Summary: Facing the threat of simultaneous worldwide scub bursts potentially costing millions of lives, Generation Bleu and the Allied Forces must team up to execute a risky last minute plan. Meanwhile, Ao is still having trouble sleeping, his dreams are getting weirder, and Naru and Truth continue to pursue their own agenda.
Thoughts: It’s probably for the best Ao took a break when it did. Coming back after a fortnight allows the story to breath a little and cools a little of the rage I expressed in my last update. It helps that this is a considerably better episode than the last one – it’s genuinely tense and is built around a simple core idea. The idea of using the Quartz as bait and then simply blowing the crap out of all the assembled Secrets is refreshingly straightforward for the show and Truth’s meddling leads towards an exciting climax.
It’s the climax though that reminds us that this show still has big, big problems. Calling it a deus ex machina is a bit of an understatement for when you just pull a giant cannon out of your ass and use it to solve all of your problems, and it’s a shockingly cack-handed way to get out of the situation that reeks of desperate, lazy writing.
Elsewhere other problems still gnaw away at the coherence of the show. Why, after her verbal berating of Ao, can Naru be found doing pretty much exactly what he is – namely, fighting Secrets? Why does Ao continue to have baffling and pointless dreams? Why is Gazelle even in this show? The most relevant new angle introduced in this episode might be the seeming presence of an ‘evil’ Georg, but it’s not been foreshadowed and seems incongruous (particularly given the characters notice but then ignore it completely because….er, he tells them to?). There are still too many plot holes and confusing questions that need answering, as you’ll see in my Random Observations below.
The ‘shock’ ending is another confusing story twist – can Ao alter time now? Have they been moved into another parallel universe? Either way it seems to be a little late to introduce such a major status quo shift. Ao shows that it can maintain its momentum enough to make an individual episode exciting, but there are so many cracks in its overall plot now the damage may well be permanent.
– As stupid as it was, I can’t deny that Ao firing the crazy cannon thing looked pretty damn incredible.
– Big thumbs up for the guy wearing the Suda 51 shirt at 3:48!
– Has the whole ‘Third Engine’ thing even been mentioned before this point? They look a lot like Compac Drives. Also, S2 engines anyone?
– Wasn’t Elena on the verge of a psychopathic breakdown a few episodes ago? She seems to have gotten over it remarkably well.
– If Truth is so determined to stop the quartz carrier, why not go in person instead of breaking into a high security nuclear missile facility and firing a few easily deflected rockets?
– Remember when TheEND being hidden under Generation Bleu HQ was meant to be important?
– The show becomes considerably funnier if you re-interpret all of Ao’s trippy dreams as Freud-style outlets of sexual frustration. Your girlfriend is inside your mother!… Even in goofs this show copies Eva.
Marlin and Lifesong’s Thoughts: Nothing, they dropped it. Probably a smart move.