After the Yin of last week’s interior, reflective episode (that’s actually been close to the norm) GKMP goes completely Yang this time with an episode that’s wall-to-wall action. This series has certainly lagged behind Gargantia and Valvrave in terms of visual flash, but for an episode that was almost completely space combat it was a surprisingly impressive effort. The CG was well-integrated and didn’t overwhelm the moment, and the conventional animation was quite fluid. In terms of choreography things were enough of a mess that it was often hard to tell what was happening – but to a certain extent, that was likely intentional.
I’m glad we don’t see eps like this every week, because I think smaller-scale drama is Majestic Prince’s forte, but as a change of pace it was very effective. This was easily the longest and most intricate battle we’ve seen Team Rabbits involved on, and they altogether did quite well. Tamaki was her usual loose cannon self – repeatedly getting in the line of fire from the not-so-loose cannons, especially Suruga’s. Apart from that though everyone held their own quite nicely. The big pressure was on Asagi, who had to step up as leader after Izuru was (again) ordered away from his teammates in the midst of battle. This was interesting on both fronts: Asagi (still nursing the hole in his gut) pretty much choked at first, and it was surprisingly obvious how much the team had come to depend on Izuru’s presence. But once the latter gave him a pep talk, Asagi gathered himself and proved he was quite deft with tactics – more assertive in battle, in fact, than Izuru, though Izuru seems temperamentally better suited to the role.
As for his battle, Izuru ended up going one-on-one against Jiart – a fight Jiart clearly came in searching out. The connection between Izuru and Jiart – and Theoria, who seems likely to be a sister or close blood relative – is mysterious, but obvious nonetheless. Izuru’s visions of Theoria (who looks like Jiart’s twin) have obvious implications given his memory wiping, but for now it’s all circumstantial evidence. Jiart manages to keep Izuru occupied as the entire main battle rages on around them, until finally he rips the cover off Izuru’s cockpit – leading to a very interesting moment that’s hard to decipher. Both are shocked to see each other: in Izuru’s case it seems likely it was because he didn’t expect his enemy to look human (and familiar, at that). Jiart’s reaction is much more mysterious – why was he so surprised? Did he recognize his opponent or was he, too, merely surprised to see someone who looked so much like he does? And then there’s this, which I assume was part of Jiart’s bio-mechanical mecha but as we never see it in context, it could conceivably be part of Izuru’s, which would imply that the JURIA system might be Wulgaru in origin.
As for the larger battle, I have some issues with the way it’s being portrayed. mainly because the sheer incompetence of Komine is a little over-the-top. There are certainly incompetent military commanders out there, but this is pretty broad stuff as portrayed here – Komine is a complete narrative straw man and his level of buffoonery is a bit of a cop-out device for the script. And we continue to see the ugly spectacle of the press covering the battle live, which I suppose isn’t unrealistic if you’re going to announce every detail of your attack plan in a press conference to begin with. With Komine’s performance broadcast in real-time his fitness to lead surely can’t remain unquestioned for long – I certainly hope not, as I’m tired of him and the role he’s playing. As for our old friends Team Doberman (now dubbed “The Comic Three”) they managed to dodge their screaming death flags for one more week, anyway, though it’s surely only a matter of time. This seems like the sort of series where named characters are going to die, and it’s too early yet for rabbit stew.