Love Lab – 09

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When they learn that Nana inadvertently got Sayori in trouble and that she’ll be forced to leave the student council, Maki, Riko, Suzu, Eno, Nana and Momo formulate a “rescue operation.” They collaborate to clear Sayo of wrongdoing by telling the teachers it wasn’t a boy she was meeting with, but Maki, dressed as “Makio Evolved”. By having the trustworthy Maki at point and peppering their lies with kernels of truth, they’re able to pull it off. Maki’s stock falls, but Sayori’s rises and she’s able to stay on the council.

Riko may not care for Sayori’s tendency to go after peoples’ weak spots (in Riko’s case, the lie about her being a love expert), but she, Maki and Suzu had grown accustomed to her in the student council, and obviously she and Eno are attached at the hip as they’ve always been. So when she gets into a spot of trouble and says she won’t bother fighting it, they do what any real friends would do and step up and fight for her. Even if their efforts cost them their own reputations, losing Sayori would be a bigger blow to them.

Similarly, we’re so used to Maki acting nutty – and she’s so used to acting nutty in the council office – we initially forget that the newspaper association is sitting right there, and they’re seeing her like that for the first time (Momo’s impressed, but Nana’s a little scared). Their plan is far-fetched, but they make sure to get all the details right – like the fake mole on Maki’s face; mix the truth in with the lies, and rely on Maki’s substantial political capital with the teachers to rescue Sayori from exile, and they succeed! It was nice to see everyone putting the past behind them and getting along in order to save her.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

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Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 21

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As the global powers muster their fleets, Simon orders Izuru to resign, but he refuses. While he’s allowed to board the Godinion, he’ll remain on standby on the bridge as a last-resort asset during Operation Heaven’s Gate. The GDF’s C-in-C puts Simon in charge of the operation, and Simon pilots the evacuated Star Rose, whose core is the Wulgaru ship Theoria arrived in. The Rose will bear the fleet to the location of the Wulgaru gate.

With the forces of earth united and mobilized and the Wulgaru force similarly united and preparing for the final hunt, the endgame draws near. This episode was the calm before what should be one hell of a storm; an episode of physical and mental preparation, and also an episode of new roles. Ange is back on the Rabbits, Asagi assumes the role of their leader, and Theoria will jump in a cockpit and fight beside them, but everyone is doing everything possible to keep Izuru – who is not well – on the sidelines, as another sortie could kill him. Before the two massive armadas clash, this episode does a great job focusing on all the little stories of people stepping into their new roles.

There was also an emphasis on family and humans’ tendency to protect others and not just themselves, something the Wulgaru find unnatural. Asagi is taken aback by the sudden brotherly responsibility he now feels toward Izuru. Imbued with this new sense of family, he also lets his “little sister” Anna stay with her dad and granddad rather than flee to earth alone. The family theme is drilled home when Papa Simon invites the fleet to pile into the car (Star Rose) for a road trip that will determine the survival of mankind against a race of aliens who have underestimated them at every turn. And they’re not stopping to go to the bathroom.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)