Hina’s actually slowly turning into a disappointment, for herself, for Zoglia and for viewers like me.Commander Rayzen leads his team into ambushing the Alliance’s Hawaii base using clever distraction tactics no doubt thought up by Alfried. Their mission was to capture the 2 buddy system Valiancers Luxon and Braydon which they did, but not without casualty. New characters don’t seem to last beyond 2 episodes in BC (Chief Dolzief, Dr. Fermi) but before Rayzen goes, he delivers a blow to Hina that has her all too immediately entering an identity crisis.
So it turns out that Hina is a war orphan Rayzen picked up in Zagreb (which is the capital of Croatia so how did a Japanese end up there?) and took in as his own. That explains why in the previous episode, he looked like a single father and was “here and there” before they moved in next to Bizon. It’s not as meaty a story as what I cooked up (that Rayzen is an Alliance spy) but it does get the narrative moving. With his dying breath, Rayzen conveys this truth to Hina who naturally did not take it well. I’m sure such information is overwhelming for anyone but if you’re in the middle of a military operation where the enemy is attacking and you’re a trained soldier, I’d expect you to put aside your feelings and ensure your own safety and the success of the operation first and foremost. Instead, Hina slips into ‘who am I?’ mode and even contemplates joining Aoba with the Cygnus crew. They even had time to sit and catch up over it! How? There’s a security breach and everyone’s shooting at each other!
I had much expectations for Hina. Back in episodes 1 – 2, she was the cool, calm and composed strong female lead Sunrise provides for in their mecha productions but just as those female characters before her (darn you Sunrise), with this incident, Hina has let her feelings get the better of her, become weak and easily led on. So what if Rayzen’s not her real father? He brought her up as though she was his own! So what if she’s not really Zogilian? She grew up and trained with the Zogilian army! Like Bizon said, they’ve fought together countless times and that must stand for something surely right? No, to get the plot moving on, Hina just has to enter a semi-breakdown. This is so exasperating!
Hina’s not the only one becoming emotional. Upon hearing of Rayzen’s demise, Bizon ignored seeing the operation through to go look for Hina. He really lost his cool seeing Hina cover Aoba, contemplating the possibility that she has really betrayed him and Zogilia as well as diverged from returning to Vajra with the Valiancer, choosing to confront Aoba in mid-air combat. This is not the behaviour of a military man. It’s something you’d expect from a civilian like Aoba.
Like Dio’s father said in the previous episode, Aoba is not a soldier, he’s a civilian. He doesn’t know how to shoot to save himself and even refers to himself as a high school student when Dio passed him a machine gun and told him he has to watch his own back. Odd how Aoba has no qualms shooting people down in Luxon but when given a gun, is surprised and maybe mortified at the thought that he has to shoot and kill someone. Thankfully Dio comes to his rescue from Bizon, otherwise Dio would really be stuck with no other pilot to couple with, just as his father warned him so.
Aoba’s naivety is typical Sunrise though so although I’m not happy with the way he thinks, I can see how this is just the way Sunrise operates. How can he be so sure that the Cygnus crew will welcome Hina with open arms? She’s still and has been for a while now, a Zogilia soldier! His naivety is such that he even interferes with the Commander’s decision to shoot Luxon and Braydon down instead of letting them fall into enemy hands. And his naivety (his stupidity is contagious, according to Dio while warning Fiona to stay away from Aoba) is even rubbing off on Dio, who agrees to using the dangerous coupling system on the first generation Valiancers in an attempt to get Luxon and Braydon back. The only thing that came out of using those first-gen machines was Aoba and Dio both got to look into the other’s memories. Will this mean they come to understand each other better (i.e. Aoba’s obsession with helping Hina, the enemy) and have even better coupling synchronisation levels? They’ll have to test it on the first-gen models since both Valiancers were successfully taken by Zogilia. At least sinister Dr. Hahn will be happy.