Tidying her hair, Kanata is looking forward to spending her off duty day visiting the flea market in town. Seeing the girl’s enthusiastic smile, Rio asks Kanata if she plans to buy herself something using the very first paycheck she received the day before.
When Kanata says she was surprised they were paid on time since their unit is so far from the capital, Kureha nearly blurts out the truth behind the timely income before Noel drags away the loose lipped girl.
As soon as Kanata is out of sight, Rio berates Kureha but the twin tailed girl retorts she never expected Kanata to believe the obvious lie that a small unit as theirs is paid on time. Noting that is part of Kanata’s charm, Felicia leads them to the cellars for a hard day’s work in the 1121st platoon’s alternate occupation, distilling alcohol.
Fawning over the glass statue of a dolphin on display in Naomi’s store window, Kanata is rudely pushed aside by two men looking like big city mob gangsters. Little does the girl know that Naomi is making a deal with the local mafia to sell the platoon’s latest cases of Calvados liquor.
Hearing the commotion, Naomi is worried about the central area gangsters having homed in on the small town deal. Checking if Kanata is alright, Naomi hears the girl’s plea for help on deciding whether or not she should buy the dolphin statue.
Asking Kanata what she’d do if someone else would try and buy the statue, the lively girl’s response that she’d tell the buyer that dolphins were dangerous creatures actually gives Naomi an idea.
Getting the children ready for their visit to church, Yumina has a hard time with Mishio who refuses to have her hair done. Throwing a fit, the cheeky girl inadvertently hits Yumina when she tries to punch one of the other orphans.
Upset, Mishio runs away to the market where she asks around each booth, looking for a peculiar ornamental box. Spotting the girl, Kanata offers to help look for the box but Mishio dashes off again when Kanata reveals she’s actually out shopping to buy gifts for her family.
Browsing the different booths, Kanata meets Yumina who reveals the box Mishio desperately searches for each time there’s a flea market is a momentum from her departed mother which was taken from her along with all her other possessions.
Feeling guilty about having spoken of family to an orphan like Mishio, Kanata hears the kind nun sigh that she too feels guilty for having failed to become Mishio’s new family.
Parking their car near the rock wall with a steep cliff above, the two big city gangsters approach the abandoned factory where the liquor deal is being made.
Meeting the local mafia to sell their latest production of liquor, Felicia looks like a femme fatale in a sleek black dress while Kureha and Noel are dressed smartly in gallant suits with accompanying hats.
When the local mobsters lament they will not able to sell off these goods, Felicia retorts it’s not her policy to give any discounts, which prompts the gangsters to pull out their guns in an attempt to seize the liquor cases.
Blowing a hole in the lead gangster’s hat with a perfect shot, Rio appears above in the beams, calling out to the gangsters to rethink their stance. Unwilling to give up, the three mobsters are soon mercilessly gunned down by Kureha and Noel who pulled out heavy machine guns.
Witnessing the scene, the big city gangsters are terrified and quickly flee, but to make matters worse find their car was crushed by rocks.
Having waited outside the warehouse near the truck, Naomi wondered if Rio and her party somehow set up for the gangsters’ car being demolished like that, so she’s quite surprised to see the guilt ridden Mishio and Kanata appear before her.
Apologizing profusely, even offering her pay to make up for the damage to the car, Kanata reveals she was looking all over for Mishio and found the girl precipitously hanging from the roof of an abandoned house overlooking the cliff.
After having left the flea market, Mishio had sat there pouting but slipped when startled by the sudden loud gunfire noise and nearly plummeted to her death if not for Kanata’s timely rescue.
Hearing this, Naomi says she already got plenty in reward since she recovered the wooden crate full of items the gangsters had bought from the flea market. Spotting the ornamental box her mother had left her in the crate, Mishio is ecstatic.
Lamenting she’s not been able to give Mishio a new family as hoped, Yumina is relieved to see the girl enter the church, brought back by Kanata.
Seeing Mishio found her treasured mother’s box she congratulates the little girl and is soon moved to tears when Mishio says offers Yumina the box since her mother told her shortly before death to pass it on it to the person she cares about the most. Braiding Mishio’s hair, Yumina hugs the little girl tightly as Kanata looks on smiling.
Later that evening, Rio asks Kanata why she didn’t buy herself a present like she had wanted to. Kanata replies a particular event she witnessed that day was ample reward as it made her believe in fate again. Replying she doesn’t believe in fate herself, Rio soon dozes off while Kanata dries her hair.
A lovely episode that regardless of the action and still obvious differences between both series, really gives me the distinct feeling “So-Ra-No-Wo-To” is more akin to “Aria” than “K-ON!” or any other series.
Perhaps it is the atmosphere or how the quirky, lovable characters and unique world come together with a definite synergy that drags you along with it to join Kanata on her discovery of the world that opens before her now that she has joined the 1121st platoon? Kanata definitely possesses more similar traits with Akari from “Aria” than with Yui from “K-ON!”.
While undoubtedly the series offers plenty of humor, more lighthearted, silly moments about the 1121st platoon’s shenanigans, do appreciate the added layer of depth and realism the creators put in, often combining both elements.
Like how the platoon covers their expenses and delays in pay from an army that has little to spend on them by forming alliances with the local people and mafia to sell their own distilled Calvados.
Every episode so far has added hints about what happened to their apparently post-apocalyptic world. This time seeing Kanata’s pay is 150Yen, while the currency is the Yen its value is different from our current society, and the priest’s mentioning of a strange disease wreaking havoc confirms their medical knowledge is behind our current medical science.
Thought it was a clever move to have each half of the episode show the same timeframe but follow different characters and thus improving the pacing and overall effect, it also gives the first half a more comedic/action oriented story feeling while the latter half is the heartwarming focused side of the story.
Absolutely adored seeing Felicia and the girls pose as mafia thugs! Rio, Kureha and Noel looked gorgeous in those classic suits with hat, Felicia was lovely in that black dress as well.
Enjoyed every bit of that scene, the girls looked great, from Felicia’s femme fatale act to Noel’s maniacal grin when firing her machine gun.