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So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 11 »« So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 09

So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 10


As Rio burns some documents, the other girls help Noel bring together the spider legs of Takemikazuchi. Afterward, Kureha helps Kanata look for information about Iliya, but there’s none to be found. Kureha, however, is still able to tell Kanata about how Iliya died trying to save a drowning child and how she was set to wed the Emperor of Rome to improve relations between their countries. While this is on her mind, Kanata is found by Yumina and a girl who want her to check on an old woman named Jacott who lives alone on the nearby mountain. Kanata convinces Rio to come with her, and the two come across Jacott building another house next to her current one. Jacott explains that she’s building it for her son should he return, but the girls are more concerned about how she hasn’t prepared for the upcoming winter cold. Since the old woman won’t leave the mountain, Rio and Kanata are left with no choice but to help her get some firewood and food.

While in town, Rio asks Kanata about the place she was born and then reveals that she herself was raised by her mother in a small village near the capital city. She had a half-sister who came to see her sometimes, and Rio learned to play the trumpet from her. Rio also talks about how she felt lost and eventually realized that Seize was a dead end, but Kanata feels that what’s important is that they were able to meet here. Later that night, the two return to Jacott’s home to help her prepare for the coming cold, and when asked, Rio compares the old woman to her own mother. It turns out that Rio was born as a result of an impermissible love, and her mother had always waited for that man, leading to what Rio believes was an unhappy life and death. Jacott questions why Rio thinks that her mother was unhappy and claims that she herself is very happy with her belief that the person she’s waiting for will return.

Jacott’s own past involved falling in love with the son of a merchant and giving birth to his child. However, he already had a family and had taken the child back with him to his real wife with the promise that he would someday come back for her. On this very night, after Kanata and Rio have fallen asleep in her home, Jacott sees a vision of that man and runs to him. Kanata and Rio wake up in the morning to find Jacott gone, and her trail is lost in the snow. Upon returning to the fort, the girls meet up with Naomi who explains Jacott’s past to them, and Naomi also brought a photo of Iliya. Rio doesn’t stop her from showing it to the other girls, and while she goes to play Amazing Grace, the girls learn that Rio has decided to leave. Kanata has by now realized that it was Iliya who she had met a long time ago and how that music led to her and Rio meeting here. Having earlier heard from Filicia about the Roman army being on the move, Rio has concluded that she has to go do what only she can, and she gives Kanata her trumpet before departing.


I wasn’t sure where they were going with this episode at first, but I ended up really enjoying it. They confirmed a lot of what we had suspected in terms of Iliya and Rio’s background, including how Rio is indeed needed so that she can be married off to ensure peace, and Jacott’s story made for a nice parallel to Rio’s own story (or rather her mother’s). Rio’s ultimate departure was a little surprising, mainly because I didn’t think it’d be so soon, but they did a great job packing emotion into those final scenes and working in the theme of unifying sound and music. I have to mention too that I love their use of the soundtrack, especially during the scene where Rio and Kanata were walking around the city.

Now I want to say that this likely won’t be the last time we see Rio, but with only two episodes left (not including the two extra DVD/BD ones), I’m not so sure. It all depends on what kind of conflict they build up next episode, like if there’s going to be another outbreak of fighting or if there’s going to be something connected to the legend appearing. The preview on the official site doesn’t seem to point to either of those though and instead indicates that the girls will meet a hostile soldier.

March 9, 2010 at 4:21 am
  • March 9, 2010 at 4:38 amAlec

    THANK GOD…IF they mentioned that the girl ILYA saved was Kanata, then I would have given this episode a thumbs down . it just happens that I hate coincidences which happens in an anime FREQUENTLY. so i really thought that they would mention it that way…

    the 2nd half of the episode was amazing…!!!! the first half was an OK, which is not good coz its an OK, but the 2nd half KILLED IT (in a good way)…

  • March 9, 2010 at 4:38 amJayars

    looks great as usual. Need to catch up soon!

  • March 9, 2010 at 5:02 amkaineng

    wow not yet ended? and rio, why did you leave so soon? anyways, nice episode, just didn’t cry anyway, more great storyline to come… and hope it doesn’t end on the Hentai side…

  • March 9, 2010 at 6:19 amAlec

    @ kaineng

    hentai side???? u serious???? u really serious????? u really 2x serious????

  • March 9, 2010 at 7:44 amPauline

    Hi, I used some of your captures and credit you, hope it’s ok. I also put a link on my blog. If there is any problem please tell me. Anyway thank you for your work, I was looking for something new to watch and I’m sure I’ll find thanks to you.

  • March 9, 2010 at 8:48 amm

    The animation was pretty spotty during their town adventure, though we did get to see some nice backgrounds in exchange.

    The side-story of the old woman and with snow just happening to fall was pretty lame. It was just some sentimentalism to grease the way for Rio’s departure.

    The best part of this episode was definitely the score, but that’s not saying a lot when the show is this tedious.

    I really don’t know what to say about Rome being the center of another dick empire.

  • March 9, 2010 at 9:36 amGiriath

    What?! It’s only going to be 12 episodes? There are so many ways they could take this story, even many different genres. It would be disappointing if it ends when it has an opportunity to get serious and explore so much of the universe they’ve created.

  • March 9, 2010 at 10:19 amKaus

    Hostile Female Soldier eh? Guess they needed someone to replace Rio with.

  • March 9, 2010 at 11:20 amSandraS

    m, the nattering nabob of negativity…
    seriously… can the comments of this genius somehow be removed / hidden / flushed down the toilet (and that goes for his non-esteemed opinions on other blogs, too)

    sorry for the ad hominem, but i had to get this off my chest. mister m had me facepalming for too long.

    sora no (wo)to imho is the most amazing anime since… hmm… moryou no hako and another living proof that we experience a golden age of japanese/world popular culture. something to tell the grandkids about in 40 years time. yep, kids, the jap cultural explosion came out from left field, and i was there when it happened. of course, the whiners and philistines wouldn’t notice. as they did not notice when klimt was painting, or mahler composing. ya know man, the newest phidias is just sh*te

  • March 9, 2010 at 12:12 pmSele

    I just hope they come back for a second season. It wouldn’t be like the show to rush itself… it is very well paced.

  • March 9, 2010 at 2:16 pmDavid Joslin

    The show keeps coming back to “Amazing Grace,’ which I find somehow very moving. The writers clearly understand the redemptive sense of the song. I wonder if this understanding is simply aesthetic, or do they perhaps have a spiritual idea in mind? Unlike some other series, this show does seem to get western religion.

    We also got a lot of information about the current political situation. It is clear now that the serenity of the previous episodes has been merely a temporary lull within an ongoing and terrible war. The tank getting its legs is another ominous sign. If Rio-sempai doesn’t save the day, things could get very very bad for our band of heroines.

  • March 9, 2010 at 2:55 pmMartin

    Jacott’s trail didn’t peter out…it continued through the inverted concrete cones. Yet Rio and Kanata stopped following…why? Jacott entered no-man’s land? Crossed the border?

    Actually agree with m about the animation of Rio and Kanata wandering through the town…but the backgrounds made up for it.

    Guesses: Rio marries emperor of Rome, but Rome invades anyway, so she bails and comes back to the platoon where Noel’s tank saves the day!

  • March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pmMartin

    Or there’s a second season (P L E A S E)

  • March 9, 2010 at 3:37 pmewok

    hmmm, if by episode 10 there is no shooting (save faked mob violence and poor owl being harassed), I am worried we’ll have no war at all….

  • March 9, 2010 at 4:37 pmm

    SandraS, if you use Firefox and Greaseymonkey, then peruse this script and see* if it’s to your liking. I don’t know you or what other websites you read, so if that doesn’t suit you, then you’re on your own.

    * Don’t install scripts without inspecting them first, so as to ensure some upper-class philistine hasn’t sabotaged them. I imagine many off the world’s finest crybabies have fallen that way.

  • March 9, 2010 at 4:50 pmAuroraFlame

    …I liked the episode but I don’t see how they are going to get back to the war or the legend in only two episodes, unless they do what Ryuusei no Gemini did last season and rush through the plot after a major end-of-episode-ten development.

    This show could have used a 24 episode season, as it seems the producers wanted to do both a slice of life and a serious story. This episode they said Kanata’s been with them for six months, and is quite good with the trumpet now. So they covered the introductions and bonding in the first five episodes, various village stories in the next four, and are now shifting to the ending with these three. With the lack of more middle-of-the-road episodes, I’m guessing mysteries such as the invisible shinigami might not be important.

    It’s probably 12 episodes because it’s in the Power of Anime slot. If they made a full length order and the show wasn’t a success, they’d be stuck in it for a half a year and it would kill the project.

  • March 9, 2010 at 6:43 pmSandraS

    peruse this script

    sorry, have to respectfully decline. mum told me not to click links provided by nasty bullyboys

    upper-class crybaby – guilty as charged, m’lud. old ladies dying in the snow with a vision of their long-lost love DO make me cry… a bit. but real under-class m-men of course don’t fall for such greasy gooey girly sentimentalism. now go and polish the fake katana, that’s a good lad

    full length.. if not a success.. would kill the (Power of Anime) project

    Any information yet on the reception of the series in Japan so far? It SHOULD be a success, given it’s artistic merits and trope mix. Please! Wasting this complex and beautiful world on a one-cour would be just too sad…

    One more thing… if any of you happen to do sightseeing in Vienna, be sure to have a look at the Beethovenfries in the Sezession building. That is the original artwork the OP visuals are based on. One of the seminal works of Jugendstil/Art Noveau and extremely impressive in it’s own right. And it was done in one of those golden ages that were only really appreciated once they were irretrievably lost.

  • March 9, 2010 at 7:36 pmm

    mum told me not to click links provided by nasty bullyboys

    Maybe you shouldn’t use a computer if it’s that scary.

    under-class m-men

    You really don’t know what the word ‘nabob’ means, do you?

  • March 9, 2010 at 7:48 pmender650

    I just caught up with this series and the animation quality continues to impress me- though some parts feel like they ran a bit short on time. The story itself is interesting enough even though it is not the type that I would usually enjoy.

  • March 9, 2010 at 8:11 pmcx

    lol where is noel reaching in preview pic

  • March 9, 2010 at 8:32 pmSandraS

    you really don’t know what nabob means

    hmm i used it mainly in Spiro T.’s sense of alliterating 糞垂れ. didn’t accuse ya of having nontrivial amounts of money or being from Bangalore. can also mean people with really, really bad taste doing the contrarian shtick rubbishing things they…don’t…quite..get. wait, no, actually it doesn’t. moushiwake arimasen.

    we could go on all day. scary.

  • March 9, 2010 at 8:56 pmm

    hmm i used it mainly in Spiro T.’s sense

    Read Safire’s Political Dictionary.

    didn’t accuse ya of having nontrivial amounts of money

    That’s because you write things you don’t comprehend. In so doing you’ve taken some of the amusement out of what seemed like bizarre posturing. You aren’t being funny, you’re just trying to be a dick. 香具師

    really bad taste doing the contrarian shtick rubbishing things they…don’t…quite..get

    You wrote glowing praise for schlock that’s not even up to Scrapped Princess in production values or depth of writing. I had thought it in jest at first, but perhaps you’re just daft. I don’t begrudge people their own interests, but you’re in a glass house.

    we could go on all day. scary.

    Only because you’re a libelous crank that cannot tolerate others’ views and is incapable of following through with your own desire to “flush” my comments. I even went through the trouble of automating the process for you, but you probably can’t read JavaScript so my kindness was wasted. Instead you’ve seen fit to dirty up someone’s forum with the pretense of wit.

  • March 9, 2010 at 8:59 pmSplash

    They spent 10 nice episodes to slowly meander to the point they are at now. Can’t see them tidying up so many loose ends in just the last 2. Most likely its been planned for more then 1 season.

  • March 9, 2010 at 10:59 pmKevin

    @m and @SandraS
    People like you two make the internets a srs fcken business!

    Joking aside, this episode came as a surprise to me. I’m still loving it and looking forward to how it will end (or not end).

  • March 9, 2010 at 11:30 pmAuroraFlame


    I’m not really sure what you were trying to say to me. I agree that this series could have gone on longer, but they’ve already announced the next two series in this project, so I doubt they’ll come back to it for a while — if at all.

    As far as I know, this show has been pretty well-recieved in Japan, along with Durarara!! from this season.

  • March 10, 2010 at 12:15 amSandraS

    (strong language)

    ouch ouch ouch honestly, i DO comprehend the things i write. or do you mean i don’t comprehend the things i write ABOUT ? it’s not the same, vou know. and wrong again. we are not discussing quantum chromodynamics here. just amateur culture comment and criticism. anybody can write whatever the educational background and cultural frame of reference. which brings me too…

    schlock not even up to scrapped princess

    aha, aha, aha. here we have it. sora no woto is schlock NOT EVEN UP TO scrapped princess. implying sp is crap as well. at least someone sees it as it is, schlock, crap, rubbish. the large majority of posters here must be tools then. guess what, you do not just have a different opinion (no problem with that), but insult the sincerely held opinion of just about everybody else. amazingly, being called an idiot seems to piss people off no end. you have also recently unmasked crappy old baccano, ne. so does cowboy bebop make the cut ? hoshi no koe two star rating ? gankutsuou headache fest ? monster not scary ? steamboat willie ? romeo and julia ? gilgamesh ?

    and if sora is schlock, why do you still watch it ? sucker for punishment ? so many questions…

    oh well. the “master perfume maker” IS a funny bit of invective. there must be some interesting story of old Edo behind that

  • March 10, 2010 at 12:30 amOrion

    “cx at 8:11 pm on March 9th, 2010

    lol where is noel reaching in preview pic”

    It’s the Helvetian version of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. From personal testing I wouldn’t try it myself in this situation, though. Doesn’t usually immobilize; tends to cause spasms and that’s a scalpel being held to Noel’s neck.

  • March 10, 2010 at 9:19 amm

    i DO comprehend the things i write. or do you mean i don’t comprehend the things i write ABOUT ?

    If what you write communicates something distinct from your intention, then in what sense do you comprehend it? This isn’t an issue of a subject you don’t comprehend, like QCD, but rather a careless allusion. In this example you have taken a clever dog whistle written by a professional propagandist and misplaced the intention of the jibe. Given the targets of derision it made the later juxtaposition with philistine draped in all of that verbiage about Mahler was rather entertaining, whereas your intended usage is just pretentious. Imagine my puzzlement when, out of nowhere, you want to take the designation of upper class pseudo-intellectual for yourself and cast me down into the ‘real people.’

    aha, aha, aha. here we have it. sora no woto is schlock NOT EVEN UP TO scrapped princess. implying sp is crap as well. at least someone sees it as it is, schlock, crap, rubbish. the large majority of posters here must be tools then.

    Seek therapy.

    If you want to insult me further then send your ramblings to smoothmanifold set to teh google mail. Undoubtedly I’ll receive a tenfold increase in junkmail to my webmail address, but it’s quite rude to continue such a hobby in the comments section of someone else’s blog. You can be sure to tell me how thinking little of entire genres of music implies that those that enjoy them should just die, or whatever passes for critical thought in the SandraS-Dome.

  • March 10, 2010 at 10:27 amewok

    hmmm after some thought I know what show I can compare to best… Pumpkin scissors! 12-13 episodes, most slow of pace and filler-esque but by the end making a grand action episode or two and leaving us salivating for seacond season that never came…

  • March 10, 2010 at 10:30 amGiriath

    I really want to see Kanata playing on Rio/Iliya’s trumpet. She must have quite some admiration for it, being the very instrument that set her on the path that led her to where she is now.

  • March 10, 2010 at 11:28 amMartin

    The “So ra no wo to” entry on wikipedia indicates that a couple of OVAs will be coming in June and September. Filler? Prequel? Link to a second season?

  • March 10, 2010 at 11:32 amSandraS

    (roiling sea of lava)

    i stand in awe.

  • March 10, 2010 at 7:29 pmTre

    If the show does end up having a second season, it will have been because of the popularity of moe blob, so I hope everyone will acknowledge the producers’ genius decision to attract fans with moe, and keep the fans with the story and characters.

  • March 10, 2010 at 9:11 pmIsland Esper

    Rio noooooooooo!!!! I want her back. This series get a 2nd season. After the k-on 2nd season yay!!

  • March 11, 2010 at 3:36 amOrion

    ewok: “hmmm after some thought I know what show I can compare to best… Pumpkin scissors!”

    That was my original impression. I thought it might have been set in the same world. The headless winged skeleton persuaded me otherwise, though. I think the whole idea behind so-ra-no-wo-to really has to do with a statement in the previews for the show: “There is nothing in this world that is useless or unneeded.”, I think is what they said. The whole series seems to have been establishing this for these characters. At first glance you’d have to say they were all pretty bloody awful useless: a trumpeter who can’t play, a girl without family or name she can call her own, a captain whose greatest asset is she’s a decent cook and housekeeper, a girl working on a broken tank, and a war orphan. They’re stuck out in the most useless and unnecessary place in the whole kingdom. Somehow they manage to find a place in the world and a use for their lives.

  • March 11, 2010 at 2:12 pmDavid Joslin

    Orion’s got it. Nice post.

  • March 12, 2010 at 11:23 pmRizz Rustbolt

    Damn, this is incredible series.

    It reminds me a lot of Nahoko Uehashi’s writing.

  • March 15, 2010 at 10:43 pmlol