「空中大戦争スタンシップ」 (Kuuchuu Daisensou Sutanshippu)
“Sky War Stanship”
We’ve finally got our Constanze episode, and it was worth the wait to see how Akko was able to form a friendship with a girl of little words. It was a relief to see Akko getting the picture early on by honing in less on helping Constanze out with things she already knows and more on helping her out with things out of her reach. I know that sometimes Akko isn’t written to be much of a critical thinker, but seeing Akko realize that there is a better way to win Constanze’s approval than replicating her more competent robotic servants or complying with her demand to work alone gives me hope that the writing will reflect on this. The recent episodes have done a great job at showing how far Akko has come with her transformation magic, so hopefully the same attention to detail is placed on the behavioral shifts that Akko has where she can reflect on how aggressively pushing a bad idea isn’t the best solution.
Because we’re far into the series, it’s also important that a Constanze-centric episode could capture her character’s essence so that she doesn’t feel like a background character. I’m happy to say that this episode won me over on Constanze’s character. She’s introverted and aggressive, but is also open-minded to Akko’s input once she starts gathering materials for her. It’s cute to see her warm up to Akko or get passionate/aggressive over her work, and does reflect on how she’s was able to have a close bond with Amanda and Jasminka. The duality between Constanze/Akko with their childhood ties to their dream was cool to see since most of the cast isn’t shown to be as in touch with their childhood dreams as Akko is, and having Constanze share that in common with her adds a nice dynamic to their relationship. It also helps that on top of all the development they gave Constanze, we got an awesome mech fight out of her infatuation with Akko’s idea to let Stanship transform into the Grand Charion mech with a familiar drill. I hope we’re able to see more of Constanze as the series goes on because this episode left such a good impression of her by the end where she happily made a broom that Akko can finally fly on.
Although an episode like this would’ve been great early in the series to get us more attached to Constanze early on, they made her appearance on the Wild Hunt relevant to the current plot unfolding. In the back of my mind, I was waiting for someone in the show to acknowledge that Croix is using her cubes to tamper with things and create techno-monsters. Ursula’s perceptiveness helped keep the episode topical by honing in on what exactly Croix is trying to accomplish by creating a series of incidents with her tech. It is strange how all of this is happening behind most of the cast’s back, especially the rest of the staff, but I assume it’d create a larger, more hostile situation if it wasn’t between Ursula and Croix. Regardless, I really enjoyed this week’s episode, and it had a little bit of everything I appreciate about the show from the optimism and teamwork to the developments that keep me on the edge of my seat to find out what’ll happen afterwards.