「大艦巨砲でピンチ!」 (Daikan Kyohō de Pinchi ! )
“In a Big Pinch with a Battleship’s Big Cannon!”
I’m guessing that starting the episode with the Harekaze packing up the festival is a signal for the temporary suspension of the fun and games as the plot puts on its serious facing going into the finale. That said, I wasn’t expecting Hai-Furi to launch straight into the climatic confrontation with the Musashi, which has managed to sneak (as battleships do) back north to trigger the final confrontation early. Not that the last boss doesn’t deserve two episodes, but I was expecting Hai-Furi to clean up the other loose ends i.e. four other rogue ships first before tackling the big bad battleship. Turns out, there’s other housekeeping that Hai-Furi wanted to do first. Getting the Musashi’s side of the story is good, if only to explain why the sane survivors haven’t starved. I won’t lie; I would have preferred cannibalism. I get the feeling that the Musashi’s story could have been expanded into an interesting survival horror, derailing the plot be damned.
Mostly, though, Hai-Furi needed to wrap up its character drama, though I could have sworn was actually already wrapped up. I suppose we should have expected more of it considering Scotty is the only one on this ship who’s got it together, and she’s crazy. And it’s not like I think it’s inappropriate for the Ship Mum to have one last bit of self-doubt before she flings her flimsy little destroyer against the giant battleship—it’s in keeping with her (and Ship Dad’s) character development so far. I just wonder about the level of melodrama. This is where the High School and the Fleet of Hai-Furi intersect, because I’m guessing that in an actual military outfit Captain Mike would be considered to have a conflict of interest, be unfit to command, and would promptly relieve herself of it. At the very least, I don’t approve of the bridge broadcasting all its troubles with the rest of the crew all the time; they should have cut the mic long ago. Command should always show a united front, so those they lead never has to second guess them. The point, I guess, is that the Harekaze isn’t exactly a military outfit. It’s a class of high school girls. So they all band together, activate the power of friendship, and then save the day.
I hope the Harekaze doesn’t save the day too hard, though, because we’ve just seen four Blue Mermaid ships soundly defeated by zombie Musashi, and if the Harekaze manages to overshadow the professionals so easily it’d be a bit too hax even for the oddball class. That’s unlikely to happen though, since there’s a lot of potential reinforcements waiting in the wings, and chances are the Harekaze is going to need it. That, some luck, and some wit. This week’s battle was great (by which I mean there were explosions!), but it was mostly just a slugfest. I prefer my Hai-Furi battles with a bit more tactical cleverness, and I expect the Harekaze’s crew to really make their destroyer do work next episode. I look forward to seeing what they pull off.