”Shinkan no Aria” (森閑のアリア)
Just when it seemed like this show was going to be as boring as the latest seasons of ‘Supernatural’, a giant Unknown appeared and made things interesting.
At least when it comes to the action, because the plot is still uninteresting and the characters still shallow.
The episode starts with a bit of minor fan-service. We are introduced to the breasts of Mahiru Okuni, a doctor from the Third Tokyo Hospital who prefers to show how large her cleavage is. We learn that some of the kids need to be moved inside the settlement because of their inadequacy to offer more in the frontlines. After all, we are reminded in the most cliché way that the children are our last hope and they must be protected. Except of those that are so powerful that they can kill hundreds of cute little Mews (the aliens do look like a Mew without a face).
Then we have another fan-service scene when Canaria changes her top and wonders where Icchan is. Well, Icchan is trying to do the writers’ a favor and show us his sensitive side by visiting Uzurano-kun in the hospital and skipping the regular patrol. It’s evident from the premise that Ichiya is trying to remedy his social awkwardness, but when it comes to dialogue and emotions it doesn’t really come out that way.
The first half of the episode continues on the same lines: pointless conversations, childish rivalries, school-life problems.
‘If I am able to win on my own, there’ll be no… no problems”, Ichiya Suzaku
The second half on the other side tried to give us something ‘Qualidea Code’ had long promised but up until now had failed to deliver: action.
The Mews, the unknown pink aliens, are using a huge weapon that seems impervious to normal attacks. During what started as a solo attack, Icchan is quickly joined by his teammates. The enemy is AT LAST not that easy to beat and Icchan tells Canaria to focus her defensive song on him. I was excited to see that there is a pink alien out there that won’t be target practice for these kids. Up until now it seemed like war was like a video game for them. Every encounter was far too easy.
The odds turn in the aliens’ favor in the end, and for the first time I am moderately looking forward to the next episode.
Aria: The title of the episode refers to something that happens near its end. I don’t want to spoil it for you (not that it’s hard to guess). An aria (diminutive form arietta) in music was originally any expressive melody performed by a singer.
Leviathan: The big bad-ass alien appearing in this episode is given the code Leviathan. The term is used in various mediums in Japanese culture, from videogames and tokusatsu series to books and manga. It usually is a sea monster and it was first referenced in the Tanakh, or the Old Testament. The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster.
The problem I have with ‘Qualidea Code’ is that I can’t feel any kind of connection to its characters and for that I blame two things:
- the aliens are just supporting actors in a conflict I don’t really care about
- the children’s characters are formulaic and stiff
The higher ups seem to be unaffected by the behavior of the children, and when they engage in one of their usual quarrels in the briefing room they seem to disappear altogether. There was some attempt to build a little backstory on Icchan, but it was ruined by the poor acting, lack of insight, and the appearance of Canaria.
And the rating is…
I had high hopes for this anime. I really did. And I still have.
Even though it has yet to deliver any action worth mentioning, the appearance of more difficult enemies finds me hopeful.
Still, unless there is some change in the writing, I am not so hopeful for the plot and the characters.
NEXT TIME: Canary in the Coal Mine, “Tankō no Kanaria” (炭鉱のカナリア)