Yup, our show still has a pulse.
Forgive me, internet, for I have sinned. I must confess a moment of weakness. I feared Nobunagun might be slipping into generic wallpaper anime for a few moments there.
Cue the conclusion of the episode where we are right back to reality. It was a very effective method, actually. It worked not just in terms of framing the story, but on the meta level, for us the viewers. “You thought that life (anime) was going back to normal after the fresh smell wore off? NOPE!”
If there was a theme running throughout this week, it was “isolation”. Shio is officially severing ties to her home, both metaphorically and physically, and, in a nice touch, digitally. Capa is isolated, both within his aging, feeble body and, it is hinted, socially from others, playing the part of cranky old man. And even St. Germain, who judging by his role here as schoolmaster and war-room advisor, is probably based on the actual Saint Germain of Catholicism, the learned saint, stands apart from other E-Gene holders and their combat roles, roles so vital that they have “drafted” Shio, who will now be a high school dropout (I’m sure an honorary education is on its way somewhere down the line, but still).
Oh, and the THEME SONG. Didn’t really discuss this much last week, but the theme is nice. It is…heavy fun. While fast paced, the visuals have this heaviness to them, especially the latter part when it becomes about drowning, the world becoming corrupted, and an ethereal Asao cradling a crying Shio while the song politely reminds us “there’s nothing you can do”….yeah…that’s not dark at all.
So, Shio arrives at the island she will be training at, somewhere in the tropics. All with this music that is just SO Pokemon when you’re starting on your adventure. I can’t help but feel the similarity is on purpose. But Shio keeps falling asleep, even riding in a Humvee isn’t enough to keep her awake (you know how much Shio loves military equipment), though in hindsight it might be that Saint Germain purposefully drugged her somehow. Either way, she is left behind, the Humvee explodes in the distance, and Shio is attacked by Evo’s (I’m just going to call them Evo’s for now).
Psych! Danger room!
Specifically, it is the power of her new instructor, Robert Capa (the war photographer). His E-Gene power is based on his camera. Or rather…moving pictures, as we will see later on. We get a brief moment where Old Lady and Samurai Kyubey (sorry I just don’t know their names) are debating if this really is the smartest course of action. Samurai Kyubey is simple, logical….stop living up to your namesake so well, damnit. He says Nobunaga’s power is necessary to win, so it only makes sense to rush Shio out as soon as possible. Old Lady is less sure, and she seems to be, from her comments here and last episode, a little bitter that she lost her life to the DOGOO organization. And while she agrees with Samurai Kyubey on the one level, on the emotional she seems to harbor a glimmer that Shio would turn them down and try to lead a normal life.
Well after failing her ambush miserably, not even killing one opponent, Shio is sent to her room to wind down. She gets excited, ready to tell her mom and Asao that she’s arrived safely! Except…no cell signal. St. Germain explains to a furious Shio that she’s a soldier on a training compound now, and personal communications need to be restricted. But he does ask if it is an urgent matter. Through gritted, angry teeth, Shio responds with a firm “No.” She then goes back to her room and starts beating her pillow into submission.
Shio is a very likable hero, and this is just one of many reasons. She may be fuming, like any modern high school girl might fume, that her ability to text her family and friends even once a day has been lost. But even when a convenient excuse comes up, she doesn’t try to abuse it. And yet we still get to see a cute girl swing punches at stuff. So this is win-win.
Cue training montage! Well less of a montage, just a fast-forward “training!” episode. And Shio is getting the full treatment. Formal schooling from St. Germain on her E-Gene power’s mechanics, boot camp drilling, and danger room simulations with her E-Gene gun…her E-Gun. Sounds more science fictiony that way.
But even Shio’s will has to break sometime, and soon she’s sneaking around the base at night trying to find a way to contact her mom and Asao. But…this is Shio, so she is soon distracted from her quest by some military airplanes in the hangar, and she can’t help but take pictures. Side note: I love the little hearts around her as she’s gushing over things. I wish I had those.
She then runs into the crew, a UN combined force that basically runs all the maintenance and piloting duties for DOGOO here. On top of that, they are a unit that observes hurricanes, likely as part of their old cover.
And they all idolize her as the hero of Taiwan. Careful Shio, you aren’t going to have this many guys trying to get into your pants until you’re playing World of Warcraft. Continue reading