Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sora no Woto - Episode 1

Despite the recent announcement of an armistice in a war that has swept its nation, you wouldn't really expect to see a young girl jumping at the chance to join the army... even more so when it appears that her one passion in life is to learn to play the trumpet. Nonetheless, that's exactly how Kanata Soremi's life is panning out as she travels towards her life as an army private.

So goes the first episode of Sora no Woto, which sees the easily distracted Kanata arrive close to the Time-Keeping Fortress to which she has been assigned, before being led astray into the midst of a festival being held at the nearby town, succeeding in finding herself drenched and messy as part of their local traditions. Luckily for her she appears to have made a friend already who ensures that she's cleaned up and made presentable once again, only for Kanata to go wandering after the other girl loses a necklace which appears to be rather precious to her. Luckily, despite getting lost and wet yet again, Kanata finds the pendant, returning it to Rio in a fashion which inadvertently causes a little panic only to find that the girl in question is in fact her sergeant and trumpet instructor.

Given its aesthetic, characters (and indeed character traits) and aspects of its setting (i.e. "the music thing"), it's no surprise that the name of K-ON! is on everybody's lips when it comes to this series. To be honest though, it's hard to draw too much of a comparison beyond the obvious from this opening episode. Yes, there are some clear similarities (Kanata could easily be the new Yui for starters), and there seems to be a hint towards the everyday cuteness that Kyoto Animation's mega-hit thrived upon, but at the same time Sora no Woto leaves a distinct feeling that there could be more beneath the surface. For starters, we've only really had any kind of introduction to two of the major characters, the story of the town's legend and some of its associated plot points go way beyond simple slice-of-life anime, and the whole war setting (armistice or otherwise) thrusts an interesting angle upon the show. Will it choose to follow those more intriguing paths rather than going for cuteness and friendship? Who knows, but surely the episodes to come will reveal more about Sora no Woto's true intentions.


kadian1364 said...

I'm totally stoked for this show. With all the shallow comparisons to That Show Which Must Not Be Named, I had my own reservations going in. But from the word "Go!" Sora no Woto sets itself far apart from raising any immediately appropriate references.

JW said...

I'm so glad you're blogging this. When I saw the main character I was reminded instantly of Yui but when the main character falls into the water: Holy Crap. This seems to be in a land far far away from K-ON!

My favorite aspect of this episode is the shots and dialogue of the townsfolk. I had an urge to say "Thank you!" And then through my iced tea at someone. :)

It seems that they've really given much thought to Seize. I'm looking forward to the next epi.

Anonymous said...

The story of the fire maidens with its Gustav Klimt pastiche art was the part that really blew me away. The opening song was gorgeous, and the scences of Seize were great at establishing the place and the people who live there.

But that Fire Maidens story? Wonderful, really made me think this could be a great series.

Sumire001 said...

I've been waiting for this show to come out for a long time. Since they first announced it I got the feeling it would be really good and the first episode in no way let my expectations down. The first episode was planned and paced nicely and the art is absolutely gorgeous. Adorable characters and my favourite seiyuus, and already some subtle development taking place. Looking forward to seeing more. :)