Monday, 11 January 2010

Sora no Woto - Episode 2

After spending most of its opening episode following Kanata, Sora no Woto's second episode naturally takes at least a little time to introduce us to the names and characters of the rest of the squad to which she's been assigned.

So, we have the kindly captain Felicia, sergeant Rio (who we also got a pretty good glimpse of last episode), monosyllabic engineer Noel, and perpetually angry private Kureha. It's Kureha who enjoys a lot of the focus this episode as she's tasked first with giving Kanata a tour of their base, before being sent off on an all-important mission with her later in the instalment.

Kureha's tour also serves to give us something of an idea of just how important the 1121 Platoon is in the grand scheme of this world's military organisation... not very, to be quite honest. Thus, this remote outpost is left without a working tank (they don't even have a manual for it) and a hotline to the capital that never rings, a state of affairs which outwardly annoys Kureha despite her clear inward love for her comrades and surroundings.

Any frivolities are put on the back burner however when Noel claims to have seen a ghost in a disused building on the site, a sighting which Kanata verifies from something she saw herself - This leaves the two privates in charge of investigating these strange goings-on, which serves to further affirm both Kureha's true nature and the rather ramshackle military machine that is the 1121 Platoon.

In a way, this second episode of Sora no Woto serves up a very similar dish to the first in terms of its overall feel - On the surface, it's all fun and frolics, but there are once again definite nods to something a little deeper and more serious going on beneath the surface, most likely with regard to the assignment of Kanata to the platoon. That doesn't stop this instalment from serving up the odd great little visual or verbal gag (the long, and indeed longing stare at the hotline that never rings was a particular highlight), while also proving its hand as the cute and occasionally fluffy show it also claims to be. I have to admit I'm not too convinced by the tired old character tropes exhibited by the main five girls who we'll be following for the course of the series, as they're hardly innovative and I can't say I've particularly warmed to any of them yet, but if the overall elements of the story remain good and actually succeed in building upon the depth they've hinted at thus far then this could still well prove to be a pretty decent series.


Teto002 said...

I think I'm starting to like this anime quite a lot. It is not and probably will not be the type of show that is so full of emotional/plot complexity that it sickens you but everything is kept relatively simple and I feel like the show has a bit of a Ghibli feel to it. I greatly enjoy those ghibli magic moments as well as the quality of animation of the setting and characters as a whole. It's simple, fun and beautiful.

Chicago Cabbie said...

I just found out about this today, but the second half of this episode has some VEEERRRY important foreshadowing going on.

That ghost is real apparently. I think it gives Kanata's rather manic performance in front of the piano during that scene there added weight actually.

I now await upcoming episodes not really knowing what to expect.