「饗宴・砦ノ戦争」 (Kyouen – Toride no Sensou)
“Banquet – The Fortress War”
The only thing better than trumpet girls playing war are DRUNK trumpet girls playing war! And in 1080p no less, in this first of two DVD/Blu-ray only episodes. After how this series came off as nothing more than that to me the majority of the time, it was good to see them actually do so as a result of Kanata prying into Filicia and the others’ secret underground Calvados distillery. What’s even more criminal is how Filicia spiked everyone’s tea with the apple brandy to get Yumina off their backs about drinking under the age and catching onto how they’re actually making it themselves. It doesn’t look good when Filicia, Rio, and Kureha are making some good cash on the side from their operation either, but I can’t really blame them for being opportunistic with all the free time they have at the fort. One can only pretend to be stationed in the army post for so long before boredom kicks in and the urge of actually doing something worthwhile comes along, so what better way than to make your own alcohol, pocket some good cash, and get drunk whenever you want?
If it isn’t apparent already, this was a gag-filled episode full of melodrama as a result of everyone under the influence of good ‘ol alcohol, thanks to our always “trustworthy” platoon leader Filicia Heideman. Remember when senior officers were supposed to be the most responsible ones? Well that sure as hell doesn’t apply if they’re the COOL ones. Anyway, with Yumina all enthusiastic and joining in on the mock battle to determine if they’ll let Kanata in on what’s stored in the basement, Kureha served as the voice of reason in all this to provide the tsukkomi (comedic jabs) since she was the only one with a high enough tolerance to remember the atrocities that took place. In her retelling of the incident that Filicia swept under the rug in hopes of it being forgotten forever, this battle with water guns and blood-dyed ammunition was absolutely hilarious with Noel showing the fools the power of science, water Gatling gun style!
I can’t even describe how much I laughed my ass off at Noel all sadistic over the prospect of testing out her new toy, but this goes to show exactly why Yuuki Aoi is just as awesome when she plays a green-haired android or a purple-haired girl from a family of strict customs. I honestly have no idea how she and the other seiyuu can keep a straight face voicing some of these scenes, because after seeing hints of lesbianism followed by Filicia charging in to act as a diversion and getting gunned down, I couldn’t stop laughing. Rio getting all emotional about losing her lifelong partner and Noel getting hit unexpectedly after running out of ammo had me laughing to point that it hurt, especially when I saw the latter rolled over on top of her Gatling gun. I could watch that scene over and over again and be just as hilarious as the first time. Hell, even looking at that screencap now makes me laugh. Then there’s Yumina succumbing to the fires of war just as quickly, along with her teary-eyed departure where she entrusts the outcome of this battle to Kanata. Not too long after, the final showdown between Kanata and Rio in the distillery where Kureha couldn’t be bothered nor allowed to take part in just added to the laughs with the goofy yet workable script.
The comedic melodrama was absolute gold in all these scenes and it was all summed up perfectly with one quick glance from Kureha. In other words, “…” With the subsequent fan-service-filled bath scenes after the mock battle, I somehow saw that as a befitting end to this bonus episode, but it went on to surprise me with Yumina coming back completely wasted and slogging directly from the bottle. Somehow, that was a green light for Filicia to go all out with the underage drinking, which resulted in a mix of emotional drunks, talkative drunks, and sleepy drunks. The true victim in all this ended up being Kureha herself in her still sober state, as she got stripped and ravaged endlessly by a bunch of drunk girls. Needless to say, those were some traumatizing details that Kureha couldn’t even document in detail.
Anyway, assuming that a series didn’t have any major loose ends that were begging to be tied up, I love it when bonus episodes just take a comedic spin on things like it did here. It’s even better when we see all everyone completely out of character too, so this lighthearted one is definitely worth watching if you enjoyed the series. The second and final bonus episode won’t be out until September 22nd.