Monday, 8 March 2010

Sora no Woto - Episode 10

It's now six months since Kanata joined 1121st Platoon, and her trumpet skills have certainly improved markedly during that period, enabling her to fulfil her duties along those lines with relative ease.

It's probably a good job that Kanata has stepped up to the plate as well, as we find Rio more and more consumed by her own situation and worries, which sees her cooped up in her room with little to do with anybody else. Meanwhile, talk of Princess Iliya only seems to be growing, coupled with rumours of troop movements and what seems to be a potential pending breakdown of the fragile peace currently being enjoyed.

Eventually, Rio has to tear herself away from her own thoughts and memories somewhat at Kanata's insistence, as they go to visit an old woman shacked up in the mountains and clearly becoming ill and frail - However, she refuses to leave her home and the second house she is building for her son in the seemingly futile insistence that he will return. As the story of the old woman's life, hopes and dreams unfold, so their similarity to Rio's own family situation becomes clear, which perhaps gives her the clarity she needs to make the important decision that some parties have been imploring her to act upon for some time now.

Thus, we're left with a poignant ending to an episode that is imbued to overflowing with emotion from the outset - A heady mixture of joy and pain, happy memories and sad, hope and fear, blended in such a way that you aren't entirely sure whether to smile or cry half the time. I think I did both. Just like that much-admired seventh episode, this instalment of Sora no Woto manages to remove itself from the everyday frivolity that permeates the series to create something far more personal, enduring and special that almost defies a textual description - This isn't an episode that you can simply watch, you have to feel it first and foremost. In essence, this particular offering made use of its war-time setting beautifully, and I can only commend it for doing so. Impressive stuff indeed.


JW said...


I tried to feel it, I really did. But in the end, this episode fell flat for me.

I couldn't connect with the old lady's story. Finding out about Iliya and Rio was a non-surprise.

I like 'Amazing Grace', but I didn't really connect the dots there either. Was the song about the old lady? Iliya? Was it a good-bye for Seize? Passing the torch to Kanata?

Normally, I'm quick to cry over stuff. But at the end of the episode, the only thought going through my head was "Okay..?"

Hanners said...

For me, I didn't connect with the old lady's story so much personally as I did with it as one of what must have been tens of thousands of similar stories following a war - People waiting for a loved one, with no idea whether that wait is in vain.

As for the ending, I think it was more of a good-bye to Rio above all else, although it was left pretty wide open to interpretation.

JW said...

Ah okay.

BTW, Kimi Ni Todoke is going to be fined for being flagrantly awesome. Seriously, where do they get off being so great?

Milanor said...

I find it interesting that the series doesn't end here. Most anime you see these days would just end it at the Sempai taking off and leaving things to her student. Maybe toss in a couple OVAs later or possible a Season Two.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, even if the revelation about Rio was somewhat obvious. Hearing about Rome and getting a little more context of the world was cool.

I'm more curious to see what happens next, though. Conflict between the countries? Tank-kun's completion? Something even crazier emerging from the wastelands? And what was the deal with that freaky skeleton in the lake, anyways?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to imagine the series without Rio. I wonder what will happen from here.