「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
- 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