Perspiring, Kanata sits tensely in front of the 1121st platoon’s emergency phone, the table in the dimly lit room filled with empty bottles and other assorted things, a pile of soaked laundry rests in the corner. How did Kanata get into this predicament?
That same morning, Felicia announces someone is to stand by near the phone for it is the day of the exercise held by headquarters every six months where they test the emergency phone lines to each base.
Trying to emphasize the importance of this mission, both Kureha and Rio fail to correctly pronounce its tongue twisting long name, their pride takes a dent when a barely awake Noel perfectly recites it.
Thrilled about the idea of talking on the phone, Kanata volunteers for the mission.
Staring intently at the phone throughout the morning, Kanata doesn’t notice Felicia sneaking up to her from behind until the bespectacled captain playfully hugs her tightly as if the young bugle player were a kitten.
Needing to send documents to headquarters before Klaus’ next visit, Felicia heads to the train station with Kureha, leaving Kanata to sit watch near the phone by herself.
Soon yawning from boredom, Kanata is quick to doze off only to be rudely awakened by Rio’s booming voice.
Offering to make them lunch, Rio is suspicious at Kanata insisting she cook instead. Fearing Rio’s brute hands at work on their lunch, even as to slice the cutting board into their meal, Kanata can’t help but feel relieved when Naomi arrives, forcing Rio out of the kitchen. Having brought the girls a case of apple cider, Naomi is shocked when Kanata observes how it must be akin to their own Calvados, unaware the young bugle player had found out the 1121st platoon profitable scheme.
Joining the two girls for lunch, Naomi asks Rio to attend the town merchants assembly meeting held later that evening to clarify the latest news about the ongoing peace negotiations being in a slump. Although according to Naomi, the town’s folk are just as eager to meet Rio after having seen her performance as a fire maiden in the festival.
Before she heads out, Rio gives Kanata an old guidebook on learning to play the trumpet in reward for all her hard work, and to keep her busy while waiting by the phone.
Enjoying the apple cider while browsing through the book, Kanata notices a name inscribed inside the cover page when a gust of wind blows through the pages, Iliya Arkadia.
The young bugle player has little time to reflect in the name for a sudden downpour has her rush outside in a futile effort to keep the platoon’s laundry that hung outside from being soaked.
Stumbling back inside with her arms full of clothes, Kanata calls for help when she hears familiar voices, enlisting the help of Mishio, Seiya and the church priest.
Wondering about their sudden visit, Kanata hears the priest say he wanted to meet with Rio if possible, visibly disappointed the long haired trumpeter is out. Spotting the name written in the open book, the elderly priest soon smiles when Kanata explains the book is a present from Rio.
Having asked Kanata about the phone, Mishio hears the young soldier talk about her mission to answer the scheduled phone call, how she feels anxious because she has never used a telephone before. Offering to help Kanata, the priest makes her a string phone to practice with.
The 1121st platoon’s mascot owl is interested by the string phone as well, soon flying down to have a closer look at this curious contraption.
Trying to catch the owl, Mishio frightens the bird who flies off and scares Seiya into tripping over the real phone’s cord, the boy sends the phone flying off the table before he crashes into the priest, causing the elderly man to tumble onto the pile of laundry, spilling his glass of apple cider on the clothes.
Only thanks to a lightning fast dive, Kanata is able to save the phone from crashing onto the tile floor, alas some of apple cider bottles also fall from the table, smashing into pieces.
Arriving to pick the trio up after she collected clothing donations for the orphans, Yumina enters to the noise of shattering glass.
Rushing inside, the young priestess is shocked at the scene before her, with the entire room in disarray and the priest dazed on a pile of female undergarments.
Scolding both children and the priest, Yumina helps Kanata clean up and upon learning the young soldier clothes are now soaked along with the laundry, dresses her up in a frilly, colorful patch dress she received.
Blushing beet red from embarrassment at wearing such an outfit, Kanata is unsure what to say when the overly enthusiastic Yumina offers her to keep it as a gift before leaving with the priest and children.
Alone again, Kanata feels the urge to visit the bathroom, no doubt due to all the apple cider she drank. Hesitant to leave the phone unattended, the poor girl tries to endure the increasing urge, which soon has her twitching around in her chair from discomfort.
When Rio finally returns from the merchant guild meeting, Kanata stumbles towards the trumpet player, begging for help. Worried, Rio tells the silly girl to head to the toilet to relieve herself when she hears the reason for Kanata’s predicament.
As luck would have it, no sooner has Kanata left the room that the emergency phone rings, prompting Rio to pick it up, her eyes soon going wide when she recognizes the voice on the other end, the voice of an elderly man who says he had had hoped she would be the one to answer the call and then asks her to save their country.
Heading towards the toilet, Kanata runs into Noel and falls down. Hearing Noel has actually been sleeping inside the bathroom all day long, Kanata feels she can no longer even risk getting up. When Kureha and Felicia get back and spot the poor girl down on the ground, Kanata’s scream of terror is soon heard throughout the night when her fellow soldiers lift her up to her feet.
Surprisingly after last week’s moving episode that kicked off the underlying dramatic plot, this week goes back to a more lighthearted humorous episode, prompting me to wonder how the plot will evolve in few remaining episodes left if the series ends at its 13 episode run.
Will the plot be rushed through or remain open with many questions left unanswered? Maybe, but seeing how clever everything in “So-Ra-No-Wo-To” has been written and executed so far, have plenty of faith they will bring it to a terrific, moving conclusion.
Besides, some hints have already been given, with Rio being the younger sister of princess Iliya Arkadia and now being pleaded by who most likely is her father to step up and save Helvetia.
This series is rife with lots of small details that often say a lot about the characters or story, this episode showed how Rio left the crusts of her lunch bread while Kanata and Naomi did not. Chance or another indication of Rio being of wealthy descent and upbringing, which enabled her to be more difficult about her food?
Am really loving this series, even a more comic interlude as this episode hits all the right notes.