「ワン・マン・フォース」 (Wan Man Fousu)
“One-Man Force”

A commenter with apparent knowledge of the source material was wondering, last week, why that episode of FMP! didn’t end with Nami’s death and use it as a cliffhanger. I agree, it would have been highly dramatic and kept us on edge for the entire week. Now that we’ve seen what they did with the scene instead, perhaps we can better analyse why they did it.

Nami’s death was not dramatic. It happened right at the beginning of the episode, with neither buildup nor preamble. Usually in stories, when an important character is killed (and Nami was arguably important, playing deuteragonist while Kaname is away), there is some fuss made over the whole thing. Maybe there’s a period of suffering. Maybe they’ll leave us with some pithy last words. Maybe they go out in a blaze of glory. Not Nami. She isn’t killed so much as executed. Sure, the event was objectively sad, but without drama it’s not tragic. And perhaps that’s the point. In tragedy, in drama, we at least get to vent our emotions. There is catharsis. But not here. This death was senseless. It leaves us unsatisfied. There is no purging of emotions here; rather, we are left with frustration. And that sets the tone for the rest of the episode. If Nami was killed at the end of the last episode, we would have had a week to get over it. Perhaps we would have. Well, no such opportunity here. We are left with our frustration, and our outrage, and our bewilderment at how meaningless Nami’s death was, and go along with Sousuke as he takes out those same emotions on his enemies. In a different context Sousuke taking out an entire cadre of superiorly armed foe would be a triumphant moment, but the thrill of victory is instead replaced with rage and angst and the knowledge that this was all Sousuke’s fault. Way to break it, hero.

Taking the wide view, though, in the greater scheme of the narrative Nami was doomed to die. For one, she was the third wheel, competing for Kaname’s spot when Kaname x Sousuke has been firmly confirmed as the OTP through three seasons of anime. If Tessa is unfavoured then Nami doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Yet still she tempted. Unfortuantely for Nami, there is one tried and true to resolve a love triangle quickly and cleanly: murder the hypotenuse. As a bonus, Sousuke also picks up fresh doses of guilt and a vengeance motive to keep him going. As I wrote about last week, Sousuke needs these negative emotions to drive him, and Kurama alludes to as much in his dying moments as well; the power of love can only sustain Sousuke’s solitary crusade for so long. When Kurama killed Nami to goad Sousuke into chasing him, he really was doing the narrative’s work. What a player. Took one for the team.

All in all, though, a lot of crummy feelings this week. Perhaps this may be uncomfortable for some viewers, as one of the highlights of the original FMP!, what gained it such a large audience, was that it was fun. Even in its seriousness it was something of a swashbuckling thriller. I mean, the title has an exclamation mark in it. Now, in Invisible Victory, the punctuation is harder to justify. One of the criticisms of The Second Raid, I think, is that a good portion of it wasn’t much fun. Sousuke moping, wallowing in angst, isn’t fun. And Invisible Victory is much more angst and much less swashbuckling. When I talked about Invisible Victory being a very different kind of FMP!, I meant it. That’s not necessarily a bad. But different.

Speaking of different, what happened to Tessa and Kaname? Can we catch up with them? I could use a diversion right about now.

Full length images: 07.


ED2.08 Sequence

ED2: 「Remained dream」 by 茅原実里 (Chihara Minori)


    1. 4 episodes per novel. 12 episodes this season leaving three novels left for Xebec to cover. Just pretend to be shocked when they announce the totally obvious 12 episode wrap up season for the franchise after episode 12 airs.

    1. Again, I’m familiar with the source, but we should keep in mind that ‘rock bottom’ is fairly arbitrary. If anything, this arc was testing whether Sousuke, a man who can only solve problems with violence, can dig himself deeper. Turns out, he can.

  1. So this arc was essentially pointless. What did we get out of this plot wise? Souske is super pissed off at Amalgam, only has a rough idea of where Kaname is and… that’s almost exactly where he was at the start of it.

    Without adding anything to the overall development of the story this was nothing more than filler that could otherwise be skipped over without losing much of anything.

    1. The point was to show how much of a screwup Sousuke is when left to his own devices, and a reminder that for all he pretends otherwise, he’s not actually an action hero who can charge in, kill all the badguys, and save the girl on his own. He can’t do that, it’s just not in his power, he can only function effectively as part of a greater team who can cover for him.

      Like I said, this is rock bottom for him–he’s been separated from his friends, his team, and the girl he loves, and he spends his time spinning his wheels while thinking he’s actually doing something, when in the end, he’s just wasting his time and brings disaster on those he’s around.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Based on just the anime (filthy secondary here) it seemed more than likely. However, it wouldn’t really have mattered because Kurama would at least have had to get her checked out, and that would have given Sousuke time to rescue her. And that’s even without him knowing about Lemon and his crew.

    1. Sousuke dropped the ball major time here.
      Kurama definitely would not shoot such possible major asset for Amalgam.
      But hey Sousuke believed him when he thrteatened to kill Kaname next…
      (Hint: Kurama even did not know where Kaname was being held, She is THAT important to amalgam)

  2. Nami’s choice her future, Nami may have asked for this and her decision became a fools errand. What the HELL am I saying this is all Souske’s fault and not that of a little over zealous girl.



  3. I was so right about Lemon being DGSE. Sousuke figured out as much.
    RIP Kurama. you were great villain. Ruthless? Yes. Evil? You bet. Enjoying cruelty? not a little bit. He wanted to goad sosuke into atatcking him and he did get his result. Heck he almost killed Sousuke in one-on-one duel with distracting mooks from French spec ops.
    Had not Lemon arrived to provide prompt Medevac we would have the end of Souske, and series.

  4. “Speaking of different, what happened to Tessa and Kaname? Can we catch up with them? I could use a diversion right about now.”

    The next episode–“Fallen Witch”–is sure to focus on what’s going on with Tessa and her band of Mithril remnants. Though the initial scene might look discouraging at first.

    You were too good for this world… RIP, Nami. And thanks for the beautiful insert and ending music. Show Spoiler ▼

    RK-92 Savage (Ryuji Sakamoto “Skull” custom)

    “Onion Knight” Savage?

    Yeah yeah, both customizations are on the gaudy side, but I can’t help but admire them for a bit (plus the Savage is an ugly cute mecha design) before they fall to Sousuke’s roaring rampage of revenge. Though on the bright side… ARX-8 Laevatein, baby!

  5. Was it just the video that was showing Nami’s death scene twice in a row or did they wanted to show her death again so it would be painfully sad to watch? RIP different orange-hair Nami.

    random viewer
    1. I‘m surprised that nobody has brought that up.
      To me it looked like her Whispered powers in play similar to Chidori‘s who foresaw that Sousuke would lose in that mecha fight against Tessa‘s brother.
      Which is also why after my initial shock I clinged to the naive hope that her being shot was only some kind of Whispered dream.
      Sadly, at the end my hopes were dashed and her status as a Whispered turned out to be completely meaningless.
      RIP red Chidori.
      Also, this was yet another episode with obvious production issues.

    2. I think it’s just the way it’s broadcasted on TV.
      She was killed at the end of OP credit then cut to CM and then back to the show again with a few step back to recap and to emphasized the feel.

  6. On one hand, the AS models and explosion and impact effects are fantastic. It seems like they improved the sense of weight while walking and moving. On the other hand, Sousuke loses way too much blood to stay alive and keep fighting (just like Zero Two in DarliFra this week) and his expressions aren’t as poignant despite him being in a very intense state of mind.
    That said, this adaptation is doing a stellar job and FMP IV is definitely in my top 3 AOTS in a season packed with terrific shows. I really, really hope they announce a sequel when this cour ends.
    LN readers, is there an arc after this one? I mean after the conflict with Lenoard and Amalgam concludes.

  7. Nami…dead!?
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Finally caught up till ep 8.
    Going to wait till 12 (last ep?) drops before watching at one go.


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