「機雷でピンチ!」 (Kirai de Pinchi!)
“In a Mined Pinch!”
I used to play a fair bit of Starcraft. In it, there was a unit that could lay mines. Unlike the antique sea mines that one can leisurely prod at with a 10-foot-pole of Hai-Furi, Starcraft had super advanced robot mines, which means they pop up out of the ground and chase their targets. What you’d do is, you’d send one of your dirt cheap but fast infantry units and run them through a mine field, dragging all the mines behind them. The mine field would be cleared, but your infantry unit does not survive the exercise.
It was with that experience in mind that I was thinking: what a completely predictable outcome.
I suppose mines are yet another standard danger for warships, so it’s good that we get an episode featuring those if only to check the boxes for our warship anime. But having to confront static defences just does not feel as exciting as getting shot at, so while I approve of Hai-Furi mixing things up it certainly didn’t make for as tense as episode as last week with the Musashi. It didn’t help that I could not remember who the sacrificial chumps were (also, who’s the understudy?), so when they got blown up for not watching where they were going (following the example of their captain from last episode, no doubt) it wasn’t as dramatic a scene for me as Hai-Furi may have planned. Or maybe that’s not the point of that scene, since they didn’t even die—which I’m actually fine with because Hai-Furi went out of its way to mention that its ships were suppose to have nifty safety features, and it’s not the kind of show where they would start offing the crew now. Maybe the point was just to have a heartwarming moment when Captain Ship Mum rescues her girls—in which case I don’t feel it either because I, like Ship Dad, cannot really approve of the captain running off at the drop of a hat. After her stunt last episode she didn’t suffer any reprimand other than some sass from her crew, which is no good as well because I don’t care for insubordination either. And this episode, they let her skip out again (that’s not that ‘skipper’ means). You know what it makes these girls? Enablers, that’s what. It seems that only person on this ship who has it together is the chief engineer—whom because she is an engineer on a ship and has an accent I’m going to call ‘Scotty’ from now on.
At least our captain is self-aware of her own failings, which is a good thing because doubt is the first step to character development. Her flightiness will probably be an issue to work on in the future. Also in the future: shady men plotting in the dark. We already know we can’t trust them because one can’t trust anyone who likes to hang out in the war room from Dr Strangelove. They’ll probably decide to nuke the Musashi or something, in which case the Harekaze will be the only ship that can save them! Props to the detailed script, by the way, for actually trying to justify why our heroes are our only hope, as opposed to the usual deal where they’re charged with solving all the world’s problems for no good reason. One thing that does seem a bit too convenient, though, is the doctor managing to do in days what takes a real lab years and concocting an antibody for the berserk virus. She seems to have learnt none of the lessons of Dr Jekyll about self-testing though. If she awakens her dark side and starts murdering the crew at night, it’ll be her own damn fault.
I would watch it, though.