Following her introduction last time, Rana is quickly stirring things up school-wide in ways that only make the story better for me as the viewer. Her forwardness with her feelings for Kazuya contrasts well with Satellizer’s reserved demeanor, and also forces our Untouchable Queen to take the initiative if she doesn’t want to lose her newly-partnered Limiter. It was kind of odd to see things start off with the two of them getting Kazuya to call them by their first name, considering that Satellizer isn’t Asian and being called by her first name should be normal to her, but it did create some good tension nonetheless.
Rana made an immediate splash fighting Ganessa, but her battle with Satellizer was pretty darn entertaining with the back and forth exchanges. To that end, I’m quite impressed with how Hanazawa Kana’s voicing Rana. I had no doubts she’d be able to pull off an energetic and combative personality given how talented of a seiyuu she is, but I wasn’t too sure what it would sound like since I haven’t heard her in a similar type of role before. Now that I have, I would imagine she’ll be up for casting consideration in the next big shounen series adaptation. Rana’s Kuuga and Enga attacks were pretty badass with Kana’s feisty voice behind them. I also love how Rana’s a hand-to-hand type Pandora with her “Shinen” 「四念」 (Four Senses) Volt Weapon, and the way she came out on top of her fight with Satellizer goes to show why that is.
As for Attia manipulating Rana into fighting Satellizer, I’d probably hate her more for doing so if I didn’t know what’s coming. I didn’t mind Rana taking the initiative and latching onto Kazuya since she genuinely likes him, but it’s a different story when she’s tricked into doing the third-years’ bidding. The upcoming two-versus-two battle was my personal highlight in the early volumes of the manga, and should be exciting to watch since it addresses that and is unlike any fight seen thus far. It just sucks that Satellizer and Rana’s start off handicapped after beating the crap out of one another, but Attia’s surprise over their Double Accel and Holy Gate Bajiquan (Seimon Hakkyokuken) techniques serves as a bit of nice foreshadowing on how they can dig deep and push themselves when needed. It’s actually what gave me the shounen vibe I mentioned back in the Winter 2011 Preview.
Now that Rana has arrived, Kazuya’s becoming less like a main protagonist and more like just a character that the plot centers around in order for it to work. Still, I find him respectable in the sense that he’s unfazed by all the misinterpreted rumors he hears about Satellizer going back to her time in East Genetics and still wants to be her Limiter. Just don’t expect him to do much in this upcoming fight. 🙂
Note: I put together a lot of full-length screen captures for this post — ten in fact — so feel free to skim through the images if you’re interested.