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Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Episode #08 Anime Review

3 min read

Things have finally started to calm down between Yui and Yuuya, but there’s still a war to fight.

What They Say:
Argos Flight is sent to the front lines of the USSR to get real combat data in their TSFs.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the series having managed to make Yui a bit more accesible to the viewer and to those that she works with at the Yukon base after the last two episodes, the series has a chance to start feeling like you can latch onto the characters. Even more surprising is that we managed to get to know both Cryska and Yuuya during that story in a way that made them both less cold and distant. Of course, it was all slathered in fanservice but they did it with an interesting sense of atmosphere and mood for it that made it work while still being all about the pandering. It shouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it was, but it went there and succeeded.

With that said, events here move forward with some more alien action hitting up the early part of the episode before it makes the more blanket push to send several of the operatives off to the far east in Russia to do some field time. The main intention is to let the Argos Flight crew get their time out in the field, polish their skills and acquire new data with their equipment so they can refine and fight better. Getting to see some of the bizarre aliens works well to paint a creepy feeling about it as well as just getting more of the depressing looking living conditions for many out there. With Cryska and her partner there, they’re able to set that mood fairly well.

For Yuuya, he’s getting to test some near weapon for his craft, but it’s experimental and something that he can see the flaws with quickly, which both pleases and frustrates Yui. There’s some political intrigue associated with it and the secrets it has, which complicates matters just a little bit for both of them. There’s a lot of little nuance bits and cultural things that come into play over the course of the episode after all of this, which again is something that the series has done from the start but still feels weird and forced at times. I do like that it’s acknowledged and a part of it, but there’s something about it that just doesn’t click well as it seems to drag the series in unnecessary directions when it should be going elsewhere.

In Summary:
The up and down nature of this series is definitely in full force here again. After two good episodes that played hard with fanservice and character exploration, this one starts to shift towards a big new mission but spends most of its time with basic dialogue bits and cultural explorations while not really driving things home in the way it needs to. So when it does get serious towards the end, and throws you for a bit of a curve, it feels like it comes out of left field instead of a natural progression. And that’s what gets me with the series as it has a lot of material to work with and some really good things it can do, but it gets caught in focusing on these weird areas that don’t seem to have much impact. The forward energy it started to show here is largely lost, though it’s going to try and get it back again at the very end in hopes of doing something with it in the next episode.

Grade: C+

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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