Episode Review: Muv-Luv Alternative ep 18: Broken Doll

I will kill them all!
The BETA that murdered you, Takeru-chan!
We got another setup episode for Muv-Luv Alternative. This episode is focused on Sumika – or rather – S00(-unit)mika and Takeru’s “tuning” for her. If you feel the events of this episode is rushed and a bit “incoherent” in terms of timing, because it is actually just that. However, the considerable chunk of rushed content was monologue and TSF simulator, the major parts of the story were still intact, and we get to see what Takeru’s resolve and feelings.

For the first part, we understand what is the 00 Unit, how it was created, and what is its purpose. The conclusion did make my spine go cold, for what’s left of Sumika now turned into 00 Unit, and to the Sumika that we just left behind. That girl, be it the peaceful world or this BETA world, her fate till this point is like the word “cruel” got materialized. 

From a cheerful girl to a plant state to a stringless doll who tried to learn how to be a human again, no wonder the animators focused on her a lot, not to mention, we now understand why Tsukuyomi asked Shirogane: “How did a dead man come back to life” in the first season, we now have a vague answer for that. But to what extent did that happen, we could only wait for the right answer (or just go read the visual novel).

One of the most shocking things that happened in this episode, definitely Yuuko’s confession. Though we have one moment that could have been the hint for this, at that moment, we probably had thought of something else, not like this, to know that Yuuko indirectly caused the dead of the person closest to her, just what kind of emotion went through her at that time?

For Shirogane, he got one step up in the development, for him to not shoot Yuuko was one of a development I would like to see, after all the messed up things he have gone through. Although, this is not going to be the last thing that try to challenge him, may the adaptation bring him justice.

And then we go to the majority of the screen time this episode (as well as the episode’s title) – Sumika, or rather, the 00-Unit. We see Sumika devolve more and more into madness with her thirst to murder the BETA, but we also see some positive reaction to Takeru and some shred of humanity in her. Amidst the crazy fit and murderous spree that Sumika erupt into everytime we see her on-screen, she has slowly recognize Takeru’s presence and identity and displayed some very human affection. And we can see Takeru trying his best to “bring out” the Sumika in her. The Santa Rabbit was a very important item in the visual novel, and although we didn’t get much background on it, we know that it was something Takeru has gifted Sumika way back then and it is something she treasured in the original world. Actually, Sumika still have it hanging on her bag in the Extraverse. However, at the end there, she dropped some crazy hint as to what might have happened to “this world”‘s original Takeru…

Next episode, we set off for war!

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