Note: This review was written for #Anitwitwatches, a weekly community event primarily held on Twitter and led by Jon Spencer at Jon Spencer Reviews, in which participants watch and discuss the featured anime. Per the event’s schedule, Episodes 3 and 4 were watched together.
With Episodes 3 and 4 grouped together in the #Anitwitwatches schedule, it didn’t take long before I got past where I left Sound of the Sky the first time I tried the show. From here on out, I’ll be tackling the show blind.
In this episode, Kanata accompanies Noel on a trip around Seize, grabbing parts for the Takemikazuchi. Their first stop is at a trinket shop run by a woman named Naomi (Mayuno Yasokawa). The shop is actually one of the first places Kanata saw during her tour around Seize in Episode 1 and Naomi is also the lady who helped Kanata when she needed to dry her clothes after participating in the water splashing event during the Flame Maidens festival. A peculiar moment arises when Kanata takes interest in a glass dolphin displayed in the shop. Noel explains the animal apparently having gone extinct along with all other sea life, which makes you wonder even more what exactly happened to this world. Just what was so cataclysmic that it caused the sea to become uninhabitable? By that same token, what does the sea even look like?
Along the way, Kanata and Noel have a run in with Yumina as well as some of the children she looks after. One of the kids, Seiya (Mana Hirata), is quick to hate on the girls. Having lost both of his parents during the war, the boy has developed a general hatred towards the military. Assuming this plot thread is addressed in later episode, I imagine it’ll involve Noel and the Takemikazuchi. I say Noel simply because Seiya interacts with her more compared to Kanata. As for the tank, that does largely has to do with Noel being its pilot though her use of it to somehow help Seiya would make true of a point brought on by Kanata in this episode: that what matters most about weapons of war is the people that uses them.
The last stop takes place at a glass works factory where Noel has enlisted to help of its top worker Carl (Tanuki Sugino) in replicating an optical lens for the Takemikazuchi, one of the more elusive parts Noel needs for the tank. Along the way, Carl provides some valuable advice to Kanata regarding her bugle playing. He demonstrates how he makes glass, showing that he doesn’t force the material to take a specific shape, to illustrate a point that you have to do your work your own way. Kanata tries to sound as good as Rio but she isn’t Rio so she shouldn’t try to play the bugle exactly how she does. I don’t know if I entirely buy Kanata suddenly becoming good at playing her instrument as a result though I suppose it’d be a less magical moment if it was rougher around the edges. What I do like however is how Kanata’s success helps Noel figure out a way to find the correct lens for the Takemikazuchi, using Kanata’s perfect pitch to deduce which lens produces the same sound as the original one. Using Kanata’s overarching arc to resolve the immediate conflict in the episode is pretty clever.
The trip around Seize marks the first time we really get to see Kanata and Noel interact with each other and so far, they seem to getting along pretty well. Even though Noel appears to be very taciturn, she surprisingly opens up to Kanata. There’s a scene where she answers Kanata’s questions, only addressing some time after they were asked because she was pre-occupied with driving the team’s humvee. In another scene, she confides to Kanata her concern over their status as soldiers and her use of the Takemikazuchi. This is what leads to Kanata bringing up that the people who use weapons of war matter more than the weapons themselves. When the two successfully find the right lens for the tank, Noel smiles in gratitude towards Kanata’s assistance. Kureha points out that Noel hasn’t smiled in quite some time. It’s possible Noel doesn’t normally open up like this to someone. If so, the chemistry she displays here with Kanata speaks greatly about the latter, proving that this girl is bringing a positive effect to her team.
Thanks for reading!