(I promise I’ll go back and add some memorable screencaps later, bear with me right now though, too much else to manage).
Excellent episode, with fantastic music (which eventually you will all learn is a key point for me in anime) though that really doesn’t break from the tradition upheld in previous episodes.
I would ponder over what exactly in Chikane’s life qualifies her for Orochi status, or even where she gets all her massive talents at being one, but as the Laws of Anime would tell us, she’s a musician which automatically qualifies her for all lesser jobs like piloting mecha and saving the world, or in this case, not saving it. That and waving around a sword like a skilled fighter (guess all that tennis really did server a purpose).
I do wonder the odds of Souma’s mecha being the only one among the Orochi that is the true vessel of power for the evil that threatens the world and him being the only Orochi not serving his duties. Either way, I’m still waiting on Himeko to pull out her counterpart to Chikane’s bow and wreak some havoc in the name of justice.
So, the final question for the final episode, who’ll make it out alive and who’ll get the girl (or what’s left of her for the Cynical). The way I look at things, Chikane’s only stabbed, not dead, Souma’s had worse and she’s the focus of the entire ED sequence. Souma on the otherhand is totally consumed by his Orochi heritage (despite the rest of his tragically violated gang being dead and his mech being a bastion of good and not even his Orochi vessel). The question of the population of the planet’s existence is also sort of in a hedge, but it’s such a dark anime I don’t think I can foresee a happy ending for everyone, if anyone. Then again, I watched Bakuretsu Tenshi to the end, so perhaps I have a cynists view on character surviveablity. Either way I’m happy that we have a tangible antagonist even if the protagionist is still trying to win by the power of love (not happening in an anime like this).