The questions surrounding “Perphevollen” were answered quickly this week, as the Evangelion-like Trail Kriegers do in fact function as a “hive mind”. It seemed like the most probable possibility after seeing the preview for this episode, but what did surprise me was Cayenne’s militarist mindset that seemed to have rubbed off on Samonji. The former’s desire to take back the land that Arandas lost so that the deaths of their soldiers haven’t been in vain is going to clash with the politicians’ desire to reach a truce (as Izumi explained), so I’m rather curious to know what “favor” Samonji asked of Izumi. At the moment, I get this weird sense that Samonji actually wants to go along with Cayenne’s bloodthirsty desires, partly because it puts him in the pilot seat of a U-Link System that Tokimune’s described as feeling like he’s with Reika. That, and he hopes to be in control of the weapon that Cayenne’s been prepping in case his superior refuses to stand down if/when a truce is announced. Whatever the case, the writers made it pretty clear that Samonji was shouldering some burden and not acting like his usual self, as suggested by his fleeting and transient presence and the emotionally detached post-sex scene with Suzushiro.
Aside from all those story-driven developments, I’m admittedly unsure how to take the more light-hearted party that the rest of the episode revolved around. I kind of applaud the writers for slipping in something that felt so unnecessary without making it feel terribly out of place, plus using it as a means to reiterate how Tokimune’s relationship with Jamie is likely going to be nothing more than friends. At the same time, I’m rather confused on how these developments should be of any priority this late in the series, considering all the other things that the story could be focusing on. For instance, there was nothing from the Ingelmia side this time around, whether it be Richthofen or Lontar/Holmes/Garp. Expanding on what’s happening from their perspective is probably better use of the limited time left, which leads me to suspect that the writers once again have more time to work with than story to tell, much like we saw in the first half. Conversely, these developments have been woven into the main story at opportune times so that they don’t feel like “filler” at all, which compounds how I’m torn over whether I should praise or question the writers’ decisions. For now, I’m surprisingly edging more towards praise. (Yay, go XEBEC.)
Looking ahead, it doesn’t appear like the preview hints at much time, other than seeing the Perphevollens in action. While I get the feeling that this new weapon will change the tides of the war, I’m most interested in seeing how the rest of Unit 8 feels about their captain using the same technology that killed Reika.