I guess part of the fun of being a GUNDAM fan is knowing exactly what’s coming, and waiting for it to happen. But that didn’t lessen the sadness for me one bit.
Ah Yurin, sweet, Yurin – why did you have to die? You may have been an homophone for wee-wee but you were the best character on the show. While I knew her death was coming it still presented one of the darkest and most emotional moments of the series, especially in the way Flit went into berserker mode and sliced little Desil all to bits (though the implication is that he survived). If there was any consolation it’s that at least Flit didn’t have to bear the guilt of doing the deed himself – no, Desil spared him that much. These last two eps definitely represent the dramatic high point for “AGE” so far, as the threads have come together and the consequences of war have been shown in stark fashion.
Where does this leave us? I assume the first arc will be ending very soon, possibly next week, and it looks as if the dark truth behind the UE is going to be revealed. I assume that’s a “Soylent Green is people!” kind of thing, with that cementing Flit’s new cynical nature and setting the stage for a new phase of the war. The UE top boss looks like he’s about to die, leading the defense of the UE base in their experimental mobile suit, which I presume will leave Arabelle Doi to lead the UE forces in the next arc, against Flit and Emily’s (sigh) son. And if Desil did survive I expect him to play some role as well, possibly as a demented rogue on the hunt for revenge for what Flit did to him.
Shakugan no Shana III – 14
I’ve been screaming for some flame haze blood for weeks now, and while none of the headliners kicked the bucket we did at least see the tide of battle turn substantially. The details of Yuki/Snake’s plan crystalized at last – he plans to create an exact copy copy of the world in the rift in which he was imprisoned for millennia. There, he’ll call all the tomogara away from Earth, giving them a paradise in which to thrive with limitless power of existence, and leaving the world as we know free from conflict and humans free of the threat of being consumed. He sounds sincere enough, and it looks as if this was the notion that drew Yuji in – a world where Shana would no longer have to fight.
The flipside of all that, of course, is that if such a thing happened the very raison d’etre for flame haze would cease to exist. The Snake takes shrewd advantage of this by pronouncing it on the battlefield, which appears to put the surviving flame haze army under a sort of existential death sentence and most of them throw down their weapons and begin to flee in a disorganized rout, leaving them easy prey for the Crimson Armies. There are obviously flaws to Yuki’s plan – the Snake’s comment that his body was “unstable” for one, and Sister Sophie and Centerhill certainly don’t seem to believe what he proposes is possible at all, at least without destroying our world. I hope the closing arc of the season doesn’t end up showing that Yuji was nothing more than a dupe for the Snake’s misguided ambitions – that would be a letdown to say the least.
Brave 10 – 02
Here’s another Winter anime that seriously feels like it could have aired 5, 10 or 20 years ago. I didn’t like this episode quite as much as the first one, but it was still an enjoyable watch in much the same way – I’m a sucker for Sengoku series that are character-driven and this one is at least in the ballpark. I enjoyed seeing Isanami shows a little more than her cute side this week, and I don’t just mean her strangely anachronistic spandex bike shorts. She shows some smarts, identifying something wrong in the silence enveloping the woods and spotting the way out of the underground pit she and Saizo were trapped in by following the smoke from their candle.
Several new names joined the cast thing week, including the childhood friend of Saizo, Ana (Asakawa Yuu), a pretty good ninja in her own right and also in Sanada’s employ, and Hattori Hanzo (Sakurai Takahiro) a cruel, flame-eyed ninja sent by his master – presumably also the one who ordered the destruction of her shrine – to abduct Isanami. There’s also some more yaoi teasing between Sanada and his page Rakuro (Kamiya Hiroshi) in case you forgot what you were watching. Given that we still have most of the Ten Braves to introduce and only 10 more eps to do it, I expect things to move at a pretty fast clip from here on out.