It Came from Japan – Sound of the Sky
How sweet the sound.
Sound of the Sky (Sora no Woto)
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Animation Production: A-1 Pictures
Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment
Reviewer was provided a DVD review copy by Right Stuf.
Sound of the Sky is the story of the 1121st Platoon of the Helvetian Army, an all-female troop comprised of a paltry 5 members sworn to protect the border of the town of Seize. Problem is, the border they’re guarding stares directly into miles upon miles of No Man’s Land, making boredom their most likely battle.
Kanata Sorami is the newest recruit to the practically useless squad, only joining the military due to her desire to learn the bugle. K-On! fans might find this premise (and the main characters) vaguely familiar, but I assure you that this is where the comparisons end. Despite a light-hearted, slice-of-life tone, Sound of the Sky takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where war had greatly reduced the world’s population. As a result, technology has regressed to World War II standards, despite laser technologies and mecha being the norm prior.
Sound of the Sky is an absolute marvel to experience. Although the series is confined to a DVD-only release, animation is vivid and colorful, consisting of an impressive amount of detail usually reserved for a full-length film. The writing is also at cinematic standards, resulting in phenomenal pacing and scenes that go on for just the right amount of time. Every soldier in the 1121st Platoon is given a great deal of backstory and personality, which makes the struggles they face in the second act of the series all the more heartbreaking.
Japanese audio is the only option for Sound of the Sky, but don’t let that deter you dubbing fans. The show actually features three languages prominently: Japanese, French, and German. In a land still torn by war, the subtitle requirement is essential to the story, as there are walls in communication between the two engaging armies. Dubbing would be a disservice to this atmospheric tension.
In my short career reviewing the world of Japanese animation, Sound of the Sky is a hidden gem that needs not only to be watched, but needs to be experienced by all. Don’t let this series slip under your radar.
Judge for yourself: RightStuf
Nozomi Entertainment has graciously uploaded the first two episodes of Sound of the Sky on YouTube. The episodes can be found here.