If you read other peoples’ comments about this anime, you will find them relating it to another anime ‘K-ON!’. The only thing that they have in common is the story involves five girls and has a musical theme. However that is where the similarities end, here half the girls are involved in music; with one of them learning, whilst ‘K-ON!’ has all five.
Set in a Post-Apocalyptic world in the future, our main protagonist is a young girl named Kanata, who joins the army of Helvetia, at war with the Roman Empire (which somehow they speak German) to pursue her dream of learning to play an instrument after being inspired by listening to a traditional old English tune “Amazing Grace”. The use of this tune gives a haunting emotion and sets the mood for the anime. She is sent to the town of Seize (inspired by Cuenca, Spain) to join the 1121st Platoon; a squad that has a relaxed way of running, as ranks are overlooked. There she is taught to learn the trumpet by Master Sergeant Rio Kazumiya, who has a no-nonsense attitude and is stricter in her discipline and issuing of orders as compared to her commanding officer Second Lieutenant Filicia Heideman, who has more of a kind nature.
A great and fantastic story that would have you go through all the emotions whilst keeping you entertained. It is a shame that it wasn’t longer as the series is made up of only 12 episodes (2 OVAs are due out throughout this year on the DVDs). The first half of the episodes is generally individual stories, following the everyday living of the squad and providing a number of funny moments. The second half is where it gets interesting, the mood slowly changes for the opposite as the episodes then become connected and delve into each of the girls’ past which would lead to sacrifices and a decision that would decide the fate of the entire World.
Plot: "Kanata Sorami, a young Private in the army, arrives in Seize to serve in the Clocktower Fortress and learn the trumpet under the tutelage of Master Sergeant Rio Kazumiya. Though peace hangs uneasily over the world, Kanata finds a relaxing routine of laundry, shopping, and trumpet practice greets her at her new post instead of brutal drilling and discipline. With help from the other members of the all-female 1121st Platoon, Kanata finds her place in the bustling city, bringing joy and humor to the war-weary residents while learning a great deal about the world." (site synopsis)
Story: Well, well been a while since i last wrote a review here, some people may wonder where i was but this doesn't really mather anymore, i came here today to make this reviews so i can pay my respect and show gratitude towards this anime series titled as Sora no Woto. To be honest when i picked it back in January i really did not have high hopes for it, i thought that it would be something similar to K-On! which i kinda liked as well but this anime proved me that i was wrong, infact out of all the animes that aired during the Winter 2010 this one was one of the most controversial one mainly because many people thought that it would be like K-On! but with a setting similar to Valkyria Chronicles, so it's first nickname was Valkyria K-Onicles. Another reason why i picked this is that i wanted to prove to those people that talked bad about this show that they are wrong, i mean you can't judge the book from it's cover, who knows what hidden gems u can find inside. I have to say that Sora no Woto won the award of the most surprizing anime in Winter of 2010 and also the anime with the most beautiful ending in my opinion. Nevertheless, the story of this show is centered on a young Private girl named Sorami Kanata who enroled in army for various reasons. She arrives in Seize and she must serve the Clocktower Fortress for the sake of learning how to play the trumpet, teached by her senpai, Rio Kazumiya. All the people that serve the Clocktower Fortress were only girls (one of the reasons why this anime is so similar with K-On!), a total of 5 girls, 2 of them i mentioned above the others are the Captain, Filicia Heidemann, Kannagi Noel which happens to be the mechanic of the squad and Suminoya Kureha. There is not much to tell about the story here, this show concentrates more on character development more than story development but it doesn't leave it unclear as well. Even so Kanata enjoys the life doing normal stuff and not something related to military activity however peace hangs uneasily over the world and the war is again knocking at the door and for sure things wont remain the same until the end.
Animation and Sound: Superb animation, i pretty much liked how the background was designed and the setting as well, it was really good and surprizing, the character designs are not that uncommon unlike the background design the character design does not exceed in almost anything however they are not bad as well just that they are kinda forgetable. The thing that made this anime brilinat in my opinion is the sound, the opening song, the ending song, the background sounds and also the trumpet plays were absolutely fabulous, i never seen sthing like this in an anime (probably only in Nodame Cantabile but slightly different since there were orchestras and opera aspects there). In terms of sound giving it a mark lower than 10 that is a complete unfareness.
Characters: The same like in K-On! the characters are very funny, hilarious, they really do not put much effort so they can make you laugh yet they still succed. The personality of the characters from Sora no Woto are extremely similar with the ones from K-On! even though this two animes were produced by different studios. Another thing that i liked about this show is that the characters are not just simply ways of entertainment (like they were in K-On!) they also have a past covered in sorrowful, dramatic experience which makes the story abit more spicy, abit more interesting.
Overall: As an overall, Sora no Woto is definitely an anime that really worths watching. Its funny, its entertaining, its interesting at some points, its enjoyable and intriguing near the ending. Episode by episode this anime amazed me more and more and the ending of it was like the cherry on the cake, really briliant, couldn't be better. I recommend this show to everyone.
And a few videos:
Here is the OP of this show (I prefered the Official Video rather than AMV):
I have two main issues with slice-of-life shows: Most have extremely boring/over-used settings (some sort of school or a house/neighborhood, but always in upper middle-class, modern-day Japan), and have a cast almost exclusively made up of cute teenaged girls. Because of this, I find most slice-of-lifes stagnant and/or derivative.
So-Ra-No-Wo-To fixes the first issue. The setting was by far my favorite aspect of the series. It was imaginative, richly-detailed, well thought-out, and most importantly wasn't set in the present or in Japan. The in-show culture was just a giant hodge-podge of existing cultures, but it's interesting, and makes sense if you think about how the world could have gotten the way it did. Additionally, I can't think of another anime that applies slice-of-life to a military setting, I was very impressed by how well this turned out.
Unfortunately, this makes So-Ra-No-Wo-To's failure to remedy the second issue that much more disappointing. This is a military setting. That's pretty gender-neutral. If anything, it would allow for more male characters than female (every other squadron shown was certainly much more male-heavy). So why, WHY are all the main characters cute girls between the ages of 14 and 18?! It's completely unnecessary, and, I would argue, hurts the overall quality of the series (at the very least, in terms of believability- Noël's backstory could have been salvaged for me if she hadn't been a small child in her flashbacks, that totally killed all realism). I mean, the characters themselves were great (for the most part). At the start, it seemed like it was just going to be a cast of clichéd stock characters, but the ensuing character development was very well done and rounded everyone out nicely (Kanata didn't turn out to be a clumsy idiot, Noël shows great displays of emotion, Filicia ended up being really edgy, etc.). Granted, sometimes these characterizations are taken too far (mainly with Noël and Felicia in the last couple of episodes), and Rio angsted a bit much, but overall I found them refreshing from most teenaged girl slice-of-life protagonists. So why must they be teenaged girls? I can only assume it's to pander to the rampant moe fans in the audience, as there are quite a few instances of completely unnecessary moe-ness (why the dickens does Noël's pyjamas include zettai ryouiki? And I assume this was the reason for episode 8. Perhaps some people find such things cute, I, for one, found it rather unsettling).
In the second half of the series the drama kicks in, which was sort of a mixed bag. The majority of it was pulled off well, except for the slapped-on deus-ex-machina finale that reeked of unrealistic cheese (blech). Your best bet for enjoying the final episode is to take everything at face value. Because if you actually think about some of the things that happen, it's immediately evident that they're silly and/or downright impossible.
Comedy is usually the saving grace of slice-of-life anime, but So-Ra-No-Wo-To was sorely lacking in this department, even before the hard-hitting dramatic parts come up. Not really a major deal-breaker, because it had other things to offer, but if you're expecting humor, you may want to reconsider, because I can only recall a few short instances where I found anything to be funny in this show.
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.
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.