We interrupt your regularly scheduled teen romance for death.
|Well this show certainly changed gears fast and seems to have no intention of going back. The war part seems to be just as interesting as the awkward teen romance/depressing backstories though, so that’s good.|
And no one ate dinner that night.
Did anyone not see this coming? Well, Mitty is dead and it was sad for a bit afterwards, but really, after the hand holding the last episode, this was probably expected. …And of course he couldn’t have just parachuted off the plane because… er, do injuries hinder parachuting? I imagine they do
and hopefully Mitty wouldn’t have been saved had he just jumped from the plane. Poor Chiharu. At least the team accomplished something though, since the main force might have been devastated had they not known where the enemy was. …And then in the next episode they kill even more side characters off. Who knows when Fausto and Kal learned to work so well with one another, but I guess this is a case of fighting for a common cause bringing people together. His death was mildly depressing, as was Wolf’s. Ari looked like she came close to death, but she also had the plot protection of being in the same plane as the main character, so her arm injury was slightly less worrying than it could have been if she had been paired with someone else. But hey, Koiuta did well in making the minor side character’s losses mean something despite how little some of them were developed. The friendship and camaraderie was well developed at least and the characters all being extremely depressed in these latest episodes is only to be expected.
Then to make matters even more interesting, Koiuta added even more angst into the story with Claire finally revealing that she was Nina Viento. After a love confession between her and Kal, of course. So now they both have things to brood over! Yay! Her self loathing here was actually really nicely done, and it’s more believable in a way that she would come out with the truth after the emotional struggle of losing friends (and maybe blaming herself because she didn’t do anything sooner; not that it would have made much of a difference) than just telling Kal the truth out of the blue. This also pushes Kal neatly out of the way (in theory), since he’s the one who would be most opposed to Claire dropping out of school. …This particular sequence of events is probably for the best anyways. It’s probably better for Kal to deal with him loving his arch enemy, his PTSD, and the loss of his friends altogether instead of him getting over all of the death and then learning about Claire and having to deal with that. Now he can get all of his angst over at once (in theory).
It’s probably important to note that Ignacio is Claire’s body guard. …Which doesn’t really explain why he’s in the same dorm as Kal since he should probably be in Claire’s dorm watching over her (even when they assigned the dorms even before Claire met Kal, Ignacio was there), but maybe he’s there to make sure Kal doesn’t try anything. Not that he will anymore. Ari didn’t really react too much to Nina being Claire, and she figured it out really quickly, but I guess this just points out how close they’ve become off screen. Kal and Ari also had some nice sibling moments in the past couple episodes. In any case, between this and the whole war in general, Ari’s optimistic personality is a welcome character trait here. She was maybe a bit much at the beginning of the series, but her attitude is what the characters need right now. Likewise, maybe having Ignacio shove Kal into the lake is what Kal needs at the moment.
…I wish I could say more about the action scenes, but I honestly have no idea about them. Are firing shotguns(?) and forming circular formations really effective aerial battle strategies? Considering how the Sky Clan seemed to have some sort of automatic guns, no wonder so many characters died. Er, that, and the fact that this was their first time in actual combat. In any case, the shaky camera wasn’t as jarring as it was in the first episode. Maybe I’m just used to it at this point, since they used it even for the characters who were standing on the ground.
The Sky Clan is obviously not as primitive as Isla first thought, and that probably screwed the characters over in the fight. Likewise, the Sky Clan is far from being harmless as well. I’m not entirely sure about the last name, but Fana (Juana, whatever) was the name of the princess in Toaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku, so that’s not just a coincidence. Likewise, Levamme was the name of the kingdom that the movie took place in. …So it’s looking less likely that the Sky Clan is just misunderstood, since Fana seemed pretty levelheaded and accepting of people who were different in her last appearance. After all, she accepted Charles, and he was hated by everyone else due to his lineage. …Long story short, as far as Tsuioku showed, Fana’s judgement can be trusted. If she’s willing to join the characters in Koiuta in their fight, then they’re probably not doing anything too wrong. Though it’s still questionable as to why the Sky Clan is attacking.
Things got dramatic, but like I said above, they developed the characters juuuust enough to make most of the deaths matter. It would have been nice if we had seen maybe a bit more of them, but at least there’s the sense of loss here because the anime has long since established that all of them are close friends. This shift from heartfelt interactions to life or death plane battles isn’t as jarring as I thought it would be. Part of that is all of the unease that they put into episode 6, but a lot of that is also due to having watched Tsuioku beforehand. That movie balanced the character interaction really neatly with the action scenes, so I was kind of expecting Kal and the others to be fighting for their lives eventually. Why else would the anime put the characters into a flight school and spend time on a training montage?
There should be an interesting reveal about Ignacio the next episode. …Or in some episode coming up.