Seems we’re given a bit of new date info here. From the ‘yearbook’ that Rio is looking at, it appears that each picture has a single or pair of dates beneath it, presumably birth and death years, with the years marked as ‘AP’ (After /something/). Illya’s is marked with death year AP 269. Since that was two years ago, that puts the current year at AP 271, and thus 271 years since the great cataclysm.
This is why you shouldn’t just read blog posts on feed readers. You miss out on comment gems like this one. Visit the site instead of just reading off google reader.
Given the vagaries of the casus belli for the war other than what Kureha said part of me is tempted to dub the War between Helvetia and Rome to be the War of Iliya’s Honor since at casual glance the war started after the Emperor was rejected and he seemingly invaded Helvetia to claim Iliya for his dirty rotten hetero-harem. I don’t think much can be said about the opposing force other than their Emperor seems to be a lecherous bastard or some wicked man who wants to hold princesses hostage. I am glad that after Rio heard that the Roman Army was already mobilizing that she knew what she had to do and did it. With any luck Rio will be saved from an cruel fate when Takemikazuchi gets full mobile again as Noel seems to have finally started to get all the parts she needs to fix her mecha
I must admit, I was surprised by the total lack of gloating done by Crusader of THAT. He called the ‘Rio getting married off to foreign fellow to settle the conflict’ several episodes ago. It seems like an awfully stupid way to start a war. Guy doesn’t get the latest addition to his harem so he wages war on them? Of course there was more to the thing and I’m sure there were hundreds of other political and economical factors but the fact that the Duke being rejected by Iliya was the spark that set the war off seems like such a ridiculous reason. I know soldiers only really comment on the political affairs as small talk to pass the time, which the platoon here frequently engage in, but the idea that the soldiers on the Roman side are going to war for that doesn’t sit right in my head. How much power does this duke of Rome have anyway?
There’s something about Sora no Woto brings different stories and reminiscence the past of the platoon’s members in each episode that just works. Felicia’s story about how the war changed her life, the person Kureha looked up the most, and in this episode the sister that Rio couldn’t be with due to political affairs who turns out to be person Kanata met before. Seemingly simple stories have served to explain parts of the story and to make the viewer understand of the world they live in a simple fashion. This episode was no exception.
It is indeed a very simple formula and I hadn’t noticed how this has pretty much been how most episodes run. This time though, it fell flat IMO. Rio’s angst never felt very well done and her leaving didn’t feel right either. It felt sudden with minimal buildup and the use of Amazing Grace yet again felt like cheating. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but the whole episode just felt off-beat. I never cared about the old lady’s story and the connection they made between her and Rio felt forced. I’m using the word ‘felt’ an awful lot but that’s what happened here. This was no plot fault or annoying out-of-character. It’s the way everything was presented in the episode.
Noël has almost finished rebuilding the tank. Since they already put it to use to save Klaus and Kureha, I doubt they would spotlight it again unless it will see another use. I think the second DVD bonus episode will focus on how they got the parts. Second, they still haven’t resolved the fire maiden plotline that started in the first episode. The story shunted the legend off to the side for quite a while, but in this episode, they bring it back into focus. However, this has served its purpose by reflecting Rio’s character, so we can safely live without a blatant resolution.
Now I want to say that this likely won’t be the last time we see Rio, but with only two episodes left (not including the two extra DVD/BD ones), I’m not so sure. It all depends on what kind of conflict they build up next episode, like if there’s going to be another outbreak of fighting or if there’s going to be something connected to the legend appearing. The preview on the official site doesn’t seem to point to either of those though and instead indicates that the girls will meet a hostile soldier.
Now, with only three episodes left, the climax has finally begun, though not exactly in the way that I expected, now that Rio is gone. I really wonder whether the final three episodes are going to her, over Kanata who’s supposed to be the main character. To be honest, I’d much rather that the focus would stay on Kanata and the town that we’ve been in. It’s too late at this point to suddenly introduce politics.
Ah, ending speculation again. There are two episodes left (get your facts right psgels!) with some more extras on the DVD/BD. These extras almost certainly won’t be central to the plot or anything. They’ll probably explain something that happened in the middle of the series, such as how Kanata found out about the illegal brewing done by the platoon. Otherwise, the departure of Rio leaves a bit of an empty feeling around the platoon now. I don’t think they ever specified that there would have to be 5 fire maidens and I would be shocked if they left that part out of the finale seeing as how much time they spent on foreshadowing the events. The tank being given legs also shows that it will make a reappearance before the end. As I said before, I feel the quality of this anime depends hugely on how it ends. I know it’s cliche to say this, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they won’t fuck this up.