It's time for another episode of Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo, and the action really is getting packed into each new instalment of this series these days. Episode eighteen is no exception, with plenty going on to keep the show's plot moving.
To be frank, after the appearance of Leopard just as Nami was about to attack the collected refugees from Kirkwood, I was expecting some grandiose battle between the two factions, but as soon as Nami sees Leopard materialise she cuts her losses and runs, referring to him as a "black God" (a name of which I'm sure he'd approve), despite Akiha's attempts to give chase. However, it isn't all good news for Leopard, as Bonapart uses the confusion to snatch a couple of Leopard's mirrors for his collection before disappearing off into space.
While the arrival of Leopard means a new home for Kirkwood's refugees, the bigger issue is persuading Leopard to reconnect to his colony, which he still point-blank refuses to do no matter what after his previous psychological trauma. Cue some hilarious attempts to persuade him to reconnect, before Akiha (with some prompting from Kannagi) finally manages to succeed by appealing to both his heartstrings and big head... well, and giving him a literal kick up the backside too.
With that problem solved, there's still plenty more to come, from an attack by Xanthippe and the abduction of Akiha, while it also appears that something is up with Honoka too...
At the moment Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo seems to be growing on me on a weekly basis as its storyline has grown and picked up the pace - Its overall plot and animation both continue to have a very "old-school" feel which has been appealing throughout, but we now have some seriously interesting story threads to complement that and make for a genuinely enjoyable and entertaining series rather than one which is watchable merely on account of its "kitsch" factor. It's no Code Geass, granted, but Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo is reaching the point where it can proudly stand on its own two feet as a decent little show in its own right.