We’re halfway through the season, and shit’s hit the fan. The Unknown are launching an aerial attack on Tokyo for the first time, and there are new types of Unknown attacking everyone too. I can’t tell if these new coffin-shaped Unknown are squishing or encapsulating people, but either way they’re a little creepy.
Hotaru has taken Aoi on a drive to try to further replicate the path Aoi’s platoon took during the recent battle at Umihotaru with the Leviathan-class Unknown, but Aoi is having difficulty remembering. Suddenly one of the coffin-like Unknown tries to attack the two from above, and Hotaru slices it in half with her sword while driving because she’s a badass like that. As more Unknown show up, Hotaru does a screeching 180 degree turn and rockets their Jeep back towards the city. More Unknown start following them, so Hotaru has Aoi take the wheel so she can stand on guard against future attacks.
Back in the city, the large flying Unknown is launching the coffin-like Unknown at the people on the ground below. A dust has been scattered over the students from the sky above, perhaps activating the gold plates on their necks like a homing beacon. Everyone is starting to panic but Maihime shows up and tells everyone to remain calm because freaking out will give the enemy the advantage.
At Umihotaru the Unknown are still attacking, but Ichiya has decided to join the fight. If he no longer has Canaria to protect, he’s going to use his full power to destroy everything, including Umihotaru. He has no inhibitions anymore and I wonder what it will take to calm him down once the battle eventually ends, if he’s even alive anymore by that point. Kasumi and Asuha get word that Tokyo’s being attacked so they leave for Tokyo, with their troops remaining at Umihotaru with Ichiya.
Airi shows up as Maihime and the others are fighting the Unknown, and Maihime tells her that she needs to get to safety. We see in a flashback that Airi and Gutoku were present when Maihime (and presumably the other children) were awoken from cold sleep, hence Airi being thought of as “everyone’s mother”. Maihime gets Airi to one of the trains carrying civilians away from Tokyo, then returns to the battlefield. Airi has told her to hold the Unknown off for 40 minutes so she can do something to help, and Maihime is going to do just that.
An additional flashback shows Airi and Gutoku discovering the extent of Maihime’s powers. She appears to be more powerful than the other cold sleep children, but Airi and Gutoku aren’t sure why. They theorize that the children’s World powers result from the dreams the children have while they’re in cold sleep, but it doesn’t seem to be a very reliable theory (at least not to me).
Airi takes Maihime to visit her home, which has been mostly destroyed in the war. Maihime recovers her grandfather’s military jacket and his pocketwatch, and says she must remain there to wait for Hotaru. She’s hopelessly optimistic, even as a child.
In the present, Maihime’s troops are ordered to withdraw and board the remaining trains which will take them to Administration. Her friends leave as well; Maihime is now fighting the Unknown alone, but she’s not afraid. Hotaru is coming, and they will fight together. Maihime launches an attack at the large flying Unknown and is stopped midair by several of the coffin-Unknown, but she kicks them away and takes down the large Unknown. As some of the smaller ones follow the departing train, she throws her sword at them and destroys them. However she declines to join her friends on the train – someone has to keep the Unknown from following the civilians, right?
Maihime’s strength in this episode is amazing. She truly does fight for everyone’s sake, not just her city’s or even her friends’.
In the final moments of the episode, a new type of Unknown lands on the ground. They have a humanoid shape, and resemble creatures one might expect to find on a show like Neon Genesis Evangelion. What are their powers, and what will they do next?
“Memoria” translates to “memory”, and with the look at Maihime’s past it’s pretty clear that Maihime is thought to be everyone’s knight in shining armor. Her powers being more powerful than everyone else’s is ironic because at the beginning of the series it was Ichiya, not Maihime, who wanted to be the most powerful and be the one to protect everyone. Instead it’s Maihime, and time will tell whether she’ll be able to succeed in this destiny that’s thought to be hers.
My thoughts: … Did anyone else notice that the animation looked like it took a step down this episode? Faces and bodies in particular looking a little more distorted? Hmm…
The new battle themes in this episode were pretty sweet. They remind me of the music from K: Return of Kings, but with less of a techno vibe.
This episode focused a lot on Maihime, and while I liked seeing some events from her past, I’m still the most curious about the overall plot. More about the Unknown and their motives for attacking humanity, kplzthx! Even with the decrease in animation quality this week, I’m still really enjoying this show. It looks like next week’s episode will focus more on the other representatives.