「BETA 進撃」 (BETA Shingeki)
If there’s one thing Muv-Luv loves to show, aside from grotesque aliens tearin’ down yo houses, it’s the human element behind everything. This week, we get a continued focus on human nature in general, and how the creators believe that even with extinction smacking us in the face, we’d still be too busy trying to screw over each other instead. And it’s just a powerful commentary, because the series doesn’t hesitate to show the negative aspects of humanity, and uses that to great, dramatic effect… (especially in the source VN’s).
Now whether or not this will actually happen if we faced such an extinction scenario is still a chalk up, and you can call me a pessimist for this, but I sure as hell don’t see us reacting any differently. And sadly, it’s a result that makes so much sense, yet so little at the same time. After all, people will naturally want to protect their own friends, family, and country—the things closest to them they can see, the things they treasure physically. If the war’s being fought thousands of miles away, why risk yourself when there is no impending threat on your own shores? Why bother caring about something that you can’t see? Call it short sighted, call it down right selfish, but it’s a natural response and you just can’t blame anyone for thinking this way, no matter how angry you feel from an opposing standpoint.
And this week, it’s exactly this self-preservation that the Soviets take to the extreme, proving both Ibrahim and Takamura’s prior suspicions. Because as it turns out, in an attempt to ensure that they get the upper hand in terms of being the ones to defeating the BETA later, they went as far as leaving a hole in the defensive line intentionally. As a result, not only could they sacrifice the Zhar Battalion filled with “non-Russians,” they could take the EM Radiation Cannon’s specs and key data too. But hey, you know, that’s worth the fair exchange for an innumerable amount of deaths from those that defended the base from the previous attack and the loss of a key front line base. What a joke.
At least though, there are still some members with smart heads on their shoulders, as we have Corporal Yamamoto, who tries to stay behind in order to ensure the Radiation Cannon’s destruction. In the end it’s all for naught though, as not only does Yui only possess the self-destruct code, but they can’t even use it due to some strategic Soviet tampering. Speaking of smart heads, Ibrahim’s coded message to Yui was quite sneaky indeed, as was the Argos Flight group’s piggy backing on the Zhar Battalion’s data. Still, things look grim, as the BETA have arrived at the complex…
Overall, the episode was pretty solid to say the least. It’s not great or anything, but at least continues a string of solid episodes since the main story kicked in. I was slightly disappointed there was no Yui Takemikazuchi action, but well, she has a job to do (and did a pro leap from a helicoptor to boot), so you can’t get pissed at that. The thing that did annoy me though, was how they didn’t put the actual VN sound effect in for the Code 991 (BE SURE NOT TO READ THE COMMENTS), which would’ve been a nice PTSD inducing treat for those who have played the VN and the start of some PTSD for first time viewers… but I guess you just can’t have it all. Notably, this goes double for the soundtrack, as the VN OST’s for Alternative are massively superior to this anime. In any case, it looks like we’ll be in for some Bridges saving action next week, or at least some of the PTSD inducing moment’s the series is known for (hopefully).