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Soukou no Strain – 13 (END)

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Soukou no Strain   13   34 Soukou no Strain   13   35 Soukou no Strain   13   36

Summary:

Locked in battle with her brother, Sara remembers how she always been chasing after him. The fight isn’t over for the other pilots either because there are still tons of Tumors to destroy, and the Strains are getting heavily damaged. The only good news is that Lottie has safely brought both Melchisedec and Dufarge back from the Deague ship. As he attacks Sara, Ralph questions why she doesn’t understand what mankind did to Emily’s kind. He feels that all of humanity should die to make up for their crime, but Sara disagrees and suggests that Ralph killed people to feel better. In fact, she wants him to give back all the people that he’s killed, including Mary, Colin, Cedi, and Carris. The two Strains then charge at each other, and Sara’s RAM-DASS is the one that suffers the most damage with a Mercurion leak. Since Ralph’s Gloire isn’t moving for the time being, Lottie comes in and helps Sara back to the Libertad. When they arrive in the main Strain hanger, the RAM-DASS immediately undergoes repairs with parts from the other Strains.

Emily greets Sara when she gets off, and then Becky and Dickon arrive to thank her for earlier. Dickon also asks her to fight for them and to avenge Carris. Sara and Emily then head to the locker room where they find Lottie putting out a plate of sandwiches. Emily immediately starts eating and finds the sandwiches delicious, though Sara and Lottie quickly realize that they’re not very good. After Emily falls asleep, Lottie remembers all the things they’ve been through and specifically mentions treadmill competition they had. The two girls start arguing about who won, but when Emily briefly wakes up because of the commotion, they have a good laugh about it. Lottie suggests that they should settle it once everything is over and tells Sara to live even if she dies. Carmichael then comes to get Sara because the repairs are done. Everyone comes to see her off, and the doll Emily has even been given a new outfit. When the real Emily insists on going with Sara because she doesn’t want to be alone anymore, Sara agrees and the two board her Strain together.

Dufarge then reports that the Gloire-type is the only enemy left since they’ve succeeded in destroying all the Tumors. Everything hinges now on Sara defeating Ralph, and the bridge officers salute her as she flies off. In this next round of her fight against her brother, Sara initially comes under heavy fire, but she dodges all the shots. The two use various attacks on each other, and during the fight, Emily tries to get Ralph to stop. In response, Ralph tries to order her to come to him, but Emily wants to be with Sara instead. Though he stays silent for a moment, Ralph then roars back to life with a series of hits that put Sara on the defensive. Remembering what he had told her when he left all those years ago, Sara vows to carry out her decision to not let Ralph kill anyone else. She then accelerates her Strain to sub-light speeds so that the Libertad can’t get dragged into the battle. Watching her disappear with Ralph chasing after, Craven declares that Sara has become the first graduate of this school term.

Seeing the serious look on Sara’s face as they hurtle through space at these speeds, Emily smiles at Sara and tells her that it’s ok because she’s not alone. With Ralph’s vision blurring, Sara’s able to get in plenty of hits as the two Strains circle each other as if they were dancing through space. Having taken a lot of damage, Ralph stretches his hand out towards Sara’s direction, but then charges and pierces his blade into the right side of her Strain. As she remembers Ralph returning home on that snowy day so many years ago, Sara plunges her blade into the middle of Ralph’s Gloire-type. Realizing that it’s over, Sara starts to cry, but she soon hears Ralph calling out her name. After he entrusts Emily to her, the musical pendant he was wearing comes to life with a familiar song, and Ralph smiles at the progress his little sister has made. The song stops when the Gloire-type breaks up into pieces as it and Sara’s Strain enter the atmosphere of a nearby planet. The RAM-DASS eventually crashes into a sea of water and skips several times before stopping.

Having been able to get off safely on a beach, Sara looks up at the sky and silently addresses her now-deceased brother. She feels that they are siblings after all because of how they chased after only what they believed in and how they got everything around them involved. Having found no one around, Emily comes running with the doll Emily in her arms and wonders what they should do. Sara isn’t sure of what to do either, but she feels that they’ll be fine as long as they’re together. The two walk along the beach for a while until Emily notices a small shuttle emerging from the clouds that is carrying Lottie and all of Sara’s friends. Addressing her brother one last time, Sara promises to carry out his desires because she knows that she’s not alone anymore.

As I had suspected from last week, no one other than Ralph died at the end. With the way Sara succeeded in not getting the Libertad involved in her fight with her brother, it’s clear now that all the deaths early on made her want to not take any chances with other people’s lives. I guess you could say that the ending didn’t really have any surprises, but I more or less liked how it turned out. It didn’t dawn on me how the ending sequence that we’ve been seeing for all these weeks would fit in until Sara was crashing onto the planet – but then everything made sense.
Production-wise, the fast-paced CG Strain fights this episode are probably some of the most impressive I’ve seen in the series, though that might just be because such a huge part of the episode was the fighting. I also liked how we finally got to see and hear Ralph’s musical pendant which I had admittedly long since forgotten about. Having said all that, I do wish that we got to find out more about what happened in the war between Union and Deague or if Emily ever got to return to her people.

Final Thoughts: Soukou no Strain started off with quite a bang because of the double episode premiere and the high body count early on. Although I had hoped things would occur on a grander scale in terms of the war between Union and Deague, the story was still fairly engaging as the mysteries of Emily and Ralph were unraveled. Now that I’m able to look back on and evaluate the series as a whole, I feel that the Lavinia episode could have been used more productively towards the overall plot. I also didn’t really care for Isabella or Mariette’s involvement in the story, though their ostracization of her did play into the theme of Sara being alone. Still, the plot had plenty of highlights and managed to end on a relatively happy note, so I’d say that this was a good one-season show to follow.
And finally, for those who may be wondering, Soukou no Strain will be replaced in WOWOW’s schedule by Rocket Girls starting next week.

February 18, 2007 at 3:58 am
18 comments »
  • February 18, 2007 at 4:26 amMutio

    Very nice end! Makes me wonder if we’ll ever see a second season of it.
    Omni, is Soukou no Strain based on a Manga?

  • February 18, 2007 at 4:27 ampaiser

    first one YES

  • February 18, 2007 at 4:32 amYuri Rocks

    Darn, there goes my wish to see all the Reasoners sympathize with Emily and her race and destroy the universe alongside Sara and Ralph Werec. Other than that, this was a great show, and my desire stuff get destroyed was satisfied.

    This is why I am such a fan of the 12-26 episode series. It’s easier to keep the story and action relatively close to one another, and not fall into the problems of massive fillers. Bleach was tolerable, but heaven forbid Naruto happens with greater frequency.

  • February 18, 2007 at 6:46 amOmni

    Mutio: There is a short volume of manga out right now, but Lottie is the main character. I would consider it more as a supplement to the anime.

  • February 18, 2007 at 7:11 amWererat42

    I personally feel it could have done much better as a 26-episode series. None of the deaths seemed to really cause a great impact due to lack of development. Sara’s friends was a shock early on, but I honestly couldn’t stand Isabella, and Carris didn’t get enough development. I think that what Soukou no Stain does best is when killing off a major character, there’s no big build-up or dramatic fanfare… it’s just boom, dead.

  • February 18, 2007 at 8:47 amMutio

    Thx Omni!
    That’s a pity. I hoped that it continues the story or gives at least some more information.
    Do you think that they’ll make a second season?

  • February 18, 2007 at 10:34 amTyllon

    Tks Omni, and i hope the manga can answer this PROPERLY:
    Where in the hell is Sara’s pendent? Ralph cannot be holding on to hers, right? HOW, or then WHERE???

    Which one look nicer: Jesse in Twin-Bun hair style or with boushi(pic 35)? I prefer the second one…
    By the way, the date Sara jump out is 15th Feb (Coincidently same as the airing day for this episode)…

  • February 18, 2007 at 10:35 amwhoperson

    I wonder if folks asking for a second season are either forgetting that this series was based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “A Little Princess” or are not familiar with the story. Initially, I thought it was a hoot that they made a mecha anime out of a novel set in victorian era England about the hardships of an orphan girl after her family fortune is lost. Yet somehow, this series just worked. However, the end of the series corresponds to the end of the novel. In other words, there isn’t any more source material. Sure, they could still write something, but sequels to the classics seldom turn out well. CInderella III anyone? I’d prefer no sequel to a bad one.

  • February 18, 2007 at 10:35 amGuido

    After seeing the ending, I give to Sn-Strain a grade of 89%.

    The last episode was impressive for its production values and the immersive involving of the two main characters. I could feel so personally attached for both siblings.

    And I think that Soukou no Strain was developed better than the predecessor which held the same time slot that Strain previously occupied, Innocent Venus.

  • February 18, 2007 at 3:03 pmZzz…

    …AH…PHOOEY…

    …isn’t that just great…a completely lameass, saccharine ending…

    …sigh…I want 6.5 hours of my life back…

  • February 18, 2007 at 7:51 pmmikeon

    darn I was thinking they would do a reset where emily opens up the gate and they go back in time to stop ralph and then bam everyone alive again.

  • February 21, 2007 at 6:39 pmWanderer

    *shakes head* No, a reset ending would have been the wrong move. Sort of a “we didn’t have the guts to really kill everyone off, so we just made you THINK we did, but now they’re back!” It’s the cheap and easy way out.

    I’ll be better able to judge once I’ve caught up on the subs (I’m about three eps behind) but from what I’ve seen SnS has remained pretty consistantly a quality series all the way through. It’s not truly exceptional or groundbreaking, but it avoids falling into the pit of cliches, keeps its main character interesting, and did a good job of not being predictable. Bit of a stumble with the Lavinia episode, but that didn’t kill it. All in all, the sort of thing I’ll buy, should it ever be licensed for R1.

  • February 23, 2007 at 11:58 amTheKid965

    I’m with Wanderer. Maybe the ending was a bit too conventional given how unpredictable the rest of the series was, but I found it by no means unsatisfying – and a Reset Button ending would have been the worst possible way to end a series so emotionally rewarding.

    What I liked best about SnS was the treatment of the big battles. This may seem like an odd comparison at first, but in a way it reminded me of Utena’s Duels, where each one symbolized a certain important concept. It wasn’t just about BSU, but if you follow the Strain fights throughout the series you can see how they reflect the evolution of Sara’s character. The whole series has really been about Sara’s personal journey, and her slow climb back to rejoin the human race after her brother’s betrayal, and I enjoyed seeing how all the different pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is Sara Werec fit together in the end.

    I also liked how SnS didn’t do a clichéd thing of making Ralph sympathetic after revealing his motivation for turning on the Union – if anything, it only underscored how beyond redemption he was. At first you think you can understand why he did what he did, what with the whole “Let’s dissect lolis and make weapons out of them” thing, and then BAM – he’s killing the Deague crew in cold blood, for no immediately apparent reason, and you realize “Wait a minute, this guy really IS a jerk after all!” The only thing I wish is that we’d know why he was puking up blood throughout the second half of the series…

    In all, I don’t think SnS broke any new ground as far as storytelling is concerned (other than the first episode, which literally had my jaw dangling), but even that’s okay; not EVERY series has to reinvent the wheel to be satisfying and enjoyable, and SnS was both.

  • March 26, 2007 at 11:09 pmShinn

    So what now? The Alien really exist, may be there’s more of them

  • August 5, 2007 at 10:14 pmSilver

    Wow, I actually like this series. I think overall it’s quite interesting in that it’s more original although it can be predictable at parts except for deaths since it seems that it could happen anytime or anybody. Anyway, I guess there is different interpretations of Emily. Some find her as a b**** because of how they interpreted that she is the one who forced Ralph into being that way because “she wanted revenge” but it could also be that her “help me” is interpreted by Ralph as “kill humans and blah blah blah”. This to me is evident in how Sara interpreted it differently and instead, did not chose to go on a rampage even though she had received the same feelings and thoughts that Ralph did. Anyway, overall, it’s enjoyable!

  • November 29, 2007 at 10:18 pmHudson

    You know for some reason i was hoping that Lavinia would get killed here too. After all with Sara bad luck with potital love intrests it would only expected that she would die too. Also she’s not that good a pilot either. she just got lucky here.

  • February 25, 2008 at 2:47 amdx

    After a year, it’s interesting people are still talking about this series. Originally saw the 1st 2 eps on Crunchyroll, and decided to Dl the rest of the series on BT.

    There’s a couple of bloggers who think the series was forgettable, but the tragic relationship between the siblings in the end has helped put an end to the series, but as per one poster who said there is a manga out with Lottie as the main character, I digress.

    It is still one of my faves but I only recommend it to anime peeps who have nothing else to watch. The Strain is unconventional in shape, but I like it better than the boring Gundam mecha versions I;ve seen since I was a wee kid.

    I am clueless what Sara should be doing now that her brother is dead, so she should continue her battles with the enemy, but that personal mission of her brother has ended the speculation for a future anime…unless another time shift causes onii-chan to come back.

    What I really wanted to see was her other bully teammates apologize to her after those abusive attacks on Sara, but I think in that world, they already have. Outstanding sub by Shinsen BTW.

  • May 10, 2008 at 7:36 amtrebors

    this series is the same as simoun
    very nice series. i hope second season will come