The one the Wulgaru set wasn’t the only trap in this episode of Majestic Prince.
OP2: “Watashi wa Souzousuru (私は想像する)” by Natsumi Kon
After what was effectively two weeks off, GKMP hits the ground running in its second cour. We got a new OP and ED, tons of action, and a new character that’s rather different than anyone else in the series. Apart from an annoying long recycled montage of the crew launching their AHSMBs in space (with one new sequence, obviously) there wasn’t any downtime to speak of anywhere in the episode.
Turns out that what Suruga was watching for during episode 12 was the arrival of “Black 6”, the new AHSMB appended onto Team Rabbits (and its pilot). “It’s big and black” Izuru marvels – and indeed it is. It’s also fresh off the assembly line and purportedly the strongest of its kind, and its maintenance is automated to the point where it doesn’t need a dedicated pit crew. Also arriving is Ange Kuroki (Watanabe Akeno) the pilot who’ll be er, manning the pilot’s chair of the new unit.
GKMP does a nice job taking a very old joke and making it fairly amusing with Ange’s gender uncertainty. Suruga and Tamaki exclaim “It’s a hot girl/guy!” respectively when they see Ange, and of course no one at any point comes out and asks Suzukaze or Peko outright and spoils the gag. And the show does a good job keeping us guessing – Ange appears with both the boys and the girls in the ED. in Watanabe-san they got a female seiyuu well-known for playing teenaged boys. Fittingly, Ange also has a split personality – the one we’re introduced to is meek and seemingly totally lacking in self-confidence, but after a mock battle he/she turns into a sarcastic and arrogant prick who belittles poor Izuru’s manga.
Ange gets a chance to try out his/her skills in real battle soon enough, as the Bunnies are dispatched to defend a key base about to come under attack by the Wullies. And he/she proves even more erratic here – at first freezing when Kei comes under attack in an ambush, then emitting an enraged wail and going into berserker mode, completely disregarding Izuru’s (and Suzukaze’s) orders. While Black Six does indeed prove a beast in battle – fighting off the enture Wulgaru squadron including Krein – in practice a loose cannon like that in combat is a disaster waiting to happen. How can Izuru or any commander possibly function when one member of the squad acts completely independently, and against direct orders? I’m curious to see where all this curiousness with Ange leads, and I hope Majestic Prince does more than mine the situation for humor (though the early returns are fine on that score).
It must be pointed out that the battle sequences in GKMP have been getting better and better, and the one in this episode may be the best yet. The animation is perfectly fine, with decently integrated unobtrusive CGI, but the real magic is in the art and choreography. It’s blisteringly-fast and peppered with some lovely hand-drawn explosions and the like – in a way I was reminded of some scenes from the second Gurren-Lagann film. I’m keen for the second half of this series to be more about the characters and the potential for peace with the Wulgaru than the space battles, but if we’re going to have space battles we may just as well have ones as awesome as this one.
ED2: “PROMPT” by Natsumi Kon