Anime Vice News

SOUND OF THE SKY #1 -- Watch & Learn

It's come to this - - retro-futurist buglers.

Change of pace, lunatics. We’ll be taking a break from EUREKA SEVEN and YU YU HAKUSHO for a week or so to catch up with a number of fine titles that have come to my doorstep. Read my thoughts on…

For whatever reason, this and another Right Stuf title were still in the soon-to-be legendary sack of anime I’ve been rifling through for the past couple weeks. Yeah, these aren’t Funi titles, but I’ll still cover them to cap off this batch of interim reviews.

Anyway, I watch a show like this and I’m taken aback by the specificity of the premise. I’m not necessarily impressed by the creativity of it so far as I find its particulars to be so notably… particular. Here’s a show about a cute girl who’s aspiring to be a bugler in the army of a nation that isn’t quite Switzerland (Helvetica?) and gets stationed in a town with an usual variety of folk rituals in some sort of retro-futurist era’s that’s almost indistinguishable from the turn of the century before last. In this future, only hand-me-down have seemingly survived in the Helvettica army surplus after whatever world-changing cataclysm surely occurred, because the cute girl’s joined by other cute girls who all adhere to the fashion of baggy, ill-fitting uniforms.

So, yeah, that’s a scenario borne of a creative impulse far more precise than one that comes up with a story about, say, a special unit of psychics fighting Nazi occultists in World War II. Again, not necessarily better, but the mind boggles at a little where the specific inspirations for this came from.

Likewise, I have a harder time figuring out to categorize and evaluate this pilot. It gets off to a real sleepy start, to be honest, and I walk away from it not being incited by any conflict introduced, but just appreciative of the minute world building. The festival of the dye-squirting and the folk tale it’s inspired by are rather creative - - but they make for more of an interesting travel show episode, not a compelling first part to a serial.

Maybe it could get better. Any of you lunatics watched all of this? What did you think of it?

Also, I'm preparing for a special Q&A edition of this. If you'd like to participate, put your questions in this thread.

Watch this episode, "The Sound That Fills the Air - City of Dawn” below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Feb. 27, 2012 at 6:27 a.m.

If you're interested, you can watch this with significantly better picture quality on Crunchyroll.

PenguinDuston Feb. 27, 2012 at 7:15 a.m.

Sora no Woto was on my "favorites" list for a long time and has only recently dropped to the "stuff I've seen" list. I still love it, but I've seen a lot of similar shows since then if you can believe that. I'm not certain if this one holds up for repeated viewings which is a criteria of mine. The series is somewhat unique because, for the better part of it, it's a slice-of-life show that just happens to be set in some sleepy town far from the frontlines of some undefined future conflict. I'm not sure if it takes place on a future Earth, in some other dimension or on another planet. None of that really matters anyway since it's about the daily lives of a rear echelon non-combat unit. Each episode is a small story within a larger arc that concludes with some satisfaction. When it was over I was left with a warm happiness. The story arc is not the strongest element in the series, but the characters are nicely defined although limited by their familiar archetypes. The opening credits and the legend relayed to main protagonist, Kanata in episode 1 foretells the series direction. For me, I enjoyed the leisurely pace of the show and how it gently mixes genres. Here's this group of soldiers involved in a war, but the writer spends an episode on a glass figurine the heroine likes and another on the company's secret moonshine trade. Combat isn't the focus here even though it has been for shows set in similar settings. On a side note, I really like the title song, "Hikari no Senritsu" by Kalafina, too.

metalsnakezeroon Feb. 27, 2012 at 7:17 a.m.

It kind of a underwhelming show since at the time was copying another popular show's style and was unbalance with its premise. It's a nice show but no masterpiece.

sora_thekey moderator on Feb. 27, 2012 at 7:26 a.m.

Is this anime the supposed "serious K-On!"?

Dan_CiTion Feb. 27, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.

K-On! x Sky Crawlers

paulungaon Feb. 27, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.

Huh, when I saw the thumb in the Whiskey Media bar at the bottom I instantly thought this was some sort of K-On cosplay. Am I the only one who's seeing it? Mio and Mugi on the left, Yui on the right?

Edit: : And there you go, I'm not the only one.

Anyway, not watching this, the Poster art just screams "MOE". I fucking hate that.

metalsnakezeroon Feb. 27, 2012 at 1:53 p.m.

@paulunga: @sora_thekey: It is possible that the designers wanted to do a similar style to K-on in order to get people to watch this show.

zaldaron Feb. 27, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.

Yup the specific inspiration for this was K-ON in the army as others have said. Usually with very specific inspirations like this you get to close for copying for me. The fact that I hated K-ON with a vengeance seals the deal for me of not watching this..

Halberdierv2on Feb. 27, 2012 at 8:07 p.m.

I was sure it was K-on from that pic...

yzami17on March 1, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.
i have watch the trailer, and it looks nice..
sickVisionz moderator on March 2, 2012 at 7:48 a.m.

Idolm@ster came after this (I think, not sure when the actual games first came out) but you could almost drag and drop heads from characters onto this picture and nobody would be the wiser.

paulungaon March 2, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.

@sickVisionz said:

Idolm@ster came after this (I think, not sure when the actual games first came out) but you could almost drag and drop heads from characters onto this picture and nobody would be the wiser.

Do you mean the anime? The Idolm@ster games have been out since 05 or 06, I think.

Petiewon March 2, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
@sickVisionz: Only one I can really see is Chihaya and Rio being similar. Kanata I can maybe see as Yukiho/Ami but she's much more similar to Yui from K-on.
Idolm@ster was in arcades sometime in 2005 I think, and Sora no Woto was early 2010.
 
Been meaning to finish watching this since it first aired, I heard the end episodes are good. Only seen the first 3 so far.

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