So-Ra-No-Wo-To

Alt title: Sound of the Sky

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Brizent's avatar By on Aug 9, 2015

Story

This is largely where it sets itself apart from other slice-of-like shows, yes there are your easy going episodes that don't have much of a plot, but most of the episodes do more character or worldbuiling in a single episode than many SoL show do during its entire run, And the worst episode (the phone one by a country mile) does neither of the two.  It does of actual plot at the end of the series which alone makes it stand out.

Animation/Art

The show has gorgeous background art and the animation itself is good.  The one problem this show does run into as anyone that reviews it must address is the K-on like character art.  I personally think it fits but takes some getting used and don't think it ruins the overall feel of the show.  

Sound

The Soundtrack is absolutely brilliant, that coupled with the setting really helps to draw the viewer into the World.  It fits the world to a T and might be the best part of the series. It develops the setting simply by setting the mood and atmosphere.

As for the voice acting, it's hard to judge not knowing Japanese, but there was certainly no horrible or out of place performances and to be honest that is all I ask for when watched subbed. 

Characters

The Main difference between this show and plenty of SoL shows is that characters are given backstories and have depth to them many normally don't have in this genre or at least the darker type of characterization some of them have.  Yes the MC is very much like the MC on the surface, the look the same and they sort of act the same, but Kanata has purpose right from the start is hardworking and not really like Yui at all, it is simply unfortunate that the staff made the decision to draw the characters the way the did and make the MC look the same.

Noel's and Felicia backstory are definitely the farthest from the norm in this show and they are at least somewhat dark and probably the most interesting aspect of the series.

Overall

This is and atmospheric and melancholy series that definitely deviates from the norm of genre both in characterization of characters and setting. Also did I mention the Soundtrack is stellar?  Overall score 9.5 its definitely one of my favorites.

9/10 story
9.5/10 animation
10/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
uncaringbear's avatar By on Jun 21, 2015

Sora no Wato is a series which attempts to merge two distinct story telling styles into one coherent story, but does it work? With the setting of a post-apocalyptic Earth that is still enduring a multitude of wars between the remaining nations, the focus is on a young teen girl, Sorami Kanata, who has enlisted in the army to pursue her goal of learning to play the bugle. It's through Kanata's eyes and her experiences as a new army recruit that we learn the stories of the women in the 1121st platoon and the greater story of a world that seems to be drawing to a close in its twilight.

It's when we meet Kanata and her new battalion sisters that we quickly realize that these characters evoke a sense of deja vu. We've seen each of these girls before: Kanata, the young, naive, clumsy and endlessly optimistic heroine, Rio the tough beautiful big sister, Felicia the caring and somewhat lax captain. Rounding out the battalion are Kureha, physically the smallest girl of the group who strives eagerly to fulfill her role as a soldier, and Noël, the emotionally-reserved and technical genius of the group.

If it feels as if you've seen these characters before, it's because you have, and you've probably seen them in many previous shows. From their visual design to their personality traits, there's little to separate them from the common character archetypes that seem to be so prevalent in modern series. It feels a bit jarring throughout the series to see characters that wouldn't be out of place in a high school classroom interact in war torn world set in the distant future. The fact that they're soldiers modelled after late 19th and 20th century military makes it feel even more out-of-place.

The core story does make up, to a large extent, the hurdle of buying into these seemingly misplaced characters. Through 12 episodes, the efforts at world building largely succeed. The setting of this new Earth feels believable with some really great touches of detail in the design of the environments and supporting characters. As the story advances, we're given small glimpses of  the catastrophic events which shaped the world, and it definitely motivates you to want to learn more.

Visually, the quality of the show is top notch, along with its animation. The background art is a standout with its sweeping vistas of the countryside and battlefields. The architectural designs of the buildings and the main town are particularly well done, capturing a period feel that is convincing in its details. Although we don't get to see as much of it as we'd want, the design of the military hardware was obviously done with a lot of thought and consideration.

Touching on that last point, the military aspect of the story is something I would've loved to have seen more in this series, but it disappointingly takes a back seat. As the episodes build up and teases towards the climax, when it finally plays out, it concludes all too soon. The focus is clearly on the girls and how these characters, who seem to have been transplanted from another dimension, manage to survive and find their way in a world that is crumbling around them.

It mostly works because we want to buy into these characters who are undeniably appealing and easy to connect with. We do learn more about their stories, although there's nothing particularly surprising or unexpected as their curtains are drawn back bit by bit. In that sense, Sora no Wato does feel very much like two different shows that have been forcibly merged together. I would've liked the characters to have been designed with less of a focus on accessibility. There were too many times where they felt alien against a backdrop that was full of potential.

Despite the sometimes immersion-breaking aspects of the characters, Sora no Wato is still a very entertaining series. Although the viewer's hand is held often throughout the story, the characters are still quite appealing and with the effort and care put into the world building, the show succeeds as a whole.

8.5/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
7/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
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TaoSeven's avatar By on Oct 12, 2014

This anime is truly great in my oppinion, it's both very fun and full of life lessons. You will fall in love with all the characters, and see them progress too and feel so proud :D The art is amazing too, everything looks beautiful and fits together nicely.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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Destifate's avatar By on Mar 14, 2012

Beautiful.

I'm just going to pretty much start and end with that word, it really does make up 100% of what this anime is.

This anime really did pull every single emotion out of me, I found myself laughing one minute then crying the next!

What I really do like the most is how this anime builds up over the 13 episodes, The relationships between the characters is planted in episode 1 then is taken care of so amazingly that you feel like you are growing up with them yourself.

I really can't see why anyone would dislike this anime, if your looking for a Natsume Yuujinchou/K-ON then this is it!

I will be re-watching this MANY times over.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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pleth0ra's avatar By on Dec 2, 2011

just got done watching this series and I only have 2 words to describe it, "simply beautiful."

The story itself is really good. All the characters get really well developed throughout the show and by the end you just love them all ha! The mood changes in Sora no woto are perfect, starting off light and funny, then moving toward the more serious as the series nears the end. Although the only thing that I didnt like is that some elements of the didnt get fully explained. There is a 13th episode but its more like an ova and doesnt really deal with the main story of the series. 

The animation in Sora no Woto is absolutely stunning, by far the best I have seen. The background, lighting, and character designs are simply breath taking. Its just pure enjoyment for the eyes! It definitely has a more realistic drawing style to it. So the characters dont make crazy faces or doing anything like that. Which really helps to set the mood of the story.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
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