What They Say:
Having failed to obtain the Nirvash for their own use, Japan goes forward with a dangerous experiment to create a Coral plant for themselves. Generation Bleu sends Ao’s team to stop them at all costs.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a bit more exposure to some of the Generation Bleu characters in the previous episode, focusing on Fleur and Ao standing up for what they believe in and helping to force the company in the right direction, it feels like we started to finally latch onto things a bit, even though the whole political/corporate aspect was pretty stilted and without any real nuance. What the real takeaway from it all was is that there are some serious issues inside of the company and Fleur has a lot of reasons to dislike her father because of the way he treats her differently from the rest of the young pilots that he calls his kids that he isn’t actually related to. The expansion of the world at large here definitely helped overall though, and plays into this episode some as well.
Getting a bit more about how Japan is isolated from the world definitely helps, and firms things up a bit more with how Okinawa was making its own way into the world. Understanding the nature of Japan in this alternate world is something that could definitely have used more fleshing out early on since it’s going to be important, such as the revelation that Tokyo itself was lost seventy years ago at the end of World War II when a Scub Coral activated there and completely destroyed the area. So having the Pied Piper team head in there to scope things out and see what’s going on helps to expand our knowledge of all of this, though it’s just some trappings to set us up for the arrival of Secret, who is there for its own reasons.
With that hitting here, the show moves easily into the action side of things, though it shifts it up a bit since it’s a water based adventure that has Ao kicking it off by going off on his own underwater to stop Secret since he’s a defender of the innocent and justice. It throws a few things at is in general, with some nasty surprises hitting on the military side that really catches you short. The action is pretty varied and Ao’s time underwater is a bit subdued, but there’s some neat parts to it too, especially as the pressure starts to get to him quite literally, making for a dangerous scene in a lot of ways. While the action and some of the nuance here are things you can kind of just ignore in the long run, it’s seeing what happens to Ao that is important here when he’s in this situation. The growth of those fighting and flying as a team is starting to slowly come together, almost a little too late, but it’s happening nonetheless.
I still find myself in a weird position with this show as I really want to like it, like certain elements of it, but have a hard time getting into it as a whole. This episode doesn’t build too much of what came before, but it does help to cement Ao more as a member of the team than he was before, which is why you want to smack him when he just runs off on his own to get into things. The kid just doesn’t learn. There are some good background pieces brought in that again makes me wish we just had a big infodump at some point early on to flesh out this world more so that you could dig into it, but even here it does help some if you’ve made it this far. I still wonder if new viewers to the series are getting into it and how many fans of the previous works are feeling a bit weird about it like I am, waiting for something to click and start driving it all forward.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.