OP2: 「SEASON’S CALL」 by HYDE
The group returns home to the restaurant in Okinawa where everything has been gathering dust since they left. David and Julia, who remained back on the ship, get orders to go after a person named Ted A. Adams, a man apparently deeply connected with Chiropteran and Delta 67 research. While Saya rests, Kai digs into the closet and finds some of George’s belongings, including his baseball glove. The three pay a visit to the gravesite and leave George’s stuff there as a way of sending him off. There, Kai is surprised to see the inside covered in cobwebs. Saya tells them that this is the place where she started her current life. Kai and Riku reaffirm that they’re all family, just like George always said.
After having lunch, Kai takes Saya to the park, where she’s reunited with her friend Kaori. The two quickly get reacquainted and start talking about normal life. But Saya knows that she has to get stronger and continue fighting so that more people aren’t hurt. Kaori offers support and comfort by hugging Saya’s back and telling her that she doesn’t have to suffer alone. The two, along with Kai and Riku, then go to school so that Saya can try the high jump one more time. Afterwards, Saya and Kaori buy some food so that they can hold a barbeque. Kai’s friends happen to spot Kai on the beach, and join them for food and fun. Riku even brings food to Hagi, who is standing off on the side, and tries to get him to join everyone, but Hagi keeps his distance.
While the rest are playing with fireworks, Saya and Kai talk on the beach. Saya asks Kai to always stay by her side, so that they can all stay a family. Kai promises not to be separated from her again and promises to find her wherever she goes. Saya joins the fireworks fun, and Hagi breaks out the cello for some music. In the morning, while everyone is still sleeping on the beach, Kai, Riku, and Saya take off, though Kaori wakes up in time to wish Saya a tearful goodbye. It seems that the next destination for the Red Shield group is Russia, but Saya vows to return to Okinawa.
ED2: 「CRY NO MORE」 by 中島美嘉 (Nakashima Mika)
OP and ED are great songs (HYDE and Mika Nakashima are such amazing singers), but I think I’m most impressed – actually somewhat speechless – by how good the new OP and ED animations are. They use a different, more artsy style that I would love to see more of. And the OP hints at a lot of new bad guys, so that’s got me excited too.
This is a decent transition episode between arcs/locales. Not much happens in terms of story, so this is really just a breather episode from all the recent action. It allows Saya, Kai, and Riku to experience normal life, if only for a day, and sets up the next arc with the Ted A. Adams and Russia stuff. All of their friends get some screen time, but I am a bit curious about why Mao is shown in the preview. I kind of assumed she was just a minor character, but is she going to be joining them in this upcoming arc? Looks like next episode will focus on her and also on Akihiro trying to unravel some mysteries.
Man, I’m still trying to get over how much I like the new songs…