I can accept that none of them died, I can accept Takemikazuchi wiping out a platoon, I can accept Hopkins as a Roman hating bastard that still has a sense of decency for Helvetians, I can accept that Kanata was able to confuse for a while, but what I find hard to accept is how Amazing Grace caused such a long pause and how both Roman and Helvetian Field Armies were insight of each other but not shooting, either optics are just that bad or they have trouble drawing distances.
This is just… unbelievable. The ending went well enough, I guess. It was a bit melodramatic, but okay. Then the action starts, and the spider somehow is totally fixed again. Despite that, it’s not something that was too bad, and I had seen far worse endings at that point. However, then Kanata started playing the trumpet. And every single soldier stopped and listened. What a headdesk moment!
I think it would have been more impacting if Rio had left earlier in the series rather than being gone for only 1.75 episodes. And the fact that Kanata’s performance of “Amazing Grace” in the final episode, though beautifully done, was able to get the attention of and halt an army of hundreds or even thousands of soldiers in giant robots was kind of far-fetched, as was Rio’s grand reappearance at the exact moment that the army was going to resume their attack.
Pretty much everyone talking about the last episode of Sora no Woto is hung up on that final scene. Kanata playing Amazing Grace to stop the war with Rio coming in at the last minute with a peace treaty, of course it’s bloody corny. I honestly expected exactly this to happen. Amazing Grace was always going to make a final emphatic return. Rio was always going to come back and save the day with a peace treaty. That doesn’t make the ending any better, just annoyingly eye-rollingly inevitable. However, in it’s defence, it did make Amazing Grace relevant to both sides in the last episode by having Aisha playing it on the trumpet. This wasn’t something they pulled out their arse, they did plan this relatively well. Still doesn’t stop it from being cornily convenient though.
My main complaint is that the ending was too happy. Both versions of the legend imply some degree of sacrifice by the maidens, and the version Yumina told in particular had a bittersweet ending. The ending here, however, was devoid of that. I think what really got me was Rio’s return in the epilogue. I was okay with the combination of Amazing Grace and Rio ending the conflict since both were solutions that they were building up in past episodes, but I don’t like how how the emperor just let his fiancee return to her old military post. I thought the point was that Rio was giving up her own life by marrying him to ensure peace and save lives, but now that she’s back, there’s no element of sacrifice left. They didn’t need her to return to have a happy ending, and by doing so they made it too happy, in an artificial sort of way.
Slightly different take on the ending. That final scene with Rio returning to the outpost felt like nothing more than a bit of fanservice to have a surgery sweet ending, especially since the ending credits were rolling while this scene was playing. This is a very fair point by Omni even if this wasn’t how the legend of the Flame Maidens was supposed to have been portrayed in the story, but there are other people who felt the story of the flame maidens played out in a different way altogether.
I had wondered as the series progressed how the writers where going to incorporate the legend of the flame maidens without sending the series into BS mode , so I was quite delighted when Aisha played the role of the demon/angel, with the girls protecting her instead of killing her.
This version of how the Flame Maidens tale was told in the story makes more sense than Omni’s version with Rio, although it still makes Rio’s return awfully artificially happy anyway. However very few of the writers I checked out made this connection between the tale of the Flame Maidens and protecting Aisha, although maybe they just didn’t write about the fact that they did (Crusader from THAT did mention it but he writes so much that he’ll obviously cover everything he thought). Maybe I’m just thick and looking back, it does certainly work quite well. However for as big of a deal as they made out of the Flame Maidens tale, this felt like an awfully odd way of re-telling it with the platoon at Seize. It’s probably because I was looking out for something a lot…bigger and more dramatic as a retelling of the Flame Maidens tale that I feel a little bit dissapointed by this version.
The theme of ‘the world will end/have ended’ wasn’t developed as much as the show should have making it seem a bit overdramatic and maybe to some tiresome. More than once it is mentioned the ‘end of the world’, however, the lack of information on the biggest point of concern in which the story heavily relies suffered from under development with only a couple of scenes such as Filicia’s flashbacks finally shedding light on the war. Also how they disregard other aspects such as explaining the urban legends and even going as far as mentioning angels (even showing proof) in the last episode by quickly introducing elements that we weren’t sure of their existence in the first place make the story seem sloppy or just something we have to ‘accept as it is’
Heck, the world seemed more interesting than the characters (…well actually it still is), and I think there’s quite a good opportunity to expand the universe here. Not like they haven’t capitalized on it, with a DS game coming out and all. And there’s also still 2 more unaired episodes as well, not like it’ll probably contribute anything big to the whole story or whatsoever.
For the series as a whole, you can divide it into three parts. The fascinating world that the characters lived in that was unfortunately never fully developed and took the back seat in towards the end of the series. Then the characters, who gave the show its tag of being military K-ON (a tag the show still hasn’t been able to fully shake off) thanks to their moeblob appearance and conforming to archetypes. They grew on you as the series went on though (my personal favourite being Rio) but were never great characters in the true sense. The last part was the actual story which started off interesting but, as we can see from many of the reactions from people here, ending very disappointingly.
Episode 7 told me that Sora no Woto would be the best show of the season no matter what, and I even wrote this on it out of pure shock and joy. Episode 8 does not count.
Somehow this manages to sum Sora no Woto up quite well. One episode would be fantastic only for the next episode to be poor. Each part of its overall picture excelled in some areas only to fail in others. Even those who generally like the show a lot can’t go crazy over the show because they know the faults are there as well. An average score of 7.51 on MAL tells one story, looking at the breakdown of the ratings shows you the true picture. For 7.5 shows, it can be split into categories of ‘love it or hate it’ and ‘kinda good all round’, both of which result in the same average score. Sora no Woto falls into the latter category. It has its fans but honestly, I’d be surprised if this was remembered several years down the line. It’s sad to think that it might only be remembered as military K-ON but I can certainly see that happening.
And that’s the end of this metablogging project. It was interesting to try out but, as I said here, it didn’t really suit me. Finally, I’d like to make a special call out to Omni from Random Curiosity who, if I didn’t quote him in an episode, I certainly stole his screencaps. This monster blogger is retiring at the end of the season and now I’m left in panic wondering where I’m going to go to steal screencaps when I’m too lazy to take my own.