Episode Review: Muv-Luv Alternative ep 15: No Place To Hide

You can run…but destiny will not let you go!
Welcome back to another “If you stay, you’ll suffer; If you run, you’ll suffer more” episode. Our boy Takeru Shirogane ran away to avoid painful experience – just like other mecha protags, but instead of getting “comforted”, he only suffer even more. Viewers probably hope that he does not suffer more than this (Spoiler: he does). Let’s jump in the episode.

After the chomp ending, episode 15 shove the harsh reality into our face again: by showing Takeru going through an interrogation and recounted the disaster that had transpired, while being drugged up to the ceiling (can we get much higher?). Not only Takeru, but the others also had to accept the reality, be it the old 207b squad member, or even Yuuko herself. We can see some subtle but very clear facial expression and behaviour from Yuuko that showed that even she did not want this.

Also, the anime cut out the part where Isumi – leader of the Valkyries (who was beside Yuuko in the graduation ceremony) – had a pep talk with Takeru, telling him about her history with Marimo-chan and encourage him to live and fight on. It was a very nice scene, but I guess screen time is limited and the focus of the anime isn’t on the Valk at the moment.

Meiya, we all knew she care a lot about him, tried to ease his pain. But, probably because of the inexperience of how to treat someone in PTSD, or poor choice of words, or both, she almost got sexually assualted by Takeru, who was in a very unstable state. This action, would be the last straw for Takeru. Not only has he fucked up, but he also also hurt someone dear to him while going berserk. I could not blame him if he chose to run away, as he did. His “running away” is a bit different from most other mecha protags because he actually had a place to “escape” to – a place that is absolutely distant from the fighting and bloodshed. Other mcs can only cry in their rooms on the frontline, or still stuck in that world. Not many has the option to escape to a peaceful world. And the story actually has him run away instead of getting back up on his feet after a few “words of encouragement”.

However, this is Muv-Luv. No matter where you go, the pain won’t stop until you face it directly. Even though Takeru ran away to his old world, it was still impossible to escape his “causality karma”. And who else more perfect to deliver ^2 the trauma than the person that Takeru just lost: Marimo-chan. Not just once, but twice – in similar fashion, Marimo’s death(s) pushed Takeru over the edge. After denial, now he’s in the grieving state. He has accepted that his running away will come with “punishment”. But of course, he has no idea what the “future” has for him. Although, the anime did cut out a lot of scene where Takeru “lost control” in the Visual Novel when the 2nd chomp happen, which sorta show Takeru just weeping and not raging. I think it’s a miss for the episode and not sure why they did it like that. However, one thing they did well is depict the boundless kindness and what a perfect teacher Marimo was. Just a few moments in season 2 has really made Marimo one of the best character in the anime. Of course, they were doing this to prime the unknown hearts for the pain to come, but still…

Meiya, just like her counterpart in the BETAverse, is super concerned about Takeru – and also sharp enough to noticed the subtle changes in his self. The same could applied to Sumika, the one element that somehow was not there in the BETAverse. The anime didn’t show this a lot, but aside from a very clingy and loud childhood friend, Sumika is someone who love Takeru very much – and the same can be said for Takeru, although their “love” haven’t perfectly aligned…yet. But I wonder why did Yuuko said to Meiya and Sumika to “stay away from Takeru”. Considering what Takeru accidentally brought to this side of Marimo, this won’t be good, as they ignore the warning and constantly tried to get close to him.

Next episode, will his suffering end?

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