FMP! The Second Raid – 05
Chidori finds Sousuke carefully taking apart a car in the school parking lot, checking it for bombs. Before she can berate him too much, he gets a call with orders and heads off, leaving Chidori to explain the mess to their teacher. At MITHRIL’s island base, Tessa is in a meeting with several high ranking officers discussing the current situation. After the meeting, Tessa is left alone with an admiral who tries to get her to leave the TDD, but she refuses, saying that everyone is important to her. Meanwhile in Sicily, Bleunt is hiding with with the local mafia, enjoying a party. He sees a beautiful woman and takes her back to his room, but the woman turns out to be Mao in disguise. After tranquilizing him and escaping with Kurz, Mao accidentally causes a disturbance and gets caught. The two are saved when Sousuke blows a hole through the wall and ferries them away in a car. He reveals that there is a weapons cache in the back, which Mao and Kurz use to blow up their pursuers. In Japan, Chidori is thinking about Sousuke missing exams. Seeing her friend worried, Kyouko calls Sousuke, then hands the phone to Chidori. She scolds him about the exams and eventually hangs up after calling him an idiot. Back in Sicily, three Savages have appeared to continue the chase. Fortunately for our heroes, a black AS saves them by quickly dispatching all the enemy units. After finishing the battle, it stares at Sousuke briefly before disappearing into the night, just as a helicopter arrives to extract them. After settling down, the three talk about Sousuke and his responsibilites. Mao is worried about Sousuke’s ability to juggle all of his tasks, including school, the Arbalest, and protecting Chidori, and what his plans. As the sun comes up, Sousuke to start thinking about the future.
When I first heard that they were indeed animating Sicily, I worried about how well the production team would adhere the novels. Thankfully, they do a wonderful job following the events in the order that they occur. Several lines and scenes are cut or changed, most likely to be able to fit the two chapters into one episode, but all of the important stuff is still intact. They also worked in Gates as the person who orders the ASes out, but I can live with that if they are just trying to show him involved.
The most important part of this episode, in terms of the overall storyline, is the discussion at the end about Sousuke’s plans for the future. Most of that scene was left the same, with several of the lines almost verbatim from the novel. It’s a pity we can’t hear Sousuke’s inner thoughts and feelings, but I trust the production team to do a good job anyway.
The black AS makes its entrance this episode. We’ve seen some of its very nice moves and I imagine that future episodes with it will be just as good. It won’t reappear next week, but probably the week after. Speaking of which, next episode covers the haircut scenes, and Tessa visiting Operations HQ; a break from the action, but it’ll still be good.
As a closing thought: Mao looks really good in that dress and wig!