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Anime: So Ra No Wo To
aka: Sora No Woto
From the top-left, clockwise: Rio, Filicia, NoŽl, Kanata and Kureha

"This sound strikes a chord. Whether in Rome or Helvetia, it is the same."
Kanata Sorami

So Ra No Wo To is an anime that aired in the winter of 2010 and was directed by Mamoru Kanbe. Produced by Aniplex as a part of TV Tokyo's Anime no Chikara project, it is an Anime First, and centres around a young girl named Kanata Sorami, who joins the 1121st platoon of the Helvetican Army in the town of Seize. So Ra No Wo To was streamed on Crunchyroll(except episode 7.5). In 2011, Nozomi Entertainment released it on DVD as Sound of the Sky, the English translation of the series title.

At a young age, Kanata was inspired by a trumpeter's rendition of "Amazing Grace", and thereafter, decided to become a bugler. While on her way to the Clocktower Fortress, Kanata loses her way and stumbles into a festival dedicated to the Fire Maidens, who saved the town from a fire-breathing demon in a legend from a forgotten age. As the other platoon members train her to be a bugler, Kanata's own cheerfulness and innocence drives the other members to find their own happiness in a world devastated by conflicts.

Over the next year, Kanata adjusts to life at the Clocktower Fortress, learning more about music and the events that shaped the world around her, all the while brightening up her brigade's day. Even as the calm in Seize gives way to the threat of war, Kanata's optimism brings the legend of the Fire Maidens to life once more...

So Ra No Wo To provides examples of:

  • After the End: A major war that occurred roughly three hundred years earlier reduced the world's population and regressed technology to early twentieth-century standards.
  • Alternative Calendar: The war with "Them" had far reaching consequences on society: the date was changed to AP to denote the number of years after the war ended. To give a sense of scale, the series begins during 271 AP.
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: The central musical theme, which drives Kanata's desire to play the trumpet and ultimately embodies forgiveness when Kanata plays the song during the confrontation between the Helvetian and Roman forces.
  • Ambiguously Brown
    • Aisha is a Roman soldier introduced in the anime.
    • Kyrie Kuon is a character exclusive to the PSP Visual Novel.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The degree to which Helvetian and Roman mythologies are true is unclear and contested, but share similarities in that both accounts are embellished recollections of the great war they fought and involve supernatural punishment of some kind.
  • Apocalypse How: The world is initially presented as having undergone a Class I. Relics from the past civilization remain, but much of the world is uninhabitable save small regions. However, the consequences of the war might lead to a Class IV; with the ocean receding and the surface succumbing to desertification, despite said war having ended centuries ago.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: By the end of the series, the fact that the 1121st know people in high places prevent them from being court-martialed for disobeying orders and doing what is right.
  • Art Imitates Art: The opening sequence recreates paintings by Gustav Klimt in great detail.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: Both the Helvetican and Roman armies temporarily halt their advances when Kanata plays Amazing Grace in the midst of the battlefield.
  • Batman in My Basement: The crew decides to hide Aisha to avoid wrecking the peace talks.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Takemikazuchi has an unusual gait, moving with a far higher degree of mobility compared to the slow strides of other spider tanks in the era.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rio's timely arrival allows her to enforce the peace treaty between the Helvetian and Roman at the end of episode twelve, preventing an all-out war from breaking out.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Aisha's lines are in German, and the lyrics of Servante de Feu are in French.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end of the series finale, it is made clear that a vast majority of Earth's surface is undergoing irreversible desertification. While small regions are recovering, the biosphere itself was damaged beyond repair. Despite this, Rio plans to go find the legendary land that escaped the desolation.
  • Black Box: The technology that remains from the previous age has become inoperable by humanity, including a Ragnarok-proofed system located near Helvetia's border with No-Man's Land that serves an unknown purpose.
  • Blatant Lies: When Kureha points out that Yumina shouldn't be in a mock battle with them.
    Kureha: "This is not a game!"
    Yumina: "I swear to the eight million spirits I'm not doing this just to try on the uniform." *giggles*
  • Bokukko: NoŽl
  • Bonus Episode: There are two bonus DVD-only episodes: one of them surrounds the misadventures the Clocktower Maidens have after a drinking spree, and the other serves as an epilogue to the series.
  • Book Ends: Episode 1 took place during the Maiden of Fire festival (with Rio as the maiden) with the girls standing at the fort entrance waiting for Kanata to report for duty. The last scene in the TV broadcast ends with them at the same spot waiting for Rio's replacement. The bonus thirteenth episode, which marks the final episode of the entire series, take place exactly one year later during another Maidens of Flame festival, this time with Kanata as the maiden.
  • Bottle Episode: The events of episode eight occur within the confines of the Clocktower's dining room and a few nearby corridors.
  • Break the Cutie: Virtually all of the female soldiers except Kanata. Noel in particular suffers greatly near the end of the series due to having helped create a weapon system that wiped out several towns and killed lots of people, which Colonel Hopkins is only more than happy to point out repeatedly to her.
  • Breather Episode: The first DVD exclusive episode is a whimsical, lighthearted story, occurring between episode seven and eight. Similarly, episode eight acts as a breather episode built around waiting for a phone to ring.
  • Call to Agriculture: Klaus has expressed interest towards moving into an agricultural occupation.
  • Child Soldiers: Most of the main cast are in their teens yet are enlisted servicewomen. Kanata and Kureha in particular are 15 and 14, respectively, while NoŽl is 15 but has been participating in military activities ever since she was deceived into developing biological weapons as a little girl. Rio is 17, and Filicia is 18, being only slightly older than the other members of the 1121st.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Entering the army thinking she'll get to play music as a bugler, Kanata's experiences with the 1121st give her greater perspective on music and the true significance of being a bugler.
  • Command Roster: The 1121st Squad is at the minimum size for a tank platoon in the Helvetian army.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: While the rest of the world has fallen into disrepair, small regions (like Seize) remain habitable, with its residents going about their everyday lives as usual.
  • Crapsaccharine World: On the first glance, this is K-ON! set on the battlefield: the landscapes are beautiful, girls bond and have memorable adventuresÖ at least until one realizes that the characters are essentially teenaged soldiers having gone through trying events in their lives and have issues (with Kanata as the exception). Furthermore, humanity's losing war against "Them" led to the deterioration of the Earth's biosphere. However, it is a World Half Full, as the PV (and the lyrics of ''Servante de Feu'') reminds us:
    Beauty, Grimness, Pain, Happiness... It is up to you how to deal with them.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Even after the Epic Hail fails, Amazing Freaking Grace proved to be successful.
  • Creator Provincialism: A rather unusual subversion is present; initially, the setting is an Expy of Switzerland, with European architecture and minor elements derived from Japanese culture present to give the impression that Japanese customs are more universal. Similarly, some Japanese nuances make their way into the anime, such as the KŁbelwagen's steering columns being on the left side (they are on the right side in reality).
  • Creator Thumbprint: The openings of Elfen Lied and Sora No Woto, both series directed by Mamoru Kanbe, feature recreations of Gustav Klimt's paintings, featuring the respective shows' characters.
  • Credits Running Sequence: The sequence features Kanata running around Seize or against a blue sky backdrop.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: A large number of references are made to background details about the setting; while there's no attempt to explain them, this arises because no one alive knows what happened anymore.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Helvetian Orthodox Church integrates elements from Liturgical Christianity and Shinto. Elements of this fusion is seen when the church hands out Shinto/Buddhist-style charms written in kanji.
  • Cue the Sun: The sun appears at the right moment every time Kanata needs a striking background for her trumpet performances.
  • Culture Chop Suey
    • Helvetia is French-speaking, celebrates Chinese and Japanese festivals, its military dresses like WWII Germany, and its rulers hold Eastern European titles.
    • The country named Rome is populated by Middle Eastern people who speak German.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Takemikazuchi disables several tanks from the 9th division and applies the "stomping" element in a literal sense during the finale. When humanity squared off against "Them", Spider Tanks were on the receiving end.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: Episode five opens with the 1121st platoon engaging in combat with an unseen enemy. When their rounds hit, Rio leaves the cabin of the Takemikazuchi to signal for an advance, but it turns out that they are inside the hangar and participating in a combat exercise.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All the girls minus Kanata, ranging from being a Heroic Bastard to My God, What Have I Done?.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Filicia had one during the battle of Binnenland.
  • Drawing Straws: This is how they decided the Maiden of Fire is chosen; Felicia rigs it so Rio is chosen.
  • Dream Melody: Amazing Freaking Grace is immediately recognizable by Rio, Kanata, and even Aisha. It is part of the Takemikazuchi's OS and carries symbolic importance for all of them.
  • Drives Like Crazy:
    • Klaus's reckless driving leaves Kanata in tears in the first episode.
    • Kanata herself causes Yumina to thank the gods for being alive despire the former's driving.
  • Due to the Dead: The Obon Festival and the trip to the outpost are to pay respects for the dead and moving humanity in a better direction for their sake.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The girls are afflicted with anything from minor confidence issues (Kanata) to more significant issues, such as Filicia's post-traumatic stress disorder and NoŽl's guilt over her part in the Invisible Reaper plague.
  • Earth All Along: In episode thirteen, Rio receives a map of the world and points out to Kanata that Helvetia is not in Europe but in Japan all along.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It may take fighting your own army, but things can work out in the end.
  • Eat the Dog: Rio's immediate reaction to Shuko's appearance is to try to make dinner out of the owl, before Filicia instead adopts her as the Team Pet.
  • Emotionless Girl: Noel for the most part.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the episode seven flashback, the entirity of Filica's squadmates are killed after their tank is hit. Being the sole survivor, she considers suicide out of grief.
  • Expy: The crew is often compared to K-On!'s cast, despite the lack of similarities in some of the characters (such as Ritsu and NoŽl). In episode two, Kanata imagines the 1121st in a normal high school music club.
  • Eyecatch: A short one Consisting of simplified drawings of the main cast, along with a happy little tune. The music is absent in Episode 7 though, and the eyecatches are dropped altogether in episode twelve.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Klaus is not really the Desert Wolf, just a really good lookalike. However, this doesn't stop him from becoming a real hero and saving Kureha in the middle of a typhoon.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Seize is an animated replica of Cuenca, Spain, and is set in the country of Helvetia, a Switzerland stand-in where Helvetian (French) is the main language. Elements of several other cultures are present, especially those of Japan. Furthermore, in Rome, people are Ambiguously Brown and speak German.
  • Festival Episode: The festival in the first episode has many distinctly Asian traits despite being set in an Ersatz Switzerland. Episode seven also features Toro Nagashi/Fiesta des Lumiťres.
  • First Name Basis: Filicia, the leader of the 1121st, prefers that everyone call each other by name instead of rank to promote friendship.
  • Foreshadowing
    • In the third episode Filicia comments on Rio's lack of manners with: "What would your father say if he could see you?"
    • A more subtle example is seen in episode four, when NoŽl asks Kanata if she is frightened by a machine thatís killed many people. After the revelation that NoŽl is the Witch of Helvetia, she was asking the question with respect to herself as well, rather than the Takemikazuchi alone.
  • Forgiveness: Seen in Aisha and less obviously in Filicia.
  • Freak Out
    • NoŽl has one near the end of Episode eleven and throughout episode twelve, the latter being induced by a Hannibal Lecture delivered by Hopkins
    • Filicia in the Episode 7 flashbacks. She loses her faith in a fair world after her ordeal and recovers by following the example of the person who rescued her, Iliya.
  • General Ripper: Colonel Hopkins will do whatever he can to have a war with Rome.
  • Gilligan Cut: In the second episode Kanata and Noel think that they saw a ghost in the barracks of their base. Kureha disagrees, suggesting that they're seeing things. Rio agrees with Kureha, but the scene cuts to Kureha and Kanata standing at the entrance to the barracks, with Rio ordering them to investigate before turning around and leaving (all the while shouting those orders from a safe distance, no less).
  • The Gunslinger: Rio has a high degree of proficiency with small arms.
  • The Glomp: Kanata and Kureha are particularly fond of this maneuver, doing it to Rio in the finale. Kanata also glomps Kureha in Episodes two and five, and Kureha does it to Rio in the ED.
  • Goal in Life: In the second OVA, Kanata discusses with various characters what their life-long dreams are.
  • Gratuitous English: The ending theme throws in English lines, and the Takemikazuchi's OS uses rather weird English in its displays, such as "NOMARL".
  • Gratuitous French/Gratuitous Japanese: Helvetians write and presumably speak French but many names are in Japanese, despite no-one other than priests being able to read and write the language in any fashion (children are named by the priests and their parents are presented with their name in kanji, or "ideomoji", in order to create their Personal Seals, in Seize at least). Any ancient text they discover is in Kanji, and thus illegible to them.
  • Gratuitous German: The Roman soldier, Aisha, can speak German reasonably well (albeit with a heavy accent) and has a Middle Eastern name.
  • Great Off Screen War: The War with "Them" is only mentioned in the passing, but otherwise not discussed in any detail.
  • Group Hug: All the girls but Rio in episode seven.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Sister Yumina cares for several orphans, including Seiya and Mishio, both of whom become closer to Kanata.
  • Hollywood Tactics: While the infantry and armour columns were organized in a seemingly poor manner in the modern era during episode twelve, this is averted because technology has regressed; just as the technology has reached the levels humans had at the start 20th century, the deployment tactics of ground forces is similar to early tank tactics used in World War One.
  • Homage: The opening sequence puts the main characters within the works of painter Gustav Klimt.
  • How We Got Here: Episode eight begins with Kanata in a tacky dress sitting, looking quite distressed, and then flashes back to a few hours before.
  • Humans Are Flawed: The series comes close to upholding Rousseau Was Right, but not quite. Colonel Hopkins finds war the motor of civilization, and someone in Seize ratted out on Aisha's being sheltered in the castle.
  • Image Song: There are five so far, each featuring various combinations of the cast.
  • Imagine Spot: In the second episode, Kanata imagines what the world might've looked like if not for the war, with the girls all practicing music while wearing school uniforms.
  • Improbably Female Cast: The 1121st Platoon and Filicia's old squad consist entirely of females, but the rest of the army appears to be entirely male.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In episode 7.5, the "bullets" from Noel's gatling water gun can be seen practically bending around Filicia.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • The Fire Maidens.
    • The Desert Wolf, although it does not refer to Klaus
    • The Witch of Helvetia: NoŽl
    • The Demon of Vingt: Colonel Hopkins
  • Intertwined Fingers: Rio/Filicia and Kanata/NoŽl
  • Kuudere: NoŽl can come across as emotionless at first glance, but it just takes a lot to get her to express them. Like being confronted with her past in episode eleven, or having enough of Kureha's whining in episode five.
  • Last Fertile Region: While much of the world does not have arable land, a handful of regions, such as Helvetia, Rome and some of their neighbouring countries, remain fertile.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Something is being kept from Kanata by the rest of the platoon, and Naomi is in on it too; episode six reveals it to be the fact that the 1121st illegally distills and sells calvados to the mob to make up for lack of payment from HQ and has been since before our girls were stationed there. Following an epic drunken mock battle (with a low tech version of paint ball as discipline), Kanata finds out about it in the first OVA.
  • The Mafia: The 1121st deal in bootleg liquor, alongside various other goods.
  • Mauve Shirt: Filicia's old crew seen in episode seven.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • The ghost that Kanata and NoŽl saw is ultimately revealed to be a girl who died many years before "They" attacked in the drama CD. Rio helps her with her Unfinished Business and she disappears.
    • Whether Filicia's Dead Person Conversation was an hallucination or real
    • The origins of the winged skeleton is never elaborated upon, leaving the viewer to wonder whether or not it arise from supernatural or evolutionary means.
  • Meaningful Background Event: The ghost from episode two is implied to have been observing Kanata and Kureha the entire time they were on their recon mission.
  • Mildly Military: The 1121st do not strictly observe military discipline.
  • Mood Whiplash: The entire story alternates between slice-of-life elements and exploring the harsh realities of war.
    • Episode seven is in essence a Wham Episode about the darker side of warfare and ends on a contemplative note. ThenÖ AIJOU YUUJOU!!
    • Episode eleven ends with the cliffhanger with a gunshot being fired and it's unknown if it's the Roman soldier Aisha or NoŽl who's been hit. The scene fades to black, and the viewer is treated to more 'AIJOU YUUJOU!!
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The battle with water guns is regarded as a military exercise, but everyone except Kureha behaved quite over the top, with Heroic Sacrifices and dramatic last words, a consequence of being drunk at the time.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Spider tanks possess rappelling gear that proves to be highly useful for rescuing people.
    • Rio used the tank as an MP3 player to play Amazing Grace to Kanata, who had heard the song as a child.
  • Music for Courage: From the very first scene of the series.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Kureha gets sick from drinking without experiencing drunkness: this leads to her sorrow in the OVA, where everyone else gets plastered.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The preview for Episode seven was the girls making cicada noises over a visual of NoŽl and Kureha doing laundry.
  • No Sense of Direction: Kanata does have a tendency to get lost easily, although she enjoys it. This is averted in NoŽl's case, who manages to find the observation stations despite having lost their compass, although it does take them a little longer than they would otherwise have.
  • Not So Stoic: This is humorously done with NoŽl in the first OVA, where the garrison (plus Sister Yumina) plays a war game and she goes on a rampage with her modified water Gatling gun. While this might have been a consequence of Filicia spiking everyone's tea with Calvados, it further reinforces the fact that NoŽl isn't a Rei clone.
  • Nuns Are Mikos: Sister Yumina's outfit was based on a combination of Shinto Miko and Roman Catholic designs.
  • Paintball Episode: The first of the DVD-exclusive episodes centers around the 1121st and Yumina partaking in a mock battle with dye guns.
  • Personal Seals: Kanata uses her stamp to sign the transfer order in the first episode. It's implied that everyone gets these soon after they are born, with the "ideograms" (Japanese kanji) for their names carved into them.
  • Posthumous Character: Princess Iliya is only seen in a few flashbacks, the first one opening the series. She died two years prior to the time the series takes place, having drowned trying to save a child in a river.
  • Potty Emergency: Kanata suffers through this throughout most of Episode eight, except it elevates to Potty Failure.
  • The Power of Rock: Subverted in that while Amazing Freaking Grace does stall the two armies from fighting for a short time, it takes Rio and her peace treaty to actually stop them.
  • Putting on the Reich: While the Clocktower Maidens have uniforms similar to those of the German Wehrmacht, they're certainly not the bad guys.
  • Real Place Background: Seize is Cuenca, Spain, with some structures and outdoor locations from the close-by village of Alarcůn.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: In the finale, the soldiers toss helmets into the air upon learning that they didnít have to fight. The celebration seems well, or at least until loaded rifles begin appearing up in the air with those helmets.
  • Retro Universe: Helvetia models their military uniforms and gear after World War II Wermacht, and everything looks like early 20th Century.
  • Royal Mess: the Republic of Helvetia is apparently ruled by a Duke whose daughter is a Princess.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Iliya was evidently an extremely competent tank commander and even went on a tour of the country to raise morale. She even died trying to save a child from drowning. Rio becomes one at the end, averting a war by riding on top of a tank between the two armies and announcing the peace treaty.
  • Ruins of the Modern Age: This is apparent in No Man's Land and in the flashbacks to Binnenland.
  • Sacred Language: Japanese has apparently become this in French-speaking Helvetia.
  • Scenery Gorn: No Man's Land, a vast desert from which ruined skyscrappers jut out..
  • Scenery Porn: The regions untouched by the war are beautiful landscapes with lush vegetation and blue skies.
  • Scavenger World: Some of the ancient technologies can be operated, while others (such as the facilities in episode five) serve unknown functions.
  • Schizo Tech: The 1121st are equipped with World War II era equipment but happen to have an inoperational computerized high-tech Spider Tank in the garage. This is clear in episode four: glass-blowers replicating a machine-made laser-sensor lens using traditional manual techniques find that the task is challenging.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Filicia does this when they bring a wounded Aisha, a Roman soldier, to their fortress. Kureha suggests they report having captured a spy, but Filicia won't allow it, at least not right away, since it would mean Aisha taken to the capital and likely tortured for information. She even goes so far as to hold a superior officer hostage to prevent them from taking Aisha away later.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Filicia and Rio are seniors to the other three, but it's most notable in how Kanata and Kureha look up to Rio.
  • Shout-Out: Kanata mentions swearing the Oath of Parador when joining the army in Episode four - the series 'creator' is named as "Paradores". In Spain, a parador is one of a chain of luxury resorts located in a picturesque location, often a historical building. The Clocktower Fortress just happens to be modeled mostly upon Cuenca's parador, which was originally a convent.
  • Sick Episode: Kanata goes down with malaria in episode three, and Rio is the only one home to take care of her.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Episode six, with the same events seen from the team's and Kanata's perspective respectively.
  • Snow Means Death: The coming of the winter to the series (episode 10) means things get serious, starting with Madam Jacquotte's death.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: An intense tank battle is set to to the slow, melancholic Servante de Feu.
  • Something about a Rose: A prop used by Filicia during a fake Calvados deal gone bad put on to scare off the more violent central Mafia edging into Seize.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Filicia, rather than Felicia or Phylicia
    • NoŽl, rather than Noel, Noelle or Noeru
    • Takemikazuchi, rather than Takemicaduchi, Take-Mikazuchi, Takemikaduchi or any other variant
    • Iliya, rather than Iria.
    • Olga, rather than Origa.
  • Spider Tank: The design allows them to scale buildings, wreckage and sheer cliff walls, which is highly useful given the geography of Helvetia
  • Square/Cube Law: Subverted, since the Takemikazuchi has a system that allows gravity exerted on it to be reduced fivefold, allowing it to become insanely agile for its size. This is played straight for the modern knock-offs: lacking this device, they can only move in slow, lumbering strides.
  • Staged Shooting: NŲel and Kureha unload their machine guns at two men, causing two members of the mafia to flee in terror. It turns out the guns were loaded with blank rounds, and the two men fired at regularly do business with the Clocktower Maidens.
  • Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: Seen in the Binnenland flashback.
  • Standing Between The Enemies: After Kanata manages to stall two armies from charging each other with Amazing Freaking Grace, Rio steps betwen the armies astride her red Spider Tank and commands them to stand down.
  • Surprisingly Good Roman: Aisha's VA, Nami Miyahara, grew up in Austria. German viewers claim Aisha speaks somewhat informal, but otherwise fine, German.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Kanata on phone duty: ďI haven't been sleeping! A-Absolutely have not been sleeping!Ē
    • Seiya's description of Kanata reads as follows: "She's easily amused, she forgets everything, she's just like a little kid, and she's not sexy at all!"
    • On the first drama CD, Kureha explains how she's never heard strange noises, felt like someone's watching her, or generally felt the presence of a ghost in any way. Ever!
  • Synthetic Plague: The Invisible Reaper (In "Roman", it's called "Unsichtbarer Teufel", which means "Invisible Devil").
  • Take a Third Option: Peace talks between Helvetia and Rome seems to be breaking down, and war likely to break out again. So the girls do something rather drastic which halts the fighting long enough for an actual peace treaty to be worked out, by going between both armies and playing Amazing Grace, which both sides are familiar with.
  • Thanks for the Mammaries: Noel does this to the female Roman soldier Aisha in episode eleven after the latter wakes up and attempts to overpower her. Aisha's scream is enough to cause Kanata and Kureha to come to the medical room.
  • Team Pet: Shuko, the owl from the first episode was also the mascot of Iliya's platoon.
  • Technical Pacifists: If it wasn't for a their usage of a Spider Tank, they might be closer to Reluctant Warriors:
    Kureha: Do you think you could shoot a gun at someone?
    Kanata: If I thought it was the right thing to do, I might.
  • Theme Naming
    • The Spider Tanks are named after mythological figures, including the Greek Arachne and the Japanese Takemikazuchi and Torifune.
    • Helvetia's neigbouring countries are named after old European countries, mostly francophone: Gaul, Franconie, Geneve...
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Rio "sings" the opening theme while drunk.
  • Title Drop: In the first episode, and several times later, usually referring to Amazing Grace.
  • Title-Only Opening: The final episode begins with the resolution of the previous episode's cliffhanger ending, without the opening theme. There's also no closing theme, with an epilogue taking place as the end credits roll, and the eyecatches are gone.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Duty vs. morality. Morality triumphs.
  • Translation Convention: Based on the written texts that appear, Helvetian is French. Some text appears to be Japanese kanji, which only the priesthood seem able to read. Strangely, one of the lanterns in episode seven has English writing on it and some signs in Seize are written in Spanish.
  • Twelve Episode Anime: With two more exclusive to the DVDs.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: Pretty much everyone in the first OVA. Even Filicia, who planned the sousing, underestimates her own tolerance.
  • War Is Hell: Episode seven exemplifies just how much of a hell it is.
  • Welcome Episode
  • Wham Episode: Episode seven reflects on Filicia's post-traumatic stress disorder from wartime. There's very little death in the rest of the show, so it hits pretty hard.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The second bonus episode shows an approximate world map that seems to put Helvetia somewhere in eastern China. But Helvetians speak and write in French, and cannot read the "ideograms" left behind by the apparently Japanese former residents. The "Romans," who have dark skin and speak German, live right next door. Adding confusion to the mix, Seize is a near-replica of a real town in Spain (see Real Place Background above).
  • While Rome Burns:
    • Sweets and a cup of something hot are the ideal thing to have after committing treason and before a war.
    • For a less literal example, Rio laments in episode thirteen that the nations of the world are wasting their time with wars while the Earth slowly dies, and mentions Holy Rome turning into a desert as an example.
  • Women Drivers: While most of the females are competent drivers, Kanata's tendency to take her eyes off the road when driving results in chaos.
  • X Meets Y: Viewers feel that So Ra No Wo To can be described as a combination of several shows, not limited to:
  • Yodel Land: The entire series take place here, complete with snowy mountains. Despite the location being Japan, the town, buildings and countryside are actually based on the Spanish town of Cuenca, right down to the odd rock pillars and the house on the edge of a cliff.

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alternative title(s): So Ra No Wo To
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