Episode Review: Muv-Luv Alternative ep 22: Fallen Fortress

A desperate turn of events!
As with all things Muv-Luv (maybe except Extra), the Murphy’s Law is the only constant in the BETA-verse. Everything that can go wrong, will and have gone wrong. After an epic double episode of humanity’s amazing offensive in Operation 21st, the situation has taken a turn for the worst – where the Susano-O – the destroyer of the Hive – has crashed and vanquished the shimmering flames of victory in this battle.

We began with the escape plan, and that required the 2nd Squadron Fleet to charge into the coast and offer direct support to the land units. Which basically means they will take direct fire from the Laser-class, which is pretty much a death sentence. Seeing Captain Abe being exhilarating about the fact that he can rain fire upon the BETA is a very powerful moment. In both Total Eclipse and Alternative season 1, we see the captains – including Abe – of the IJN Combined Fleet doing their best to stop the BETA but ultimately failed. And now we see them striking back with a vengeance and became the lynchpin to the survival of humanity and hundreds of pilots, which makes for a very novel development.

Furthermore, we also get to see an unexpected “meeting” between Komaki and Tsukuyomi – the two opposition during season one’s coup. Komaki – the one who killed off a Valkyrie, Alt IV’s crucial force, and Tsukuyomi – the person who directly finished off Sagiri – Komaki’s idol. On the battlefield, they didn’t know who each other was, and their encounter would be super different if they had known. But it is exactly that anonymity that make their interaction so…impactful. Just two soldiers on the field helping each other out.

Back to the Valkyries, they are fighting to secure a way for Takeru to bring Sumika out of the battlefield. And the desperate battle keeps getting more and more intense. And at one point Ayamine and Chizuru almost got shot to hell and turned into human charcoal. And the BETA keeps popping up and popping up and popping up like a limitless horde. And that’s the most scary thing about the BETA – their superior number. During season 2, we’ve seen how “easy” it is to kill the BETA, yet humanity is still on the backfoot, only because the BETA doesn’t ever stop. Thousands, millions, and possibly billions…have pushed humanity on the brink of extinction.

Animation-wise, Graphinica is still on top of things as always. Especially Takeru’s dodging the laser – which was an amazing sequence that show off both the capabilities of XM3 and Takeru’s genius piloting skills. It’s really good to see the studio included Takeru’s reverse blade grip – which is something we’ve only seen in the darkest timeline – The Day After, it’s obviously a huge fan-service moment for hardcore fans of the series – seeing one of the best pilots in the franchise using his unique skills. But even so, there are things even he couldn’t do. And Isumi had to stay behind to start up the fallen Mobile Fortress. And I must say, things are gonna go even more wrong soon!

Another interesting details is how panicked Yuuko has gotten since the Susano-O crashed. The woman has been all but confident and snarky, but now that her plan is falling apart at the seams, she finally show some panic on her face outright. Even so, she still kept her composure and gave orders according to the plans she has laid out before. Managing to keep her cold demeanor for most of the time during such a stressful time isn’t easy.

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