It’s mission time! Liu Xuemei briefs everyone on how things will run down. Essentially everyone will spend a night killing as many Savages as they can before returning the following evening. They will also be split into teams, which Emilia is not happy about because she wants to be with Hayato, which is pissing Claudia off. Claire finally steps in and tells Claudia to her face that if Emilia wants to stay with Little Garden, then she’s not going to force the issue and Claudia will just have to accept it.
Fritz, Liddy and Latia stop by before they leave, and Fritz makes a cute joke about having his own harem. A harem joke within a harem series? Oh Hundred, you’re so punny.
Hayato, Claire, Claudia and Emilia are on the same team, and together they take out several Savages. Claudia’s quite the showoff, trying hard to get Emilia’s attention, and she suckers Emilia into dealing a finishing blow so that they will look good as a team together.
As everyone prepares for bed, their crew decides their watches. Emilia naturally wants to patrol with Hayato, but is prevented by Claire. Claudia uses this as an excuse to try to team up with Emilia, but in the end Emilia is paired with Liddy for the first watch while Claire, Hayato and Claudia sleep inside the tent.
When they change shifts later that night, Erica gives Claire an update on how many Savages have been killed during the mission so far. Claudia wanders away somewhere, giving Hayato and Claire some space to have a private chat about their siblings. Claudia interrupts and tells the pair that she thinks she spotted a Savage down by the water, and that they should go investigate. And of course, should there be nothing there, they could always, you know, have a date together. Claire and Hayato leave to check things out, leaving Claudia to creep back to their camp and try to talk to Emilia when Emilia can’t sleep. (Claudia’s evil laughter is adorable btw.)
Elsewhere we see that the three Hunters are activating some kind of machine, something that is later revealed to be a communications signal jammer (if I understood the episode correctly).
It turns out that Claudia was not lying – there was actually a Savage down by the water. Hayato deals the finishing blow after Claire accidently slips and falls in a puddle, and then they retreat to the lake so Claire can wash up quickly. “Wash up” meaning strip and have a full bath, incidentally. But Hayato is a gentleman and turns his back, and while Claire cleans up she asks Hayato what it’s like to be a Variant.
Claire also talks some more about her younger sister LiZA. LiZA was a designer baby, created by injecting Savage fluids into a fertilized egg by none other than Claire’s mother, who used her own child to attempt to “beat the gods in war.” The experiment was a success; LiZA had abnormal Slayer from a very young age, but when she activated her extreme powers one day to save Claire from a Savage, LiZA fell into a deep sleep. In her suspended state she still emits vast amounts of energy, which is how she’s powering Little Garden. Claire says is the captain of Little Garden to try to protect LiZA, and to keep an eye on her older brother Judar whom she does not trust.
As Claire is finishing her bath, Hayato receives an emergency call from another squad. They’ve been wiped out by the trio of Hunters and need back-up. Hayato is worried about Emilia and wants to head back to camp, but they suddenly see an emergency flare sent up by Fritz’s squad, so they decide to split up. Claire rushes into battle to help Fritz’s team while Hayato races to warn Emilia and the others at the camp.
Claire arrives in just the nick of time, and in her full-body armament to boot. Claire attempts to talk the Hunters into surrendering and telling her what they know about Vitaly, but they refuse to give in. Suddenly it starts to rain, which appears to bode well for the Hunter Claire is facing off against, but for a reason that was not shown in this episode. Maybe the rain will amplify his type of attacks? (Claire mentions earlier in the episode that if it rains, their crew will have to be careful with beam attacks.)
My thoughts: I sit on the fence with Claudia as a character. I find her constant pandering to Emilia annoying, especially since Emilia’s already stated she wants nothing to do with her family or her home country, but fuck, Claudia’s rivalry with Hayato is hilarious. She’s got some of the best dialogue I’ve seen in this series so far.
I’m also coming around to Claire, although I tire of the repetitive scenes where Hayato falls on her while she’s partially or fully naked. I guess that’s fanservice for you, but I’d be happy with more speedos.
See you guys next week!