This episode’s Dawn Fall served for I believe to be four purposes:
First is explaining some of the goal behind the automations. It’s finally revealed the purpose of the girls who were killed in episode 1 by the automations. It’s explained that these girls are ritual maidens, a group of girls who are given protection and foods in exchange for their “services” that the automations referred as a sacrifice as it eventually lead to the girls’ death after what it appears to be a sexual intercourse. The male automation, who again, I didn’t bother to remember the name, is seeking one particular human girl for the sake of the so-called education and enlightenment that will lead to evolution of mankind. What’s more disturbing during this revelation, not only it showed another girl got killed during the intercourse, but it also showed paintings in the room that depicted the humans worshipping the automations as if they are saviours. It’s so disgusting that it’s very hard for me to hold back myself from skipping the part to know the full episode.
Second, after Empress and Strength, we’re officially introduced to Dead Master, who, like Strength, was supposed to be Empress’ comrade but now an ex-comrade. She has a twisted love and also hatred for Empress, whom she referred as her precious little object and won’t let anyone else to destroy her. Okay, looks like Dawn Fall so far is full of character that I can’t like, and Dead Master is one of them. Her design is cool and all, but personality wise, I just don’t like the type who wants to break the person you love-hate like Dead Master. But I praise Saori Hayami for her superb performance.
Third, is further explanation of how Empress and the others’ body works. All the girls like Empress has the ability to regenerate their bodies automatically, so even if they lose an arm from gunshot, it won’t be a problem as they’ll regain their arm sooner or later. The speed rate of the healing process also depends on the materials she used. It’ll be much faster if there’s a biological material that will accelerate the healing process to simply a few seconds. If left as it was, it would take days or weeks to heal.
Fourth, is to show the element of tragedy that will develop Empress’ growth as a character. Just like how she saved the siblings in the previous episodes, Empress willingly lend a helping hand to Momiji, one of the ritual maidens who ran away and seek help to rescue her friends. The rescue mission wasn’t easy as Empress and her crew must not only deal with the Artemis troops, but also Dead Master who was hellbent in killing Empress. Ironically, Dead Master’s attempt to kill her also helped them in a way because she destroyed their enemies who got in her way, thus, allowing Empress and Colonel to stop the cargo that held the captive girls. Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, the male automation has set up a bomb within the cargo that kill all the girls, including Momiji, just as they felt they have been saved. What remains of the girls was only Momiji’s arm that Empress grabbed seconds before explosion, but was too late to pull her out, leaving Empress distraught.
On that case, this battle explored more of the Colonel’s character, albeit in subtle way. He was clearly against helping Momiji to rescue her friends and only reluctantly agreed because of Empress’ insistence. Even so, he still went out of his way to protect Momiji when Dead Master attacked. He could’ve just let Momiji died, thus, destroying the reason why they should save the girls, yet he chose to protect her. When it comes to it, deep down, the Colonel wasn’t as heartless as he appeared to be. Years of fighting against the automations had forced him to repress his emotions, specifically his kindness, to the point that watching people die doesn’t bother him anymore. Watching Empress cried for her failure to save the girls no doubt began to awaken the humanity deep inside the Colonel.
Objectively speaking, this episode is an improvement of the previous two episodes and I’m quite satisfied with it. I hope they’re able to keep this up for the next episode onwards.