As I see it, the fighting world in Black Rock Shooter is a reflection of what’s going on, a muddled reflection, sure, but nothing happens in that world that isn’t started in the real world. In the real world we got a lot of teen angst which is interesting only in that the girls are mostly trying their best to get along in their lives. In a slice of life show this would be okay, but no one’s watching BRS as a slice-of-life. It’s where the real world and the fighting world interact that things get really interesting. And that would mean Saya. She’s feeding the girls’ angst, perhaps spiking their coffee and playing little mind games (what counselor would tell a troubled girl “the world doesn’t need you”?), but for what? Is she doing a Kyubey thing, taking some untapped emotions and using them to feed the actions of the fighting world? That’s my best answer right now. So we get Yomi, suddenly feeling bereft of friends (not true) and isolating herself. Kagura has come to school and made her own friends, and Mato’s too busy to give Yomi her full attention. Again, sad, but not terribly interesting. When Kagura talks to her near the end, obviously messed in the head in some way, and we then see Yomi’s fighting character emerge from a prison of chains, it gets interesting. How are they related? Can it be stopped? Meanwhile, what’s with Arata forgetting the boy who dissed her, I mean, literally forgetting him? Is he a fighting world candidate too? He’s a boy! That would ruin everything!
Last Exile – Fam 17 is a real mess. They rush and underexplain so much of the conflict that at times I had no idea what was going on. Why did the Third Fleet (now on Turan, well, Sara’s side fire on the Glacies, or is that actually what happened? All I knew Dian was muttering about betrayal and turning on them. Then we got the return of the Silvius just in the nick of time to kick some whoop-ass on the bad guys. But then we see that Sidri, or someone, had planted mortars to take down Boreas bridges and making the place accessible. When did he do that? Who did it? Why didn’t they try that before. So Sara, feeling bad that everyone she rules is fighting each other signs a decree to make them stop. In a ridiculously hurried and confusing scene Fam (finally doing something useful again) delivers it. So the fighting stops. Just like that. Yay! Why didn’t they do THAT a little earlier? Maybe because Sidri’s a reasonable man? Must be. So, just like that, wham-bam, we got peace. I’m not complaining, but it was an awful episode to get to it.
Speaking of royal people appalled that her subjects are fighting one another, we are introduced to Princess Gruier Serenity (call her Gruier), the seventh princess of the Serenity royal family, who, in Moretsu Pirates 8, has stowed away on the Bentenmaru and sparkles a lot. We’re only given hints at the bigger story, but I can’t help but wonder why Marika and the rest of the crew didn’t bother to ask why she bothered to stow away if all she wanted was to find a ghost ship. While we wait for answers we get more high school stuff–Marika decides to enroll the princess at her school in order to hide her in plain sight, and give us the usual transfer student scenes. The dullness continues while they get a new mission and up to when they head out. Honestly, did we need any of that car scene? Things get a little better when they go off to pick up the ghost ship information while hinting that there might be a battle, and indeed there is. Now we get some idea as to why Gruier did this secretly. Alas, we don’t get Marika’s decision “Captain, your orders?” this week. A shame. I wanted to see how much Marika has learned.