kiznaiver -12

This was certainly pure narrative confusion at it’s zenith and in that regard I don’t mean that the events depicted were hard to understand but rather a general confusion on what mood it wants to go out on. In this episode we had comedic, drama and climatic showdown all hastily weaved together to try and […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 12c

Bungou Stray Dogs – 12 (end)

And we get to the end of Bungou Stray Dogs, but this last episode doesn’t offer any conclusive ending, instead feel more like a set up episode for the next season. This last episode functions like a typically Bungou Stray Dogs’ episode; there are many good things to say about it, mainly the technical triumphs […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

3

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 10

After the Horobi’s laser light show and having Biba-sama completely dominate the narrative with his super cool looking henchmen, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is back on track although it’s on different rails for here on out. Imprisoned by the Hunters and being caught in the middle of the impending final conflict between the Shogun and Biba, […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game – 12

Upon finishing yet another rather uneventful episode of Joker Game, I began to wonder just what this series had planned for its finale. “How best to top off a rather mediocre series such as this?” I thought to myself. However when looking over general consensus over the episode I found out that I seen the […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 12 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 12

This looks to be the weakest episode of Re:Zero to date which does seem to be a trend when it comes to the arcs of the series. When looking over these twelve episodes I have come to find that the weakest episodes of the series are the first episode of an arc which does make […]

Latest Reviews

Kiznaiver - 12 1

Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]

akTwkhF

Stella Glow Game Review-60/100

I really should be getting Grand Kingdom or waiting for Mirage Sessions. My review of Stella Glow is way past relevancy being nearly 8 months late, but I finally completed this and it wouldn’t hurt to briefly wrap up my thoughts about the game created by the now-defunct Imageepoch. I somehow managed to get through Lord of […]

rs33

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Game Review – 87/100

Oh my. This game was just utterly, utterly incredible when it came out, so despite disliking the usual remasters (ahem, Valkyria Chronicles), I was pretty stoked when I learned I’d be able to play this again on better hardware. It came out really late into the PS2’s lifetime in 2007, so at the time, I […]

romance of 3 kingdoms

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 4: Chinese Traditional Animated shows

Welcome to the last part of our Chinese animated guide. This part will cover Chinese traditional art style, for me personally this is the most enjoyable group. The first thing you might notice in these shows are they were in different format ratio, lean more towards the Academy ratio format. I always find their traditional art […]

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]