As Kanata continues to struggle with her bugle playing, Noel is having troubles as well with her own work on the tank’s sniper system lens. She thus takes Kanata with her on a trip into town to pick up some items, and they first go to Naomi’s store. There, Kanata sees the dolphin glassware that she first saw back when she had just arrived in town, and it turns out that it was made at a workshop outside town that is on the girls’ list of places to go to on this day. After picking up some more supplies, they run into two of the orphans being taken care of by the church, but the boy hates soldiers because he blames them for what happened to his parents. Kanata and Noel then drive out to the glass workshop, and Kanata meets Carl, the master glassmaker. He’s been trying to help Noel recreate the right optical sensor lens, but they’ve been thus far unsuccessful.
While they’re there, Noel explains to Kanata that she likes machines, but there are times when machines hurt people. She thinks that Takemikazuchi likely killed a lot of people in the past, however Kanata points out that the people who used it are scarier. She compares it to how different horn players can produce different sounds, and she feels that Takemikazuchi is a good tank. Noel then falls asleep, so Kanata talks to Carl and his assistant Maria about her troubles playing her bugle. Using his own glassmaking as an example, Carl makes the point that Kanata might be trying to create the sound by force and that what she should be doing is letting the sound be like it wants. With this in mind, Kanata runs outside and is able to play the morning call as it’s supposed to sound, and she wakes up Noel. This has the side effect of making Noel realize that she can use Kanata to listen to the sound differences between the lens samples to find the right one. They are ultimately successful in finding the right lens, and Noel smiles afterward, the first time that Kureha has seen her do so.
I’ve been looking forward to a Noel episode for a couple of weeks now, so I really enjoyed this. She’s fun to watch and was very cute at times, but surprisingly enough she wasn’t the main highlight of the episode. Instead the highlight was how Kanata who, with Carl’s help, finally got over her bugle-playing problem in what was a scene full of great atmosphere (both figuratively and literally). What I didn’t understand, however, is this: doesn’t Kanata play a valve-less bugle? And doesn’t Rio play a three-valve trumpet? Isn’t Kanata trying to produce the same sounds and range of notes of that kind of trumpet with her bugle a technically impossible goal? Someone who’s more musically inclined please explain this to me.
Anyway, this episode also had more hints of what happened in the previous era, and I like the balance the series is striking between serious war-and-technology-related stuff and less-serious music, cuteness, and humor. What caught my attention in particular is how Noel and the old lady Naomi seemed to know about a certain something that neither Kanata nor we the audience have been informed of. It makes me think that the girls might be sent to war soon or have to be part of some special operation or something.