If there’s one thing that’s a given in life, it’s that sometimes you just have to accept the hand dealt to you. Yuuya finds out the hard way, as he returns to both a hero’s welcome… and a new found hatred from the other blood-covered squadrons. And it’s just one of those stuck between a rock and a hard place dilemmas, because you can’t argue against either view. On one hand, you can call him a hero. He was responsible for firing the railgun when he did, the way he did, and thus the reason the remaining squadrons made it back in the first place. But on the other hand, one can also argue, all he did was pull the trigger and that he’s taking away the spotlight from the other squadrons that actually put their lives on the line. Whichever way you look at it, Yuuya’s getting crushed in between, and it showed. His passionate plea to allow him to obtain data via close-melee combat, his argument with Commander Latrova about his personality, his constant speaking out of turn toward the end… virtually everything he did was related to the situation he was thrust in, as well as his own feeling that he didn’t do anything worth lauding as a hero for, and it made this episode so much better as a result. It’s just nice to see the other sides of a character, as well as a proper maturation/development through the series, which Bridges seems to be demonstrating the farther ahead we go.
And while we’re on the subject of development and reveals, let’s not forget Commander Latrova, whose epic quotes and revelations are quickly turning her into my favorite character from the series. I mean, with such complex quotes and accurate judgement of Yuuya’s character, you can’t help but admire her character:
“You’re skilled, but immaturity is holding you back.”
“When you blame something outside yourself for your own failure to do something, the only thing you can convince is your own heart. You can never convince anyone else. If everyone around you seems convinced, it’s proof they’re spoiling you. People like that are never good to have around. Cut off ties with them immediately. If you can’t take it all, decide what you’re going to abandon. That’s what your fight is.”
To top it off, she also gives us a much more human side to her as well, revealing ultimately that she does what she does because she not only wants to protect the children of her squad, but also because she hopes someone else out there is doing the same as a result, protecting her own child. It’s a bit selfish, and she admits as much, but it’s just a really strong reveal that tugs a bit at the emotional heartstrings. And seeing that she undoubtedly sees a bit of her child in Yuuya, one can only wonder at the feelings she’s holding in at the moment. Yet, she’s still holding strong, looking forward, and doing everything in her power. Now that’s a strong character for you.
And to the side, we have Yui, who finds herself conflicted as well. Her decision to bring the railgun to the Soviet peninsula for a test has backfired in ways she never imagined and is a direct catalyst of Bridges’ sudden reckless rush to fight on the front lines in close combat. She understands his desires and wishes to help, but also doesn’t want her miscalculations to ultimately cost his life either, leading to her saying she would pilot the Type 94-Second in the next exercise instead. And while people are discontent at how different she’s suddenly treating Bridges, at the very least, the conundrum she faces this time is a bit more realistic, and one that shows the many things you have to consider as a leader, rather than something purely forced and emotional.
In the end though, politics comes knocking on the door, forcing Bridges to sortie in the Type 94-Second, which no longer has the proper armaments now that the railgun isn’t working and the Japanese government is refusing to send engineers in order to preserve its secrets. The sortie testing out the Actives work out well however, so all is well… until the BETA return for a third time, this time via a surprise underground attack only a few miles away from the base. And well, it looks like the squadrons of the Kamchatka Peninsula are about to find out the hard way that the greatest threat the BETA pose are via their sheer numbers.
Looking forward, I can’t help but contain my excitement at the next episode, as it looks like we’ll be seeing Yui in action against the BETA for the first time since the beginning. I also have to say, it was interesting that they didn’t decided to go back to more typical shenanigans, but it’s a good surprise that keeps the upward trend of the series since the main story kicked in a few episodes ago. On that note, I’ll catch you guys back next week, in what should be a gore-filled episode filled with Yui kicking butt, and probably the inevitable deaths of some of the key base staff (hopefully!).
Author’s Note: Thanks to everyone that helped vote for Muv-Luv in the poll last week. We’ve solidified our position in the top 4 as a result and Baka-Tsuki has already started picking up some of the much wanted side story TL’s as well! I can’t thank you guys enough!