Michiko starts to badger Madoka about turning in her “future form” after a less-than-great report card. Madoka is busy with Jersey Club activities and a going-away Christmas party for Kirius and Array. Meanwhile, Moid has made off with the stone tablet, compressed into a jewel he gives to Dizelmine, who undergoes painful testing, presumably to gain the power of Vox. Back on earth, Asteria informs the Nuvomundus team who she really is, and they start researching what Moid’s up to. Right after Kirius and Array depart, a huge La Garite fleet jumps into Earth orbit.
Kirius is going home to help his rich but beleaguered family. Array is going home to teach at the Royal Academy. Izo is staying on earth to become a chef. Lan is going home to help her brother. Muginami is going home to fina a way to help U-Go. Everybody but Madoka seem to have a path for the future. The future makes Madoka uncomfortable. It’s almost as if she was destined to live in times that never stood still. Times in which the present is everything; in which helping and protecting others is everything. Those times may be coming. While events will likely put wrenches in everyone’s plans, she has no plans to ruin. We can easily see Madoka being a great teacher, bodyguard, coach, cafe owner, party planner (seriously, that was a kickass party!) or any of the other things she’s done as a Jersey Clubber. The problem is, she doesn’t want to choose.
Through her actions and ideals, she’s changed many lives for the better; giving them directions while having none herself except forward, dealing with whatever may come when it comes. Well, something’s coming. It apppears Moid is appealling to Dizelmine’s darker tendencies, and a fresh betrayal is in motion. Earth may again become a battlefield, and even the graveyard it was 20,000 years ago when Vox was last unleashed. All things considered, planning for the future is definitely premature. If they want a future, they’ll have to fight for it – or at least talk others into stop fighting. To his credit, Villagiulio wants to believe Dizelmine won’t go to war with him. But Dizelmine may not be himeself after those…experiments.
Rating: 8 (Great)
Vox Lympha and Ignis are deployed to repel a large De Metrio attack on Pharos, but both are cornered when they split up; Muginami by Villagiulio, and Lan by a barrage of repelling fire. Madoka enters Pharos and prepares to launch in Aura. It takes convincing from Youko for Asteria to authorize her launch. Madoka turns the tables in the aerial battle, and her classmates at school even launch a firework and form words of encouragement. The De Metrio fleet fires on Kamogawa, but the blast is absorbed by Kirius, Array, and Izo. Still, an enemy ovid lands in the schoolyard, injuring Youko and others, and causing Madoka to lose control. Rin-ne blooms again, and the enemy ovids start to crystallize.
Three is better than two – that’s the main takeaway this week. If you’re going to be defeated otherwise, why not throw everything you have at an enemy, and damn the cautionary legends? We understand that Asteria’s first duty is to protect earth, which means preventing the demons of Vox from reawakening. But her stubbornness almost leads to the destruction of Pharos, Kamogawa’s last line of defense (which is also the episode’s title.) Lan and Muginami fight valiantly, but ultimately two isn’t enough to fight off the multi-vector onslaught of De Metrio. Whatever happens next week, Asteria made the right choice, albeit a bit late.
Very intriguing is the surprise appearence of Kirius, Izo and Array, protecting Kamogawa of all places. Just more evidence their loyalties are uncertain; one could say they’re on their own side. And perhaps visiting the town and interacting with people compelled them to prevent their destruction. As for the fleet up in orbit, they want the Voxes destroyed, and they don’t care how many people are killed in the process as long as that’s done. The final scene is another Rin-ne bloom, instigated by Madoka’s fear her sister/mentor may be dead. The battle was won, but the final cost won’t be known until next week.
Villagiulio orders Kirius, Izo, and Array to do nothing and stay put in a comfy seaside house. Watching a samurai film on TV inspires Izo to slip away in search of Madoka so he can challenge her to a duel. He takes the train, and eventually finds Madoka’s school, but Madoka’s classmates believe he’s her boyfriend. Kirius and Array follow him, and Kirius even unknowingly meets Madoka when she rescues a boy from drowning. Array has a meal at BWH but with no cash, he has to work off what he owes. When Izo learns about Madoka’s past, he loses interest and returns to the house, where the three encounter Villagiulio, who has plans to destroy the Voxes.
This week all the myriad organizations’ plans for the Voxes fell into the background, while the three Vox pilots help out with an arts festival and three Demetrio pilots stay out of trouble. It’s a slice-of-life affair; a good opportunity for them to learn about the girl they’re dealing with – and for us to learn about them. Izo tries his hardest to get into trouble, deciding that reenacting a samurai movie will be more entertaining than sitting around some house. His trip to Kamogawa involves enduring a generous and chatty old woman, beating up some random guys for information, and finally facing off against a growing group of interested high school girls.
But Izo is no evil mindless villain; when he hears about how Madoka grew up to be strong and helpful after her mother drowned, it just wasn’t in him to pursue her further. Array (still dressed as a maid for some reason) ends up at Madoka’s uncles (and gets spanked by an uncle) and hears the same story. Hell, Kirius even bumps into the Jersey Girl herself, even folding her sweats. But as they’d never met face-to-face, he didn’t know who he was talking to. This was a fun and entertaining calm before the storm, which also showed that the three Demetrio pilots could make good allies or friends under different circumstances.
With his comrade Array defeated by the Vox, Izo heads down to earth to take it on. Madoka meets Tadokoro, the fleet captain who runs Pharos along with Lan’s superior, Moid, and a strange girl named Muginami. Madoka is issued a uniform and put her back in the cockpit to battle Izo. When she’s told she holds the fate of the world in her hands, she initially wavers, rendering the Vox ovid inert. After a motivational phone call from her cousin Yoko, who has always been against her piloting Vox, Madoka regains her confidence and the Vox powers up. Izo’s comrade Kirius has joins the fray, while Lan heads to her own Vox.
Not a bad follow-up to the first episode, reiterating how Madoka has been plopped down in the middle of an interdimensional war, a lot of pressure is immediately placed upon her slight shoulders, and she trades her sweats for a tight-fitting uniform like Lan’s. Basically, if she fails, everyone dies, so she’d better not fail. Think Evangelion without all the psychological baggage. Our heroine has never had a problem expressing herself or excelling at any number of athletic disciplines. Since her ovid Vox Aura responds according to the strength of her conviction, it’s important she see this as the life-or-death situation that it is, and not a lark or dawdle. Also, watching her wander the military complex for a decent cell signal was pretty funny.
Meanwhile, Lan, it would seem, seems offput by Madoka’s impression it was ‘easy’ to pilot the Vox. As watching the opening credits, she’s pilot too, but is clear she has some kind of underlying issues that require resolution. As for the third pilot, well, all we know is her name is Muginami, she has big boobs, and her voice is kinda stupid-sounding. She says barely anything and does nothing this week. Madoka, meanwhile, isn’t actually locked in combat all that long. The balance of her two-on-one battle will play out next week, in which she’ll be joined by either Lan, Mugi, or both.