「極限 ブレイブ」 (Kyokugen Bureibu)
“Limit of Bravery”
And so, the cast runs full circle as they return to the planet where they originally met Messer, and their arrival signals the start of the series’ final chapter. Utilizing the bio-waves generated from Mikumo and Freyja (after an epic slap to get things on course), the Protoculture ruins are used against the Windermeres instead, creating a fold gate that allows our cast to successfully infiltrate Windermere. A final fight with Cassim ensues, ultimately resulting in his death.
Following a multitude of exposition heavy episodes, it could be said that this was a return to the norm for a series that’s patented itself on Valkyrie combat, singing, and triangles, and this was a more straight forward affair as a result. Given the lack of remaining time and the need to get a move on however, it’s a welcome change that takes us back to a show, not tell approach—something that also made the events of this episode easier to stomach and appreciate despite ended up more or less as one expected.
Cassim’s death in particular ends up an example of the latter, and it’s a notable send-off that emphasizes how through it all, he still managed to stay true to himself and his beliefs. Ultimately, he was someone who fought to protect more than for revenge, and the fact that he saved his best flying for his homeland’s defense while serving as the final obstacle to our cast’s infiltration couldn’t have been more fitting in this regard. More importantly, he embodied everything Keith talked about this week, and it’s in stark contrast to the many Windermereans and the Aerial Knights who are merely following Roid blindly at this point (whether they realize it or not), choosing to believe in someone else rather than thinking for themselves and standing up for their own “true wind.”
Heinz turns out especially guilty in this regard, but the fact that Keith took the time to reiterate his allegiances to him personally—rather than to Roid or the Windermere people in general—makes you realize there’s still time for him to turn things around before it gets too late, and Roid’s rapidly losing time to realize his plans with every passing episode. As it is, the likely scenario seems to be that Heinz will likely realize the path he needs to take isn’t the same as the one Roid’s leading them on now, and it’d be a fitting ending to see him sacrifice himself in order to fix a situation he played a large part in creating. The question is whether or not Roid even needs him now that Mikumo’s secret origins are out, and depending on how many cards the former has left to play, it could very well drag in more than just Heinz.
Either way, the end is suddenly in sight, and I’m not sure how to feel about it. However nice it is to see Mirage serving as the balance between our dynamic duo, I can’t shake the feeling that the series has suffered due to its two-cour nature, with arguments to be for both less and more episodes respectively. The way it is now, the entrance into Δ’s final arc packs far less of a punch than its previous iteration in Frontier, a pity given the series’ potential and the hopes that it would build upon the success of the latter. Don’t get me wrong, Δ’s been a solid iteration regardless, but just not as great as one had hoped it would be. Alas, I suppose we’ll just have to see how things work out.
ED10: 「風は予告なく吹く」 Kaze wa Yokoku Naku Fuku by Walkure