As the Sentan Island military forces fire at the giant test-type Xam’d, Haru hears a woman’s voice come from it saying that it wants to live, just like Akiyuki had done. Haru and Furuichi’s ASP Suits have now been equipped with guns, and they pursue the Xam’d, but Haru doesn’t follow the others when they fly over water to catch up. Instead, she tries to tell the others that the Xam’d isn’t doing anything, and she watches as the baby Xam’d creates a shield to protect its mother. Haru then sees a tower in the distance with a large eye on top, but when she tries to tell Furuichi, he has no idea what she’s talking about because he can’t see it. When the Xam’d sprouts large wings of light in preparation to fly away, Furuichi won’t let it and shoots it until its body becomes covered in stone. In the aftermath, Prois takes Haru home. When Haru brings up how the Xam’d was pregnant, Prois doesn’t think much of it and instead points out that the Xam’d are like Humanform weapons, except with more killing power.
Meanwhile, onboard the Zanbani, Akiyuki receives the pile of letters that Haru sent him. In them, she wonders where Akiyuki is and talks about how time has stopped for her ever since he left. Haru also mentions how his parents are waiting for him to come back home and how she’s trying to join the military so that she can get off the island. As part of this, she’ll be at Tsumebara Pass in a few days, and she asks Akiyuki to meet her there. Haru closes out the letter by revealing that she still has his armband, and she expresses her desire to see him soon. Because of this letter, Akiyuki goes and asks Ishu to let him use the Beat Kayak to go to the Tsumebara Pass. Ishu doesn’t care what he does, but she refuses to let him have the Beat Kayak and suggests that he thank Nakiami before he leaves. Unlike Ishu, Nakiami initially opposes the idea, however she eventually decides to let Akiyuki go on the condition that he take Roppa with him. Before he parachutes down, she also advises him that the Hiruko likes his heart to be independent, that he should live alongside others, and that he shouldn’t forget what Tenshin said.
The wind carries Akiyuki off-target, but he still finds his way and proceeds through a forest. When Akiyuki comes across a rock structure that’s shaped like a Humanform weapon, Roppa notices and snarls at a man nearby. Akiyuki tries to ask this man about a possible shortcut, but the man reacts fearfully to the mention of the Tsumebara Pass and transforms into a Humanform weapon. It charges at Akiyuki, so he releases his right arm and slices off his opponents’ arm. Despite this, he tries to reason with the Humanform weapon, but it charges at him again, and this time it’s brought down by a bullet. The shooter is an older man who is accompanied by his daughter, and she returns Akiyuki’s arm to its normal form after noting that it’s worse than her fathers. The man – whose name is Zuizo – reveals that his daughter Kio was the one who wanted to save Akiyuki because she didn’t want people killing each other in front of her mother’s grave. The two of them end up taking Akiyuki in for the night, and Kio explains that people in the area started turning into Humanform weapons after an attack by the North recently. Zuizo and his wife were both affected, but Zuizo isn’t a Humanform weapon yet.
Meanwhile, Haru and Furuichi have headed out via an airship to the Tsumebara Pass with the mission to search for a missing ASP Squad. As he’s walking through the ASP Suit hanger that night, Furuichi finds Haru staring out of a window with Akiyuki’s armband in her hand. Back on the Zanbani, Nakiami has noticed that the tracker that was put on Roppa has stopped responding, and since she’s worried that something happened, she decides to set out in the Beat Kayak in order to bring Akiyuki and Roppa back .
The battle with the Xam’d didn’t quite turn out how I expected (it was rather one-sided), but I came away from it with a few observations. One is that Haru is apparently special in some way since she could see the tower with the eye in the distance, but Furuichi couldn’t. Another is that the writers/director are really trying to drive home the point that Xam’d are very human still – even showing this one as pregnant – and Haru will be one of the voices opposing violence against them. In contrast, it looks like Furuichi will be ruthless against the Xam’d and will likely oppose Haru being reunited with Akiyuki once he realizes that Akiyuki isn’t completely human anymore. This should also fall in line with what all the pent-up emotions from seeing Haru carrying that armband everywhere, and he might even try to kill Akiyuki as the preview for next week implies. Speaking of which, maybe next episode will finally reveal how the North is turning people into Humanform weapons.
On a different note, now that Haru’s letters have reached Akiyuki, it finally occurred to me that the girl at the beginning of the OP is her since she’s throwing a letter that Akiyuki catches at the end. Unfortunately, that also probably means she’ll remain separated from Akiyuki and that she’ll cut her hair at some point. 🙁