OP2: 「PROMPT」 by 昆夏美 (Kon Natsumi)
「孤高のエース」 (Kokou no esu)
“The Aloof Ace”
Clearly, we have entered a new phase in Majestic Prince. If the first twelve episodes were merely a precursor for the imminent showdowns, it’s safe to say this is where the real action begins. What comes next is going to be ever more all-consuming, and the latest episode certainly wasted no time in the dramatic ramp-up – a brand new catalyst was brought into the picture this week with the introduction of Kuroki Ange (Watanabe Akeno)! Ange, who made her brief appearance way back at Episode 5, is no less an enigma than before – from her gender and origins to the true extent of her competence as a pilot, just about everything about the novice is shrouded in puzzlement! For simplicity’s sake, I will, for now, assume she’s a female – the series has gone to great lengths to establish the ambiguity of her gender, but whether such an obvious legerdemain amounts to anything more than a comical device is still up in the air. I have a sneaking suspicion there’s more to that than meets the eyes and the cogency of her true gender could have a preponderant role to play in the overall narrative. It’s hard to imagine the scale of human experimentation that GDF has embarked on and gender-manipulation is presumably well within their bounds – after all, the AHSMB pilots are genetically-modified soldiers to begin with and Ange could be a victim of their desperate attempt to create the perfect soldier!
Kuroki’s gender is certainly up for debate, but that’s not all there is to her mystifying repute – the pilot of Black 6 appears to have a textbook case of bipolar disorder, and her split personality was right at the forefront of all the hubbub and drama this week. There’s nothing especially intimidating about her usual presence – in fact, her crippling self-doubt is pretty much a stock answer for any newcomer of Ange’s stereotype. But concealed behind her meek temperament, therein lies the rub and a completely different Ange – belligerent, foul-mouthed and hard-hitting – seems to emerge when she’s subjected to psychological provocation, either in the form of mental stress or a pugnacity-induced excitement! There’s a whole lot about Ange that remained at the sixes and sevens – that much is clear, but for all her ostensibly nerve-racking crotchets, Ange has proven to be a very proficient AHSMB pilot, so much so that she was able to repulse an entire Wulgaru squadron singlehandedly. Black 6, GDF’s latest AHSMB unit, is certainly a force to be reckoned with, and both its firepower and maneuverability are clearly a few notches above the rest. The latest addition to Team Rabbit is quite a formidable ally to say the least – and no question, it was the superior mecha capabilities of Black 6 and Ange’s prodigious skills as a pilot, albeit in her berserk form, that brought about the crushing success of Operation Iouto this week.
Ange has certainly proven her worth as a powerful combatant, but it remains to be seen how she’ll adapt to the norms of her new environment – and in the course of time, fit in as part of Team Rabbit. Needless to say, the Zannen 5 are all a bit of a square peg, and their kickback and response to a new pilot were certainly emblazoned with their idiosyncrasies – starting with Kei’s venture to make her a welcome cake! The love-struck duo, Tamaki and Ataru, are obviously smitten with Ange, and it doesn’t seem like her androgyny or all that “gender-bender” hoo-ha is any of their concerns. On the other side of the spectrum, Izuru’s brief interaction with Ange was marked with an embarrassment of theatrics and cattiness – one that regrettably ended with a big slap on Ange’s face! I have to admit – it was pretty nice to see Kei step up for her man, and the assertiveness that she displayed in this episode has, to my greatest delight, laid bare her romantic affections for Izuru – and presumably, her dissatisfaction with Ange’s outburst of petulance! It’s no exaggeration to call Ange is a loose cannon and her seeming disrespect for any authorities has indisputably made her into a bone of contention to everyone. There’s definitely more to Kuroki’s eccentricities than it appears at first glance, but the point at issue is how will the Zannen 5 cope with the introduction of a new character dimension – that’s something which, no doubt, warrants our close attention in the coming weeks!
- “I’ll bake a cake” – I’ll eat whatever Kei makes, just gotta stock up on those insulin shots!
- “Good luck, Izuru!” – Kei’s the only one who’s rooting for Izuru. She’s definitely a keeper!
- “Don’t you dare mess with my man!” – Kei sticks up for the person she loves. Doubly keeper!
- “Next time Asagi and Izuru can do it” – Toshikazu wouldn’t be caught dead in such a skimpy swimsuit!
- “A hot girl or a hot guy” – I wonder if we’ll ever find out about Ange’s true gender. It could be an endless troll!
- Bad news everyone! The dopey Captain Komine is still alive and kicking – How is it possible that someone who screwed up so miserably still have his job?
- Nothing cheers Rin Rin up like a lollipop, and no one sucks on one as sensually as Rin Rin!
- “Awwwwww” – Please let this be Izuru and Kei!
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – #MajesticPrince 13: Gender-bender, split personality and a complete badass in combat – Kuroki Ange has made her mark in Majestic Prince! #Anime
Full-length images: 03, 04, 05, 10, 12, 18, 32, OP.
特別編「ザンネンなんかで終わんない!!」 (Tokubetsuhen zannen nankade owa nnai!!)
“Special Edition: It won’t end with Zannen!!”
Since Episode 12.5 will probably go un-subbed, I thought I would chime in briefly in this post and give you guys a quick rundown of the focal points discussed. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the bridging episode was predominantly a panel discussion – or should I say an informal interlocution that was hosted by Hikasa Yoko (Kugimiya Kei) and Iguchi Yuka (Irie Tamaki). It’s always interesting to hear what a seiyuu has to say about the show that they’re working on and clearly, there’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes that was not made apparent in the final product. Voice-acting was obviously a keen interest for our two lovely hosts and both of them, in particular, were very impressed with Ikeda Junya’s performance as Suruga Ataru – if you recall, Ataru’s the one who sputters out technical jargons like a machine gun, which is evidently not an easy feat! It was to my great joy that Hikasa-san openly discussed the possibility of a romantic development between Kei and Izuru, and her favorite scene in the first half was none other than the brief but affecting conversation that those two shared in Episode 3 – “Sometimes it’s too hard to bear, just what am I”. Most of the chitchats were pretty casual and off-the-cuff – they were constantly pulling each other’s leg, with Hikasa-san comparing Yuka’s “baka” level to that of Tamaki’s and Iguchi-san pointing out that she has never seen Yoko as calm and collected as Kei. In fact, Iguchi-san even joked about Tamaki’s big jugs outright and she called attention to the fact that a side view – no thanks to Rose 3’s cockpit seating – doesn’t quite do their massive size justice. For obvious reasons, there’s not a great deal the hosts can reveal about what’s coming next, but Hikasa-san did confirm that it’s going to be ever more dramatic, emotional and action-packed – I’m more than happy to take her word for it and the second half is certainly off to a great start with the introduction of Kuroki Ange, “The Aloof Ace”!
ED2: 「アリガトウ。タダイマ。」(Arigatou. Tadaima. by クギミヤ・ケイ(CV: 日笠陽子)、イリエ・タマキ(CV: 井口裕香) [Kugimiya Kei (CV: Hikasa Yoko), Irie Tamaki (CV: Iguchi Yuka)]