「Ambush! Ravensborne Nucleochede」
Non-stop Pandora/Nova Form action more or less sums up this episode, as Cathy and Milena’s group gets by the third-years’ line of defense and even manages to slip past Elizabeth. The fated rematch between Satellizer and Cathy went off without a hitch, and down a much more one-sided path than even I was anticipating. The best part of it all was how it finally led to Kazuya’s moment to shine, by both saving Satellizer and calling out to Cathy to try and bring her to her senses. I never would have imagined how cool he be when given the right opportunity.
It wasn’t quite a character defining moment, though it was pretty close thanks to Satellizer’s cold attitude towards him just prior. Had she not told him he’s not needed out of her own stubbornness, it probably wouldn’t have had the same effect. Unfortunately, what was lost in the time-saving shuffle was the backstory on Cathy’s own traumatic experience, which would have revealed why she became a Pandora even though she’s not mentally suited for it. The same thing happened to Ingrid back in episode four and it simplified Cathy’s character just like it did hers. However, with only twelve episodes to work with, I can’t blame the producers for only choosing to really flesh out Satellizer’s character. If this were a long-running shounen series, only then would it make sense to provide some more depth to all the characters along the way.
To the anime’s credit, the decision to substitute some unnamed military figures with the regular cast and add in some previous encounters led to a more tight-knit group to revolve the story around. That in turn resulted in some developments that we wouldn’t have had otherwise to really bring out some scenes, such as the one here where Kazuya called out to Cassie and reminded her of her promise to let him read her novels one day. It may have seemed somewhat irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but that actually ties in with her aforementioned traumatic experience with her father that was cut out. It also emphasized her love in books and writing, which provided a little bit of the depth that’s depicted in the manga. These changes have been pretty subtle, so it should please purists out there to know that the anime has been fairly faithful.
In conjunction, the anime original portions worked well in providing some extra development between Kazuya and Satellizer, improving their relationship in battle, which like I mentioned last week, is probably the only time they have to do so. It also brought about Satellizer realizing that she’d be willing to undergo a baptism with Kazuya. As far as I’m aware, the latter wasn’t even hinted at during the corresponding chapters in the manga, so we may even see the anime concluding around the two of them forming an official partnership. It would provide a more fulfilling conclusion, but would likely negatively affect any chances for a sequel by brushing Rana aside.
Whatever the screen writers decide, the story has been set up to conclude around defending Maria with at least a couple of more surprises in store. While Chiffon and Ticy are the obvious suspects, I’m actually more interested in seeing how Satellizer and Cathy’s subplot plays out. If it does touch upon the part that I’m thinking, it should serve as a fairly satisfying chapter to end on.