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Soukou no Strain – 06 »« Soukou no Strain – 04

Soukou no Strain – 05

In their battle formation with Lottie up front and Sara in the back, the Reasoner group is going head to head with Ralph Werec and a horde of Tumors. The fight with the Gloire-type, however, goes poorly when Sara and Lottie crash into each other and Ralph takes care of them both. Fortunately, it was just a simulated battle, but their 10th poor performance causes Dufarge to yell at them. Looking over the data, Lottie can see that only Sara was able to match her in skill, and she realizes that they need a new formation. Sara, who is participating in the simulation from inside her real Strain, ignores Lottie’s subsequent communication and instead talks to Emily. With the Libertad headed for Gall space to resupply, Sara is finding herself surrounded more and more by her new wingmen, but this doesn’t change her solitary attitude. She eventually asks Carris and Dickon why they’re all approaching her, and Carris tells her that it’s because she’s one of them now. And after an exercise session later, Lottie makes it clear to Sara that they are comrades who entrust their lives to each other. Sara walks away without answering, but then briefly encounters Isabella’s old group, now led by Mariette.
Returning to her own room, Sara brushes her doll’s hair and says that having only Emily as a friend is enough for her. She wonders why she can be her true self – Sara Werec – in front of Emily, but not in front of everyone else to whom she is Sara Cruz. She admits that she doesn’t feel qualified to be their comrades right now. Suddenly, Sara hears a loud crashing noise outside her room and goes out to see a large pile of mecha wreckage from the previous battle. Melchisedec claims that it can be used to make a new Strain, but Sara sees how the cockpit is covered in blood and how there’s a torn photograph of a man and a woman hanging from inside. It reminds her of the people who died in that battle and causes her to clutch Emily harder. Meanwhile, on the Deague ship, Medlock is agitated that Ralph’s Strain still isn’t ready to sortie again, but she still finds plenty of pleasure in Ralph himself.
Back on the Libertad, Sara is going through a physical examination and scan, and everything looks normal. The doctor is still planning to do a real examination once they get to Gall, and lets slip to his assistant about Sara and a secret weapon. Afterwards, Sara receives a message and heads to a lower deck, ignoring Carris and Dickon when they pass her and try to tell her about a meeting with Lottie in the simulation room. Even without Sara, Lottie outlines her new formation plan that has both herself and Sara at the front to fight Ralph. Although the other pilots aren’t sure about Sara and teamwork, Lottie has decided to trust her because of her abilities. Lottie also notes that she and Sara somehow have the same scent. As for the girl in question though, she’s been cornered by Mariette and her gang. Sara is shocked to learn from them that Isabella died in the previous battle, and Mariette blames her for it.
When the girls start pushing her around, Sara doesn’t resist and doesn’t say anything. This pisses off Mariette even more and she starts slapping Sara and then punching her after she sees Sara’s sad eyes. As she’s being pummeled, Sara can only remember everyone who died and her brother’s betrayal. Mariette eventually graduates from her fists to a metal pole, but before she can bring it down on Sara, Carris stops her. Behind him, Lottie and the rest of the Reasoners also appear. After scaring off the other girls, Lottie turns to Mariette, who still blames Sara for Isabella’s death. She makes Mariette realize that it’s not just her who’s lost comrades in battle, causing Mariette to run off crying. When Sara asks why Lottie did this, she replies that it’s only because Sara getting injured would create a hole in the formation that she designed. The group then starts laughing when Lavinia arrives late with guns ready, but that laughter turns to concern when Sara suddenly faints. Lottie manages to catches Sara and smiles at her now serene, sleeping face.


Well, I don’t think that there will be dramatic changes in Sara’s behavior because of what happened here. This was a step in the right direction, but I think that it’ll take a lot more before Sara can interact with this group the same way she acted with Mary, Colin, and Cedie. In other words, it will still take something more before she can be Sara Werec again. In fact, I bet that the group learns from someone other than Sara herself, and Lottie will go through a lot of mixed emotions because of how much she hates the other Werec: Ralph.
It was painful watching Sara get beat up this episode. It felt worse because she didn’t try to fight back and just took it, maybe because of her own guilt over everyone’s deaths – that’s something more she’ll have to get over. Regardless, Mariette was part of the antagonist group from the start and now she’s just made herself a prime target to be killed off. If only Lavinia had gotten there sooner with the big guns. I’d have liked to see what that scene would have been like.
I’m also still waiting to see how they’re going to try to establish a relationship between Carris and Sara. He once again was the one to save her when he stopped Mariette, but I doubt she really noticed. Heck, the question might not be how they establish this, but if they do at all.

November 24, 2006 at 6:47 pm
  • November 24, 2006 at 6:52 pmdxanato

    Well the one thing I like that happen is Sara finally see that she has friend who can come to her rescue. I hope she see she not alone any more and let herself open slowly like she once was.

  • November 24, 2006 at 7:06 pmXellos-_^

    Now the bet is on who is going to bite it next.

  • November 24, 2006 at 7:07 pm*Chi*

    And the people who have beat up Sara, they’ll pay for it, bloody bastards..
    This show is getting more and more interesting, has a really good story.

  • November 24, 2006 at 7:37 pmtimoshi

    did you watch da “Black Blood Brother”? xDDD

  • November 24, 2006 at 7:47 pmGuido

    This has been the best character-driven episode in concern to Sara’s self-imposed detachment from human contact, and the guilt she experiences carried over to her from Ralph’s sins.

  • November 24, 2006 at 8:30 pmDrakron

    The issue is she puts Ralph over everything else, this episode reminds her people are dying because her “nii-san” is killing then and those persons also have families and friends amd the universe does not revolve around Ralph.

  • November 24, 2006 at 9:54 pmbak3donh1gh

    does this animation for this show look like crap to anyone else?

  • November 24, 2006 at 9:55 pmLissa

    Yeah, it’s nice that she has more friends. And that girl shouldn’t blame Sara for Isabella’s death, cause it isn’t really her fault.

  • November 24, 2006 at 11:01 pmdoireallyneedtoputmynamehere?

    bak3donh1gh …no..not me

  • November 25, 2006 at 12:16 amasddfsghj

    i think it was important when she asked why people were suddenly being so nice to her. sure they’re her friends, _now_. just because she can pilot a strain? pssh she coulda used some friends when she was just piloting a gambi you know

  • November 25, 2006 at 2:01 amKenta

    sara should just demolish those that hurt her. having gone through so much and then having more people to humiliate you. she shouldn’t have to put up with so much crap.

  • November 25, 2006 at 2:27 amwinni3bear

    That’s sad cuz Sara got beat up n its good that Isabella died cuz she waz mean

  • November 25, 2006 at 3:06 amJayJay

    Mariette was it? And who was those 4 other girls?? They’ve SOOOOO gotta die. I wish someone would unleash Shion on those girls. Heck, first tear off some of their nails, then to Shion’s Fun-Fun Torture Chamber with the remaining nails and fingers, before a finale as what Satoko went through (although I’d hope Shion would at least dismember every limb first before going straight for the heart/neck). And even after that, put them through what Onibaba went through, before finally sending them to Rena to be “disposed”. Ooh, and hopefully it could start next episode, and last till the final episode (aka, keep them alive till the second final, before disposing them in the final). Oopsie, forgotten about Kei-kun. He could prolly soften them up with his bat before Rena gets to work. She’s a girl after all. Muahahaha.

    Ahem.. but seriously, that final speech that Lotti made was kinda unimpressive. I’d rather have her say something like, “Didn’t Sara already tell her (esp I******* bitch) that those droids attack in groups?”. Well, either way, I-Bitch really got on my nerve, and the only reason I’d want to see her alive is to see her suffer before ko’ed. And even now with her gone, we’ve still got M-bitch walking around.

    Anyway, I hope all 4 girls get punished for what they did, and for M-bitch, … I hope that commander would send her to Shion (Don’t worry, she’s prolly alive about now. If not, just wait a few more weeks, and she should be again).

    Wow.. I AM evil… and it’s all thanks to animes and my lecturers… Anywa, gonna go sober up now. Thanks for blogging!

  • November 25, 2006 at 5:35 amYuki

    I wouldn’t worries too much about Mariette and the 4 girls, seeing how they just kill off all the characters all the times. I doubt they will live past the next battle

  • November 25, 2006 at 5:54 amBladewind

    I think you will need the antagonist around for a bit longer, so Mariette is staying. When things goes right again for Sara, Mariette will be ready to ruin her day >.> Just my 2 cents.

  • November 25, 2006 at 8:17 amJayJay

    lololol. Afaik, the story can go either way. They can easily just kill off M-bitch and her 4-member squad in 1 episode, then introduce new characters again. Or they could expand a little bit more on her, since I-bitch is now gone. They could very well feature her in battle, and saved by Sara, hence changing her views on her, since right now, it seems like M-bitch is still under the influence of I-bitch.

    Can’t wait for eps 6 and 7!!!

  • November 25, 2006 at 10:46 pmGuido

    I clearly listened to Lottie giving a nickname to Sara.

    If I heard right it was like “anno konjou onna”.

  • November 26, 2006 at 3:12 amSpectrum

    Ookay, Lavinia rocks. What the hell is she carrying? A pair of anti-tank rockets slung over the shoulder, a pair of bandoliers for a machine gun, and some type of shoulder mounted launcher or beam weapon at least, plus probably the machine gun in her otherhand offscreen.

  • November 26, 2006 at 7:53 amRyuma

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of the character designs (that and the idea of 10 year old girls piloting advanced military mecha spacecraft is a bit too out there even if anime is full of them) and the 3D scenes don’t quite synch up with the normal 2D animation, but the story and character interactions more than makes up for it. It’s nice to see a complex female protagonist too (even if Sara is really clingy toward her brother). The schism between the elite Reasoners and the grunt Gambee pilots also reminded me a lot of the mobile infantry and pilots from Starship Troopers.

  • November 27, 2006 at 2:21 amkdp

    I’m happy to see some serious thought given to this series. For example, in eps 4 you see the “person” Emily pick up a tube. That tube is the picture Sara gave her brother back in Eps 1. Also, it’s nice to see them make a point of saying that attacking a behind the front-lines training squad isn’t something normal (nor something that is expected); it’s obvious that whatever Ralph and the Deague are up to isn’t standard. I’m glad to see the characters actually saying WTF? instead of just reacting…

    I’m not too surprised with young kids being used as fighter pilots (ie. Reasoners). Frankly, it’s reasonable given the situation. You need people with fast reaction times and yet willing to fight. That combo has traditionally been more of the kids rather than the adults.

    Frankly, I expect Ralph to be able to beat Sara in a straight-up, many opponent fight. He has more experience due to his age. However, Sara has the faster reaction time and better training due to her age and training as a Gambee pilot. In an one-on-one fight, she has the advantage, as was seen in eps 4. If there were a lot of opponents, however, I expect Ralph would win. His experience with fighting would overcome any advantages Sara has with her age and faster reflexes.

    My personal prediction (I don’t have any fore-knowledge of the next eps) is that Sara will end up with the Emily “person” and the Emily “doll”. My guess is that Ralph will give Emily to Sara (or at least ask Sara to save Emily), though I’m not sure how. I have a feeling that Ralph is not the big baddie that he’s being made out to be at the moment; something else is driving him to do what he’s doing (and it doesn’t seem to be love, given his lack of reaction to Medlock’s seductions.

    I’m really liking this series. Much better than I anticipated. Even the music isn’t bad, though it’s nothing to write home about.

    Thank you, Omni, for blogging this!

  • November 28, 2006 at 9:26 am@^-^@

    next ep will be the last??

  • November 28, 2006 at 3:16 pmadsdfsfgj

    who says sara has faster reaction time than ralph? and how were her age be an advantage rather than disadvantage. and kids are not more willing to fight, nor are their reaction times faster than a young adults. if there is an actual reason for kids piloting the strain’s it would be because you need a MIMIC formed before your born or whatever and the mimic’s weren’t invinted until recently; but this doesn’t explain why gambi pilots would need to be so young. also the only reason sara even got to hit ralph was because that guy was holding on to him. in a one on one he would totally kill her, especially since he actually seems willing to go all the way while sara would be hesitant to kill him

  • November 29, 2006 at 1:31 amPakxenon

    This episode has an overwhelming ~50% in a poll of 800+ people. Can it be THAT GOOD?????? (waiting for subs)