This review contains spoilers for Sora no Woto in its entirety, albeit in a general sense. If you care about spoilers and haven't watched the series, you can watch the whole thing (minus the mid-series special episode) on Crunchyroll.
I managed to completely flake-out during my Book Club analysis of the series, but a re-watch of Sora no Woto recently at least provided a reminder of why I thought the show was worth talking about at length in the first place. Consider this a "bookend" to my other posts about the show. Hopefully I can do it the justice it deserves.
I've noticed that a lot of viewers tend to come to this series with mistaken impressions, and in their defense the creators didn't seem to take many measures against that. The group of five young women - who in many respects look so similar to the characters in K-ON! that I can't really blame anyone for throwing around comparisons - might technically be in the military, but the show spends the bulk of its time delving more into their mundane, day-to-day lives than into the dark chunks of human history that brought them to that place. Their bucolic existence at the very edge of the human race's last frontier doesn't provide much opportunity for action-packed storytelling. The beautiful mythology that's revealed as part of the opening episode almost feels evasive if one hungers for facts rather than majestic lies about what was clearly an apocalyptic amount of human death.
As an anime blogger, I'm familiar with the joy of discovering something unexpected in a title that at first blush might seem like the latest in a long line of clones. As an incredibly insecure human being I'm acquainted with the act of putting up facades, laughing and joking in defiance of feelings that are much darker and more complicated than would be acceptable to present to most people. Sora no Woto draws from multiple wells, sometimes gritting its teeth into an obstinate smile as its future-Earth's seas become desolate and its deserts further encroach upon humanity's last bastions, but at other times exhaling and allowing its characters to uncover remarkable moments of joy and hope. Superficial comparisons to other anime series about groups of girls going about their daily lives ignore the richness that this show has to offer.