Soukou no Strain – 05
In their battle formation with Lottie up front and Sara in the back, the Reasoner group is going head to head with Ralph Werec and a horde of Tumors. The fight with the Gloire-type, however, goes poorly when Sara and Lottie crash into each other and Ralph takes care of them both. Fortunately, it was just a simulated battle, but their 10th poor performance causes Dufarge to yell at them. Looking over the data, Lottie can see that only Sara was able to match her in skill, and she realizes that they need a new formation. Sara, who is participating in the simulation from inside her real Strain, ignores Lottie’s subsequent communication and instead talks to Emily. With the Libertad headed for Gall space to resupply, Sara is finding herself surrounded more and more by her new wingmen, but this doesn’t change her solitary attitude. She eventually asks Carris and Dickon why they’re all approaching her, and Carris tells her that it’s because she’s one of them now. And after an exercise session later, Lottie makes it clear to Sara that they are comrades who entrust their lives to each other. Sara walks away without answering, but then briefly encounters Isabella’s old group, now led by Mariette.
Returning to her own room, Sara brushes her doll’s hair and says that having only Emily as a friend is enough for her. She wonders why she can be her true self – Sara Werec – in front of Emily, but not in front of everyone else to whom she is Sara Cruz. She admits that she doesn’t feel qualified to be their comrades right now. Suddenly, Sara hears a loud crashing noise outside her room and goes out to see a large pile of mecha wreckage from the previous battle. Melchisedec claims that it can be used to make a new Strain, but Sara sees how the cockpit is covered in blood and how there’s a torn photograph of a man and a woman hanging from inside. It reminds her of the people who died in that battle and causes her to clutch Emily harder. Meanwhile, on the Deague ship, Medlock is agitated that Ralph’s Strain still isn’t ready to sortie again, but she still finds plenty of pleasure in Ralph himself.
Back on the Libertad, Sara is going through a physical examination and scan, and everything looks normal. The doctor is still planning to do a real examination once they get to Gall, and lets slip to his assistant about Sara and a secret weapon. Afterwards, Sara receives a message and heads to a lower deck, ignoring Carris and Dickon when they pass her and try to tell her about a meeting with Lottie in the simulation room. Even without Sara, Lottie outlines her new formation plan that has both herself and Sara at the front to fight Ralph. Although the other pilots aren’t sure about Sara and teamwork, Lottie has decided to trust her because of her abilities. Lottie also notes that she and Sara somehow have the same scent. As for the girl in question though, she’s been cornered by Mariette and her gang. Sara is shocked to learn from them that Isabella died in the previous battle, and Mariette blames her for it.
When the girls start pushing her around, Sara doesn’t resist and doesn’t say anything. This pisses off Mariette even more and she starts slapping Sara and then punching her after she sees Sara’s sad eyes. As she’s being pummeled, Sara can only remember everyone who died and her brother’s betrayal. Mariette eventually graduates from her fists to a metal pole, but before she can bring it down on Sara, Carris stops her. Behind him, Lottie and the rest of the Reasoners also appear. After scaring off the other girls, Lottie turns to Mariette, who still blames Sara for Isabella’s death. She makes Mariette realize that it’s not just her who’s lost comrades in battle, causing Mariette to run off crying. When Sara asks why Lottie did this, she replies that it’s only because Sara getting injured would create a hole in the formation that she designed. The group then starts laughing when Lavinia arrives late with guns ready, but that laughter turns to concern when Sara suddenly faints. Lottie manages to catches Sara and smiles at her now serene, sleeping face.
Well, I don’t think that there will be dramatic changes in Sara’s behavior because of what happened here. This was a step in the right direction, but I think that it’ll take a lot more before Sara can interact with this group the same way she acted with Mary, Colin, and Cedie. In other words, it will still take something more before she can be Sara Werec again. In fact, I bet that the group learns from someone other than Sara herself, and Lottie will go through a lot of mixed emotions because of how much she hates the other Werec: Ralph.
It was painful watching Sara get beat up this episode. It felt worse because she didn’t try to fight back and just took it, maybe because of her own guilt over everyone’s deaths – that’s something more she’ll have to get over. Regardless, Mariette was part of the antagonist group from the start and now she’s just made herself a prime target to be killed off. If only Lavinia had gotten there sooner with the big guns. I’d have liked to see what that scene would have been like.
I’m also still waiting to see how they’re going to try to establish a relationship between Carris and Sara. He once again was the one to save her when he stopped Mariette, but I doubt she really noticed. Heck, the question might not be how they establish this, but if they do at all.