「親指トムは油田を走る ジブラルタル通行阻止戦 II」 (Oyayubitomu wa Yuden o Hashiru Jiburarutaru Tsuukou Soshi-sen II)
“Tom Thumb Races Through the Oil Field The Battle to Blockade the Gibraltar II”

This show is all about the banter.

Immersion is Dead. But Does It Matter?

In the comments of last week’s Comet Lucifer, I linked to an article written by fellow SFF author Ferrett Steinmetz (I highly recommend his book Flex, by the way. I haven’t read its sequel The Flux yet, but I hear good things). It was about Terminator: Genisys, and as I was watching this episode, I realized that his central point could apply just as well to Heavy Object. Excerpt:

The problem is, Genisys makes the same error as a lot of bad fanfic. Which is to say there’s a very subtle – but very major – difference when someone’s watching because they want to see what the author does next, and someone watching to see what the characters do next.

Hint: Watching to see what the author does next is inherently less interesting.

While the fanfic part doesn’t apply here, the rest does. I realized that I’m not watching Heavy Object because I want to see what the characters do. I’m watching it to see what ridiculous shit the author gets up to next, and what he’s going to pull out of his ass to get Qwenthur, Havia, Milinda, and Frolaytia out of the mess he’s put them into.

And, just as not all fanfics are bad, this show is remaining enjoyable (mostly). It’s just not hitting the deep, character-driven notes that would make it a potential classic. My immersion is irrevocably shredded, and any I don’t think humpty dumpty can be put back together again.

Here’s where I admit that I’m mostly not talking about how Qwenthur beat the Tri-Core because I honestly don’t understand how it happened. I get that he screwed with the Tri-Core’s shark fins, and that made its own weight tear it apart. What I don’t understand is how using explosive to blow up the net did that. To wrap the net around all the fins, maybe? Why didn’t the net break? Or was it exposed wiring he got? In which case, why deal with the net? No no, don’t think about it too much, Stilts. We already decided that thinking about Heavy Object doesn’t make it better. It’s a B movie. Enjoy the ride. And enjoy the hammy dialogue, because there’s soooo much of it.

Now Arriving at: Banter Central

Once again, banter is where this episode shines. It’s what I watch for. And also once again, most of it takes the form of sexually harassing Frolaytia, but whereas it felt cringeworthy last episode, they did it so much this time that Heavy Object did with flirty ecchi banter what Kingsman: The Secret Service did with uber-violence—they stuck with it so long as to take it past believability, and into the realm of the nearly absurd. It’s a certain kind of refuge in audacity, where you realize that the first time Havia openly ogles his superior office, it’s sekuhara, but the seventh time he (or Qwenthur) do it, it’s some kind of goofy dynamic between these specific characters, and you just let it go and have fun. They committed to the gag. It usually pays off to commit to the gag.

The other half of it is that Frolaytia got in on the fun, teasing them right back. (The blushing also helps.) And … well, there may be some problematic elements to all that if we want to wrestle with a moral conundrum, but I’m not qualified to plumb those depths (hur hur hur, get your minds out of gutter, ya perverts), so I’ll set that aside. The reciprocal nature of Havia ogling and discussing his perversion with Frolaytia, Qwenthur getting in on the lucky pervert (raki sukebi!) bit, and Frolaytia teasing and tormenting them (& especially Havia) right back kicks us back into the land of banter, and banter is fun!

Most stories use banter to spice up interactions that might be boring otherwise, or at least wouldn’t be as much fun. For Heavy Object, it’s the star of the show. Not sure if that’s sustainable, but it’s amusing for now.

Looking Ahead – You’re Never Going Home

So much of the actual action deserves the ‘ol eye roll, like why didn’t they give Havia and Qwenthur an amphibious assault vehicle the first time around? Or give them more time to develop a real plan? And don’t even get me started on how Milinda somehow saved him by dunking one of her guns underwater (boggle). But that’s all par for the course. What I’m surprised about is that they only took two episodes for this arc, which seemed to be enough. That means we’re off to another battlefield next time, ’cause Qwethur? Havia? You’re never going home. The higher-ups are going to keep throwing you at Objects that the Baby Magnum is outmatched for, because apparently no one else can figure out the sabotage game. (Don’t think about it too much, Stilts, don’t think about it…)

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Qwenthur blows up another Object because *reasons*, but at least Frolaytia is getting into the ecchi banter game #heavyobject 05

Random thoughts:

  • Havia wants to go back to his mansion chock full of meido. Truly, he’s an anime legend in the making.
  • I do love this series’ literary references. The whole Don Quixote/Sancho Panza/Rocinante part made me chuckle. At least when Heavy Object throws out references, it doesn’t go for pedestrians ones from this century, pshaw!
  • Qwenthur is pretty dumb at silly times. That whole tidal wave thing … here’s your sign idiot ball.
  • How did they rig a shower in a helicopter? o.O Wait, no, stop asking questions, self. Itou Shizuka is being sexy. Fuck yes!

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Stephen, what is best in life?, It depends, Momentum & mental space, and The best content is in email

Full-length images: 26.




  1. That makes two of us wondering how blowing up the mines on the net is supposed to tip the Object’s balance and then make it explode. If I was to make a guess the force from the explosion probably tipped the Tri-Core’s very delicate center of gravity, but I’m not sure of that either. What I was sure of though is the moment that Object exploded, Qwenthur is sure to get not medals, but more Object destroying missions. And the trend we might see is Qwenthur and Havia constantly cursing their own luck at being famous Object destroyers then pulling off a miracle. Even if it looks like it’s going to be Qwenthur being blessed with a lucky break that will expose an Object’s weakness it’s still fun to watch. It really feels like a videogame where every new enemy Object they face will have an exploitable weakness, and again I’m reminded of Metal Gear. In the Tri-Core’s case simply sabotaging it looked impossible considering guards were stationed inside.

    On the other hand, Milinda picking up Qwenthur was cute. That yahoo of hers was adorable. And Froleytia…she is just so unpredictable for me but is still awesome. The last thing I expected was her deliberately teasing her troops. No complains here for sure though. I’m just rather surprised too how she can put up with Havia’s harassment. Guess even Qwenthur isn’t immune to her teasing when even he tried to sneak a peek.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/Heavy%20Object/Heavy%20Object%20-%2005%20-%2026.jpg

    Remember that scene in Mondaiji-tachi where Izayoi and Kuro Usagi were having it out and he tried to look up her skirt, but couldn’t because Shiroyasha did… er, something and made it so you could only get tantalizingly close to looking up Kuro Usagi’s skirt without ever actually being able to and called that art?

    They should’ve remembered that here. This is just too direct.


    There’s another Heavy Object wall scroll in the making.


    And another.


    Alright, they’re just making my wallet cry now.

    Ryan Ashfyre
  3. I’m sure it’s been said, but I’m sure many of us here would love to help Frolaytia lift he rheavy objects.

    I’d probably have to watch the episode again to get how they won but it seemed believable enough. Something to do with the fact that it goes so fast but has so much weight that it caused it to collapse in on itself. Either way, the characters are what shine here. I enjoy the dynamic they have. At Stilts said in an earlier ep review, they all knew each other at the shows start. So they can all banter like this already.

    Gouka Ryuu
    1. No basically, the Tri-Core was targeting her weapons, so as time goes on she would have less guns to use and had to constantly shift her aims to account for the ones she has left.

  4. The Keels are retractable to help manage the heavy inertia of the Tri-Cores’ weight, the net from the previous episode had tangled up and jam that function. The net is actually quite large if you recall the briefing in the previous mission (It covered like the entire ‘mouth’ of the gulf) and only a part of it was jammed in the Keel. So by blowing up the mine, it would ‘cut’ out a large portion of the net that could get tangled up in the other keels.

    1. Why wouldn’t a big long line that stretched the entire length of the strait of Gibraltar be better? That seems destined to get wrapped around the other fins, or at the very least, much harder to dislodge. And why would a shorter net be more likely to tangle the other fins?

      No, wait, don’t answer those. I don’t need to understand. It’ll just lead to more implausible plot holes. Popcorn entertainment, it’s popcorn entertainment…

      1. I wasn’t implying they planned that from the beginning. I was asking why cutting off part of the net would wrap up the shark fins better than a huge long trailing net. But like I said, don’t worry about it. The less I think about those kinds of things, the more I enjoy this show.

  5. Erm…a ship’s keel is basically it’s backbone and one would assume it would be as well armored as the rest of the Object. The retracting shark fin? Okay…sailing boats need them to keep from tipping over, no other ships have ’em as they’re just not necessary.

    So….uh breaking the shark fin that isn’t necessary cracks ship in half….?

    Uhhhh yeah, best not to actually think about what’s going on in Heavy Object, and just watch the nice explosions.

    1. The Keels are retractable to help manage the heavy inertia of the Tri-Cores’ weight, the net from the previous episode had tangled up and jam that function. The net is actually quite large if you recall the briefing in the previous mission (It covered like the entire ‘mouth’ of the gulf) and only a part of it was jammed in the Keel. So by blowing up the mine, it would ‘cut’ out a large portion of the net that could get tangled up in the other keels.

      1. Yes, that was what was explained in the show, but that’s now how or why real shark fin keels work. They don’t do anything for good for inertia, in fact they make it easier for your ship to flip over during sharp turns.

        Hence my comment “Uhhhh yeah, best not to actually think about what’s going on in Heavy Object, and just watch the nice explosions.”

  6. After this episode, I’m starting to feel the drop demon inside my head… He’s starting to say: “drop this piece of crap, it’s only gonna get worse from here”.

    I’ll wait for the next episode to decide.

    Man, this is the worst anime season in freakin’ years.

    1. I’m fairly certain that last line is inaccurate when applied to any season with Fafner in the Azure and an actual decent Gundam. And not all the LN adaptations suck either!

      This show in particular is never going to be anything more than popcorn entertainment, but it’s something mindless and fun to watch to recover from what watching Fafner does to you. 😛

      1. #STILTS! Dammit, you need to do Fafner at least once in your life. It will give you something to think about.

        On topic, if Utawarerumono also finishes strongly, you could add that to the list as well. One Punch man can also be considered. It’s not for everyone but I don’t think it is bad at least.

        Onto Fafner, yeah… no amount of Heavy Object is gonna balance out the crap that Fafner goes through… I think I’d probably need to watch an episode of Care Bears to remind myself that caring is best.

        Goodwill Wright
      2. I’ll say the same thing I always say: You have no idea how much is on my plate, haha. Which means I’m functionally unlikely to watch it, even if I wanted to. It’s a blasted miracle I’m keeping up with the current season (mostly), and I need to marathon the original Utawarerumono and a few others before I can possibly slot in something new.

        That said, so many people telling me I need to watch it has moved it from “ignore” to “eyeing my list”. If I eventually watch it, can I start on Exodus, or would I need to go back to the original?

  7. Ironically the destruction of the Tr-Core makes a little sense if weight is ignored. Assuming the fins are powered directly by the reactors (i.e share a direct connection), sufficiently impeding their movement could overload the reactors with enough tension. Overloaded reactors may or may not yield a big boom, its depends on the type and how deep asleep the operator is. Now about that tension. Simply put it’s very unlikely a net (no matter how strong) is going to impede movement of a device designed to change the velocity of a ~600k tonne fantasy machine.

    Weight alone IMO isn’t enough to tear the thing apart, machines are always designed around compensating (to a degree) for such problems, especially military machines. One more case of turn-off-the-mind bullsh*t here, but a better attempt at physics this time at least 😛

    As an aside one concern creeping up now is how Heavy Object expects to stay somewhat interesting going forward. If all we get is the same formula for every arc in both cours–no matter the hilarious banter–it’s going to grow boring. Fast.

    1. Yeah, they’ll need to break the formula sooner rather than later. I heard tell that the first three arcs are the first light novel (correct me if that’s wrong, LN readers), so we might get some continuity after that, once the author was sure sequels were going to continue getting published.

    2. It wasn’t the sheer weight that was involved (directly), but the fact that the Tri-core can’t balance itself properly anymore after Qwenthur got the netting to get stuck onto one more kneel/rod’s extending mechanism. the one extra push from the Baby Magnum did the trick. Maybe.

      (but honestly, I actually found myself trying to convince myself as I was typing that)

    1. I have to assume that she was trying, or it was too armored, but yeah, I thought as much too. That’s the problem with having a too-complex sci-fi or magic system—if people don’t know the rules, they might think characters are fucking up when they’re not.

    1. Probably safe to say, yes. He’s better with magic, which is inherently bullshit, than science. That was always the case with his magic-by-other-names bullshit “science” or espers, but that was so flagrantly thinly veiled magic that it never registered. But the interactions? Full B movie ham!

  8. https://randomc.net/image/Heavy%20Object/Heavy%20Object%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2030.jpg

    There is a flaw in here. As you see, she must have steeped outside to bring this duct tape outside on this cover. And that would mean, she was there in her full underwear and giving them something to let their Eyes fall out of their heads… If She would had done it from the inside, then the duct tape on the wall, would be inside…

    And, grats for use my episode 04 (spoiler) comment in Episode 03 entry, you took it and inverted for Fan service. Well, as along they are under themselves and know “only watch, do not touch” (“Nur Ankucken nicht anfassen!!”) . i do not complain, as it stay this Fan service. She use her Body to “motivate” their underlings to “die” for her.. well that is what she think

    Well, i as wrote in reddit, if i begin to think back in FMP times, i can begin to enjoy this

  9. The explosion tangled the nets to the other keels and when the Princess aimed her gun and the Tri-Core tried to avoid, it couldn’t sustain its center of gravity as its balance has been ruined by the keel malfunctioning. It collapsed upon itself after learning last week that the hull of that ship is thin. Physics won this

    1. yep, the center of Gravity switch or gone overboard. And the Body could not retrain the Mass Pressure, and the first crack was due the fatigue break, as if you bend an Square part of wood on the sides, and it breaks in the middle

      1. I try to use an Picture example:

        Try to imagine the Center of this TriCore Object, balancing on a tip of a needle. And these Shark fins are like screws in the Water to grope the balance in the center. Like screws ramed into walls to hold objects

        So what he made here?

        He goes there and put 2 of these Screws out of action aka pull these screws out of the Wall, so that it is not capable to hold the balance anymore. and the uncontrolled mass of these 2 Objects bend the Body, and BOOM!

  10. Is anyone else getting the impression that having a single operator for the Object may not be the best idea? I know that we’re not supposed to think too much, but wouldn’t it be more effective to have a driver, a gunner, and a commander/strategist? There has to be enough room for more people inside that thing.

    Speaking of strategy, Elite Milinda doesn’t seem to be all that elite. Her entire battle plan is circle and shoot.

    1. Well, the Enemy Object can fire nearly without pause, and is aiming at the only Weapons capable to penetrate their Armor.

      So She is not only trying to aim at the enemy, she must also move her body so that the Enemy can not shoot her Weapons. Not all is used by the Baby’s Magnum AI. Like Aiming in front, to hit. And i think i saw some kind of Feedback, when the Weapon got hit. We saw her Hand controls for a second. Perhaps she got an electric shock as Pain feedback

      Lucky, she do not like to balance the Baby’s Magnum’s movement on the water. Looks like a Subroutine keep it on balance to not affect the aiming, too

      Try to imagine and WW2 Tank on an uneven ground, and the enemy is trying to shoot your Main Gun to take your only change to penetrate the enemy, out

      (World of Tanks, without auto Aiming)

      1. Your observations come back to my original point that Milinda seems to be fully occupied with moving and firing without any time left over to process intelligence (enemy can only turn clockwise) and develop strategy.

        The enemy Object has the same problem. It needs enough operators to simultaneously target Milinda’s Object with its main weapons, Qwenthur in the water with anti-personnel weapons, and the helicopters with anti-air weapons.

      2. Well Kling, I think all those might be slaved to point at Baby Magnum and/or power for those secondaries were rerouted to the main guns and propulsion systems?

        Well WOrldWideDepp, to use WoT as analogy might not be that accurate. It’s more like World of Warships I reckon. Both sides moving to evade shots while trying to maintain aim on the enemy and pour murderous fire on it

      3. @c2710

        Not quite right, Baby Magnum want to Penetrate them, to sink them. But the Enemy is only Aiming at her Main Guns, the only ones that can really hurt them. So the TriCore is looking for Critical Hits only

    2. I think I recall the spider object had a fairly big crew inside. I think it depends on what the designers are going for and how much they let the AI do. And in Baby Magnum you have a supposed supper talent operator and 14 is fine a girl for that see gymnastics.

  11. And don’t even get me started on how Milinda somehow saved him by dunking one of her guns underwater (boggle).

    That part, at least, made sense to me. The guns are highly adjustable to allow for aiming, and Baby Magnum wouldn’t have been phased in the slightest by the tidal wave, so when she saw that Q-boy (I hate trying to spell people’s names for this show) was about to get caught in the wave, she rushed in and caught him before he could get dragged too far under. She was probably moving before the wave hit him. Of course, the wave smashing him into the hard surface of Baby Magnum’s cannon probably should have killed him, but hey, this is Superman physics. She “caught” him, so he’s safe.

    1. Well DC retcon’d Superman’s catching in that they state he actually extends the anti gravity effect that allows him to fly thus removing the energy of the object (reducing it’s momentum) he does not want broken before he catches. I think they explained it better than that though.

      Have heard no explanation yet of how the hulk or any super hero without flight ability actually can remain standing when swinging a object way larger and heaver then themselves with only two feet not attached to the ground as a base.

    2. I actually assumed she picked him up after the tidal wave him went by. He was already at the bottom of the tidal wave and it wasn’t like the tidal wave was going to stop and drop right on top of him, but rather pick him up (and toss him around)

      If he were more familiar, he should’ve dived underneath the tidal wave and been fine– because those tidal forces are actually quite weak underneath the wave.

      The saving part wasn’t from superhuman physics, or plucking him out just in time, but from passing out in the middle of the ocean — which makes total sense (especially when the body naturally floats)

  12. How did they rig a shower in a helicopter? o.O Wait, no, stop asking questions, self. Itou Shizuka is being sexy. Fuck yes!

    Well, technically, it was explained in the LN, its just the anime’s fault for leaving out the explanation scene and depicting a lot of water being used…
    Here’s the translated LN’s scene if you’re interested.

    The slightly bluish-silver-haired and large-breasted Froleytia laughed and gave a victorious smile as she toyed with the healthy young man that was Heivia.

    “Damn, my clothes are sticking to me uncomfortably though. Why does seawater stick to your skin like this? Just changing clothes would be meaningless if I still reek of the beach like this. If only we had had enough time to get a shower back at the port.”

    “The plane has no shower room, so you’ll just have to put up with it until we reach the next base.”

    “Not necessarily, Quenser,” said Froleytia as she undid the latch on a large box on the ground nearby. She pulled out a strange item that looked like a bag that was made of water resistant material that had a watering can-like faucet attached to the bottom. “This is a simple portable shower. It seems the divers have had the same thoughts.”

    Froleytia moved her damp body and hung the water resistant bag from a hook on the ceiling.

    “Ehh?” Heivia shouted upon seeing his superior officer pull out a kiddie pool-like object to prevent the water from spreading across the floor. “You mean…here…? We’re all going to take a shower together here!? W-with pleasure, ma’am!!”

    “I’ll be partitioning the shower off with a curtain, so outta the way, Heivia!”


    Heivia let out a scream as Froleytia pulled a thick plastic sheet across in front of her on a rail on the ceiling while kicking him in the side as he sat on the ground.

    When he heard the sound of clothes being slipped off from behind the sheet, Heivia stopped rolling around on the ground and became completely still.

    “…Shit. Talk about a cock tease.”

    “Y-yeah… That’s right… You’re completely right, Heivia.”

    “Eh? What kind of half-hearted reply is that? W-wait, is there a gap between the sheet and the wall over there…!?”

    “Nope. Not at all. Not even slightly. Don’t worry about it.”

    Froleytia’s exceedingly calm voice that was accompanied by the sound of water came from the other side of the thick sheet.

    “Quenser, I only allowed you to see as far as the underwear. If you go any further, I may have to use the interrogation room afterwards.”

    “Wah!! You noticed!?”

    “Wait, so you can see!?” exclaimed Heivia.

    The two idiots started struggling over that spot, but Froleytia upped her defense by using a piece of electrical tape to close the gap between the sheet and the wall. By the time Heivia managed to look over, there was nothing left to see.

    “Oh, c’mon, Heivia. Is it really something worth sulking in the corner over?”

    “…Leave me alone. Someone who got everything he wanted can’t understand how I feel.”

    TLDR; I did some google image search with the terms “portable shower helicopter”,
    and its apparently similar to those fire fighter helicopters; there’s a water tank onboard.

  13. B-Movie or not, this isn’t for me. I already found it wierd that the Object in Ep 1 tanked the big bomb just fine and was still able to use its cannons afterwards and now you can just scratch them to disable them?
    And the princess Object is still useless and they don’t work together at all. Nobody told her that her enemys movement was restricted which should have helped her a little.
    Oh well, as I said, this show just doesn’t work for me anymore –> dropped.

    1. Froylatia best commander in the anime history, at least as long as it does concern raising morale and lowering morals of her troops…
      from blatant panty showing-off to improvised shower scene she made sure to keep her footsoldiers happy…
      (sorry for the pun!)

  14. Legally and literally Sexual Harassment requires the sexual comments to be unwanted and not stopped when the person being subjected to them objects. Here they are making sexual comments to a superior officer who has the power to punish them for it and the officer is choosing to return the favor instead of charging them with disrespecting a superior officer. Now some more robotic companies and organizations choose to ban sexual dialog just to over kill the problem thus inflicting the most conservative sexual views on everyone. This overkill is sometimes in response to radical feminists who don’t think other women are capable of giving consent.

    Same with stalking it not stalking if the person being observed does not object to it and only becomes Stalking legally if you don’t stop when asked to.

    So here just enjoy the banter no victims involved.

    Again enjoyable B movie nonsense.

    1. While I’m not going to touch those radical feminist or stalking parts, yes, the line between sexual harassment and flirting depends largely on consent/reciprocity. I tend to err on the side of sekuhara when there’s a superior/subordinate relationship involved. If the sexually harassing party is the superior, that’s an abuse of power, whereas if they’re the subordinate, that’s a serious breach of etiquette and respect (unless it’s done somewhat privately until(/if) reciprocity is established, because otherwise it’s another twist to the power dynamic).

      It’s tricky stuff. From here on it’ll probably mostly feel like banter, just because they’ve taken it that far (and Frolaytia has played back), but two guys hitting on one woman still has a problematic air. Hmm.

      1. Should have said some people and be less specific as what I think radical feminism is may differ as I’m a feminist by core definition. I just wanted to point out there are some who think all women must actually think like they do, even thought that is not true it’s cultural and family background and if they seam to think a different way they are brainwashed or something and must be prevented from behavior they seam to like. Yep in the abstract it does have problematic issues. But I’m a strong believer in taking things on a case by case basis. And Im strong I thinking people are different and can have a differing background and response to situations.

        Now yes this is familiarization behavior by a superior officer is questionable but does not have to be sexual to be wrong. I was just stating it does not belong in the class of sexual harassment.

        Now as far as the first hits on by the guys yep if the women takes offense and can’t do anything about it, it can be rude and is bad manners, does not legally fall into harassment unless there is a complaint. And there are a lot of women who like that type of banter and are disappointed when they don’t get it, a clash of family and cultural values again. Plus we did not see the first meeting of the guys and Froleytia and she might have initiated the banter making it possible familiarization problem but as the guys have no problem with her doing it to them not sexual harassment.

        By the way I would never approach a women the way these guys do, I hate to offend.

        Now that the guys are object killers they of course will get the “Ba Ba Black Sheep” ace pilot treatment, if your that good normal military rules don’t apply just keep em happy and killing enemy.

        Now introduce a third party that has to put up with conduct they don’t like things change but that a different subject.

        Should have left stalking out as it off topic, but I hate that a traditional romantic convention of the secret admirer is assumed by some to be automatically bad even thought the anti stalking laws and movement actually did not intend to end that for the most part.

  15. Just to put it out there, Qwenthur, Heavia, and Milinda all have VAs that are very young. Besides Hanae, the other two have relatively new VAs. And my goodness they are all fantastic!

  16. WorldwideDepp

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