Really Aquarion, this is more like it. Finally your plot is developing significantly. Ideally this episode should have been earlier, allowing for more time for all of the things to develop, but this was nevertheless glorious.
I am really surprised at Andy by the way. He started out as the typical best friend: the guy who is just there to support and never stands out. And here his subplot with Mix has actually been quite interesting. I feared that it’d turn into yet another kidnapping story, but the twist of reversing her gender was really used well here. The real main characters, Amata and Mikono meanwhile served in this arc as support characters: finding out what’s going on, helping others. That’s actually quite neat and I’m glad that unlike Macross Frontier, Shoji Kawamori actually allowed this. It allows for much more interesting character dynamics if the roles of these characters aren’t so constrained.
This episode also finally turned into that emotional roller-coaster that the first episodes had been promising. Just about every character acted differently in this episode and there was a wide variety of emotions all coming together. Finally! The most hilarious of which was Yunoha and her sudden out of place male speech patterns.
And that glorious music! Seriously, my opinion of Yoko Kanno increased significantly after listening to this soundtrack. Her best work still is Cowboy Bebop, but this really is a good contender for second place. The action in this episode also was better than usual, and the interesting thing is that this was not because of an increase in budget, but rather better directed fights and a better use of shots and colours. Especially that Andy scene was a very interesting visual idea.
And then there is Fudo with his donuts again. And the weird thing is that his symbolism all oddly makes sense. It’s completely silly, but rather than being pointless symbolism for the sake of having silly symbolism, it does fit in to the context. This show is weird.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)