Last Exile – Fam had two terrific battle episodes in a row. So you can’t blame them for easing up on the blam-blam-blams for #9.
So it’s time to crank up the political intrigue and bring Sara and the conspirators back into the fun. Surprisingly, apart from a cryptic opening scene and the arrival of Vincent Alzey, the head of some nation or province or rebel group or another at the very end, we don’t get much politics. Oh, Tatiana mutters a few things about Gracies, and a couple of them show up while Fam goes to pick up a ship he’s caught, but most of the episode concerns Gisey and her decision to leave the Silvius–for the wrong reasons. This being Last Exile, there was a very good chance she would make good on this decision and come back later in the series. On the other hand, she’s a main character, and she hasn’t gotten to do anything yet. Everything has revolved around Fam and Millia. The only question is, how will they handle her decision? Turns out, pretty well. Early on she says some frustrated things about not being needed to Fam, all that is needed to set them both to thinking. Gisele would never hurt Fam, and Fam had not realized that her sister in all but blood was upset.
So we wait for the inevitable, and it’s done well. Fam has no sudden revelations, she knows right away what she’s done. A talk with Dio via tube helps clarify. And Gisele, for her part, tries to think of ways to make Fam happy again. She doesn’t tell us, hell, no one does, that that she’s going to stay. We are … informed by certain actions, especially her talk with Tatiana (A scene that seems to fail the Bechtel test even though the man’s a woman. Through so many scenes I have to remind myself that Fam’s a girl). Even Tatiana’s line to Fam, “She’s left the ship,” doesn’t mislead us. Then all it takes is an impromptu deck hockey game to reunite the three. What could have been a long-standing feud between Tatiana and Millia just strengthens everyone’s friendship. So NOW we can go back to the political intrigue next week. We’re a bit overdue for that.
I can’t think of a series that had a swimsuit episode where the trip gets canceled midway, like Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai did. Maybe to make up for it, they devote episode 10 to beachy things. Everyone does the expected. Yozora is mean to Sena, who exposes herself, causing Kodaka to have to lie to her again. Rika finds the oddest things sexually suggestive, and during a longer scene more funny than it should be, tries to climb into Kodaka’s bed. Bonus points for the ghost story scene: all the stories save one don’t scare anyone, but they don’t bother to show us the failures. Come to think of it, no points given there. This is the kind of show where I would have liked to hear any stories these weirdos have. Bonus point, however, to Yozora, who wears the striped full-body swimsuit to the beach. Half point off for not wearing the horse head.
Happy to say that I understood much of if not all of what’s going on in C3 11. Alice wants to take Fear with her to be in her Family, though I don’t know why that meant killing those people. Even if (as it turns out) they were already Family members and came to Kuroe’s hair salon in order to be killed. I also don’t get what this Family is all about. If you are non-human and you join, you can do anything you want, apparently, including killing your owners, who won’t mind at all. Something about taking more pain and curses to achieve greater salvation. I can’t say I’ve ever understood this line of crazy christian thinking. But anyway, Alice rather easily kidnaps Haruaki, Kuroe and Kirika, and there’s a long discussion about this, with pantyshots, until a member of the Laboratory rescues Kirika, who will have nothing of leaving her friends … And by the end we have a showdown. Not much in the way of wild EF-like imagery this time around, though we do get the normally doll-faced Kuroe making this face as she imagines Haruaki and Kirika together.