AMAIM Warrior at the Border EP 6 – Awaiting the Hero

Hi Irina, I hope that you have been ok. I am still astonished that it’s November right now? Does that feel right to you? Why does time like to make fun of us like this?

I actually finished my Christmas shopping and just put my three up so I guess I’m ready for winter? I got a little eager this year but it’s nice and relaxing. Also it makes the house all festive and happy to have all these sparkly pretty presents around. I might decide not to give them away after all.

I also want to ask you how you have been doing? My week has been a bit of a lesser strain while some lingering building in the background. The usual stuff you know?

Usual for me as well. Except that I’m getting rid of the fatigue I had accumulated so even though nothing special is happening, I’m feeling particularly great. I’m still making my way through 20th century Boys as well and that’s making my bed time exciting!

This show certainly feels like it is still backtracking from the main plot itself, but in ways that I find entertaining in some ways. Also some interesting things going on in there too. Like, I didn’t expect the other countries with their hold over Japan still fighting each other. I thought that there was an established territory, but seeing Oceania attacking Asian territory was interesting. Great way to add some tension for the Japanese people.

I agree. Although I still find it a bit silly (or bad writing) to have every outside army be filled with uniformly bad guys while all Japanese remain almost suspiciously innocent and kind. Still, adding in this additional conflict between the invading nations makes it a bit more varied. And having them fight each other gives the show more options for strategies in the future.

At the same time, there was some fun stuff with Gashin and Amou. Especially since I feel like they share a brain cell. Them saying the same things when taking a shower and other obvious millennial things like being on their phone while washing their clothes. It really does seem like Gashin is much more experienced with knowing the world around them and where all the resistance areas are. I find that fascinating, but I don’t know how you feel Irina.

I can’t explain why but I absolutely loved the scene of them sitting in bathrobes, waiting for their clothes to dry and playing with their phones. There was something so deeply human and kind of humorous about that scene. And I thought it was more witty and subtle than the show has been so far. 

The entire sequence developed Gashin and Amou’s odd couple dynamic really well. I’m a sucker for a buddy story, so i appreciate this.

I like the building up for the tension in the on going conflict between Oceania and Asia with not carrying with them. I also dug the real use of Gai and Kai helping people escape from the conflict in some really clever ways. I really dig all of that too. I wasn’t sure about them at first in the show, but I feel like no one in this show would survive without having them around here or something.

Ok so here’s the deal. 

If I actually think a lot about it, Gai and Kai more or less taking over the grid of the entire city offscreen like that and seemingly doing whatever they want for an extended amount of time without any difficulty or even getting noticed by military or governmental agents, well it seems almost like a plot hole. If they could do that, isn’t there a lot more they can do. Can’t they easily divert some funds to the resistance, digitally spy on the military, organize civilian resistance. Why is this the first time we see something like this. Were Gai and Kai just sitting around in their mechs all that time that Amou was training at the resistance camp? Seems like an enormous waste!

But when I don’t think too much about it, I really liked this sequence. It was cute and fun and had just enough tension to make me cheer when they pulled it off. I would like to see more of this type of stuff!

I do and do not like the whole Shion or the third pilot sandwich in this episode itself. For instance, seeing her backstory up front was pretty great and means that we as an audience know that she will show up in this episode. Yet, she doesn’t show up until the end with a kickass take out of Oceania and Asia’s forces amazingly fast as expected. Some interesting way to build up that conflict and then having Nayuta (the ai) being egotistical and Shion herself crying. A lot to read into that here. Or not. Maybe I am just reading too much into things like usual.

I freaking loved the last few minutes of this episode. I think it was an amazing episode finale. One of the best I’ve seen. Having the Ai so illogical created a Hal 9000 moment. Is it actually crazy? Can AIs go crazy? Is the programming out of whack or is this a virus or something. Great, all that is a mix of tense and comical that caps off all the action beautifully. But then having it immediately followed up by a pretty little girl coming out as the pilote, and subverting all the classical tropes by just having her immediately start to bawl uncontrollably is brilliant. I think this was one of the best cliffhangers I have ever seen. In isolation, this is an amazing scene!

In general, the story behind this episode didn’t have a lot going on besides some background things already mentioned. Same with the focus of Amou and Gashing dorking around until the end really. I think that writing work for the episode itself in what it wanted to explore and set up, but it felt oddly rushed at the same time too? I don’t know how a show could be slow but fast at the same time, but episode 6 figured that out I think.

I might be getting used to the pacing in AMAIM. I mean it could have easily been 3 episodes. Gashin and Amou finally find a place to relax, they stash their AMAIMs, explore the town, have a hotel montage all that and discover that the town is in the path or an armed conflict. That’s plenty for an episode and ends in a good tense spot. They could have dedicated some time to how they came up with a plan to evacuate the civilians and actually shown us how Gai and Kai infiltrated the grid. They could have explained how they knew whose phone to randomly pop up on and who could simply follow the screens in the subway and so forth. Together with the actual evacuation it would have made for a great action packed episode and they could cap it off with the appearance of the yellow mecha for some edge. Then the thors episode can be all big robot fights and background on the different forces occupying Japan, leading up to the Shion introduction.

I gotta say, I’m having fun rewriting the slower version of AMAIM!

Well, there was a lot of interesting background and normal situation stuff happening in this show which made it interesting. I always like seeing how this show just makes some elements of the world of AMAIM feel alive somehow. The small bits of Gashin and Amou just hitting the town and their hotel. Fun times. I wish we got to see more people then kind people living in this country and evil foreigners, but you know….

I do know! I’m not entirely sure there are other people than that living in this universe. Well I guess the resistance.

The action animation was interesting too. A lot of the classic sort of close up shots or action based feeling still frames in the motion happening at this moment. Plus, there are some quick fast acting scenes with Shibou completely destroying both enemy units in seconds. For me, it was a visceral experience somehow. Maybe I have watched too many mecha shows.

I like the new AMAIM design. Or should I say colour. Well both actually. I thought the shape and the colour combined gave it a vague wasp look and I think wasps are a great design for combat mechs. Maybe not earthbound ones in normal circumstances but this wasn’t an exact copy. Just something in how spindly the robot is and how small it is at the waist while bulk on the shoulders give the idea of wings. 
Ok maybe it’s just me and potentially just because of the colour.

Ok, for fun let’s do something interesting once again. Lets continuously have a new weapon that a mecha could use or just have each week. I would be interested in having a mecha have car nunchucks. I don’t know why, but it just sounds pretty fun.

OMG, Mech with nunchucks! You are a genius Scott! I didn’t realize it but that is exactly what i have been wanting my entire life. We need this. Regardless of anything else, if at any point AMAIM gives me a mech with nunchucks, it will go into my favourites anime list!

For once again, I feel like this episode was the more interesting one in this show perhaps. Like, I think it is a good one but it does a lot in interesting ways that don’t get Shion as much focus as she could have. I do think she made an interesting impression, but I hope she isn’t just the girl that joins the other two. Good build up and intrigue in general, but it’s lacking something for me somehow.

I wouldn’t tell people to drop everything and go watch AMAIM, but I enjoyed this episode. I feel like the show took a bit of time to figure out where it was going and I took a few episodes to decide what I wanted from it and now we’re meeting in the middle. (The show and I that is). I’m looking forward to next week.


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