Recap: Yuuya has his first real training exercise but has trouble controlling his Japanese TSF. His day worsens when he follows the mysterious Russian girl he keeps seeing around base.
Jel’s Thoughts: In grasping for something that might elevate Total Eclipse beyond generic mecha show status, I do find it interesting how they handle racism. This being a skewed alternate history, it seems some of the World War II era types of prejudices have carried on to the present day, or in this case, the 90’s/early 2000’s. Interesting too is they’ve chosen an American main character who prefers to identify as American, despite his half Japanese heritage. Most anime would be 100% in support of glorious Nippon in similar circumstances, so that’s something I guess.
Once you’re past the race angle though, everything else in Total Eclipse has been pretty vanilla. Yui has assumed the role of the no-nonsense commander/instructor/whatever her job is, while Yuuya warms up to his ragtag, good natured team that has a very low chance of surviving this series intact. The mech action is decent, but as I noted last week it’s hard to feel invested in training exercises after the brutal opening episodes. Toss in a few healthy heaps of steam censored fan service and the formula is complete.
I do like that they knocked Yuuya down a peg once he got in his Japanese made TSF. Whether he does actually suck by comparison to the others or Yui is just trolling him to teach him a lesson (I still think she is) remains to be seen. Assuming they stay on track with the usual mecha show formula, I’m sure they’ll be all kinds of sexual tension between the two soon enough. And what’s the deal with the creepy Russian girls? I suppose that gives that gives me enough reasons to keep watching another week.