Knights of Sidonia 11 is almost nothing but battle, and since they’re not done yet, the episode feels inconclusive.
We’ve seen just about everything before. I don’t mean that in a bad way. We’re used to the symbols they put up on the battle screens, the ships taking off, the launching of another giant pill, the pilot status screen which go red when a pilot buys it, and the course changes and catastrophic damage it causes (not so bad this time; I think everyone is more prepared). But this episode it’s all done on a much larger scale. The gauna they’re attacking is eight times the size of Sidonia, and it’s more of a massive hive than one particular beastie. So instead of one gauna firing organic higgs cannons, we have hundreds. Instead of one-on-one combat, the pilots work more like bombers in waves. And instead of a few deaths, we get over half of the fleet, and we’re not done yet. It’s really too much to show.
Not that the series doesn’t try, and often succeed. The space battle scenes, and there are a lot of them this week, are the best yet, one brilliant, dazzling image after another, while that alien soundtrack (which I now officially love) working harder than ever. The story is well-told and clear. Platoon 2 is carpet-bombing the gauna propulsion area when, maybe one minute later, they’ve all been wiped out. Yuhata has to come up with counter-plans and balance the safety of the pilots with Sidonia, and she’s still quite young to be carrying this level of responsibility. Meanwhile the pilots weave and zoom and grunt and gasp within their own frames. The show is good at this, balancing the fighting with the strategizing, and it leads to, I hope, more of the same for the finale.
Mahouka 12 gets no better. It promises to when someone sabotages Mari’s surfing race, causing an opponent to lose control and then Mari when she tries to help, knocking both out of the competition. An interesting mystery that Tatsuya (after diagnosing Mari’s injuries and telling the paramedics what to do) solves, without the help of the people running the competition, except for how they did they did it in the first place, and who they are. Still, a promising start, and we all waited to see where the next trouble would appear, only it doesn’t. Tatsuya goes back to being engineer guy, designing a weapon for Shizuku’s skeet-shooting competition that, long-winded explanation apart, basically destroys everything in the field. She doesn’t even have to aim. And Miyuki has been tagged as Mari’s replacement in Battle-board. And that’s it, apart from more shots of people talking about Tatsuya.
Mekaku City Actors 11 moves stories and times around so much that I don’t really know what is happening now. First we get some more background on the whole snake business, with some talk with Ayano and Kano and then Ayano, the snake, and Kano who comes in after it’s too late. Happily, the snake, inhabiting the dad’s body, is more than happy to tell things straight. He’s trying to get all the other snakes back, meaning the kids’ powers, in order to save their mother, even though that would be the end of the kids. What the snake’s motive is for this is not explained, nor is the question of how Ayano’s jumping off the ledge and dying going to keep a snake from showing up, since she didn’t have one.
That’s all flashback, and so are subsequent scenes where Kido reluctantly becomes the leader at the gang, with Seto’s blessing, but then suddenly we’re back to a future where Momo, Kido, and Hibiya the kid are dragged away by strange people (actually this happened earlier) and imprisoned. Probably at the snake/dad’s direction, since around that time (in the show–god only knows what the chronological take is) he and Kano are looking at two of the others, I think, in a vat. But Momo and Hibiya are there, right? So when Momo does an idol number to attract rescue, Takane is one of the rescuers … At which point my brain blew up. Oh, and Shintarou remembers something and meets Ayano in some dream-classroom, but in this series that feels pretty normal.
In Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara 12 we start with Souta, wearing a cape and visor, squaring off against the bad guys who are invading all the virtual worlds, including the one with Souta’s harem. A dark, threatening battle commences, and then the credits with those bright flags and the boop-boop-be-doop song starts, as far removed from the situation as one can get. This contrast, later returning when we switch from battles to the girls doing girly things, back and forth, was actually sort of effective, about the only thing in the show that is. We get a massive infodump right in the middle when Nanami regains her memories. How the other girls do isn’t really explained. I’m also not sure why Number Zero didn’t send all of them off to fight in the first place. The girls were willing if Souta was. Number zero is on the good side, right? Oh, well, who knows, or cares? Well, there was a nice emotional rush when the girls came to the battlefield, and only one episode left …
Oh, I’m dropping Captain Earth. I have no desire to watch another season of this, since the thought of viewing and writing about it now comes as an afterthought after the other weekend shows.