Well, this is awkward…
— Man, I mistook the Capital Guard for the Capital Army at the end of last week’s episode. Whoops. I just don’t think we spend enough time with these characters for me to, for instance, instantly recognize a face like Kerbes’s.
— Nevertheless, the Capital Guard continues to defy the Army’s ambition. Wilmit doesn’t seem like much of a fighter or a general, however, so who will lead them if push ever came to shove?
— Aida’s father and Cumpa seem like they’re about to engage in a debate, but in classic Reconguista faction, something interrupts them just as the conversation was about to get interesting. It’s a bit frustrating, really. It’s not like the anime is choosing to show over tell. It’s just cutting its “tells” short for the sake of keeping the audience in the dark.
— Elsewhere, the prime minister is trying to sell the senators on the importance of the Capital Army and all the funding that it gets. In other words, wow, there’s a prime minister! There’s even a body of senators! Why haven’t they had more of a presence in the story until now? Even so, the audience looks vaguely bored with the propaganda song and dance. I mean, if you could party like crazy at the end of every week, you probably wouldn’t really care about some army and its ambitions. You’d just want to get back to the festivities.
— I think I’m supposed to marvel over the Wuxia or something. The way the episode presents it seems to imply as much. But I’m really only watching this show for its story. I know, I know, watching any Gundam series for just the story probably sounds ludicrous to some of you. But honestly, I’ve never thought that a mecha looked cool, Gundam or otherwise. They’re just silly robots to me.
— For the love of god, there’s another pack for the G-Self to show off. C’mon, this is the understatement of the century.
— There are cool-looking moments in this episode. It’s just unfortunate that the art direction doesn’t always look this good.
— I could’ve done without the “Oh, world of men!” comment, however, as these girls are relegated to cheering from the sidelines. I guess that’s how we’re supposed to take solace in Aida’s character. At the moment, she’s not very capable — hell, she’s managed to hit one target in ten episodes — but at least she’s trying. At least she doesn’t just allow the very important men around her to coddle and protect her no matter how displeased they get. Most importantly, she’s not just the mascot for the Amerian army. I just wish they didn’t make it so obvious that she’s often a deadweight in a lot of these episodes. She can still be unskilful without flailing around like an idiot most of the time. Perhaps we’re supposed to admire her determination, i.e. even though she clearly sucks as a pilot, she still puts herself out there anyway. But from a practical point of view, that’s just stupid. I think it would’ve been better if Aida had been a bit more competent right from the get-go. She’d still clearly be a newbie, but at least it wouldn’t seem as though she’s a burden on the team most of the time.
— I’m not quite used to the degree in which these characters trust each other. Aida’s father is just like, “Sure, I’ll head up to space with you guys even though we’re enemies, and you’re obviously going to attack the ship that my daughter is on.”
— I like shots like this one because they really emphasize the size and monstrosity of these suits. When the suits are just fighting each other, you don’t really get the sense of scale or just how imposing these suits are supposed to be. They feel like toys when they simply fight against each other. Here, the Wuxia takes on an almost kaiju feel. It gives the mecha some personality.
— Case in point, we see Aida being tossed back and forth without so much as putting up a fight. We’re just waiting for Happa to actually get the new pack to work so that Bellri can pilot the G-Self and save the day once again. But why make Aida this useless? Why make Bellri this awesome? The two of them don’t have to be evenly skilled, but likewise, they don’t need to be on such extreme ends of the spectrum.
— Haha, Aida even gets suplex’d. Good lord.
— I actually like the action in this week’s episode. Not such a jumbled, disjointed affair. More importantly, the animation is pretty solid from what I can tell. This is a huge step-up from all those battles of the week against Mask. I like Mask as a character, but goddamn, those skirmishes were starting to get old.
— In the end, what did Aida even manage to accomplish in this fight? It feels like she just got herself caught so that Bellri could pull off a neat trick with the new pack. I want to like character. I want to see her as someone more important than those cheerleaders, So it’s great that she continues to want to fight, but at the end of the day, she’s just a damsel-in-distress. It’s a bit exasperating.
— Those alligators make this shot special.
— Aida is grateful to have been saved by the new technology — or old technology, depending on how you want to look at it — but she nevertheless wonders if it’s “really okay for these things to exist?” I’m sure there has to be a bigger reason why the UC-era ended, and it probably wasn’t just some fancy mechas and their handy packs.
— Anyway, things are coming to a head now that both sides have launched their space fleets. This may mean more skirmishes with Mask in later episodes, but hopefully, they will also come with a whole new context to consider. In other words, just tell me what the threat from space is already.
— One final note: I’ve avoided talking about Raraiya for obvious reasons. But apparently, she undergoes some changes in this week’s episode. I don’t really see it, I guess, so I’ll just leave it at that.