Yeah, I guess that’s it.
Episode summary: Bizon and the mind-controlled Hina show up to the battlefield and begin to wreck faces. Luckily, Aoba and Dio show up just in time with the new-type mechas in order to save the day. Just, uh, don’t ask how they managed to retrieve said new-type mechas. Aoba’s soothing voice then snaps Hina out of her mind-controlled funk, and the two of them proceed to Couple with each other. When the Gorgon Cannon fires a second time, the shot goes right at our two love birds, but… uh, I guess the power of their super Coupling protected them from the blast? What ends up happening instead is that a “Time Tunnel” appears. Bizon gets sucked into it, and Hina decides to go after him, thereby trapping herself in a dreaded time loop. Aoba is determined not this let this happen again, however, so he and Dio manage to pull Hina back from the Time Tunnel. At the same time, it looked as though Aoba had killed Bizon, but apparently not as you can see from the screenshot above. And yeah, that’s it.
• The Alliance will throw everything they’ve got at the cannon to prevent it from firing off a second shot. As a result, our two heroes will just have to pilot those old-type mechas. Oh darn! Elvira tells our heroes, “However, you guys are not allowed to use these mecha’s Coupling System.”
• Good lord: “A single shot consumes a year’s worth of Zogilia’s Nectoribium mining.” Don’t you think it’s a bit weak then with such an exorbitant cost factored in? A year, man. You should be able to blow up a small continent with such a high price tag. Plus, you’d think a gun that could use up this much resources in one-go would have a little more red tape surrounding its usage.
• Who else felt a little awkward when Bizon screamed out Hina’s name shortly after their forced Coupling? Yeah…
• So uh… where are our two heroes?
• I feel like the Alliance leaders should have planned for all possible contigencies a little better. Sure, you could be reasonably skeptical that Zogilia would’ve found a pair of Coupling pilots in such a short period of time, but shouldn’t you always prepare for the worst case scenario regardless of the odds? I think better leaders wouldn’t have been too surprised to see the enemy employ Coupling mechas on the battlefield considering how their technology had just been stolen.
• So lemme get this straight: Dio and Aoba hopped into the old-type mechas just to disappear for some unspecified amount of time only to return with the new-type mechas? Really? And we didn’t get to see how they managed to accomplish this in the midst of a battle? The new-types didn’t even get good names. They’re just called the Luxon Next and Bradyon Next respectively. Yawn.
• And even in the very last episode, we get the following exchange:
Aoba: “Let’s do this, Dio!”
Dio: “Don’t order me around!”
Dio, please. Aoba didn’t shout a command; those were words of encouragement. You really need to get the stick out of your ass.
• The camera uncomfortably lingers on the new-types as they pose proudly for the camera:
• Alfried goes, “So that’s a battle between Coupling mechas, huh?” I dunno man, it doesn’t it look all that exciting:
Oh boy, colors!
• Aoba opens up a communication channel with Hina and tries to “un-brainwash” her, if that makes sense. There’s only one small problem: they’ve never really established much of a connection during the course of the series. They fought a few times on the battlefield, they then shared a night on some tropical island, and finally, they had a small talk a couple of episodes ago. Usually, when a character tries to reach a brainwashed character in a story, the characters will have strong emotional ties to each other. I just don’t see it here. Considering how Hina’s lost all her memories, Aoba is essentially starting his relationship with her from zero. And when I think about what they’ve been through, I can’t say he should be close enough to her for this scene to really work. But nevertheless, Aoba’s voice reaches Hina and she snaps out of her funk. Speaking of which, what was Hahn doing during this entire exchange? Did he not consider trying to cut off Aoba’s communication channel, or is that somehow not possible from his end even though he can initiate a forced Coupling remotely?
• The big fuck-off cannon’s about to fire for a second time. That’s two years worth of valuable resources for a single battle.
• So Bizon’s desperately trying to force himself upon Hina–… I mean, force Hina to re-Couple with him, so Aoba suggests that he and Hina connect with each other instead. Oh Aoba, do you really have to rub it into our poor yandere guy’s face like that?
• What’s even the point of muting Hina’s voice as she accepts Aoba’s connection? It’s not like we don’t know what she’s saying.
• But y’see, connecting with Aoba is so magical that it makes the red lights on her mecha turn white! Emphater levels are shooting through the roof too! Over 100%! Whatever that means!
…on the bright side, at least she isn’t naked. Normally, that’s a thing in these types of shows.
• The two shining mechas then fly face-to-face, forming a bright, green light in the sky. When the Gorgon Cannon fires its second shot right at our love birds, the resulting collision forms that familiar wormhole from the first episode. Welp…
• Bizon gets sucked in first. Our heroes then stare at the “Time Tunnel” as Bizon swears at Aoba from a distance. So naturally, Hina is concerned that Bizon will go back in time and assassinate Aoba. As a result, she flies right at the Time Tunnel in order to go back in time and prevent Aoba from dying. Aoba realizes, however, that if he doesn’t stop her from doing tis, she’ll just be trapped in the same vicious time loop for eternity. This time, he’s determined to break the cycle for good. This makes me curious though. How many times do you suppose Hina has relived this same timeline over and over?
• Well, that was easy. All Aoba had to do to prevent Bizon from going back in time and killing him was to kill Bizon now. Still, why did the previous Aobas fail to do this? I think the anime hints that previous Dios had prevented previous Aobas from going after Hina. But this then raises even more questions: while this Aoba might’ve succeeded in saving Hina from her temporal prison, what ends up happening to all of the other Aobas that had failed? How many ruined alternate universes have sprung up as a result of all the failed Aobas and what ends up happening in those futures?
• But what’s even more perplexing is how did this time loop thingamjig even managed to start to begin with? How did the original Aoba come to meet Hina, thereby enraging the original yandere, so on and so forth?
• Hina wonders why Aoba would pass up the chance to return to his original time period. The guy goes, “There’ll be other chances. No one knows the future.” Sure, just dig up a year’s worth of resources, stick said resources into a giant gun, and aim the gun at yourself. But don’t forget to Couple with your lover first!
• Then in the ending scene after the credits, some old Zogilian fogey rolls his wheelchair up to a bunch of other Zogilian fogeys. He then swears that he’ll get his revenge on Aoba. Oh poor Bizon. Even when he dies, he doesn’t die. We then get those familiar words: “To be continued…”
So that’s it. Nothing’s really resolved. The world’s still at war and Bizon is still alive. More importantly, will Aoba ever return to his original time period? Obviously, the story’s incomplete, but the ending was nevertheless dissatisfying. It doesn’t really feel as though the story has accomplished much. From the time Aoba traveled through time in the very first episode to how things ended up in the final episode, we’ve gone from Japan… to Hawaii… to Alaska. And that’s it. And not only that, every episode was either another lesson about the Coupling system and its capabilities or a futile “Zogilian attack of the week” affair. Sometimes, Buddy Complex even combined the two. As a result, I feel as though nothing really happened. Sure, Aoba managed to save Hina, but hell, those two didn’t even spend all that much time together. As a result, the ending just wasn’t as cathartic as it should’ve been.
Look, Buddy Complex is hardly the worst anime of the season. In all fairness, it’s just harmlessly mediocre, and I actually don’t think the finale episode was all that bad. I certainly was interested to see how it would all play out even if the episode pretty much went as expected. Basically, I feel the first and last episodes were okay, but a lot of in-between stuff was really inane. For instance, Fromm joins the group then proceeds to do nothing of value for the rest of the series. Oh well. I guess I’ll end the post on this note: I won’t lose any sleep if the sequel never shows up, but I wouldn’t mind blogging it if it does. I just won’t have high hopes for it. So until then…