If you thought this was silly, you haven’t seen 200 guys running around the woods shouting “SHOT, SHOT, SHOT, BURRRRRSSST!“.
The aniblogsphere is a good measure of how accurate the depiction of military life is in an anime by the number of people come out to reveal they also spent time running around with bags full of rocks in their bag (I’m convinced those bags were made heavier with a few rocks just for the training exercise. That will make them feel any later bags feel a lot less heavier).
We already knew that there was some kind of no-man’s land which was probably created through nuclear fallout, but actually seeing it had much more impact. What we saw there very much looked like huge craters, and it’s very much possible that those were caused by nuclear bombs.
It is a beautiful landscape whose beauty is marred by the ruins and desert that mark the start of No Man’s Land. What ever was the cause of the great catastrophe it seems that is was significant enough to reduce a major city to a sterile desert, and given how you still have big tall chunks it might not have been nuclear. I wonder if those observations posts were put up before or after the calamity. Certainly being short and stout would have helped as opposed to the tall skyscrapers and offices.
The reveal of No Man’s Land was quite a shocker in the episode. There’s been brief mentions and signs at the apocalypse, such as the lack of fish in the ocean (and yet still fish in the streams, as you may have noticed), the hyper-advanced machinery and the derelict school, but this is the first sign we got of the true horror of the destruction. One thing it did highlight was that this apocalypse was indeed caused by warfare, probably the exact same war which they’re fighting right now. It’s hard to really tell how far back No Man’s Land was created. I was of the opinion that it was a looooong time ago but this episode made me think otherwise. Nuclear vs non-nuclear is a bit of a moot point though. Humans are fully capable of wrecking havoc without nuclear weaponry, just maybe not as quickly.
I feel the series hits the right tone in how it portrays military life in a non-combat outpost type of setting. While at first glance, Kanata, Kureha, Noel, Rio, and Filicia might seem to be tropes, but I can tell you for a fact that I’ve meet many a soldier that I could just change their names to any of the girl’s names and it would be almost a perfect personality match.
The way Sora no Woto quickly decided how we should assume its characters to function actually shows tremendous potential for continued, well, not necessarily character progression but character exploration. Think of determining the supposed character archetype as barely scratching the surface of what’s underneath.
Now this was unusual to read. My main problem with the series, and clearly many others, is how painfully stereotypical each of the characters are. What bugs me is that there’s no attempt to do anything really that different with the character archetypes, or expand on them either. It seems happy to keep to the status quo. But hey, there’s clearly people who disagree with me here. It’s odd how people can often criticize things for being stereotypical when they are very true to life.
The girls are protected by what feels like the last remaining sanctuary of their country; the only place where youth and naivety are still able to exist, and that feeling of moé, of innocence, is woven beautifully into a world on the brink. In a way, it’s like Haibane Renmei, where quiet, hazy days are fritted away on mundane tasks, yet the undercurrent of sadness is palpable. The direction is conflicted, like someone simultaneously celebrating youth yet lamenting its transience and fragility; nostalgia, perhaps? It’s as if the faintest of touches could shatter these girls’ into a million tiny pieces, and that sense of vulnerability is foreboding and melancholy
For what plays off like a slice of life, I keep thinking Sora no Woto is going to take a much more dramatic or darker turn later in the show. I wondered why, and then I realized that I couldn’t remember Sora no Woto using one instance of chibi faces or any sort of comic distortion. Everything’s been really, really straight laced, which is shocking for a show that features cute girls with yuri undertones. And then the world they live in reminds me of Haibane Renmei’s Old Home – mysterious but quaint, traditional but crumbling, a dying world filled with hopeful people.
I spend the first episode focusing on how people kept comparing this to K-ON and I was quick to make the comparison between this and Haibane Remnei. More and more people are gradually catching onto this similarity and it has certainly followed the same pattern to Haibane thus far. I hadn’t realised quite the level of similarity the two had until I did my blog rounds though. Ah, aren’t anime blogs wonderful things~