I actually like this episode as the tension remains high throughout. Even during the quiet moments in the first half of the episode, you get the sense that something is about to go wrong. Sousuke and Chidori try to enjoy a normal high school life, but they both know their time is short. They both know that the dam’s about to break, and those halcyon days of youth will soon be long gone. To make matters worse, Atsunobu, i.e. the student council president, is about to graduate, so he won’t be able to cover up for these two much longer. He suggests that Sousuke take Chidori and run, because their classmates might turn on them should the truth ever come out. Sousuke is torn, though. Like most anime protagonists, he’s a bit of a clod when it comes to the matters of the heart, but he still knows what Chidori cherishes most. As a result, he’s wants to be able to keep her here if possible. Still, when they walk home later that night, the guy actually asks if he could hold her hand. It’s almost as if he knows at the back of his mind that he won’t get another chance if he doesn’t seize it now.
Sure enough, Amalgam escalates the situation. Leonard casually shows up in Chidori’s apartment, and there’s nothing that Sousuke can do about it. He also warns her that she better go with him if she doesn’t want trouble to descend on this peaceful town. He drops the fact that he loves her, but I doubt that this is really the case. He’s just trying to unnerve Sousuke and Chidori. He harps on the fact that she’s special, so he wants to know why she allows herself to be around “stupid” people. But in reality, she’s nothing but a pawn to him; she’s simply a means to an end. If you don’t remember what a Whispered is, the girl apparently has some super special knowledge locked away in her subconscious. The episode tries to highlight the fact that she scores high on all of her math and science tests, but Chidori correctly points out that these are nothing more than high school exams. As a result, how can you even take them seriously? Nevertheless, Amalgam wants her, and as soon as Leonard leaves, Mithril’s bases are under attack.
We eventually see Sousuke and Chidori hiding out in an empty parking lot, waiting for a helicopter from Mithril to pick them up. For a brief moment, Sousuke considers asking the girl to run away with him. They can just leave all this nonsense behind though it’s not exactly clear how he intends to do this. Nevertheless, Amalgam just wants to use her, and he’s already been used. All his life, Sousuke’s been little more than a convenient killing machine for powerful organizations. Nevertheless, he backs out at the last second and decides against bringing up the question at all. Even though Sousuke wants to run away, he knows he can’t really protect Chidori by himself. Unless they decide to completely go off the grid, they’ll eventually be tracked down. As much as it sucks, he can only rely on Mithril to protect the girl… well, maybe not. All of the communications are down, and the episode comes to an end as attackers close in on Sousuke and Chidori’s location.
Even though I’ve forgotten many of the finer details from The Second Raid, I still feel as though I can enjoy this series as long as I focus primarily on the relationship between Sousuke and Chidori. Of course, it’s not as though any of the other characters got much screentime. Plus, what can I say? I’m a sucker for romances. The only thing I like about Record of Grancrest War is the romance, and hell, Darling in the FranXX is currently my favorite show on air at the moment for this very same reason. I simply like a good romance. Unfortunately, it’s a double-edged sword here. Y’see, I actually know a thing or two about how the whole story is going to end. After all, the light novels concluded like eight years ago, I think. The spoilers are out there if you look hard enough, but I actually had a friend who was obsessed with the books. And thanks to that friend, I know that there’s no way for this adaptation to cover five books in twelve episodes. It’s not gonna happen.
The start of this series coincides with the seventh light novel. If Xebec rushes it, we might get three books out of this show, but I bet we only get two. Either way, Invisible Victory is likely going to stick us with a downer of an ending. Probably. There’s also the fact that The Second Raid came out in 2005. It took 13 years before we could see another anime adaptation. How long am I going to have to wait to see the rest of the story? In the year 2031? Well, maybe this is for the best anyway. From what I understand — and again, this is all second-hand knowledge from my friend — the whole developments surrounding Amalgam’s plans, the origins of the Whispered, and the rest of the surrounding science kinda veer a bit off course in the final chapters anyway. Not only that, Leonard starts acting really creepy towards Chidori. But like I said, we may never see any of that in anime form. Still, the animation here is surprisingly solid, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how well I adapted to these old characters despite not having seen them in, well, over a decade.