Kyoukai Senki episode 24: Dawn of War

The triggers are pulled, the missiles are fired, the blades are swung. The all-out war between the NAC and the New Japan force started off with a major battle involving all 3 original AMAIMs, as well as the machine we’ve been waiting for: the Brady Phantom.

Sunrise Beyond started off the battle with some pretty basic warfare just like other series. Both sides sent out their advance force in a war of attrition. It’s a big weird to see the Nyurens and the Subotta Demons fighting alongside the Japanese forces for the first time. It’s great to see them put some effort into the grunt battles as well. Although it’s pretty clear that among the field commanders, only one will survive (although maybe he’s gonna get some injuries here and there).

Furthermore, seeing the MAILeS becoming commander themselves is nice, although it’s mostly just the AI controlling the drone AMAIMs. It would be nice if they are piloted by people in the cockpit. Ms. Misuzu is singlehandedly carrying the war on her shoulders. Pushing new versions of combat AI to the field is pretty crazy stuff, and Yatagarasu and co must have some crazy servers and wireless network to be able to do that. I know it’s to level the playing field but it feels lazy to push all the things onto Misuzu.

The separate MAILeS battles were great. Jogan started with the snipe, switch to gatling and continued to dual pistols. It was amazing to show how Gashin has grown as well. Shion is still doing her thing, waiting for her big break, which I think is coming soon. They are both trying to reach the catalyst of their changes – to lend a hand to hope. And that leads us to the star of the episode.

Kenbu – piloted by Amou – faced off against the Brady Phantom – piloted by Brad. Kenbu – equipped with the ILeS Gai – faced off against the Brady Phantom – equipped with Ghost. One fight for the purpose of protecting everyone he cares for, and the other to experience the only joy in his life: to pilot the most superior mecha. The long awaited fight did got allocated the most budget I think. Brad came at Amou with a tenacity of a human combined with a savage AI, almost lunging at him with those claws. To be honest, I’d like to see the actual slashing motion instead of four beautifully drawn still-frames.

The side-effect of using Ghost was quite severe, both mentally and physically. This definitely remind us of when Graham push the Flag to its limit with the GN-Drive Tau. The AI is taking over the machine and Brad is succumbing to it, in contrast to Kenbu where Amou and his AI – Gai – is working TOGETHER. The distinction between the harmony between man and machine will decide this duel. Gai telling Amou that he doesn’t want what happened at the end of part 1 to repeat marks the branch-off point between a purely battle AI and ILeS that care and connect with its master. They started from the same root, but their development is vastly different thanks to their owners – or in this case – the people who “raise” them. Next episode seems to be a fight-to-the-death kind where no side get out unscathed.

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