The first DVD episode was a pointless side-story. This one wasn’t, though, and it’s very relevant to the series. It’s a much better ending for this series than episode twelve, but still leaves me bloody hungry.
Most importantly, the most burning question here was answered: where the heck does this series take place in. And I have to admit, the creators were shrewd here. I always thought that we really were somewhere in Switzerland where the Japanese somehow settled again in the past, but it turns out to be much simpler: The entire world was nuked and somehow the only piece of land that was spared was Japan. The French and the Germans then invaded Japan and started living there. Really, I like that idea.
But at the same time, this really convinced me even more: this setting is too good for 14 episodes. You can really see that the creators realized this a little too late, resulting into that disastrous twelfth episode. I know that I’m talking down on this series a lot, but it for me it really has become a textbook example of how one episode can just completely kill my enthusiasm and destroy my suspense of disbelief on a series.
The thing is, that the creators didn’t seem to know what they wanted to do with this series: if they wanted to explore their unique setting, they should not have chosen Kanata as the lead character, for that they needed someone more central to the plot. If they wanted to show the adventures of a simple remote army base, then the creators shouldn’t have tried to make this series epic: the princess backstory, the way that the war miraculously concluded in the main characters’ back yard, they were all pointless. Instead, we are here with a combination of both that just doesn’t fit and come together. The subsequent installments of Anime no Chikara really improved on this: Senkou no Night Raid clearly chose to explore its setting, while Occult Academy clearly chose to focus more on its characters. And despite a few annoying flaws, that really worked in their advantage so far.
I was pretty happy with this episode, though. It dropped all of the epicness for what it was and just focused on the girls again. I liked how they made very natural conversations with the townsfolk (and how we learned a bit more about Naomi), and how this episode focused on the dreams that all of the characters have…
…that we’re unfortunately never going to see realized.
Rating: * (Good)