Sound of the Sky Anime (English) First Impressions and Contest!

August 14th, 2011

Sound of the Sky Complete DVD Collection Limited Edition (Sora no Woto) This is not a review for Sound of the Sky, (Sora no wo to). As with Madoka, I have a few first impressions I want to put down before I forget them and before the anime changes my opinion. More importantly, though, we have a contest! If you only care about the contest, skip past the review piece to the word Contest!

My very first impression of Sound of the Sky was…not very good. This can be attributed to one thing, quite specifically. Moe checklisting. There are no characters in Sound of the Sky, only character “types.” There is no story here, only a set-up. The slice of life activities could very well have been set in any time or any place, and the trappings of the story in which they are set are just that, trappings.  K-ON! shows slice-of-life daily nothings among a group of high school girls,  where they belong. Hidamari Sketch, likewise. Even in Aria, with which this series has a tremendous amount in common, the slow days passing and appreciation of…things…makes sense. Not so much for the military set-up chosen for Sound of the Sky.

The second hurdle I had to face was why the character types fail so badly to compel me. Kanata, the main character, is given one task for the first episode. A simple task. Get from Point A to Point B. She fails to complete this task because she is presented as the cute, energetic, hopeless character-type. In episode 2, we encounter the tsundere character type, Kureha. I posted on Twitter, and I quote, “Oh, god, Kureha, shut the fuck up.” Kureha never even has a chance to develop into having a reason to whine and complain, before she starts whining and complaining. In a world where I produced anime, Rio (the cool, competent character type) would be the protagonist and getting from Point A to Point B would not take a whole episode.

Third – and most critical for me – the story is about playing a brass instrument. I’m sorry folks, I’m a woodwind. It’s an ancient rivalry and I can’t move past it easily. If you played a woodwind instrument, you understand. ^_^

Now, all that having been said, setting aside my personal issue with the brass section, and the irrelevant story setup and the list of character types, I can see that it’s going to be a reasonably enjoyable slice-of-life story. It’s just that in order to get there, I need to ignore some things, shed some things, pay attention to secondary things and pretend that the combination makes sense as a whole.

Ratings to follow when I’ve watched the whole thing.

In the meantime….Contest!

The generous folks at Nozomi/RightStuf have provided a Sound of the Sky Box Set for us and this time, the question is a relatively simple one:

What DVD Extras do you want to see?

These can be anything. If you like Openings and Endings without credits – say so! Or how about interviews with voice actors and actresses (American or Japanese.) Email us at yuriconcontest at gmail dot com and tell us up to 3 extras you want from your DVDs and you’ll be entered to win. Super easy! I’m asking you to use the email so I have email addresses to contact you with, trying to do a contest with anonymous comments here is awkward.

The contest will remain open as long as I’m watching the anime and will close when I do my final review for it. Get your Extra suggestions in today!

Just to start, the extra I really want to see on English DVDs is:

Interviews with the Japanese voice cast.

I’m sure that comes as a surprise to everyone. ^_^

I look forward to receiving your suggestions!

In the meantime, the first of several thanks to Okazu Superhero Eric P for sponsoring this and all future posts about this series!

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3 Responses

  1. BruceMcF says:

    C’mon, given that its a army post at the back end of nowhere to fly the flag, hosting a crew for a walking tank that at the outset appears to be completely out of commission … “nothing happening” at the outset is quite fitting.

    And the period of nothing happening is used to build a science fiction world.

    Though in service to the checklist patrols, it is an awfully cute military outfit for such a dystopian setting ~ I still think of it as CLEAN ~ Canticle for Lebowitz’s Extremely Adorable Nieces.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of slices of life for soldiers, have you ever seen Skippy’s List?

    Think about how much down time must have been on an officer’s hands for him or her to be able to tell Skippy not to do the item, multiplied by the 213 items on the list…

    …and for other officers to tell Skippy’s friends not to do the rest of these items.

    “C’mon, given that its a army post at the back end of nowhere to fly the flag, hosting a crew for a walking tank that at the outset appears to be completely out of commission … ‘nothing happening’ at the outset is quite fitting.”

    Having read a whole bunch of history books and historical fiction including some covering what life was like for WWII soldiers and pilots, I gotta agree here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Actually, my Ex was in the army, and she loved Sora no Woto *especially* because nothing happened in the post.

    She thought this was a completely realistic portrayal of military stationing: Lots of bored hanging around, until shit hits the fan for five minutes. And then more hanging around doing nothing.

    I agree the anime has flaws, but Rio/Felicia saved it for me, as did the setting. I really found it interesting.

    *writes a contest entry*

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