「正しき資質」 (Tadashi ki Shishitsu)
“The Right Stuff”

This week, Project Prominence starts revving into gear… bringing with it some pretty awesome shots of the new Type-94 Shiranui (known as the XFJ-01a Shiranui Second Phase). Sadly though, Bridges struggles continue this episode for the most part, as he tries to adapt to the drastically different Japanese TSF design. And well with all this frustration, combined with the continued disagreements with Yui over the quality of the TSF and his piloting in general… it’s no wonder things eventually escalate to the point where there just ain’t any other way to settle the score except via the old-fashioned way: fisticuffs. Except, you know, with TSF’s. Surprisingly enough though, it’s actually Yui that initiates the confrontation. I had always pictured it being a kind of officially sponsored sparring match of some sort or Bridges being the one to initiate, but alas… can’t get everything right. At least though, it does fit quite nicely with her personality and the way she’s been doing things.

Anyway, what can I say? The amount of CGI and budget that went into these final few minutes must’ve been quite something, because it was one pretty darn nice battle. And seeing Yui easily dispatch all of the members of Argos other than Bridges in one hit, just shows how she definitely had the skills to back up her talk from the previous episodes. Yui ultimately is “defeated” by Bridges… but defeated is a bit of a stretch though, considering how Yui definitely held back and was also missing her alternate sword. Regardless, if there’s one thing that the battle showed, it’s that I was right in predicting that all her goading and “being bitchy” were just things done intentionally to bring Bridges’ true potential out. Granted, it’s questionable the methods she used to do so… but one can also argue that, considering his personality, the way Yui went about it was also probably the best and most effective way. Either way, I think the thing we can all agree on is, both of them definitely have their own share of the blame. And I think Vincent’s quotes really hits it on the nail as to why: “You guys are both the same. You’re both not willing to back down. You’re both not honest to yourself.” Hopefully though, this battle will become the catalyst that eventually leads them to work together properly. The preview seems to hint at this and well, it’ll be nice to see how they all work together.

Moving on, if there’s another thing the battle really emphasized, was how great this series can be. I mean, the battle at the end just wraps together all the developments up until this point in such a marvelous way, that you can’t help but admire at least a little, how everything works out. I mean, not only does this battle give us the resolution of major plot point involving Yui and Bridges and their inability to work with one another, as well as Bridges struggles as a test pilot… it’s also the culmination of a lot of character development.

What do I mean? Well, from this episode, we can firmly conclude that Bridges is someone who we see is clearly skewered toward the ideologies of the Americans in the Muv-Luv universe. We see that it’s something that results from a want to ignore and erase his Japanese origins. And we see the frustrations that build up as a result—frustrations that get compounded by the fact he’s unable to pilot the new Shiranui properly, even though he’s an elite American Eishi. We see how he’s stubborn, how he doesn’t give in even though he knows better (e.g. like when he knows that what Yui’s trying to do is the right thing). And we see how he’s just downright not honest with himself (e.g. blaming his struggles on the machine, rather than himself). And well, from the fact we’re able to garner so much about Bridges at this point, just shows how his battle and this episode in general, also culminates a lot of the character development from the past few episodes. Not to mention, it also shows how the creators have done a good job in giving us some solid character development in the first place… to the point where we can literally see the many layers to Bridges’ character.

Moving on, the battle is also amazing in that it does one more thing… something that’s arguably even more important than the aspects mentioned above. That is: help give us insight into the state of affairs in the Muv-Luv world. The whole bit about the different philosophies between American and Japanese TSF’s… the struggles Bridges has in the simulations (even before he got into the test type)… they’re things that give us an amazing amount of information, because it’s clear that the main reason for those different philosophies, as well as the struggles of Bridges, are because the Americans have yet to have much actual combat against the BETA. And it’s no surprise, considering how the map from a few episodes ago showed them to be pretty much untouched by the BETA. But because of this, even the best American Eishi might not be on par with others with less piloting skills and/or less capable TSF’s, purely because of the lack of experience. Furthermore, it’s possible to assume also that the differences between the American and Japanese TSF philosophies result from that lack of BETA encroachment as well. And you can assume this because it makes a lot of logical sense when you think that the Japanese are currently always under threat by the BETA. As such, the fact they’ve had more combat experience with the BETA, makes it so they’ve made TSF designs that are more suitable for fighting the BETA (at least for their country’s terrain), TSF designs that emphasize maneuverability. Combine this with the fact that they’d probably also thus need to make due with what they have, also answers why they’ve realized and adopted the philosophy emphasizing the pilot realizing the full potential of the machine they have.

Shifting over to the Americans though, it reasons that because they don’t know much about fighting with the BETA, as well as the fact they have more time and resources available as a result… it makes it so that they’d do the obvious thing: focus on power and specs, because that’s all the information they really have at their disposal. Have an unknown enemy? Build the most powerful design possible. Got new tech? Let’s improve the specs of what we have now. Etc. Granted, I may be a bit off in my reasoning/assumptions, but I feel as though there’s much, much more to be garnered between the highlighted differences, rather than it just being some satire of Americans.

In any case, I could also spend all day pointing to Yui’s development and the whole Japanese view… but it’s starting to get a bit wordy at this point, so I’ll roll over the remaining points:

  • It was great seeing the Argos team just chilling out. Their interactions and dynamics are just a pleasure to watch… especially Tarisa in general, who never ceases to give us some nice, light-hearted moments. Oh yes, I’d think Stilts would approve of this.
  • Lot of Bridges and Yui confrontations today.
  • Also like how Vincent plays a big role this episode in being the kind of neutral man in the middle, providing us with a more objective view of Yui and Bridges’ squabble.
  • The Scarlet Twins are around as usual, getting ready to shoot down your drones with their awesome Su-37.
  • Either way, all in all, a really spectacular episode. Really, I could go into thousands, upon thousands of words writing about the many points this episode touched upon, but alas, I’ll keep those things for another time. I reckon there’ll definitely be other times to talk about em’ later, considering it’s a two-cour (surprise!). I’ll leave you below with the obligatory full lengths, some nice extras, and also an important note I’d like you to read regarding spoilers.

    Full-length images: 02, 03, 10, 24, 26, 35.

    Some Fan-made Extras: OP with the Top Gun theme, “Danger Zone”, Bridges x Top Gun Picture, Happy B-Day Inia Picture (her birthday was a few days ago on 7/27).



  • First and foremost, please refrain from any spoilers on Total Eclipse past the current point in the anime, regardless of what point or argument you’re trying to make. If something’s going to happen, talk about it after it happens, not before. It ruins the experience for those that unwittingly stumble upon your spoiler and have yet to read the source material.
  • Second, if you’re mentioning outside information not yet shown in Total Eclipse, it must be spoiler tagged. Please also write in bold and before the spoiler in question where the information comes from (e.g. “Spoilers from Muv-Luv Alternative”) and some quick details about it if possible (e.g. “Re: Mech Capabilities”).



    1. *sigh* Seeing comments on other sites with vid streams makes it quite clear that a lot of people aren’t even trying to see past Yui being “nothing but a bitch” to Yuuya, acting like he’s nothing but a victim being singled out by her and “insulted for no reason”, even going so far as to say she started the whole thing while all but ignoring Yuuya’s arrogant bravado at the end of episode 1.

      Anyway, as mentioned in the blog, Yui finally sees that words alone would never get through to Yuuya, so she had to communicate in a way he could grasp; fighting. And, as we see, it works. Yuuya is FINALLY starting to accept and understand what Yui kept saying and can start working to become the better pilot AND person Yui knows he can be.

      And with the talk on power and specs and all, it sort of harkens back to WWII there. The Japanese were always on the losing side in terms of resources and production capabilities (hence, hoping Pearl Harbor would cripple the US Navy completely and prevent any drawn out conflict), so were a lot about working with their terrain and outmaneuvering the US forces while the US forces were about pushing and pushing as hard as they could against them, usually starting each island landing with lengthy, huge barrages from their big battleship cannons.

      You could even see it with both sides’ fighters. Like the Zero or Oscar both were ALL about speed and mobility (having virtually no armor whatsoever) with decent firepower while, in comparison, US fighters like the Wildcat, Hellcat, Corsair, and such were all about firepower, armor, and powerful engines to compensate. The bombers were also similar with things like the B-17 to B-29 (and even today with the B-52); being as big and powerful as it can to just smash enemies to nothing.

      1. Anyone that thinks Yui is a bitch must have not seen the first 2 episodes or at least forgotten how many of her friends were killed right in front of her. She deserves to be as commanding and condescending as she wants to some arrogant-hot-shot, ignorant-of-the-world, Japan-hating pilot.

      2. You’re WWII strategy analogy is wrong. The Japanese forces weren’t about outmaneuvering US forces. At the outset the Japanese stormed right through each weak US and British garrison after another. They fell victim to over extending themselves. After Pearl Harbor the Japanese had a clear superiority in big guns. It was their philosophy in how they were to be used that was flawed. The battleships had a prestige and to use them as bombardment platforms was not viewed as honorable as say closing with the US in a slug fest. Their large AA armaments were never efficiently used to protect their carriers. It was the US that was more adept at outmaneuvering the Japanese. The “island hopping” strategy effectively isolated dozens of major Japanese outposts until the end of the war.

        It’s true that Zero was superior in every aspect except protection. To say though that the US types were all about specs to compensate is incorrect. The Wildcat was an older design at the start of the war and still managed to hold down the fort until the superior Hellcat entered service. The Hellcat could dog fight with a Zero and take more punishment. All of the Japan’s newest designs at the end of the war were around similar to size to their American counterparts, because the air frames needed to be that large to house the engines, armaments and protection.

        The TSF designs are more akin to car philosophies. Japanese cars are designed for their countries roads and hills. Just like how European cars are designed for their similar conditions. American cars play to that ideal of wide open road where you can just gun your engine and go.

        1. Well, they didn’t really “dogfight” per ce with the Wildcat. They knew that in any actual (or at least extended) dogfight with the Wildcat against the Zero, they would lose because of the Zero’s maneuverability easily outpacing the Wildcat’s. Besides the Thatch Weave, they took on a pouncing approach in that rather than turning and a bunch of maneuvers, they would constantly dive down in hit-and-run tactics (given the Wildcat’s extra weight and armor gave it better diving capabilities).

          The Hellcat and Corsair both were more the real dogfighters against them in surpassing the Zero’s capabilities in all areas pretty much.

      3. Funny you mentioned WWII design philosophies. The Japanese Zero was made on a very Japanese mindset (specifically “Bushido”) with high spec and maneuverability and skill. American aricraft were built as tough, reliable and even had the pilots safety in mind. Even the Americans knew they would lose in a straight up dogfight, so they developed maneuvers like the Thatcher Weave. In the end American tactics pretty much confused the skilled, honored-minded Japanese in their glass canons and lost their air superiority in the Pacific front.

        In fact the parallel of design philosophies that exist in the Alternate setting where Imperial Japanese still exists feels spot-on, I can’t help but think Kouki wrote this is a stroke of genius and works as commentary.

        1. And then there’s how the Soviet Union still exists at the time too (1998) since, obviously, any Cold War would’ve been put on hold with the BETA’s invasion, but with the way they held and were about to interrogate Yuuya (even though it was Inia herself that brought him to the base), you could see the Soviet influence there.

      4. In war , especially total war like that fought versus the BETA, numbers do count. Getting out a finely tuned TSF that can only be piloted by best of the best is waste. Best weapons in history are those that can be easily produced, easily maintained, and easily operated. Germans produced extremely deadly tanks like Tiger and first jet fighters, but it ended with hordes of T-34s and Shermans under the wings of swarms of B-17s and Il-2s overrunning them. Similarily, Japanese reliance on maneuver air combat was outdone when US entered fighters with much higher speed, resilience and firepower like Hellcat and Corsair. Especially when US rotation pilot system allowed veterans to train more recruits instead fighting until killed.
        There is one thing that I think can be done with such specialized hyper-maneuvrable TSF piloted by top ace… entering a BETA hive on a mission to destroy some crucial objective Dambusters style – maybe there is sort of alien queen or overmind?
        The final fight was great but I think they have done disservice to VG and Stella by making them rush headlong guns blazing into Yui instead of picking her off at a distance using teamwork (like Yuuya did together with Stella vs Chobi in first training). They arent that stupid! But the plot demanded for them to be out of the way for Yuuya to fight Yui alone… sorta reverse plot armor.
        Speaking of Chobi, shes great comical relief, and looks great in that nekomimi-meido outfit…

        1. Without spoiling anything, the primary role that TSFs are designed for is indeed the infiltration of a hive to destroy a specific target at the bottom. Japanese machines in particular are built for this, while American machines are not due to a different strategy Show Spoiler ▼

          And as this was a JIVES simulation run, they were most definitely not carrying live ammo. The only “real” weapon that the Argos flight TSFs were carrying was their melee weapons.

      5. “even going so far as to say she started the whole thing while all but ignoring Yuuya’s arrogant bravado at the end of episode 1. ”

        But IIRC she DID start it. It was her who insulted him at the end of ep. 3. If she hadn’t done that, he wouldn’t have acted the way towards he did later on.

        But it’s interesting to see that among the ppl watching the show, there are clearly two camps. Pro Yui and Pro Yuuya, as you can see from the thumbs up/down.

    2. Yes! I’ve been waiting for Yui to roll out again and show Yuuya how its done. As such, Yuuya finally awakens to his MC instant piloting skills.

      It’s grim, but he really needs to see some comrades die in front of him to fix his constantly complaining attitude. He just sounded so naive when claiming he won’t let pilots die in suits he test-drived.

    3. Funny thing is, I agree with Yuuya’s insubordinate ranting. Especially with the whole “only a veteran can pilot it”. You don’t make craft that only the Special Elite Few can use, you make a craft that is effective and usable for anyone. Yuuya is being an arrogant prick, but Yui refuses to acknowledge his perfectly valid point. This is one the PRIMARY problems of the Type-94 Shiranui and why XFJ project was made in the first place.

      Think about it, the Takmikazuchi seems to be made of awesome(which it is) but since its exclusive to the Japanese Royal Guard means its deployment does nothing to the actual Japanese front-lines barring a special need to deploy them.

      In the end Vincent was spot on, they’re pretty much the same, both are right and wrong, but too prideful to acknowledge each others policy. They both failed to understand the point of the an American-Japanese joint project.

      1. I don’t think Yui failed to understand the point of the American-Japanese joint project she’s trying to have Yuuya understand the people who use these machines. How the machine and the man are one just like the Japanese saying, A man and his horse are one. Shower scene with Yui she knowledge Yuuya’s piloting skills but wants him to change his way of thinking and only to do that was teach him out in the field.

    4. Well, hopefully this episode marks the end of bitchy Yui and arrogant Yuuya.
      Cant get used to hearing Mamiko Noto voicing some clichee loli little sister character. Maybe its just me but nowadays I prefer hearing her in mature roles such as in Lagrange.

    5. Good to see Yui reveal her true intentions and also her true feelings about Yuuya’s skill and potential, and good to see Yuuya finally control his emotions a bit better. I wasn’t going to let Yui’s traumatic past somehow grant her a free pass on acting (which turned out to somewhat literally be “acting” in this case) so arrogant and provocative, and Yuuya’s proneness to irritability was really ticking me off (can’t comment on whether or not his criticisms were valid because I don’t know anything about the actual TSF effectiveness, but I certainly don’t like the way he presented his criticims), but this episode cleared up both of those issues for me. I can finally say I like both of these characters rather than neither.

      And I’m not going to get into speculation games about what would have happened after Yuuya–to Yui’s and everyone’s surprise–disarmed Yui in her special unit, but it was a great milestone for all of Yuuya’s effort. However, I still don’t like that all of his progress was solely motivated by pride. I would like to think that the imminence of human extinction would be motivation enough, personal loss or not.

      Also, while I haven’t seen much of this on this blog in particular, I see a lot of people in general complaining about fighting tactics in this anime (or perhaps the Muv-Luv universe in general). In particular, yes, it is ridiculous that melee weapons are a foremost component of successful fighting tactics against BETA (or TSF vs TSF or w/e else for that matter) rather than being relegated to situations where ammo is exhausted (no “expertise” with fictional mechas needed to see this), but it’s important to remember that it’s just an anime and it certainly makes things more interesting. Also, granted one with such criticisms has been watching anime for a while, I don’t know what to say if there’s any surprise to the japanese plot-inserting katanas wherever possible.

      1. There’s an explanation for melee. Its because with BETA swarm tactics, any pilot will most definitely run out of ammo so they need a weapon to fall back on. Ammo is in short supply in the MLA-verse. Its not exclusively Japanese either, Russian, Chinese, British all employ some sort of melee (all nations who engage the BETA in the front-lines). The only ones who don’t employ Melee regularly is America, probably because they’re the only nation that can afford to waste all that ammo. (Just look at America’s A-10 Thunderbolt! It’s awesome.)

    6. Shipping Yui/Yuuya so hard.

      And also: why you no full-length the shower scenes?! Q__Q My inner pervert is disappoint.

      Yuuya may have had a point regarding the adaptability of the 94 to different pilots, but he needs to learn that just being an ace using an American TSF doesn’t cut it – a true ace will be able to pilot any TSF, regardless of its manufacturer. He’s expecting crafts to be built around him, when it should really be the other way around – Yui does point this out to him, although in a slightly different context. Now, if he was some renowned veteran that had mastery of every type TSF except this one, he would have a little more leverage in his assertions, but he’s not. He becomes too focused on one issue (e.g. who made the 94) and what that issue means to him (e.g. his beef with the Japanese) that he’s unable to see the bigger picture; that’s actually a pretty significant problem from the perspective of a superior, since now you have a soldier that can’t adapt.

      Glad he’s making some headway in that department though, since another episode where he bitches about crappy TSF’s would’ve seemed a little redundant. The key is to go forward Yuuya, not run in circles.

    7. they’re things that give us an amazing amount of information, because it’s clear that the main reason for those different philosophies, as well as the struggles of Bridges, are because the Americans have yet to have much actual combat against the BETA.

      Some small Muv-Luv ALT world/history spoilers:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      But because of this, even the best American Eishi might not be on par with others with less piloting skills and/or less capable TSF’s, purely because of the lack of experience.

      Some small Muv-Luv ALT world/history spoilers:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      And you can assume this because it makes a lot of logical sense when you think that the Japanese are currently always under threat by the BETA. As such, the fact they’ve had more combat experience with the BETA,

      Some small Muv-Luv ALT world/history spoilers:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      tl;dr: The American doctrine has been proven successful on several fronts, compared to Japanese doctrine which was only semi-successful on one front. Bridges has every right to question Yui and she doesn’t have as much as an argument as him. Tbh Europe has it right, they just combine both and be done with it.

      1. I’d additionally add that if you take a look at general design philosophy and reasoning in source material:

        -You’ll notice the America apparently had the first mecha (I was really shocked here, truly, the balls it must have taken for the author to put that on paper) and lead the way in development.

        As a result they usually field the most advanced and often most effective units which spend a lot of their time doing fire support. (Hence the ranged preference)
        i.e. First few eps you’ll notice the US forces spend their entire time doing bombing runs from their carrier.

        So it’s not like they don’t have combat experience, it’s just a different approach. Personally I think that’s a good way to do it. Why strap a sword to your back if you can carry more guns instead?
        Looking at previous eps, it seems clear that by the time you need to use your sword it might as well be on yourself.

        But yeah, the US pilots in this universe seem at least as competent as everyone else, and they work round the clock doing strike missions or heavy support.
        So far there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to the contrary in the eps either, so I don’t understand where the misconception comes from.

        One thing that irks me though is historically, if we’re talking about trying for simple designs that anyone can pilot, we’d look to the Russians. They were famous for building tanks that were crude, dubiously safe, but easy to use and learn.

        Contrast that with Muv Luv and frankly, a lot of anime interpretations and all they field are crazy unethical experiments which yield effective but unstable pilots/mecha.

        1. Well, I’m not necessarily arguing the point that the US pilots may be less competent than others. That was one aspect I said “might be”, rather than “definite”.

          The main thing I’m trying to do is link the way the TSF’s have been produced to each respective nation’s situation with the BETA, and with mostly stuff based purely on what we’ve seen here in TE, rather than stuff I know from playing to VN.

          As for combat experience, you’ll see in my reply to Errat200, why I feel like the Americans theoretically have less overall combat experience for their average Eishi, compared to the average Eishi of other nations. Sure, the aces might be equivalent… but the average pilot…? I’d hesitate to say that. You’ll note we actually don’t see much of the Americans actually fighting in any of the original source material, so it’s at least a possibility that they might be less capable on the front lines.

          It might not be true, might not. But I feel like at the very least, you can see from this episode… some semblance of relationship between the way the TSF’s have been produced to each respective nation’s situation with the BETA. Also, you can see a glimpse of the obvious differences between philosophies. And they’re things tried to touch on that this time around. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you won’t, but remember, I’m trying to focus on what TE alone is showing, rather than the stuff you’ve learned from source material.

      2. To add to what Errat said, US interventions tend to be unpopular by countries because of various political and national reasons.

        The actual front-line soldiers though, (including the Japanese) do attest that the American pilots are just as brave, skilled and devoted as they are. When soldiers risk their lives against the BETA, people tend not to care about all the political bullcrap, everyone’s a comrade in battle.

      3. Well, some quick things first:
        – Well, what I’m doing is trying to say stuff based on what I’m seeing in TE, without trying to go too much into the information I know from having already played the VN’s.
        – And also, I’d appreciate it if you did put some spoiler tags eh. A lot of the stuff you’re saying are things viewers have no clue about.

        Anyway, replies to Errat200 points:

        Some small MUV-LUV ALT spoilers below regarding history and the world:

        Show Spoiler ▼

      4. What I got is this:

        American have the capability to produce lots of ammunition. Their suits are built using long distance weaponry to fight against the BETAs. Japan does not have a high capability to produce as many ammunition. Therefore they relied more on melee combat and their suit is built around that. When you’re in Rome, you do as the Roman does.

        In addition, Yui never said he was wrong. However, he REFUSED to see how the Japanese are doing things. He just calls them all crap. He correctly identifies the problem but his mentality was along the line of “this is the problem with the Japanese TSF. That means Japanese TSF are a piece of junk” rather than “This is the problem with the Japanese TSF. However if their style of fighting is this way, perhaps the only thing we need to do is increase the engine output. The other problems are inherent to the fighting style but we can still do some tweaking to make it even better fit for their style of fighting.”

    8. This was the best episode yet. So satisfying. Liked the insight into Yui’s mind regarding Yuuya. She wants him to succeed and be the best, so that’s why she’s so hard on him. That fight scene at the end was awesome. Insert song is called Apocalypse of Destiny by Ayami btw.

      Mike F.
      1. Yeah. Now i just wonder how will win. The Aliens or the Humanity. Because, even the Best Top Fighter Nation lose, if they run dry in Support. (Ammo, Mechas, Pilots and so on). It’s like an SC2 game. If you cut an Enemy from the Crystals and Gas, he can be as much better then you. If you keep him away from these Resources, he will lose of Resources.

        I just wonder, if Humanity still have enough access to these “Crystals and Gas” Resources. You know, these Mechas are not done from “paper” if you know what i mean. But then, such things is to much RL for an Anime

        1. Answering your question will be a big question, but I guess I could say that even defending against them is a very tough job, and humanity will lose if this war continue in this pace.

          Anyway, BETA doesn’t has the same logistic concept with humankind so you won’t see that tactical maneuver against BETA, but there are many pattern that could be learned from them. This issue won’t be touched in a near future, I guess.

        2. @Germanguy That’s a great question. We kinda saw in episode 2 what things would look like in a worse-case scenario.

          Strategy and tactics. Even if you have the most advanced technology, once you’re cut off from vital resources you’re pretty much screwed.

          Mike F.
        3. XD I like your analogy. Actually
          Minor spoilers about how Europe fell
          Show Spoiler ▼


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