Random Curiosity

So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 03 »« So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 01

So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「光の旋律」 (Hikari no Senritsu) by Kalafina
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

There was a proper OP sequence this week, and it emphasized the kind of images we saw connected to the legend from last week’s episode. It was unique enough that I uploaded it.


As Kanata gets used to her new environment, she meets her fellow soldiers, including their commander Felicia Heidemann, tank pilot and mechanic Kannagi Noel, and gunner Suminoya Kureha. Kureha is the one tasked with showing Kanata around, and she’s not too happy about it, but she uses the chance to boss Kanata around a little. Along the way, Kureha explains that there’s just five of them, and she outlines their arsenal, which features their under-repair tank, and how they are tasked with maintaining the border of their region. Kureha thinks that this is an important location and takes her duties very seriously, and while she acknowledges how their group can be lax, she’s very defensive about what they do.

Later, the girls learn that Noel saw a ghost, and Kanata confirms that she saw something too earlier. She and Kureha thus get sent to investigate, and Kureha reveals that this particular old building has been this way since before they started using the location as a fort. They make their way into what resembles an old classroom, and Kanata finds a book of contemporary writings, but it’s in a language she can’t read. Kanata isn’t too scared to be in a place like this during a storm, but when a large pack of rats charge their way, both girls run away. Their exploration of the place leads Kanata to guess that this used to be a school, and she even finds a music room with a broken piano. Kanata thinks that this is all great, but Kureha isn’t so proud, and their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of an owl. After Kanata falls, a scared Kureha shoots at it and misses, but the bird gets knocked unconscious anyway. The girls capture the owl, and when they bring it back to the rest of the group, Felicia decides to keep it. The next morning, Kanata finds that her seat at the dining table, which had been a stool, is now a proper chair thanks to Kureha.


Note: Since the episodes don’t have preview segments that show anything, I’m going to start taking preview images from the previews found on the official website.

This episode served as an introduction to the other girls and their environment, however it was clearly Kureha who got the bulk of the screentime and bonded with Kanata the most. She fit the archetype of the feisty younger character, which I’m not a huge fan of, but what was surprising was that Kanata turned out to be a much more level-headed and less ditzy/clumsy character than I thought she’d be, and that’s a plus to me. Despite all that though, I found myself liking Noel’s character the most out of the five. She’s like Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi except cuter and with more emotions, plus she works with a tank all the time.

Aside from the characters, what I found most interesting about the episode was the history and environment that it’s building up. It was nice of them to show the geography (featuring the seemingly notable No Man’s Land), and they’re hinting that something happened that caused Japanese to become a lost language, with French taking over as the dominant written language, and for the school to be later turned into a fort. They also confirmed that the tank will probably be the spider mentioned in the legend since it’s a walker of some sort. I’m hoping all of this is leading up to some revelation of some previous conflict that may or may not be connected to the demon of the legend. In any case, this is a story that has shown a lot of promise, and it plus the production quality is more than enough to make me want to keep tuning in for more.

January 12, 2010 at 2:46 am
  • January 12, 2010 at 2:52 amPw3age

    Waiting for them to take a real mission. Lets see the legless tank in action!

  • January 12, 2010 at 3:21 amGod~Knows~

    I had my doubts but I guess this anime isnt half bad.

  • January 12, 2010 at 3:21 amJesus159159159

    Oh?! Is that a Clarinet I see? =D :3

  • January 12, 2010 at 3:22 amlonghaul

    I find all the subtle implications that this is some time in the future pretty intriguing. In the first episode you could see some guardrails for a road underwater by the giant skeleton.

  • January 12, 2010 at 3:44 amKiseki

    I actually enjoyed this episode a lot more than I thought I would.

    The OP was pretty nice until their asses filled up the screen.

  • January 12, 2010 at 3:50 ambluth

    I’m sorry but it just looks ridiculous to see a bunch of young high school girls in military fatigues in a pretty much empty fortress.

  • January 12, 2010 at 3:50 amWhoeh

    Aren’t we forgetting something here? THE GHOST? During the “exploration” part of the episode, pause it during/after when lightnings strike. There are several….disturbing scenes.

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:13 amJoeWii

    @Whoeh: Glad I’m not the only one who saw that. It creeped me out the first time I paused the scene!

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:30 amAnonymous

    WTF is this? K-On v2?

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:34 amdivine

    I saw a couple of ghostly hands. Was there anything else?

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:44 ammegalith

    ASS some of you won’t agree, I find the 3rd screenshot very disturbing…..

  • January 12, 2010 at 4:49 amfragbet

    This show certainly has some potential. Hopefully viewers will stop crying “ZOMG K-On 2.0!!!” as the series progresses. It’s kind of getting tiring when people keep comparing them.

  • January 12, 2010 at 5:00 amahelo

    If we’re going to compare this to K-ON! this wins by a long shot. Not that K-ON wasnt bad but this is just so much better.

  • January 12, 2010 at 5:12 amviral

    Wow, and really! At 18:51, there is a hand behind the main girl! O_o

  • January 12, 2010 at 5:15 amdeathdakid

    Noel “kannagi” i have herd that part of the name in some other show in another A-1 production anime but I dont remember……..

  • January 12, 2010 at 6:37 amLuke

    It’s a good episode with nice BGM’s.
    The OP is somewhat reminiscent of the OP from Elfen Lied…

  • January 12, 2010 at 6:40 amlime

    Omni: “, I found myself liking Noel’s character the most out of the five. She’s like Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi except cuter and with more emotions, plus she works with a tank all the time.”

    people who work with tanks tend to die.

    Isara anyone?

  • January 12, 2010 at 7:08 amYamaken

    The OP sequence remembered me Elfen Lied’s opening a little bit. lol

  • January 12, 2010 at 7:12 amm

    And so it was that baka-chan, dosei-chan, autism-chan, funka-chan, and haha-chan got to know one-another over a great banquet prepared from the finest fruits and preserved meats pilfered from the townspeople. Unaware of the trials that they would soon face, they spent their day hunting ghosts and discovering that the owl had more perseverance than nihongo.

    Their Gundam is broken and their government has brought them together because it plans to make them sacrifices to the demon, but with the broken tank they’re going to have a hard time repeating history. Autism-chan and the magical owl will have to redirect main power to the forward phasers if they’re to do battle with a mecha as useless as Nunnally’s legs.

    The show tries to mix the cute and the serious, and how the balance will change as the show progresses is the only thing I’m interested in. They could go the FMP route and do regular bipolar switches between frivolous slice-of-life and gritty combat, they could start off with saccharine moments to endear the characters to the audience and then start piling up tragedy, or they could remain boring and tease the audience with all of the evidence of some great historical conflict while they have tea and eat scones every episode. I’ll give them 100 yen to do the latter, because it would be really funny.

    The owl is already my favorite character of the show. I hope it eats everyone’s bacon in the next episode.

  • January 12, 2010 at 7:15 amSmith

    the music in the exploration bit reminds me of ghibli movies

  • January 12, 2010 at 8:21 amDarklotus

    oh nice, opening look like Gustav Klimt Arts

  • January 12, 2010 at 8:25 amconyo985

    For people mentioning the OP is similar to Elfen Lied, guess what the director of this anime also directed Elfen Lied.

  • January 12, 2010 at 8:39 amkaineng

    Yeah for more So.Ra.no.Wo.To! I really am back, so means I’ll join Omni in watching this show! Wasn’t bad anyway, so wouldn’t be complaining…

    Yeah, thanks Omni for the previews from the official website, the loading from an online player is terrible…

    And here I’ll place a bet: That tank is never gonna show up repaired. If it does, I’ll hate the anime. Period.

  • January 12, 2010 at 10:26 amDBT

    im a lil confused on how these girls will ever get fawked >:

  • January 12, 2010 at 12:17 pmmachan

    am I the only one who sees narutaru instead of k-on?

  • January 12, 2010 at 2:10 pmSplash

    I was on the fence trying to decide if I should keep watching after the 1st one. After watching this 2nd episode I’m going to keep going. Just the fact alone that they talk about Japanese as some sort of “ancient” language surpised me cause I now realize this is some sort of a futuristic anime and not a WW1 or WW2 series. This series has some definite potential to be good. I still think it seems alot like Strike Witches. In fact the commander seems very similar to one of the girls in Strike Witches just with a better personality (non-Tsundre).

  • January 12, 2010 at 2:12 pmrofl

    so what does the future have in store for this show is just comedy/drama the whole time or will there be some actual fighting/action.. i don’t want to watch an anime about a girl learning how to play a trumpet.

  • January 12, 2010 at 2:29 pmLuke

    All those places on the map are french numbers: Seize (sixteen), onze (eleven), Dix (ten), Treize (thirteen), Vingt (twenty) and Neuf (nine)…

  • January 12, 2010 at 5:58 pmLonghaul

    @Luke, yeah its a strange combination of japanese language, german uniforms, a spanish/italian settings

    @divine, between the girls during the first lightning crack was another

  • January 12, 2010 at 6:00 pmLonghaul

    “japanese language, german uniforms, spanish/italian setting, and french writing”
    self fix

  • January 12, 2010 at 6:08 pmBK-110

    This series seems more serious than expected. Also, I already have a favorite character, Noel! :3

    Besides, walking tank… METAL GEAR!!!

  • January 12, 2010 at 6:10 pmDelwack

    A somewhat slow but promising start. Just enough hints to be enticing. I just hope they decide to go somewhere with this with the subtle setup and foreshadowing.

  • January 12, 2010 at 6:47 pmhomina-homina

    kyoani has discovered my fetish of female [high school] musicians. DAMN YOU, KYOANI! GIMME SOME MOAR!

  • January 12, 2010 at 8:57 pmThe SuperEnigmatic Moondoggiebuiscuit

    YAY! It’s Military K-ON!

  • January 12, 2010 at 9:24 pmKerryTT

    K-ON in Old Home with guns. I suspect I will enjoy this.

  • January 12, 2010 at 10:27 pmIsland Esper

    I’ll watch until they bring out the cake! Once the cake comes to the table the show is over or if Nagato err Noel start time shifting to record everything… :)

    Still is a moe blob and I’m hooked. The despair of continuing with your task (a military squad) forced by reality and abandon is something that can get more ugly than the demon or ghost.

  • January 13, 2010 at 4:07 ammusic

    u gotta to admit the music was good

  • January 13, 2010 at 6:40 amKaede

    Usually Women in asian military tend to be officers.

    I am not really following this one to be honest. But I am keeping tabs on it to see if anything worthwhile develops. So far I would have to say no.

    When I was in Korea though, I would run into girl officers all the time but never enlisted. When asked one replied “All women who go into the military are made officers” with very little elaboration. I guess it is like the adage that you do not send women to be infantry (Ala, The Civil War, The Great War (WW1) WW2, Korean war, Vietnam, bay of pigs etc) While this has changed. A number of countries still follow this rule.

    I just felt like sharing this.

  • January 13, 2010 at 8:05 amEclipse

    Gosh, still seeing useless “blah blah blah K-ON!!!!” posts. I liked K-On, don’t get me wrong, but gosh, it’s like some of you guys don’t realize that the artists work on more than one project. This has really nothing to do with K-On other than the characters were obviously drawn by the same person.

  • January 13, 2010 at 9:03 amC7

    Because no one has done so, here is a list of ghostly images that I’ve managed to catch during lightning strikes:

    About minute 15:23: Behind the girls is a ghostly apparition with long hair, seen between them.

    About minute 18:32: Part of a silhouette is seen in the window (you can only see a hand and part of a head)

    About minute 18:51: A ghostly hand appears behind Kanata.

    That’s all I’ve found.

  • January 13, 2010 at 11:04 amUrusaiNezumi

    Whoa … is that a picture of the girls from Kamichu in the textbook?

  • January 13, 2010 at 11:40 am白い牙

    I for one was rather amused by Rio and Kureha’s “heck no we’re not scared of ghosts!” shouting/show me your war cry motivational ‘pep talk’ hah. ^^; Also how they drew/animated Kanata’s earnest lowly private standing at attention pose was to my eye very good. I know everyone’s comparing this to K-ON but I feel like Kanata has a lot more in common with Akari from Aria than Yui (personality wise, not looks wise obviously). ^^

  • January 13, 2010 at 12:39 pmDC/AC

    Actually this is NOT drawn by the same person who did K-ON!.
    Different studios, different artists.
    Apparently the guy of this show is just a wannabe, and Horiguchi, who did K-ON art, is the original. Even the guy himself admitted he liked Horiguchi’s art so much that he wanted to draw just like her.

  • January 13, 2010 at 1:06 pmjellayrei

    Judgmental Soap Box Moment

    it’s… k-on… they’ve even got the instruments and everything (though I haven’t watched it yet…..)

  • January 13, 2010 at 3:42 pmLiShaolan

    Luke at 6:37 am on January 12th, 2010
    It’s a good episode with nice BGM’s.
    The OP is somewhat reminiscent of the OP from Elfen Lied…

    > obviously…


    :-) liking it too

  • January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pmphilk

    is it me, or did you have to think about klimt too, watching the op?

  • January 13, 2010 at 4:44 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    @M…very nice dude!…tasty scones and fine preserved meats. saddle up boys!! WE’RE IN THE ARMY NOW!!

  • January 13, 2010 at 10:54 pmSatoou.Kimu

    want more Noel screen time~~

  • January 14, 2010 at 10:05 pmQnTiria

    oh well. as others said this could aptly be called k-on in the military. however i like both k-on and military related anime (but please dont take over the world to save it by placing all the hate on yourself and then getting killed by some gay indecisive angsty syaoran look-alike) so i’ll keep on looking forward to the unravelling mystery!!
    and WHO ON EARTH would trust a bunch of teen girls to form a platoon??? they are obviously short on numbers…tho i do support conscription abolishment

  • January 16, 2010 at 3:00 pmHorus

    My prediction regarding the story is that the town will get invaded and the girls will need to defend the town. I don’t really see any supernatural turns up happening, though the demon in the lake makes me think otherwise sometimes. It would seem more “realistic” for a foreign army to hit the town since it’s positioned on the front lines and is the least defended (5 soldiers and an inoperative tank). They would cross from No Man’s land where they would be least expected as well. Surprise attack if you will. Then the girls defend it with the help of the townspeople.

    Either way, I’m quite expecting something big to happen down the line. Great anime so far. I love the animation quality, really top notch.

  • January 16, 2010 at 8:26 pmSo Very Odd

    The No Man’s Land, japanese becoming a lost language, the amalgamation of cultures present, the whole demon legend as well as the bones in the lake, and the comment made that there are a lot less people in that particular country then there used to be point towards a world ravaged by something.

    I also wonder if the ghosts are just easter eggs, or if that will also be developed as the story goes along.

    Currently lots of questions, hopefully the series delves into them.

  • January 20, 2010 at 11:24 amfoamer

    I don’t like ghosts, this episode seriously gave me goosebumps O_O