I watched an anime: So Ra No Wo To (Sound of the sky)

I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry.

Oh, noooooo.

Sitting in the middle of an interesting Venn diagram between the theme circles of post apocalypse, military, music and slice-of-life comedy, Sound of the sky is incredibly surprising on a number of levels.

The first surprise is how it kept a science fiction seinen loving action buff like me glued firmly to my television to watch the entire 12 episode run, and the second being how it made a science fiction seinen loving action buff like me constantly weep into a box of Kleenex like a tiny child denied Lego.

Set in an alternate period in history, Sound of the sky follows the day to days of the all female 1121st Platoon and their ever vigilant watch over the sleepy post-war border town of Seize.

It’s certainly a unique setting and that kind of uniqueness does well in keeping you watching through from beginning to end. You see I found myself at times wondering what exactly it was that kept me watching the show, especially because at times not really much seems to happen in the lives of the 1121st, but ultimately I think that’s the point.

Like a Miyazaki war movie, the underlying message found in Sound of the sky is actually the value of pacifism and how war interrupts the beauty of life and the quality of existence that peace brings. While warmongers stomp their feet and sing songs of victory to a flag, the town of Seize is the reminder that war is a distraction to normality, something that is driven into us deeply when during the course of the series we’re introduced to “the enemy” and meet them first hand.

Initially told from the viewpoint of the 1121st Platoon’s newest recruit Kanata Sorami, the perspective of the show begins to slowly evolve and moves away to look at the underlying back-stories of each of the platoon members and their reasons for joining the military.

It’s here where the magic of the show truly lies because, let’s face it, not really much happens in the town of Seize. That’s not to say that powerful narrative elements aren’t at play here, in fact mid way through the series the main storyline soon kicks into overdrive as the larger chess pieces at play behind the scenes quickly move to bring conflict right onto the doorstep of the 1121st Platoon.

In all, it’s instantly likeable, it’s thought provoking, it’s INCREDIBLY cute and it’s well written to the point that even the story elements from the beginning of the series that initially seem like throwaway plot-points eventually come back around to play a big part in the series finale in a major way.

It’s more than just a chance to show off kawaii shonen girls in military outfits, it’s a proper TV series.

- Andrew Archer