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So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 12 (END) »« So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 10

So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 11

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Summary:

While on patrol one snowy day, Kureha and Kanata find an unconscious female Roman soldier and bring her back to the fort. When Noel sees the girl, she recognizes her and insists on personally taking care of her. The others meanwhile go through the girl’s items, which includes a horn, and they suspect that she’s a scout. For the time being though, Filicia is undecided about what to do with her. When the girl wakes up, she tries to attack Noel, but Noel stops her by grabbing her breast. Since none of the girls understand the Roman language, the only thing they’re able to figure out is that this girl’s name is Aisha. Aisha soon warms up to them though and impresses Kanata by playing Amazing Grace with Rio’s trumpet. Unfortunately, Naomi soon arrives with Yumina bearing news that the Helvetian military is moving in their direction, and she suggests that it might have something to do with Aisha’s appearance.

Luckily, Yumina is able to speak the Roman language and learns that Aisha is here to see the angel fossil which she thinks is the apocalyptic angel that destroyed the world. This is interrupted, however, by a horn signaling the arrival of a Helvetian army division led by a man named Hopkins who’s known as the demon god of Vingt. This causes Noel to go into a state of fear and shock because she remembers working with him in the past, and Filicia decides to hide Noel, Aisha, Naomi, and Yumina in the abandoned part of the fort. Hopkins, however, suspects that something is up and has his men search the place. While in their hiding spot, Yumina learns something about the flame maiden legend from Aisha, and Aisha then tries to find out Noel’s name. Having not been told it before, Aisha now recognizes Noel’s name as being connected to the invisible Shinigami, and this causes Noel to have another flashback and scream. She runs out of the room, so Aisha goes after her, but the two are found by Helvetian soldiers who open fire. Back in the main room, Kanata answers the phone and gets a message from headquarters informing her that a large Roman army has appeared at the Seize border of No Man’s Land.

Preview

So Ra No Wo To   11   Preview 01 So Ra No Wo To   11   Preview 02 So Ra No Wo To   11   Preview 03

Wow, talk about plot development and a nice cliffhanger. The preview from last week had me unsure about what would be happening this episode, so I was pleasantly surprised when it seemed like all of the remaining plot-lines came together here with the arrival of the German-speaking Aisha (and here I thought Rome might have spoken Latin or Italian). It’s very exciting because they appear to be building up to a great final episode that’ll include Noel’s past (which I had admittedly completely forgotten about), the fossil and legend, and the conflict with the Romans. The cliffhanger seemed to indicate that they might kill off Aisha or – heaven forbid – Noel, but it’s probably just a red herring or a flesh wound. I can’t imagine the girls being able to operate Takemikazuchi without Noel, and if Aisha died like this, it’d probably put Noel in too big a state of shock to get out of in just one episode. There’s also still more to learn about Noel’s past as a genius scientist and what she actually did – probably weapons development.

Arguably more interesting than that is how they’re working the flame maiden legend and the angel fossil back into the story. Along with the approaching enemy force, we’ve now got two potential sources of conflict, and I can imagine several scenarios where maybe the “angel” comes back to life and wreaks havoc until the girls stop it. Yumina learned something about the legend from Aisha near the end of the episode, and I’m sure that’ll come up in an important way in the finale. Regardless of what the conflict is, I’ve been looking forward all season to the girls using Takemikazuchi in battle, and the online preview hints that it’ll finally happen in next week’s finale.

March 16, 2010 at 1:49 am
43 comments »
  • March 16, 2010 at 2:26 ampagan poor

    Nice ep. Too bad they couldn’t find an VA that spoke decent Italian.

  • March 16, 2010 at 2:41 amHypernova

    “There’s also still more to learn about Noel’s past as a genius scientist and what she actually did”

    The ep made it pretty clear, Aisha calls her the “Witch of Helvetia” that created the Invisible Reaper by accessing an old era bio weapons lab. Under the command of Hopkins.

    Pretty much reveals why she doesn’t have a lantern in ep 7

  • March 16, 2010 at 2:42 amUnrealPaul

    It would make sense that the Romans speak German.

    Remember, there was such a thing as the Holy Roman Empire, and they spoke German.

  • March 16, 2010 at 2:47 amHorus

    Wow. Amazing episode. Really blew me away. Especially with Noel’s change of personality. Really is something…and Filicia is indeed a reminiscence of Mugi…with all that yuri talk o.o

    I doubt they would kill off Aisha or Noel, or rather anyone too soon. Chances are, I would say, that Aisha is kept imprisoned momentarily until the girls break her out and use her to help operate the Takemikazuchi while the Helventian 9th Division is swept up in preparations for the impending assault by the Roman legions. They need at least 5 in a unit to operate the tanker efficiently, right? Good thing they have an extra girl who fell out of the sky (actually, off the cliff) to do the job. Coincidence? I think not.

    I’m not sure how they intend to end the series in one single episode unless they pull a deus ex machina. Rio to save the day perhaps? Season II by any chance? It’s premature if they called Rio out of action and not have such a major player not appear at the end of the game.

    This series is too good to let up in a single season. Lend us another A-1, you’ve proved that you can pull together a new original series. Now keep it flowing.

  • March 16, 2010 at 2:52 amHypernova

    “Filicia is indeed a reminiscence of Mugi…with all that yuri talk o.o”

    At least she had a good reason to talk like that, if Aisha was just faking not speaking French she would have still reacted to such absurd lines. It was basically a test.

  • March 16, 2010 at 3:17 amHorus

    Yea, I got that but it was still so funny XD Especially Kanata’s expression as a result.

    Props to A-1 and especially for Filicia’s VA for not making it sound dirty. She sounded so kind and nice despite the content which made the whole bit really focus on it being a test.

  • March 16, 2010 at 3:54 amwhatever 2

    protip: Traitors and wars

  • March 16, 2010 at 5:18 amお化け屋敷の主人

    lol…the the Roman girl speaks German. Absolutely had no clue of what she is saying either. Nevertheless, great stuff that we saw in this episode. All of the tension and the plot have finally revealed. Can’t wait to see the final ep. I am almost 100% certain that the ending will be a good one, meaning that the tension between two forces will be eased and no one will die.

  • March 16, 2010 at 5:51 amsamu

    Two huge armies opposing each other…Something tells me that Noel’s tank is going to play the role of the machine that changes the war like in Gundam Unicorn…Except the fire maidens (Rio will return!) control the super tank Takemikazuchi and beat some sense into the two armies who are no match for the superior forgotten technology…Maybe in the process they’ll wake up the Angel sleeping somewhere in No Man’s Land…

  • March 16, 2010 at 5:57 amkaineng

    wow the episode really’s brining ME to a cliffhanger, hope it ends well, and I somehow don’t mind the robots anymore. why? because of so.ra.no.wo.to! haha…

  • March 16, 2010 at 9:13 amKam7r

    lol another german\french war

  • March 16, 2010 at 9:25 amIsland Esper

    Like I was saying in the other thread:
    Noel Noooooooooooo !!!!
    The super quiet, brilliant, dark lingerie wearing is a witch with a hidden dark past!!! After last chapter I didn’t thought things could get worse. But seeing Noel breaking down like that; had me desperate all over. I hope it turns out the evil Hopkins manipulated her and what ever her sins in the past is his fault.

    I’m going to take a risk here and looking at the whole series my bet is that not a single soldier will get hurt. They have teased us so much with the war aspect and all time the solutions turns out to be peace or some other thing. God I wish the whole thing is a setup to leave us all in a cliff hanger for a second season. I want to see more of no man land as well as the weapons from the past that wipe towns. There still so much that can be done here!!!

    Finally I did love the “yuri” talk that Felicia gave with a soft spoken voice and a smile. I have given and received insults like that. :) I did remind me with Chevy Chase in European vacation. When he get to the hotel in France and the host speak rude to him with a smile and all four are like “oh we so happy” Language you got to love it.

  • March 16, 2010 at 9:48 amSpec

    woah! never thought a war will start in this soldier anime..

    maybe the fossil angel will rise and noel tank is its head and will destroy everything :D :p

  • March 16, 2010 at 10:17 amDavid Joslin

    “I am almost 100% certain that the ending will be a good one, meaning that the tension between two forces will be eased and no one will die.”

    I am sure you are correct. The episode makes every effort to promote a sentimental conception of politics. We learn that Helvetians and Romans are really alike, love the same music, are even related to each other (in Aisha’s case), and really want the same thing, peace especially. War is the fault of bad men like Hopkins, an apparent homicidal maniac, or the bad leaders who have marshaled the armies now facing each other. Good leaders like Felicia avoid war at all costs, even to the point of mutiny.

    The logical conclusion of such a perspective is the conclusion you (I also!) anticipate. The story will make possible what good leaders and good people want, and we will have the happy ending. Everyone will live happily every after.

    But if that is how the show ends, I will be disappointed. One of the things I love about Sora No Woto is its cheerfulness, which is really a deep sympathy for the tragedy and suffering in its characters’ lives. To retreat now into political fairy-tale and wish-fulfillment would put the lie to the series’ own understanding of human reality. I would like to continue to learn from the show. But there is nothing interesting to be learned from sentimenality.

  • March 16, 2010 at 10:49 amcx

    noel is into girls xD

  • March 16, 2010 at 11:30 amSerpit

    That German surprised me. Except for one instance, I could spot no grammatical errors. the pronounciation was lol-worthy, though.

  • March 16, 2010 at 12:09 pmLuckydan

    What i really hate is the ending song really spoils the ending cliffhanger of the show.

    The ending doesn’t work when they show something so sad or cliffhangery :S

  • March 16, 2010 at 12:57 pmJOJOJO

    Love the army build up!!

  • March 16, 2010 at 3:11 pmOuse

    Funny how these German speaking Romans are opposed by a Japanese speaking nation, an east asian language that had no contact with middle-age Europe during the Holy Roman Empire which seems to be where alot of this lore is drawn from. Although, I suppose this wouldn’t really be a japanese show if they…well…didn’t speak japanese. All in all I’m really glad that kawaii-cutsie bull**** is over with. God I hope it’s over with…

  • March 16, 2010 at 3:44 pmOuse

    *gasp* PREMATURE DEPLOYMENT!! Hardy har har.

    on that note…

    What happened to Mios diplomacy? As of now I’m assuming the brass has brushed her aside due to her being a bastard child. Meh, if I said I didn’t see that coming I’d be lieing. Don’t get me wrong this is all TOTALLY fine by me, I’m eager to see just how far A-1 would be willing to push this after such a “happy-happy-joy-joy-lets-all-vomit-sunshine” fiasco that’s been going on ’till now. Which does a really horrible job of catering to a pessimist such as myself.

    oh yes, let there be blood…..and more nudity….but mostly blood.

  • March 16, 2010 at 4:55 pmMartin

    Predictions:
    1) Rio will be back.
    2) The “Observation Posts” will awaken and do more than just observe.
    3) Hopkins will come to a sticky end
    4) Noel’s tank will be used to fight an awakened threat from the apocalypse that will be destroying both armies and threating the town.
    5) Aisha will assist as 5th crew member.
    6) Noel will die (thus atoning for her work in the bio-lab)…saving the brats and Yumina.

  • March 16, 2010 at 5:43 pmDavid Joslin

    Martin,

    Good calls all. Nix on 6, tho’, since Hopkins Made Her Do It, and She Was Just A Child Anyway…I particularly like your idea re common threat, since that gets Helvetians and Romans off the hook (for blundering into war) and together in one stroke. Shades of Ronald Reagen fantasizing to Gorbachev about an alien invasion that would bring Cold War-era Americans and Soviets together. Plus your idea fits in perfectly with back story hinted at so far. Very very nice.

    Not so good though for the drama though, since what you anticipate is War as Fairy-Tale, which is the farthest thing from reality real war is. Oh well…

  • March 16, 2010 at 7:20 pmSplash

    Im sure 1 of 2 things are gonna happen…

    Mio will do something to lead to a cease fire.

    or

    Second Season (I’m leaning towards this as there is lots and lots of unanswered questions).

  • March 16, 2010 at 10:31 pmRizz Rustbolt

    Let’s see…

    It’s 12 episodes. There is an absolutely ridiculous amount of character development. The main “bad guy” shows up in the second to last episode. And the mystery of the skeleton has lain dormant for the whole show.

    I think this might have been a setup show for a larger anime.

  • March 16, 2010 at 10:34 pmRizz Rustbolt

    Oh. And I hope that Noel uses the Takemikazuchi to step on the Colonel.

    Take THAT! Evil guy whom I immediately hated!

  • March 17, 2010 at 12:07 amluckydan

    Prediciton:

    The girl they captured is a princess of the Roman empire similiar to Rio and the reason being is because they know the amazing grace song and the sole reason why the peace treaty is going so well.

    The army is sent to retrieve her, thus Rio will be back and the captain of the 9th division is the guilty one causing the treaty not to go ahead,

  • March 17, 2010 at 1:31 amOrion

    pagan poor: “Nice ep. Too bad they couldn’t find an VA that spoke decent Italian.”

    As writer/producer, I probably would have solved the problem by changing Rome to Berlin or Hamburg. Unless they’re setting up a religious conflict for Season 2 it shouldn’t make any difference.

    Heh, I did enjoy the translation scene with Yumina. Wonder how much “liberal translation” there is in RL between diplomats and translators?

    The Helvetian Boob Grab was more effective than I thought it would be. I expected Noel to get slashed if she really went for it. Oh, and Felicia’s trick to find out if the Roman scout really could speak Helvetian and was faking it? Priceless. This isn’t the first time she’s run an interrogation.

    Something Yumina said toward the end, about how Aisha knew a different version of the Fire Maiden story – it’s got me wondering if the winged creatures really were The Enemy humanity fought in the Old Era. It occurs to me now that the spider tanks were shooting at something way off in the distance, but the winged reflection we glimpsed was of something much, much closer. And as I think about the image, it appears to have been facing *away* from the spider tanks.

    Sudden, random, incredible thought: Isn’t Takemikazuchi just about the right scale to be the head for the winged skeleton we saw in ep 1? Is that *really* just a Vector Zero spider tank? What the heck is it doing in Seize, anyway? You’d think it’d be back with the Royal Guard, being used as spare parts for their 8-9 Vector Zero tanks if nothing else.

  • March 17, 2010 at 2:37 amBruce

    Guys, just to let you know Rome stands for the Holy Roman Empire, which is mainly Germany and traditionally only has the northernmost portion of Italy in its borders.

    Also, since Helvetia is Switzerland, it would make no sense for the enemy to be in modern day Italy. The alps are in between the two nations, and with the technology they have it would still be so difficult to cross that war would be extremely unlikely.

    History/Geography, yay!

  • March 17, 2010 at 9:58 amewok

    Seems Col.Hopkins was using Noel’s technical talents to resurrect some disrepaired weapons of mass destruction, “wiping out 3 towns in one night” – the note about “invisible death” made me think either chemical weapons or neutron bombs. No wonder Noel is traumatized about the past. Also it seems the angel/devil of apocalypse – whose remains are buried in the river passing thru Seize – is somewhat connected to the source of enemity between Helvetia and Rome. Or maybe not, in postapocalyptical setting it is usual for wars between remaining states or quasi-states to worsen already bad situation. Think Nausicaa. At the moment perhaps more than resolution of current crisis, I am intersted about the truth behind the legend of the fortress maidens, the angel(s) of apocalypse and how the world has ended in the sorry state of things pictured in the series.

  • March 17, 2010 at 10:56 amOrion

    To add further confusion, the writers and producers traveled to Spain to get backdrop images for the series. So Helvetia is a French/Swiss nation based in Spain opposed by a German-speaking people living in Italy. Somehow I think we’re not the ones who need a history/geography lesson.

  • March 17, 2010 at 11:11 amIsland Esper

    I like confusion… you all are assuming the topology/geography of sora no woto “europe” is the same as ours. This world went thru a apocalyptic war. So my take is that “spain” is taken over “france” (they don’t speak true japanese as we saw previously). What use to be “france” and north of it is no man land. That easy gave the change for “germany” to move south and take over “italy”/”rome”. I want a map!!!!! lol

  • March 17, 2010 at 2:29 pmkhalis

    @Bruce
    Magazine scans list Rome as the “Orthodox Roman Empire.” I think we can gather that they’re a theocracy from Aisha’s dialogue, but I’m still a bit hesitant to label Rome as Germany, though the German is a pretty big hint.

    @Island Esper
    A few European viewers were able to identify the geography on the 1121st’s map, placing Helvetia in Switzerland and Seize somewhere in the vicinity of Route 16. Of course, that was back in Episode 2 and after Episode 5 there’s some confusion as to which direction on the map is north, so it might not be entirely accurate anymore.

  • March 17, 2010 at 3:31 pmBruce

    @khalis
    I think that would mean that they’re a combination of Russia (Orthodox Christianity) and Germany (Holy Roman Empire).

    If it were actually from Italy, it would be Catholic, not Orthodox.

  • March 17, 2010 at 7:37 pmMike

    I am actually very disappointed in this episode, they are in the military for god sake, they might be a very relax bunch but military nevertheless.
    There are certain things call rule and regulation, if everyone just does what they want even when they put on that uniform, then all hell would have broke loose.
    The moment they find an enemy spy they should have report it to HQ, not only that but they actually try to hide the enemy.
    I like Filicia and the girls and all that but that is an act of treason, they should be public executed later on.

    I am an easy going person but when a person put on a uniform there are certain responsibilites that you just have to uphold and follow or else don’t join the military.

  • March 18, 2010 at 2:05 amOrion

    I’m wondering if Felicia is more than she appears to be. She’s awfully mature and knowledgeable for a simple lieutenant, even one who’s seen combat (once). Armies often develop factions, with one wanting one course of action and one another. Sometimes they plant followers/agents in places “of interest” to their cause. Felicia would seem to be part of a pro-peace group within the Helvetian command structure and is being fed more information (and has more responsibility) than is obvious. She may have been assigned to keep an eye on Rio (probably for the Archduke) and gently guide her along the path of responsibility he wanted.

    The fact that she knows the trick how to tell if a foreign-speaking agent is faking or not screams, “G2!” at me. I don’t think she’s actually Major Jane Bond, Agent 008 or anything like that but she’s had training and she wasn’t just picked out of a hat for her job.

  • March 18, 2010 at 3:38 amewok

    well, entire Seize fort seems like refuge camp for people hiding from the “warhawks party”, Rio as bastard but neverthless important princess, Noel as former weapon scientist, it would make sense that Filicia is their unofficial caretaker.
    And speaking of “warhawks”, Col.Hopkins looks like a poster boy for Waffen-SS panzer troops. Smug, ruthless and efficient in killing. If anyone carries “laser guided karma target” card, its him!
    Anyway Roman army going into Helvetia and sending scouts all over the place is surefire sign of peace talks breakdown. Seems Rio didnt help much, as Filicia says about losing her bet.

  • March 18, 2010 at 7:34 amGiriath

    @Mike: Damn you are naive. There are always parties who want war and those who don’t. Felicia is of the latter, and is betting on Rio and Helvetia to succeed in the peace talks. If they do, Aisha wouldn’t be tortured and killed at the hands of the pro-war wing if sent to HQ.

    You seem to be of the opinion that your superiors and those in charge of your nation can do no wrong. Because people are different, the leaders of a nation always wrong someone when they come to a decision and act on it. They will almost always attempt to do what they see as best for them and what is theirs. Most often, that won’t be the people of the nation, but the economy.

    If stealing and murder can increase the economy of your nation and thus its and its people’s well-being, is it worth the moral sacrifice? These are the questions a leader must ask of him/her-self. This is why nations like America instigate wars with fabricated threats in order to steal and add to their economy.

  • March 18, 2010 at 10:48 amewok

    War actually usually detracts from economy, simply because of the cost involved, let alone if parts of the country are devastated – and furthermore agressive warmongering makes country less appealing to potential trade partners…
    As for the US, greatest trade partner of postwar Iraq is… China!
    The reason US benefitted from both World Wars in the past is it wasn’t subjected to direct warfare, and financed its war efforts by selling supplies to allies. Russians paid in gold for Lend-lease, and UK basically bankrupted its empire with the cumulative effect of both World Wars.
    here endeth the lesson
    Ah, and the mentioned death of another scout captured (presumably due to torture) shows Filicia was right in not sending her captive to the HQ. Seems Helvetian military has much more sinister face than that of happy-go-lucky 1121th platoon.

  • March 19, 2010 at 4:04 pmKaioshin Sama

    @Giriath: Actually your the one who is naive my friend. A soldiers job is to obey the rules and regulations of the uniform regardless of personal conviction or feelings about a war effort. It’s not Felicia’s job as a low ranking officer to decide if she does or doesn’t want war or whether to aid and abet an enemy agent, that is up to the political and military leaders. If this were anything like a real portrayal of soldiers then they would definitely be court martialed and potentially lined up and executed by firing squad for treason.

    Then again this is the super happy moe moe military being portrayed in So-Ra-No-Wo-To (or at least Felicia’s squad) and as Mike they said they are pretty much the most relaxed military squadron I have ever seen portrayed in anything that isn’t M*A*S*H.

  • March 19, 2010 at 11:21 pmtotoum

    @Kaioshin Sama”if this were anything like a real portrayal of soldiers then they would definitely be court martialed and potentially lined up and executed by firing squad for treason.”

    And what makes you think that this wouldn’t be the case here?It seems pretty clear to me that that’s exactly what they’re risking and
    they know perfectly well what they’re risking by deciding to hide an ennemy soldier.

    And there are cases of lower grade soldiers refusing orders or fraternising with the ennemy,notably during WWI,of course it’s still a minority but it’s not unheard of.

  • March 21, 2010 at 3:18 amkhalis

    @totoum
    Since the 1121st is a tank platoon, I’d point out one Field Marshall Rommel and his vehement refusal when ordered to execute Jewish POWs or civilians during WWII.

  • March 21, 2010 at 5:36 amKozmuleri

    Compared to almost every other show which has german language parts, in this show the german was pretty good. Grammar and pronunciation was right, thats rare. As a native speaker, this suprised me. I could understand almost every part.

    Regarding the plot developement, is wish this series would be a 24-26 episodes anime. I hate it, when a series stays as slice of life for 10 eps and then.. BAM.. rushes in plot developement.

  • March 21, 2010 at 5:53 amewok

    There is a fine line between obeying orders and becoming war criminal sometimes… Especially if your govenment isn’t exactly on the ethical side of things, as Helvetian seems to be in the case (destroying whole cities with weapons of mass destruction – check, executing and/or torturing POWs – check).
    Filicia’s orders were to watch out on a threats out of the No Mans Land, and it was within her authority to declare a single apparently lost enemy soldier is not such a threat.
    The German speaking was really very fine, I admit compared to standard Engrish we hear even amazing. Even though non-native speaker I had no trouble with understanding.