On the Windy Planet 「風の星で」
Just when it seemed like the action was going to be grounded for quite a few more episodes, we finally make a return to a glorious space fight and with the by-now-familiar-but-still-doesn’t-get-old Tenkaido expansion sequence to boot for Teppei’s new machine.
In the first half of this episode, it seemed like things will be as per usual with the formula of new kiltgang member who can’t remember being a designer’s child even though they have that underlying consciousness that they’re meant for bigger things, kiltgang member Moco or Amara comes to “awaken” them with a kiss, sparking their regained interest in getting their libido (on) through launching into space via their machine goodfellow (since Moco and Amara have busted theirs), Captain Daichi thwart their efforts and saves yet another day. Thankfully, this episode was more than that. We got new kiltgang member Rin/Rieban (Han Megumi) who is introduced as a motorcycle racing chick with a serious need for speed. Then the usual encounter with Moco and Amara – so far we’ve had kisses between girl-boy, girl-girl, now boy-girl… wonder what the next 2 combinations would be? ^_- But what happens next is an underwater battle with Captain Daichi instead of Shinjuku/Akiba/Tokyo urban area! And then he loses! Yay to twists after 2 seemingly similarly formulaic episodes!
Truth be told, I missed all that space action. The grounded “ordinary” expansion sequence from a train carriage just does not scream EXCITE in the way the Tenkaido expansion sequence does. So it’s really great to see Rieban take one for the kiltgang (and the viewers) by moving the action back to space. It’s even more a treat to see Teppei get in on the action sequence instead of having Daichi hog the limelight. We again touch on Teppei’s guilt in not following/protecting his shipped-one, Akari, as well as navigate the boy’s semi-inferiority complex as he still feels like he’s the only one not contributing (considering how even a squirrel was helping the team, I can see how Teppei feels so down…). So it’s terrific to see him take control for once and actively
go against orders pursue Rieban (with Captain’s blessings of course) and show that he is truly part of the team, contributing to THIS team and shaking off his previous kiltgang affiliation. Speaking of teamwork, it’s refreshing to see how Captain doesn’t let his failure to capture Reiban get to him but instead passes it onto his team mate Teppei (scriptwriter and series composition Enokido Yoji does well to repeat the theme of teamwork here from episode 7). Most anime will spend around 30s on the main male lead struggling with his failure.
I’m quite liking the current pace and balance of the show – we get a good mix of action and character development and it’s mostly seamless in that you don’t quite notice it at once. The young team’s getting along well and the couples shipped are becoming more obvious (not as though it wasn’t intended to from the very beginning). It was kinda surprising how Daichi was able to pick up on Rin being a kiltgang though – how did he know? Also, when did he pick up hand-to-hand combat skills? As for the rest of the supporting characters, it’s good to see they take after Nishikubo and ignore hierarchy and red-tape of bureaucracy. Every one does what they want – science section chief Westvillage, Teppei and Akari.
The quality of the action sequence is still top-notch (as is the music increasingly deliciously beautiful). There was a jedi moment of Teppei “feeling” the orgone energy since it’s too fast to be sighted. Overall though, that was a good battle with Rieban, one that’s not often seen adapted for space fights – it looked more like a jutsu in Naruto right? What’s clear now is that Teppei’s got a long range orgone-energy-firing cannon/weapon and I am patiently waiting for it to be used in action with the rest of the Midsummer Knights. Side point – he remembers the other designer children and recognised Rieban though it’s not reciprocated – wonder if he remembers the Kanda incident.
We’ve got more characters as the plot thickens. Who is Marimura Mao-sensei (Kobayashi Sanae) and what’s her dream “install” machine all about? No doubt we’ll see it’s use in future – replacing the Machine Goodfellows? Is she an antagonist from the Macbeth Industries? Who is Setsuna and her squirrel? The kiltgang’s answer to Pitz and Hana? 2 more kiltgang members to go and then perhaps it’ll be all systems green for an all out battle!