The K-On style art is grating on my nerves. The show has enough of an original voice and a serious enough undertone that it shouldn’t have to rely on mimicking another popular series art. Although the art does look nice, and as demonstrated in other animes, quality art helps a series; it just feels like a cop-out that the series did not need to take.
Otherwise, there’s a lot I like about the series. For one, the opening theme song is absolutely beautiful. The opening artwork is very well done, and the song picked to go along with it is a great choice.
The story is pretty predictable. The girls will get involved in the actual conflict and have the chance to prove they’re a real unit with a great deal of character development. The commander will probably not survive the series. However, I don’t think anyone is watching it for the story.
Neither are the characters what are drawing people in. While the characters aren’t 2D, most of them are archetypes or contain qualities that remind me of popular characters that have been seen before. The commander, of course, reminds of Mugi from K-On, Rio comes across as a reincarnation of Reki from Haibane Reimei, and Noel seems a lot like the famous Yuki of Haruhi. Kureha is our tsundere, and Kanata doesn’t strike me as another Yui-she’s too smart and with it-but rather the typical naive genkai girl. Although the creators do add quirks, such as the commander’s embroidery, it isn’t enough to carry the show alone.
What causes the show stand out is the world, and the characters interactions with the world. It’s a desolate world where humanity is still struggling to survive, yet contains throwbacks to some very dark things. There’s the abandoned school and the mention of not many people going to school anymore, the church taking in a multitude of orphans, and just the realization that these girls should be in high school and living normal high school lives, not dressed up in solider garb to fight a battle. Kureha’s optimism and love of life is especially an interesting contrast against this world. One can help how the world got that way, and wants to know more about the workings of the world. While the show probably won’t answer everything, I can’t wait to learn more. One thing that I do find interesting is that despite obviously coming from a former life, they’re not/no longer as technically advanced as our current day and age. Although they do have the tank with many nifty functions.
Anyone curious to speculations regarding Sora no Woto should check this out: http://soranowoto.wikia.com/wiki/Speculation
The touch of Amazing Grace at the end of the episode was surprising-as it’s a song from North America-but a nice touch, and an absolutely beautiful rendition.