Kyoukai Senki: Kyokkou no Souki Ep 3 & 4 Review

Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. After the first two episodes showcasing Jin’s amazing combat skills, we finally get to see Chinen in AMAIM combat. However, due to the length of the episodes, the action – while well done – felt a bit unsatisfying. In return, we get some pretty decent character development for Chinen. Of course, since we only have 6 eps, we need to push the pacing to the max. And for better or worse, Kyokkou no Souki is racing through it all.

In ep 3, we see Chinen piloting the Mass-Produced Gouyou with an ILeS inside. The biggest difference of this ONA with the anime series is the AI isn’t the “mascot” of the series and is pretty much just an assistance. There’s no big focus on the cockpit friend compared to the anime series. And also we got 2 Gouyou Customs but it seems only Chinen unit has an AI. Of course, Chinen is still half-in half-out as Jin said. He needs to either commit or leave lest he cause troubles for Hinukan.

And the final push came soon enough. The squad leader – who was piloting the other Gouyou, promptly died in battle after supporting Chinen. This trigger his past PTSD and urged him to lift his other foot and put both over the line. Into battle, Chinen show that he’s a decent enough pilot, but still relatively inexperienced since his first kill shock him to his core. Granted it’s a very, very brutal one.

In ep 4, we get a glimpse into Jin’s pass. And sure enough, his past is quite tragic. And this background story hits much harder than anything we’ve seen from Kyoukai Senki. The fact that the commander we saw being all honorable and prideful used to indiscriminately targeted civilians to flush out his enemy? That’s pretty cold blooded. Even Grady admitted that he is too into fighting and that clouded his humanity somewhat. Jin’s wife only appeared briefly in the OP and in ep 4 flashback but we’ve seen plenty to conclude that she was close to a perfect partner.

Chinen learning about Jin’s past further solidified his determination. This sort of trope is a bit cliche and in this situation, doesn’t really make much sense. But as two people who have lost someone close to them, they can relate to each other.

As expected, other characters didn’t get much spotlight at all – even Mikazuki’s genderbent expy. I hope it’s a sign that there won’t be any more “sacrifices” but hey, I don’t want to jinx it. The final battle is close at hand and no doubt it’s going to quite an explosive struggle.

At this point, I can say that the ONA’s depiction of an “action mecha” series is better than the anime series. However, the pacing and character development is not the best due to obvious restrictions. I wish Bandai made it a weekly series or extend the episode’s length instead to keep the audience’s attention and a more regulated pacing.

Animation-wise, the series is still doing very well. Both the Proto Gouyou and the Gouyou Custom fight very well. For the North America army, mostly just Grady unit is cool and the others are pretty much just fodder in the line. The Proto Gouyou just straight up has a chainsaw and discard it after one use is pretty hardcore. If anything, the model kit from this little web series has been absolutely amazing.

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