Wow. This was perhaps the most intense episode yet. Let’s start with the good stuff. The robotics club’s efforts have come to fruition with the activation of GunPro-2. To be honest, it didn’t feel like much progress had been made on GunPro-2, since the show has been so focused on the characters themselves. The “robot rebellion” just a few episodes ago didn’t help either. But in hindsight, almost each of the previous episodes has shown little bits and pieces of the giant robot taking shape. There was just so much more going on at the same time that it really didn’t stand out at the time. In any case, GunPro-2 is up and running, which is quite an amazing feat. To quote Nae herself, I wouldn’t believe that it was built by high schoolers. Just the sheer scale of the project is daunting enough. But to be fair, the robotics club did have the support and funding of JAXA backing them up, so maybe it isn’t too accurate to say that GunPro-2 was a product exclusively of their own efforts. I’m not saying they don’t deserve recognition for what they’ve accomplished; it’s just that they did have a little push (maybe more than just a little) to help them. Even so, this shouldn’t detract from awesomeness of the final result.
Now on to the bad. And as usual, I will clarify that this isn’t necessarily bad things about the show, but rather bad things that happened in the show. To further stress how good this episode really was, let me tell you how I felt when the ED started rolling at the end. I was absolutely speechless. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. The show literally had me stunned. That’s how engrossing it was. And when a show gets you so absorbed that you have to just sit there for a moment to contemplate and take in what just happened, you know it’s doing something right. Let’s start off with the whopper; Mizuka. Mizuka had previously been on to Kai snooping around for the Kimijima reports. She’s made it clear that she doesn’t want him to associate with that name, and has warned him to drop the topic repeatedly. Misaki has made a similar statement to Kai over a call, and we find out here that it is for good reason. The Committee of 300 is keeping a close eye on anyone who so much as mentions the name “Kimijima Kou”. Unfortunately for Kai, Jun slipped up and mentioned Kimijima’s name in a “twip” (aka a tweet). I’d get mad at her for indirectly causing what happened this episode, but you have to realize that she probably had no idea about the danger associated with the name. In fact, perhaps none of the robotics club members knew about this, and playing the blame game is besides the point.
It isn’t all too surprising that the Committee might want to keep tabs on where Kimijima is mentioned. After all, he is a known “offender” who had previously attempted to expose their plans to the public. What I didn’t expect, though, was for the Committee to actually take action now. We’ve been told all about their unscrupulous deeds, and we know that they’ve had a history of “cleaning up” people who are a threat against them. Yet, for some reason I never felt like they would lift their fingers now. Considering this would essentially entail killing off the main characters, it seemed like a safe bet that nothing of the sort would be done. But unfortunately, I couldn’t be more wrong. I’m not sure why Misaki’s boss saw fit to spare Kai himself, but it’s pretty obviously implied (although not outright stated) that he was the one who caused Mizuka’s legs to go “out of control”. I put those words in quotes because honestly, those legs didn’t look “out of control” to me. They had a very clear purpose; get Mizuka over that cliff. Legs that were just malfunctioning would not have picked her up after Kai knocked her over. No, there was very a very clear and intentional directive there. And now that I think about it, all this was probably to scare Kai into submission. Again, I have no idea why Misaki’s boss would want to shut Kai up by scaring him instead of just killing him aside from plot armor, but I digress. I just cannot believe they did that to Mizuka.
It’s true she hasn’t been in the spotlight that much, but clearly she’s deeply involved with Kimijima, which is a no-no when it comes to the Committee. I can’t believe that they are unaware of her relationship with him (whatever it may be), so it’s entirely possible that their targeting her was purposeful and more than just to scare Kai by killing the person with him at the moment. It’d be sort of like killing two birds with one stone; they silence one liability with fear while simultaneously silencing another with death. But wait, you might say. Are you sure Mizuka is really dead? While she isn’t one of the “main characters” per se, she’s played a relatively important role. Surely the show wouldn’t kill her off? Well, I don’t know about you, but she looked very dead to me at the end there. And as much as I would love for her to somehow survive, doing that would probably lessen the impact of the moment. That is, this event will likely have the opposite effect on Kai than what the Committee intended. After witnessing Mizuka’s murder at their hands (which it pretty much was), I’d say he would be even more determined to investigate the matter and expose them for their heinous crimes. It’s also possible that Kai might get depressed, but if the show takes this route, it would only be a matter of time before one of the other characters brings him out of depression (a relatively standard development). And then we’d be back at the same point as the first scenario, only with more angst.
Mizuka aside, we also have yet another suspenseful moment, with GunPro-2 falling onto Subaru. I have to say, I had a sinking feeling when he went out there to take a closer look at the “malfunctioning” giant robot, and when the wind started picking up, it only confirmed my fears. But on this note, Mizuka’s death may actually be a saving grace for Subaru, as twisted as it sounds. The show has already upped the “shock factor” by killing off one character, so I can’t see it doing the same for yet another (and a main character at this) in close succession. Plus, this event didn’t have anything to do with the Committee of 300 and was more of a freak accident, so I’d say things are looking pretty good for Subaru despite the grim position we left him off with at the end of the episode. He’ll probably do a barrel roll or something to get out of the way. Or maybe GunPro-2 will just fall very close to him instead of on him. Whatever the case, it’s probably a safe bet that he’ll live to see another episode, if not with a few cuts and scrapes.
And so, let me leave off with a few questions. What will Misaki do now? We know that Mizuka is a very important friend to her; important enough to send exoskeleton legs to, which I’m sure cost a pretty penny. Surely she won’t stand for the cold-blooded murder of her close friend? But then there’s still the question of why she’s working for the Committee in the first place. I’ve consistently answered this question with “she’s trying to protect Aki and Kai”, and this episode seems to support this theory. Clearly, she has covered up for Kai despite her facade of denial. But is she willing to keep this up at the cost of her friend’s life? It could also just be that she’s now in too deep to get out, but that remains to be seen. I just hope the next episode won’t be as brutal as this one.