Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
A creation is a creation, and no matter how badly it is realized in a format there is something that the creators wanted to achieve with it. We still have two episodes before we can judge the series as a whole, but I wonder if I can be a good judge of a multimedia project when I’ve only seen the anime.
Nevertheless, this was the best episode in the series in my opinion. Not for its animation quality or unmatched writing, but because we finally got some answers.
Japanese Title: 福音のフォークロア
I’m not going to waste a single word analyzing all the unneeded scenes and superfluous bits of this episode. There was only one plot point worth mentioning: We finally got some answers. Or, at least, the other side’s point of view. I don’t know if you buy the humans’ story, but a fact is a fact: the aliens were using some kind of camouflage technology to reverse perception of reality. The children thought they were fighting the aliens while the humans thought the children were aliens as well. There is no doubt that this side of the story is the one closest to the truth, since Airi and Asanagi, in a wonderful scene, admitted that they are the aliens.
Kasumi and Asuka’s mother is leading Japan’s forces in what seems to be a Dictatorship of the Silly, as she assumed command after bribing or killing her opponents. The children of course have no real human reaction to this, a characteristic they shared from the very first episode. If there a thing lacking from the series, is emotion realism. To be honest, Johanne oba… I mean onee-san’s character was not that bad in the beginning. In contrast to the rest of the characters, she had an interesting mix of seriousness and silliness and I expected to see more of her. What I saw in the rest of the episode was disappointing. Another one to join the bunch of shallow and poor characters.
Ichiya and Canaria Romance: After witnessing the Chigusa complex once more, there was a whole poorly-animated scene dedicated to the Ichiya-Canaria romance. I wonder how the fandom calls them: Icharia, Canichi. I don’t know. I didn’t like it. It felt biased and forced. Like someone pushing a trivial scene down my throat because we obviously haven’t had enough of those.
Weapon Naming: Johanne’s uninspired names for weapons, tactics, and everything else was a nice comedic touch, but not enough to cover for the episode’s general quality. Literal naming of things is not that funny on its own to be honest, but it can become hilarious if said in the right way and in the right context. This was neither.
Church Scene: The church is probably a representation of a human establishment and has no meaning to the aliens. Still, the scenery in relation to the discussion between Airi and Asanagi was interesting. Maybe the best scene in the series in terms of writing. Under God’s eye all creation is the same. The aliens are not the evil demons Johanne wants to believe they are. They have feelings and their concerns are as ‘human’ as ours.
Contrast: Besides the church scene, the most interesting part of this episode was the contrast between how the war felt from the alien’s side and how it feels now from the human’s side. Up until now, war was a game for the children. They fought for points and a chance to rank on a ladder. They used their powers like in a videogame, amidst vibrant colors and awful jokes. Their only concerns were those of a teenagers who just happens to kill lots of aliens while living the student life. Now, the sky is red and war is real. No more rainbow pallets and target practice. The children are afraid. People die. Instead of gums popping out of existence, they have explosions and death. If only the main characters could act the role.
The most-spoken word in this episode was definitely説明 (setsumei, explanation). Half of the cast was even more baffled than I was about this whole human-alien swapping ordeal. At first, just as the Matrix scenario was fading away, I was horrified by the fact that the children were killing their own like it was some game, and I was puzzled by their reaction. Then, conveniently enough, we learn that all those pink spaceships were unmanned drones, so the children were not killing anyone, but still, they didn’t know that when they learned the truth, did they?
Character-wise, after ten episodes, the most interesting characters are those that had the less screen-time, the aliens. The church scene was probably the most coherent scene of the entire series, and surely the one I enjoyed the most. In a few seconds they managed to make me sympathize with the aliens. There must be another twist on the horizon. There must be a reason that the aliens were forced to abduct the children and be confined in the three prefectures they tried to protect. Maybe the humans are not telling the whole truth. Humph…humans…
I was about to give it a 2/6, but then I remembered that Canaria didn’t sing, so that must count as a plus, right?
What do you think about this whole aliens disguising as humans and vice versa thing? Do you feel that there is another twist on the way?
NEXT TIME: Dipole Familia