Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova ep6 (children and emotions do NOT belong on the battlefield!)
Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova
Well this episode was a little frustrating. And to say it was slow would be very accurate. Despite all the soldiers and tanks and gunfire, this episode added up to some bad decisions and wasted time. What a way to start for this series when I’d finally given it the spotlight.
We roll right into episode six, with Makie’s surrogate father finally dying just before the soldiers storm the mansion. Once they cut the lights, Haruna and Kirishima quickly realize that they’re there. Haruna takes up the position of defending Maki, while telling Kirishima to stay close to her. Ironically, and smartly, the soldiers want nothing to do with Haruna. They’re just their to terminate the girl, and keep the vibration warhead specs out of Fog databases. But Haruna’s been more and more emotional ever since Makie took her in, and the soldier’s intent has put her in a bad mood. And right about here is where I start to get a little frustrated. Haruna specifically tells her to stay put, but she wonders out of the room to see Haruna flaunting all her Fog abilities, and apparently scaring Makie into running off through the mansion. Haruna doesn’t have time to wallow in her disappointment though, so she fashions a decoy that looks like Makie and heads off to attract the attention of the military outside the mansion.
Long story short, the plan fails miserably, mostly because Makie never moves from behind a bush in the front yard to find safety, and when she does their are a dozen soldiers there to witness it because Haruna wasn’t able to hold off the military indefinitely. Thankfully Kirishima, even in her teddy bear form, is able to hold off the grunts. But that doesn’t help because Makie just makes a bee-line for Haruna, and by all rights should be dead. In the end, it takes Iona’s surprising entry on the battlefield to keep all three of them from being blown to bits by tank shells. Apparently, even as the 401 departs for Iwo Jima, Iona was close enough to hear Haruna’s mental pleases for help and intervene. She only destroys the conveniently remote controlled, Tachikoma-like Rock Crabs, but that’s enough to clear the way for everyone’s escape onto the 401. This action against the very military that gave them the vibration warhead doesn’t go without assumed consequence though. As Chihaya is given a stern warning by his contact inside the military.
The episode ends with a glimpse at what is on Iwo Jima, as the rebelious Takao awakes inside a white room with a very large robotic egg that wants to know what she’s doing here.
This episode served a purpose, but it took forever to get there. I see now that the writers must have been trying to maneuver Haruna, Kirishima and Makie onto the 401, while adding some drama, but it was a chore. And I can’t imagine that Haruna is actually that slow and inefficient. Is the only thing she could do with that decoy was hold it? If she had used it as a ruse to fool the guards into thinking Makie was dead, it would have been a hell of a lot more effective. Plus, I never could stand kids in combat. It’s not because I’m afraid they’re going to die, it’s because they’re annoying, and stupid and always end up making any experience worse. And with Makie on the boat, I fear I may have to put up with this LONG TERM. Then again, I may be overreacting. This was one isolated situation where they had to run around on foot. Other than that, Makie isn’t that bad at all. Plus, I believe in time that her and Iona may be important links between humanity and the Fog. I won’t deny her overall importance just because her performance this episode made me want to throw her into a fire.
In terms of the overall plot, Makie is still technically out of the Fog’s hands, but things are very complicated now with Kirishima on the 401. I can easily see her turning turncoat or spy, as she has none of the love for Makie that Haruna does. Her head is squarely on the mission Kongo has given her. And speaking of complications, I’m curious to see how the Japanese military intends to make Chihaya pay, when his ship is carrying their precious vibration warhead?
And finally, I know I’m not the only one excited about seeing Iwo Jima. It’s more than fair that we got a chance to see this wondrous and mysterious place. I have my theories about this show going forward (things along the lines of a harem and someone’s dad being pseudo-alive), but that will wait for more material. I may have had a lot of complaints, but I’m still very much on board for this show.