「Glühen ～死闘の開幕～」 (Shitou no Kaimaku)
“Glow ~The Fight to the Death Begins~”
Well this episode was a bit of a mixed bag. I’m kind of in limbo about the series as a whole now.
Things pick up from Akane’s gunshot last time, with Natsuru jumping in to save Kaede from getting her head blown off. The school bell chimes shortly afterwards and the Schwert attacks cease; the “mysterious” assailant doesn’t want to be late for class it seems. A more pressing problem comes up though — Kaede wants Natsuru to introduce her to the tall, blue-haired beauty who saved her twice now and on a whim, he actually agrees to do so. On the suggestion of Akane, Natsuru reluctantly tries to make Kaede hate his female self, but finds himself unable to do so when Kaede goes out on a limb and asks “her” out.
Before Natsuru gets a chance to respond to her feelings, Shizuku shows up and attacks him while using Kaede’s well-being to egg him on. With Akane’s help, he’s able to beat the student council president and get her to agree not to involve Kaede anymore. However, Shizuku says she’ll continue to fight other Kampfers in order to figure out the purpose of it all. The next day, Natsuru and Akane learn that Shizuku was able to wipe Kaede’s memories of the incident, but she’s unable to calm the commotion in the school over Natsuru’s female presence. To disperse the rumors going around, Shizuku gets Natsuru to join the classes on the girls’ side of the school.
As you may recall, I was concerned about the pacing of the manga and how that would translate to the anime. Well it seems like the producers were thinking the same thing, because they just consolidated A TON of material and plowed right through it. Now I’m concerned about the exact opposite — things are going way too fast. For one, it looks like they completely removed the date that Natsuru and Kaede were supposed to have gone on. I have no idea whether or not they’ll bring it back in some form later on, but I’d imagine they have something planned at the rate they’re going. In addition, the battle between Natsuru/Akane and Shizuku should’ve dragged out a fair bit longer, with the whole sprinkler bit serving a bigger purpose than a mere distraction. That I didn’t mind so much though, because the suspense they were going for in the lengthier version just wasn’t worth the effort.
On the plus side, the comedy I enjoyed from the first episode was still prevalent here. The scene with Akane in Natsuru’s room was a good example of that, in conjunction with all the foul-mouthed stuff that Kampfer Akane spouts out. Mizuki Nana also made her appearance as Shizuku’s Messenger, Kanden Yamaneko, along with the inaugural seiyuu shot to welcome her to the series. Story-wise, they hinted at the idea that all the stuffed animals Kaede gives out end up becoming Messengers. Seeing how early signs indicate this will be a 1 cour series (i.e. 12-13 episodes), I just hope the plot starts coming together around either that or something else.