Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova - Episode 9

Now that Chihaya's first plan (Operation Bribe Them With Tea And A Barbecue) has failed and Kongou has decided that she wants nothing more than to wipe out Gunzou having seen how they've "corrupted" her fellow Mental Models, it's time for Plan B: Operation Get Out Of Here Really Fast.

Luckily, with an array of Mental Models now effectively at his beck and call, taking on Kongou, Maya and their fleet doesn't seem like quite such an impossible task, and his colleagues are soon spurred into action as Hyuuga is charged with defending the base from the massive attack, supergravity cannons and all, unleashed upon them.  In the meantime, Iona prepares to do a runner with Takao in tow as a decoy, while Hyuuga has left no shortage of nasty surprises floating around in the hope of thwarting Kongou's single-minded charge to take down the I-401, and with it Gunzou.

In the midst of all this, Kongou is quite happy to take a slightly less direct route as she converses with Hyuuga, Takao and Iona in turn in an attempt to get them to see the errors of their ways and take a step away from their various interests in humanity and becoming closer to their former enemies.  Of course, none of this trio of Mental Models has any desire to do this, and in fact their responses only serve to anger Kongou - a very human emotion which ultimately proves to be her downfall as she otherwise seems all set to destroy both Iona and Chihaya.  That, however, is far from the end of the story...

Rather unfortunately, this week's instalment of Arpeggio of Blue Steel doesn't quite manage to capture the thrilling cat and mouse scenarios offered up by some of its earlier episodes - its first half is a little ponderous, and Kongou's little chats with her former comrades only serve to stall the pacing further to deflect from the episode's action in favour of spending more time focusing on personality.  Still, there are a few tense moments, and the post-credits twist is a decidedly delicious one that shakes you out of your reverie while hyping us up for next week's episode, which is a job pretty well done for a series that otherwise seems to be getting oddly fan service oriented in its choice of shots in almost every scene now.

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