Friday, May 7, 2010

Sora No Woto

The first thing you notice in Sora no Woto is the amazing background artwork. The creators of the series used a real life setting for the fictional city of Seize, the story's location. The story, in contrast to the beautiful setting, is actually quite dark. When the story opens, there is a tentative ceasefire in a war that has devastated most of the world and killed all sea life. This is serious post-apocalypse stuff.

The lead character, Sorami Kanata, wants to play the trumpet so she joins the army as bugler. The fact that buglers are still required for battlefield signalling is an interesting anachronism. Long distance communication is a rotary dial telephone. In fact, there very few electronic devices used at all. An "old era" is mentioned a few times, which had much more advanced technology. This gives the hint that war may have lasted a very long time before the devastation was unleashed, possibly as an act of desperation. Some of this is confirmed later in the story, but it's never explained in detail.

Sora no Woto means "sound of the sky" and it refers to one particular tune that reverberates throughout the series: Amazing Grace. This old hymn has become almost cliche through over use, but in this series it is definitely used appropriately, given the context of the story and characters. The tune is well known to both sides in the war which plays an important role in maintaining the ceasefire at the end of the story.

Sora no Woto is an excellent sci-fi anime series and is worth checking if you get the chance.

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