And I thought that the last episode of Last Exile – Fam had some exciting scenes. Episode 8 is even better. As you remember, the bad guys, led by a not-impulsive older guy aboard their flagship Anshar, have tailed Fam to the Silvius and are demanding they hand over Millia.
There’s a brief discussion. Millia wants to avoid bloodshed on the Silvius, but who really believes that the Federation’s going to let them go scot-free anyway? Besides, we’d lose out a hell of a battle if they did. So there are lots of scenes of Millia being upset and guilty, and Fam as well, since she considers herself responsible. But nothing to be done. Battle stations! Release the vanships! Open up the ports to let the explody things out! And in a great moment, the martial music slowly dies away as the vanships take flight, and there’s only the sound of wind and engines, until stuff starts to blow up.
I swear, I got my stupid-grin on for just about every minute of these scenes. They’re absolutely amazing. As for the battle itself, the good guys manage some good damage and evasive maneuvers (why are the bad guys always surprised by smoke screens?), but they’re taking hits themselves. The bad guy captain is no fool. They outnumber the Silvius and know a few tricks themselves. And then there’s the little fact that they’re all near the Glacies border. We’ve seen their pilots already, noting the foreign craft and muttering in what I assume is Russian. The fact the show dwells on two of them suggests they’ll have a bigger role to play later. “They” meaning the two women. Glacies gets involved pretty quick. But until then it’s beginning to look bleak, and when they’re this bleak, it’s time for Fam to step in and suggest something heroic and absolutely insane.
What Fam is actually going to do out skyfishing out there while everyone’s trying to blow each other up is anyone’s guess, and I lost track on just what was going on. We do know that the Silvius blows a hole in a weak fissure of a cliff, momentarily escapes into Glacies territory, and lets the Russians start blazing away. But it’s still badly damaged and now there are TWO nations trying to get at it (and each other). Meanwhile Fam and Millia(!?) fly around, spot one of the Glacies pilots trying to do some skyfishing herself in her wounded aircraft, and prop her up with their aircraft. Why? I don’t know. Having saved her, they go after the Anshar and Millia manages to fire a single shot right where the Anshar is most vulnerable, like that shaft on the Death Star. And down she goes! Utterly ridiculous and fun as hell to watch.
But when a show presents itself so well you gniggle about the lapses in logic later. You can also wonder why Gisey wasn’t with Fam, or how she’s feeling at the moment (lousy). But at the time you enjoy the show’s strengths: a young, impulsive hero (who’s not a jerk), big countries with big agendas and big armies, and art and animation you just don’t see anywhere else, though Fate/Zero certainly has its moments. Sigh, I suppose next week they’ll have to settle down and throw some intrigue at us. It’ll be a letdown.
I was pleased that UN-GO 8 didn’t continue asking questions about what reality is and rather, went back to investigating why the hell Shinjuru was placed in that prison when he had committed no crime. It was more satisfactory to have Shinjuru active and in control rather than reacting to strange events. If that meant another long string of detective musings and figuring out who the murderer is, that’s fine. For the story splits in two. Shinjuru comes to his senses (zap!) but won’t leave until he discovers who killed the “director.” But really, what set this episode apart is that line above, spoken by the woman in the fake world where there was no war, where people play war instead. A fantasy, comforting, but oblivious to the potential of war and with no true understanding of its consequences. UN-GO always wishes us to compare its fictional society to our own, and this is its most chilling comparison yet.
Time for something quiet. Tamayura – Hitotose 9 has a pointless little story about Momoneko, that white ball of fluff and a wild boar. The second story was better as we meet Shimako, the girl who said she was going to confess at the festival. She returns to town, binge eats, and acts like she’s drunk, until a friend comes to fetch her and teach her about love, using reckless driving as a metaphor. Screams are heard, tears are shed, and the kids all watch. Not much to it.