「歪みの羽音」 (Yugami no Haoto)
“Sound of Twisted Wings”

Stepping in for Zephyr this week is BakaMochi, with Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse! As he’s quite busy with Real LifeTM, I guess you’re stuck with me until he gets back next week!

I’ve been following Total Eclipse since the beginning, and contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t watching solely for Yui and Yuuya to finally get it on. The mecha aspect was interesting, and the continuing change in Yuuya’s character were/are ultimately what kept/keep me watching. His growth trajectory over the course of the series has been fairly obvious – I wouldn’t call it linear per se, but there’s a very simple yet effective path his character is taking to get where he needs to be.

In fact, most of the core messages that Total Eclipse tries to convey have been delivered in a rather straightforward manner, usually marking a change in Yuuya that takes him one step further from the narrow-minded, self-centered ass he used to be. It’s a refreshing change of pace to see the themes get across to the audience so easily, and if it happens to coincide with the betterment of the main character, kudos to the writing team for killing two birds with one stone.

“Acceptance” and “teamwork” are two of the primary concepts the show places much emphasis upon, and the revelation of Yuuya’s past not only highlights how far he’s come, it serves to show him where he should go next. He’s certainly come a long way from being the prejudiced racist that identified a TSF’s worth based on its country of origin and referred to his superior as a “Japanese doll”, but with the arrival of his old teammates, it’s been painfully obvious a part of him can’t detach himself completely from the past. More specifically, his guilt is still holding him back, and I suspect this is the major source of conflict between him and Leon. Leon is certainly a jerk with some inferiority complex to sort through, but he’s not wrong in being frustrated with Yuuya – as Cryska says, accidents happen. It’s difficult to walk away from an incident like that smelling like roses, but in the end, Yuuya’s decision was made with professional interests in mind. The team had a mission to accomplish, a goal that needs to be put before personal interests. I suspect most of Leon’s anger lies in the fact Yuuya seems unable to live up – not with – to his decision. Much of his feelings are certainly colored by aggravation, but their present strife seems to be derived from admiration that has become twisted and twisted overtime.

Case in point being Sharon’s words: Leon is forcing his indifference. In this aspect he seems like an immature, petulant four-year-old that needs a lesson on expressing his feelings; this is precisely what he needs to resolve though, as his grievances against Yuuya haven been left undealt with. It’s possible he felt Yuuya’s departure most keenly, if I’m interpreting the past few episodes correctly. This all presents some interesting possibilities for the inevitable battle between the Infinities and the Argos Test Flight, where Leon and Yuuya are almost guaranteed to have their face-off. It’ll be an interesting duality, with Yuuya, who lives in the present, going against Leon, who is firmly rooted in the past. Perhaps Bridges will be the catalyst for the latter’s growth – with the theme of friendship and the idea of passing something on to another person peppering the episode, it would be a very nice tie-in if Yuuya is able to affect a positive change in someone else just like everyone else has done for him. And who better than his former teammate? Cryska is a possibility, but Leon seems more like the thematically cohesive choice, and it would serve as a perfect conclusion to the mini-arc depicting Yuuya’s past.

Things are a little less clear-cut in the romance department, and it’s definitely far harder to tell what the trajectory is when it comes to examining the blossoming “relationship” between Yui, Cryska, and Yuuya. This seems somewhat similar to the triangle in Macross Frontier, with an utterly romantically disinterested male lead stuck between two equally smitten ladies. I would say Cryska has the lead in this race – while Yui was the defining catalyst that led to a serious change in Yuuya’s character, her role in the latter half of the series in regards to him has become rather grey and questionable. Meanwhile, Cryska has gained solid ground by becoming Yuuya’s confidante of sorts, and the two share a more concrete and grounded rapport away from TSFs that isn’t quite there with Yui. On one hand, Yui and Yuuya do make more sense personality-wise, and they have helped each other grow as characters. Cryska and Yuuya are much too similar, with both of them often being too blunt and remaining oblivious to the weight and effect of their words. But considering the thematic nature of their relationship, it certainly holds a strong romantic possibility. Yuuya’s involvement with the Scarlet Twins also seems to be leading up to something, and I don’t think it’ll be too long before the tension reaches an all-time high with these three.

Full-length images: 3, 4, 7, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26, 28, 32, 34.




    1. To my eyes Yui has te advantage, not only she has bond with Yuuya by ny but she is already inside his head as we´ve seen many times when starts thinking about her in ways surprise even him. I tell you, when a guy thinks of a girl out of the blue for no reason he already has fallen hard for her.

  1. This is a pretty dark show – to think that even the bar girl had a depressing life! I have to say though that the best part of this show is the character developmnet. Many of the characters are deep with a lot of depth behind them. The fanservice though was definitely there – two men and women in a room with a bed covered with nothing but towels, fetish fuel people!


  2. I don’t understand Lt. Cui! Why drag Yui all the way out to the testing ground just to have a less than 5 minute talk? Yui should’ve went “YOU WASTED MY PRECIOUS TIME THAT I COULD’VE SPENT WITH YUUYA!!”

    1. She probably want Yui to realize her true feelings and love to Yuuya. Probably Lt. Cui see that something trouble within Lt. Yui. Only females understand other females. Well, at least she tell now rather than backstabbing…

      Love is compatible thing…

      1. I also think that Cui is not trying to put down Yui. She has already acknowledged Yui as a possible rival in love, and is likely giving advice in her own way.

        If there is one thing we know about Cui, it’s that she values sportsmanship and a proper showdown. Last time we saw her coaching Yuuya in combat, by knocking his TSF around until he displayed his seriousness. Now she is bringing up Yui’s prior conducts so that she can change.

        Cui probably thinks that even though all is fair in love and war, it’s not good form to watch your rival fail because they cannot convey their feelings.

  3. it was a great episode but i can’t help but feel let down by how rarely the BETA show up in this series…all this string of episodes involving the development of the characters were nice but the one i expected the most from the series when i began watching it was BETA effing things up..they were the intimating force of the series, they were the one that got the tension going..the humans for me are less interesting than the BETA….the creators should copy Evangelion as to how to feature the character development without downplaying the true quality of the series…

    i do hope they are gonna try to redeem this misfire by killing off these pesky humans, though…

    1. BETA needs time to generate news army and need to replenish back what is lose…..same goes to the human too. Both side share common thing. When BETA ready, they come in full force and full might.

    2. I understand your expectation, but actually they shown more BETA than what I expect initially in Total Eclipse. Once again, this is a side stories of test pilots doing their jobs as test pilots in safe place, there’s no way you’ll see a lot of BETA here. For more BETA actions, you can :

      1. Wait for the final arc 2-3 episodes in the future.
      2. Pray for Muv Luv Alternative : Schwarzesmarken adaptation, which is much more darker than Total Eclipse, or…
      3. Just play the visual novel for Takeru suffering (and BETA that didn’t even show up until the latter half of the third visual novel in the trilogy)

    1. You mean when she was still a stiff, intolerant, entitled and slightly xenophobic Japanese noble? God forbid that she would outgrow those qualities and see others in a more tolerant light.

      1. Well….1st of all, she suffer trauma effect from 1st time she flies the TSF and all her friend and comrade die in front of her. Still remember when she had to fire a couple of shot to kill her own friend whom kept pending to shoot so that rather die in her hand rather the BETA. (please refer to episode 2 or 3). Then she vows not to cry or to love….

        Give a take for Yui life. From time to time, her mood will change soon.

      2. You missed my point. Yui’s problem was that she was had a lot nationalistic pride mixed with ignorance. She hated the XFJ project for no other reason than it was being done with foreign help. Its not really mean-spirited, she just couldn’t understand that other countries have different ways of doing things. Its part of why she latched unto Yuuya, she assumed because he was half-Japanese he would understand her. As we all know, this backfired tremendously and was the cause of why they had a bad start to their relationship.

        For some reason the anime downplayed this aspect of her. So when Cui calls her out on it felt pretty weird because there wasn’t much build up of her understanding different cultures.

      3. fragb85, where do you get that Yui hated the XFJ program? Her antagonism toward Yuuya in the beginning was more likely to try to force him to adapt to Japanese design principles since this is a unit meant for the Japanese military. Her initial anger probably stemmed from Yuuya’s mock battle in episode 3 where he boosted skyward to avoid Tarisa–he came very close to the Laser altitude limit while Tarisa was much lower, signifying his lack of combat experience to Yui. In episode 5, Vincent commented how he could the tune the Shiranui Second for American use to better accommodate Yuuya, but then it would be very hard for a Japanese pilot to operate. In Yui’s shower scene in the same episode, she was amazed at how fast Yuuya was adapting but needed him to move faster, likely because she was pushing herself to finish the project as quickly as possible so that it could help in the war against the BETA sooner (and save Japanese pilots). I don’t see anything that would suggest that she hated the XFJ project.

      4. I would argue that the anime makes Yui out to be a completely different character than what the novel portrays. The interview in the link below explains the reason for the original first two episodes in the anime. They wanted to explain where Yui was coming from where in the novel you get immediately introduced to her at Yukon Base. Knowing that she had to endure through so much loss and trauma and her reason for fighting so hard justifies her behavior toward Yuuya(and we only see her interactions with Yuuya). Because most of the focus is easily on Yuuya’s change and his acceptance of his Japanese heritage through Yui, we don’t see how she interacts with others (besides Stella). fragb85’s mistake was to not separate novel Yui and anime Yui who are two different characters right now. Many of Yui’s remarks in episode 3-5 could be seen as a ploy: either Yuuya quits (because he is an American trying to test a Japanese TSF) or he adapts (because he is a good pilot). When she realizes he was adapting at a fantastic rate, she gambles on the duel at the end of episode 5.


        Now with her conversation with Lt. Cui, she feels guilty and unsure about falling for the man she thinks she changed rather than the man she first met. Yui probably thinks that Yuuya is more accepting of his Japanese heritage because of her actions, but I think quite a bit of his overall character change is from his interaction with Argos Flight and the advice he got from Col. Latrova and knowing her fate.

      5. I agree with you, it was probably a ploy to get him to act accordingly but I would argue that it didn’t mean she hated the idea of an American piloting a Japanese TSF. In fact, I would argue that’s why she did it in the first place. She didn’t like foreign input for a Japanese program and when she saw the pilot, that idea was reinforced. But Yui is mature enough to understand that personal feelings can’t get in the way of duty. She lost a lot of friends and now she has been given the task of developing a machine that could save future lives and she was going to make sure she succeeded. That’s why she was trying so hard to get Yuuya to think like a Japanese. I know the anime didn’t make this explicit but I think that’s just because they had to cut out some material for the rest of the novels. The evidence I have for this is how she reacted to what Cui said. If all she was trying to do was to motivate Yuuya then she wouldn’t feel so bad, she must have meant it for it to affect her like that.

      6. Of course that was all before Yuuya changed and adapted. Now, her opinions are different. But Cui brings it up again and I may be thinking too much into this but I think the problem she’s having now is that maybe she only started liking Yuuya because he wants to think more like a Japanese soldier now. Cui’s words are causing doubts, maybe she likes Yuuya not because of his personality but because he changed into a pilot that benefits her and the program. Maybe there was no real understanding between the two of them, maybe it’s just her bias all along. She’s getting confused, after all she did start liking him rather quickly and she’s not sure why either.

      7. I fail to see how the traumatized Yui and the nationalistic Yui are exclusive of each other. This is supposed to be her defining flaw as a character, much like how Yuuya is an insubordinate ass. This is supposed to be where they develop from, to become better people. There is even one scene in the anime where Yui’s uncle is surprised she’s suddenly entusiastic about the XFJ, indicating her change. Its a cute scene, but its lost a lot of context other than her obvious crush with Yuuya. The fact that its being pointed out now, late in the show, will confuse alot of viewers.

        In fact judging from other criticisms I’ve read in the anime, it comes across on how “Japanese stuff is awesome”, or “GLORIOUS YAMATO DAMASHI”. It leads me to question the directing, because the missed the point of Kouki’s writing that all cultures (including Japanese)have inherit flaws in them. This theme is specifically brought up in one the VN’s major story arcs.

      8. @fragb85, it is not safe to assume everything from the novel can translate to the anime. The director and writer of the anime have leeway in how they want to portray their characters and they have obviously made changes to Yui. She only interacts with Yuuya and a lot of her attitude can be a result of Yuuya’s attitude. Her first insult at the end of episode 3? I surmised it was because how inexperienced Yuuya showed himself to be in his duel with Tarisa by boosting so high in the air. And the end result was a constant circle of antagonism between the two. We don’t see Yui acting like that at all with anyone else in the anime (she gets along very well with Vincent), so it is not safe to assume she has the same arrogant nationalistic attitude of the novel. You also misinterpreted Yui’s conversation with Uncle Iwaya–he was surprised in how she no longer dwells on mistakes, not her acceptance of the XFJ program (she states this much sooner in episode 8 when she tells Yuuya she doesn’t want to lose the Shiranui 2nd or him, but may have more to do with concern for Yuuya’s safety in his first actual battle).

        @Frontier, next episode is an onsen episode, shared bath at least. Argos Flight setting up Yuuya and Yui together and Cui barging in on them, very possible. Now where in Alaska are they going to find an onsen…

  4. Darn,I want less babble, more mech fights(enough with simulations even though they are nice to watch.I know that base is a testing ground but dammit!!) and more people crying about how being eaten alive hurts…

  5. Not much to say this episode (other than QUALITY). There was at least more backstory for Yuuya and confirmation that Sharon was Yuuya’s ex. Poor Leon is apparently stuck with Yuuya’s leftovers. Can’t blame him though, Yuuya was a huge jerk before he went to Alaska.

    As for the romantic development, its nice to see Yuuya open up to Cryska, and Cryska does give him some sound advice. Yui unfortunately can’t reach Yuuya that way, and Cui does call her out on inability to understand others. I did find it unusual though, since the anime didn’t play up her xenophobia in the early episodes as much as it should have.

  6. It took Cui and her direct challenge for Yui to begin realising her own feelings…
    Cui is my favourite haremette right now, if only because she has the courage to actually take initiative. Too bad Yuuya is mechasexual…
    Other than that nice flashbacks and more depth to Yuuya’s character, well done!

    1. And next time around we might get some serious advances of Yui to finally get Yuuya, at least that´s what the preview suggested, but our chineese Miku is not gonna stay quiet about it. Yui is my favorite female but Cui really knows how to stir the cualdron, can´t hardly wait.

  7. I was hoping for the Argos vs. Infinities battle this epsisode, but this episode give that battle even more weight than before.

    Also, how the episode ended just gives me the impression that Inia is not the sweet girl she looks like most of the time. I thinks she scheme’s almost like Sandek.

  8. Highlight of the episode for me:
    Badass Raptor test flight in the canyon.

    Cui calling out Yui kinda came out of nowhere to me. She hasn’t been part of the cast for very long now, but acts like she had been there from the beginning.

    After a break I continued playing/reading ML Alternative. Some stuff happened, though I have yet to Show Spoiler ▼

  9. You know, I really sympathize with Leon.

    He has gotten the short end of the stick on multiple occasions. When they first met, Leon was the one who tried to befriend Yuuya, only to be blown off. He was there when the girl fawned over Yuuya, despite him still being a selfish jerk at the time. And when he tried to reason with Yuuya during the canyon run, his concerns were complete disregarded, resulting in the death of the commander.

    Leon has every right to be pissed with Yuuya. He has not yet seen how much Yuuya changed in Argos Flight, but all of his past experience with him has been overwhelmingly negative.

    1. I can also feel bad for him, but at the same time, he is also coming off pretty childish and just seems to be looking for any reason to hold onto his grudge against Yuuya.

      As Cryska said, their squad leader made the decision on his own to try to follow Yuuya while knowing it was dangerous. Leon just seems to refuse to accept any other reasoning other than “It’s all Yuuya’s fault”, making him out to be a Sasuke-style character; either refusing to accept other (even perfectly valid) reasons or simply trying to justify his grudge against Yuuya.

      As mentioned, hopefully his and Yuuya’s showdown will be able to shake both of them out of their feelings (Yuuya’s guilt and Leon’s grudge).

      Talking through their fists wasn’t enough, so they gotta talk through their MECHS! lol

  10. Yuuya’s past with the Infinities is revealed in this interesting episode of Total Eclipse.

    This episode offers the most insight into who Yuuya was before he came to the Yukon, a man who was driven by the racism of his childhood to exceed all expectations and rid his family of the hate brought upon by his mothers relationship with a Japanese man. To achieve that end, Yuuya pushed himself in the military as far as possible, and eventually became obsessed with his job as a Test Pilot after his mothers death. And eventually his obsession with pushing things to their limit, to show that he deserves his position regardless of race, seemingly cost the life of his captain, and Yuuya left behind his squad and his “mistake” to start anew in the Yukon where Argos Flight, Yui, and even the 94 Second helped him get rid of his self-loathing and arrogance that had characterized him beforehand.

    Going by the flashbacks, it looks like Yuuya and Leon were never really “buddies,” with the animosity between the two made worse because of Sharon. Vincent was probably the first, if only, friend Yuuya made in the army. And judging by how much of a bro Vincent can be, betting on Argos and Yuuya when Bao-Feng seemed like shoe-ins to win, I can see why Yuuya would let him in as a friend. Even if Vincent likes making jabs at Yuuya for his harem, he still believes in him, probably more than Yuuya himself actually does. I have to say, I’m really interested in seeing how these two first met.

    It looks like Yuuya and Cryska are growing even closer, with the elder Scarlett Twin inching ahead of the rest of the harem in terms of truly getting to know Yuuya, especially since he’s been opening up to her a lot lately. I feel that Yuuya’s opening up to Cryska can be attributed to Cryska being the first one to honestly ask the question “who is Yuuya Bridges?” and that she showed Yuuya that despite how hard he had it growing up, some people had it much worse. To a degree, Cryska strikes me as someone Yuuya can talk to about his personal problems, while Yui is someone he feels he can talk openly about his job and performance.

    Speaking of the Twins, we finally learn exactly what the color Inia sees in Yuuya means. Apparently, Yuuya is a “catalyst” which directly relates to the Twins in some way, and Sandek seems to see it as something advantageous that he can use. I wonder if Yui is a catalyst as well?

    Really Yuuya? Triggering Natalie flags this late in the game? Not that I’m really complaining, since I’m growing to really like her. Though I certainly didn’t expect that behind that smile and carefree attitude lay a dark and troubled past. I wonder if we’ll get more insight into what happened to her in the future?

    A major highlight for me in this episode was the talk between Yui and Cui, the two lieutenants, about Yuuya. Cui came right out and said that she doesn’t think Yui has a chance of winning Yuuya, citing how she doesn’t really understand him, as a person whose been hated for their very existence. Cui doesn’t strike me as the type to shallowly or hypocritically criticize someone, so I’m guessing she’s in her own way experienced the same type of hate that Yuuya did. She also points out how Yui has never truly tried to accept or understand Yuuya, the basic foundation of love, with the beginning of their relationship consisting of Yui forcing what she wants from the XFJ Project onto Yuuya without ever considering him. I don’t doubt that Yui’s feelings for Yuuya are legitimate, but she first has to start understanding who he truly is, and be open about her feelings, if she wants to win his heart. She’s lucky Cui came right out and pointed out how she can’t win Yuuya as she is now. Cui may want Yuuya, but she wants to win the competition for him fair and square.

    The next episode looks to be all out war between Yui and Cui for Yuuya, and I’m looking forward to being very entertained by it. Though I’m curious to see if Cryska might just sneak in… I think its about time she and Yui met again.


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