Wow… just wow. To everyone who was expecting this to be a fluffy and light-hearted series: this episode is here to prove you wrong.
But yeah, that’s one of the things about anime: while it’s often relatively simple to tell whether a series is going to be good or bad, after blogging for more than four years I still can’t predict at all when a seemingly innocent series like this one is going to blow me away. This episode caught me utterly by surprise: what an execution!
While this show has its moments of innocence, it’s moments like this that remind us what would happen if war would break out again. And really, this episode revealed that it’s been lie, what? Five years since the last war? This episode didn’t just do a wonderful job in fleshing out Phylicia (it only took one episode for us to understand EXACTLY what kind of a character she is, without making her a stereotype), but it also showed how fragile the setting is.
This episode also gave a lot of more hints about what happened to the past. First of all, the Japanese somehow took over Europe. After that, or during that, there followed a technological boom, and what I expect is AI going out of control (humans in machines don’t control them like the way they moved in that flashback). In order to get rid of them, nuclear weapons were used. The Japanese died of the aftereffects of the fallout, and the French resettled the area. My guess is that we’re currently at one of the few areas that were unscathed. My guess is that the current generation of wars either is about a few survivors of that strange AI (that would explain why they called the attacker of Vingt the “Invisible Angel of Death”, rather than just another war, or it’s a power struggle between the survivors for the last remaining patches of fertile land.
I must say, I’m impressed by the director. His two previous works, Elfen Lied and Denpateki na Kanojo both had some very good direction, but both were held back by a certain degree of unbelievability: characters would do stuff, just to advance the plot. In this series, his focus is EXACTLY to fix this. And here this episode comes and shows that he can also hit really hard when he wants to. I really have to say that Elfen Lied would have been a truly amazing series if it had its characters as well written as in Sora no Oto.
Rating: *** (Awesome)