The girls of “Soranowoto” valiantly work for the common good in a post-apocalyptic world of warfare.
At first glance, there are numerous reasons why this series shouldn’t work. The cute girls seem out of place in this period piece. The intense violence is shocking. The ending theme song counteracts with the serious tone of the show.
And yet, “Soranowoto” succeeds on so many levels, as a cheerful ode to the courageous work of soldiers. Although these military dogs appear too cute for their own good, the anime ends on an optimistic note of peace and understanding. In fact, the show was one of the best for this season.
The main narrative centers on a girl named Kanata Sorami, a rural villager whose parents died during the war in Helvetia. When she sees a female soldier play “Amazing Grace” on a bugle, she becomes inspired to join the military.
Yes, Kanata becomes a soldier because she wants to play the bugle. It sounds like the most ridiculous reason to join the armed forces. However, the single event helped her grow up to become a strong, vivacious teenager.
And even though Kanata initially loses track of the destination of her post, she discovers that her work is much more enjoyable than anyone would expect. She doesn’t just learn to play the trumpet. She befriends a wonderful group of four soldier girls, whose mission is to help the villagers in the town of Seize.
Even though the character designs of “Soranowoto” look like they were taken straight from the other cute series, “K-On!”, the story is rich with a unique blend of Mayan culture, Japanese food and European landscapes. This is an extremely idealized view of life as a soldier. Yet, this series was meant to focus on the few pleasures of life in spite of all the negativity and chaos surrounding them.
The violence sometimes reaches a horrific level, considering how adorable all the girls are. Bullets and mortar wounds literally can rip their bodies apart. The violence literally can tug at people’s heartstrings with shocking images. The characters are constantly forced to courageously stand up against all odds, rather than fall victim to their traumatic anguish.
Unfortunately, the tone of the series fluctuates greatly through the 12 episodes. The ending sequence in every episode features opposing images of girls laughing and playing to some cheesy J-pop tune. The animation looked almost hypocritical, considering how frightening the last two episodes turned out.
Other parts are left unexplained. For instance, Kanata finds a mysterious underwater fossil of an angel creature in the first episode. Believe it or not, this fossil is somehow connected to the events which led to a post-apocalyptic universe. Knowing that it was an angel, the director might have wanted to make some sort of connection to the dystopian angel apocalypse in the film “End of Evangelion.” We will never know about this angel.
However, we don’t need to know all the symbolism and history of the angel fossil to enjoy this series. Every part of the series fits together nicely in its short 12-episode run. “Soranowoto” is about all the joys of working for the good of humanity, to understand everyone as friends and not enemies. Even though the series ends with a somewhat unbelievable scenario, it presents a hopeful dream of peace for everyone.
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