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 7 & 7.5 were watched together (though Episode 7.5 was optional).
This episode of Sound of the Sky is a special that was released after the show aired its main cour in Winter 2010. Crunchyroll and Funimation (before Crunchyroll finishes consuming it essence) labels it at Episode 7.5 as it apparently does take place between Episodes 7 and 8. Since this episode is a special, it was optional for #Anitwitwatches. As you can see, I chose to watch and cover this episode. Normally, I follow the release order when I write episode reviews but since I’m covering Sound of the Sky for #Anitwitwatches, it makes more sense to follow the schedule Jon set up. Breaking my guideline this one time is small potatoes anyway.
In this episode, Kanata catches Rio coming out of the 1121st platoon’s distillery and naturally begins to suspect her team’s secret. At the same time, Yumina is visiting the team for dinner and is aghast to learn that they’re cooking with alcohol. The squad gets concerned what would happen if either of these two find out the truth until Filicia proposes that everyone play a mock battle using water guns. Filicia, Rio, and Kureha comprises one team while Kanata, Noel, and Yumina comprises the other team. If Kanata’s team wins, she gets to learn the truth. Filicia also gives everyone tea mixed with the 1121st branded wine so that they all play the game drunk…
Considering that this episode came after the show’s original broadcast, I have to wonder if this is the last time the distillery is brought up again. The plot thread does get resolved here, with Kanata winning the game and learning the team secret (and as expected, she agrees to keep her lips sealed). At the same time however, it’d be weird if Episodes 8-13 never bring up the distillery ever again. If the rest of the story has no reason to do so then fair enough but it still must’ve been weird if the original broadcast left the thread hanging, especially after Episode 6 made such a big stink about it. Alternatively, it’s possible that subsequent episodes have Kanata aware of the distillery but that would also be weird without having seen this special.
After the setup, the episode is pretty much just the mock battle. There really isn’t any actual development that happens here. As mentioned earlier, Kanata learns about the distillery. There’s also this bit where Yumina talks how she’s happy to be hanging out with the 1121st since she never really had friends growing up. Other than those, the episode boils down to the game. But if not the deepest chapter in Sound of the Sky, it is certainly one of, if not, the silliest one yet.
I’m not entirely sure why Filicia got everyone drunk, apart from the idea that she just thinks it’d be funny, but the results are entertaining. Almost everyone feels the effects of the alcohol and in their drunken states, they take the game very seriously, to the point that they think it’s a legitimate fight. In fact, when someone gets out, they play dead for the remainder of the game and presumably lie there on the spot until the game’s over. It is as silly as it sounds. One particular highlight that I found hilarious is when Noel busts out a kart equipped with a water Gatling gun. This either means that the gang has done a mock battle before or Noel is somehow just that prepared. Also, between this and Episodes 5 and 6, I’m starting to think Noel is a more violent person than she lets on…
Another gag in the episode is the varying degrees at how drunk everyone is. Funnily enough, it is Kureha who is able hold her liquor, resulting in the usually boisterous girl to act the straight man in the group (as well as the narrator of the episode). On the other side of the spectrum, you have Yumina who has the easiest time getting drunk. The fact that she’s against alcohol because of her religion and she’s getting drunk is already funny but her being in the biggest and messiest stupor out of everyone is icing on the cake.
The ending did take me by surprise. I didn’t think the episode would actually have the girls drink the actual wine. Normally, when anime wants minors drunk (and you’d be surprised how often that happens), they skirt around it by having the characters be drunk off the atmosphere or consume something with a little bit of alcohol and the characters just so happen to have the lowest alcohol tolerance imaginable. Sound of the Sky more or less does that a first with the tea Filicia makes for everyone. How surprising then that it goes “Screw it” and has the cast drinking straight from the bottles. Also, you can’t tell me this show wasn’t baiting doujin artists with that slumber party. So much left to the imagination…
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