“May you go to hell with your feathers torn from you.”
Well…that escalated quickly. Quarantining Tebwa and imposing harsh border control is one thing, but a rebel uprising? There’s been no foreshadowing about any of this, so it was surprising to learn that there are a large number of natives opposing the rocket launch – with strong enough feelings to want to cause an armed conflict over it. It made more sense when Kurugaya mentioned the tension between Tebwan natives and Western migrants – I suppose it’s possible for civil war to break out should that tension get too thick. This whole incident bears a striking contrast to everything Little Busters! has offered us so far – while it’s had its fair share of internal drama, a rebel uprising is horribly different from the daily school life Riki and his friends are experiencing. While the Little Busters are playing baseball, tragedies may be occurring elsewhere, and they’ve decided to present one such event through the Tebwan crisis.
My heart went out to Kud this episode. I had doubts as to how safe a little girl would be in a country filled with riots – so when her grandfather decided to leave her alone in the house it was pretty apparent that something would happen. Guns are definitely objects I never expected to see in this show, and in fact, neither did I foresee Kud chained up in a cold, dark cave, branded a traitor’s daughter and a waste of resources. What made it even worse was the irony in Riki’s “well-wishing” last episode – while he meant to wish her luck, and the Russian saying is meant to bring luck, it brought exactly what Riki didn’t want for Kud – hell. I know she went back to Tebwa prepared for the worst, but it doesn’t make me feel any better seeing her chained up and defeated like that. It’s just so cruel…and when piled up with her feelings and desires, it really pulled a good few heartstrings there.
I’m unsure of exactly how Kud managed to escape, and what Riki’s role in it was. Unlike with Mio’s arc, I’m fairly sure something supernatural did happen – Kud’s precious gear did actually leave Riki’s hands and was dropped in Tebwa, which broke the chains confining Kud. Riki’s hands were left chapped, while Kud breaking her binds with the gears sent him into a small convulsion. For now, I’ll mark it down to the power of friendship (Vividred Operation clearly taught me a lot), and Riki’s role as a similar “gear’ to Kud that helps her moving forward. It was a bit of an abrupt ending, but the message was clear all the same: for Kud to just be herself, and follow the dream she so desperately wants to pursue – to go 50 nautical miles into space with her mother. Speaking of which, it would be nice to have seen them interact…just a bit of closure, that’s all xD