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Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Episode #05 Anime Review

3 min read

Yuuya starts to settle in to things while still struggling in how he deals with Yui.

What They Say:
Yuuya continues his attempts to master the Japanese TSFs, to little success. During one last exercise, an unknown suddenly appears on the practice ground, and it’s heading straight for him..

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the intresting and somewhat surprising amount of racial issues that came into play in the previous episode, I’ve been even more unsure about this series since then. It’s certainly added something different that we usually don’t see in anime these days, but part of it also felt really out place in this kind of world where everything is at stake for the future of the species overall. Adding that on top of the already chaotic storytelling that we’ve gotten where it’s jumped around in time frame a lot and kept from really giving us a chance to connect with the characters and it’s like a triple whammy of problems that are hard to overcome.

Yuuya’s training regimen has him working with some tough equipment as there’s a Japanese model TSF that’s designed to focus on combat capability, which in turn makes it very difficult to pilot since it’s not designed for maneuverability or comfort in the slightest. He’s not had a lot of time on it, but he’s intent on figuring it out, especially since Yui gives him some not so subtle grief about how he’s probably too American to handle what’s required to pilot it. With this and the other varied training, including another minor incident that puts him in the same place as Inia and Cryska again, he’s getting only more and more belligerent when it comes to Yui. And that’s rubbing off elsewhere as well.

As the episode goes on, we do see more of what’s going on with Yuuya and the TSF though as Yui reveals privately to herself that he’s mastering it far more quickly than she imagined. And Yuuya is coming to grips that everyone has a huge burden on them and that he really doesn’t know their stories, understanding that they all have a lot of loss. There’s some mild softening of his view of Yui, but she kind of throws that for a loop when during a practice session, she brings out her Royal Guard Unit TSF to go against him and his group, to try and teach by example what it is he needs to understand when it comes to his TSF. And that sometimes you need more than a simulation to grow and excel.

In Summary:
While Total Eclipse still hasn’t won me over, things are definitely a bit improved here as we get to know the characters a bit more. The brusque nature of some of them isn’t a surprise and it focuses more on the characters themselves this time which helps. The back and forth that exists between Yui and Yuuya continues to be one of the main focuses since starting the Alaska storyline and here it takes some decent turns. I still can’t say that I really like any of the characters, though the new French girl in the restaurant may make the list as it goes on just because of the goofy waitress outfit she has to wear. The action in the show is kept short overall but it works well and serves to advance the characters a bit.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
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.

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