Two extra episodes included in the Blu-ray and DVD volumes 4 and 7 of "Sora no Woto".
The first, episode 7.5, takes place during the series. Felicia proposes a mock battle between the maidens after Kanata sees Rio opening the door to the distillery. If Kanata can win, they'll tell her the truth about the secret room. However, things get out of hand when alcohol gets involved!
The second, episode 13, takes place after the series ends. One of the local children asks Kanata what her dream is. Unable to answer, Kanata talks to the other characters about their dreams and goals.
There needs to be more specials like this. Instead of goofy off-topic plots that lead to nowhere, these specials actually deepened my sense of appreciation for this show. However, one cannot categorize both specials into one mold - the first special, episode 7.5, came during the series, while episode 13 came after everything was said and done.
I'll clarify: episode 7.5 was a goofy spin-off. Sure, it had a plot element, but that was superseded by humor and comedy. I actually enjoyed this much more than the funny moments during the actual series - I ended up pausing at some parts to laugh, because the
girls were just so darn comedic it was hard to keep a straight face. The story, though ultimately stupid, had a deeper undertone to it. Episode 13 was almost the exact opposite. A couple loose ends were tied up, but then BAM the hammer fell. Rio and Kanata have this epic conversation concerning certain loose ends not explained in the actual series. I don't want to spoil it, but man, they go really deep. The ominous tone returns, rearing its ugly face; but there are bright spots in the world. I loved the overall theme as well; it's sort of a metaphor for even today's modern times.
The art was, as usual, stellar and detailed. I enjoyed the scenery and environment, lush as ever, alluding to 18th century European architecture and layout. The characters, as usual, are drawn K-Onish sort of, cute and with very wide eyes. Interestingly, the colors often contrasted with the mood this time, becoming the antithesis of the more brooding conversations that were made.
Intro and ending were exactly the same as the main anime; I listened to both, again. The opening sounded nostalgic and hopeful, while the ending was cheerfully optimistic. I always loved the sound effects; nothing wrong with this, either.
A short review, but for a relatively short series of specials. These were much more serious than I originally had anticipated; however, it was way worth the time it took to watch it. Rather than being slice-of-lifey or a little stupid, these went over the top with symbolism and a great theme of life everyone should aspire to. Little Kanata has grown out of her shell, and is ready to take on the world. One small, fleeting, unsteady step at a time.
The two special episodes of Sora no Woto (episode 7.5 and episode 13) are quite different from each other, yet satisfying to watch in their own unique way. In particular, I feel that viewers who finished the main series should definitely watch episode 13, as it serves as an epilogue and provides more details about our characters and the world they live in that will hopefully enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of the show.
Episode 7.5 revolves around a water gun fight between the characters and goes into some of the “shadier” business practices of Platoon 1121 (though I make it sound way more darker and
serious than it actually is). This special is a lot more light-hearted and jubilant compared to the rest of the series, and I actually found it to be one of the more enjoyable episodes. Although I admired the symbolism, themes, backstories and hints about the post-apoco world of the main episodes, it feels nice to leave those aside for just one episode and to watch the platoon members relax and have fun. The antics resulting from the “shady” business practice were also hilarious to watch, especially when they cause some out-of-character moments.
Episode 13 is quite different in tone and scope, but no less satisfying to watch. While I enjoyed the ending to the original series, I could not help but feel it ended a bit too soon and left a couple of loose ends: I wanted to know more about the post-apocalyptic world they inhabit and about how a certain character will now lead her supposedly new life. Thankfully, this episode managed to tie things up nicely. We first learn about the dreams and goals of the platoon members, which sheds some interesting insight about their characters. The most interesting goals come from Kanata and Rio: the two already had a connection that was insightful and dynamic, but I feel this episode really fleshed out their relationship. Rio’s dream also granted us a small peak into their bleak world: though the planet is still dying and wars are still being waged, there might be a tiny glimmer of hope somewhere out there. Finally, the episode (and the show) ends on a high note: even if the world is doomed, we must never stop reaching for the future. This final message struck me hard and served as a solid ending to a solid series.
(This was my first review on MAL, so feedback is greatly appreciated!)
The first special, Episode 7.5, has a very comedic tone. It was just another slice of life episode, but it was probably one of the most hilarious episodes out of the entire show.
The second special, Episode 13, is set after the finale of the show and takes a more serious tone. In this episode, we get to learn about “dreams and goals”. This episode really shows how many of the characters changed, especially the protagonist, Kanata. We also see how the recent battle affected our main characters.
The art and music for the two specials are as stellar as usual.
In 7.5, the characters show a more comedic and fun side, while Episode 13 has some of the best character development in the entire series.
One episode light-hearted and comedic, the other solemn and deep. But in the end, both were great.
This will be another short review, mainly because my opinion about these special episodes is even lower than that for the full series – it’s bad. Like the main series, I watched these as part of the anime club at my school, at a rate of one episode per week. I saw the first (7.5) directly between episodes 7 and 8, and the second (13) after concluding the main series. And, in a lot of ways, I really wish I hadn’t.
I’m not a great fan of the series as a whole, for several reasons – typical, explicitly-characterized cast, terrible pacing, very poor plot,
and extremely weak and hilariously unsatisfactory ending. Unfortunately, the specials take each of these undesirable characteristics and extend them, doing absolutely nothing to add to the already-struggling story or further flesh out the disappointing characters.
Episode 7.5, and I wish I was joking, is entirely about what happens when you get a lot of faux-military moe characters drunk out of their minds. Yes, the platoon raises most of its money from illegal distillation, but Aniplex sees that already-minor plot point as a mere excuse to get its cute girls completely smashed. But why? What purpose does it solve? Somehow it’s supposed to be funny that older teenagers (yes, teenagers) deceive their younger counterparts, along with a celibate-and-sober member of the local church, into getting totally hammered? This rite of passage that Kanata passes through is some sort of cruel hazing ritual involving intense physical activity, injury, intoxication, and some bizzarely-sexual scenes. It’s almost as if the writers thought that rushing a stereotypical American fraternity constitutes a hilarious and heartwarming military picture. I guess that makes sense given the already-tenuous “military anime that wants to be a slice of life” that the entire series struggles under – why not throw some alcohol into it?
On the other hand, Episode 13 avoids the sheer awfulness of 7.5 by being completely lackluster and uninteresting. Kanata doesn’t know her dream, so she asks everyone else. Wonderful! What are we in, preschool? Can dreams be so swiftly singulated into becoming a beautiful bride or playing the trumpet so well that peace returns to the earth? The point is lost on the audience, who is probably still chortling from the inane trainwreck of episodes 11 and 12. If Aniplex was trying to save the series’ tender moments in this final special episode, it should be obvious that they failed a full half-series ago.
And that brings this not-so-serious review to a close. These specials are pathetic. If you’ve had the misfortune of seeing the rest of the series, just avoid these shows – if anything, they make it worse.