Kanata gets more accustomed to life with the others at the fort, and on this particular day, Felicia, Kureha, and Noel head out to get some supplies. Rio uses the chance to give Kanata some more horn practice, and during a break, the two talk about how Kanata joined the military to learn to play an instrument. Their conversation is cut short when Kanata faints because she’s sick, and Rio panics because she remembers a similar scene from her childhood. Kanata is running a high fever, and with no one else to turn to and no medicine, Rio heads into town and requests the aid of the nun at the church. That nun, whose name is Yumina, is able to diagnose Kanata with tertian malaria and gives her some medicine, and Rio is very grateful.
Kanata meanwhile dreams of the soldier she met when she was young who had played a certain song on the trumpet. She wakes up to Rio humming the same song, and she accidentally causes Rio to cut her finger while peeling an apple. All of this depresses Kanata because she feels that she’s a burden, and when she mentions how she wanted to be able to play that song, Rio takes her to the hanger where Takemikazuchi is kept. Rio has the tank play the same song, except this version has multiple instruments, and Rio compares the instrumental parts coming together to a tank crew working together. In both cases, there’s nothing that’s left unneeded, and Rio feels that it’s natural for the lower-ranked to cause trouble for the superior officers. Remembering her own struggles in the past, Rio explains that it’s thus okay for Kanata to be unable to do things right now and to impose on others, and Kanata takes this seriously.
So whereas last week was mostly about Kureha, this week was mostly about Rio, and it certainly revealed a lot about her character. I really liked how they showed how her past influences her now and how Rio brought everything together (music, Kanata’s worries, their roles) in the speech that she made. Actually, her analogy of music and the tank crew made me laugh a little, but that didn’t take away from what was a heartwarming scene. It was also interesting to see that two of the girls the blonde-haired woman had an influence on ended up in the same place, and I’m sure that won’t be the last flashback we see of her or the last time we hear “Amazing Grace” since both seem like they could be central to the plot.
On a different note, I found it curious that they emphasized again that tank had a lot of what we’d consider to be advanced technology (with an English menu interface no less), yet it’s considered a relic in an environment where technology doesn’t appear very advanced. It’s quite a contrast, one that I hope they expand on next week since, based on the preview, it looks to be a Noel episode and will involve the tank.