A lot of good surprises this week. Not only did every single show in this segment have plenty of good episodes, Full Metal Panic’s final episodes came back a week earlier then I thought they would. Such a good week of space and mech shows with some minor complaints here and there.
Gundam Build Divers Episode 16
In this episode, the Build Divers play capture the flag against another team to buy an island base. Once again, this episode’s synopsis was only one sentence in length, but the content in the episode was what made it all worth it. This was an ensemble episode and I like most of the Build Divers group and I also like the group they played against. Good kids that fly around in petite/Super Deformed mobile suits is a fun aesthetic/concept. I also like how the Yamacha in the group, Momo, was the character that got the opponents flag. Such a big payoff for her not even being considered a threat through out most of the episode. Also, everyone had their shining moment to show off in this episode. I also like how the opponent’s petite mechs formed together to form one super mech and their weapons did the same thing. That act brought me so much power rangers nostalgia.
So all in all, it was a very fun episode that only had the meager stakes behind it. I think that is when Build Fighters is at its best. If I had a complaint, it’s the fact that there was a single shot where we saw a kid’s face framed near Ayame’s bust. It was a one second shot and that’s the most egregious amount of fanservice that I’ve ever seen in Build Divers, so that’s ok. I also like Ayame a lot, so maybe that has something to do with that too. It’s still a fun show that I can easily watch when my brain is still waking up. Not the best show ever, but worth watching. Also, the fact that next episode is centered around characters that were left behind in Build Divers’ narrative is something that I’ve been waiting for. I Can’t wait until next week.
Space Battleship Yamato 2202 Episode 11
Once again, there are so many things that I could say about this episode. The first one is visually, everything looks so much better then last episode. We don’t just have little dots appearing inside and outside the Yamato anymore. We have full on spaceships and nebulas and missiles. All the space stuff that I wanted back are back here in one form or another and that’s all I am asking for. I want cool space stuff in my space ship. Hooray. The animation was great too. Everything flowed better. I mean, this episode was like a lost cousin of Yamato 2199 in the best ways possible because of who we had in this episode. This may not make sense because this is the sequel to 2199, but the tone of 2202 is so different from 2199.
Episode 11 centered around the return of our exiled or supposed to be dead Ex Gamilas Leader Desler. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous about his appearance because things like this are usually something cheap that you would throw in because the plot was running out of ideas. Why did I doubt this show? First, we use Desler as our stand in character to learn more about Gatlantean culture. Since he is finding his way into it, that’s perfect. He destroyed many members of the Gatlean Culture that were feeling anger and chasing after the Yamato with ill intent. Emotions are not a thing for Gatlantist because their species doesn’t know how to control it. Then Dessler was thrown in as a fleet general with Zword’s own son Mil to bounce his deviousness off of. The poor naïve guy doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. Desler’s grand scheme? Joining with the other Exiled Gamilas race’s ships, helping the Yamato escape, and ruining all Zword’s plans in an area where the Gatlatean telepathy wasn’t working. This happened because Desler found a nice nebula where all of this could happen because of course he did. The very fact that he wasn’t falling in line and we were waiting to see what his end game was provided some good tension for us.
Lastly, we go to the not so interesting but still good Yamato ship. I like the ships’s dynamic here. I like the fact that Kodai is still leading the Yamato from time to time, but he has Hijikata to turn to when he needs help or an alternate point of view. It’s very nice to see that Yamato 2202 is not taking young commanders going on serious missions lightly. Kodai has much to learn. Other then that, there is the Camaraderie of the crew that shows up yet again. When they are trying to escape the nebula that all of them were stuck in. It’s not up to two people to figure a way out of the current energy production nebula, it’s up to everyone. Fortunately, Desler opens the way for them to escape. The ship crew didn’t do much in this episode besides running away and being a part of the Dessler’s plots. Still, no complaints here. I can’t wait until next week to see how this gets even crazier and see what the two spies on the Yamato’s deals really are. So many interesting things going on aboard one ship. Prime Yamato territory.
Full Metal Panic: Invisible Victory Episodes 11-12
I watch this knowing that the end was not going to be a conclusion. After watching episode ten, I let almost reassured that I knew this show was going to end its run with a non-conclusive ending. It’s getting closer to something more meaningful and conclusive, but the finish line always seems to move and that can be a little frustrating. I like how these episodes ended, but I want more. These episodes did have some flaws though, let’s not pretend they don’t exist. Both episodes were rushed and had some plot conveniences like Mithril using the same radio frequency as Sousuke and his little group is something that is completely unrealistic, but there was enough here with a solid and natural flow that I bought a lot of what was happening. Everything about how this went made complete sense to me. Let’s move to both episodes in a little more detail so I can explain how both episodes worked for me in detail.
Episode eleven was the group getting back together episode and episode twelve was the big cliff hanger episode that hopefully leads to another season. Sousuke and his newly established crew of French spies and some American military men jumped into the scene with his fancy M6 mech. He destroyed some M9s by taking them all by surprise, but this lead him to meeting his best Mithril friends (Mao, Weber, and that one guy) with them all working together to defeat mechs that have lambda drivers. Then the showdown with Kalinin and Sousuke was powerful as well. Episode 12 had Sousuke showing off his new mech, Sousuke and Kaname sharing their love over the radio so everyone can hear it, and the other mech pilots going owned by similar enemy mech specialists until they left. There were some other elements added to all of this, but that’s a good plot.
These two episodes only changed the stakes slightly by getting Sousuke back into Mithril with some guests and cap off this season. As a season ender, I don’t think that anything has changed for our cast at all besides some changes in circumstances that matter (Chidori is captured now), small bits of character development here and there, and some world development. Was it worth it? Yes, it’s been over a decade since we’ve seen this world and these characters. I wish it pushed the story towards more of a conclusion. Still, I loved Invisible Victory and these two episodes. You can’t take that away from me. If there ever was a good way to have a non-ending, the Full Metal Panic franchise has mastered that art. Plus there are mech battles that are well choreographed and have weight to them. Plenty to like from these episodes and Invisible Victory itself.
Planet With Episode 3
Man, where did all this come from? This is the first time I’ve seen an anime series pull of as many plot elements, scenes, and reveals since I’ve started watching the Yamato reboot franchise and put it all off just as well. It’s directed just as well and makes everything flow so naturally. Let’s talk about the first scene just by itself. It was with Soya vs our powered human group that have him surrounded. Soya is repeated told to retreat, but Soya fights against all of them and he does well against all of them, though the human powered people’s numbers eventually weigh down on him. In a final gambit, Soya goes against the powered group’s boss, but that was a massive mistake because the boss has a larger mech then the others and Soya eventually gets beaten up to death. You must realize at the same time because the show was also true to the other powered characters in how they all act AND we to know Soya more by getting his backstory. He’s the last remaining member of the Sirius Race and they are a race of people that are naturally angsty and want to destroy things. How does a show pull off so many weird things? I love it.
Should we also talk about how weird the show gets after that? With Soya losing the battle, a giant cat spaceship shows up to eat the Soya’s cat mech through it’s mouth portal and we get a dream sequence with cat sensei and a dog from same but different sides TALKING in an understandable language while Soya is sitting in a theater seat in the background with a bucket of chicken. Like oh my god, what was that all about and why is this show teasing Soya with meat that he is never going to eat? Then there is Soya joining an occult club with the girl he met in episode one with also an introduction to other characters of the human assault force that face against a giant set of alien babies? What is it about Planet With that I find fascinating? I think I’ve figured it out. It’s so unique and isn’t. It’s like taking the basic bones of a mech series and playing them in off hand ways that you wouldn’t expect otherwise. Maybe you know where this story is going, but do you know how it’s going to get there? Episode three is another example of all of this because it all flows together somehow. Can’t wait for more next week.
No more Full Metal Panic to look forward too, but I still have some three mech shows that are well worth watching coming this week. How can I complain?