Of course you knew there had to be a crisis-bomb dropped at the end of Shirobako 22. Everything that came earlier was smooth and serene. Aoi gets Segawa back in the fold, Ema gets a sort-of promotion (more work and risk), and even Tarou seems to be getting his work done these days. That leaves plenty of time for dialogues on every subject, from key frames with CGI animations (interesting) to Nick Cage, involving just about everyone.
As a new, uncertain assistant supervising animator, Ema gets a few pep talks, one from Aoi, one from Yumi, and one from Shigeru, mostly about how she can do it, she should seize the opportunity, and things work a little different from her new perspective. Meanwhile, other staff are chatting while eating, or, in Tarou and Hiraoka’s case, drinking. I’m not displeased that Tarou might eventually pull Hiraoka out of his bitter mood; it’s a good thing for both of them. If Tarou can feed him some of his own enthusiasm, all the better. Yes, lots of nice little talks this week, setting up the busy final arc, which you knew was coming.
Meanwhile, in Aldnoah Zero 22, things take a turn for the bizarre.
At first I thought that Inaho’s malfunction was a bit of program snuck in there to override whatever actions he might choose when he met Asseylum. Afraid that he might spare her life, I fully expected his arm to rise involuntarily and shoot her, but instead we get computerese talk about her being part of him, i.e., the program was confessing his love for her. I suppose this was supposed to be a sweet, romantic scene, but I was still getting over the software speaking for him at all, not to mention all the people going around shooting each other, to get into a romantic mood.
It’s difficult to read the battle right now, but I think Vers is winning. They’ve got Barouhcruz slicing up good guys in space, Slaine is also in his big machine, etc. But there are too many cards to be played yet. Klancain is loyal to Asseylum and if she says “I want to communicate with the other side via this airlock,” he will probably bow and then help her out. Inaho is still lying there, at the mercy of whichever side finds him first, unless the software lets go and he gets his consciousness back. He’d better. He’s probably got another showdown with Slaine to get to. As for their first one, I’m a little surprised that Slaine told him flat-out what his intentions are toward Asseylum, though it made for a good conversation between the bullets. But it kind of shot the love triangle all to hell. Well, I guess the show had done that already. A pity. Slaine and Asseylum’s conflicting loyalties had given the show some depth.