「ジャンクの墓はレアメタルの山, アラスカ戦場跡迎撃線 II」 (Jyanku no Haka wa Reametaru no Yama, Arasuka Senjyouato Geigekisen II)
“The Graveyard of Junk is a Mountain of Rare Metals, Interception at the Site of the Alaska Battle II”
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
I bet you didn’t expect to see me here again so soon, eh? Takkun is out of town at the moment, so I’m taking care of Heavy Object in his stead. Or revisiting my old show, I guess. He’ll be back next week, so you’ve only got to put up with me here one more time. And maybe for part of the final impressions on the finale post. Damn you, Heavy Object! I can’t escape you! *shakes fist*
That’s Not How AI [Will] Work
I handed this off to Takaii because I felt like I was saying the same things each episode, and the most oft-repeated sentiment was that Heavy Object’s sci-fi is shifty as hell. Before you throw your hands up in disgust, know that I’m only mentioning this again because this episode was on a new level. The Juliet system isn’t anything close to something that deserves to be called artificial intelligence. When we start loading AI into our war machines, they’re going be at or near general intelligence, which has another name: human intelligence. They’re going to be as smart as we are, basically. (And about three seconds later they’re going to become superintelligent and leave us in the dust, but we’ll deal with that when it happens.)
Juliet, on the other hand, is just a program. An AI of general intelligence could do what a human would have done—examine the information, figure out what happened, and react accordingly. Or at the very least, retreat to a safe distance while it analyzes, instead of locking up. And I wouldn’t have a problem with them calling a glorified computer macro a combat AI if not for the other damage it did.
Ohoho: A Singer, Not A Fighter
The Juliet AI was a transparent move to make Qwenthur’s cockpit infiltration fail. Or at least, not succeed as well as it should have. This is something that could have been accomplished much easier by giving Ohoho-chan a gun in the cockpit, but that would have made too much sense. That transparent nature made it all the more cringe-worthy.
But the bigger problem is that Ohoho-chan isn’t piloting anymore. It’s no longer a fight between Milinda and Ohoho-chan. It’s a fight between Milinda and Juliet. And we don’t care about Juliet.
Look—conflict works best when it’s between parties we care about. We don’t have to like them both—no one likes the Empire in Star Wars, or those Empire wannabes in the new one—but we do need to care what happens. There are no stakes in this Alaska Part Two battle, or at least none that we care about. What made it work last episode was that it was Milinda and Rush, blasting each other to the soundtrack of a verbal catfight—but even that was taken away. Whyyyyy!
Plus, I found the mid-battle song more puzzling than amusing, though please understand that it’s a thin line. Usually absurdity is my thing, but it just didn’t strike me this time. Everything else I said would still stand, but I’d probably be talking about how the song made up for much of it, if it had made me laugh. Alas, it didn’t.
Qwenthur & Havia Make This Show
Milinda’s adorable crush and Frolaytia’s heavy objects may be the obvious draw, but Qwenthur and Havia make this show. They carry it all on their shoulders, and even if G-cup isn’t as heavy as we thought, that’s a lot on them. Qwenthur’s plan, triggered with the “I’m at my wits’ end” and completed with Havia’s help, was so much fun for the “All according to keikaku” feeling at the end. (Note: Keikaku means plan.) And it makes sense—they were tricking a kid, albeit a pretty smart one, but intelligence isn’t the same thing as wisdom. The Water Strider targeting system was smart, but best was planting the bomb, because you get a real sense that shouldn’t have worked—if the Intelligence Union was going to blow her up, why would they make the bomb visible? Why the long timer? But Qwenthur pushed hard enough and fast enough, Ohoho-chan fell for it, and suddenly he’d captured a slightly used Object. Take that!
Though obviously, he should have taken Ohoho-chan prisoner instead of letting her go. Then she could have joined their team. Can you imagine how smug Milinda would be when she finds out Ohoho-chan is a DFC? Or how much Ohoho-chan would still get under her skin in the future? Though I hope the first part still happens. That’ll be amazing.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Qwenthur and Havia are carrying this show, and stealing enemy Objects as they do it #heavyobject 16
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: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Introduction, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did right, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did wrong, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Conclusion.