「障害物競走なら普通は泥まみれ 南極大陸制圧戦」 (Shougaibutsukyousounara Futsuu wa Doromamire Nankyokutairiku Seiatsu-sen)
“In an Obstacle Course Race It’s Normal to Get Covered in Mud The Battle for Supremacy in Antarctica”

Two steps backward, one step forward.

New Low, Heavy Object. New Low.

“No. For our operation in Antarctica, we can’t use our Object, either.”
“It’s a monster weapon that weighs over 200 thousand tons. If we carelessly stick it on top of a continent made of ice, it might break the thick ice and fall through, right?”

Are you kidding me? Are you shitting me right now, Heavy Object?

I let you get away with a lot. I probably wouldn’t have commented on any of your bullshit science this episode, but this is a step too far. You can have your ridiculous super-tanks, but get your basic fucking science right. You can’t break the fuck through the fucking ice of Antarctica! Antarctica is a godsdamned continent! Underneath all that ice there’s fucking rock!

But maybe they just meant the Object would break through the ice and end up on the ground. But if that’s the case, why aren’t they worried about putting it on ground far less stable than antarctic ice? I’m pretty sure they had multiple Objects on a friggin’ sand desert just last episode. Or, you know, water. If we’re expected to believe that Objects have some kind of anti-gravity repulsor technobabble technology that makes them go so fast, then they should be able to go on the damn Antarctic ice sheet.

Gods! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

I Can’t Believe Baby Penguins Impacted the Plot

Not since Madagascar 2 has a a baby penguin had an effect on a story’s plot. This kind of thing is why I can’t hate Heavy Object, even when I hate it. As I say that, I realize that Heavy Object and I might have an abusive relationship, or possibly one of us is tsundere. *tsuuuun*

In all seriousness—or as serious as Heavy Object ever gets—the plot of this entire episode was pretty stupid. It was meant to get across two things: There’s a possibly submersible, possibly stealth Object around, and the whole thing with Lady Vanderbilt (Uchida Maaya) and Havia (more on that soon). As for the actual action—the random terrorists, the random rail guns—they were generic challenge obstacles for Havia and Qwenthur to deal with. Completely forgettable. Hell, even the way Qwenthur beat the rail guns was worse than last episode, because there was no way to intuit what he was trying to do before he did it, so they had to inform why Qwenthur was so clever. That’s a lot less satisfying than understanding what’s going on and wondering if it will work in the minute. It was all, in short, a giant waste of our time. If it weren’t for the wild, half-mad laugh I got from the baby penguins, nothing good would have come form it.

Making Heavy Object’s Strengths Work

In some ways, Heavy Object is more annoying than a complete failure like Comet Lucifer. With Come Lucifer, I can write it off entirely, because there’s nothing redeemable about it other than some pretty backgrounds—I think about how I would fix it because I’m a weirdo like that, but I don’t really care. Here, though, I lament the waste of Qwenthur, Havia, Frolaytia, and Milinda. Whatever other failings this series has—and there are many—I enjoy watching the main four characters interact, and would miss not having met them. But they’re underutilized in this mess. So, how would I fix that?

A moment in this episode gave me the answer. It was when Frolaytia and Milinda were being oddly blasé while Qwenthur and Havia were under godsdamned gunfire from a bunch of terrorists. That was a bit of character derailment for Frolaytia and Milinda, but the central fact it reflects remains: Qwenthur and Havia are hilarious when they’re reacting to all the shit the world is piling on top of them. I mean, look at those expressions! I get a reliable laugh out of that every time.

I think the problem is that Qwenthur and Havia, as characters, are in the wrong plot. They would work well in another situation. Imagine if the two of them + Frolaytia and Milinda were the four characters in Left 4 Dead. i.e. (and to quote Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation) “the four unluckiest bastards in the entire holocaust who get rescued over and over again but it never seems to take.” They would work great in that situation (zombies or otherwise) because it would be the setting that has it out for them, not their supposed-allies who keep sending them in particular into danger because plot. Their unluckiness would be off-set by their good cheer, funny banter, their friendship, and the presence of two beautiful girls—not unlike, I feel compelled to note, Kamijou Touma of Index/Railgun fame. That works great! But here, so many people have to hold the Idiot Ball (trope) to keep them at the center of the plot that it makes me want to bang my head against a wall. Oy vei.

Romeo Winchell and Juliet Vanderbilt

For everything that was stupid about this episode, I liked the exploration of Havia’s motivation for everything he’s doing. It somewhat conflicts with his stated intent to go back home after Alaska—or the fact that, after helping to slag three Objects with nothing more than some quick thinking, a trusty rifle and/or rocket launcher, and a good friend (& his explosives), he should have accomplished his goal by now—but Heavy Object isn’t short on logical inconsistencies, clearly. No, the idea that Havia is playing Romeo to the Vanderbilt girl’s Juliet is an interesting one, save that this time Romeo is going to become the head of the family and stop the feud so he can marry the girl in peace.

That … is not what I would have expected of Havia, and it sure puts a wrench in my plans to ship him with Frolaytia, but I like it. Now there’s a long-term reason to root for Havia’s success, other than wanting the banter to keep coming. That’s good, at least.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – You can’t fall through the Antarctic ice. It’s a continent. There’s rock under all that ice. Guh! #heavyobject 09

Random thoughts:

  • What happened to Havia’s “smart bullets” from the first episode?
  • You know we’re having problems when they’re throwing out the same exact fanservice in hopes of distracting us. At least give us a new fanservice-y situation, jeez.
  • Qwenthur and Havia: The duo of heroes this show doesn’t deserve.

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




  1. You know, I wouldn’t mind seeing a romcom based on Havia and the Vanderbilt girl’s engagement shenanigans. Qwenthur can be best man, Frolaytia the maid of honour and Millinda the bridesmaid in the wedding that would probably take in the episode finale in a series like that.

  2. What makes the whole “falling through the ice” thing even more stupid is that Qwenther himself even points such things out when he made the ice collapse under the terrorists and also later, when Havia asks him if he could repeat that move with Baby Magnum’s artillery on the base…


    …the fact that it only worked against the terrorists because their map pointed out how there was no rock underneath that particular area of ice coverage (basically just a canyon underneath), so was able to collapse, but being all bedrock underneath the base, so would not be able to just collapse in on itself with a few explosives.

    And yeah, in terms of the fan-service, they should stick with Frolaytia and her legs. <3 lol

    1. I have nothing against Ohime-sama, but when they’re opting for the same she’s-overheating-in-the-cockpit-time-to-strip bit, they’re not even thinking up new excuses for fanservice. If they’re not going to put any thought into the sci-fi, at least put thought into that.

    2. I’m more worries about the plot hole with (again) international rules. Using satellites to spy on Antarctica is said to open a can fo worms… but it seems that sending planes and soldiers is ok, and communication satellites don’t have any trouble (to the point they can be hijacked from the continent).

      1. In the Light Novel the problem is the Legitimate Kingdoms don’t have an statalites (i.e. hanfging satelites in a stationary posiotion using a solar sail or the like) over Antarctica (There’s supposedly only a few places they could hang them over each pole and they’ve concenttrated on the Arctic and other factions have filled the appropriate slots over the antarctic) and Councilor Flide and co didn’t think Polar orbit satelites were a priority so they don’t have enough of them to provide reliable coverage.

        And the other Major Factions (Politics) and the Oceanean Dictatorship (No longer exant) aren’t sharing the intel they get from their statelites.

        Presumably the LK will try and replace the Oceanean statalites, but the other factions are probably less than happy to assist the the English Home Counties (London and South East England are a seperate state and a Legitamate Kingdom member) claim of sovereignty over most of Antarctica.

  3. It took everything I had no to laugh out very loudly during the penguin scene.

    The show doesn’t take itself very seriously (or at all sometimes) but this episode was something else. It’s like the writers decided to just mock stupid, comedy plot devices. This episode reeked of it and not in the kind of smelly but tolerable sense; it was like rotten garbage that you couldn’t escape. I don’t mind the comedy and really, when you’re dealing with war its a healthy distraction sometimes. This however…really?

      1. No, it’s not. That was a spontaneous outgrowth of kindness between enemies who didn’t want to be fighting (and killing) each other, representing one of the most enduring stories of humanity in that long, dirty, and horrifying war.

        This was just penguins for the lulz

  4. I wonder if Frolaytia put that DVD there on purpose? (I mean, I’m pretty sure she’s aware of Havia’s fetish for domineering female superior officers.)

    Ah, the land under “Down Under” (if you catch my drift)… I guess no sci-fi mecha anime series should do without a scene or two set in Antarctica, just like these three:
    Gundam 00 season 1. (Where Union, AEU and HRL officials received 10 GN Tau Drives each at a secret facility.)
    — And even earlier, Gundam Wing. (Where Heero and Zechs had their rematch after Heero self-destructed his Gundam.)
    — Of course, who can forget Evangelion? (Where Antarctica was Ground Zero for the Second Impact.)

    And finally…
    “We interrupt this sci-fi anime to bring you Happy Feet.” *ding*

  5. Please, Heavy Object, stop giving dumb justifications for dumb plot decisions. It’s not as if we are going to believe them to begin with. Just roll with it.

    On the other hand, please give us more of Qwenthur and Havia being, well, Qwenthur and Havia. And penguins so cute that even terrorists say “aww”.

    When HO tries to be stupid, it improves; when it tries to be serious, it fails.

  6. quote: “Underneath all that ice there’s fucking rock!”

    —– actually it depends… where they plan on landing the object.

    antartica isnt totally a 100% continent made of rock and ice. before you get to the actual “continent” aka landmass, some if not most of antartica’s edges are actually just FROZEN SEA of WATER aka continental ice shelves. break that and you will only find water below it. hence its rational to have baby magnum on outer seas (with its ocean propulsion/flotation device of sorts) than risking it via a travel on a certain ice shelf with potential of breaking under 200 thousand tons of stress and having your object fall through and sink in water. (and if the animation is a hint, objects travels on solid land with lots of shaking and soil/land displacement even in a 2nd gen so that is like jack-hammering antartica’s ice shelves, further increasing chances of that “fall through” scenario. and another, ice shelves differ in thickness. one area of ice shelf could be thicker then gets more thinner in some areas. and also think of ice crevasses. anyway, baby magnum has speeds of 530kph so i think they can travel on those ice shelves quickly but well…. my explanation is based on realism but this is anime. i dont know. just sharing my idea on this.

    — according to http://heavyobject.wikia.com/wiki/Object, there is no such thing as anti gravity fancy. propulsion of objects (and its “levitating” system) is based on newton’s third law (aka the rocket physics) and the very common air cushioning. hence which is why there are lots of shaking as objects travel. anti gravity would definitely negate that shaking and increase speeds of objects.

    1. anyway as to penguins stopping the firefight for a moment plot, well heavy object isnt all action and destroy objects (to prove human are the most powerful LOL) type of anime. i have already expected certain comedy trolling on a “serious scene” like firefight scene in this episode. and consider the characteristics of havia and qwenther. they are like comedic duo though with real capable combat skills. and they just “smile off” most of their object destroying scenes and i haven’t really seen them REALLY PANIC OFF in certain combat scene ever since episode one.

    2. I knew someone would try to apply logic to that idiocy.

      I understand that the ice isn’t thick in all areas. You’re not wrong about that in the least. If they had said “There’s not a safe path for Baby Magnum to take to the expected location because of the occasional area of thin ice,” then that’d be fine. Instead they implied that you could fall through the continent.

      There’s also the fact that they’ve spent NO time worrying about the Objects on other terrain (I have to think them traveling across Alaskan snow or Australian sand would represent a serious potential hazard as well), so it ends up sounding like they think ice = weak. There’s also the fact that a weapon that’s so damn big that it can’t go on several types of terrain (what’s it going to do in a swamp? In a dense rain forest?) is severely limited.

      It’s not like you’re not right, to a point. It’s that the show didn’t go for the correct explanation. It used a stupid one to force Qwenthur and Havia into danger again.

      1. Considering that later parts of the episode acknowledged and even made use of the fact that parts of Antarctica are ice over water and other parts are ice over land,”fall through the ice in one of the parts that is over water” might have been what was meant by the dialogue in the briefing scene. I feel it makes enough sense in context. Heck, the “fall through the continent” part could even be a translation issue.

      2. well to a certain degree you hit a mark, that i would definitely agree with you… its pretty surprising that humans in that anime timeline got all of their modern technology fancies and heavy objects but seems they dont have a geological survey satellite to check the terrain for possible “thin ice” areas or even crevasses (or even thought of using that if they have one) in order to find a safe path for their object. well they do have spy satellite but well, i think the author intentionally acted “idiot” and omitted that idea to justify the sending of our duo all alone in antartica’s land.

        as to combat capabilities in swamps and dense forest, i think, its doable since, for swamps, they have “shoes” for ocean combat (more likely they have one for swamp battle) and there are no swamps enough to sink an object thousands of feet below so traveling on swamp wont really bother as much as traveling on thin ice… and as to dense forest, 200 thousand tons of steel and speed of 530kph would just clear a path like an ice breaker. areal challenge only to any objects is a battle on mountain ranges. like HIMALAYAS.

        quote from Darthtabby “Heck, the “fall through the continent” part could even be a translation issue.”

        yup that could be one… i think i will have to refer the original material and see if that translation is correct and as intended.

      3. This came up back in the first episode, but no, the ice’s thickness wouldn’t make a single bit of difference for one simple reason. Objects are so utterly massive they would break though solid stone. There’s a name for the physical law involved (the square cube law? Can’t remember) Anyway, you can’t build a machine that massive, it would just rip through the ground. This is explained away (as Stilts mentioned in the review) by the Objects having some kind of anti-grav field.

        So they’re either not touching the ground with their weight, in which case Antarctica matters no more than anywhere else, or they are, in which case Objects cannot move no matter where they are. You cannot have it both ways.

      4. IIRC the Next Episode will have a different and better explanation why it might not be a good idea to send Baby Magnum up a beach.

        Not that Major Capistrano was necessarily telling our heroes everything. She has a tendency to try to get them angry so they’ll perform and quite obviously has differenet views on safe to Lady Vanderbilt. Who she may be acting on behalf of.

        In the LN we eventually find out she sent Havia and Qwenthur as part of over a hundred troops ashore to do the sweep around the observatory and it was line infantry who took the Observatory after Quenthur and Princess dealt with the Railguns. Which seems as an overall strategy more sensible than Reconnasance by force with the Object when there may be one or a trap for one on shore.

        Which there was.

        Not letting Qwenthur have a gun does imply to me Fro wants Havia to have the chance to look good this episode. If she knew more about what’s going on than she said, and the comment about High command want them to leave the laser to destroy the Noble villas on the Moon implies someone more senior knew about that in advance and told her, then putting Havia in place to save the lives of Lady Vanderbilt and a number of other nobles advances a number of possible objectives on her part.

  7. The moments between Havia and young Miss Vanderbilt were funny, sweet and surprisingly genuine. I never expected a moment that made me go “d’aww” from Havia of all people, but that last scene had me doing just that. Here’s hoping we see more of that. (Speaking of Havia, I’m surprised Stilts didn’t mention the profanity bomb he dropped near the end of the episode.)

    I also actually liked the comedy in this episode, because it was less focused on fan service than usual. Our buddycop (buddy-soldier?) duo’s facial expressions are as hilarious as ever, and the bit with the baby penguins had me breathless with laughter. I don’t care if it was stupid, it was funny and cute.

    1. I thought about commenting about how Lady Vanderbilt was totally down to fuck, but the actual word didn’t surprise me. A bit unusual to hear it in an anime, but I use it all the time. Not too surprising anymore, haha

  8. I thought it was a fun and enjoyable episode. Decent enough reason to keep Milinda on the reserve for this one. If the enemy apparently doesn’t have an Object no reason to risk expensive equipment. Can just have ground troops hunt around and let her Object bombard anything they find.

    The Havia side of this was enough to make this a really good episode. I didn’t expect this guy would have such a compelling reason for being out there. He wasn’t in the military simply for his own benefit, but rather for the person he cared about. Plus this girl is hilarious, it’s no wonder they fell for each other XD. Her reaction to the swearing was just gold.

    The show isn’t perfect, but I don’t think it took any steps back here.

    1. You see, not risking the expensive equipment would have been a good reason, though that’s not what they used as an excuse. Also, at this point I’d consider Qwenthur and Havia pretty useful themselves, so I wouldn’t risk them on a scouting mission like this when some other schlubs could do the job. Send out the redshirts!

  9. @Stilts

    Looks like you had an Bad Day.
    Break through the Ice. Well, what have they done with just one Explosive? They break the Ice Ground between the Cliffs and the Soldiers plumped into their Ice Deaths. This what she mentioned about the Weight of their Object. Also, the uneven terrain to move on, perhaps even the Cold temperatures. Even if the reactor inside creates Heat

    Seems like for me, that you catch an Bad Day

    1. Don’t automatically assume that the writer’s mood impacts their writing. It does, but sometimes the subject matter does it all on its own. I had a fine day, a bit busy but otherwise pleasant. I just found that to be stupid, for reasons noted above.

      And yes, you’re correct on the seiyuu.

  10. “I let you get away with a lot. I probably wouldn’t have commented on any of your bullshit science this episode, but this is a step too far. You can have your ridiculous super-tanks, but get your basic fucking science right. You can’t break the fuck through the fucking ice of Antarctica! Antarctica is a godsdamned continent! Underneath all that ice there’s fucking rock!”

    Well… the risk here is that ice that’s currently on land. Ice that’s already in the water is already displacing water, if you have ice that was on land that gets knocked loose by an Object and lands in the ocean you’re going to be displacing more water and contributing to raising the sea level, not to mention that now oceanbound ice is going to melt at a faster rate than when it was landlocked and the change in local water salinity and temperature can have effect on things like local and even global sea currents.

      1. Rise and Tide aka the Moon has an important impact on this here, too. Because the gravity of the moon let rise the Water like some little mountains, even the “la Nino” has an effect on the Water levels. Because of its temperatures and wind movement

        Are we experience the same La Nino that the Inca’s was expecting for 2015? (well they missed some years). Because we see an water rising effect on their coast. Are about this region to become green again?

        So, see. Mother Nature is not that easy

      2. The rise in sea level is actually more of the minor point here compared to the melting of the ice and the change in temperature/salinity in the surrounding waters.

        I don’t know a lot about antarctic currents but one of the dangers of arctic ice is that it actually stands to destabilize the north atlantic current, at which point north eastern europe loses the warm water and air it’s been getting from the equator and people start to remember it’s at the same latitude as the more frigid parts of canada and russia.

  11. LOL
    “training videos”
    anyone even remotely related to armed forces of any kind will understand the pun!
    and I still ship Froylatia X Havia
    because his “fiancee” is not half as sexy (though her reaction to the random F-bomb is kinda cute…)

  12. You are right about a heavy weapon like that breaking through the ice. Yet, sometimes it is preposterous crap like that which some can find appealing in a way. Think the action sequences are cool, and the artwork looks nice too.

    By the way, great blog here. Well done!

  13. ep 10:

    Show Spoiler ▼


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