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Sigh… My friend Alberto and I were discussing this episode and… damn, another kick in the guts.
But while Naze/Amida’s episode had a “rising curve” with a sudden spike of pheels, this starts with a high “base radiation” and just keeps going. Steady and unrelenting.
You can see it coming, you can’t dare to hope, but against all reason you do anyway for a moment. And then no.
It’s a solid episode. We’re plunged straight into the Line Battle between the two fleets. And the action peaks and lulls regularly, with the armies exchanging blows, reacting, maneuvering and recovering.
Rustal has confirmed his role as “the big bad adult” of the show, in the end: Iok is a spoiled motherfucker of a brat, but he’s just a tool, a puppet in Rustal’s hands. And again, the “respectability saving” move, the false flag action of the single Dainsleif shot from a suicide infiltrator that will justify (in the historical record, written by the victor: him) the absolutely disproportionate retaliation with the forbidden railgun.
“See what they’ve made us do? We didn’t want to, but…”
The “revolutionary fleet” and its figurehead were crushed. As expected, really.
The Tekkadan guys are in full “doom is upon us, give ’em hell” viking mode: I’m afraid more will go before the end, especially in the desperate situation they were in the end. McGillis… it’s hard to tell what’s in McGillis’ head. He did save Isurugi… but he’s careful with his tools up until they’ve served their full purpose.
The image of him rallying the fleet behind Bael was pretty badass tough.
But let’s talk for a moment about the emotional core of the episode: Yamagi and Shino’s scenes in the cockpit. Shino was the “big oaf” of the group. Earnest, transparent, friendly and a bit dumb… he never really understood what Yamagi’s feelings were. But he knew the blonde kid cared about him, and he cared back in a honest “more-than-brothers” way: in a way it’s nice to see such a bond (in one direction, at least) from a male character.
When talking about how to celebrate after winning he misunderstood Yamagi’s reaction to “going to the place with the best girls”, but was well willing to forego that, and drink with his buddy instead. And on the other hand… the pain of Yamagi, who could not confess his love openly.
That offer probably sounded like the unexpected opening he wasn’t allowing himself to hope for. Maybe when both a bit drunk he would’ve found the courage to say it. The moment Shino ruffles his hair (showing us his wide eyes for the first time) was strong. And he felt it too: painful.
The “Galaxy Cannon” one-shot ploy was a Hail Mary that was… damn, it couldn’t have worked, right? But if not kill Rustal and Iok, at least cripple their command ship! But no. Damnt this show is good. I can’t wait to see the final few episodes.