“SHACKLES – Tying Bonds, Binding Hearts”
What They Say:
Azur Lane, a combination of all the different Camps in the world, was once successful in repelling the underwater menace, the Siren. Now splintered, they must face a new threat in Red Axis, former allies who crave to wield this otherworldly Siren technology for their own nefarious desires! Who will be victorious in the never-ending war between these battleship girls!?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It’s the start of a new morning and Belfast wakes up Enterprise. After getting dressed, she looks at the rations laying all over her desk and suggests eating breakfast at the cafeteria. Hey, looks like Belfast’s training is paying off a little! It’s quite lively in the cafeteria. The shipgirls are having a good time and conversing about…buying new underwear. Purchasing new underwear is an important matter! Enterprise gets in line for food and Battleship Nevada gives her a big serving as thanks for helping out Oklahoma. She chats with a few shipgirls on the way to her seat. Once seated, she invites Belfast to eat with her since there’s too much food for her to eat. She happily obliges. Little by little, Enterprise is changing.
Once they’re done with breakfast, Enterprise and Belfast walk around the base. They talk with various shipgirls along the way. Cleveland walks up to the duo and introduces her Light Cruiser sisters Denver, Montpelier, and Columbia. The sisters start teasing each other which amuses Enterprise. She comments that they get along really well. We then get a flashback of everyone discussing the Black Mental Cube they obtained from Sakura Empire. All they know is that the Siren gave them this cube and that Akagi is working with them. Are the shipgirls of Sakura Empire being deceived? Enterprise places a hand on the cube and gets an ominous vision. She looks at herself…but not quite herself. It’s more like an evil version of herself. Uh oh, what could that mean?
Over at Sakura Empire, the shipgirls there are also having a good time. Akagi is teasing Kaga as usual. A group of adorable chibi Destroyers run by and one of them falls over. After helping her up and exchanging candy with one another, Akagi remarks that it’d be nice if things could remain like they are now. What’s going on through her mind?
Enterprise and Belfast continue their walk through the base. They head over to the beach and Enterprise notices that there’s a lot of shops now. They’re shops selling food, books, flowers, and more. It’s certainly lively and Enterprise remarks that it reminds her of a human town. Belfast agrees and adds that it’s because they are human. Ah, this conversation again. Enterprise just doesn’t seem to understand. Belfast says that all she needs is to have elegance in her heart. Enterprise doesn’t get that either. Is she suggesting that she should be a maid? Belfast is a fan of that idea and starts giggling. It doesn’t matter if Enterprise wants to be a maid or not, all that matters is that she try something new. A hobby, a job, anything that isn’t fighting. Enterprise admits that it would be difficult for her but that’s okay, Belfast is up for the challenge! Human life is all about adventure anyway. Enterprise acknowledges that she may be right. Once again, I love these interactions between Enterprise and Belfast. It seems like Belfast is getting through to her, slowly but surely.
Elsewhere, Javelin is a bit depressed thinking about how Ayanami is an enemy. Laffey then sprays her with water and they proceed to have a water fight because why not? Now they’re soaking wet…which means it’s time to hit up the hot springs! Yup, it’s time for some bath scenes. This is the fanservice episode a lot of fans were waiting for. Of course, I’m sure they were hoping it would be uncensored but you know that’s not going to happen. You gotta get the Blu-rays for that. Anyway, the shipgirls are having some au naturel fun. Cleveland and her sisters are admiring the assets and mature underwear of the Royal Navy shipgirls. She asks Sheffield if it’s true that all Royal Navy shipgirls wear grown-up underwear? Sheffield responds by saying that she doesn’t wear any underwear at all…and then proceeds to flash her. Oh my! I can’t say I was expecting that, haha. Cleveland’s face turns beet red. San Diego jumps into one of the baths only to get electrocuted. Yikes, she can never catch a break, can she? Javelin, Laffey, and Unicorn are all bathing together. Javelin praises Unicorn’s ample bosom. This causes Unicorn to start crying!? Unicorn is sad because she’s small but has breasts are on the bigger side. She doesn’t like her figure. Laffey comforts her and says that she has an awesome figure. Everyone is different and that’s normal. She points at the shipgirls walking by them and they all have bigger breasts than Unicorn. Also, they all look towards the camera and start posing for some reason. A treat for the fans, perhaps? All I know is that I was caught off guard and I was dying of laughter. I guess Unicorn feels better when she realizes her chest is small in comparison to a lot of the shipgirls. Alls well that ends well?
It’s nighttime now and most of the shipgirls are asleep. Enterprise can’t sleep and decides to go outside and gaze at the ocean. Belfast joins her a few moments later and pours her some coffee. Enterprise says that the ocean was calling to her. That’s quite unusual according to Belfast. She also adds that she was just joking. Enterprise made a joke? Whoa! Now that’s unusual. Enterprise admits that she may be emotional right now. She really is changing, huh? Enterprise and Belfast admire the beauty of a quiet ocean together.
Back in Sakura Empire, Prinz Eugen is teasing Kaga. She doesn’t think that Akagi and Kaga are on the same page. This angers Kaga to which Prinz Eugen remarks that one-sided love is truly a painful thing. Elsewhere, Akagi is looking out to sea and proclaims that she’ll see her dear sister Amagi again soon. I’m thinking that Prinz Eugen was correct in her assessment. The episode ends with Ayanami reaching out to the moon with her hand. She probably has a lot on her mind as well.
Not much happened in this episode except cute shipgirls doing cute things. Also fanservice. I do have to admit that there were a few hilarious moments that made me laugh a lot. They were just so…unexpected. I’m curious about Akagi and what her whole deal is. I still think she’s possessed, probably. The Enterprise and Belfast scenes were once again my favorite part of the episode. I just love their interactions and it’s nice to see Enterprise changing little by little. Belfast is always awesome. There was no fighting whatsoever in this episode but I guess a break from combat every now and then is okay. Although, they could have used this chance to flesh out some of the other shipgirls. I’m a little disappointed they didn’t. At least bring on the cool fights next time!
Streamed By: Funimation