Recap: Team Doberman is nearly wiped out during a crucial mission to discover the Wulgaru gate, and the world prepares for a decisive final battle.
Well, we’ve been saying since their introduction that Team Doberman would get killed off eventually – it was just a matter of time. And lo, two out of three get blown up during an important reconnaissance mission, discovering the warp gate by which the Wulgaru are entering the Solar System. The whole thing makes for a bit of mood whiplash though, since the front half of Episode 19 was full of the sort of silly antics we normally expect from MJP‘s breather episodes. The original OP theme playing during the whole thing adds some to the moment, but just the obviousness that this would happen and the aforementioned mood whiplash make me ambivalent over the whole thing. It’s an important scene, to be sure, but I feel the drama falls flat a bit.
The big reveal in episode 20 is a multi-tiered one: Izuru and Asagi are brothers! Their cloning DNA is from Commander Simon! Izuru’s (presumed) “mother” is Teoria, which is why they get along so well! Holy shit that paints all of their previous interactions in a really creepy light! Star Driver‘s Head and Takuto have nothing on this. At the very least, this also shuts down any romance between the two, leaving Izuru free to hook up with Kei. How convenient.
Truth be told, I saw this coming around episode 3, when we were first told the kids were genetically altered. I immediately latched onto the idea that at least Izuru was a clone of Commander Simon, and thus was fast-tracked to being the leader of Team Rabbits. That said, I really enjoyed the way it was handled. Asagi asks his CO about what the hell is going on, and actually gets a straight answer with barely any waffling. He deserves to know the truth, they know he deserves to know the truth, so he gets the truth. So much time saved! Even better, passing the news on to Izuru is bookended by dumb, predictable, and still somewhat amusing jokes, deflating some of the tension of the whole thing.
And thus, MJP remains one of the top anime currently airing, despite not being super amazing or groundbreaking in any way. It’s almost sad how much simple competence counts for these days. At any rate, it looks like we’re coming up on the show’s last legs as everyone starts gearing up for the death charge to Saturn. Woooo!