It’s beginning to look a lot like… war.
What They Say:
Count Saazbaum’s Landing Castle descends down to Earth and begins an assault on the United Earth HQ. The Deucalion is under direct attack from Martian forces and Princess Asseylum must make her way to the ship.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As expected, my previous review noting that Urobuchi’s absence has left this show a bit short on some of the deeper writing it could’ve enjoyed has resulted in some negative feedback; I have nothing more to say on the matter while discussing this next episode, but please see my reply to the main comment on the review of the previous episode for more on that.
But while that episode was a lot of rebuilding from what seemed like it could be a major travesty for all of the protagonists and entering the final moments of relative tranquility for the first season, this one storms full speed ahead into the upcoming season finale that almost guarantees something big to keep us champing at the bit for three months. The two major sides of conflict for most of this season are now fully mobilized with the war at its most extreme and visceral point we’ve seen it, with Saazbaum taking the attack straight to the center of the planet’s government and the Deucalion desperately attempting to fend off the Martian onslaught while allowing Asseylum to do what only she can do and stop these weapons of overwhelming military might from dealing the kind of damage that there may be no coming back from. As it is still leading up to the finale for the time being, it’s only natural that it has a bit more of a gripping cliffhanger than the usual, and the following episode should be quite the show.
While there’s a lot of large-scale warfare to focus on, it wouldn’t be nearly as compelling if there weren’t some solid character moments, and while the characters most likely to be at the center of valuable development (Slaine, Rayet, Marito) are either not in the forefront, relatively at peace for the moment, or simply too preoccupied given their roles in the matter, Asseylum steps up to show that she may belong in that company after all. She’s always been an incredibly sweet character in spite of all the horrible things going on around her, often with her in the crosshairs, but after her latest attempt to end the war, she finally realizes that she’s worthless as the political power she hoped she could be, and immediately decides to step up and put her life on the line in an even more direct way, making use of the other power bestowed upon her bloodline to go on the aggressive. Even with this anger and drive, her character transitions smoothly to the stronger face we see now; at her core she’s still the kindhearted royalty she’s always been, and somehow it almost feels like this side of her was always just waiting to burst out.
Although there’s probably no intentional comedy in this episode, the campiness of her petite maid Eddelrittuo doing the Hollywood stunt work in an armored vehicle to get Asseylum to her destination comes off way funnier than it should. But it really shows that this is the episode in which no character is a bystander any longer; these two show that more than anyone else could.
The penultimate episode of the first season isn’t necessarily any better than most of the series thus far, but those hoping for the war to really kick into gear may find what they’re looking for here. The development that Asseylum receives is perhaps the most valuable part of the episode character-wise, and hopefully this will all lead to a season finale that will make the wait painful.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Custom-Built PC, 27” 1080p HDTV.