It’s worth remembering who Dwight D. Eisenhower was – a military man, the Commander of Allied Forces in World War II. He was all that long before he ever became President of the United States – so when Eisenhower spoke out on this topic, he was speaking as a man perhaps uniquely qualified to do so. Not that we’ve paid much attention to him, as any student of more recent history could surely tell you.
There really wasn’t any part of this episode of Argevollen that came as a surprise, which places is squarely in the realm of tragedy rather than suspense. We knew this was coming, Samonji knew it was coming, and Tokimune and Jamie knew it was coming – and all of them were powerless to stop it. I’ve seen Tokimune called a lot of names like “idiot” and worse for piloting the Arge again, but I think that completely misses the point. The alternative was to watch his entire platoon slaughtered (or at the very least decimated) likely including himself.
No, the point isn’t that Tokimune was stupid to pilot the Argevollen again – the point is that the military-industrial complex maneuvered the pieces such that he and Samonji were in a position where they had only terrible choices to decide from. Sacrifice the Queen and fight on, or face check-mate immediately? I would say Tokimune made the only choice he could – and indeed, Samonji made no choice at all, though one could argue his silence in the moment of decision was in effect his choice.
We still don’t know the outcome of all this of course, apart from the fact that Tokimune bested Richthofen in their duel (I would call the screaming match a draw). Did either of them survive – or rather, did either of their minds – or did they totally succumb to NR Syndrome? The lights are out in the Arge’s cockpit and there’s definitely something very wrong there (in fact I feared for a moment it was going to pulverize Jamie right then and there) and as for Richthofen, well – he’s hardly a swell guy but he’s a victim here too. He was seemingly doomed as soon as Liz showed her true stripes, and her intention to use him to fulfill her goals at any cost.
There are some very interesting places where Argevollen’s story could go from here, even if Tokimune is a goner – though for the record I’d say that’s less than even-money (and the new OP is non-committal). If indeed Tokimune is lost – or Samonji thinks he is – Samonji is basically now a guy with nothing left to lose (once he says “I’ve lost”, I think that’s pretty obvious). Nothing left to protect. We know who the real villains are here – it’s Cayenne, and industrialists like Suguru – and we know there are soldiers on both sides who know it, and are determined to try and stop them. And let’s not forget that Samonji has his own personal one-man military intelligence division acting as his eyes and ears. The real war in this series isn’t between Arandas and Ingelmia, and in that war there’s one side we haven’t seen fire a shot yet – but I’m damn sure we’re going to.