「硫黄島」 (Iōu tōu)
With this episode, we’re officially past the mid-way point. It’s the calm before the storm as the 401 arrive at Iwoto, and it goes to show that even the best fighters need some R&R&R—that is, some rest, relaxation, and repair. It’s not just all R&R&R though, as our favorite heavy cruiser makes her triumphant return, and Hyuuga makes her official debut as well. What this sets up is another fabulous episode of Ars Nova, and really, what else did you expect?
Okay, so I didn’t expect Hyuuga to be the kind of person she ended up being, but considering how well she bounces off Takao this episode, I’ll take it. The whole “TAKAO, SAY IT! CONFESS TO GUNZOU SO I CAN TAKE IONA” segment ends up exceptionally funny, and the constant bickering between the two make this episode worth the price of admission alone. It’s always merrier when you have more however, and Kirishima and Haruna joining the group ends up being akin to having cake and eating it too. It’s quite the party to say the least, and it’s sure to become an even bigger one as Kongou and Maya appear to test the almighty Gunzou’s worth of existence.
With Gunzou in mind, it must be noted that this week also brings the revelation of his true intent. As it turns out, he believes that the vibration warhead will give humanity equal standing with the Fog, and therefore allow for negotiations and coexistence. Suffice to say, it’s interesting to note—even if it isn’t the most original of philosophies. What Gunzou does gain however, is a measure of my respect, as such an achievement would be monumental considering the factors he’ll have to deal with. After all, he’d have to some how get the rest of the Fog to somehow change their views on themselves as merely weapons, and he’d also have to find someway to ensure that those leading humanity don’t try to pursue their own individual interests while they’re at it. That said, it’s arguably likelier that the Fog would be more trustworthy than his fellow humans at this point, and it’s a notion that’s not without its share of irony.
In the meanwhile, Kirishima, Haruna, Takao, and Iona continue their rapid growth—or should I say mutation?—and it all comes to a head as each of them end up either asking about or questioning their existence and purpose. Haruna’s subsequent comment of “we just went along with the flow” culminates this development perfectly, and it all but confirms the mental models’ conversion into something essentially human. Considering how well they’re getting along as a result, it makes you wonder whether or not coexistence between humanity and the Fog is possible after all—especially if you have Gunzou’s group performing the role of a neutral third-party enforcer. The fact that the Fog don’t seem to even know where they came from adds another intriguing twist as well.
Ultimately, there’s only one thing quote to say here, and it’s probably obvious what’s coming up. There’s nothing better to end this post with aside from this, so here we go:
Ever since you slammed your torpedoes into me, I have been unable to live without you.
Oh wait, were you expecting something else?