Posted by psgels on 22 March 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



No. No, they didn’t. This didn’t just happen. It can’t be. This show was heading in such a good direction. It was so on its way to be amongst my favourite series of the Winter season. And then it pulls this. I was fearing for this show to end with a cliched route, and it actually pulls off something worse than I ever could have expected.

This is just… unbelievable. The ending went well enough, I guess. It was a bit melodramatic, but okay. Then the action starts, and the spider somehow is totally fixed again. Despite that, it’s not something that was too bad, and I had seen far worse endings at that point. However, then Kanata started playing the trumpet. And every single soldier stopped and listened. What a headdesk moment!

To think that out of all series, this show would end up pulling a “let my song stop all fighting”-ending. What a disappointment. The creators tried to save it by having Rio show up from absolutely nowhere just seconds after that, but the damage already was done for me. It’s one of the first endings I’ve seen this season, but I have no doubt that it’s going to end up as the single worst one. Yes, even Ookami Kakushi’s finale felt more satisfying than this thing.

I’m really thinking of how I’m going to end up judging this series. Before this episode, I had no doubt that my top 3 of the Winter Season would consist out of Durarara, Heartcatch Precure and Sora no Oto. After this episode, I might actually consider to put Gag Manga Biyori + in its place. This wasn’t just a bad episode, but for me it actually destroyed all of the credibility and realism that it built up in the previous things. War should have been a horrible inevitable thing. And here the characters come and solve it like it’s nothing, exactly at the most convenient time for the writers. Blegh.
Rating: —- (Abysmal)

35 Responses

  1. DmonHiro says:

    Hey idiot, this kind of stuff DOES happen.

    May I point you at a very REAL event in WW2, when soldiers ACTUALLY stopped fighting during Christmas and celebrated TOGETHER? Crazy stuff like this can happen, at most likely DID as some point.

  2. DmonHiro says:

    My bad, WW1.

    http://www.quaker.org/chestnuthill/xmastrench.htm

    http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm

    So don’t go all high and mighty that this was SOOO unrealistic it ruined the series forver.

  3. Sis says:

    I soo saw this coming when I saw the episode xD

  4. NguyenSon says:

    But the soldiers didn’t stop fighting in the middle of a battle. And it was a truce, they resumed fighting after it. I suppose the difference was that in the first world war, people actually communicated beforehand. That’s how they managed to feel empathy for the ennemy, something music can’t do by itself. The problem for this ending of Sora no woto was that there was not really a realistic build up that would lead to it.

  5. DmonHiro says:

    Yes, yes they did. Right IN THE MIDDLE of battle. And it wasn’t a real truce, because the acting commanders who were fighting decided on this themselves. So yes, it’s possible to stop fighting.

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Um… aren’t those circumsttances entirely different? Call me an idiot, but those soldiers stopped fighting on Christmas, a holiday that was celebrated everywhere, so they had something that could be celebrated together. On top of that, these soldiers had been fighting for five months in trenches already. The troops here in Sora no Oto were just about to attack each other when Kanata started playing her trumpet, finally encountering some action after months of travel. Sure, it may have happened in WWI, but I doubt that a teenaged girl with a trumpet was the sole cause for it.

  7. NguyenSon says:

    Maybe you have some docs to the contrary, but from what I’ve seen, in the first world war, they communicated BEFORE making the truce. And the biggest problem was still the lack of building up, if they had shown the soldier’s state of mind before the batlle with more episodes, more background (for example, showing their lassitude for the war,etc…), how they interacted with their ennemies before this, it could have been very well done. But here, it just feels lazy. You don’t make peace in the first days of war, you need to get to know your ennemies personally for this kind of thing to develope, to feel empathy.

  8. PhantomX says:

    It didn’t happen in the middle of battle, it was agreed upon beforehand… no one is going to stand in the line of fire to try to yell at people shooting at them to take a break for Christmas, rofl… that’s just a romanticized version of something that is poorly recorded in the history books.

    There was prior communication, and the war didn’t end, they went on to kill millions more people. Keep in mind this was also just a small area/section… the war was still being fought everywhere else. Perhaps you should learn to read more than the first two lines of articles? Caps lock doesn’t make you correct either.

    On to the episode… I can’t say I’m surprised at the cheese ending. With only one episode left there were only two outcomes: either Rio married the Roman prince in her sisters stead and argued for an armistice/peace, or this, and neither ending would’ve been satisfying.

  9. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    No, not in the middle of fighting. How do you imagine that working, exactly? There was no fighting that Christmas.

    But that’s not the point. As NguyenSon said, there needs to be build-up for something like this. In art (of any kind) if it doesn’t FEEL real, then it isn’t, and vice versa of course.

  10. MsteaK says:

    How is someone an idiot for stating the obvious? Christmas is interwoven in western culture as a significant day of sympathy and happyness, and you want to compare it to a mere girl playing on her musical instrument in order to stop a embryonic war? Aside from the circumstances being completely different, a story needs a thing calling build-up for this to become warrantable.

    Don’t get your panties in bunch because someone critizes your favorite show, jeez.

  11. KoRoMi says:

    I for one enjoyed this train wreck ending.

    The first half was paced too fast. Major plot-points were covered in a couple of lines each. And Filicia, I know you’re casual about rules and regulations, but pulling a gun on a superior officer? I guess she figured that Rio was her teflon cover against getting jailed, shot, or just plain chewed out, but still…

    As for the battle & Kanata’s Amazing Grace saving the day… Well, it is the Minmay Defence, which was always played half for laughs in Macross anyway. When things stop making sense, sometimes, it’s just preferable to wave away the lack of logic and just enjoy the show, sort of like what Shakespeare did with the aftermath to the Battle of Agincourt, where the French casualties were reported to be ten thousand dead, versus a mere 29 English dead.

    Yeah, it was an enjoyable train wreck for me. I was excited to see that Takemikazuchi can fly! Apparently, it features gravity-reduction technology and a force field cushion for landings.

  12. Crayshen says:

    On the bright side there are at least 2 DVD exclusive episodes, so unless they’re totally wasted it does give them time to fix/explain things better.

  13. Michael says:

    I honestly didn’t think it was that bad. Yes it’s cliched, but it’s a well-done cliche. The WW1 parallels were so emphasized that it really did work, and it is clear that they got their inspiration from the WW1 Christmas story (the difference of course being that this takes place AFTER a terrible destructive war). I think some people are bummed because they didn’t want such a happy ending; they wanted some death and self-sacrifice. Eh. The one thing I will agree with everyone on is that the last episode was way too rushed. It needed two episodes. That would have given it a proper buildup and preparation for a more proper happy ending.

  14. m says:

    They crammed almost every bit of cheese they could into this episode save for preventing Rio from becoming a concubine, but to be safe they salvaged some of that cheese by making the Roman Emperor such a swell guy that he let her play with her friends. I thought it was pretty funny, but I think the show is pretty mediocre anyway.
    Ookami-kakushi was another middling show, but it was consistently mediocre and never had any of the potential that Sora no Oto left out on the vine so the wallbanger ending just kind of fit right in.

    There are a lot of funny moments in this episode:
    Leaving the James Bond alone in the basement.
    James Bond escaping when his hands were tied to a chair using a blade in his boot, and then escaping from the cellar of the fortress without being observed.
    The “Demon of Vingt” being stared down by a bunch of unarmed civilians. (Oh, I bet the Roman infantry was shaking with terror.)
    The impetus for the colonel’s desire to provoke a war.
    Kanata’s absolute pitch being used to foreshadow superhuman hearing. (No! Wrong! No cookie!)
    Aisha being patched up by people without any medical training.
    The advanced tank having to blow up the machine shop to get out. (Don’t you hate when you build your boat in a bottle?)
    The anti-climactic march of the advanced tank, which was barely capable of handling a few imitators.
    Noel was a basket-case over enabling mass murder, but in her spare time she made the advanced tank combat-ready.
    Replacing the myth for one held by people that don’t even live in the town. (Oh, but Aisha’s mother was from the town! Yeah that explains why everyone else from the town is confused…)
    The prevention of a conflict using music. (An oldy, for sure.)
    Kanata endangering herself to play music, when the tank can broadcast the song.
    Princess Irulan catching up to everyone even though they had previously been so far away they couldn’t signal anyone except Kanata.
    Helvetica was annexed through marriage. Yay! Happy ending! I can’t wait to see what the Fremen do to the heretics in Helvetica. I’m sure there will be cake.

    They were pretty-much boxed into a corner with the show’s run length and the time they wasted on the slice-of-life stuff. Every time you think back to this episode, remember that they they spent a whole episode on some slap-stick phone-watching gags that ending in Kanata urinating on herself. That pretty much sums up the show.

  15. panaghoy88 says:

    It wasn’t that bad, at least for me. I’ve noticed that every character knew Amazing Grace and impacted their lives. I guess that’s what they were going for. This very music is the common ground of every person in this show.

  16. queenie says:

    Good Lord people.
    I know we all wanted a kind of unhappy ending, but COME ON.

    I thought it was a good ending. And for everyone who says that all of the troops were ready to fight, did we totally skip the parts where soldiers were like “This blows. Why do we even have to fight?”? It showed that all the people involved were sick of this shit and wanted an end, which is what happened when Rio gave herself up to go and end the war.

    And “Amazing Grace”? Hell, I almost cried. I thought it was a great way to say “STOP”. I agree with panaghoy88: songs are universal. Its a great way to tie that plot line up. Like when the difference in military signals came up, it was a great idea by Kanata to do that.

    I personally liked how they ended this and how they went with the whole show (the pee episode I’m still out on though).

    P.S. The girls tank was fixed by Noel a few episodes ago. Maybe the fact that they didn’t try it out first seems odd, but the tank was fixed.

  17. Hogart says:

    This was godawful. Anyone who tries to defend this by mis-citing WW1 circumstances probably thought Railgun’s crap ending was amazing and is likely to be a preteen or just a moron.

    I didn’t have high hopes coming into this, but there were enough moments to hold me to the end.. and then they randomly screwed the pooch instead of building up to a second season. Oh well, serves me right for having any faith in KyoAni.

  18. m says:

    I don’t think I adequately communicated why I thought Noel making the tank combat-ready was funny. The only thing it had to do with when she armed the tank is that it was after she had helped murder a lot of people by enabling the use of advanced technology against her country’s enemy. This had broken her psychologically. That she would fix the tank is understandable, but that she would actually repeat the exact same mistake again by rendering it capable of fighting was pretty funny.

    Just think what would have happened if jerk-face had, instead of being an idiot, taken a group of his soldiers back down whatever secret tunnel he escaped from (probably used for smuggling), retaken the fort from girls that now had no leverage, and discovered the tank.

  19. Miken says:

    I suppose I like the ending. I, for one, cannot actually see Sora no Woto ending in any other way than how it did. It was bound to get a happy trumpet-based ending, and that it did.

    I too have to point out that the soldiers themselves already expressed an unwillingness to fight, which is probably what allowed them to be so distracted by Kanata’s music. While it does seem contrived, it really worked (at least for me). With that distraction, Rio was able to arrive in time to put an end to the war. It also helps a ton that Amazing Grace had a personal impact on me years ago, so the use of the song usually tugs my heartstrings immediately.

  20. Kah says:

    Personally, I would have been disappointed if the war had been stopped by any means outside of playing a trumpet. :)

    @m: Hilarious points lol, one of them tjough, i think the town chose to remember the maidens in a different light in order to hide their “Crime”.

  21. riddle says:

    the ending was GREAT, i dont care what you say. the ending was great and stuff like this happen, expample in world war 1 war stopped for a day during christmas!

  22. PhantomX says:

    I have no issues with it being a happy ending. In fact, I was expecting it due to Rio’s departure and identification as a princes… it’s what ended the war anyway. The fact that they threw in the supersonic hearing and the trumpet stopping all the fighting mid-charge is what made it lame.

  23. AuroraFlame says:

    I’m not really sure it matters if it happens in real life. People have survived being shot in the head in real life, that doesn’t keep it from being a deus ex machina if they survive it in fiction. Going past the outliers of possibility is bound to leave things a bit unbelievable.

    Despite me saying that, I really liked this series and its ending. I actually thought this show was going to have a tragic ending with a lot of deaths but looking back at the entire series, it was always going to end like this.

    Anyway, I think tragic endings are becoming the new happy endings; they are become overdone and wrought with melodrama. Sora no Woto’s ending didn’t really feel like an ‘idealism trumps reality’ moment. Neither side really wanted to fight, and they were just looking for an excuse to get out of it.

  24. mambo says:

    Really?
    Do some stupid people here really think music alone (and played by mere little girls) can stop the war?
    If that can happen why Iraq can’t just do a musical concert to stop America?
    I agree with you, psgels, this ending just……. (can’t find word to describe how bad it is)

  25. c160 says:

    wow..what a horrible,cliched ending to a very wonderful series..Before watching this I thought psgels was just overreacting but yeah,this ending does deserve the abysmal rating..Yes,the soldiers was unwilling to fight,but seriously?EVERYONE stopped?what the..but I do have to point out that Noel finished fixing the tank a few episodes ago so it wasn’t really all that magical insta-fix thing happening.

  26. psgels psgels says:

    The issue is indeed not whether I wanted to see a bad ending, but rather one that stayed true to this series, and to solve things this easily in a show that has been grounded on realism, along with all of the other questionable events in this episode as outlined by m, I really felt betrayed by this series in the end.

  27. kira says:

    anime isnt supposed to be realistic! why are you even comparing this to the war thats going on in iraq that’s just stupid, this is anime for god sake, enjoy it.

  28. Steelman says:

    Realism? Pardon me but I somehow do not get your point. This is a show about After the End, with teenage soldiers assigned (all alone) to a somehow strategic position, and a teenage prodigy scientist to boot. I would not call this “realistic”.

    Now, if what you are claiming is that so far the show was pretty cynical and it concluded with a totally idealistic ending, I still have to object. The show had positioned itself fairly in the middle of the sliding scale of idealism vs cynicism. Sure we got enough flashbacks and discussions about the cruelty of war, but the protagonist had kept her unwavering idealistic mindset throughout the show.

    Honestly, I did not find the ending to be a cop out. They had built towards this type of resolution since several episodes ago, and they executed it fairly well.

    This said, I think that Rio going back to the girls was a little too much cheese, but overall it is a minor complain. My main complain is that they built a wonderful setting, but still haven’t told us what exactly happened with the demon/angel, which kinda feels like a waste. Oh well, we have two more DVD episodes to figure it out.

  29. Goron says:

    I can understand being disappointed with the execution of the finale (or gleeful, if you love the cheese) but I can’t understand shock or even surprise at the main plot elements. The whole series up to that point had been pointing a huge “look here” finger at certain things we could expect to see before the end: 1) the tank would be made operational and would play a role in the climax; 2) The Trumpet of Destiny would play a role in the climax; 3) Amazing Grace would play a role in the climax; 4) the latter-day Maidens of the Fire would find a way to prevent a new war. I could see being disappointed in pacing of the series, and with the countless pieces of lazy writing or characterization, but surprise at the resolution? Any finale that did not include at least the 4 elements mentioned above would have been the real surprise.

  30. mambo says:

    anime isnt supposed to be realistic! why are you even comparing this to the war thats going on in iraq that’s just stupid, this is anime for god sake, enjoy it

    Because someone already compared it to WW1?

  31. AidanAK47 says:

    That army guy managed to pull a Houdini there.
    What’s more amazing that the fact that he had a hidden James bond shoe knife was that he managed to cut the rope binding his hands behind the chair, with a knife that was attached to the front of his shoe. How in the hell did he manage that?! Somebody’s being practicing Yoga…..

    Anyway, yes it was quite cheesy. For a cynical man such as myself I just can’t accept that two armies stopped trying to kill each other simply because a girl blew a trumpet. It a tall order to accept that.

    We were all hoping for that tragic ending but instead were hit with super happy smile family wish ending.
    However if I was to change the ending myself I would say that it would be better if when they got into the tank that they were shot down and collapse in the woods. There each one of them is deeply injured except for the roman girl. The deeply urge her to run away and they all lie in the snow. One of the girls asks Kanata to play her trumpet one last time. Kanata brings it to her mouth but finds that she can’t play it well because of her injuries. They all weakly laugh and are reminded of when Kanata could play well. Then they fall unconscious. They wake up in a infirmary. The war when on while they were out but after a message about a truce was brought to a quick end. Maybe something like that.

  32. Bruce says:

    Eh, it wasn’t that bad. In the end all they managed to do was stall the battle for a couple of minutes while Rio was getting into the field. I doubt that would have actually stopped whatever was going to happen.

    I’m more disappointed that they didn’t explain much of the old technology/war/skeleton.

  33. Firechick says:

    Don’t hate me for this, but I thought the ending for this is rather decent. I never expected Rio to come back though. The only thing I REALLY REALLY LOVED about this episode was that THEY BROUGHT THAT AWESOME FRENCH SONG BACK!!!

  34. inkka says:

    Hmm For me It’s a good ending. Don’t great and emotional as Kobato. But much better than I prediction when I have seen you comment.

    At least They didn’t used the song to stop war directly like some of macross series.But they used it to buy time for Rio(That now is fiancee of the Rome’s prince OK It’s the condition).to come in the battlefield to stop the war. It’s the thing that already build-up for.

    And what the problem to see people stop to hear that song. You know.It’s the song that Iliya used to play. And even Rome people know about that song(Look like when the time that these two country have wars. Iliya will concern and play this at battlefield. It’s the reason that even Kanata know that song). And Iliya isn’t the normal people. She is the princess of helvetia !!.
    And she is very kind people.(look at the way that she died.)So It didn’t strange to see people still admire her and her song too.

    And if you see the soldier and people’s reaction. They suffer enough form war.(At least the main girls have some of sad experience too. So this reason can worked). They fight because the higher say them to fight. but It didn’t the thing that they truly want to do. Thay want peace !!

    I’m happy to see the peace too. Once that war anime didn’t have true war.The Era that always have war every day has passed.(This anime want to tell us about that for sure). It’s time for peaceful now.

  35. psgels psgels says:

    Firechick: I’ve been noticing that whenever you disagree with me, you put up disclaimers as “don’t hate me”, et cetera. I just wanted to say that there’s no need for me to hate you, as I don’t mind it at all when people have their own opinion. ;)

    Really, that ‘abysmal’ rating is very much my own reaction after watching that episode. I can very much imagine that other people would have completely different ones.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 12:44 AM)
    @Ebod: while it would definitely be ideal if a Japanese actress like Yukie Nakama or Keiko Kitagawa played the role of major Kusanagi, Hollywood practices make it very improbable. So the options left are either Asian actresses that are known in Hollywood such as Rinko Kikuchi, or American actresses of Asain decent like Natalie Mendoza or Grace Huang.
  • Ebod
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 08:22 PM)
    V for Vendetta for me has always been a more “literary” work than Watchmen, but Watchmen is spectacular because it’s a story that can only be told in full scope in the comic format. While I feel like many major themes and events from V for Vendetta could easily be adapted into, say, novel format, the same could not be said of Watchmen. Also, the racist whitewashing Hollywood does of Asian characters really has to stop.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…

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