Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 17
「仄暗き追憶」 (Soku Kuraki Tsuioku)
The mock battle tournaments continue and the Infinities easily trash the Bao Feng squadron in a mere four minutes. Combined with the fight between Leon and Yuuya towards the end, it sets up for a nice confrontation in the future—but yeah, the mock battle was pretty much a distant second in terms of importance this episode. Rather, in an episode which should’ve been named “Total Jealousy” instead of Total Eclipse, we get a whole lotta’ fightin’ for Yuuya, a bunch of priceless faces, some character development, and a surprisingly enjoyable episode overall.
To say the least, I was a tad surprised I enjoyed this episode as much as I did, but seeing the dynamics (and the jealousy!) in the interactions between Yuuya and our heroines… well, I just couldn’t help it. I mean, those faces! We got Cui giving Yuuya the fullcourt press via aggressive tactics and assertions that they’re already pretty much married… Yui watching with exceptional jealousy and rage from afar… and we even got Cryska joining the fray. Of course, Yuuya’s oblivious to it all (or just doesn’t care in Cui’s case), but hey, it makes for some entertaining television.
I’d like to talk about each of them one by one, but the fact of the matter is, Cryska really steals the show this episode. I know some people may point to Cui as the show stealer with her epic punches and honeymoon requests (and I wouldn’t argue you’d have a good case), but for me, the gradual development of Cryska personality-wise and character-wise really take the cake for me. There’s just something about watching someone bumbling around while trying to express something they’ve never felt before, especially when the opposing side totally misconstrues what they’re saying, but responds with just enough to make it some semblance of a proper response. Part of me felt like smacking Yuuya for being oblivious to Cryska’s view of seeing something unique in him she doesn’t see anywhere else, but I guess if I were him, I wouldn’t expect someone like her to fall in love with me either. And in a way, this just makes it all the more notable to me. Part of me just can’t help but root for her and for her ultimate maturation after going through what was obviously as harsh past and one filled with emotional manipulation, ya know? Not to mention, their interaction is just a subtle commentary on the fact that sometimes, it’s just a relief to know someone feels the way you do… even if it results from a few… misinterpretations…
But yeah, this was one of those episodes where nothing particular major happens in a story standpoint, but was necessary in the grand scheme of things to set-up for the future and to give some characters a bit of development. In that respect, I have to say, the creators did a pretty nice job. These necessary, but not particularly major episodes are some of the ones most commonly butchered, but the interactions were fairly well done, and the events pretty smoothly connected to one another. The gals just so happening to all be around at certain times were a tad exaggerated, but nothing more than what you’d see in the anime medium. It helps that each of the gals all have their own unique traits and methods of admiration/expression too.
Overall, there’s not much to say when you get down to it. There were plenty of HNGGGG moments though, which more than made up for it. Looking forward,
I’m hopin’ this hurricane about to hit NYC ain’t gonna end up too bad it looks like things’ll pick up a more serious pace next episode, with the Infinities vs. Argos Test fight and perhaps some back story into Leon, Sharon, and Yuuya’s interactions too. Needless to say, it’ll be something to watch, as have been most of the episodes following the series’ entrance into its actual story. Just nice to see a series come so far even with some of the rocky portions in the beginning.
ED: 「スノウメヰデン」(Snow Maiden) by 美郷あき (Misato Aki)