Friday, 29 May 2009

Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo - Episode 21

If things were looking a little ropey for Kirkwood as of the last episode of Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo, they get worse still here as yet still more forces look to destroy the colony, this time in the form of a decision by the Lunar Congress to blow the thing to smithereens before the threat from Nerval becomes too great for the rest of the universe.

Meanwhile, Benkei manages to achieve his goal of retrieving Leopard's "crown", skimming the surface of the sun in a death-defying stunt to rescue the dormant space station that it consists of, but at what cost to Tsutsuji. Honoka is also having problems, between her own ailments and a two-pronged attack from Takane and a semi-recovered Nami. With Honoka seemingly despatched however, the ever-more unhinged Nami turns her wrath on Takane in an arguably rather foolish fashion, which could well have dire consequences for them both.

The real story in this episode however is the fall and rise of Akiha - After becoming trapped in a box set aside for her a couple of episodes back, her attempts to escape subside as she realises just how cosy and simple her new life is - She can eat and drink whatever she likes, she only has to listen to or think about who or what she wants to, and anything upsetting can simply be filtered out. If this isn't a commentary on Japan's NEET and hikikomori problem then I don't know what is, with the entire situation being clearly analogous to locking yourself in your home and communicating only via the Internet - Of course, in the end Akiha overcomes her doubts thanks to friendship and the simple pleasure that entails. Cue lots of anti-social Japanese otaku pondering where they can find their own floating, yellow friend with a penchant for ancient vehicles.

Talking of Imoko, the end of the episode presents us with possibly the most tear-jerking scenes ever conceived featuring the aforementione floating yellow... thing, as she takes a brave decision to save both Akiha and Kirkwood from what seems to be certain annihilation. A pretty surprising end to another well-paced and reasonably entertaining episode, that continues to deliver on the possibilities that this series has set out ever since it got into the swing of what initially threatened to be an overly convulted plot crammed full with too many characters. I don't know how they've managed it, but they've got it to work, leaving Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo continuing down its most enjoyable path.

No comments: