Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 20
OP2: 「Doubt the World」 by 栗林 みな実 (Kurabayashi Minami)
「牙を剥く世界」 (Kiba wo Muku Sekai)
“The World Bares Its Fangs”
I had heard about something like this happening toward the end of Total Eclipse… but even then, it still didn’t really prepare me for how drastically things changed from the light-hearted beginning to the gruesome and bloody killings toward the end. But I suppose that it was inevitable that “shit would hit the fan” (for lack of a better term), and it seems that time has come. Because in the end, Muv-Luv is more than a science-fiction story based on an apocalyptic scenario bought on by aliens. It’s about the humans that live in that world and a commentary on the best and worst of what humanity has to offer. It’s about how we as humans are both capable of unimaginable feats… and also unimaginable cruelty.
This week on Total Eclipse, some of that cruelty becomes exposed as the Refugee Liberation Front launches a surprise attack on Yukon base. Spurred on by treatment that pretty much leaves them to die and starve as the chosen ones live, they manage to take over most of the base in an attempt to change the world. Needless to say, they’re willing to sacrifice themselves to do it too, because “someone has to fight for the oppressed and those who are discriminated against”.
And you know what? Despite the fact that most people (and myself) disagree with the methods they’ve chosen, the fact of the matter is, it’s not all black and white. Thrown into a similar scenario, chances are that a vast majority of people would do the same thing… and well, you can’t necessarily blame them for doing what they’re doing. At the same time it’s also understandable that in a world on the brink of destruction, sometimes it’s just not possible to save everyone, and that sacrifices may sometimes need to be made for the greater good. Of course, one can argue all day about where to draw that line, but the bottom line is: neither side is completely right or wrong and Muv-Luv’s strong point is demonstrating this aspect.
Moving forward, perhaps what’s even more notable is the depiction of how many of the Eishi seem to know about the various cruelties occurring around the world—not only regarding the refugees, but even their fellow soldiers. As the unnamed Eishi points out:
“More starved than were killed by the BETA.” (On the North African Front Lines)
Yet despite this fact, most of the Eishi we’ve seen continue to fight on… and at this point, words are just inadequate to describe what they must be feeling, and their mental fortitude as they choose for forge on and try their best to eliminate the BETA. But if there’s one quote that really highlights this, it’s the quote by Tarisa:
I am an Eishi. I don’t fight humans.
Just brings a tear to my eye the resolve Eishi have and how they’re willing and able to toss by petty squabbles when crunch time comes.
In the end, what can I say? It looks like we’re entering what looks to be the final arc of Total Eclipse, and it seems like it’ll be quite the doozy. Of course, it likely means that the BETA won’t be making a reappearance until perhaps the end of the series (which’ll likely set up for the upcoming VN about to be released)… but if this episode’s any indication, it’ll be worth it. After all, Total Eclipse was always meant to be a side story focusing more on the human side of things (and the development of TSF’s), and this arc’ll give this series some nice moments to shine with the elements it was intended to focus on. Again, it’s sad that the VN will be in Japanese only so I won’t get to see how the story works out… (for at least the foreseeable future) but alas, can’t have everything.
ED3: 「Revise the World」 by ayami
The burning star falls through the sky
From far to near
There’s no way I could feel the heat
but the cage around me seems to melt.
Burn it all and show me a new place in the broken world
When two hearts are fated to overlap
you look at me with gentle eyes.
The light of judgment in a heart I want to protect
Will its smile disappear?