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Smooth Jazz Wins World War I

January 5, 2010

Sora no Woto needs a little less of the above and a little more of this:

What pisses me off the most about the first episode of Sora no Woto is the feeling that these girls would have no idea that Chuck Mangione plays the flugelhorn and not the trumpet. And by that I mean that these girls, especially Kanata, know little about music despite being in an anime that’s appears to be about music.

Kanata has an ear for music. Or at least she has an ear for notes. We get a few scenes where she hears some noise and pinpoints the note. I had a glimmer of hope that she’d be a musical genius or something.”What’s this? A moe girl that’s genuinely talented? Shocking!” But at the same time the anime pauses when she hears these notes as if we’re supposed to be in awe of her talent. Even one of the other girls is shocked that she “understands notes,” as if knowing what D-flat sounds like is akin to knowing some dead language.

Sorry Sora no Woto, knowing what a note sounds like is like knowing what sound a letter of symbol makes when pronounced. It isn’t something that should impress other characters and it’s definitely not something that should impress a viewer.

But things get worse. Not only are we supposed to be impressed by some girl hearing notes, we’re supposed to buy the fact that despite her aural knowledge she totally sucks a playing music. This is complete bullshit. Someone can’t read music without having some capability of playing it. You learn how to understand these notes by the act of learning how to play an instrument. You might not be busting out into a trumpet solo when the gaggle of moe girls start playing their tunes, but if you can tell that a bell jingle is a precise not you should be able to play a simple tune on your horn.

All of this tells me that the guys writing for this show know as much about music as Kanata. Do you really want to watch a show about music written by people who are musically illiterate?

Also, do you want to watch a series where the main character gawks and coos at getting a cannister of caramel but says nothing to anyone when she sees a huge fucking dinosaur-dragon fossil? Yeah, she’s in awe of a can of candy, but after she sees the bones of a monster she doesn’t tell anyone anything, like it never happened. Sora no Woto’s priorities are way out of whack.

I’m sure these priorities will remain as such throughout this series. There’s plenty of potential in Sora no Woto. They live in a world where there’s an “armistice.” This means that te war isn’t over, it’s merely on hold. The war will likely resume in the near future, but do you think we’ll see it? Will we see these girls become a famous band, tour the battlefields, and bring happiness to weary soldiers only to meet the same fate as Glen Miller did during World War II? Will the girls be walled up in the city Alamo-style, desperate and without hope of reinforcements, with only their music to soothe the souls of the doomed populace?

Or, like the next episode preview suggests, will this be an anime about little girls in military fetish gear sitting around drinking tea, eating cake, and occasionally saying something that hints at an elementary-level knowledge of music?

Yeah, don’t see this having the guts to do anything but head in the latter direction. If it does I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but after seeing Railgun get painfully squandered my hopes for these sorts of series are all but nonexistent.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2010 9:56 PM

    Man, now I can’t write a companion piece to this, because you’ve already more or less covered everything I’d have liked to say. From the whole “there’s nothing impressive about identifying notes” to “if you’re THAT exceptional at identifying notes, you should at least have had some elementary knowledge of music” to “HOLYSH!T how can you NOT notice a perfectly preserved giant F*UCKING DRAGON FOSSIL!?” to the unlikelihood that this series will take a dramatic and even dark tone.

    So yeah, you topic thief.

    • Landon permalink
      January 6, 2010 6:21 PM

      You could talk about how all of the characters look like they were ripped out of K-On or some other similar show, but every other blog has hit on that topic already. But none of them talked about smooth jazz. We have a monopoly on that.

  2. January 6, 2010 3:50 AM

    To be fair, she was underwater. It’s hard to go ‘OMG DINOSAUR FOSSIL’ when you are in the process of drowning. When she got back she was far too busy thinking ‘OMG I’M ALIVE’ to tell anyone about the fossil. I’m more amazed she was able to swim out again with that giant bag on her back.

    • Landon permalink
      January 6, 2010 6:18 PM

      I thought about that, then I realized that there was no point in that scene where Kanata’s life seemed at risk. She didn’t struggle underwater or anything like that, and when she did start swimming she did it as if it was no big deal. It was like she was taking a swim or something.

      She owes us some dinosaur gawking stat.

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