As we rejoin the girls for Sora no Woto's third episode, we see Kanata settling in nicely to life with her squad mates and working hard to do her bit, even though her trumpet playing still leaves a lot to be desired.
With supplies running low at the base, it's left to Rio and Kanata to hold the fort alone while the rest of the girls go to collect the necessary provisions, and this allows for the pair of them to put in some much needed tutoring and trumpet playing practice respectively, while Kanata also reveals her reason for joining the military to Rio (predictably, it's all about playing an instrument and nothing else). However, any tutoring is cut short as a fever which Kanata has been bravely trying to struggle on with finally overcomes her as she passes out.
This unexpected turn throws Rio into a panic as we see flashbacks to her past and her inability to help what we assume is her mother at a time of illness. After racing around like a headless chicken in search of some mediciation on the base, Rio eventually swallows her pride and goes out into town for help. Thankfully, Kanata's illness is none too serious, and with some rest and fluids she's soon on the mend - This takes us to perhaps the most important part of the episode towards its climax, as a link between Rio and the girl who inspired Kanata to take up music is revealed against a backdrop of the (clearly American) mechanised tank in the squad's possession.
While much of this instalment was pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, including Kanata's fever and Rio's panic at said illness, I have to give kudos to the ending of the episode and the way it was carefully built up to, from hinting about a link between Rio and the mysterious soldier from Kanata's childhood to cementing it without telling the whole story, and even going on to add an extra little twist to the tale with it's closing lines. It's this kind of extra layer of depth which I'm hopeful will lift Sora no Woto above and beyond simply being "another series about a bunch of cute girls doing random stuff", and if nothing else it's almost a relief to see at least Rio being lifted up beyond her clichéd character archetype into a slightly more rounded personality - It'll be interesting to see whether the other major characters receive a similar treatment in future episodes.