「桜花幻影」 (Ouka Genei)
“Cherry Blossom Phantom”
After five episodes of going into detail on various aspects of the Super Robot Wars universe, this sixth one marks the first episode where I feel there’s been enough shown that following no real explanation is necessary to grasp what’s going on. For those who are jumping into this series somewhat blindly, this means that the main protagonists and antagonists have been established and you should have enough to go on from simply watching. Any major twists and turns coming up shouldn’t require too much more background understanding of the franchise, other than the ones that I’ve tried to point out in a spoiler-free manner already. From the look of it, the story has progressed to the point that this sequel more or less stands on its own, but I’ll continue to supplement better understanding when deemed beneficial to overall enjoyment.
Continuing from last time, the focus is on Arado and how he survived getting shot down by Latune’s Wild Raubtier back in episode four. While the Hagane crew suspect that Arado’s been brainwashed based on his physical examination, Seolla is getting that very treatment elsewhere, care of Dr. Agilla Setme (Mayama Ako), who’s forcibly making her forget about Arado. Subsequently, Ouka gets some further brainwashing and is later sent out in the Rapiecage, during which she tries to lure Latune to their side. In short, it’s the reunion of The School children that was foreshadowed in the preview last time, with the twist being that Arado’s decided to allow himself to remain a prisoner of the Earth Federation after learning that Ouka’s been further brainwashed by the old hag. Given the preferential treatment that the crew’s been giving him as per Kai’s orders, it should only be a matter of time before Arado starts seeing that things on this side are so much better than the Neo Divine Crusaders. The next order of business should be saving Seolla from her current fate of being a lab rat, which the mere thought of is clearly bothering Arado.
Amidst all The School stuff going on, there was also Archibald’s ongoing search for the Choukijin as well as Lamia connecting with fellow W-Number Echidna, confirming that she’s a spy sent by Shadow-Mirror. The real surprise though was the arrival of Axel in his Soulgain, which was confronted by Kyousuke in his Alt Eisen almost immediately. After the series opened with his battle against the “Beowulf” of his dimension and him leaving for the Original Generation one, I was wondering when he was going to finally show up. Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much to make from their brief clash other than how Axel perceives Kyousuke as Beowulf, since Echidna was quick to retrieve him in his damaged Soulgain and retreat. On the plus side, Irm did give us a taste of his Grungust’s Final Beam, even though it didn’t find its intended mark due to an R-Eins sacrificing itself to protect Axel. For now, The School stuff still needs to be settled, but the late arrival of Axel actually has me looking forward to his grudge against Beowulf much more. In particular, it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts upon learning that the Kyousuke of this dimension isn’t the deranged psychopath who he’s used to fighting against.