Suisei no Gargantia 9’s big revelation, “We have met the enemy, and he is us,” was hardly a surprise. I was betting on the Hideaze being evolved or mutated squid, and I was half right. The second-half flashback sequence had me scratching my head. Was this video data the only thing they could salvage? Was it arranged in chronological order by Chamber, and if so, why would he do it? Not to mention that the video blurs and pixel moments, meant to make it look realistic, were just annoying. And was it always snowing during the global cooling event? Whatever, the whole thing certainly had an effect on Ledo, and I wasn’t buying it for a second. He’s too hardwired to suddenly fall into despair upon hearing the truth. The Hideaze in space, after all, are still trying to kill humans, and vice versa. Surely his instincts as a soldier would kick in. I don’t care how cute those little baby Hideaze was, or that adult that was in more human form, a cheap attempt at invoking an instinctive human reaction out of us. Nope. I’m disappointed.
Shingeki no Kyojin 9 dithers around for awhile before getting around to the big question: WTF happened to Eren? I think they wanted to
piss us off tease us before getting to that so they showed us a little story about the elite Recon Corps, commanded by Levi, who strikes me as a male version of Mikasa, and who just happened to be out of the city during the latest attack. Honestly, what was the point of those scenes? Is this show so bad at introducing and developing characters that they feel they have to stick a chunk of new material right at the show’s most tense moment to date? … Well, yes, it is.
As for the big questions, we get a nasty scene of Eren inside the giant’s gullet, swearing revenge for the thousandth time, and the next thing you know an arm’s popping out of the giant, followed by the rest of the giant with abs. We get the present moment, with soldiers pointing guns at Eren, Mikasa and Armin and calling them traitors. A tense scene. The commander is obviously partly out of his mind by this time and is capable of giving any order. Eren doesn’t know what’s going on and would be as surprised as the rest to learn. Armin tries negotiation and Mikasa tries intimidation. And it really doesn’t matter. The commander was going to fire no matter what Eren’s answer was. What happened next isn’t going to make him any new friends in the military either, but it’s another glorious WTF moment in this show, and another great cliffhanger. It more than makes up for the crappy characters.
Finally, even though I wrote about Red Data Girl last time, a new episode has shown up, so I might as well take care of it now. It’s about the only show I’m managing to keep up with, god knows why. In episode 10 the school festival has started and you get the impression that various spiritual forces are jockeying for position for … damn, the show hasn’t really told us. There’s something weird going on in the haunted house, and a curse that the middle school girls are afraid of, but it mostly gets subsumed into the mundane festival activity, like people pulling off Izumiko’s headdress to reveal her adorable rolled braids. The best part was the haunted house, where actual ghosts show up to appeal to Izumiko and she’s too nice to blow them away with a defense spell, which might reflect a later chat with Mayuri who suggests that his eating of lost souls is a demonstration of compassion. Nice idea, and maybe it will have to do with the story arc, if they ever decide to pull it out of the daily routine and polish it up a little.