“Father and Child” 「父と子」
We take a slight break from all the action as everyone regroups after Dr. Fermi’s death but really, it feels more like the calm before the final arc’s storm.
Dio, Aoba and Mayuka are granted permission to disembark. Armed with shopping lists from the other not-as-lucky crew members, they venture into town in a rather cool self-driving car (we’re getting there, not too long in the distance now). It’s worth pointing out how Aoba’s your stereotypical shounen anime main character who friendzones girls. He compliments Nasu on her clothes and doesn’t mind her being late, clearly mixed signals for dear Mayuka who’s got an obvious crush on him.
Nice guy Aoba is also a huge busybody, offering to talk to Dio’s father on Dio’s behalf. He seems rather mature for a highschooler although this may be because going through the time slip meant he’s “lost” his family and that’s made him appreciate the new people who’ve come to look out and care for him in the Alliance. That’s our flag for your typical mecha’s main protagonist’s sped-up-coming-of-age phase though Aoba seems a tad too detached for it to be obvious. Perhaps he’s holding it all in and pretending to be happy-go-lucky? He himself had a short relationship with his firefighter father and in the flashback, we saw how he came to the conclusion that he had to protect his family. Failing to do so, is he projecting this onto Dio, who still has a chance to? As things stand, he himself doesn’t know if he wants to go back to his own time period or if it’s ok to stay on here.
Fiona reminds me of Nunnally (Code Geass, also by Sunrise) because they’re both younger sisters confined to wheelchairs and with older brothers who feel responsible for putting them there (you see where the similarities are don’t you). She’s unfortunately caught in the middle of the tough love relationship between her father and Dio, which is Dio’s weak spot that Aoba picks on. Thanks to that, Dio uncharacteristically confronts his father instead of running away as usual. Maybe it’s the influence of coupling with Aoba or just Aoba’s influence on him in general – even Dio’s father noticed the change. It’s nice to see Dio stand up for his choice of continuing to couple with Aoba (oh such
spousal faithfulness) and stand up for Aoba too. It may be a trope but I quite like seeing Dio and Aoba bicker with each other, it doesn’t get old.
Over in the Zogilia camp, Hina’s dad has boarded the Vajra. Commander Ryazan is a famous military commander and highly respected among his men. Hina’s equally famous for being his daughter while growing up in the army so it’s only natural all the men look upon her as daddy’s little girl in spite of her holding her own as Second Lieutenant – her father even went as far as to joke that someone place a teddy bear in the cockpit together with her. It’s interesting how Hina’s the only girl in the entire Vajra crew (apart from Commander O’Keefe) because Sunrise usually has 2 female leads to complicate things with the 2 male leads. Maybe BC’s going for the straight-forward plot instead with Aoba and Bizon being her only 2 love interests.
Speaking of Bizon, we know now how he’s come to look upon Hina so fondly. They grew up together ever since Hina moved in next door and judging by the looks of 10-year old Bizon, it was love at first sight. But like he asked, where did Ryazan and Hina live before then? Here and there? I spy a little spy action going on here – maybe Ryazan’s actually from the Alliance and is on a long-term infiltration assignment in Zogilia. Or maybe I’m just getting my hopes up for a more complicated plot.
A new Zogilia operation (Alfried must really really want the Valiancer machines to just keep trying like this) is brewing as in the final scenes we see Ryazan’s men (Hina and Bizon included) land near Hawaii Base Warehouse 07, wearing Alliance uniforms. We’re likely reaching the cross point of how Hina ends up being acquainted with Dio as we enter the final arc of the first cour of Buddy Complex. Fingers crossed for more action next episode and a pick up in pace. As a sidenote, Kato Tatsuya’s soundtrack is really growing on me as we’ve had some beautifully emotive tracks this episode; looking forward to the OST.