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.
The Sound that Fills the Air - The City of Dawn
First Battle - A Chair Story
A Day with the Squad - Rio Runs
Rainy Season Sky - Quartz Rainbow
Mountain Hiking - The Ends of the World
Kanata's Day Off - Hair Braiding
Chirping Crickets - Spirits Down the River
Phone Duty — We Have an Emergency
A Typhoon Passes — Illusion and Reality
A Departure - The First Snow
A Visitor - A Burning Field of Snow
Fill the Blue Sky
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.
I don't think I've ever gotten hooked on a show so fast in my life, I find it quite unbelievable an anime of this caliber has gone so widely unoticed, I might be wrong but I don't see many people talking about it in the community. Nevertheless I'm glad I stumbled upon it.I was instantly sold on the concept while watching the first episode. The world they have created is completely unique and you would be hard pressed to find something similar.Everything for the setting to the lore of the land is very intriguing, at first you thing it's about soliders, but then they add this very cool fanatsy element with Demons and fire maidens, which is very interesting as the overall structure of the show seems to be slice of life and not action heavy.If I were to try compare it Iwould say: It's as if Girls Und Panzer were merged with Hibike Euphonum and Cross Ange with the characters from Idolmaster.What I found even more impressive is how they handled this information. There was no exposition dumping and instead we are given hints as to what this world is so we can piece it together slowly ourselves, which is how good world building should be done. One of the main reasons I fell in love with this show instantaneously is not just the world they've made, but the characters that inhabi it. Each one is established with care and end up being extremly likeable and diverse.What enhaces this is the expressive animation they are drawn with that has very detailed gestures that make the characters seem more human.The background art is very pretty too, but is also good at making things spooky when called upon.If that wasn't enough the music in this show is truly beautiful and has one of the best openings.All in all I would definitelty recommend this to anyone. It has a bit of everything to diversify itself from all the other Cliche' fantasy anime.
It was a pretty good short anime considering how the story was all based on peoples dreams and past and how war is never a good thing. but the story did a good job of adding enough humour to not let the episodes get dark and dull. every character was introduced and potrayed brilliantly. Difinitely should watch if you are looking for a short but good anime.
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