「いっそ このまま」 (Isso Kono Mama)
“Stay This Way Forever”
You know, for all the annoyance of 86’s intermittent release problems, it sure makes an episode’s return all the more fulfilling. A week’s delay (or two) can do wonders for whetting the appetite, and this episode is effective that strategy in perfect form. After all, it’s a return to what Spearhead knows and does best, only now with a wholly different objective: survive.
While 86 has been fairly decent on the surprise front, I don’t imagine anyone was too shocked when one pint-sized and thoroughly squeaky mascot wound up tagging along for the grand adventure behind enemy lines. It was always a given Frederica wouldn’t be disappearing from view anytime soon, she’s too entwined with Spearhead at this stage, and for all the pet peeves involving her, she does serve as a nice foil and grounding for what the kids represent. It’s easy to forget that the lives of Shin and the rest are not fated to end with war, that there is a future which can see them live and thrive outside of these circumstances beyond their control. They may not see themselves in such a future or even want it for the moment, but Frederica’s presence is an effective reminder that Spearhead isn’t operating in a shell anymore. There are plenty now who like them, care for them, want them to succeed. Whether it be Ernst or Gretha, the lesser known or the titular Lena herself, many want to see the kids back safe, and love it or hate it, Frederica is the key for ensuring it happens.
As for how Spearhead makes it home (and just how many), that will come down to what Legion gets up to next. As anticipated the attack on the Morpho didn’t go as expected, though I’m sure I’m not the only one who didn’t have bait and switch in the Legion’s tactical playbook. Brute force mass assault certainly, but a legitimate feint? Now that’s bloody impressive, especially when it’s noted the feint was deliberate.
Whether due to who Legion has been assimilating or Shin and his familial clan themselves, clearly things have gotten personal and the fallout from it will be interesting to see. Kiri after all wants revenge for what transpired to him and Frederica; he’s determined to exact punishment against those who wronged him, and will likely suffer a significant crisis of confidence when Frederica inevitably comes face to face with his final form (you know it’s going to happen). Likewise Legion itself is probably destined for a setback considering Kiri is likely to implode once Shin and company catch up to him.
And then there’s Shin himself who while not seemingly having a death wish is inevitably chasing the tail of death. You could write a thesis this point over Shin’s mentality and what he’s going through, but in short, much like Kiri, Shin is haunted by the spectre of the past, except instead of running away from it temerariously advances upon it. Shin cares not what may happen to him in his personal battle, but much like Spearhead in general he forgets how important he is to those around him (as so bluntly indicated through that stray shot). This is no longer the Spearhead of old, where life is the penance for the fated escape of death, it’s now a group firmly attached (desirously or not) to the land of the living and its denizens wanting to see them survive and succeed.
It’s anyone’s guess just how well Spearhead will adapt to that mindset now forced and imprinted upon them, but something tells me this is one adventure which won’t see them walk off into the sunset.
The Morpho may just be a massive mechanical millipede, but it’s certainly one hell of an interesting millipede. Not often you get to see an EMP in action, something that would actually happen when firing electromagnetic railguns of that magnitude.
Also something something Type-1 Energy Sword, because it sure as hell looks like one!