(My schedule still makes it difficult to cover too many shows during the work week, but I’ll try to post something
every day most days …)
There’s a tendency for us to assume Sora no Woto is just a bunch of moe girls in a postwar setting, doing little of importance, and that every one of them would fall apart if ever placed in a real battle. Episode 7 blows that little belief out of the water, for one of them at least has been there.
We jump back a few years to Filicia in battle, with her squadmates, firing from a tank. We see what few of us expected to see in this show: blood, destruction, death, and a squadmate’s severed arm (holding a bugle). Filicia is having war flashbacks.
… And then we cut away to watch the current-day moe girls doing little of importance. Tie this in with the upcoming holiday where supposedly the dead come back for a day, a few minor occurrences that trigger more flashbacks, and we wonder if the legends aren’t really true, and if Filicia is actually all right.
This is plenty to make this an effective episode, but there’s more: the question of why they are fighting, are they bringing on the end of the world, and what is the purpose of it all? One of Filicia’s old squadmates ask this, so does a dessicated soldier she encounters underground, and finally, Rio. No anime show, nor any work of art, can effectively answer this, but Filicia tries. She wants to make sure the young people now never have to experience what she did, or lose any more of their families.
But this is a meaning she comes up with herself. Yours may vary. As she says, she learned that we have to find our own meanings in this world. Hers has made her become an eccentric squad leader in charge of a group of girls, which is not the worst thing to be in life. And she’s lucky that even after all she underwent, she was still able to find it herself.
I think we can put to rest the rumors that this show is nothing more than K-ON! with uniforms.