「鳥の名前」 (Tori no Namae)
“The Name of the Bird”
The enemy’s here, the trainees are officially forced into combat, and it doesn’t end well. A vast majority of the Van Whyl class (including Fausto) and others including Wolfgang are killed—making this a brutal demonstration of what war is and the harsh realities it brings with it. Last week’s quote about the “loss in combat” ends up ringing true—the person who said it was killed too—making this week a fulfillment of expectations in a variety of ways. All things considered though, it didn’t feel like this episode was so much about the battle as it was about the realizations that came from it.
Because although the combat was fairly thrilling to watch—it was quite reminiscent of Last Exile’s style and had some great music accompanying it—the main focus wasn’t actually about the combat. After all, it was quite clear that when Isla’s main forces returned, they’d end up winning the battle—at least this one—which makes the biggest thing here the fact that this battle forced our cast’s true colors to come out. Ignacio in particular ends up getting a fair amount of this character spotlight, and this episode seizes on the opportunity to finally give us something more regarding his feelings.
There’s a trick to it.
There was. The thing is, I don’t think Ignacio was only talking about the vehicle. Rather, it felt like he was saying there’s a trick to staying calm despite the strong feelings he seems to have regarding Kal-el and it’s something that further cements his (and Claire’s) importance in the story overall. Indeed, the actions of the two proved vital to the survival of various cast members this week already, and considering the fact that there’s less of them now just further highlights the aforementioned.
Moving forward, it’s interesting to note that the Sky Fleet may not be the ultimate
/final enemy obstacle at all. If the message tube’s anything to consider, there may be other obstacles ahead for everyone involved here considering the “secrets” that are hinted at within… but for now, let’s just say there may be more pressing matters at hand. and one wonders just how the surviving members of our cast may react if they do end up working together with the same guys that shot down many of their friends. It’d be ironic—and somewhat fitting considering the fickle nature of war—to say the least, but for now it looks like there are more pressing matters at hand.
It’s been bought to my attention that I mistakenly associated the Sky Fleet with the Holy Levamme Empire. Thanks for the correction!
Because if the preview’s any indication, it looks like next week may finally be the time where Kal-el realizes who Claire really is, and it’s intriguing to note that the reception could be drastically different depending on how and when it ends up being revealed. With circumstances the way they are now, the timing of this revelation could very well ruin or cement their relationship for the rest of the series.
Ultimately, it’s another solid episode of Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta. The aerial combat ended up a hit/miss depending on your personal preference and prior experience with similar series, but I think it can be said that the episode packed enough drama and development to make it generally enjoyable regardless. Gosh darn it though, the trainees are caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of their supplied armaments and skills, and it could be said Isla’s in a similar situation too. Considering there’s no way to resupply at this point, it’s only a matter of time before the island’s done for if they keep fighting, and things look quite grim—especially since they’re going to have to deal with the post-battle realities that came from this fight too. When it rains, it sure pours… though this did notably give us some nice development regarding Ariel and Kal-el too. Here’s looking forward to next week!