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As expected this was very much a Chris focused episode that also served to push the plot forward. In a sense this season has been both focused on giving everyone some kind of character arc and also an overall plot to keep up with. I’d say it’s working out pretty well so far and played out nicely in this one as well. As expected Ver also brought a lot of chaos to this episode and will help fill in as the final piece that Carol needs in order to end the world. Though I have a very good feeling that it’s less Ver that she needs than his arm. So….we may end up seeing a Ver that is lacking an arm at some point along the way.

I guess since all the pieces were in place Carol and company were far less concerned with keeping secrets. Everything has played out as Carol wanted and in her mind there probably isn’t much that much risk in revealing her cards now. In a sense it’s probably been tough to keep quiet while manipulating everyone to behave exactly as she wanted. In a sense though I think it shows Carol’s unstable personality and how much she actually hates Elfnein.

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The flashback early was pretty telling in terms of that ‘sisterly’ dynamic. Elfnein is more like the original Carol than the current Carol is. She knows that their father wouldn’t want her to be doing this. He was someone who cared about people and wanted to help people. Carol is trying to murder everything. In a sense you could say that Carol is jealous that Elfnein can be more like the person Carol herself wants to be. So of course she goes ahead and tells SONG about how she has been using Elfnein as a living video camera. Using her to spy on the main cast. I think the one thing she really wanted out of that was to make Elfnein despair and be locked up if not killed.

In the end Genjuro basically shut down that entire plan by himself. He doesn’t care if Carol is spying on them, Elfnein herself is not at fault. She took major chances in trying to fight against Carol’s plans and came here to help. So of course she is going to stay and see it through. Carol can watch all she pleases, they won’t be phased by it. He is the ultimate nice guy and I’m sure that really annoyed the heck out of Carol. Instead of despair Elfnein felt even more welcome than before. She is surrounded by people who are treating her like family.

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On the topic of family, it was kind of entertaining to see the kind of family dynamic Chris and Genjuro have. Despite the fact that they aren’t technically related in any way, he basically has stepped in as a father figure ever since season 1. He felt like he personally failed Chris in the past when he couldn’t track her down after the deaths of her parents. She was left to slave traders and eventually Fine. We’ve seen all these family situations that are just not healthy so far. Hibiki and her father….they have a road ahead there. He ran out on her and she is refusing to deal with him. She’s afraid of interacting with him again and getting even more disappointed. Tsubasa and her father didn’t have a great relationship either. He may have been acting in a way he thought would benefit her, but we saw how Tsubasa turned out. They weren’t being open and honest. She wouldn’t press him and he wouldn’t tell the truth. That changed, but for a long time that wasn’t the case.

In a sense….Chris and Genjuro have a pretty good family relationship here. When he thinks she’s being stupid, he’ll call her out on it. While on the other side Chris isn’t hesitant to fire right back when she’s getting pissed and frustrated. Genjuro is very much an idealistic person while Chris overall is more realistic. It’s the same as season 1. He is more the dreamer while she is more hesitant to dream. While people might not consider yelling to be that healthy, at least they are being open. They respect each other and won’t sugar coat things. In the end you know that Genjuro has Chris’s back and that’s close enough to family for me.

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The issue really was Chris though and what she had to tackle this week. In a sense the teams probably should have been reversed or at least altered. Sticking Chris in an underground base and telling her to fight to her best….not that easy. Her firepower was seriously limited or not quite fitting. Her barrage last week lead to Ver getting out and there was the risk that she would bring the whole place down on them. The first fight she used too much and in the second you saw what happens when she does hold back. Limiting herself to the pistols made sense in a tactical way, but it left her unable to match up against Leiur. Chris really is the punching bag of the show sometimes and that came to play here. She got knocked around pretty soundly once she stopped trying to use everything she had. That worked fine against Tsubasa last season, but Autoscorers outmatch people in physical strength anyways and Tsubasa and Chris didn’t really want to kill each other at that point.

The mental battle was as big a thing as any this week. Chris just got pissed off early on (which happens around Ver) her attack being nullified and the hesitation from Kirika and Shirabe. Not hesitation about wanting to hurt Ver, but the fact that he is the only source of linker with Fine gone. That in itself is kind of sad since none of the other scientists can break down a sample of linker and create some extra….wow. Anyways, she got frustrated and just lost her cool early on. That even lead to her almost getting into a friendly fire incident. She’s firing some pretty decent weaponry there and it was a mistake that she couldn’t keep track of her allies in the midst of all that.

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It didn’t go much better obviously in the second part. She tried to go too far in the other way, rushing ahead to fight one on one. The smarter move would have been to reasonably use her guns while having someone like Kirika move in close to handle the melee. Took some ugly blows there and of course once she went down the battle got unstable with Kirika and Shirabe unable to handle Leiur in a distracted state. What happened after seemed pretty Chris to me. She is the type that really blames herself when things go wrong. This arc made sense to me in a lot of ways. Chris basically lived basically on her own for a long time, the only person around for years was Fine…and god knows she wasn’t a good role model. Chris was helped in a big way by Tsubasa, Hibiki, Genjuro, Miku, and everyone else. She found a place she felt she belonged, but that feeling was always filled with doubt. Did she really deserve all that? And wouldn’t she just lose everything all over again.

So the results were mixed. She both wanted to be a reliable senpai because she wanted to be more like those that helped save her. She also wanted to make sure not to lose everything like she did as a kid. Once things went bad, she somewhat fell apart. Her doubts all coming to life. Becuase Kirika and Shirabe were stuck with her they were hurt and everything was going wrong.

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May just be me, but I did get a good smile out of Kirika and Shirabe jumping in at the last moment. Maybe it might not be ideal that Chris needed to be saved by those two, but that’s just who she is. As much as she wants to be there for others, she does need others to be there for her. Kirika and Shirabe grew up in a cold facility but they weren’t alone. Maria was there and so was Professor Nastassja. So of course Chris having grown up in a much more isolated environment needs companionship much more strongly. They can understand the importance of having people there for you. She needed someone to tell her that regardless of everything, they are still relying on her. They were upset earlier and tried hard at that moment because they want to be kouhai that Chris can count on.

This all lead to a pretty entertaining combo effort. The key wasn’t Chris just overpowering Leiur and winning the fight. It was relying on Kirika and Shirabe to follow up on her actions. She didn’t count them out, but relied that they’d be there. I thought it was a good bit of silly comedy to have Chris bring out her sniper rifle…only to use it as a club XD. She still hasn’t actually shot that weapon in the series. The fight itself against Leiur wasn’t anything that special, but I thought the more important thing was the character’s bonds. That in the end Chris was pulled out of the inferno by Kirika and Shirabe sealed up the block was the reason they won. In a sense Chris really just booted Maria out of that little trio from last season and took that spot. Now they are a pretty solid trio that can count on each other.

That all leading to Leiur’s ‘little sister’ showing up to attack the headquarters. That sub taking another heavy blow. Of course you already heard Genjuro getting the crew assembled on the bridge while the attack came into the center. They’ll be in a tough spot, but should be fine. The only question is whether or not they can deal with this berserk giant. I suppose Hibiki should be able to see the commotion from her hospital room, but it might take a bit of time to race out there.

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The other key pieces to this episode is that Ver is basically being used to replace the lost relic that Carol needed. I kind of worry for her a bit since she’s still dealing with the recoil of her new body not accepting her. I suppose a body doesn’t really like the memories of suicide. Still, I think it’s more likely that Ver is going to be used here. You could hear Carol wanting to find out more about the Nephilim arm that he has. I wouldn’t be surprised if she intends to just chop it off and make use of it for her purposes. Ver is insane, I could see him walking right into a trap and never realizing it.

And of course the point is that Carol’s plans to use the cursed melody has gone perfectly. She set it off in the big fight between herself and the Symphogear users. Then she used the Autoscorers for those individual fights. They each got taken down by a different cursed melody and now her setup is complete on that front. While Tsubasa and Maria found that out….it was too late. Of course the key is going to be the X-Drive. They might have talked about not being able to plan miracles, but they’ll have to rely on one.

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So yeah I’d say this was a pretty good episode overall. I felt like the arc for Chris actually did make sense. Her desire now that she had found a place to belong, to branch out and become a reliable senpai worked. But Chris isn’t just the type that can perfectly lead people forward and needs support as well. Through this episode she finally understood that. She can be there for others and others can be there for her. They did get chased down by the end, but I’m sure they will be fine. The crew was moved to the bridge and that wasn’t hit by the attack. Chris should still be able to head out to fight and everyone else should start gathering there as well. First they need to take down that giant and then figure out how they are going to stop Carol who now has the pieces in place to kick off her plan.
Score: A+

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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