I’ll admit, this episode was pretty good (minus a couple things…) and I ended up enjoying several parts… Well, I guess one part now that I really think about it. Things are certainly ramping up most likely because we’re drawing closer to the end of the season. David Productions definitely brought their A- game to this episode in the action department. It would have been an A+ if not for Tamaki, but I’ll get to that.
We’re finally getting into the really heavy duty business with the 8th taking the initiative to go and confront the white clad in their own base in the Nether. And while they were able to find where the hideout was, it definitely wasn’t going to be a simple task. I’m surprised they didn’t ask their allies to come help them. They don’t even know how many are even in their force. A mission as big of this calls for all allies to be on standby. Especially with such a dangerous enemy. They’ve seen first hand how powerful these guys are, so why are they going just on their own??? I’m sure Hibana, Benimaru and Karim would have been really good in this mission. Why did you not bring them?! Especially when things end up just blowing up in their faces once they entered the tunnel.
We get our very first look at what is beyond the area that is enclosed by walls and protected by Amaterasu. It was actually a breath of fresh air to actually go outside the location that we’re so used to. Though I admit that I’m a little annoyed at the fact that at the beginning I never got a sense of this world being a dystopian until AFTER we learned that all of the animals have become extinct. But I digress.
I honestly feel like they didn’t think this whole thing through very well. Especially when the guy who can make copies of himself started messing with their perception while the guy who can change someone’s appearance was also thrown into the mix. Hibana and Benimaru would have really come in handy against them… It was pretty obvious to me that the illusionary copy guy would be trouble, especially in such a cramped and dark space. So of course they would all be thrown into confusion and panic so easily. But it didn’t help when a bunch of them would run head first into things. COME ON GUYS. GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER. Not to mention, because of this, the series makes it so that these characters don’t get the chance to fight as a unit and instead focuses on how they handle fights on their own. Which isn’t a big deal in hindsight, since we get to see the individual strength in every member. However, it starts to become a bit noticeable when almost every fight in this series is a one man army type of fight rather than working together as a group like most had expected. And thus I’m disappointed in that regard.
Despite my grips with the details of this episode, I actually thoroughly enjoyed the battles in this episode. While I have a lot of problems with this series, it’s enjoyable to an extent because of the action, which was absolutely AMAZING in this episode in particular. Especially when WE FINALLY GET TO SEE SOME GOOD MAKI ACTION. I had to do a slow clap on Maki because this had to be the first time in a WHILE where she actually kicked butt on her own without ANYONE coming in to save her. She was always talked up to never be underestimated as she was a military woman… but we never actually got to see her handle things on her own until this episode. And man was it BRUTAL. I’m pretty sure there were at least a few casualties in that fight. I love how much Maki put the new weapon Vulcan made for her to use. Especially since it definitely helped to have those while fighting multiple opponents at once. I also love how they animated the impact of each of her hits as well, just emphasizing each strike.
Also, I’m sure those headshots the Tekkyo did was death to those guys. It was really ruthless to see Maki have the Tekkyo basically strike down on that one guy’s face after he was knocked out, all the while holding him up while it happened. DANG GURL. She was even able to handle herself against that heavy hitter guy who fought against Arthur at Vulcan’s workshop. It was just absolutely amazing how she was able to strongarm a win against him despite being half his height. The only other time we got to see her battle prowess was her mock battle against Shinra and Arthur. But even then, it was never a serious fight. Since then, she had been sidelined really hard so I’m glad we were able to see her true power here. Though I’m sure she had a significant powerup from Vulcan’s Tekkyos. Her fight in particular had to be my favorite fight yet. And that’s saying something since this series (despite my complaints) have had some pretty epic fights.
As for Tamaki’s fight… hm. I was honestly really hoping that Tamaki would be able to handle her own because so far, despite being a fire force soldier, she’s always needed assistance in battle and enver was able to handle herself alone in combat. Which made me question just how she even got into the fire force if she had been this incompetant. I’ve always gotten annoyed at female anime characters when they’re supposed to be warriors/soldiers or whatever, but all they do is put up a little bit of a fight, only to be saved by something or someone in the end. So I’m glad that it was addressed that, yes, Tamaki is a fire soldier and shouldn’t always be in need of saving. I’m glad we got to see her finally step up to the plate and put up a decent fight…Only for her fanservice to bring him down. I know I’ve complained about it before but I just hate how fanservice always seems to punctuate Tamaki’s fights. It’s as if she just can’t have a serious fight and win considering Iris had to come in and knock the guy out… SO MUCH FOR THAT. Though I do admit I snorted pretty loudly when he didn’t go down at first and then both Iris and Tamaki had to continue pounding away on the guy…Did they just kill him or something??? They blurred out something pretty gross leaking out of his head once they were done. (looks him up real quick on the wiki and manga) Looks like he does come back so he’s not dead and that part where it showed a blurred image of his head was not in the manga. Soooo….
Anyways, I was pretty disappointed with how this battle turned out. Especially since it was promising at first that Tamaki was finally stepping up and about to show us just how she became a fire soldier… only for her to be saved by fanservice and Iris with a metal pipe. Guess we can’t have more than one epic girl fighter… =3=
On a completely different note, why does that guy look like Archer from Fate Stay Night lol.
In hindsight, this episode was a bit of a mess… however, it was definitely an enjoyable mess to watch, especially Maki’s fight. That was probably the biggest highlight of the episode, especially with how well she handled herself in her situation. The animation was especially great and crisp this episode which just added to the intensity and enjoyment. Also, can we just bring up the fact that aren’t all animals supposed to be dead? Why are rats still around??? I even went and checked the manga (and accidentally stumbled upon some minor spoilers because the anime isn’t following the pacing of the manga) and those rats were definitely added by the anime. I don’t think they were paying close attention to the detail that there aren’t supposed to be any animals in this world anymore. Did they not remember what Vulcan’s dream is???
Anyways, things are certainly getting exciting and it seems like each character will get some time to shine on their own… despite me hoping this would finally be a group fight. Guess only in my dreams. Speaking of dreams, I was a bit confused by Shinra’s dream. I couldn’t even tell that was Iris since the hair length was longer and she had red eyes. Is that Iris or is it just who Shinra thinks is Iris? Either way, maybe we’ll find out later… maybe.