Some finish this turned out to be.
Episode summary: Through a speech, Kal somehow convinces an entire country to go to war in order to save a single girl.
• According to Ari’s father, the government “sent all those people to Isla to get rid of them.” Well, we knew that the new government had convinced Kal to join the Isla Project by informing him all about how Nina Viento would be serving as Isla’s governor. In one move, the new government would get rid of both the former prince of the Balsteros Empire and a revolutionary figure who, at the time, had lost all of her powers. But now it comes out that the rest of Isla’s population was full of (most likely) political exiles. Y’know what? This then renders the idea that these folks were on some grand exploration mission even more ridiculous. I’m sure most of them didn’t sign up for it at all. I’m betting they had no choice. In other words, the refusal by Isla’s leaders to turn back after so many grim setbacks is even more damning than before. ‘Cause c’mon, we didn’t exactly learn a damn thing from reaching the End of the Sky. You can talk up the journey all you want, but our heroes didn’t gain shit from the trip. Some of them ended up losing their lives instead. And those that survived managed to find a barrier that disintegrated anything that came into contact with it. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.
• This… this is what we learned:
Sure hope the lives of innocent kids and trainees were worth it. Look, let’s say in the future, hyperspeed travel becomes a distinct possibility for the human race. As a result, some future organization wants to put together a crack team of scientists and explorers to see what lies beyond our Solar System. Y’know, let’s go search the galaxy for intelligent life, strange phenomena that we can’t see from our planet, inhabitable planets to colonize, etc. I have no problems with this. In fact, I would love to see the results of their findings. But y’know what, I highly doubt said exploration team would go, “Hey guys, we should totally bring little children with us. Oh yeah, don’t forget to bring an entire high school class with us just in case we run into some evil aliens. We can just sacrifice the kids to the aliens instead of dying ourselves!” And this is really the crux of my issue here with Isla. If the leaders of Isla were so desperate to learn how their world worked and what it looked like, then go right ahead! I just fail to understand where young children and high schoolers fit into this picture. And no amount of “They knew what they were getting into” apologia will convince me otherwise, because kids aren’t in the position to consent to this sort of thing. All they can do is trust the adults… the same adults that sent them to their deaths. If you know it’s going to be such a dangerous fucking mission to begin with, wouldn’t you want to bring only the best of the best, i.e. not liabilities like children?
• Apparently, Leopold used to be a part of the former Imperial army of the Balsteros Empire, which would explain his presence on this trip. Remember, they’re all people that the new government wanted to get rid of. De Alarcon apparently knew Kal’s true identity all along though. He must’ve known, therefore, that Claire would be attending the same class as the former deposed prince. I guess he just felt Claire would be safe enough with Ignacio around in case Kal ever found out about Claire’s alter ego and wanted to take revenge. Still, that seems a little risky to me.
• De Alarcon has to tell people that the legendary Sky Clan is actually a real thing. So again, the Isla Project had no clue what they were going to run into, but in the end, its leaders steadfastly refused to turn back after suffering great losses. Mm-hmm. Oh yeah, he also tells them that Isla is no more, because they had to ram it into the End of the Sky for some reason. ‘Cause y’know, that was a good use of resources… FOR SCIENCE!
• For some reason, Kal feels the need to reveal his true identity to the entire crowd that has gathered to celebrate Isla’s homecoming. He’s trying to teach everyone all about how he’s learned to forgive and shit, but I’m not sure why this would matter one bit to the people of the Balsteros Republic. Sure, they have decide whether or not they want to save the girl, but why would this decision hinge on the sole fact that a former prince of an apparently corrupt empire has learned his precious lesson? Like who cares?
• He then tells the entire crowd that he loves Nina Viento, and somehow the crowd actually cheers. Again, why does anyone give a shit? Oh, you love the priestess? Welp, you’ve won me over! Your ability to forgive and love her has totally convinced me that we should potentially go to war with this mysterious Sky Clan over a single girl.
• De Alarcon calls it a historical romance. What a joke. But apparently, he and his buddies now want to use this opportunity to win the crowd over so that they can overthrow the revolutionary government.
Considering how Kal is still rather young, the previous revolution must still be fresh in a lot of people’s minds. And now they want to go through yet another one? Jesus Christ. And after seeing Isla’s leaders in action, I’m not so sure it would be a good thing to overthrow the revolutionary government.
• Bandereas calls Sonia a gorilla-woman. Are there even gorillas in this universe?
Still, I’m glad to see that even the finale episode isn’t spared the horrible animation that has been plaguing the anime recently. Usually, you skimp on the budget during the middle of the season, but it truly takes a visionary to make the finale episode look like shit too.
• Shizuka sneaks off for some mysterious reason: “Contact the mother country. If there’s a new Isla Plan, we’ll have to intervene.” Too bad this is the last episode so we won’t ever find out what she’s up to!
• By the way, we’re 13 minutes into the episode, and the mission to save Claire still hasn’t gotten under way yet.
• I love how carefree they are about this: “You’re starting a fight that involves the whole world, all to save the woman you love, huh?”
• 15 minutes into the episode and we’re still laughing, drinking, eating, and being merry. Aaaaand now Ari’s creepily staring at her brother as he’s sleeping.
• Now they’re talking about a prototype fighter. Yawn.
• 17 minutes in, Kal’s still busy saying his goodbyes. Ari then socks him in the stomach. Why? Probably because she secretly likes him or some dumb bullshit, and this is her way of distancing her feelings from him.
• Yep, she loved him too:
The signs were there all along, and I even tried to ignore it in previous posts: “I’m just going to ignore any potential implications in Ari’s sudden outburst of ‘Baka!'” But no such luck. It wouldn’t be anime without at least one sibling falling in love with another sibling.
• 19 minutes into the episode, we see Chiharu paying Mitsuo’s parents a visit. I’m beginning to think we won’t see Kal rescue Claire whatsoever.
• 20 minutes into the episode, we see Sharon and Benjamin walking down a street. Just four minutes left. But please, take your time wrapping up all these loose ends for characters that were poorly developed all season long.
• Finally, at the 21-minute mark, we see a fleet of ships and fighters open fire on a Sky Clan fortress. They literally went to war to get a single girl back. Wow.
• And that’s it. We don’t even get to see Kal succeed in rescuing his girl. Apparently, that’s not a part of a pilot’s love story. Instead, we see him shoot down some infamous fighter, proceed to have a talk with Claire through the wind somehow (magic!), and then finally, fly off into the deep blue sky swearing that he’ll rescue her some day. That’s great. That’s just fucking great. Claire ends up having less than a minute of spoken dialogue in the last episode of the series. You can’t even be sure that she’s actually talking to him through the wind somehow. I mean, sure, that would be the most charitable interpretation of the scene, but you could also imagine that Kal had taken a bullet to the brain during that dogfight, so he’s hallucinating everything. In actuality, his fighter is plummeting out of the sky and into briny depths below. Ah, one can dream… But hey, he got to look cool in a dogfight at least, and that’s all the closure we need! What a fucking ending.
That ending was so nonsensical that I don’t even know where to start. In fact, I don’t want to. I’m just going to forget I ever watched this terrible show.