Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 14

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GKMP continues to be full of surprises.

This is a series that’s pretty much managed to surprise me at every turn so far, despite the fact that it’s easily the most conventional of the three mecha series that premiered in the Spring.  Every time I’m pretty sure I’ve got a handle on just what sort of show Majestic Prince is, it segues into something quite different.  I’d certainly never have expected that this would turn out to be a series whose best element was its mecha battles, but we’re pretty much at that point now.

I guess the question is this: is that more a compliment or an insult?  In truth a little of both, although I think more of the former.  The action sequences really have gotten that good, but there’s an element of fatigue in terms of plot and character too – I’m not quite as interested in the cast and the premise as I was a few weeks ago.  I’m still involved, but story-wise GKMP was really at full strength when the morality of what was being done in exploiting the child pilots was at the heart of the story.  The introduction of Ange feels a bit forced, and I’m not seeing all that much progression in the character arcs.  So in terms of narrative while the series is still involving, it seems a bit stagnant.

Stagnant or not there’s certainly some movement this week.  Theoria actually seeks out Izuru (that fountain now seems inexorably linked to the two of them as a couple), interesting both in that she’s allowed to and that she chooses to.  It’s strongly hinted that she’s about to drop some sort of bombshell on him (even more than calling him her hero) when his pager goes off, telling him that the Bunny Squad is off on another mission – this time to rescue Dobermans, who’re stranded in a gravity well in a crippled transport ship.  In terms of Ange the series continues to play the guessing game as to his gender (I’m guessing female) but I hope for not too much longer, because it’s already starting to feel tired.  She continues to prove herself unrealistically skilled at everything including cooking, and once again demonstrates the split personality when his berserker mode kicks in when Rabbits are engaged by Jiart during the rescue mission.  I’m still a little unclear, frankly, on why the adults continue to play the status quo when they acknowledge that Ange is a complete loose cannon who makes everyone else’s life (especially Izuru) extremely difficult.

That rescue mission really is the best scene of the ep, by far.  Izuru goes into berserker mode himself when he’s attacked, and manages to completely school Ange this time.  Patrick reveals that he seems to have fallen for Tamaki.  And then there’s the battle itself, which is truly spectacular.  Dogakobo is impressing the hell out of me here, because they’re not doing this with endless budget – these mecha battles are superb because of the way they’re drawn and choreographed and nothing more.  This one is another beauty – incredibly fast-paced but still coherent, breathless and exciting and balletic in the way space battles can be when exquisitely hand-drawn.  It doesn’t seem to radically change anything in the overall story – Jiart is still obsessed with Izuru, and the two of them seem evenly matched – but we did see another side to the young squadron leader here with his determination to make it back safely to Theoria (danger, Kei).  As well, it was really the first time we’ve seen him unleash his full rage mode, and I think it makes the character more interesting.  In any event, it almost doesn’t matter when the battle looks as great as this one does.

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  1. A

    We have yet to know Ange's gender… it bugs me as do the characters themselves. Or has it been revealed or at least alluded to?

    I'm glad GKMP has two cours continuously to work the story unlike the two other mecha series that ended recently. While conventional it manages to tick the boxes almost every single time.

  2. No, as far as I can tell the gender issue is a troll at this point – they haven't revealed anything definitive.

  3. R

    I was already expecting izuru to go berserk at some point or another (this is already predictable in the genre), especially after his talk with teoria. But that scen was done horrifyingly well, even the sudden change in music was very appropriate.

    There wasnt even any anger or long emo moment usually seen with this part. The kid just suddenly snapped. Even ange who came to her senses after her own berserk mode was horrified to see izuru all ax crazy.

    Now i wonder. Since tamaki is second only to izuru in the use of the juria system, would we also see her go out of her moe character and go berserk also?

  4. Berserker Tamaki? I really don't think I want to see that…

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