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 8 & 9 were watched together.
By now, we’ve had the girls pretend to be gangsters and had them outright drunk so I can’t imagine Sound of the Sky getting any sillier than those two plots. That said, I don’t think those episodes had such a ridiculous use of continuity as this one. Remember the gang’s telephone? The one wired to HQ? All the way back in Episode 2? That’s actually the main focus of Episode 8! The 1121st platoon are expecting a routine phone call to make sure that the device still works. For one reason or another however, most of the team gets pre-occupied with something else, leaving Kanata to wait alone for the phone call. That job is of course easier said than done as hijinks ensue throughout the way.
The events of this episode is a comedy of errors. You actually see the end result at the beginning of the episode with Kanata waiting for the phone call in the middle of the night, dressed up in an unusually colorful outfit and in dire need to go to the bathroom. The episode then proceeds to explain how it all transpired. Naomi delivers some apple cider and Kanata ends up drinking too much of it throughout the day. She’d go to the bathroom but she’s too eager to prove herself so she chooses to hold it in (and boy does that not pan out in her favor). The priest, Seiya, and Mishio pay Kanata a visit and a mishap involving Mishio and Shuko causes a mess. Yumina stops by and has a spare change of clothes and Kanata is forced to wear them as she brought her team’s laundry inside due to some rain and all those clothes get ruined during the mishap. With that, the comedy goes full circle (and then some).
As it turns out, the show does bring up the distillery again. Naomi pays the fort a visit and she learns from both Rio and Kanata that the latter now knows about the team’s secret. How that came to be pretty much happens off screen if it wasn’t for Episode 7.5 retroactively depicting those events. Had I not seen the special before this, I can myself being baffled at the show leaving me hanging like this and instead telling me to get the BDs/DVDs to find out more. Kanata being shy and embarrassed about the whole thing however is funny regardless if you’ve seen Episode 7.5 or not. If you didn’t see it, your imagination will run wild as to what could possibly have happened that Kanata doesn’t want to talk about it. If you have the special, you know exactly what happened and you completely understand Kanata’s decision.
Between this episode and the next one, the show makes some progress with Seiya’s character arc. Honestly, I’m shocked that he can came to the fort at all but one of the reasons the priest visits the place is to apologize for Seiya’s behavior so I suppose the kid got strung along. I wish the episode had Seiya interact with Noel, if only because he directed his anger at her, but I suppose Kanata is more approachable. While you do see Seiya be willing enough to hang out with Kanata, what really seems make him open up to the girl is seeing her in the outfit Yumina lends her. It’s funny and admittedly, he is a kid and probably around that age but I would’ve preferred something more nuanced (which you kind of get in the next episode).
I know I must sound like a broken record but what is the deal with Rio? So, we have her give Kanata trumpet book that’s signed by Iliya Arkadia, presumably Princess Iliya’s full name. Considering their apparent connection, Rio having that book isn’t too surprising. Curiously, the ring doesn’t ring a bell for Kanata. I suppose she just never got the chance to find out about Iliya’s name when she met her. I don’t think it’s unrealistic that Kanata wouldn’t know the name of someone running the country. We’ve seen in a few instances before that not everything about the place is common knowledge. Also, it’s very deliberate that the priest visits the fort after Rio leaves for her errand. The elder clearly knows Rio’s exact identity, even seemingly confirmed his suspicion after seeing the trumpet book, so it’s awfully convenient that he doesn’t get to talk to Rio.
We do get a pretty big bone at the very end however when Rio picks up the phone and is greeted by a person she doesn’t seem terribly fond of. The person on the other end makes one hell of a request, pleading with Rio to save Helvetia. In an earlier scene, we learn that peace talks between Helvetia and the other nation(s) have not been going well so we can assume this request has something to do with that. If that’s the case, Rio must be of a very prestigious position if she has that kind of power.
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