First of, the Sakura Empire is beautiful! The calming music in the background, the cascading sakura tree pedals falling to the ground, and the Japanese inspired architecture really was amazing. Though the Sakura is the enemy of Azur Lane, I just can’t help but be amazed at the beautiful scenery the makes up the Sakura Empire. But in that beauty lies an ugly and disgusting secret. The Sakura Empire is working with the Sirens.
A reveal that stuns but confuses the audience at the same time is that the Sakura Empire is working with a Siren. Not too sure if this Siren has its own motive for helping them, besides getting power, or is it the motive of every Siren. The Sirens are still the enemy of the Sakura Empire and the Ironblood factions, so its curious why they are working with a Siren or if its the Sakura Empire working with the Siren behind the Ironblood factions back.
One member of the Sakura Empire was given development treatment in this episode, Ayanami. We see that she is torn between two worlds where she has people that she sees as very dear to her. Her bond with the Sakura Empire grows a bit stronger, but the thought of the girls that she met and grew fond of are still every present in the back of her mind. This side plot character development conflict seems to establish a friendly bond to two enemy factions that we, the audience, grow curious to see if that bond will take form or be severed.
A healthy mix between serious plot driven story and comedic plot devices balance this episode out. Though their wasn’t a huge battle scene, this episode really drove it deep with the plot reveals and character interactions. What I though was even more impressive is that this show that has fan-service and will show it, this episode did not rely on fan-service to make it entertaining. This episode remained enthralling with its story and not its fan-service.
Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle
It seems that they insert amazing plot twists or more mystery about ARKS, but unfortunately it hardly appears again. More and more mystery’s are presented but few are given any progressive responses to help answer them. But I do find interesting is that when new characters are introduced, they do not stay long unless they will serve a purpose later.
For example, Ash and Afin respond to a sudden attack on the planet below and when they get there two ARKS fighters are engaged in battle, one is a veteran and the other is a newbie like them. But suddenly the veteran is killed while he is admiring a rampaging dragon that appears and eats the other Falspawn. The rampaging dragon does not stay long after, have no idea why, maybe he was full or something… I don’t know. But what it does show is that and make you realize is that they are soldiers and soldiers die.
After the battle though, another mystery presents itself to Ash. A staff like weapon that was kept in a nearby cave which earlier Ash had a premonition of its location earlier. As has no idea what it does, but feels that it is tied to Matoi and himself. And when Matoi touches it, it glows conforming that it is tied to them somehow. Again, another mystery with very little answer to Matoi and Ash’s connection.
Though the mystery’s are intriguing, the show seems very slow revealing any of the plot. Feels like the show is dragging its viewers with them and constantly teasing the audience. Hopefully more of Ash and Matoi’s connection is revealed, Ash’s past is revealed, and the mystery of what the ARKS superiors are hiding is revealed.
No Guns Life
One of the things that I enjoy about this anime is that it has a dark premise to it, but also tries to liven it up with comedic interactions with Juzo, Mary, and Tetsuro. The background Tetsuro comes from is that of a child slave acting as a tool for the Beruhren Corp. But like Tetsuro, many other children are treated as mere tools by Beruhren just like the two girls that Tetsuro meets in the previous episode.
Realizing that the girls come from a similar background as him, Tetsuro tries to convince them that they are more than just mere tools and should not be slaves to Beruhren any longer. The girls, Anne and Ende, tell Tetsuro that they have no choice and perhaps living as a tool, having a purpose, may be than having free will in a world where your free will is always trying to be taken away.
The lackeys that are controlling the girls decide that they are of no use to them anymore and tries to dispose of them by having Ende injected with a drug that makes her lose her control over her Extended parts and attacks Anne and Tetsuro, who is controlling Juzo’s body.
The episode did really well introducing new characters and displaying what drives them and what struggles they deal with. It’s not overdone in several episodes but also not quickly done in one episode. I do hope that this is not the last time we see Anne and Ende.
Along with the girls and their struggles, Tetsuro and Juzo go through their own. After the battle, Juzo made Tetsuro realize that the way he uses Harmony is the same way Beruhren is treating the other children, like tools. Seems like Tetsuro may not use Harmony much in future episodes, or at least think about how he uses it to take over other Extends bodies.
Though the show revolves around Juzo protecting Tetsuro from Beruhren, it also seems to show Juzo acting as Tetsuro’s older brother and mentor. It will be interesting to see how their relationship grows as Tetsuro learns from Juzo and as Juzo begins to trust Tetsuro.
Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit
Nijou’s true intentions are subtly explored in a way that reveals a darker personality of his to Nanatsuki. While working with Nanatsuki on a case, Nijou tells Nannasuki that criminals do not have a clear cut appearance or attitude. So in order to discover those criminals ans their true selves, evidence must be gathered to reveal the criminal. Nanatsuki is a man of justice and blinds himself at times, which gets on Nijou’s nerves.
Of course we know that Nijou is trying to find out what happened to his older brother and Ichinose is his prime suspect. Instead of leaving it blank or unexplained, the episode shows exactly why Nijou is not aggressive towards Ichinose and the mystery around his brother’s death. Nijou currently has no evidence to pin on Ichinose, so he will not act brash and criminalize Ichinose.
Again, the criminal in this episode reveals that he has some tie to Nine, at least his ideology. Nijou, though, uses a reliable informant that shows him that Nine is about to make their big move. Seems like Nine is going to come out from the shadows and step in the spotlight to show their grand plan: a repeat of the destruction all those years ago.
Though the case did not seem to be the main plot in this episode it still held attention. It seemed like the connection that binds Nijou and Nanatsuki’s past together was the driving force in this episode. Both are unaware of each others connection but I assume that it will be revealed rather soon. It also looks like Special 7 will have their hands full with whatever Nine has in store for them and the entire city.
Thanks for reading.