「忘れません」 (Wasuremasen)
“I Won’t Forget”

Well, if last week hadn’t illuminated where we’re heading next, I think this one effectively sealed the deal. As Legion kicks off the next great round of human annihilation, things for Spearhead and Lena both are quickly assuming a state of dramatic (if not tragic) irony. For all the wants and hopes of peace, war remains a stubborn companion out for its slice of attention – and you better be sure it always gets what it wants in the end.

Much as elucidated by last episode’s cliffhanger, Legion has acquired some nifty and deadly weaponry over the intervening months. While having yet another anime cameo of Schwerer Gustav is just a little irksome for me at this point (seriously there’s other artillery pieces to take inspiration from, like this sexy beast), the implications aren’t: Morpheo gives Legion strategic strike capability that no one, not even Giad, can respond to or counteract in kind. It’s the sort of situation which forces hands, a conundrum with no intuitive answer. Sure, sending troops off on a veritable suicide mission seems rash and arrogant (especially when it’s 86ers you’re sending off), but it can often be the only choice, and when you’re on a timer – a timer that should be noted is probably less than three months – you do what you have to, not what you want to. Survival demands it.

Survival of course is what makes Spearhead’s vanguard status on this latest mission all the more imperative. While Gretha and the like, as previously discussed, do have a point that Shin and company shouldn’t have to do anything more, they also forget that these kids have a right to choose, and they chose to fight. Whether down to pride or familial connection, Spearhead are still intimately attached to the battlefield; what they’ve done, what they’ve yet to do, rest within their now very personal battle against the machine. You can see it best with Shin, he knows full well what others think of him, he believes deep down that he shouldn’t be here, yet it’s the path circumstance has thrown at him and for the sake of everyone past and present he will persevere to take all the bad onto his shoulders. It’s gritty determination covered in a veil of robotic cold, a state of mind carried on not so much because that’s who Shin actually is, but because it’s the only way he can stay true in the face of terror. To acknowledge it is to lose, to give in is to die; so long as Shin has comrades to care for he’ll put off his debt until the job is done.

And rest assured that debt has yet to reach its maximum. We all know how quickly things can go south in 86 after all, and given where we’re heading next, it’s a reasonable assumption some familiar faces won’t be making the trek back home.

 

Preview

30 Comments

  1. So much to take in with this episode. Tiny details worth noting like during the video conference a fourth panel with nobody there makes me think they expected the Republic to join their offensive but they seem to expect the Republic has been annihilated. The war on the republic front being over so quickly was anticlimactic but I do hope they will elaborate on this in the coming episodes. In one of the districts invaded, a sign showing “86 stay away” makes me think the citizens were aware the 86 were coming to their defense but doesnt want them anywhere inside and opt for annihilation instead. Then the Federacy know acting somewhat like the Republic, while Shin is slowly ever so surely being pushed to the edge. It won’t be long before his mental state will unravel and it will not bode well for everyone if it does. Also, death flags raised everywhere. So many details to take in I wished this episode was longer.

    MMX3
    1. They actually skipped a lot in the adaptation to avoid to have an entire episode with high ranking military personnel and politician talking. Aside from a added scene it’s all compatible with everything said in the novel, so i recommend reading it from a more exhaustive view of the world situation. While interesting i maintain that leaving some details out helps keeping the focus on the characters in a visual media.
      Anyway, they still don’t have any way to contact the Republic, so it was obviously going the way of the Dodo with their ridiculously low war potential. Legion let them live and feed them brain patterns until they had the Morpho and where able to wipe their defenses with minimal losses. It’s not completely over, but with most of the population exterminated and with heavy losses they don’t have any hope of survival unless the invasion of Legion territories from the three superpowers succeed.
      Subs in general were quite bad this time: the plan is to advance on three fronts simultaneously to draw Legion forces while a behind the lines op destroy the Morpho. Knowing that Legion has the tech to build railguns they need to conquer all the territory between the three nations and the Republic to nullify the extreme range of the weapon because they can always build a new one. This means a massive campaign using everything they have, so i won’t call them similar to the Republic. Quite the opposite actually. Shin and the others had multiple ways to back out (even the chief of staff suggested them to do so), but they want to be there and they also the only ones with good chances of taking out the Morpho.

      Lambdalith
      1. World building can be tricky. I surmise the creators chose to “show” rather than “tell” by not adapting the “talking” portions of the source material. Will the skipped portion have added to the story or just weigh it down and distract it from the ongoing character based drama. I’m actually fine with skipping exposition in favor of drama. Also, given that the Republic has essentially fallen, and the story has veered off from Lena and her quest, this part of the story has huge gaps which I’m sure viewers are dying to see being filled it. I just hope the show can still do it without distracting or veering too far away from the core drama of the surviving 86. I mean, I really want to see what kind of panic, and chaos the Republic went through during the final hours of the Legion attack and the citizens as well as the military leaders realizing they are already getting their comeuppance.

        MMX3
    2. I’ll probably wind up binging both seasons again over Christmas for this reason. There’s a lot of small details present which really help with the world building, but are things I wind up missing in the midst of watching, taking screenshots, and figuring out what I want to write about (to my chagrin :P).

      This is the sort of adaptation I adore, one which doesn’t hold your hand or describe via infodumps, but instead fleshes things out through cameos, background details, and general atmosphere.

  2. I don’t think I have enough praise to give to this show’s pacing. It feels like a slow burn, but it’s also the best kind of slow burn; everything is allowed to breathe, everyone has enough and meaningful screen time, and one thing leads smoothly into another in intricate detail. And I said it FEELS like a slow burn instead of IS because stuff keeps happening left and right yet it’s all absorbable brilliantly.

    Case in point, this episode was very Shin-centered. In just 20-ish minutes, he mourns Lena and likens her to his other fallen comrades who all left him behind, all while looking forward to accept his new suicide mission because, besides his rant about not wanting to be like San Magnolia (not fighting the fight out of vanity) and choosing to honor his fallen comrades who kept fighting till the end, the show is being crystal clear in showing his desire to actually perish in combat, just so he wouldn’t have to suffer the loneliness being the Reaper gives him any longer, no doubt bolstered by the survivor’s guilt he must be feeling which is only exacerbated by Nina’s letters (don’t you just admire how Erwin has enough time to demoralize Shin whenever he can /s). And how it was Lena who subconsciously snapped him out of his harmful episode that one time after the first letter was heartwarming.

    All that fit into an episode that also shed a light on what being strategic can mean sometimes (sending the “disposable” Spearhead squadron on a suicide mission whose success may turn the tide of battle, rather immorally at that) to make said episode really riveting and thought provoking on multiple levels, and it still felt like it wasn’t too much packed.

    I just love this pacing so much.

    1. It really shows how good can be a mecha war anime without the focus on a hero machine or the contractual obligation to have a fight each episode. Not only the build up and the introspection is perfect, but when things happen on the battlefield the impact is ensured.

      Lambdalith
      1. I just so happen to have recently watched the original Universal Century Gundam movie trilogy on Netflix to get ready for Hathaway, and I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about otherwise. The pacing in those movies is just abysmal for my taste, and I think you’ve outlined the reasons why that is.

        The writers on this show (and light novel series) knew what they were doing.

    2. Definitely agreed! I especially like how Shin’s mindset is being handled. Far too many shows would go the melodramatic route or overplay monologues emphasizing the pain and suffering he’s going through. Instead we get scenes of veritable silence where the only way you know the kid is suffering is his facial contortions and his private recollections of comrades and friends. It’s the exact sort of thing which goes on with actual soldiers so to see it play out here in this way is a very nice touch and an excellent bit of character development.

  3. I think that’s the first time we see Shin actually snapping and talking with an angry tone. He feels that he belongs on the battlefield and that he has nothing else, so he lashed out at Wenzel as if she was trying to take away his identity by leaving them out of the operation. Ironically they almost ended up crashing on the truck with his battered that was moving his battered Reiginleif.
    Can’t say i don’t understand the Federacy’s logic. They are already going to lose an astronomic amount of soldiers with this offensive and they need the behind the lines attack on the Morpho to succeed, otherwise it’s all over. Yeah, the task for the Nordlicht squadron is suicidal, but so it is for the entire first line of the offensive.
    The guy who was in the conference between the generals and who talked to the main characters is Willem Ehrenfried, the chief of staff. He correctly anticipated that someone in the chain of command would have offered them a way out and suggested them to take it. You can say that the Federacy is pragmatic, but they had all the chances to no be there at all, but their identity is on the battlefield and at this point they almost take the reputation of berserker warriors as a compliment.
    Compared to the novel they skipped a lot (especially from the conference between the leaders of the three states), but i think that’s for the best to avoid an information overload and mantain the focus of the characters, which is by far the best aspect of the series.

    Lambdalith
  4. Well, this episode didn’t play out as I had expected.
    The Republic’s capital is pretty much occopied by the Legion right now, huh? Though we didn’t see any Legion on the few shots shown in this episode. And here I thought that the story would completely switch over to Lena and show us how she and the remaining troops managed to survive. Why was she outside? She must be still in one of the districts, maybe even underground. That tension of not knowing.
    With the plan of the Federacy and the upcoming boss fight beween Shin and Kiri, would wiping out the Legion around Morpheo make it possible to establish contact with what is left of the Republic?
    These are just questions that I’m asking myself.
    Can the Federacy really afford to lose someone like Shin who has such useful psychic abilities? Anyways, we got a good glimpse into Shin’s current state of mind. Who will wake him up the next time he loses himself? I could imagine it being Lena again…

    boingman
    1. I take the suicide mission and Shin’s involvement as something of necessity for Giad. Shin may be useful and someone they don’t want to lose, but a good amount of logical reasoning was dropped for why he and Spearhead are the ideal choice – i.e. child soldiers treated as slaves who at the best of times would be hard-pressed to fit back in with society. Plus it was insinuated those psychic powers are more widespread than originally apparent so I don’t think Giad will be lacking for replacements they deem it necessary.

      1. I though Giad might have seen those with psychic abilities as a threat given their former Royalty had psychic powers. Given that they don’t seem to mind working with a nation which still has a noble class. A tad strange for a fresh republic. Although that alliance might be out of neccesity of course

        mik
  5. They wouldn’t use Shin now they know of his abilities, but since the Morpho is an existential menace they are forced to do so. The chief of staff was even willing to unofficially talk them out of the task when outside of the watch of officers invested in making the Reiginleif project fail. The problem is that If this operation fails the fight against Legion would became soon impossible with all the three nations capitals in range.

    Lambdalith
  6. The only thing I can add as a comment about this episode is that it highlighted just how messed up my humor has become.

    Aftermath of the cliffhanger of the previous episode. Base is in ruins, countless soldiers injured and you have one guy screaming “My arm!”.
    Cut to a few seconds and we see an arm fall down. I was lmao’ing so hard. Welp, we found it. xD

    JHNSeph
  7. It looks like Lena’s acting colonel of San Magnolia army. Have doubt they have functional officers, but at least it looks like they still have some that are capable of working with the 86ers.

    Looking at the state of Lena’s room, I hope Teppy’s okay.

    Back to the current Spearhead (loved Shin’s reaction when the general mentioned the word), can’t helped but notice that Shin’s antiques in battle last episode was probably influenced by the letter he received before it started. Nina’s words actually seem to have influenced him. Really thought he was reading some mission briefing, even though the showed the cute envelope.

    theirs
  8. Ouch. Things dont look so good, right? Between Lena leading what looks like last stand, Shin going increasingly mentally unstable, and Nordlicht going on what is essentially suicide mission… With nothing less than fate of all surviving states at stake…
    On another note, technical specs on Morpho have an error. 8 km per seconds is first space speed. Projectiles launched at this speed would become satellites and not fall…
    I am surprised the Giad military did not keep Shin back from front now as a massively useful intelligence asset.

    Ewok40k
    1. I mean, cosmic velocities don’t factor in air resistance. it does make the angles much more questionable for any ground impacts, but even then, if targets were straight into buildings roughly parallel to the ground, that still works

      GoXDS
  9. As expected, San Magnolia has literally fallen down. And yet, the majority of Albas still blame the 86 (cue the “86 stay away” sign) for letting the Legion break through when it’s the incompetent military Alban higher-ups to be blamed for so hell-bent on sending the 86 in small groups to front lines without proper necessities be given to the 86.

    Also the overall military government was “pampering” the new recruits to just laid back and don’t do anything at all. And yet, I still believe several, if not 90% of all Alban civilians will blame the 86 all because they were given robots to fight against the enemies when clearly Juggernauts are rundown weapons from the very start. So expect many moments of blind hatred in the future episodes.

    Richie Kim
    1. Not that surprising IMO, the natural proclivity in the face of shock and horror is to double down and find a scapegoat; to recognize your own fault runs counter to a lot of our mental circuitry. Those Alba who survive will be forced to face the music, but that point is a while off yet.

    2. Don’t forget that the remaining 86 probably entered the main districts before the Legion would. The population of San Magniolia is spoonfed the lie that they have the upperhand in the raging war. To them a retreat would be unthinkable and probably seen as a lie of the 86.

      mik

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