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So-Ra-No-Wo-To 9

March 4, 2010

Looking up at the clear blue skies after having hung up the laundry, Kanata muses it is time to bid goodbye to summer now that fall has come.
Joining her fellow soldiers in tending to the platoon’s vegetable garden, Kanata hears Kureha tell the tale of how her parents met.

Observing some of their home grown potatoes as Kureha talks, Kanata muses she is the result of her parent’s love, as she puts a smaller potato near two larger ones. Berating Kanata for comparing her to a potato, Kureha stands little chance when Felicia compliments the bugle player for all her efforts in growing the vegetables.


As Noel is goofing off while observing an insect, the other girls soon look up when they hear Rio off in the distance playing a fast paced jazz-like tune, Kanata feels the music itself expresses darker feelings.

When the platoon’s bugle player voices her concerns about Rio to Kureha and Noel later that night when the three talk in Kureha’s room, the others had been oblivious to Rio being downcast until Kanata revealed to their shock that the trumpeter actually absentmindedly ate all her green peppers at dinner, even though she hates them.

Noticing a picture on Kureha’s desk, Kanata asks about the tattooed soldier in it, wondering if it’s Klaus. Revealing it indeed is Klaus, the hero from the 481st platoon, Kureha says it’s one of her most treasured possessions but soon changes the subject back to Rio, soothing Kanata to not worry about the trumpeter, for she is surely right as rain.

Asking Noel’s opinion, Kanata is barely able to catch the mechanic as she collapses, falling off her chair right into a deep slumber. Carrying Noel onto Kureha’s bed, the two girls join her and are soon fast asleep.


Gazing absentmindedly at her bell necklace, Rio seems filled with worry so Felicia suggests she get a grip to set a good example for the other girls. Their conversation is cut short however when they hear someone banging at the door.
Emerging from the pouring rain and howling winds, Klaus appears with a priority communication for Rio. Noticing Rio tenses up, Felicia diverts their attention by having Klaus come in to shelter from the storm outside.

Enjoying the left-overs from dinner, Klaus compliments Kureha on her cooking, much to the young girl’s delight. Meanwhile, Felicia and Noel read the newspaper the major brought along with great interest, reading the peace conference not going well visibly concerns them.
When Klaus suggests things would be different if princess Iliya were still alive, Kanata listens to Kureha talk about the famous princess who was heralded as a real hero for her accomplishments during the war.

Suddenly barging in, Naomi and Yumina are desperate for the 1121st platoon’s help to find Seiya, who has apparently gone missing amidst the typhoon raging outside. Setting out in search of the missing boy, Klaus takes Kureha along on his sidecar while Felicia and Noel head off in the platoon’s car, Rio accompanying Kanata to search on foot.


Spotting Mishio sneak through the dark alleys, Kureha grabs hold of the little girl and interrogates her on Seiya’s whereabouts. Learning the boy headed to a small field near an abandoned house next to the river where the orphans had been growing eggplants in secret to surprise Yumina with, Kureha and Klaus know there is no time to waste.

Discovering the boy trying to save the eggplants being battered from the rain, Kureha goes after Seiya who fends her off by saying he didn’t ask for anyone’s help.
When the feisty soldier looks like she’s going to slap the boy, young Seiya cannot believe when she tightly grabs hold of him instead, revealing how being an orphan herself she understands but tells him he needs to be more responsible since people will blame Yumina for his actions.

Still whining about the eggplants, Seiya’s face brightens when Klaus picks some, saying they’ll still be good if eaten already, and are no doubt valuable to the boy since he spent so much time growing them.

Peering through her binoculars at the rescue effort from across the river, Felicia’s sigh of relief when Seiya is hoisted to safety turns into a panicked shriek when a large chunk of the riverside rock tumbles down into the water, cutting off Kureha and Klaus’ only route to escape.


Taking shelter in the dilapidated house near the river’s edge, Kureha takes comfort in being with Klaus, believing they will be able to pull through thanks to him. Unable to crush the young girl’s hopes by admitting he’s not the Klaus who was known as the desert wolf, he tries to keep her spirits up as the ground before the house is being washed away by the river’s wild water flow.

Loosing her cool as she watches helplessly, Rio curses brats like the boy who put her friends in this predicament. Stopping Rio in her tracks, Felicia tells the proud trumpeter to mind her words, for the other girls are always watching her, seeing her as their role model.

Suggesting all will be well since Kureha is with miracle Klaus, Kanata is shocked when Felicia reveals the major is not the same person as the famous hero, they just happen to have the same name.

Pondering how they could save their fellow soldiers, Rio is about to give up when Noel suggests they can send them a rope as lifeline thanks to Takemikazuchi. Having the town’s people help in hoisting the tank’s hull outside, Noel aims Takemikazuchi’s anchor towards the opposite river bank.

The raging waters having washed away most of the remaining ground, Kureha had grabbed hold of Klaus in panic, causing his shirt to open, confronting Kureha with the fact he is missing the telltale tattoo the real desert wolf has. Nonetheless, Kureha remains enamored when the major regains his composure and vows to protect her.


Standing firm as the anchor lands next to him, Klaus grabs hold of it but sees to his horror the ground beneath Kureha’s feet is washed away. Reaching out for the young girl, Klaus is somehow able to catch her and hold on while they are hoisted up to the tank. Held in Klaus’ arms, Kureha interrupts him when he tries to explain he isn’t the desert wolf and she affirms he remains the person she admires most.

When the other girls of the 1121st platoon see Klaus off the next day, they’re amazed he was somehow able to keep up the charade, not realizing Kureha actually found out the truth but chose to keep it to herself.

A more serious action filled episode this week, it didn’t feel as dramatic or had as much impact as the episode about Felicia’s past and the war from two weeks ago, which might give the impression it’s not as solid an episode which it actually is.

The search and rescue amidst a typhoon may not have looked as impressive but the various underlying themes and character exploration for Klaus and Kureha were quite excellent and very well done. More in line with how previous episodes really shined, in showing much without it always being very laid bare on the surface.

Especially Rio and her background again got a lot of added depth, while less time was spent on Kanata which makes these past episode seem more about how Kanata influenced everyone’s lives as well as how the war and surrounding events did, but less about Kanata herself.
Makes me curious as to how her character will evolve towards the end.

Surprisingly, each time I see the scene where Rio energetically plays the trumpet, I’m somehow reminded of “Cowboy Bebop”. It must be the jazz-like trumpet tune…

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