The content of this piece was written during a viewing of the first episode of Sound of the Sky on July 2, 2011. Edits have been made for spelling and grammar, but the rest is completely untouched, and un-edited from its original format.

It’s rare for me to see such a strong start from a series. The great characters, gorgeous visuals, and incredible music make this a real treat.

1:43 PM:Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to an Anime Expo Weekend showblog!

1:43 PM:Today, I’ll be covering Nozomi Entertainment’s release of Sound of the Sky (So-Ra-No-Wo-To)

1:43 PM:Before I begin though, I’ll get the essentials out of the way.

1:43 PM:Directed by Mamoru Kanbe (Elfen Lied, Kimi to Boku)

1:43 PM:Written by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime, Fractale)

1:44 PM:Character Designs by Toshifumi Akai

1:44 PM:Animated by A-1 Pictures

1:45 PM:Music by Yuki Kajiura (Noir, Madlax, Eat-Man Gundam SEED, Pandora Hearts)

1:45 PM:Released by [email protected]

1:52 PM:Now, let’s get this thing rolling!

1:53 PM:Open to a grim black and white scene

1:53 PM:Blue tiles, and a sketch of a soldier adorn the wall

1:53 PM:Hey, color! :D

1:53 PM:Girl in black and white crying… #Artsy

1:53 PM:She spots a soldier with a bugle

1:53 PM:“What’s wrong? :|” And now I guess that’s the girl as an adult? She’s sleeping with a bugle.

1:54 PM:“It’s been six months since the ceasefire :D”

1:54 PM:Few people goofing off, waking the poor girl up :P

1:54 PM:And she gets her reward – caramel… which is apparently a rarity?

1:54 PM:“If you’re nice to the buglers, they sound the retreat better :D” …I like that guy

1:55 PM:Looks like she’s a volunteer that joined to learn to play music… wat

1:55 PM:And her name? Kanata Sorami

1:55 PM:Intro credits are go

1:56 PM:Definitely sounds like Kajiura’s signature style

1:56 PM:Oh yes – the opening theme is a Kalafina song – Hikari no Senritsu

1:57 PM:As a side note, they put on a hell of a live show :D

1:57 PM:Anyway, back to the show.

1:57 PM:Episode 1: The Sound that Fills the Air – The City of Dawn

1:57 PM:And we have Kanata being jerked around on a motorbike.

1:58 PM:Hah… she got paired with Evil Knievel, apparently :P

1:58 PM:And she’s being assigned to a place called the Clocktower Fortress?

1:58 PM:Marching Orders Get!

1:58 PM:And they’re in French, apparently.

1:59 PM:Kanata gives her stamp of approval, and off they go.

1:59 PM:Her escort’s mission is complete, and she’s on her own in the town of Glass and Lakes – Seize (“Say-zuh”)

2:00 PM:She has an hour and a half until she has to report… she she’s buglin’, damn it

2:00 PM:Or not. SHe’s in the town now… and it’s full of alcoholics! :O

2:00 PM:And drunk, happy peoples.

2:00 PM:And she’s enjoying the sights.

2:01 PM:Yeah, she’s a tourist, alright :D

2:01 PM:Hah! “What a beautiful doll! :D” that ain’t a doll – it’s an angry shopkeep :D

2:01 PM:Whose name is Rio.

2:02 PM:Rio likens Kanata to a kitten apparently – a domestic one, at that

2:02 PM:And we’re at town square, where Kanata’s being approached by a kid

2:02 PM:Who just got a face full of orange crap

2:03 PM:Uh oh – she chose a bad day to go out – she’s getting doused with orange stuff by people… who are all screaming “THANKS :D”

2:03 PM:…wat

2:03 PM:Cute scene, but… why? ah well… we’l find out – Rio found Kanata, and she’s pissed

2:04 PM:Poor Kanata’s uniform is ruined, and she’s getting a cold

2:04 PM:and now she’s in the tub?

2:04 PM:Gotcha – orange stuff was dye, that fades out. :P

2:05 PM:It was done as part of the festival to thank the Flame Maidens that protect the city… kay?

2:05 PM:Anyway, some gorgeous artistry in this

2:05 PM:Great landscapes

2:05 PM:And we have the base now – where a blonde girl and an impatient brunette are waiting.

2:06 PM:Kanata’s apparently a master of identifying tones.

2:06 PM:With no sense of direction

2:07 PM:Again, truly gorgeous background work and animation – lots of attention to detail.

2:07 PM:And we have Rio asking how Kanata could identify the tone of her bell, before a bird scares the crap out of ’em and steals it

2:07 PM:Hah :D Kanata almost went over the balcony

2:08 PM:eyecatch!

2:08 PM:A brief mid-show comment – I’m honestly enjoying this

2:09 PM:It’s hitting a lot of the right notes – gorgeous music, beautiful artwork, a real sense of character in the cast…

2:09 PM:..and the sense that this little town is part of a living, breathing world.

2:10 PM:It’s surprisingly charming.

2:10 PM:Anyway, back to the show

2:10 PM:Will Kanata finally arrive at the base? :O

2:11 PM:Especially since Rio went off on her own?

2:11 PM:Hah… she just realized she’s late

2:11 PM:But the thief bird’s right nearby…

2:11 PM:What will she do? Disobey orders, or go to the base? :D

2:11 PM:Disobey orders, it is!

2:12 PM:And we have… Rio throwing water over the village… and a gorgeous vocal piece

2:12 PM:French lyrics, very sentimental

2:12 PM:As Kanata chases the bird… and an explanation of the Flame Maidens is given

2:12 PM:With more amazing landscape shots

2:13 PM:I see – Rio’s re-enacting the Flame Maidens’ feats

2:14 PM:This sequence really is incredible, visually

2:14 PM:And back to Kanata

2:14 PM:who’s being crazy again

2:14 PM:Crazy like a suicidal jumper, at that

2:15 PM:Ohp – she’s sinking… and she got her first sight of the real demon beast. Wait, what?

2:15 PM:“The new girl never came D:” she’s, uh… dying

2:15 PM:Hah… the blonde girl is crafty

2:15 PM:And Kanata’s lost… again >_>

2:16 PM:“Sometimes, getting lost leads to something fun. But that’s only when you meet someone new. it’s no fun being alone. :(” …true.

2:16 PM:Aw. :( Flashback – apparently, Kanata was orphaned, and comforted by a lone bugler

2:17 PM:Coincidence! Alarms are going off… at least the town thinks so. :P Kanata’s trying to get attention.

2:17 PM:And she passed out.

2:18 PM:Ohp – kanata’s in trouble :D Rio woke her up, after bringing her to the damn fortress. Incompetent girl is incompetent

2:18 PM:“I’m very sorry D:” “Damn right you are T_T”

2:18 PM:Rio has a dark sense of humor, apparently

2:18 PM:But, she seems taken by the new girl

2:19 PM:“Let me show you something :D” here comes the rape

2:19 PM:Oh wait… it’s a trumpet

2:19 PM:And Rio’s apparently a talented musician on top of being a soldier – who knew? Well… aside from everyone?

2:20 PM:More incredible scenery shots, as the sun slowly rises above the horizon

2:20 PM:“I’ll teach you how to play the trumpet :D” …might be a good idea

2:21 PM:“The commanding officer’s policy is not to use ranks here” I see where this is going already

2:21 PM:And Kanata tries to play reville… wow, she sucks.

2:21 PM:Big time

2:22 PM:Hah… everyone in the area knows it, too

2:22 PM:And end credits.

2:22 PM:Have to admit – I really enjoyed this far more than I thought I would

2:22 PM:Like Strike Witches, I can’t help but really enjoy the cast and the attention to character and tone.

2:25 PM:The setting works, and the audio-visual aspects are simply incredible. the background art and music are simply fabulous.

2:25 PM:I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of this one!

2:25 PM:As always, thanks for joining, and have a great holiday weekend!

Sound of the Sky is distributed in America by Nozomi Entertainment.
The series can be purchased at Right Stuf