「拳（いかり）」 (Kobushi (Ikari))
If there’s one thing that Argevollen’s done well so far–whether inadvertently or intentionally–it would be how it’s almost impossible to tell what’s in store every episode. It could be another small battle that the Independent Unit 8 gets caught up in or further development on one of the many subplots that have been introduced. The preview never seems to give away enough to suggest whether it’ll be one or the other, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this episode was the latter. Week after week, I’ve been hoping that the series would build upon one of their subplots, so it was great to see Samonji reveal to Tokimune that he was with his sister Reika at the time of her death.
Thanks to the opening sequence, I fully anticipated Tokimune to be furious with his captain over his sister’s death; however, I can’t say the same about Samonji being completely unaware that his subordinate is Reika’s younger brother. That was quite surprising, because up until now, I thought that Samonji was being lenient with Tokimune’s insubordination because he feels responsible for his sister’s death. As it turns out, that’s only partially true. Rather than being lenient because he knew Reika and Tokimune are related, it looks like Samonji is lenient because he feels that Tokimune’s willingness to disobey orders to save the lives of his comrades is something he couldn’t do with Reika. I get the sense that he regrets not putting Reika’s life before orders, judging from how he almost wanted Tokimune to punch him over and over again. I saw that as his way of repenting, even though it’s highly unlikely that Reika’s death was entirely his fault. If anything, he feels “responsible” only because he didn’t try to stop her from taking part in the “experiment”.
Speaking of which, the big unknown at this point is what this “experiment” is and what role both Reika and Samonji played in it. If I’m interpreting the preview correctly (which is always hit-and-miss with this series), then the next episode should reveal what happened back then. The focus looks like it’ll be on a distinctly different-looking Trail Krieger, which could be the “experiment” that Samonji’s been referring to. That’s my best guess anyway. For now, I’m actually more curious to see which direction the story takes after clearing up this subplot. Will Tokimune find a new person to pit all the blame on and strive to avenge his sister against, or will he just make amends with Samonji and press on to try and win the war? It’s hard to say, but there’s little doubt in my mind that he will continue piloting Argevollen under Samonji’s command, seeing as it just received a bunch of upgrades care of Suguro.
Other than that, Cayenne’s motives are definitely questionable after he nonchalantly said that Ingelmia is going to win the the war (and asked Samonji if he slept with Suzushiro yet). I don’t know what the deal with him is, but the writers have made it pretty clear that he shouldn’t be trusted. Whatever the case, we’ll probably see a lot more from him as the series goes on.