After being absent for two episodes, Strength and Norito returned and took the spotlight in this episode. From the flashback, it’s revealed that Strength was acquainted with Empress, presumedly when they were still normal human girls before they were turned into Hemiteos Unit. Unlike their relationship in the present, Strength seemed to have a friendly relationship with Empress back then, which raised a question what exactly happened that made Strength hate Empress now. In regards to Hemiteos Unit, it’s obvious that they’re capable of living much longer than humans, even saying they’re basically immortal and can fight forever until Artemis is destroyed.
After what happened when the Hemiteos Unit’s first attempt in defeating Artemis failed, Strength seemed to have a dual-personality-disorder. Strength’s personality took a complete shift depending whether she has her mechanical arms or not. Without those arms, the rough and confident Strength was reduced to a shy girl with little to no self-esteem to the point that even Norito must calm her down. It’s like Strength was split into two parts. The compassionate side of her who couldn’t bear to see people hurt and the part of her who resented humans. These two sides of her clashed against one another, and Strength tried to suppress it by drinking, something that many depressed people does and Dead Master were crucified and had machines attached to their heads shown in the disturbing flashback. It cringed me to imagine the pain they must’ve gone through. Strength’s face was enough to tell that whatever Artemis did to them was terrifying. No one would blame her to have a PTSD.
Aside from what Artemis did, for Strength to hate humans so much most likely stemmed from the fact that humans, unlike her and the other Hemiteos Unit, can’t live as long as them. I thought that a case like Strength hating humans happened because she had a taste of what it felt to be betrayed, causing Strength to have a trust issue. But watching more, maybe Strength detest humans because she couldn’t bear the thought of bonding with them, only for them to die before her while she continues to live forever, that’s why she convinced herself to hate them for their tendency to betray. Having to fight for so long as people continue to die faster than she does, it’s not strange that Strength grew tired and just wanted to stop and end everything.
This was when Empress and Norito’s role came for Strength. Norito was the first step that touched Strength’s humanity buried within, reminding her the reason she and the Hemiteos Unit were fighting for, while Empress reminded Strength that even though normal humans would outlive their lives, Strength won’t be alone because she’ll be there for her.
I gave a praise for Norito’s emotional and morality struggle in this episode. I wanted to say how stupid he was for believing the Educational Institution that they’ll return Miya if he sell out Strength, I also understood how desperate he was. He only has Miya as his only remaining family left and he certainly wouldn’t want to lose her and would do anything to protect her. However, no matter how matured he became after growing up in harsh environment, it didn’t change the fact that he was still just a powerless kid who couldn’t save his sister by himself, which was why he begged for Strenght’s help and sold her to get Miya back. In spite of this, Norito also found himself incapable of sacrificing his humanity even for his sister’s sake. He has too strong of a conscience to let Strength die, and thus, decided to save her and place his faith on her and the rest of the Hemiteos Unit to save Miya.
I initially thought that Norito and Miya would be the typical sidekicks who’d follow Empress, so I was surprised by the Strength-Norito pair. Seeing Norito actually blushed after seeing Strength’s shy side was very cute of both him and Strength. But oh boy, the end of the episode sure left me hanging with dread. Just as Norito departed and determined to save Miya, the next scene immediately showed that his journey to rescue her seems would be in vain.