Summary: Fearing that the winter will be too much, Kanata and Rio take care of an old woman waiting for the son who will never come. Past unwanted memories that has troubled Rio and her reason for being where she is at now are revealed, bringing a conclusion to Rio’s story and also the final days in the life of an old woman.
Kanata’s platoon isn’t the biggest or greatest out there. Because of that, unless someone would know about Rio’s past, they probably wouldn’t be taken very seriously. In fact, Kureha herself mentioned in one of the first episodes how she felt they were mediocre in comparison to a real squad for several reasons. One of them being that they don’t have enough manpower, units, or even behave like one. Her disapproval was understandable from her soldier point of view but this platoon’s mission isn’t in the same position that Felicia’s old unit was years ago and hopefully for their personal good it will never. What Sora no Woto is a story of soldiers who have already experienced war but reasons why they wouldn’t like others to experience. Realistically speaking they cannot do much to stop the war but regardless there they are. The next best thing it’s a small but hard working platoon that makes a small but great difference in the lives of the villagers they’ve sworn to protect in a time of the war.
There’s something about Sora no Woto brings different stories and reminiscence the past of the platoon’s members in each episode that just works. Felicia’s story about how the war changed her life, the person Kureha looked up the most, and in this episode the sister that Rio couldn’t be with due to political affairs who turns out to be person Kanata met before. Seemingly simple stories have served to explain parts of the story and to make the viewer understand of the world they live in a simple fashion. This episode was no exception.
It explained Rio’s past few know about using the story of an old lady whose son who never comes back. Kanata’s young and optimistic nature is key in Rio’s final decision in this episode when in Kanata’s own words she tells Rio that although she gets lost all the time she doesn’t mind but actually likes it, implying in her own childish way that good things sometimes come from bad situations. It’s all in the way how one interprets in the end. A well done episode that once again used another story to explain the story and in this case solve the mystery behind another one of the main characters. Especially showing Kanata playing and possibly mastering the trumpet whereas unlike past episodes she was only ‘ok’. Effect much accomplished by one of the citizens claiming she could remove the earplugs she had on indicating how bad Kanata used to be and also seeing Rio deciding to leave. Not before telling Kanata of the older sister Rio had and who both of them looked up to, this possibly answering Kanata’s own questions as well. Looking forward to next episode.
Next episode : A burning field of snow