「死闘の果て」 (Shitou no Hate)
“The End of a Deadly Battle”
Picking up from last week, the BETA have now officially arrived on the base, and Yui’s in quite the bind. Good thing for her though, she had the manly Corporal by her side, and ultimately her knight in shining armor arriving as well. Combining with how she was rescued way back too, and you just can’t help but consider how lucky she is to still be alive. But then again, if there’s one thing that’s true in the Muv-Luv universe, it’s that living has its share of burdens too. Seeing all your close comrades die in front of you, time after time, but living to tell about it and having to deal with the guilt and the anger… phew, that’s something that could easily throw you off the rocker, and you really also gotta consider her luck a curse as well.
Moving on, a lot of the episode goes pretty much as expected… from the Corporal dying a gruesome death to Yuuya jumping in to save Yui at the last second. But despite the fact we pretty much could see what was going to happen from a mile away, it was still a fairly good episode surprisingly enough, and no, it’s not only because we got plenty of BETA appearances this week (including more epic FORT CLASS).
For me, the thing that really made this episode was how they actually managed to properly include old flashbacks along the episode, flashbacks that were not only relevant, but made it so some scenes were improved as a result. I still think it was a bad idea to make those two anime original episodes at the front… but I will admit that having those episodes out and linking them to the events of this episode did make it better. Alas, I wished they would’ve just went straight into the material and leave the past fully to recaps like some of the new moments we never saw before this episode… but what can you do?
Either way, regardless of what your opinions are regarding the flashbacks, there is one key sentence that was included this week that I feel needs to be talked about. And it’s the quote from the instructor, where he basically says: “everything we know about the BETA come from the sacrifices of those that fell before us”. Maybe you glanced over it, maybe not. But it really is a powerful quote. I mean, think about it. Everyone is alive now not only literally because of the efforts of their predecessors in killing the BETA they killed… but also figuratively in the aspect their fights against the BETA and their TSF test data was the key to their now, more modern TSF’s. And the fact that they recognize that, the fact that they pretty much try to make the most of their deaths for the benefits of their comrades as a result… it’s a great insight into the Muv-Luv universe, to military culture in general, and a demonstration that there are positives to the human spirit too. And notably, it’s this sense of comradery, that sense of respect for their predecessors that the soldiers have for the most part (especially those of the same nation) that made the original VNs have so much impact, and it’s showing somewhat here too… albeit to a lesser extent.
In the end though, I mean, a side story is a side story, and there’s just no comparing it to the main VN’s. But even though the series ultimately has been pretty average, it gets props from me for trying to and managing to at least incorporate some of the core foundations that make Muv-Luv what it is. Admittedly, the story and adaptation could have been done better at this point, but it’s definitely not a bad series to say the least, and it’s actually quite interesting how much the series has developed since its rocky beginnings. The thing that’s starting to make me wonder a bit though, is how this arc has been pretty long for the most part. With such long arcs and the fact that the newest part of Total Eclipse‘s source material isn’t releasing until the end of the year, I find myself wondering how this adaptation will end up… but I guess I’m just worrying way too soon with some half the series left. For now, we got more BETA action comin’ up, and it looks like we’ll be in for at least a decent ride for the near future.
Author’s Note: There may (EMPHASIS ON MAY) be a chance that I will switch from Total Eclipse to a new fall series when the new season starts. If this happens (unlikely), DO NOT misconstrue this as meaning I believe the series sucks. It would merely be me swapping to a new show I feel like covering more, nothing more than that. Even if I do drop coverage (again, unlikely), I hope you will continue watching the series, or at least give the visual novels a try.
Full-length images: 28.