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



Yes! Yes! Yes! It’s going as I hoped: this episode started the finale, which is both at the same time hard-hitting, yet stays true to the main cast. The drama in this episode was powerful, and instead of moving the main cast to the conflict, it moved the conflict to the main cast (makes sense, trying to hit an outpost rather than a well defended city). The war is about to begin, and yet this series did not forget that it’s also a slice of life series, and saved a good number of minutes, just for that purpose.

The only thing about this episode that was questionable… was Noel. I mean, it’s a bit late to suddenly reveal that she used to be a genius young scientist; my suspense of disbelief was about to break when that revelation suddenly came from out of nowhere. I mean, a princess is one thing, but a genius young girl who saves the war with her own inventions is on a whole new level.

Thankfully the rest of this episode was awesome enough to make this insignificant. There was plenty of character-development now that Rio is gone, the animation was as imaginative as always, and I loved how this episode showed that both Helvetians and Romans can be quite nice people when they’re not trying to kill each other.

And the creators actually thought of language boundaries. The Roman people actually spoke German. And it’s not like we heard one word or something, no. This woman uttered entire monologues in German; the creators cut no corners in making her ramblings believable. And I must say, Japanized German sounds surprisingly good. The European languages all sound very different when the Japanese try to speak them. Their Dutch is fairly good, mainly because a lot of our vowels sound similar (for an example of that I direct you to a certain episode of Samurai Champloo). German also survives fairly well, as this episode showed. English is a bit different, as it often gets raped by voice actors who have no idea about their pronunciation. By far the worst I’ve heard, however, is French. Seriously, whenever the Japanese try to say it, it’s not French anymore. Its just become gibberish.

In any case: that finale. Right now it’s very tempting for the creators to Deus ex Machina that enemy army away with that priestess legend from the first episode. With all of the build-up of this series, a lot depends on that final episode: bring those themes together! Get the best conclusion out of those characters! Do something unexpected that lifts this series to a higher level, yet doesn’t derail it!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

21 Responses

  1. Penguin_Factory says:

    Speaking of Japanese VA’s and foreign languages, the bit in Durarara where Celty speaks Irish was amsuing to me because I always wondered what that would sound like, what with the language being extremely hard to pronounce even if you’re used to it.

    I was still able to figure out what she was saying after a few seconds, so I guess they did a better job than I expected.

  2. AuroraFlame says:

    I didn’t think Noel being a brilliant scientist was ‘that’ unbelievable. In her previous centric episode, the glass workers said that their boss was only working so hard because he recognized how brilliant she was.

    Noel herself also asked Kanata about machines were made to kill in that episode as if she regretted something. In episode 7, she also implied that she had more experience with what that Filicia was going through when she ran after her.

    If anything, her making some great advance in science that led to a lot of terrible events was the last piece of the puzzle. At least, that’s how I felt.

  3. Alec says:

    LET THERE BE NO DEUS EX MACHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!… most animes that have that are automatically out of my top list. then again, sora woto has been pretty amazing so far..so i guess it wouldnt hurt

  4. queenie says:

    Holy crap and a half…
    If the Felicia episode didn’t destroy the K-ON jokes, then this episode does.

    It took me a minute to realize that Alisha(?) was speaking German. I had assumed that the Romans would speak Italian, but eh. That’s what I get for assuming things. Anyone else notice the Christianity vs. Shito/Christian refrences? I think that it’ll factor into the whole Fire Maiden legend more than we think. Combine it with the Helvetia legend and we may have the key to the series.

    But man oh man…I can’t wait for the next episode!

    P.S. That captian is a total asshole times 10. And I hope that Alisha (again-?) isn’t dead. :(

  5. Joojoobees says:

    I hope they pull off a satisfying ending. Now that they raised the issue, I suppose that dragon thing has to be explained in some way.

    Noel’s past surprised me. I understand your feelings about the difficulty in suspending disbelief. I thought the manifestations of her remorse were overplayed. Of course I’ve never been called ‘the Silent Reaper’.

  6. chounokoe says:

    Well yeah, I also found the revelation about Noels past a bit too sudden, especially because she had been the personification of a moe-blob throughout the series.
    But her being there wasn’t that unbelievable, I think. Like some people here already pointed out, she invented the Silent Death, which seems to be a product of experimenting with whatever exactly came to the earth and caused apocalypse (there are the aliens again).
    So I think she fled her duties and boarded up in that outpost, similar to everyone else.

    Finally I see, the Nomansland is actually a place where the war has been fought for quite a while…so it actually IS similar to WW1, where also the activity at the front was reduced to almost nothing for a long period of time until everything blew up in their faces.

    I really hope they manage to close that series of nicely and don’t let too many threads dangle.

    Oh yeah…and it was cool to hear such good German. But it was strange to know what she was talking about the whole time while the viewer wasn’t intended to.
    “Zur Flucht braucht man Kraft. Daher esse ich jetzt.” “She must have said it’s delicious!”
    LOL

  7. Ebod says:

    >>Penguin_Factory

    Uh, 95% of Ireland speaks English. What you’re thinking of is the Celtic language which a language that is, unfortunately, slowly dying out.

  8. Alhazred says:

    Noel didn’t really ‘invent’ anything so much as do what she’s been doing since the start of the series: she restored old technology that they don’t fully understand anymore to some semblance of working order, which makes it slightly more plausible. In this case, it was a weapon’s facility, which was used to (re?)create the chemical/biological-weapon called the ‘Silent Reaper.’

  9. m says:

    It’s not unexpected that Noel is unusually-intelligent, though the degree does shout pop-fiction convenience. Throughout the series she is young and working on the reconstruction of lost technology. She would have to be something of a prodigy, even in the comparatively wealthy times we inhabit. In a setting where they don’t seem to devote resources to formal education, I think we would either have to reject her character from the start or accept that she’s gifted. I actually had a harder time accepting the way she freaked out at the end, even with the foreshadowing of her emotional damage early in the series. All of those characters should expect to be executed if the secret is exposed, considering they’re hiding an enemy, but the characters aren’t taking the situation that seriously.

    The first time the Roman soldier spoke in German I laughed really hard. I had not anticipated that in the slightest, and it was a treat. The Helvetians presumably communicate in French, but we get Audience Japanese, so it’s actually a nice bit of extra-mile effort.

    I was surprised to see the Romans invading from the Northwest. Did they go around or have the Helvetians really been defending their vulnerabilities with Kanata this entire time? There were signs of reconstruction in the first episode, but left as it was Seize is practically a sacrifice to the Romans.

  10. KoRoMi says:

    If a twist is clearly foreshadowed, it’s not deus ex machina, is it? So it could be the Invisible Reaper, the winged Angel/Demon of destruction, Takemikazuchi’s music player or grappling hook, Rio’s betrothal, the black box sentries, Amazing Grace, Kanata’s perfect pitch, Kureha’s military/religious conformism (causing her to betray the platoon), her stuffed bear, Klauss’s belated heroism, Filicia’s hallucinations, calvados, the owl, the bell, the ghost, Aisha’s grandmother’s story, the conflicting religious doctrines, the legend of the Fire Maidens, or Seiya’s knack for getting in trouble, and it wouldn’t be a deus ex machina right? It’s amazing really. This show has laid out an unusually large number of potential Chekov’s guns. So I wouldn’t worry about the series blind-siding us with a twist that was completely unforeseen. Unless the creators are expert trolls.

    I’m curious about whatever Aisha said about the Fire Maidens that made Yumina gasp. I’m stumped on that one, but it seems clearly important. I’m also convinced that the ending will somehow involve Takemikazuchi and either a bugle or a trumpet playing Amazing Grace, that can be heard across the azure sky.

    I read that the second bonus episode will be released with the final volume on September 22. If the creators are true trolls, they might end the next episode on a cliffhanger + Ai jou yuu jou! and make us wait until September. Wouldn’t that be something?

  11. McGee says:

    @Ebod:

    Uh… sorry, but there’s actually a language called “Irish Gaelic”. It’s a Gaelic language, still spoken in Ireland.

  12. Ebod says:

    >>McGee

    My mistake. I’ve never heard of anyone just saying “Irish” in reference to Gaelic before.

  13. sheratan says:

    I think you should understand “Roman” as short for “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”

    This make sense since their citizens do speak german…

  14. Kabloom says:

    In previous episode, it was revealed that some of the orphan’s parents were killed by a biological weapon called the “Invisible Reaper”. I guess is Noel recreated some sort of biological WMD like ebola and it was used to kill a lot of people on both side. I wonder how the people at the orphanage is going to react once they finds out it’s Noel.

  15. inkka says:

    Wow… They begin climax now !! very exciting and Great cliffhanger But…ED is ruined it !!

    OK. talk about this ep. Now..I almost understand all of the demon’s story that told in ep1 that will be involve about mecha in the war and relate with roman and helvetia for sure.(Notice form Aisha’s view) It’s great that they didn’t forgot about it.

    Hmm…A back story about Noel is a bit force for me. But it make sense if you remembered the word that Noel told to Kanata around ep3 that “Machine is the thing that used to killing people right ?” Thought for that. It make sense now.

    And Great to see German language in japanese anime too. I’m Asia so I didn’t heard Europe(Except English) language’s speak much. But form my view It’s very good and maybe better than usual english that they always speak.

  16. 4saken says:

    @queenie:
    It took me a minute to realize that Alisha(?) was speaking German. I had assumed that the Romans would speak Italian, but eh.

    In history there’re two Roman Empires.
    The Ancient Roman Empire is Italy, but the Holy Roman Empire in Middle Ages is actually Germany.

  17. tomas92 says:

    Did you realize that the tank’s legs make it look like a spider? Maybe it is the spider thay mention in the legend in the first episode.

  18. Reltair says:

    This was the finale I was waiting and hoping for. Now let’s see how it is all resolved!

  19. Firechick says:

    This episode was quite awesome, and the German-speaking girl named Aisha was a pretty cool treat too (even though I’m not fluent to German, I could understand some little words here and there). I better hope Noel doesn’t die (and it seems she has some sort of involvement with how the war started or something, considering her nervous wreck). I can’t wait to see how the series turns out! I wonder if Kanata is gonna tell someone that she saw the bones (in the first episode) of this supposed angel thing that was said to have brought divine retribution/destruction to the world long ago.

    But one thing that basically appalled me in this episode was…the bare grope scene. I was seriously convinced that this series was going to have none of that. BUT I WAS WRONG!!! I can’t believe I didn’t spoil myself about this episode beforehand! Plus the breast jokes really turned me off (even though they were meant for understanding language barrier purposes). Now I’m starting to debate whether I should drop the series or not…but I’m not sure, because I’m far into the series already. But I have decided that this series will not be in my top 20 anime (I still haven’t gotten it organized below number 13).

  20. Lex says:

    She didnt really save the war, she wiped out three entire cities by restoring an ancient lab to functionality, thus enable some (probably) chemical or biological warfare. Anyway, it was evil stuff that garnered her a fearsome reputation. Why not? What is so unbelivable in that? Its not that unlikely after all. It seems the 1121th division was the place to go if you want to escape the army, so its only logical that whoever want to escape the army would go to the most peaceful place ;)

    Its a dying world so it only makes sense that some evil stuff still linger on, merely waiting for someone to find the right button and press it.

    Not a flawless series though, there are bigger issues than this tiny thing ;)

    sorry for bad english, not native english :)

  21. Shirencel says:

    (hehe, I just feel like adding something here because I’ve stumbled over the German bits just now because of some research~) Actually, the excellent German that the character spoke here is a greeeeat exception! German normally sounds AWFUL when Japanese try to speak it… Seriously. ^^;; The accent becomes so heavy (or rather, the words are pronounced way too wrong in the end) that it’s impossible to understand what they’re actually saying. Trust me … nobody of us German fellows can understand them.
    Nami Miyahara, the voice actress for Aisha, the German speaking girl here, just happens to be awesome. She also speaks excellent English (very awesomely often showcased as Momoko Asuka in Ojamajo Doremi for example). The reason for her great English and German is that the she lived in Austria while being in Junior High. Her German sounds so cute with that little Austrian accent. I mean, you can hear that it’s not her mother-language, but it’s so pretty damn good compared to other Japanese trying to speak German XD I understood everything she said perfectly…!

    Just a little praise for my beloved Nami Miyahara!

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