「逃るること叶わぬ螺旋回廊(クサリ)」 (Nogaruru Koto Kanawanu Rasen Kairou (Kusari))
“The Spiraling Cloister (Chain) of No Escape”
It’s almost as if AIC ASTA’s just flaunting their capabilities now. In addition to having a new ending theme/sequence each week, they’ve gone and tweaked the opening with some extra sound effects. When a studio has time to do all that, it sure gives me the impression they have this project in the bag. The story is well on track too, with Nymph’s whole collar situation nearing its climax.
Eishirou and Mikako’s New World Discovery talk at the beginning on slavery probably best describes Nymph’s relationship with her master. With the episode opening up with that and Nymph’s nearly depleted collar, it wasn’t too surprising to finally learn that she has a ticking timebomb around her neck. However, I did feel more compassionate towards her situation after hearing her give up on bringing Ikaros back and seeing her try to enjoy her remaining time instead. This led to a three-person date between Nymph, Ikaros, and Tomoki, where our blue-haired Angeloid felt profound feelings of sadness and love for the first time. Holding hands with Tomoki for a bit made her quickly realize how lonely it feels to let go, plus got her to admit she wishes Tomoki was her master. This was later followed up by Nymph giving kissing a try, but she ends up pulling back at the last moment. In both cases, Nymph made Ikaros experience feelings of jealousy that she had no idea how to cope with. I don’t hold it against her though, since she felt bad about doing so at the end.
With the new ending “Red Flowers, White Flowers”, followed by Nymph flying off to a remote area to die alone, I was pretty impressed by how well they brought her overarching story to the forefront. The scenes in the new ending sequence in particular came off as her death flag in disguise. Since no one’s been aware of Nymph’s situation and tried to help her for the past while, it looked like she was going got a die a lonely and forgotten death after seeing them. As such, I was actually relieved to see the Angeloid Gammas arrive and cause a ruckus. If it’s explosions we need to get Tomoki and the others to notice what’s happening, then bring on the explosions!
As a parallel to all this, I liked how they had Ikaros going through some emotional problems of her own, which includes being unable to smile. Seeing her eyes turn red for a system scan was somewhat alarming, as well as destroying the zoo and freeing all the animals under the assumption that it would make Tomoki happy. Thus far, Ikaros has been shown to be pure and naive, so new feelings of jealousy obviously don’t sit well with a weapon of mass destruction. It looks like Ikaros’ worries are mostly put to rest though, leaving us with a finale that should involve saving Nymph from her horrible fate and Tomoki learning of Ikaros’ secret in the process. That’s my take on it anyway. I get the feeling Tomoki will have Ikaros’ save Nymph after learning of her combat abilities, and not hate her for it because she was able to do so. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to the conclusion next week.
While I’m rather focused on the plot portions this episode, it did have its fair share of comedy throughout. My personal favorites were Sohara’s evil version of Goku’s Genki Dama (a.k.a. Spirit Bomb) after Tomoki got overzealous tickling her, Ikaros’ permanent smile from Nymph’s idea to use glue, and Tomoki throwing up after Ikaros went crazy on the spinning teacups ride. Some other notables were the Pink Panther movie poster and the Watermelon Man The Movie display. I also got a good laugh out of a lot of Tomoki’s outbursts, especially after the mayhem at the zoo resulted in the police, airforce, and army being sent out after him.
Finally, if you’re interested in hearing the sound effects-filled version of the opening theme, please see below. I’ve also uploaded a copy of the opening theme from the previous episode, which had Hayami Saori singing lead.