「湖の誓い」 (Mizuumi no Chikai)
“A Promise by the Lake”
While it’s fairly clear by now that Tsuki to Laika won’t be setting any records for unique and special, I’m still hard-pressed to deny how much the show has stuck me with me thus far – after all, here I am confirmed covering it for the duration! Whether the historical background or cutesy vampire doing cutesy vampire things, this one just does what it does well, and I’m quite happy for the results.
As if proving that latter point, this episode effectively took advantage of the setup by confirming exactly where this story will soon be heading. It should be no real surprise, Tsuki to Laika has done a good job of hinting what’s coming next, but the confrontation between Lev and Rosa did help solidify matters: Irina is a tool in Zirnitra’s eyes, she will never be officially seen as human because too much effort has been shed on setting up her successors for glory, and plenty are willing to accept such fiction for the benefit it provides them in the end. Although Rosa’s opinions are contradictory – if Irina is an inhuman object why does she care so much that Irina is the first into space? – it’s understandable why she would lash out like so. History is quite literally in the making and Irina’s success (or failure) will determine exactly what happens next. Irina may not be the first recognized human into space – but the result of her mission will determine who winds up given that honour.
Further building on that point is the growing inevitability of Lev breaking with the official fiction at work. Again per last week this is no real shocker, the kid was setting up for a bit of cognitive dissonance between Irina the object and Irina the person, but this episode – courtesy of Rosa and jazz bar antics – blew it into the open. For all Lev may try and keep his work separate from his opinions, he already sees Irina as a human being, one whom he shares an attachment with and one whom he will certainly rise in defense of once the inevitable stumbles come her way. It’s part in parcel of dealing with such matters and one case where I firmly suspect Zirnitra’s leadership knew exactly what they were doing – i.e. if Lev defied officers in the past, giving him a role bound to induce insubordination was an efficient means of killing two birds with one stone. Irina would confirm the conditions of space, Lev would take on all the issues associated with putting her in space, and Zirnitra’s leadership would be free to continue with a blank slate from that point.
Of course, such thought is never bound to always result in practice, but we’ll just have to see what Lev gets up to once Irina encounters the first major resistance to her history-setting moment.