Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 12

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If you were thinking of taking a week off from GKMP, this would probably be the one to do it.

To say that not much was accomplished on this week’s Majestic Prince would be a pretty kind assessment.  Really, I consider this one step above a recap episode – maybe a half-step.  It was the sort of breather episode that doesn’t do much for me, the kind that does nothing to advance the plot or develop the characters.  Basically it was running in place for a week with new footage, so it doesn’t even have the tangible benefit of giving the animators a breather – just the audience.

Basically, it seemed as if this episode was about a couple of things – some gratuitous bikini service to sell Blu-rays, and showcasing the incredibly annoying loli imouto (even if she isn’t literally an imouto) to sell Blu-rays.  And mission accomplished there.  Apart from that, I didn’t find any of the comedy especially funny (apart from the bit when Tamaki tasted Kei’s sickly-sweet condensed milk drink and asked her if ants came after her while she was sleeping), which is unusual for me with this show.  And I especially find it irritating to see that the exploitation of Team Rabbits extends even to their days off, and even to forcing the girls (even if Tamaki doesn’t have the sense to know she’s being exploited) to wear ridiculous string bikinis.  The odd thing is the series effectively acknowledges that this is exploitation through the person of Giuliano and Siegfried (it’s basically the central theme of the show to begin with) yet revels in it nonetheless.  It’s definitely ironic – the only question is whether it’s intentionally so.

I must also say I’m getting a bit irritated that every character is getting the opportunity to be in the spotlight except for Suruga, and we’re halfway through the series.  In a show with a central cast of five characters it’s odd than one of them should be so marginalized compared to the others.  This isn’t the sort of ep where screen time equals development, obviously, but even here he was completely shunted off to the side – his only role waiting outside the station as a countdown progressed, apparently for the arrival of this ship and the new pilot it carries.  I guess Suruga must be an admirer as he and his team seemed quite excited, so maybe this will offer some opportunity for him to actually matter next week – which would mean this episode wasn’t a total waste, just 98% of it.

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  1. t

    I thought it was really enjoyable. MJP doesn't have the sweeping scale of other shows, but it's expanded 26-ep breadth allows it to really flesh out the world and cast.

  2. R

    i will have to disagree a bit on your opinion about the ep. considering how much majestic prince have thrown in in terms of character developments in the past few episodes, i think the series deserves to go silly from time to time. besides, this ep was actually able to flesh out the relationship the zannen 5 has with the people surrounding them (well, maybe except for suruga, he just stood there the whole episode -_-'. it also kinda drives home the point that yes, these kids are being exploited by the military beyond just being war machines. they also now serve as media puppets for the GDF to get good PR (reinforcing the content of episode 2). siegfriend and guiliano condn't have said it better in their little chat. it is also rather harsh that one of the costumes that kei and tamaki had to wear is a bunny costume, considering what that now symbolizes.

  3. G

    I disagree with your whole take on the episode. It was very sad to see the girls being forced to do shit like that and the episode knew it. The usual excuse "they want to do it so it's okay" was even subverted here, cause even Tamaki (a naive 15 year old) who was so excited, as always, in the beginning, wanted to stop after a while. Kei and that nadeshikoblob were even openly disgusted by it. So yes even if it was an otakubait episode, the creators actually insulted the buyers who demand the girls to be objectified for their viewing pleasure or else they won't buy.I also found the date cute and the scene where the women mechanics talk and Izuru tries unsuccessfully to show off his drawings quite funny.

  4. The heart wants what it wants – I just didn't find any of it funny. Do we really need yet another irritating imouto sceanrio – does every series have to have one?

    As for the notion that the series was actually mocking the people who buy the Blu-rays, etc… If indeed they're smart enough to know what they're doing is crass and do it anyway, that just makes it even more crass.

  5. G

    What I meant to say is that they managed to tie an episode of this kind into the whole teen exploitation theme that's at the core of the series and that's better than it being totally shoehorned.

  6. A

    I thought the episode was fun, but leaving that aside, I wanted to comment on the Suruga thing- I guess he gets slightly less screentime than some of the others but I wouldn't say he's being marginalized at all. He got a lot in the first few episodes, including one of my favorite scenes where he commented on the fact that no one would care if they died. He also got quite a bit during the Battle of Ceres, and was fairly important in the previous episode with all the focus it gave to him sniping the Wulgaru that were trying to attack Asagi and Izuru. In regards to this episode, he didn't get much, but neither did Izuru, really. It was mostly focused on the girls and Asagi.

  7. Yes, that line was very memorable, and it made me want to hear more from his perspective. In effect then, it was a tease.

    I don't really count battle time into the equation here – that's all well in good, but this isn't an NBA box score. I'm talking about actual human interaction time, which has basically been non-existent for Suruga (and no, the occasional butt-of-the-joke moment doesn't really count) since the first couple of episodes. He's sort of in-the-middle – not as obsessive as Kei or Asagi and thus adapting better, but clearly filled with more doubts that Izuru or Tamaki. That's an interesting place to be, and it makes it frustrating that of all the Rabbits, he's by far the least developed.

    On a side note, I did week after week of almost purely positive posts on GKMP and couldn't buy a comment. I take issue with one and all of a sudden it's a popular spot to post. An interesting phenomenon.

  8. A

    I think people simply feel more inclined to share their thoughts when they disagree with something than when they agree with it- it's human nature. As for this, we'll just have to agree to disagree on the subject of Suruga's development.

  9. M

    I haven't seen this episode yet, but even in plot driven episodes I've found Tamaki an escalating grating presence. I get she's giddy genki but does she need to be childish all the time? Secondly, why are characters of her disposition always assigned the biggest breasts – Is it meant to be a consolation?

  10. Z

    Kei is clearly superior.

  11. Z

    Also I think the size thing is an attempt at humor. The ditzy character who is often oblivious to their blessings, versus the intelligent characters who are all too aware of any physical shortcomings.

  12. M

    That makes sense, thanks.

  13. Z

    It works much the same in Hataraku Maou-sama.

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