Blowing Sora No Woto’s Trumpet.
Okay, so the title of this blog is probably not actually going to reflect the review, but I couldn’t resist the pun. I wanted to give you a quick preview of the series before rattling on with the review, but apparently TV Tokyo don’t like that, so we have no video. But I’ll come back and insert one if I can…
The first I saw of Sora No Woto was the opening credits from the first episode. It hit home right away. A beautiful, inspiring song introducing you to a war torn world, with perhaps an undertone of loss and sorrow. I was gearing myself up for something spectacular, but was ultimately left pining for something more.
Sora No Woto follows the path of Kanata Sorami on her quest to learn how to play the trumpet. Inspired by a soldier who she had heard play when she was younger, she enlists in the army as a bugler. Kanata is assigned to the 1121st platoon stationed in a fortress in the Helvetian town of Sieze. It is here that she meets the seemingly loving and light hearted Captain, Filicia Heidemann, the stoic and strict Rio Kazumiya (also a bugler), and two other recruits of a similar age to Kanata, the plucky and disciplined gunner, Kureha Suminoya, and the quiet and mysterious pilot/mechanic, Noël Kannagi.
Kaneta is put under the tuition of Rio, and slowly begins to master the bugle, all the while learning more about the other residents of the fortress.
As previously mentioned, Sora No Woto has all the premises of a deep and emotional war story, but almost as soon as the introductions are over, it seems to use its all-female cast to revert to a stereotypical shōnen anime, there is very little description of the post-apocalyptic world in which it is set, and war is only mentioned in passing until the later episodes, with focus instead on day to day activities within the fortress, giving occasional chances for character development.
Having stated my disappointment, it is probably apt to clarify that in no way is Sora No Woto a bad anime. In fact I enjoyed watching it, the animation is good, excelling during the war flashback scenes, and perhaps without realising it, it develops a great deal of empathy for the members of the 1121st platoon. But it could have been so much more.
The real stories of the war, and character’s pasts, don’t seem to kick in until at least episode 7, and for a series of only 12 episodes, perhaps that’s leaving it all a bit too late. In fact the series is built to a climax, and resolved within the last 3 episodes, a transition that happened so suddenly , I was left somewhat bemused and underwhelmed.
Perhaps I was expecting too much from Sora No Woto, but at the very least it is a watchable anime, occasionally paddling in the pools of intellect, but never straying deep enough to trouble the audience’s brains.
Overall Rating: 69%
Enjoyment Rating: 7/10