Kyoukai Senki episode 22 – The price of peace

Well, all the peace talk has gone out the window. Now it’s time for the usual all-out war! But first, Amou and blond Rasputin needs to get to safety first, and the NAC won’t lay the red carpet out for them. It’s a struggle for sure with the NAC getting all the right moves, however, this is when the third upgraded MAILeS make its debut: the Reiki Kai. And it was…well kinda awesome but a bit underwhelming

After the last “conspiracy” episode, the NAC went full blame-mode on the New Japan alliance – basically guiding the public perspective with their propaganda and information control. Classic bad guy move. But Brad is showing an unexpected loyalty towards his father – so I’m not sure if he will pull the rug under his father’s feet. German – as always – is sipping champagne (he drinks A LOT of champagne) in a secured location, waiting to start his business as a merchant of death again. Again, I don’t see how they can deal with German and whoever’s backing him, since if the NAC lose, he would just switch to another bloc and stir up trouble again. As the series is drawing closer and closer to the end, Kyoukai Senki has to tie up all the loose ends into one and cut it completely.

Shion and her Reiki Kai is the mecha spotlight this episode. The Reiki Kai focuses more on aerial bombardment instead of high-speed melee combat this time – just like how Jogan Kai drop the sniping and just go full dakka in the last ep. They are mixing up the combat style for these two a lil bit, which is fine and all, but Reiki Kai didn’t make an impact like its original debut. In season 1, the Reiki danced across the battlefield taking out dozens of mechs in just a few minutes – so fast that the enemy can’t even react. Here, despite having superior thruster and a better Naginata, Shion and Angelo didn’t feel very intimidating and powerful as before. I know that the NAC units are much stronger and the amount of missile the Reiki carries slow it down significantly, but yeah it just doesn’t feel as good as Jogan Kai’s debut.

And of course, we have our first casualty, and of course it has to be a side character that isn’t too important but also isn’t too insignificant to feel empty to the audience. Although, Mashima is like the vice of the vice of the leader of Yatagarasu and he didn’t do much in previous episodes anyway like Misuzu or even that Ares guy. It made Amou and Shion so depressed that we basically returned to the previous phase again. For Amou, this is another time where his comrade die, just like the onee-san in season 1. You think after so many losses, he must be furious and charge into battle to rip-off the enemy commander’s head, but it seems he’s still the hesitating type. For Shion, this is her first “big” loss on screen, hopefully they will do something for her development.

Even though I criticized the plot and characters to be quite stock-standard and basic for a Real Robot series, you can’t deny the art direction is just amazing. The shading in the stillframes are just *chef’s kiss*! The animation this episode isn’t as crazy as the Ghost Buster episode, but it’s still very good. It’s clear that they are saving the big one for the climax against the Brady Phantom. With Amou’s renewed anger after meeting Brad, we can expect a badass and brutal showdown between the two.

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