Has anyone noticed a certain similarity in the reviews of Sora no Woto so far? I’ll give you a hint
This is more than just a K-ON! knockoff
If you’re going to say that Sora no Woto resembles K-ON in any way besides the character design (mostly eye design, really), screw off, because you’re sorely mistaken.
With Letter Bee dropped and Hetalia going on hiatus, both my slots for anime blogging are open. Durarara is a guaranteed spot number 2 I had no idea what to pick. It had to be a 12/13 episode long series because Durarara continues for 24 episodes and Hetalia restarting in spring, which would leave me with too many shows being blogged at once. Sora no Woto fits the bill quite nicely. However, standard blogging routine is old-hat so I decided I would take a slightly more unconventional route. Metablogging, visiting different anime blogs to get different views on the series and combining them in one quote-filled post. Sora no Woto has the double plus of not only being a rather hot-topic anime fandom at the moment, but also being anime-original so I won’t get spoiled by whiny manga/VN/light novel readers.
However, when I refer to it being a ‘hot topic’, I’m really only referring to this
Well this show turned out to be an even closer twin to K-ON! than I was expecting
Too true, as was clearly evident from the promo images and the trailer. The MAL page for Sora no Woto already has 7 people who’ve lumped these two together and will probably rise by the time you’ve read this post. No matter how hard you try to deny it, the similarities are undeniable. As such, the K-ON haters backlash has resulted in two different forms.
Heck, since I’m so pumped up right now, I’m going to tackle the elephant in the room: the artwork. Sora no Woto’s first episode was significantly better looking than anything K-ON! had to offer. When the characters turned, their heads did not chop off. Their eyes did not fall off their face. Their hands did not turn into play-doh. And, perhaps most importantly, their faces did not become distorted.
The first comes from those who are determined to prove that this is far better than crappy K-ON. Focusing on military and actually having a plot is generally the points put forward by these people. Then there are others who are lamenting the K-ON similarities.
It’s a bit cheesy at times, and that legend that tells about the five girls… it’s a shame that shows are still relying on such an overused plot device
While psgels was generally quite impressed with the episode, he hits upon the fact that this plot device has been used a bizzilion times already, not just by that certain light music club. The fans of this genre are staying oddly quiet though. They all clearly notice the similarities themselves but often seem to think they are overplayed.
I think the K-ON design influence is a bit overplayed, and is mostly limited to the eyes. Actually, the loose and flowing lines reminded me more of Kannagi’s style, which makes sense since both are A-1 shows. A quick look at ANN shows that Sora no Woto’s character designer, Toshifumi Akai, also worked on Kannagi as an animation director, which is explains a lot. The only problem is that Sora no Woto’s foreground characters lack the details and polish that Kannagi had. They look overly simplified, so the animation looks cheap and stilted. But I may have only noticed this because in contrast the backgrounds are gorgeously detailed, and brilliantly colored. It’s pretty rare that I do this, but more than a handful of times I caught myself admiring the details in the background instead of checking out the comparatively crude characters.
For the most part I agree with this assessment. However, I think the K-ON artwork worked because the entire show had this slightly blobby feel to it, even with the backgrounds. In Sora no Woto, the backgrounds are so gorgeously animated that it gets rather jarring with the blobby characters in front. It reminded me of Somedays Dreamers attempt to mix real-life backgrounds with animated characters, something I never felt worked.
The question, of course, of why the characters look almost identical to their counterparts in K-ON! is one that is hard to answer. The similarities are too uncanny to be anything but deliberate. There doesn’t appear to be any direct staff connections between K-ON! and Sora no Woto. One wonders whether someone in Studio A-1 is attempting to make a statement to KyoAni, kind of similar to the Lucky Star references in Kannagi. Any gossip about studios in this area would be interesting to report on. They are aiming at the same audience, after all.
This was probably the most interesting theory of them all. Are A-1 trying to prove to Kyo Ani disillusioned fanboys that they are capable of providing a story withe the moeblob designs? The Lucky Star references in Kannagi were jabs more than affectionate parody, so are A-1 trying to make a statement? What turns me away from that thought is that Sora no Woto seems to have too much heart behind it. Like people who thought Spice and Wolf wouldbe otaku-pandering, only to be slightly surprised that this seemed far more like someones genuine baby who they had put real effort into, Sora no Woto gives off the same vibes.
In any case, I thought this first episode was a great start and was much more promising than the gimmicky character designs made it seem at first. I will admit though that I found myself trying to see if each girl’s personalities matched their K-On! counterparts (they kind of do). I’m looking forward to seeing where all of this is going, and with more episodes like this, it could be a worthwhile show to follow.
So generally the internet seem pretty impressed by Sora no Woto thus far, although far from being blown away. The dinosaur bones, the tanks and many other things hint at a darker side to this story, very similar to the way Haibane Remnei was set up, which incidentally is number 2 show that’s been likened to Sora no Woto on MAL. Myself, I was hardly blown away either but I’m interested to see where this is going and it’s got a nice atmosphere that’s easy to sink into, although a poor mans Haibane Remnei is probably the best way to describe it thus far.
Hmm…I ended up spending most of this post talking about K-ON. I’ll try keep off that subject from hereon. Also, it you wrote a post on Sora no Woto and weren’t mentioned, sorry but there was like 50 posts on the episode,which should likely drop off since everyone’s been writing their first impressions.
Also, I can’t be the only one that found this funny
The drawing of moeblobs has been an art since the first scriptures were found. Back in the pyramids, there were pictures of underage girls making strange hand signals with some sort of hieroglyphics underneath saying ‘mðè mðê kγün’.