[Komidol] Sora no (W)Oto OVA [Orange Farm Archive]

It’s been a while since the ending of my favorite A-1 production.

So let’s start with the raw facts: A-1 chose to air a special of this series right after the ending of K-ON! because it has a similar art style, getting them high ratings and feeding a starved fanbase.  A very strong move by A-1 to make money – but lets be realistic.  Ever since the release of Sora no (W)oto – what has been come to be known as “military K-ON!” in the English blog-o-sphere – I’ve followed A-1 with due interest.  Working! got a lot of hype and played out to be the best anime of it’s season.  However, I question the big suits behind A-1 – do they really just want to be another production studio feeding off other major studio cash-cows and just converting series into anime (as they have shown they have a strong ability to stay close to source material), or do the artists and directors really have a vision?

Thank god we’re in business with Gainax, Shaft, KyoAni, and J.C Staff around…

A-1 seems confidant in it’s business practice, staff, and adaptations – but when is it really going to find itself it’s own identity?  The low production quality of their animes has me wondering when they’re going to stop messing around trying to keep themselves from going out of business (making a steady build up) and going to take a venture (like PA Works has tried twice, albeit failing in my opinion) into really going all out on an anime.  They have the tools, experience, and definitely with Working! – the money to try something extravagent, but last season they wasted their time with Shiki.  Come on A-1, do something already.



I have faith in this tiger cub animation studio to really do something great.  I also swear one day I will make that Sengoku Basara post.  By the way, who the hell gave Kanata a license?

So we weren’t treated with much content, only some brief glimpses into what happened to Rio and some exposition of the world.  Ultimately, this is what I wanted out of the backstory, but of the 28 minutes of the OVA I was expecting something more.  I realize a large part (and those of us who followed through to the amazing ending can often forget this) of the anime was slice-of-life (military edition) but with such a strong buildup I feel the original author can stop exploring Kanata’s ascension and journey into adulthood and actually start putting her in situations which require her to act (like we saw in the last episode of the series).

She is a Flame Maiden, afterall.

I can see why someone might disagree with me.  Afterall, putting Kanata in some dramatic situations would be like putting the K-ON! characters through hell in college and trying to focus on them finding a gig or make money.  That’s not what K-ON! is about, and that’s not what Sora no (W)oto was about.  However, in the last episode they introduced a major change for all the characters.  Infact, Kureha was the only character to seriously acknowledge those changes and make a change in her character due to the events of the last episode (studying to become a medic after being unable to save Aisha).  They never introduced a major change to the way of the K-ON! character’s lives, and in a sense I feel deep hatrid for the “go back to the way everything was” feeling of the setting for this OVA.

This scene reminded me of my early dreams – I always wanted to be an explorer (only to grow up to find pretty much everywhere on the planet had been found in some way shape or form).  From there I set my sights on technology and space, only to find the chance to break in on those dreams was an impossible goal (given my social status, the state of the world, and decisions I’ve made until that point).  I grew up to realize the lines on a map don’t mean very much and there’s plenty of problems to be solved within each territory and institution.  These problems exist three-fold in the war ridden setting of Sora no (W)oto and I would like to see either another story in this setting or expansion on the current one.  There is after all, so few people like Kanata not bound by the decisions of her ancestry or her life up until the current point in the setting.  Infact, she’s probably seen as a hero by some for the battle she valiantly stopped with her song.

I just hate it when authors take the time to build such an amazing setting and never see it out to even a third of it’s potential.  Rio said she’ll let Kanata follow her until she realizes her own dreams, but it just kills me we’ll never see that point.  Oh well, at-least I’ll get to see this small part of the setting in blu-ray.  Or maybe I’ll just go visit it one day.


2 Responses to “[Komidol] Sora no (W)Oto OVA [Orange Farm Archive]”

  1. October 7, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Oh, I don’t know that Sora no Oto failed to live up to its potential. I think the best works of art ignite their readers/viewers/listeners imaginations and too much exposition would have spoiled the playground that the series created.

    Mostly, I was shocked by the special’s ability to pull my heartstrings HARDER than the series as a whole (or at least pick right up where the show left off). What we got from Sora no Oto was a sense of hope, even if fleeting. It’s kind of ballsy for the special to rip it all away in the name of remaining true to the source material.

  2. 2 komidol
    October 7, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    It certainly didn’t “fail”, I just thought it could’ve gone further.

    Personally I’m sort of a grandoise-master-plan sorta guy and while I believe some elements should be left to interpretation there just so many possibilities within the setting I can’t just play it off to “use your imagination”. I would love to see all the wars and diplomacy among other things happen real time. Maybe that’s just my love for the Sengoku era shining, though.

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