March 22, 2010
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Title: So Ra No Wo To (Sounds of the Skies)
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Rating: 9.2/10

So Ra No Wo To

Summary: The plot revolves around a girl named Kanata Sorami. When she was all alone at a young age as a result of war, she found inspiration in a trumpeter she met. She decides to join the army and become a bugler, hoping to learn well since she is quite bad at it. She is assigned to the town of Seize (inspired by Cuenca, Spain) in Helvetia (another name for Switzerland), where she is taken care of by Rio Kazumiya, her bugler instructor who plays the trumpet, and the rest of the 1121st Platoon.

Review: The series has finally ended after twelves episodes, and I have to say that I couldn’t be happier with it. As many of you know I created a “First Look” post for this anime after watching a couple episodes earlier this season. And as I anticipated, the series is nothing close to K-ON! as many thought to believe. Admittedly the character models, art style, and general idea of a group of 5 girls becoming tightly knit through music bares a strong resemblance. However, the director took this anime in a completely different direction than I figured. The anime starts off with slice of life, getting the audience attached to the different characters, giving brief background stories to help start a connection. This was done beautifully and I couldn’t believe how much I grew attached to the girls until later on in the series. I know many anime watchers that actually dropped this anime because of its “happy” theme, but it is considered a drama for a reason. Although you don’t get to see the hardcore, tear-jerking moments until roughly 3/4 of the way through, everything was done for a reason. I tend to find quite a few of the animes I watch predictable, but this one did catch me a little off guard. Learning about the platoon members really gave me a “whoa” feeling. As you can probably tell I actually liked the character development for So Ra No Wo To. I can probably safely say that placing the anime during a time of war really helped. The only problem was learning how the war began. You get a general idea toward the end but nothing solid. A minor problem that can be overlooked by the casual viewer, and basically ignored by myself as well. Moving onto the art style: the biggest problem people had with the anime due to how much it resembled K-ON! The art style at first glance is very simple, and the characters stand out because of the lack of light affects on their bodies. The series does get a bit better, and the simplistic art style became a blur (not literally, metaphorically). Some may find this a bad feature, but I tended to get engulfed in the backgrounds, which were done magnificently. These points were mentioned in my first look for this anime, and I would like to really emphasize how much I enjoyed the landscapes in this anime. The soundtrack blew my mind. It wasn’t the opening, ending, or battle music that caught my attention. It was a single song that brought the series together: Amazing Grace. Every time the song was played on the trumpet, with the mixture of dialogue, scenery, and event I couldn’t help but notice my eyes begin to water. As I sit here writing this review I can close my eyes and imagine the platoon, the village, its people, and the hardships every character had to go through. And as I see them I can hear that song playing majestically in the background, and I cannot explain the feeling inside me. A single song brought so much to this anime. A single song made this anime. To anyone who reads this review and watches this anime, I hope you feel the same thing I feel when I listen to this song.

Final statements: A short series that reached amazing heights in my eyes. This anime is easily re-watchable for me, and even though I know what is going to happen I can still sit there enjoying every second of it. I hope that anyone who wants to pick up this anime really gives it a shot, and isn’t quick to judge. I know I don’t regret it in the least. Must see.

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