Guess who’s gone!
Episode summary: The Sky Clan is willing to call for a truce if Isla gives up Nina Viento. Despite Kal’s protestations, however, Claire agrees to sacrifice herself for Isla’s sake. Six months later, Isla reaches the End of the Sky. Everyone evacuates themselves from the island, then proceeds to watch it ram itself into the strange phenomenon, thereby disintegrating into nothing.
• So even though a lot of these students deserted the military in last week’s episode, they’re… back? I thought all of the girls joined Sonia in their walk-out. I mean, couldn’t the anime have gone over their return a tiny bit? For example, is Sonia still a teacher or is she done with the military for good? And if it’s the latter, how does she feel about her former students going back to the same military that was all too willing to sacrifice their young lives?
• Hm, the way Kal speaks of Claire towards the end of the cold opening kinda implies that she’s going to die.
Or at the very least, disappear from the story. That’s not good.
• I wish we had a little more information about either the Sky Clan or the Holy Levamme Empire.
• Apparently, the empress of the Holy Levamme Empire is also a young girl. Despite her age, she’s referred to as “the Holy Mother of the Western Seas.” The commander even emphasizes the fact she and Nina Viento give off similar auras. I wonder if she’s a puppet leader too.
• So the Sky Clan is willing to call for a truce with Isla… in exchange for Nina Viento. Supposedly, their prophecies have foretold the arrival of a messiah who can command the wind. When Kal hears this bit of news, he’s standing on a rooftop as white sheets are rustling in the foreground. This is a common motif in anime. White sheets on a rooftop almost always signify death. Off of the top of my head, you can see the same motif in Mawaru Penguindrum and Kids on the Slope. I guess that’s why Kal refers to Claire as if she’s already gone in the cold opening.
• So even though Claire had just reconciled with her lover Kal in last week’s episode, she’s going to give herself up to the Sky Clan. Anime female protagonists are just too submissive.
They’re always duty-bound, and there’s never a selfish bone in their bodies. It’s infuriating. Yes, Isla is doomed if it continues to battle the Sky Clan, but the island can also just turn around and head back home. I can’t imagine that the End of the Sky is worth all of this. Young lives have been sacrificed for this journey. I’m sure the bombings from the Sky Clan have also taken civilian lives as well. And now, Claire will give up her autonomy (well, whatever tiny bit of it that she has left). C’mon, where do you draw the line? Nothing short of pure enlightenment is worth all of this.
Look, I totally realize that this sort of self-sacrifice morality is pretty much standard for Asian cultures in general. Being an Asian, I’ve lived it, and that’s why I vehemently reject it. And while self-sacrifice for one’s country will typically work out neatly in our stories, we know that a lot of people don’t always have the best intentions in real life, especially if they want you to do all the sacrificing. As a result, I can’t see the good side in Claire’s actions. I just can’t. I think it’s blind devotion, and The Pilot’s Love Song sends a dangerous message. Despite the fact that so many young lives have been lost, there hasn’t been any shred of anger directed towards the leaders of Isla. That’s a little sickening.
• Dude, c’mon:
Ari: “You like Claire? As a girl?”
Kal: “Wh-What are you saying all [of] the sudden?”
If you’re willing to hop into a plane and kill people, you can admit that you’re in love. It’s not like you’re even talking to a stranger. It’s your sister, and you’re a little schoolboy anymore. Quit being a dork.
• I’m just going to ignore any potential implications in Ari’s sudden outburst of “Baka!”
• Give it up, Kal. Claire won’t change her mind. She’s an idealized Japanese maiden in a Japanese fiction. As such, it’s her duty to reinforced the message that one must always be ready to drop trou for one’s nation. So c’mon girls, become mothers and pump out those babies for Japan!
• Kal promises that he’ll reach the End of the Sky, then come back for Claire. What is he going to do? Infiltrate the Sky Clan by himself and extract Claire from whatever stronghold she’s locked in? And he’ll do this all by his lonesome? Yeah, yeah, the power of love will triumph over all. Kal will come back for Claire, and he’ll probably even succeed in saving her. The two of them will thus live happily ever after, blah blah blah. The anime wants to be hopeful — that in self-sacrifice, everything will work itself out in the end — but this doesn’t make Claire’s sacrifice any less naive in my mind.
• Oh, Ignacio’s going with Claire so it’s going to be okay, guys!
• Ignacio’s beef with Kal resolves itself a little too neatly in my opinion. All this buildup about how he hates the royal family, i.e. decades of pent-up anger and resentment, and it’s just gone in an instant because the anime wants to put a pretty, little bow on everything.
• So… this is the End of the Sky. Now what? What have we gained from this trip? Have we attained forbidden knowledge? Immeasurable wealth? Pure enlightenment? Instead…
…Isla crashes itself into the End of the Sky and crumbles into dust (maybe not even dust). Don’t worry, everyone’s been evacuated to a Holy Levamme ship, but holy shit, none of this helps to dispel the idea that this pilgrimage has been completely fucking pointless.
• In any case, the previews for the finale episode has Ignacio telling us that Kal will live up to his promise to Claire. Meh.