Short Synopsis: This episode is all about Midori
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
This episode was quite an interesting take on the “calm before the storm”-trope. The big climax of this series has definitely still to happen: the Zanbani and Kujireika have yet to even arrive at the village of the Quickening Chamber, and yet this episode formed an excellent conclusion for the Midori-storyline. We’ve already seen that Xam’ds can be pulled out of despair with the right catalysts, so of course the same would happen with Midori. The past few episodes have been a bit too generous on the death count, so it’s good to see that people actually survive, despite the predictability.
It really seemed that Midori never really got to say a proper goodbye with her mother, and it also seems that the communication between the two wasn’t going well. Because of that, Midori always felt a big gap between the two of them, since she didn’t know what to say at the right time and her mother was an impatient person.
I´m really curious as to whether this series can pull off a worthy finale. It might seem obvious that series that are slow and focus a lot on build-up will automatically feature excellent climaxes, but as series as Ghost Hound showed, this isn’t always trivial. It’s all going to depend on how the creators are going to interpret the fight between Akiyuki and the Hiruken Emperor, and whether they can throw in some juicy plot twist that fit within the series and make the ending rushed.
In any case, the animation in this episode was so awesome. I’m not sure where Bones got the budget for this series, but it’s one heck of a budget well spent.