「月下に妖精は舞う」 (Gekka ni Yousei wa Mau)
“The Fairy Dances Under the Moonlight”
I was expecting “big” things to happen once the Hagane and Hiryuu Custom crews met up, but even I didn’t anticipate the better part of the full twenty minutes dedicated to action upon action upon action of robot battle goodness. Did I mention there was a lot of action this episode? In fact, just about every personal trooper and super robot gave us a taste of a few of their trademark attacks, and there was even reference to the Twin Battle System introduced in the PlayStation 2 remake, Original Generations, before Latune and Shine gave us a taste of their Fairlions’ W-I³NK System in action. This episode felt like a stage right out of the game as well, with the way the Hagane went in first and deployed Kai, Irm, and Katina’s Octopus Squad to act as a diversion. Once the Hiryuu Custom arrived with just about everyone else, it was nothing but pure mecha eye candy from that point as they charged in from both the ground and the air.
The sight of Cybuster, Valsione, Weiss Ritter, and Angelg taking off first quickly set the tone for the surprise attack, which was followed up by Bullet and Kusuha firing their Grungust Type-3’s Omega Blaster. A lot of the attention was then diverted to Alt Risen, R-1, and R-2 Powered on the ground, and befittingly so since Rai was a man on a mission to kill Archibald with his own hands. It was kind of cool to see Ryuusei insist that Rai lead in their two unit assault, since the two of them don’t get along all that well despite being team mates. During all that, one of the biggest homage was the way the characters screamed out their attacks in the exact same way that they do in the games, including Ryuusei’s “T-LINK Knuckle!” and Rai’s “Hi-Zol Launcher… Shoot!”
Story-wise, a lot of the heated emotions came from Rai’s attempt to avenge his sister-in-law, Elzam’s wife Cattleya, who was taken hostage by Archibald when his group of terrorists attacked his home colony of Elpis. Those feelings of hatred flared up quite a bit when Archibald revealed that he had taken the citizens of Riksent hostage in a similar manner, and had me hoping that he’d die a horrible death sooner rather than later. However, as a result of his underhanded tactics, Yuuki and Carla look like they won’t want to follow orders form Archibald much longer. The two of them have already earned some favorable impressions from the rest of the Earth Federation pilots for betraying Archibald and defusing all the bombs (with Gilliam’s help), so if there’s a side they ever need to jump ship to, the good guys would be it.
Unfortunately, the Neo DC commander didn’t get what he deserved in the gigantic Gravilion robot he came out in after Rai and Lamia put a nice dent in his battleship. For now, it was nice to see Latune and Shine give him an ass-kicking with their Fairlions’ synchronized Royal Heartbreaker attack with the help of Angelg’s Phantom Phoenix. I had no complaints with how the Royal Heartbreaker was animated given that it showcased every aspect of the attack sequence from the game, save for some more focus on the individual dance portions. They even threw in a vocal version of their “Fairy Dan-Cing” theme to go with it, which has me looking forward to seeing how well some of SRX’s attacks will be animated in this sequel. I can’t wait to see its variable formation either.
In terms of production, it’s probably worth noting that most of the Fairlion Type-G and Type-S were rendered in CG, but blended fairly well into the battle sequences regardless. I actually thought it made the scene look pretty cool since it was reminiscent of Macross Frontier’s use of CG, plus Shine didn’t hesitate to give us a close-up shot of her Type-S’ rear end. Now how’s that for mecha fan-service? Anyway, with Riksent liberated from Neo DC, the focus looks like it should be shifting to the Inspectors now. It’s time to go up against the big guns again.