Okay, so with episodes like this one it may have been better to have recalled the old director, because with episodes like this one you need subtlety, and the new director sure as heck doesn’t have any. The result is that we have an episode full of character-development that may have been a bit too straightforward for its own good.
So yeah, my guess would be that this episode was the new director’s way to just get the character background over with, presumably because the first director either forgot it or didn’t find it too important. We learn how Haruka decided to become a shoe designer because she saw giant footprints when she was still a child. She also dated James Loan for a while because he was the first one to believe in her story about those giants. We also learn that Miyuki had lost her father in an accident when she was younger, and that’s why her grandfather ended up taking care of her.
On top of that, Flora’s sister busts our two male companions out of prison (finally), Flora herself starts realizing that she can’t just follow Dan and the other around for the rest of her life: she’s had her fun, so what’s next? Rouge also finally woke up again from her slumber. Overall, in terms of continuity this was a very valuable episode.
But yeah, the CHEESE. This also was a big episode for the romance, but without the subtlety that this series used to have it was just an onslaught of blushing, embarrassed faces and very cheesy smiles at each other. Oh, and lots of angst in Rouge’s case. That definitely was annoying and not near as good as the romance between Dan and Rouge during the beginning of the series. This is just waaaaay to predictable.
I’m really not sure what to think of the finale, the way it’s being set up. With a finale that’s going to be a cross between Kiss Dum and Macross Frontier, it really can go either way; it’s all going to depend on whether the new director decides to focus on his manly action… or his cheesy romance. Please let it be the former!