On the surface, it’s all fun and frolics, but there are once again definite nods to something a little deeper and more serious going on beneath the surface
Something a little deeper…understatement much?
Second episode of my metablogging project and I’ve been delighted with the amount of people blogging this show. I was worried I might have to scour animenano to find people talking but it’s come to the point yet again that there’s actually way too many people blogging it. I decided to toss aside those who were unimpressed with the episode so I could spend the time mainly discussing the actual plot points. Oh, and also because I loved this episode and got bored reading the criticism.
Why the military motif? It seems unusual here; the last thing I’d imagine these characters carrying around is guns — and yet one was fired, even, in the second episode. But why? Anime often throws teenagers — the absolute lastage group I’d trust with weaponry — into military organizations, but newtypes and NERV experiments these heroines are not (they’re effectively routed by an owl, for one thing).
This has been a subject that’s been on the forefront of an awful lot of peoples minds. Why so young? Why do we have teenage girls defending an entire town by themselves with nothing more than a broken tank and inaccurate shooting? Pontifus suggests that it could be a rather subtle use of moe but I prefer his second suggestion.
2. Consistency with the setting
I know I discredited this, in a way, above, but I didn’t really intend to discredit it entirely. Consider how understaffed these militaries are — understaffed enough to man a border fortress with teenage girls, for chrissakes. I wouldn’t be surprised if our protagonists are practically (if not technically) conscripts, or if the benefits of voluntary service are such that any young person who knows what’s good for her enlists, or if simple peer pressure plays a role. It’s possible, also, that the military has requisitioned certain services — music training, for example — for the sake of encouraging enlistment. That seems to be how they got Kanata, at least.
Here we are seeing the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou similarities with a world with a dwindling population (a bit like Japan OH SNAP!). Notice how Kanata says classes are a lot smaller to those in that abandoned school. While that answers the question of why they’re enlisting teenage girls slightly, it does bring up the huge question of what on earth happened to the worlds population.
Yeah, with this episode I’m sure: the thing that’s keeping me interested in Sora no Oto is the setting. This episode did a great job of fleshing out the abandoned school building that the lead characters live in. I’m interested in the customs that these girls have, the history behind the people who once were in the school, and the overall culture in the country of Helvetica. It’s imaginative, detailed and inspired. I love how this episode took its time to introduce the various rooms in the building. That’s why I think that this show rocks.
The setting really has a lot of thought put into it and it’s been touted as the stand out factor of the episode. I know there’s the promise of spider tank battles but even if this show spends the rest of it’s short run looking back at the history of how this land has ended up in the mess it’s in.
While we did get some background, they did hint much more about the setting which is pretty interesting without being too depressing. As mentioned before it seems that in this post war period both sides seem to have fought until their strength was all but spent. War seems to be the last thing on their minds as the draft is gone but they are still taking in kids as a sort of uniformed welfare to cut costs. I wonder if 1121st is actually made up of all orphans since I don’t see parents being too willing to let their kids go off to some far away post. Certainly it would lend more credibility to the setting with the state being nearly bankrupt with a deteriorating army that barely keeps its units supplied. The lack of education suggests that they did scrape the bottom of the man-power barrel as education took a nose dive with elective course like music gone the way of the dodo.
You have to wonder about how long this war has been going on and whether they really were super-powered at the beginning. I seriously doubt for one that the war was the factor in this post-apocalyptic state we currently have. The girls talked about having bigger classes as though it was something that mankind had forgotten about. Even if their education system has gone to shit and they know nothing about history, it still strikes me that the time the school was in service must be quite a long time in the past. Also, while Crusader would obviously know more about this than I do, but surely 5 people is an awfully small amount to defend a town with, even if they are all teenage girls. My guess is this war started long after the post-apocalyptic state and was fought with small forces with extremely advanced weaponry, which has obviously now all gone to pot with the war being dragged out for so long.
We also got a little tour around the building they live in, even though it came in a form of ghost-hunting. That was one heck of a mysterious building indeed, and I wonder if that “ghost” is really real (like, the lady shown on ep1), and they only mistook the owl as one ghost. See this pic below why I believe that there’s indeed a ghost:
You didn’t spot this either did you? I was first alerted to it in a comment on Star Crossed and confirmed on Metanorn to prove that I wasn’t going crazy. I mean, holy shit that is fucking scary! It’s been hinted several times before that there’s a supernatural element to this anime, what with that fossil in episode one and know this ghost. It wasn’t the owl after all folks.
Seriously, everytime I look at that picture it gives me goosebumps so I’m going to end the post now before I piss myself.