Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 09

Cmdr. Latrova briefs her Zhar Battalion and the three test flights, including Argos, that will participate in the operation against the Beta. She has a low opinion of Argos, and warns them to stay out of the way. Yuuya breaks up another scuffle between the Zhar pilots and Scarlet Twins, but Cryska doesn’t want his help. The day of the battle arrives, and there aren’t enough tanks to hold back the waves of Beta. Yuuya begs Latrova to withdraw her forces so he can get an open shot with the EM cannon. They eventually do, and he wipes out the entire Beta force with one shot. The mission successful, Takamura orders him back to base.

Finally, an actual battle! Though, because of Argos Flight’s position (in the back of the front line, not actually on it), Yuuya doesn’t quite experience the Eight Minutes of Death. He kinda just holds his position the whole time while everyone else supports him. This doesn’t ingratiate him with the Zhar Patch Kids, but then they’re just stupid punk kids. Unfortunately only one of them gets killed off. Frankly, we were hoping they’d get more comeuppance for ganging up on Inia a second time. Instead, Yuuya takes the high ground (literally and figuratively).

He beats the rotten odds set up by the Soviets, who seemed intent on not allowing the weapon test, even though that’s the whole reason Argos and Yuuya are there. Thanks to a moment of common sense by Latrova, he gets his chance, and the railgun makes quite the statement. Give every Eishi one of those cannons and adequate time to set it up (whic is a bit of an ordeal), and the Beta don’t stand a chance. Victorious, Takamura offers heartfelt thanks to Yuuya, and he thanks her in return. Not letting himself get provoked by kids; not sabotaging the mission by acting selfishly; being nice to Yui – who is this kid, and what have they done with the real Yuuya Bridges? :)

Rating: 6 (Good)

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 05

Yuuya begins training in his new Type 94 Shiranui Type 2, and is just as frustrated with it as we was with the Type 97. Lt. Takamura tells him ‘a man and horse must be one’, and Vincent reiterates that fighting the natural tendencies of the TSF won’t get him anywhere. After a belated welcoming party, Argos Flight goes on another training mission, which is interrupted by Takamura herself. She quickly takes out everyone and spars with Yuuya, who adjusts his piloting style and manages to knock her sword away. On her way back to HQ Yui encounters Inia, who greets her and then runs away.

The battle of wills between Yuuya and Yui continues next week, and was just on the verge of becoming stale when Yui decided to go out and teach Yuuya a firsthand lesson in how to handle one’s TSF. As Vincent astutely points out, they’re actually pretty alike; in that neither back down when they should, and neither are totally honest with themselves. Deep down they probably both see themselves in one another, which pisses them off even more. Yui may go on about how useless he is, but as her shower scene makes clear, she’s irked by his fast progress and potential for greatness.

This isn’t surprising, since Yui probably blames herself for not being able to save any of her friends years ago. Ever since then she’s built up a thicker and tougher armor around herself, but that trauma still festers. Still, her job is to polish the rough ore of Argos into a shimmering gem of BETA-killing, and so her surprise crashing of their training mission also made sense. Her goal was to either beat the hell out of him, or get him to trust his TSF enough to defend himself…and it worked. Now, if only we knew what the heck Inia is up to, and why she keeps showing up and calling people nice…

Rating: 6 (Good)

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 04

Lt. Takamura puts Yuuya in the Fubuki 97 TSF until the new Shiranui 94 is complete, and he has trouble controlling the Japanese design. Takamura tells him to curb his attitude, but in the subsequent joint BETA battle with the Soviets, he proves a liability, and has to be saved by his Argos teammates. Takamura tells him he lack talent, and he lets himself be led into a Top Secret Soviet base by Inia, one of the Scarlet twins, and is then arrested by Inia’s sister Cryska. Takamura pulls strings to get him released, but she warns him that this isn’t a game.

Yuuya’s American buddy Vincent suggests that if he wants to master a Japanese TSF, he has to know the Japanese mind that created it. The only problem is, as a second-gen Japanese-American, he was raised hating his Japanese side, and ostracized by his peers. Thus we have to backtrack a bit on him having a good life up to this point; the flashbacks were vivid proof his childhood was no picnic, while Takamura was from a proud and supportive family. But this still doesn’t excuse Yuuya for being the Genuine Class A Asshat that he is. Sure, his Argos Flight comrades are more forgiving with him, but we welcomed Takamura’s consistently scathing observations. She has a knack for rattling his cage, and he deserves everything she’s doling out.

Takamura isn’t in the habit of coddling her subordinates, dubbing Yuuya talentless and an embarrassmant to her race. To add injury to insult, Yuuya is almost tortured by Soviets for looking like a Japanese spy, but is bailed out at the last second by Takamura. And the jerk doesn’t even thank her. Sorry, but he doesn’t have the right to act this way. He’s one of the few people able to pilot TSFs, and he’s been chosen to be part of an outfit that looks to take the fight to the BETA. He needs to check his ego, attitude, and issues at the door before his idiocy gets people killed. Just so we’re clear: Takamura: still our fave; Yuuya: insufferable wretch in need of an attitude adjustment. Inia and Cryska: twincestuous Soviets??? O_o

Rating: 7 (Very Good)