Are you guys ready for the big plot twist (not really)? Brace yourselves.
Seriously though, what difference does it really make? Not much of one, I can assure you. Oh sure, this latest development gives Hina a reason to now doubt both herself and the life she’s been living. After all, we learn from a flashback that she enlisted in the Zogilia army in order to protect both her homeland and its people. But what if she’s not really a Zogilian after all?! What if she’s an orphan because of Zogilia’s actions? So anyway, amidst all the chaos, she runs into Aoba and they proceed to sit down in a hallway to have a conversation. Lemme remind you that there are battles raging on all around them. In case you haven’t been following the show, or have just plum forgotten all about last week’s episode, Zogilia is infiltrating the Alliance base in order to steal both Luxon and Braydon. So yeah, despite this, our couple decides to take a seat in a hallway, and have a heart-to-heart about our heroine’s sudden bout of existential crisis. I’m surprised they didn’t break out a picnic basket.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning Hina’s existential crisis here (like I did with Ryuuko’s in Kill la Kill), but I just can’t help but laugh at how those two are now casually chilling, having a nice, pleasant conversation in the middle of a serious conflict. In any case, Hina starts to wonder if she’s truly the Hina that Aoba’s been repeatedly referring to. Honestly, I don’t know why she would think that. She has memories of being a little girl in her (foster) father’s care, right? She has memories of attending a Zogilian military academy, right? So why would she suddenly think she’s the same Hina as the one that Aoba’s been referring to, i.e. the Hina he went to high school with. Ah well, the girl’s distraught! After all, her father just died (yeah, we pretty much all saw that coming from a billion miles away)! I should give her a break! And I will; her character hasn’t actually been all that grating in this show. She’s not particularly well-developed, but she hasn’t done anything offensively stupid… yet.
Once again, it’s Aoba who really ups the ante when it comes to displaying true cluelessness. He just outright tells Hina that she should come on over to his side, i.e. desert the Zogilian army and defect to the Alliance. H-hey, the good ol’ folks on the Cygnus took Aoba in without a question (shh, they would’ve kill him but they saw how valuable he’d be as Dio’s Coupling partner… just don’t tell him that), so I’m sure they’d take Hina in too! Even though, y’know, Hina’s been a Zogilian soldier for how many years now? Even though Alliance higher-ups would love to interrogate (read: torture) Hina for everything that she knows about Zogilia and their military secrets. Even though–… oh who am I kidding! This is an anime! So of course the good guys would understand. And the good guys would never do anything immoral either!
It’s just too bad Bizon has to show up just in time to spoil the fun. To make matters worse, something snaps in our dear Bizon when he lays his eyes on Aoba. It’s like he just knew Aoba was going to netorare his girl one day. Seriously though, you never go full yandere. Naturally, Aoba’s friends show up just in time too (everyone’s always on time in an anime) to save our dense hero from the yandere Zogilian soldier, but conveniently enough, our crackshot Dio manages to only shoot Bizon’s gun away and not the actual guy himself. As a result, Bizon was able to abscond with Hina, which allows them both to pilot the Luxon and Braydon back to the Vajra, the main Zogilian ship. To be honest, I don’t know how much longer I can endure this tension between Hina and Bizon. We know their relationship’s going to end in tragedy. I just wish the penny would drop already in this timeline; I don’t want to watch the guy agonize for episodes after episodes over Hina’s latest actions.
Elsewhere, Gengo correctly deduces that the smart thing to do here would be to shoot down the Coupling mechas. Hey, keeping them out of the enemy’s hands is better than nothing, right? Considering how the good guys have been winning every fight lately — and with great ease too — there’s no way you’d want the enemy to copy your technology. But of course, Aoba will have none of this. After all, Hina’s piloting one of the Coupling mechas. If you shoot them both down, Hina will die! Hey, I understand Gengo’s position, but I understand Aoba’s desire to spare Hina’s life too. What I don’t understand, however, is why Gengo didn’t just order his people to shoot the Coupling mechas down anyway. Oh, our newest recruit doesn’t want me to? I GUESS I BETTER LISTEN TO THE RESERVE SECOND LIEUTENANT THEN. Seriously, I don’t think we even hear from the guy again for the rest of the episode. Some commander he is!
Since Dio’s now all deredere for Aoba, he agrees not to shoot down the Coupling mechas as long as the two of them can just get the mechas back. Our heroes thus hop into some old-type mechas that had just been sitting around in order to chase after the Luxon and Braydon. Yadda yadda yadda, their attempt to Couple in these old mechas results in some gnarly side effects, yadda yadda yadda, the Alliance finally suffers a huge and perhaps embarrassing defeat for once. After all the ridiculous propaganda efforts from the previous episodes, how can this latest setback be anything but a major P.R. disaster for the good guys? But let’s be honest, none of this truly matters in the grand scheme of things. It appears as though the latest Coupling attempt, i.e. the one with all the gnarly side effects, not only merged our heroes’ thoughts, but their memories as well. As such, I guess Dio will now believe Aoba’s crazy story about how he’s a time traveler from the distant past. As for the Luxon and Braydon, I’m sure our heroes can dig up some new and thus fancier mechas for future battles. Hey, that’s just standard practice for a mecha anime, after all.