|So Ra No Wo To|
|Genre||Comedy-drama, Slice of life, Social science fiction|
|Original run||January 5, 2010 – ongoing|
|Publisher||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||January 2010 – ongoing|
|So Ra No Wo To: Maiden Quintet|
|Genre||Music, Visual novel|
|Original video animation|
|Released||June 23, 2010
September 22, 2010
|Runtime||24 minutes each|
So Ra No Wo To (ソ・ラ・ノ・ヲ・ト Sora no Woto , lit. Sounds of the Skies) is a Japanese anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures and Aniplex and directed by Mamoru Kanbe. The anime began airing in Japan on the TV Tokyo television network on January 5, 2010. So Ra No Wo To is the debut project of Anime no Chikara, a joint project of TV Tokyo's anime department and Aniplex. A manga adaptation illustrated by Yagi Shinba began serialization in the January 2010 issue of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Daioh magazine. A visual novel developed by Compile Heart will be released on the PlayStation Portable in spring 2010.
The plot revolves around a girl named Kanata Sorami. When she was all alone at a young age as a result of war, she found inspiration in a trumpeter she met. She decides to join the army and become a bugler, hoping to learn well since she is quite bad at it. She is assigned to the town of Seize (inspired by Cuenca, Spain) in Helvetia (another name for Switzerland), where she is taken care of by Rio Kazumiya, her bugler instructor who plays the trumpet, and the rest of the 1121st Platoon.
Before the anime's release, a manga adaptation illustrated by Yagi Shinba began serialization in the January 2010 issue of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Daioh magazine. The story is written by Paradores who provided the original concept for So Ra No Wo To.
So Ra No Wo To is the debut project of Anime no Chikara, a joint project of TV Tokyo's anime department and Aniplex aiming to assemble creators to develop original anime television series. The anime began airing in Japan on TV Tokyo on January 5, 2010. The anime is produced by Aniplex, with animation produced handled by A-1 Pictures, and directed by Mamoru Kanbe. The screenplay is written by Hiroyuki Yoshino who based the story on Paradores' original concept. Character design is provided by Toshifumi Akai who based the designs on Mel Kishida's original concept. Music direction is led by Michiru Oshima. The anime's opening theme is "Hikari no Senritsu" (光の旋律, lit. "Melody of Light") by Kalafina and the ending theme is "Girls, Be Ambitious." by Haruka Tomatsu. The first BD/DVD compilation volume containing the first two episodes will be released in Japan on March 24, 2010 distributed by Aniplex. Two original video animation (OVA) episodes will be released on the fourth and seventh BD/DVD volumes to be released in Japan on June 23 and September 22, 2010, respectively.
|#||Episode title||Original air date|
|01||"Resounding Sound: The City at Dawn"
"Hibiku Oto: Futsugyō no Machi" (響ク音・払暁ノ街)
|January 4, 2010|
|A young girl named Kanata Sorami joins the army with the hope of learning to become a good bugler. She is assigned to a place called Seize, which is currently holding a festival where people splash each other with water. She is found by her superior, Rio Kazumiya, who gives her a bath and tells her about the legend of the Fire Maidens. While looking at a bell owned by Rio's father, an owl steals it, forcing Rio to stop Kanata falling off the balcony trying to get it. As Rio participates in the festival, Kanata decides to search for the bell. She finds it hanging off a ledge, but when she goes to get it she falls into the lake, where she sees the golden skeleton of a winged creature. Stranded at the bottom of a canyon, she plays her bugle where she is responded to by Rio on her trumpet. She takes her to the Time Telling Fortress and plays the trumpet as the sun rises, introducing herself as Kanata's bugling teacher.|
|02||"First Battle: The Story of a Chair"
"Uijin: Isu no Hanashi" (初陣・椅子ノ話)
|January 11, 2010|
|During breakfast, Kanata is introduced to the other members of the 1121st Platoon; Filicia Heideman, Noël Kannagi and Kureha Suminoya. Kureha shows some hostility towards Kanata, but she is assigned to show her around the fort. When Kureha takes Kanata to see the tank of the squadron is kept, which is in the process of being repaired, Kureha expresses her depression because the military often ignores the squadron's existence. Later that night, Noël and Kanata claim they saw a ghost in the barracks, so Kanata and Kureha are sent to investigate. They learn the place used to be a school. Kureha laments that their platoon is in the middle of nowhere and is generally ignored. The two are surprised by an owl, the same one that stole Rio's bell, but with Kureha's help they manage to capture it. They decide to keep it and name it Shuko.|
|03||"The Squad's Day: Rio Runs"
"Tai no Ichinichi: Rio Hashiru" (隊ノ一日・梨旺走ル)
|January 18, 2010|
|As the others go to restock their supplies, Kanata spends the afternoon music training with Rio. Suddenly, Kanata comes down with a fever, reminding Rio of when her mother fell ill. Out of medicine, Rio gets help from a priestess named Yumina, who diagnoses her with three-day fever and treats her. When Kanata wakes up, she tells Rio that she has always been useless and has caused troubles for others. She also mentions to Rio that she always wanted to play a song, having heard it from a trumpeter she met when she was younger. Rio explains to her that there are many things of the past inside the tank Takemikazuchi, among which is Amazing Grace, the song they both have heard, but played by a full orchestra. Rio explains that a squad, much like an orchestra, cannot be completed without a member.|
|04||"Rainy Season Sky: Quartz Rainbow"
"Tsuyu no Sora: Hari no Niji" (梅雨ノ空・玻璃ノ虹)
|January 25, 2010|
|Kanata goes with Noël to get more parts for their tank, the Takemikazuchi. They visit a glass works shop run by Naomi, the lady who helped Kanata when she first arrived, and she takes interest in a glass dolphin. Later on, they run into Yumina and a couple of kids. The boy, Seiya, gets angry at them, since he hates soldiers due to the death of his parents. Kanata and Noël head to a glass works factory, where they are having trouble replicating the optical lens needed for the tank. Kanata reassures Noël that it is not the machines that are good or bad, but the people who use them. After speaking with the workers, Carl and Maria, they give Kanata advice that allows her to become better at playing the bugle. This in turn helps Noël determine the effective lens samples by having Kanata check their pitch. The tank lens finally works and Noël smiles for the first time in a while.|
|05||"Mountain Hiking: The Ends of the World"
"Yamafumi: Sekai no Hate" (山踏ミ・世界ノ果テ)
|February 1, 2010|
|The squad take a 'field trip' to the mountains where some mechanical observers from the previous age need a maintenance check. Kanata, Kureha and Noël are forced to carry heavy backpacks on their hike up. While they find the first observer quickly, the next one lies at the top of a mountain. They take a break at a running river but soon return to find their backpacks ravaged of their food and their compass. Despite the hunger, they eventually manage to find the remaining observers. At the last observer, Filicia shows the others the signatures left by former members who had observed No Man's Land from that point. They are then taken to a hot spring where Rio, who had fought against a boar to get some bayberries, awaits.|
|06||"Kanata's Day Off: Hairdressing"
"Kanata no Kyūjitsu: Kamiyui" (彼方ノ休日・髪結イ)
|February 8, 2010|
|The group gives Kanata her paycheck early and she goes into town to spend it. In actuality, it is to get her out of the way while the others illegally trade calvados to make some money. When they get word from Naomi that some gangsters are planning to snoop in on the deal, they stage a mock shoot out to scare them off. Meanwhile, one of Yumina's orphans, Mishio, runs off when she objects to having her hair brushed. Kanata finds her at the market, where she reveals she is looking for a box that was taken from her after her mother died. Mishio nearly falls off a roof from the noise caused by the mock shoot out, but Kanata manages to save her before she falls, though it causes some boulders to fall that smash into the gangsters' car. While apologizing to Naomi, they notice the box Mishio had been looking for which the gangsters had picked up earlier at the town market. Mishio decides to give it to Yumina as a symbol of how much she cares for her.|
|07||"Showering Sound of Cicadas: Spirits Down the River"
"Semishigure: Shōrōnagashi" (蝉時雨・精霊流シ)
|February 15, 2010|
|Everyone prepares for Fiesta des Lumiéres, which starts to bring bad memories for Filicia, whose comrades were killed in a fierce battle. While wandering in the battlefield with a heavily wounded arm, she falls into a tunnel which was well buried under the ruin of the past civilization, and finds a corpse of a soldier of the old era. In a delusion, the corpse approaches her and apologizes for the war they could not win while humanity is falling apart. Filicia was rescued from the tunnel by someone named Princess Iliya. The girls later send off paper lanterns in the river and Filicia tells Rio her reason for living. Meanwhile, a priest recognizes Rio from somewhere.|
|08||"Manning the Telephone: I Declare an Emergency"
"Denwaban: Kinkyūjitai o Sengensu" (電話番・緊急事態ヲ宣言ス)
|February 22, 2010|
|The squad is asked to watch over the emergency phone and wait for a call to check if it is still in order, so Kanata decides to take responsibility while the others go out for various tasks. Before Rio leaves, she gives Kanata a trumpet book, signed by an Iliya Arkadia. Later, Seiya, Mishio and the priest arrive, and decide to help Kanata practice using a phone, but a mess is made when Mishio spooks the owl Shuko. Yumina arrives at that point, scolds the others and gives Kanata a change of clothes. Afterward, Kanata needs to go to the bathroom but cannot leave her post, so she holds out until Rio comes back. The phone then rings and Rio answers, hearing a voice she is not too fond of asking her to save Helvetia.|
|09||"Passing of the Typhoon: False and Real Images"
"Taifūikka: Kyozō to Jitsuzō" (台風一過・虚像ト実像)
|March 1, 2010|
|Kanata and the others wonder if something is strange about Rio's behavior. As a typhoon settles in, Claus arrives with a package for Rio. After the others tell Kanata about Princess Iliya, they hear from Yumina that Seiya has gone missing and go into the city to search for him. Kureha and Claus find Mishio, who leads them to Seiya, who was trying to protect some eggplants. Whilst they manage to get Seiya to safety, Kureha and Claus are blocked off by a rockfall. It is revealed that Claus isn't actually the infamous Desert Wolf that Kureha believed him to be. As the others send a wire over, the ground collapses beneath them, but Claus manages to rescue Kureha before she falls in. Despite knowing he is a fake, she still recognizes Claus as the person she admires.|
|10||"Departure: Time of First Snow"
"Tabitachi: Hatsuyuki no Koro" (旅立チ・初雪ノ頃)
|March 8, 2010|
|Kanata asks Kureha to tell her more about Princess Iliya. Yumina asks Kanata and Rio to check up on an old woman named Jacott who lives in the mountains. The two later take a walk where Rio talks to Kanata about her half-sister. As the snow falls, Yacott, filled with memories about her love, runs off into the snow and never returns. Rio reveals she is the half-sister of Iliya, and decides to leave the fortress to help improve relations between the warring sides, leaving Kanata her trumpet.|
|11||"A Visitor: A Burning Field of Snow"||March 15, 2010|
|Whilst on patrol in the snow, Kanata and Kureha stumble upon an unconscious Roman soldier. Noël, who had just finished rebuilding the Takemikazuchi, seems to recognize her and asks to look over her. She wakes up the next day and introduces herself as Aisha Aldola, though she is unable to speak or even understand Helvetian. Kanata and Noël spend some time with her, and Kanata is surprised and overjoyed she knows how to play Amazing Grace. Later, Naomi and Yumina arrive, informing them that Helvetian armies are heading towards the fortress. Yumina acts as a translator for Aisha, who says that she wants to see the Angel Fossil (the one Kanata saw underwater in the first episode), the remains of the "Angel of the Apocalypse" that brought upon judgment to the world of the distant past. Just then the 9th Independent Mobile Division, under Colonel Hopkins, the infamous "Demon of Vingt," starts to arrive at the fortress, and Noel becomes particularly scared. Filicia decides to hide Noël and Aisha from Hopkins' contingent, who takes over the fortress. However, their position was given away when Aisha recognizes Noël as the The Witch of Helvetia, the Invisible Reaper, causing her to scream at the bad memories and run away. At the same time, the fortress gets a call that a massive Roman army contingent has been spotted advancing in No Man's Land towards the border of Helvetia at Seize.|
|12||"Resound Into the Azure Sky"||March 22, 2010|
A musical visual novel based on the anime titled So Ra No Wo To: Maiden Quintet (ソ・ラ・ノ・ヲ・ト 乙女ノ五重奏 So Ra No Wo To Otome no Kuintetto ) is under development by Compile Heart for the PlayStation Portable and is set to be released in limited and regular editions in spring 2010. It will introduce an original character, Kyrie Kuon (九音 綺莉重 Kuon Kirie ) (voiced by Marina Inoue).