Recap: Izuru starts acting strange, a possible side effect of Red-5’s Berserker mode. To make things worse, a date with Teoria is interrupted by a Wulgaru attack.
Uh, I guess we’re making this fortnightly now! Okay then! This actually helps, because I usually don’t have much to say about a single episode. Hell, I still don’t have much to say.
The characters have always been the strongest point of MJP, and this pair of episodes really showcased that. It somehow makes perfect sense that Suruga’s first thought after Izuru hospitalizes himself with a berserker mode is along the lines of “SWEET I WONDER WHAT MY UNIT LOOKS LIKE WHEN IT POWERS UP”. Anyway, the whole reveal that an ASHMB unit might start to overtake the pilot because of oversynchronization is a nice twist on the usual formula, and it leads to a hilarious sequence of Izuru acting like a total card for half an episode (“His manga doesn’t suck! Something must be wrong!”). I also assume this is why Ange flip flops between personalities while in battle.
Asagi’s internal struggle was also a very humanizing moment. In early episodes he was probably the most effective member of the team, and he led them well when Izuru was stuck dueling Jiart. Now he’s lagging behind everyone else, and gets to watch Kei fawn all over Izuru. What really made me happy is that he actually confided in a reasonable authority figure and sought advice, instead of being all mopey about it. Asagi’s real strength is that the entire team trusts him: they always meet in his room, and while Izuru’s willingness to bring him along on a date is played for laughs, it’s kind of touching in its own way.
Believe it or not, another high point for me was the UN meeting in episode 16. In most mecha shows, including MJP to an extent, Japan is the country with all the sweet giant robots and such, and this usually just passes without comment. Here, we actually have other countries arguing over Japan sharing their advanced mecha technology, and trying to lobby for the ASHMB units. There’s an interesting political element here, and while I assume it won’t have any real bearing on anything, it was still nice to see it acknowledged, and receive a decent justification for why Japan is ahead of everyone else.