Remember last time when I said/thought that the war and political intrigue would happen in this episode? You shouldn’t be surprised about this episode at all then. This is exactly what it is. The complications of seeing an alien race humanity has been fighting against look and act the same as humans is something that really adds an intriguing layer behind all of this stuff. There is a bonus here as well. We finally get an answer to who shot first and how the Earth-Gamilias war started in the first place. In a lot of ways, this episode is a lot simpler then a normal episode with less focus on the ship’s wide cast. I think that is a good thing though. It allows the war themes to simmer in this episode and build up into somewhere interesting.
Spoiler warnings here! Get your spoiler warnings here!
Once again, the first part of this episode is focused on the Gamilians. We see that they are at war against a race that we never see on camera. The Gamilas fleet commanded by Admiral Domel make an opening through the enemy’s front lines and uses it to effectively send the enemy packing. Before Domel can continue his campaign, he is called back home by Admiral Ditz (hey, we get to know who he is now). Domel at first refuses, but he is commanded to return and with the promise of more reinforcements on the Gamilas war front, Domel obeys. That’s about it for this side. Kind of interesting to see that the Yamato truly is a small matter for the Gamilas Empire considering that they are at war with someone else who is more of a threat.
Now we return to the Yamato which this week’s plot is split up to three parts. One follows Kodai, another follows Shima, and the last one follows Akira Yamamoto. Not many side characters are focused on besides some of the security people who look like they are up to no good at all. The connecting tissue between all three of them happens at the beginning with an officer meeting discussing their current prisoner, Melda Ditz.
Surprisingly, our raged filled and hot blooded main character Kodai wants Melda to go or let her walk around the ship freely. Of course, this doesn’t make logical sense because who knows what the crew would do for her, but Kodai still wants to go the route of the humanitarian. I really liked seeing Melda and Kodai’s short conversations. It shows that the two have found a massive respect for each other and that Kodai thinks more complexly about how he feels about the Gamilas threat. All this culminates in one of the last scenes when Kodai sends Melda on her way with four days of food. Good job Kodai, you are becoming a great character.
2) Akira Yamamoto:
Akira’s arc in this episode is about the same as Kodai’s, but hers goes through a lot more weaves and turns. For one thing, Akira didn’t start off mentally in the same place as Kodai. She hates Melda’s guts. Especially after their fight last episode, Akira’s feelings about the whole situation and her back story involving the death of her brother stewed inside of her. All this results in Akira taking the whole experience more personally then she should be. We get a quick glimpse of this when Akira is running as hard as she can in the work out room.
When Yuki tries to calm her down by inviting her into an after work out bath (because it’s a Japanese ship in an anime. Of course, they would have large baths) to calm her down. It’s only one of the most interesting bath scenes there is. While there is fanservice, the dialogue between the two reveals so much about both of them. (Revealing while revealing?) Still, Akira leaves the bath even angrier. Finally, we get to see more of Akira’s personality when she challenges Melda to a dog fight. Akira’s fighter malfunctions half way through her duel with Melda and Melda saves Akira. At the end of this conflict, Akira’s personal tension is resolved from the experience, which shows that she is one that needs to take actions, not just talk.
To me, Shima’s episode arc is the least interesting one. It’s basically the arc of figuring out that the Earth did fire the first shot in the war and Shima’s pacifist father is far from perfect. A true tale of growing up through the realization that one’s idols aren’t perfect either, but Shima doesn’t want to let go. I think this works more as an intrigue and at a historical level then at a character level. Yes, how Shima is acting makes sense. He lived his whole life thinking that his father died trying to make peace, and when the truth is revealed by Shima’s father’s second in command, he can’t take it. I think he needs to think this one through a little more, because he is taking the news way too personally. Maybe leach off some of the energy that Kodai is producing. Still, the concept of old shame with the older members of the cast is pretty intriguing too. All in all, I can’t call Shima’s episode arc a complete loss at all. Just not my personal preference on how I would like him to develop.
I loved this episode. Especially since these three characters haven’t been given as much in last few episodes. Seeing them all in the fore front was something this show needed. Especially with the dramatic arcs that came in this episode. With all small amount of time, a small amount of focus, and a small amount of plot, the character arcs, historical themes, and war time intrigue really sell this episode and deepen a lot of the lore that is going on in Yamato 2199. Once again, I can’t recommend this show enough. I say that every week though. Thanks for reading. See you all next Friday!
This post is a part of the Yamato 2199 blog tour between me and DerekL. If you want to get involved: please click this link here, read what it says, watch the show with us, and post before noon on Fridays. Simple enough right?