In my previous post on this anime I mentioned my initial dismissal of Sora no Woto then I saw episode 5 and decided to stick with it regardless of my irritation at the slow, mellow tone and the characters. Then I saw the next episode’s title:
Kanata’s Day Off – Hair Braiding – a title clearly designed to lull viewers into a false sense of security.
Throughout the episode, there are orphans, recollections of lost comrades or parents and the threat of the unknown that continues to emanate from no man’s land. It just felt like it was all adding up to something big – possible carnage. However, the most interesting comment came at the end from Ryu Kazumiya.
“I hate things that are decided or given to you from the beginning.”
This for me is a key phrase as it describes the series as a whole. We, the audience, have to wait for the series to reveal its narrative further and the background for a world that is looking increasingly interesting.
So I’m not sure what I was expecting the next episode to be like – it was clear the tone from the first four episodes wouldn’t be sustainable. Then episode 7 came…
Episode 7 took a decidedly darker turn. Filicia, the platoon leader, is the focus for the episode.
The sight of blood flowing out from a cut cues flashbacks to a time where she was in Kanata’s position. Fresh and new, part of a tank crew then tossed into the battlefield like a doll, alone and faced with death. The battlefield is a city in ruins, destroyed long ago. It is made evident that the world has undergone a cataclysm of sorts. Then we track her physical and mental journey as she crosses the ruins and the dead.
Is her past why she is so sickly sweet and motherly to her subordinates?
There is also the revelation that Noël is also a veteran. Is that why she’s so quiet and withdrawn?
Both have been deeply affected by the war and neither can ever tell the truth of what they have seen. Only those who have experienced it will know. History weighs heavily on everybody and explains the supertank in the early-tweentieth century European setting (which reminded me of Orguss 2) and the constant sight of orphans.
The idea that a team of girls are going to face the sights of episode 7 makes the moe seem less surreal and more absurdist – try as they might, emote as they might, moe as they might the world is ending.
The world is opening up further as we get a reason for the cataclysm. Humanity has suffered a great fall at the hands of spider-tanks from a war from and even older era. The spider-tanks, I can only surmise are controlled by a machine intelligence. Then, as is becoming common with this series, a character says something profound at the end which will probably indicate the direction of the show.
Filicia asks Ryu, “What is the meaning of the world?”
Filicia then answers her own question. There is no meaning. It is up to us to define it and as for her, she’s found that preserving the lives and prevent suffering of the next generation.
All of this helps to explain the world more. The ending should have made me implode with revulsion as the group give their declarations of love and hug, but it just increases the feeling that they are truly like lambs to the slaughter and increases my desire to watch it to see if Filicia can live up to her own ideals and to see what will happen next.
Oh, and the music at the end was good.
This is looking to be an intriguing series indeed.