Okay, that’s it. With this, you can consider Valkyria Chronicles dropped and Natsu no Arashi picked back up. Not only was the past episode of VC incredibly bad, but the current episode of NnA was also incredibly good. We’re really talking about a wolf in sheep’s clothing here: after the silly first episode, did anyone expect that five episodes later, we’d see the characters in the midst of a sea of fire after a bombing in the second world war? Thought so.
And seriously, before this season started I really didn’t expect that I’d like the next series by Shinbo this much. After Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, Maria Holic and watching Tsukuyomi Moon Phase, I really was through with the guy, and especially that announcement of him trying to regurgitate yet another season of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, which really hit its expiration date long ago made me worried. And yet here he comes, picks out a great manga and adapts it really well so far. The storyline has been getting really interesting in its focus of past vs present, and the filler episodes are a lot of fun to watch (like last episode’s cross-dressing bit).
This episode was much more serious, in which we for the first time see Jun and Kaja go back in time for the first time (making interesting use of the fact that Jun’s actually a girl), and we turn to the place in which she herself grew up, and we get to know her first love right before he died in a bombing. Since Kaja is less confident than Arashi, a large par of this episode is spent on her wondering whether or not to change history.
And poor Jun gets dragged around all the way, but we really get more insight into ‘her’ character in this episode as well as she sees Kaja struggle with her past love. I also like the reason she has for cross-dressing, how she holds some sort of grudge against the average female.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Wonderful art style, a really dark and deep episode for such a seemingly innocent series.