Although the reveals in this episode weren’t quite unexpected, this doesn’t take too much away from the emotional drama the viewers got this week. It wasn’t unexpected that Aries was a clone of Seira, the girl Charce described as his childhood friend, but it was a bit unexpected (although, frankly predictable) that Seira was the princess. It was interesting to hear Charce tell his true life story this time around. I’m a bit of the philosophy, ‘Once a liar, always a liar,’ but I suppose this time it might really be the truth considering we only have an episode left.
I was a bit shocked they didn’t advance at all on the trip side of things in this week’s episode and I’m sort of nervous about the last episode being crazy rushed, but there’s nothing to do but wait, unless fruitlessly obsessing over it is what I decide to do. Either way I enjoyed how once again the power of friendship shone through. I’m also looking forward to seeing if they will treat Charce the same after this, but they probably will, although I would find some suspicion or him doing something to regain the trust more satisfying.
I was wondering when something more serious would happen regarding violence, but I didn’t expect Kanata to lose his arm. I thought when they showed that Charce had something that looked like a cliff behind him, that he’d jump, but having two devices was a clever twist. I do wonder if they will talk more about the devices too… probably not due to short air time. I am sort of expecting an epilogue with a time-skip, but maybe it’s just my way of thinking about what would be, in my opinion, a good ending for this show that has been fantastic so far. I wouldn’t want a less-than-stellar ending to lower its value.
In a previous episode the theme of nature vs. nurture was briefly touched upon when they talked about how they were different from their clones. This time around Charce insists on saying that just because he was brought up a certain way, things can’t be different for him. It was interesting to see how the rest of the team took on a different position, this time reminding him that change was possible for anyone. Kanata, on the other hand, tries to remind Charce over and over again how his words aren’t true because they go against the nature Kanata has seen in him, a natural drive to live and a genuine affection for the rest of the crew.
This personal conflict for Charce has a nice narrative effect as it creates a duality of opinion in the viewer regarding Charce. Should we feel more sympathy for him or should we not trust him anymore? Should we jump the bandwagon and just forgive him? Each viewer will make their own decision regarding this, but the show has made it clear that Charce has been forgiven. He himself seems to have made a silent promise to Kanata as well to remain by his side as his right hand, now that Kanata has lost his. Quite a literal way to allude to the previous agreement between Charce and Kanata, but I must admit I was both amused and touched.
I missed the comedy this episode and I’m assuming we won’t have any of it for the last episode. It’s a gloomy expectation for me, but I’m still quite excited about the conclusion for Kanata no Astra. Hopefully it’ll be quite epic. We’ll find out next week!