「嵐 （シュトゥルーム）」 (Arashi (Shuturuumu))
Considering that it was only last week that we were introduced to the “NR Syndrome”, the plot proceeded along fairly quickly to draw attention to the neurological side effects of piloting Kybernes’ prototype Trail Krieger. The start of this episode and pretty much the entire second half was filled with grunting and screaming dialog care of Tokimune to drive that point across too. Evidently, the syndrome itself is both “neurologically-related” and “rage-inducing”, regardless of what “NR” actually stands for. I can’t say that’s too surprising though, as it’s only natural to assume that a weapon of war would thrive off emotions of anger the most to reach unprecedented Linkage Depth levels. The question now is whether Richthofen will experience similar symptoms piloting Sturm Alpha, since I highly doubt the explosion at the end actually killed him.
While watching this episode, I actually found that the story progressed fairly smoothly and succinctly. The writers delved into the newly introduced subplot and provided us with a rather unsightly depiction of what it entails. The delivery was straightforward and to the point, and along the way, we were briefly reminded of some of the other subplots that are still in motion. This includes Cayenne speaking the same conspiracy-ridden language that Suguro does and Liz seeking vengeance for her late superior Conrad Daniels via Richthofen. For once, it felt like Argevollen actually took a subplot and ran with it for an entire episode, which made the twenty-odd minutes go by really quickly. I found myself caught up in the story and curious to see what would result from Tokimune’s maddened and unstable state. It was ugly, but the good kind of ugly where I can’t divert my attention until I find out what happens.
Looking ahead, I doubt anyone really believes that Tokimune’s piloted Argevollen for the last time, despite Samonji’s orders. Yes, Tokimune grows more mentally unstable every time that he pilots it, but he’s also the only one who can pilot it. Ingelmia has also taken a rather aggressive stance in the war, plowing through Arandas’ bases one after another as Richthofen B lines for Argevollen, so I’d imagine that Tokimune finds himself in the pilot seat again out of necessity before long. As such, what I’m curious to see next is what the Independent Unit 8 plans to do as a whole. From the look of things, both Samonji and Suzushiro suspected that there’s some consequence of Argevollen’s Neuro-Link System. However, the difference now compared to Samonji’s past with Reika is that he actually stepped in and did something about it. This likely goes against orders from Cayenne to keep using Argevollen in battle so that they can “collect data” too, so I suspect we’ll see more of the conspiracy aspect of the main story soon.
Note: There was no new opening sequence this episode, but I’d imagine there will be one soon.