「ミーナでピンチ！」 (Mina de Pinchi!)
“Mina in a Pinch!”
Ah, finally, an Admiral Graf Spee episode. While Hai-Furi had not forgotten the German exchange ship, diligently making sure to drop a mention now and again (not to mention Mina’s continued existence on the bridge of the Harekaze), I wasn’t sure whether they were going to devote an entire episode to it, since the Harekaze does have a lot on its plate already, saving the world from the zombie apocalypse, and perhaps doing it one ship at a time would be too slow. So I wouldn’t have exactly blamed Hai-Furi for leaving the Germans hanging for a bit longer, or perhaps even resolving their subplot off-screen.
It’s good to see Hai-Furi dedicated to tying off the potential loose ends before they knot into a messy ball of plot holes—if there’s one thing I can unreservedly praise about Hai-Furi‘s writing, it’s the planned pacing. It’s also good to see that Hai-Furi is continuing to mix in the genres, this time turning into a surprisingly well-choreographed action flick. If somebody had told me, in the first episode of Hai-Furi, that it’ll eventually involve fighting zombies with gun-fu, I would have condemned that man as a liar and a scoundrel. Now that I’ve actually seen it, it’s still all pretty silly, but I don’t particularly mind because Hai-Furi has shown itself willing to do all sorts of off-beat things in the name of entertainment. As long as I’m entertained, everything is permitted. And as the stakes are raised, we should be expecting any number of characters to start getting dangerous anyway, just like when Sulu breaks out the katana in that Star Trek reboot. There’s certainly more in the pot this episode as the Harekaze suffers the most grievous wounds it has to date. Sure, it’s still too idealistic a setting for anyone to actually die, but it still looks pretty bad (blame the acting captain and her low Luck stat). In that light, though, I would quibble about the final boss being such a pushover. I suppose Hai-Furi had decided it had hit its action quota for the week and preferred to switch to sentimental. I’m still not sure if I’m amused or disappointed; after all the talk about her I expected the German captain to be a more dignified presence, as opposed to… this.
All in all, an enjoyable episode, managing to differentiate its action from last week’s battle as well as getting in some character development along the way—this time the captain running off on a skipper was not an unilateral, reckless decision, but a plan respected by her crew. I do wonder, though, what they’re going to do about the Musashi, though; I was expecting Hai-Furi to enact a climatic boarding mission against the battleship, but now they’ve already done it against the Graf Spee that sort of rules it out (since, of course, it would be unbecoming to enact the same plan twice). Perhaps it just means Hai-Furi has something even bigger up its sleeve. In any case, I don’t expect this to be the last we see of the Germans. Despite the teary farewell for the fellow samurai drama fan, I won’t be surprised if Mi-chan pops up again as reinforcements or otherwise. She’s still in the OP/ED, right? If so, they can’t ship her off quite so easily.