*erhem* sorry, but I couldn’t resist. This episode had so many Ooedo Rocket-vibes. Heck, you could nearly say that this is Ooedo Rocket, condensed into just one episode, with the samurais removed, it’s almost scary to see how many similarities there are. And still it doesn’t feel like one of the two ripped off the other.
Seeing as I loved Ooedo Rocket, there’s no surprise that this was probably my favourite FREEDOM episode up till now. This episode had everything: fun characters, a great storyline of trying to create the rocket, a bit of background on why Ao was the one on the picture that Takeru found (her father once tried to go to the moon as well, but he failed. Ao was forced to forget everything that happened, and so she started to get really involved in the local space program). Blue Earth was of course the Akai of Ooedo Rocket. In this case, he was supposed to go to the moon along with Ao’s father, but chickened out at the last moment.
One point of criticism: it hardly feels like two and a half year have passed by. Characters still look the same, which is especially suspicious since we’re dealing with a bunch of teenagers here. I really wonder whether Freedom can pull off a good finale. Heck, what kind of finale is it going for anyway? At any case, I do hope that the creators won’t go for something too epic, especially since Freedom has been so delightfully down-to-earth up till now.
This episode also reminded me of why I love Yoshihiro Ike’s soundtracks so much. To be honest, he’s my favourite musician, along with Yuki Kajiura. Yoko Kanno’s work is excellent, but in my opinion she’s not the best.