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 10 & 11 were watched together.
There’s two episodes of Sound of the Sky left to watch but with Episode 12 being the original broadcast’s finale, Episode 11 is technically the real penultimate chapter in the story. It certainly comes across that way.
The past couple of episodes have mentioned tensions arising between Helvetia and the Roman Empire and that’s made even clearer in this episode as we see Roman troops advancing along No Man’s Land. I can’t help but find that development a little amusing considering how much Seize has been treated as the middle of nowhere. Maybe the Roman army caught wind of there only being five soldiers stationed there and realize that Seize would therefore make for a good vantage point and make trudging through No Man’s Land worthwhile. Who would’ve thought?
As the army makes their way, the 1121st encounter one of their scouts named Aisha (Nami Miyahara). The gang treats her wounds and enlists Yumina, who is fluent in Roman(?), to act as a translator. Aisha’s presence in Seize is naturally a problem for the 1121st. Protocol dictates they report and hand over the scout to the higher ups for the interrogation but the gang is concerned over how Aisha will be treated and they themselves want to know what’s going on so they choose to hold off on the report. Later in the episode, one of Helvetia’s military divisions arrive to inspect the fort but even then, Filicia decides to hide Aisha. Kureha is the only one who objects throughout all of this but she still trusts her leader’s judgment. Obviously, the gang is risking a lot just for an enemy soldier that they just met but considering their personalities, I can’t say it’s out of character.
At center of this episode is Noel. Based on the crumbs, it appears that she may have played a large role in developing weapons for Helvetia. That lines up with some of the hints we’ve seen in past episodes such as her self-consciousness over her use of weaponry and her claiming to have some firsthand experiences from the war. It also appears that Noel is deeply traumatized by the war. A flashback suggests she’s apparently seen some of the victims of her work. Aisha reveals that she’s an infamous figure in the Roman Empire, being recognizing the girl as the “Witch of Helvetia”. The military division that inspects the fort is led by Colonel Hopkins (Naoya Uchida), who seems to have a history with Noel. Both the witch moniker and Hopkins name are enough to cause Noel to have a panic attack.
Given her trauma, it’s really interesting then to see Noel interact with Aisha. She treats the latter’s wounds and stays by her side throughout the episode. It’s very likely that Noel is trying to atone for her past. Having played some part in the deaths of many Roman people, Noel therefore feels obligated to look after Aisha, even if at the risk of the latter realizing who she actually is.
Kanata is also friendly towards Aisha. The latter being from enemy territory seems to make no difference for her, she welcomes Aisha just she would with anyone else. Out of anyone in the team, she advocates for Aisha’s safety the most. One interesting moment that happens between the two characters is when Kanata lets Aisha play her trumpet and the latter plays “Amazing Grace”. I know the song is widely known in real life but given how much the show plays it and how closely it’s associated with Iliya, Aisha playing the song raises an eyebrow. It’s possible the song became known to the Roman people through Iliya, which would support the notion that things between the empire and Helvetia would be soother if she was still alive. Also, as silly as it is view “Amazing Grace” as a “universal language” of sorts, it does go hand in hand with what Kanata said in the last episode about people being connected through sound. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, Kanata feels closer to Aisha because of their shared familiarity with music.
While Aisha refuses to give details surrounding her mission, she does reveal that she has an agenda of her own. Turns out, she wants to see the remains of the “Angel of the Apocalypse” (the skeleton we saw back in Episode 1), having heard stories about it from her grandmother, who was formerly a soldier stationed at the Clocktower Fortress. Judging by Yumina’s reaction, it sounds like the demon is a bigger deal than the show previously let on. It already sounded really dangerous based on the Flame Maidens legend (assuming that they are indeed the same entity) but based on the new dialogue, it sounds like it had a large role in why the show’s world is the way it is in the present.
To be frank, I find the ending of this episode to be really dumb. Hopkins just assumes the 1121st are hiding a Roman scout and order his men to inspect the place. Filicia couldn’t make that search any easier as she has Aisha and Noel hiding in one of the abandoned rooms. Yumina is with those two and for whatever reason, decides that this is a good opportunity to introduce each other, causing to Noel to have a panic once Aisha recognizes her and ratting them both out to Hopkins’s men. It all feels contrived, everything is too perfectly set up for disaster. I suppose with this being the penultimate episode, the show needs to wrap things up as well as provide a stinger to lead into the final episode.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!