Lemme do a quick rank before we start. I just get the feeling that, like everything else about this show’s production, Okada just doesn’t give a damn. She’s phoning it in with M3. And I’m not saying she isn’t a hard worker. She’s obviously been very busy over the past few years. There’s no denying either that she’s written some respected stuff. But when you churn out this much material in such a short period of time, the magic slowly fades. There’s no love and care in M3. It just feels like a quick cash grab. When I look at all the ups and downs in Okada’s body of work, I wonder if she’s slowly turning into the Nic Cage of anime screenwriters. There’s no sense in saying that she’s working too much. After all, I know nothing about her life and her need to work on at least two or three shows every season. Nevertheless, it’s hard to see anything special in her work anymore. I haven’t fully enjoyed any of her series since Wandering Son and that was an adaptation.
— So the kids are headed for that island out in the boondocks? Why? So they can truly understand what happened back then. Oh yeah, those magical metal-immune trees can be found there too. The characters optimistically believe that a fruit from these trees might even revive Emiru. Can I just say, however, how nice it has been that Heito hasn’t said a single word since… since… well shit, I can’t even remember the last time I heard his dumb ass speak. Anyway, as much as I hate how Okada has emotionally tortured these characters, I’m not sure I like the idea of Emiru or even Sasame coming back to life. Chalk it up to Final Fantasy IV reviving all of its incapacitated characters, but I’ve always found it rather cheap when stories would just “kill” and “revive” their characters willy-nilly. You jerk my heart strings, make me come to terms with their “deaths,” only to go “Surprise, motherfucker!” Yeah, no thanks. If someone’s dead, just keep them dead. Even Jesus knew his resurrection was a mistake.
— Ugh, Mahmu’s boring-ass monologue about light and hope is so generic. I can’t believe a grown-up wrote this shit. Come on… come on… I know you read the script out loud to yourself during the review process. Are you seriously telling me you didn’t cringe when you re-read these lines: “Before the Lightless Realm was born, there was a small sliver of light. … This same sliver is said to shine within people’s hearts.”
— Apparently the only aircraft they can borrow incognito in the entire fucking country is located in… *drumroll* …the Lightless Realm. How very plot convenient.
— Kasane’s still trying to work with Natsuiri. I just want progress, man. After 18 episodes, I just want to see any slightest hint of progress. I’m not saying she should engage him in a fight to the death, but nothing’s changed. After all this time, he’s still a shady, unscrupulous asshole, and Kasane is still deferential to him. The best she could do was alter Akashi’s resonance data, thus allowing the guy to go unnoticed so he could sneak off to Yomijima. I guess I should just be happy she could even manage that much.
— Apparently, Natsuiri is very unhappy about everyone heading to Yomijima. He more than likely had a hand in its destruction.
— I don’t understand why Suzaki had to accompany the kids into the Lightless Realm. Are none of them capable of driving the vehicle? And if Suzaki is the most vulnerable to the effects of the Lightless Realm, then why the fuck would you put her behind the wheel?! I can’t help but wonder who’s going to pilot said carrier. Surely, you’re not going to put the unstable woman in the cockpit, are you? Hey, I’m sure she’s quite capable under normal circumstances, but these are stupid, emo-metallizing circumstances.
— There’s just something funny about the characters whipping out assault rifles to defend themselves against the evil Lightless Realm creatures. Eat hot lead, you metal-based, uh, monsters…
— Oh man, Suzaki is going to pilot the carrier. But it’s okay, ’cause she’s “read the manual all last night.” And guys, I’m going to be fine as a school bus driver. I, too, read the manual all last night. Strap in, kids! Oops, I forgot school buses don’t have seat belts.
— No, no, really, it’s fine: “Manuals are written so that even novices can!” Why even bother training? These magical fucking manuals can do everything! Rather than studying, however, I think someone’s been hitting the bottle pretty hard, if you know what I mean. Glub, glub, glub. Sure, lady, you’re the best carrier pilot in the wooooorld.
— Seriously, how did they know the carrier was even in working condition? How did they know the carrier even had fuel? What if the fuel had turn to metal, huh? What then? There are even black blotches on the outside of the carrier to suggest that it isn’t impervious to the effects of the Lightless Realm. This whole mission just feels very poorly thought-out by the characters. What would’ve been their back-up plan had the carrier not worked? Or if Suzaki had succumbed to the effects of the Lightless Realm? Or if they had lost someone on the way there? How do they know there’s even a place to land anymore on Yomijima (it’s been years since anyone’s been there)? What if there isn’t a runway for the carrier to take off when they are finally ready to leave? There are so many questions that the anime doesn’t even bother to consider.
— Oh boy, Akashi is now blushing because his friends notice how he’s changed. He now worries about them! Awwwwww! It only took him 18 episodes to stop being an asshole! And all it took was a trip down memory lane with a yanderekko: “Oh shit, Tsumugi is crazy. I better shape up or they’ll leave me behind!”
— Now that they’ve returned to Yomijima, memories begin to flood back into Minashi’s mind. The anime makes it a point to highlight this woman in the guy’s flashback. I wonder who she is. His mom? A big sister?
— Walking into a former IX building triggers a painful memory in Minashi. Apparently, the villagers had been forced to undergo painful experiments at the hands of none other than Natsuiri, of course. The asshole’s horrific research eventually led the villagers to commit suicide.
— But sure enough, present-day Natsuiri has already tracked the kids all the way here. In fact, what on earth is this thing he’s brought with him? I can’t even begin to imagine what all those moving parts are supposed to accomplish.
— According to Natsuiri, it is the very first MA-Vess ever created. Seeing as how every single one of these mechas have required a LIM to operate. Oh boy, remember that woman we just saw in Minashi’s flashback? Lemme guess! It’s her, isn’t it!
— Yep, it’s his big sister. Guess we’re not quite done emotionally torturing these characters just yet.
— So apparently, the island was full of Linkers, people who could communicate with each other telepathically. Back when he was an idealistic young researcher, Natsuiri advanced the idea that everyone on the planet would eventually be able to develop telepathic abilities. Not only that, you could use this power to operate machines. In cliche anime fashion, however, none of his peers took Natsuiri nor his research very seriously. Y’know, in the real world, fellow researchers are usually very receptive to your ideas if you have the data to back it up, and it doesn’t look to me as if Natsuiri lacks data. So this scene feels rather forced and contrived. I mean, yes, history has seen many exceptions. Galileo suffered for his theories, but then again, he wasn’t addressing peers necessarily, but devout religious folks. I just find it hard to believe that a room full of curious learners would react to Natsuiri this way. But ah, we need everything to feel tragic, so we must contrive a situation in which nobody respected the guy. As a result, he went mad!
— So Natsuiri ends up befriending Maki, Minashi’s big sister. Even though she helped him gain some modicum of acknowledgement, however, he wanted more. He needed more than just Maki to experiment with. Reluctantly, she brought him back to the island she grew up on. There, the guy slowly went off the deep-end as he was willing to do whatever it takes to get the data he needed. The rest of the story is history. Nothing too original or compelling here.
— I mean, we’ve been waiting for this big revelation for months now, so now that it’s here, it’s just underwhelming. Blah blah, the horrors of science, mankind’s unchecked ambitions, divine punishment, etc. M3 is offering nothing new, but here’s the kicker: it was such a pain in the ass to get to this point.
— Natsuiri intends to turn the rest of the kids into Necrometal, but all of a sudden, restless spirits from the island begin to awaken! A Lightless Realm begins to appear on the island itself! Aaaand the episode comes to an end there.
— I can’t feel too bad for the villagers either. Yeah, it’s suck that their village got torched. It sucks that a lot of people in Natsuiri’s experiments ended up committing suicide. But one organization from the mainland doing you guys wrong? Let’s fuck the entire country over!
— Oh well, at least this show is almost over with. I’m still adamant in my belief that this should’ve just been a 1-cour series.