「ためらい バースデイ」 (Tamerai Basudei)
Given all the uncertainty surrounding the Delta Platoon and the general state of the galaxy, one would be forgiven for forgetting about things such as birthdays and the like. Yet, it’s precisely times like these where the little things matter, and while Freyja herself might’ve forgotten her birthday, the rest of the Platoon made sure to do nothing of the sort. It might be another calm before the storm, but it’s a valuable episode in regards to what it emphasizes and the small hints it gives in regards Mikumo and Hayate’s respective pasts.
First and foremost, we’re given the not so subtle reminder that Freyja’s 15th birthday is more than just that. As a Windermere, she’s now halfway through her lifespan, and it’s something that gets easily forgotten in the grand scheme of things—or at least, it was for me. I will be the first to admit that through all the takeovers and declarations of war, this was certainly something that slipped my mind more than once, and the fact that it’s emphasized here makes you realize how much of her overall lifespan she’s spent (and will likely continue to spend) away from her home planet when it’s all said and done. In this sense, there’s a tragic nature to the whole affair despite the positive vibes of the celebrations we get here, and one starts wonder if this could be the moment where we realize that she may not ever return home at all.
Either way, Freyja remains the center of the party for now—with even Mikumo showing up despite the revelation that no one has ever celebrated her birthday before—and as expected, Hayate’s gift ends up being the best of them all. Just one look tells you everything you need to know at this point, and although there’s the feeling that it’ll never advance farther than this, there was a magical quality to their interactions this time around, and I’ll be sure to savor it while it lasts. With that said, it’s hard to not feel a bit of sadness for Mirage’s side of things given how things have developed so far, and the fact that Kaname’s still staring at Arad with longing eyes makes you wonder whether they’ll continue their pursuit or ultimately choose to move on.
In the meanwhile, the major question remains who Hayate’s father was and what he did, although this week does reaffirm his origins as a pilot. Given the negative connotations of his mentions so far, it’d make sense that he was the pilot that dropped the dimensional weapon on Windermere (whether intentionally or while afflicted by Var Syndrome), but Arad’s comments about him being “too kind for his own good” throw an interesting wrench in that theory, and it could very well end up being the opposite case instead. Given what we know so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was so against the usage of the dimensional weapon that he turned sides to try and stop its usage, ultimately sparking a bigger conflict in the meanwhile, and dying to that same weapon…?
Guess we’ll see—possibly as soon as next episode. Hayate’s shocked reaction in the preview is a telling one, and it’s certainly a secret that’ll need to come out sooner rather than later to have the proper impact. In the meanwhile, here’s hoping that the arrival of Wonfes this weekend comes with release dates for these beauties…
ED7: 「God Bless You」 by Walkure