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erinfinnegan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:06 pm Reply with quote
the Rancorous wrote:
erinfinnegan wrote:
Wasn't there some famous moment in World War I where soldiers in Europe stopped fighting on Christmas Day or something? (And then they played soccer?)

I've heard something about that, too, but I've never really looked it up. Don't see how it's relevant to my comment, though.

Well, spoiler[music playing] didn't stop a battle in real life, but that incident is exactly what the equivalent scene brought to mind when I watched Sora No Wo To. Considering zensunni's [awesome] comment about the use of tanks in WWI, maybe that scene is a reference to that real life moment.

For me, when spoiler[that battle broke out] in the show, I was still somewhat convinced that the Earth had been significantly depopulated (there was at least one dialog reference to this, as well as some visuals to indicate it), and that maybe the soldiers didn't actually want to fight, because I mean, seriously, could humanity stand to lose more lives at that point?
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nechronius
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Joined: 23 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:40 pm Reply with quote
Soranowoto is overly moe girls. Ridiculous episodes. Implausible scenarios. Predictable plot.

Despite that I still enjoyed the series and found it shelf worthy, even if there's only a DVD release of it (now that really chaps my hide). Looking past the usual moe anime stereotypes can be challenging and perhaps not worth the effort for some, but peel back the cutesy, silly exterior and there is some real tragedy and humanity underneath the sugar coating.

The show does contains some deep and contemplative stuff, but admittedly it may not be worth the effort for everyone, but it was for me. Is it horrible to wish that one of the main females perished by the end of it all? Pure heresy in a moe series, but I think it would have underscored the tragedy only hinted at in bits and pieces. But perhaps it may be too much of a delicate matter to balance.

In some ways this series reminded me of Trigun. Sure there's tons of goofy, eyerolling slapstick involving Vash the Stampede, but work through it and the last half is what the series is really about. In the case of Soranowoto, it's like the slapstick half but only maybe two or three episodes-worth of the serious stuff.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:01 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:
Wasn't there some famous moment in World War I where soldiers in Europe stopped fighting on Christmas Day or something? (And then they played soccer?)
Yes, it ticked off high brass tremendously.

There were outbreaks of "go along to get along" at various times and various places on the Western Front ~ a long war of attrition does tend to sap enthusiasm for the fight.

Quote:
Weirdly, regarding "Amazing Grace," my husband kept going on about how they chose the song because it was a pacifist anthem written by a Quaker. When I started researching his claim, I couldn't confirm it, but it was a nice idea at the time.
I believe it was written by a repentant and remorseful former slave ship captain. So it has some depth on the treatment of the aliens side of the story.
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maaya



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:05 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:
the Rancorous wrote:
erinfinnegan wrote:
Wasn't there some famous moment in World War I where soldiers in Europe stopped fighting on Christmas Day or something? (And then they played soccer?)

I've heard something about that, too, but I've never really looked it up. Don't see how it's relevant to my comment, though.

Well, spoiler[music playing] didn't stop a battle in real life, but that incident is exactly what the equivalent scene brought to mind when I watched Sora No Wo To. Considering zensunni's [awesome] comment about the use of tanks in WWI, maybe that scene is a reference to that real life moment.


You mean this, right?
Yea, maybe it can be seen as a reference, but given its use in the series' final, it can also be seen as a lame resolution, painting a very naive picture of war (in reality the war was just beginning). It's understandable that after a war which obviously destroyed a lot, the soldiers would be tired of fighting. But the series doesn't really address that issue before, does it? I admit, it's been some time since I watched it, but from what I remember the soldiers you see don't seem like they want the war to end or like they are at least doubting what they're fighting for or something like that (ok, of course the main characters don't seem to think much about anything anyway, which is maybe the biggest weakness of the series).
I felt that Sora no Woto really avoided to explore the conflict in depth. Therefore in the end, the series felt very shallow to me. I mean, it's cute to resolve everything with a song and say "war is bad", but this is not a children's series. I would have liked a more complex and less superficial way of exploring the subject. Something that makes you think ...

but well, obviously Sora no Woto didn't want to be too serious, else they would have skipped the goofy moe slice of life parts. Just imagine how good the series could have been, if they had replaced these scenes with more details on the society, the enemies, the history, the characters' stories or even just normal slice of life, laughter without the anime-silliness. Well, tastes differ, but for sure I would have liked that much better.

But I guess a mostly serious story doesn't fit the escapism and easy to digest entertainment that most anime series are supposed to provide.

Anyway, I'm happy they made this series simply because it created the possibility for the opening song to be written.
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einhorn303



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:54 pm Reply with quote
Sound of the Sky is definitely in my Top 5 favorite anime ever. It has every single element that I could possibly need in a favorite...moe with an actually deep story, real SF, rich world-view, good direction, beautiful "sense of place" and soundtrack. I could watch it over and over again.

My favorite part of the booklet was Mamoru Kanbe saying all the other stories he wished to tell, and how he wished he could make a second season. It'll likely never happen, but that would just be too great.

omoikane wrote:
Erin subtly made a note about this, but...

NOZOMI, WHERE IS MY SORANOWOTO BLU RAY???

Shelf-worthy for me, enough to double dip (I have the DVD set). I guess when I visit japan or something I can try to pick up the Japanese set, but com'on! Get on with the times! This show is not only thoughtful but also drop dead gorgeous, and it deserves better than just a DVD release.


I just sent out a consumer reply card to Nozomi saying that I'd totally, totally re-buy this on blu-ray. Heck, I'd even get to triple-dip, since I bought two copies of the DVD set (I love it that much). Or quadruple dip, quintiple dip, who knows.

maaya wrote:

Yea, maybe it can be seen as a reference, but given its use in the series' final, it can also be seen as a lame resolution, painting a very naive picture of war (in reality the war was just beginning)...


Playing "Amazing Grace" didn't actually stop the war, though. It just delayed it for a few seconds, allowing the political marriage to stop the war.

Also, the war wasn't "just beginning." It had been ongoing for a while, but they were in a ceasefire when the season started. A ceasefire which was beginning to collapse.

maaya wrote:

but well, obviously Sora no Woto didn't want to be too serious, else they would have skipped the goofy moe slice of life parts. Just imagine how good the series could have been, if they had replaced these scenes with more details on the society, the enemies, the history, the characters' stories or even just normal slice of life, laughter without the anime-silliness. Well, tastes differ, but for sure I would have liked that much better.


Kinda like some people wanting their coffee black, while others prefer cafe-au-lait, huh?

AnimeMaine wrote:
I would put both Allision & Lillia and Sound of the Sky as Rental Shelf. I define "Shelf Worthy" as a series that I would want to watch my wife to watch, such as Durarara...


Mayhaps your wife should write the column, then.
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maaya



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:25 pm Reply with quote
einhorn303 wrote:
My favorite part of the booklet was Mamoru Kanbe saying all the other stories he wished to tell, and how he wished he could make a second season.


Really? He should have just told them when he had the chance to. He must have had something more interesting to say than "omg I need to use the toilet" >_> Indeed, Sora no Woto didn't sell particularly well, and the Anime no Chikara project pretty much failed in general, with no new series coming out anymore. (Based on Occult Academy and Sora no Woto it's not a big loss for me though.)

Quote:
Kinda like some people wanting their coffee black, while others prefer cafe-au-lait, huh?


More like putting sugar in your coffee because you're unable or unwilling to swallow the bitter taste. While I would simply drink juice instead =/
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Veers



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:56 am Reply with quote
maaya wrote:
I admit, it's been some time since I watched it, but from what I remember the soldiers you see don't seem like they want the war to end or like they are at least doubting what they're fighting for or something like that
Actually, the show made it pretty clear that a lot of the soldiers (besides the aggressive officer who shows up as an antagonist at the end of the show) weren't really too keen on the whole fighting thing--Aisha, the troopers in the town, etc. That one guy kinda has an overpowering presence, so it's understandable for him to overshadow things. You're right that the show doesn't spend the necessary time and focus on the war for the ending to not feel kinda cheesy, but I do think they at least made a few token efforts to lay a little bit of groundwork for it.

Quote:
Just imagine how good the series could have been, if they had replaced these scenes with more details on the society, the enemies, the history, the characters' stories or even just normal slice of life, laughter without the anime-silliness. Well, tastes differ, but for sure I would have liked that much better.
I would have liked that much better, too, but it is what it is. I kinda consider SnW one of those shows that's balanced on the scale; it's got enough good stuff to cancel out the annoying and stupid stuff and make it sufficiently likable, but not enough to make it as awesome as it could have been.
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zensunni



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:46 pm Reply with quote
Veers wrote:
maaya wrote:
I admit, it's been some time since I watched it, but from what I remember the soldiers you see don't seem like they want the war to end or like they are at least doubting what they're fighting for or something like that
Actually, the show made it pretty clear that a lot of the soldiers (besides the aggressive officer who shows up as an antagonist at the end of the show) weren't really too keen on the whole fighting thing--Aisha, the troopers in the town, etc. That one guy kinda has an overpowering presence, so it's understandable for him to overshadow things. You're right that the show doesn't spend the necessary time and focus on the war for the ending to not feel kinda cheesy, but I do think they at least made a few token efforts to lay a little bit of groundwork for it.

Yes, it was made very clear that the rank-and-file soldiers were not happy to be going back to war. Different people have different perceptions, but I never felt that there was insufficient explanation of the war situation...
Veers wrote:
maaya wrote:
Just imagine how good the series could have been, if they had replaced these scenes with more details on the society, the enemies, the history, the characters' stories or even just normal slice of life, laughter without the anime-silliness. Well, tastes differ, but for sure I would have liked that much better.
I would have liked that much better, too, but it is what it is. I kinda consider SnW one of those shows that's balanced on the scale; it's got enough good stuff to cancel out the annoying and stupid stuff and make it sufficiently likable, but not enough to make it as awesome as it could have been.

To each his/her own, but if they had replaced the light hearted "anime-silliness" with spoon-fed details about the history, the society, the combatants, etc... it would have probably been too dry or depressing, which was not what the director was aiming for. What the show achieved was to present a picture of optimism and innocence in a world that has too many reasons to be pessimistic and jaded. What it really could have used is to have an extra 6 to 10 episodes with which to go into more detail about the world instead of the spartan nature of the world building material.
the Rancorous wrote:
zensunni wrote:
A bunch of stuff.

The fact that you had to go so far out of your way to justify that silly scenario just makes it seem even more contrived. It all felt like someone was calling a show, making sure everything was in place for Kanata's "big performance." Also, spoiler[the soldiers were in rock-throwing distance of eachother, how could they not be in firing range? Plus, the whole "song-playing stops the battle" was just pure cheese.] But you're right, I guess I just don't get how people can be so forgiving of such a scene.

Out of my way? My explanation about WWI tank strategy was actually what that scene reminded me of when I watched it. I saw the alignment of the soldiers and the tanks and it brought it to mind. It never seemed odd in the least. spoiler[As for "rock throwing" distance, you aren't going to get decent accuracy, when shooting without something to brace against especailly, at much farther than 200 or 300 yards even with a modern hunting rifle, which is probably more accurate than the rifles these are meant to be. (Incidentally, I found a picture of a Japanese rifled musket from the 1860's that looks even more like the rifles in the show, so that drops down the tech level another notch...) If you look at the scene at around 21:00 in, where Rio has just finished reading her proclamation, the distance that the tanks and men are from her is pretty far. You can't see individual men at all and the tanks are pretty small. I can believe that they are about 200 or 300 yards apart. Not many people can throw rocks that far.]
the Rancorous wrote:
erinfinnegan wrote:
Wasn't there some famous moment in World War I where soldiers in Europe stopped fighting on Christmas Day or something? (And then they played soccer?)

I've heard something about that, too, but I've never really looked it up. Don't see how it's relevant to my comment, though.

As an addition to Erin's reply to this, they also don't just stop fighting because of spoiler[the music. Kanata had already played the cease fire signal for both sides of the battle prior to playing Amazing Grace. That probably put some questions in the minds of most of the soldiers and even some of the officers. And, as someone else already mentioned, it didn't actually stop them, just delayed them long enough for Rio to arrive. It was after AG that the order to fire was given, after all.]
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einhorn303



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:33 pm Reply with quote
Veers wrote:
have liked that much better, too, but it is what it is. I kinda consider SnW one of those shows that's balanced on the scale; it's got enough good stuff to cancel out the annoying and stupid stuff and make it sufficiently likable, but not enough to make it as awesome as it could have been.


Just imagine how awesome the show is to someone who actually enjoys the "annoying and stupid stuff." The scale is broken.
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erinfinnegan
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:47 pm Reply with quote
zensunni wrote:
What the show achieved was to present a picture of optimism and innocence in a world that has too many reasons to be pessimistic and jaded.

I almost made a reference to the film Life is Beautiful in my review.

I liked how the blonde character was easy on the younger kids because spoiler[she was letting them enjoy the silliness and innocence of youth, of which she had been robbed by the horrors of war]. That character claimed to be an existentialist, but she seemed also seemed to have realization that childish optimism and innocence make life worth living.
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leafy sea dragon



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:06 pm Reply with quote
I'm caffeine-sensitive (it gives me insomnia and doesn't make me feel less sleepy), so I prefer my sodas caffeine-free.

There's a kind of balance to achieve when it comes to world-building in science fiction and fantasy. Some people love the stuff and love thinking of these fictional worlds and the society that lives in them. Some people consider that fluff that draws out the story they want to see. There are also some who don't want any world-building at all.

Personally, it depends on the medium. A novel can do all the world-building it wants, as it's got the space for it and hey tend to be more relaxed in pacing. For a movie or TV show, however, the optimal amount for me is enough world-building to understand what's going on and nothing unnecessary to further the plot. For instance, in Fullmetal Alchemist, the power source of Amestrian alchemy is important to the plot and worth going into detail about. However, how this power source was discovered and by whom is unimportant and thus doesn't need to be in the story (and is not, as far as I know).
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Veers



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:38 pm Reply with quote
einhorn303 wrote:
Veers wrote:
have liked that much better, too, but it is what it is. I kinda consider SnW one of those shows that's balanced on the scale; it's got enough good stuff to cancel out the annoying and stupid stuff and make it sufficiently likable, but not enough to make it as awesome as it could have been.


Just imagine how awesome the show is to someone who actually enjoys the "annoying and stupid stuff." The scale is broken.
So you're saying you liked watching Kanata piss herself? Mmmmkay.
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Gewürtztraminer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:59 pm Reply with quote
Veers wrote:
einhorn303 wrote:
Veers wrote:
have liked that much better, too, but it is what it is. I kinda consider SnW one of those shows that's balanced on the scale; it's got enough good stuff to cancel out the annoying and stupid stuff and make it sufficiently likable, but not enough to make it as awesome as it could have been.


Just imagine how awesome the show is to someone who actually enjoys the "annoying and stupid stuff." The scale is broken.
So you're saying you liked watching Kanata piss herself? Mmmmkay.


Kind of impossible, since it was not animated. I guess you could substitute hearing her scream "Noooooooo!"
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kazume



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:08 pm Reply with quote
I guess i'll have to give it one more go someday... I dropped Sounds of the Sky at episode 3... it had promise but it just didn't live up to the supposed hype it had at the time. Oh well.
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Moonsaber



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:12 am Reply with quote
Moonsaber wrote:
Addressing the PenguinFactory comment that it was "Moe'd up", well.. maybe a little, but I think they just went with current conventional design. I believe a lot of it was original intent, and they wanted to show innocence.. even though certainly some members of the unit truly have lost theirs.

Honestly this did fall to the back of my review box because of the character design... that said, I wonder what the show would look like if it was remade in 10 years? (Or if it had been made in the 1970s?) Or if it got a live action adaptation?[/quote]

Erin, it reminds me of "Rocket Girls", an 'ok' adaption of a decent light novel series. Spiffy possible science, and some bizzare that is quite funny. The problem is that the character design is that new norm of high school children being the size of elementary school kids, instead of looking nearly adult in size. I hate that trend! The DVD had an extra that showed you the original, normal, character design, and I wish it had stuck with it.

That being said, Sound of the Sky's character design worked out for me well enough. It caught you a bit off gaurd when some of the.. more intense.. moments occurred. The background and scenery were just jaw dropping.

zensunni wrote:
the Rancorous wrote:
erinfinnegan wrote:
Wasn't there some famous moment in World War I where soldiers in Europe stopped fighting on Christmas Day or something? (And then they played soccer?)

I've heard something about that, too, but I've never really looked it up. Don't see how it's relevant to my comment, though.

As an addition to Erin's reply to this, they also don't just stop fighting because of spoiler[the music. Kanata had already played the cease fire signal for both sides of the battle prior to playing Amazing Grace. That probably put some questions in the minds of most of the soldiers and even some of the officers. And, as someone else already mentioned, it didn't actually stop them, just delayed them long enough for Rio to arrive. It was after AG that the order to fire was given, after all.]


I would like to add that somewhere in there everyone forgot WHY spoiler[the spider tank went into action in the first place. Kanata heard the faint cease fire signal, and Rio had counted that she would. The entire reason they were at the front was to pass on that signal! It makes sense. ]Not great sense, but speaking as a Veteran myself, what you do in the military doesn't always make much sense, but you do what you are ordered to do.. and when you can, sometimes you even do what makes SENSE.
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