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So-Ra-No-Wo-To 2

January 12, 2010

Having made a poor impression with her bad performance playing the morning call on her trumpet, Kanata is disappointed when Rio instructs her to practice using a mouthpiece only until she gets better.

Before heading down from the tower, Kanata spots Kureha in the courtyard and shouts a lively morning greeting only to get shot down by a swift response her trumpeting was horrible.

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At the breakfast table, Kanata is given a stool for they only have four chairs. The enthusiastic girl is properly introduced to the commanding office Felicia, soon fast asleep tank mechanic Noel and the feisty gunner Kureha.

Aghast at the seating re-arrangements, Kureha is all but pleased that she’s no longer sitting next to Rio, whom she vehemently admires, and the twin-tailed girl lets no chance slip by to express her discontent.

Rejoicing in the impressive spread and sampling tasty strips of bacon, Kanata’s bliss when she is told to eat well so she can grown a strong body soon turns to despair when she spots Rio and Felicia’s ample chests.

Ordered to show Kanata the ropes, Kureha is unhappy about the assignment and uses the opportunity to boss their newest recruit around. Taking Kanata around the fort, the fiesty twin-tailed girl shows the fort’s location on the map, stressing the importance of their squadron’s assignment in protecting the nearby border to nomansland.

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Proudly showing the squadron’s tank that Noel is working on, Kureha gets defensive when Kanata observes it’s still in pieces and missing its legs.

With Rio looking at the dark clouds outside, Felicia observes that Kanata and Kureha will surely start to get along soon, much like when she herself and Rio first met but then the bespectacled girl reveals she had to console Kureha the night before when the young girl threw a jealous fit.

As lightning strikes in the distance, Noel tells everyone how she saw a ghost in one of the abandoned buildings adjacent to the fort.

Frightened at the sheer mention of ghosts, Rio and Kureha brush Noel’s claim off as idiotic but soon shake in their boots when Kanata confirms that she too saw a ghost standing at one of the windows in the derelict buildings.

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Shouting ghosts do not exist, Kureha finds renewed confidence in Rio’s affirmation she too believes they do not exist.
But the twin-tailed girl’s frail hopes are mercilessly crushed when she and Kanata are assigned to investigate the abandoned buildings in search of the ghost.

Terrified, Kureha is awed at Kanata’s sheer enthusiasm, their new recruit excited about exploring the old buildings.

Their derelict surroundings illuminated only by the occasional flash of lighting, Kanata and Kureha wander through what once seems to have been a school, judging by the classrooms filled with dilapidated desks, old soaked books and weathered chalkboards.

Knees shaking, Kureha’s fear is offset against Kanata’s curiosity, but both girls do eventually flee screaming at the top of their lungs when a horde of rats rushes past them.

Making it to what seems to have been a music room with a run down piano, Kanata imagines what life used to be like at the school and enthusiastically tells Kureha how Seize is a wonderful city and their squadron is a great unit.

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Just as Kureha’s laments their squadron is small and all but forgotten by the rest of the army, an owl flies into the room, scaring the living daylights out of both girls.

Running into the corridor, Kanata trips and falls down. Upon seeing her fellow squadron member down, Kureha fires a round at the owl, bringing down part of the ceiling down and knocking the bird to the ground.

With the owl captured and exposed as the culprit, the mystery of the ghost has been resolved and Felicia opts to keep the feisty bird as squadron mascot.

The next morning, Kanata sees that the stool she’d been given has been replaced by a proper chair, brought in by Kureha who had spotted it the day before during their exploration of the abandoned buildings.
Tightly hugging Kureha in gratitude, Kanata causes the twin-tailed girl to drop the plates she was holding, making quite the scene.

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After last week’s episode that simply played the opening song over normal scenes, this week we get a full opening sequence animation which used illustrations as seen in last weekend’s monster legend scene. It gives the series a rather unique feeling and builds more on the fantasy/historical element of the story.

Seeing those images together with Kalafina’s opening track for “So-Ra-No-Wo-To” did somehow feel reminiscent to the opening for “Elfen Lied” which featured similar styled images based on paintings by Gustav Klimt, accompanied by the ominous music track ‘Lilium’.

This episode was squarely rooted in the slice-of-life/heartwarming genre, with Kanata meeting the rest of her fellow squadron members and befriending the initially reluctant Kureha.

It also again confirms that those who erroneously compare this series to “K-ON!” simply due to similar character animation style are alas mistaken. While Felicia may visually resemble Sawako from “K-ON!” their characters are not alike and Kanata is quite different from Yui, in fact her positiveness, lust for life and idealizing past events are far more reminiscent of Akari from “Aria”.

Really loving this series so far and hope it continues on in this direction!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2010 9:16 pm

    Mmmm maybe i’ll try again this one. I started the first episode yesterday but got really bored after 10min and stopped.
    Guess i should watch it without being sleepy ^^

  2. kyon permalink
    January 12, 2010 10:24 pm

    sora no woto is not boring i liked the 2 episodes first i though kanata will be like yui , very idiot , but fortunately she was very optimistic but not stupid

  3. 白い牙 permalink
    January 12, 2010 10:39 pm

    I agree with the comparison of her character to Akari from Aria. 😀 Actually that’s one of the things I’m liking best about the series so far. Kanata’s hobby of finding wonderful things and enjoying life however she can are very much like Akari to my eyes.

  4. LinGaiVa permalink
    January 13, 2010 1:36 am

    Dunno but the 2nd episode really confirmed for me that this is definitely comparable to K-On in more then just artwork. I’m trying to see this as anything other then a copy of K-on but really the similarities between the two.

    -1121 Platoon is mentioned to be a very lax squad similar to the club if not due to different circumstances (self-inflicted in K-On due to procrastination and due to superior officers in SOW)
    -Azu…Kureha is annoyed at the platoon and angsts over how lax it is just like Azusa did in the 9th episode I think.
    -Captain Felicia is one of those passive, ultra nice characters like Tsumugi Not sure where the Sawako comparison came from but I won’t be surprised if they start having cosplay parties because let’s face it they have little else to do.
    -Kureha seems to be annoyed at Kanata just like Azusa to Yui. The only difference is that it’s not over issues of procrastination. I call tsundere.

    And let’s not forget Kanata is a bad musician despite having perfect pitch like Yui.

    Although the series isn’t K-On in a complete sense as Kanata is not as idiotic as Yui in everything else other then music and she only glomped Kureha once. There also seems to be a more in depth plot if it ever does come out in full force and replace the slice of life-ish entertainment right now. And not to mention they replaced Ritsu with a Yuki Nagato-ish character.

  5. January 13, 2010 9:46 am

    @Katsura-chan
    Well I’ve always had a penchant for such relaxing, slice-ofe-life series so to me they’re never boring.
    @kyon
    Indeed, was glad to see both characters are very different.
    @白い牙
    Exactly, that’s what really struck me, how Kanata sees something wonderful in everything. Wondering if Kanata won’t end up coming from a rather horrible youth/past which makes her see the beauty in such a simple peaceful life and things.
    @LinGaiVa
    Sorry but have to disagree with you there. Fear the comparisons you’re making are based on the original claim of people this was a “K-ON!” clone and prove far too generic, for they could easily be linked to other series as well.
    In “K-ON!” Azusa originally greatly admires Yui, while here Kureha is immediately jealous of Kanata and only warms up to her later on.
    Kanata is nothing like Yui, Yui joined the light music club because she had to join a club and hoped that one would mean little work and Yui was originally not interested in learning how to play music. Kanata on the other hand purposely joined the army because she wants to learn how to play music. Polar opposites in origin and motivation.

  6. 白い牙 permalink
    January 14, 2010 5:42 pm

    I think a lot of times people wrongly see someone with a positive outlook on life and assume that because they are able to enjoy life like that they’ve never faced any difficulties. True many people become bitter angry people if they have had a bad childhood, but some become surprisingly functional and kind members of society.

  7. January 15, 2010 8:43 am

    Nice review!, this episode was really great getting to see the other characters -nod- i really like Noel and Kanata so far. Poor tank T_T i wanna see that thing moving around xD

  8. January 15, 2010 9:46 am

    @白い牙
    Indeed, judging by the flashback we saw in episode one and the fact their country seems to just have had a large scale war, looks like none of the girls will have had an easy childhood.
    @foshizzel
    Although it’s been heartwarming/slice-of-life only so far, the presence of the tank and the demon legend make me suspect the series might switch to a more serious fantasy tone along the way. Very curious to see what will happen.

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