Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 24 (Fin)

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The final stage of the battle commences, as all of Earth’s forces lends support fire as Simon advances towards the gate in Star Rose. Izuru almost loses himself in his battle with Jiart, but his friends snap him out of it with insults. He masters Red 5, awakening its final form, and Jiart counters by souping up his AHSMB.

He continues dueling with Jiart. Theoria and Daneel keep the target clear as Ange defeats Dorgana and the fleet fight off the Wulgaru enough. Star Rose impacts with the gate in a massive explosion that collapses it. Theoria and Daneel retrieve Simon’s escape pod, and Team Rabbits locates Izuru, adrift, but alive.

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Majestic Prince eschews OP and ED to squeeze every last moment out of its finale, and the epic battle gets a similarly epic coda with the awesome obliteration of Star Rose. Star Rose is a big, slow hunk of metal, however, so Earth’s forces and Team Rabbits in particular have to dig in and hold fast against what amounts to be an increasingly disorganized and ineffectual Wulgaru invasion force.

Jiart in particular may be a good dueler, but he’s a worthless general. As Kei reminds a frenzied Izuru before the hilarious insultfest the Rabbits unleash on him, Izuru has always wanted to be a hero; but heroes don’t just fight for their own satisfaction like Jiart. They fight to protect others. You can’t protect anyone if you’re dead, so sometimes heroes have to ease up. He does, and just barely survives. The Wulgaru threat is history, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be back someday.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We like how the action was broken up nicely by little moments of comedy, like Saionji flubbing her commands after having talked for so long.
  • There’s also some nice little nods to the fact that the AHSMBs are not invincible, as the pit crews stay in contact with the pilots, and poor Kei’s ride gets wasted by Jiart.
  • Unfortunately there was no time whatesoever for a happy epilogue; the battle ends, everyone is okay. Maybe an OVA down the road?
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Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 22

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As Izuru serves tea on the Godinion’s bridge, the Rabbits arrive at the gate just as Lutier and Dorgna’s fleets are coming through it. Tamaki goes after Lutier as Asagi heads to the gate’s core to plant the target marker. Lutier blocks his path, but the other Rabbits surround Lutier, and blow her to bits. Asagi plants the marker, but the laser attack is absorbed by the gate’s energy shield. Dorgana surrounds the crestfallen Rabbits.

And so the climactic mega-battle everything’s been building to finally commences, and we were most impressed with its might and grandeur, as Earth throws everything they have left at the Wulgaru gate. Vast Napoleonic lines and webs of starships exchanging multi-color laser fire at one another can quickly grow monotonous, so the episode wisely mixes up many different kinds of battles, including a very novel multi-stage dogfight with the pesky, sadistic Lutier, whom Tamaki isn’t forgiving for killing Patrick. Asagi proves he’s a capable leader, and even Ange behaves himself and listens to orders.

Yes, Earth’s big trump card ultimately failed in a stunningly executed (if not altogether unexpected) twist of fate, but they’re not out of the fight yet. The challenge now is to bring down something as massive as the gate with conventional projectile weapons. Our first thought was, simply lob Star Rose at it; it’s the biggest “projectile” they have in their armory. Of course, we’re not expecting that gate to go anywhere before Jiart, Rumes, and their fleets come through to make things even more difficult. The Rabbits survived the first stage of the battle, but will we lose anyone in the onslaught to follow?

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • At first we were scratching our heads at the impromptu lunch scene aboard the Godinion, but then we realized, they’re not at the front lines, so there were going to be some stretches of…nothing. 
  • In the end, we liked how the scene served as a kind of “coming up for air”, a brief respite in which even the exciting battle music pauses.
  • Simon takes his plan not working pretty well, all things considered. Does anything phase this guy?
  • The remaining Wulgaru generals are the smartest and most pragmatic of the original bunch, so things are surely going to get worse before they get better.
  • Will give Lutier this: her birdlike AHSMB was a gorgeous machine.

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)

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 19

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With the global military in shambles and Team Rabbits’ AHSMBs still being rebuilt, the Dobermans are given a recon mission that is crucial to the survival of mankind. They must locate the dimensional gate the Wulgaru are using, which lies beyond Saturn, further than humanity has ever gone. Using laser-fueled sails and booster missiles, they get close enough to the gate to gather data, but due to solar storms they must get it back to Earth in person. Legatus Lutier sends a fleet after them. Randy and Patrick are killed, but Rakesh survives when the Godinion arrives, and Lutier withdraws.

Lately this series has been making abundantly clear just how narrow a margin of error mankind has in order to survive the onslaught of the Wulgaru. Their top secret elite pilot training facility was almost wiped out last week – which would have been Game Over – but if they don’t find a way to close the gate the Wulgaru are using, it’ll be Game Over anyway. We see civilian protests calling for greater defensive measures, but the global military is utterly tapped out, and as the perceptive (and tipsy) Amane points out during drinks with Rin, they’re led by morons.

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Theoria ominously warns them that Hitachi Izuru is essentially their only hope, even as he deals with medical exams that continue to worry his examiners. Still, Izuru and the others can’t do anything until their suits are repaired, which means it was the Dobermans’ turn to get the job done under heavy duress. The episode makes sure Patrick and Rakesh set death flags before setting off on their insanely dangerous mission to a part of the solar system no man has ever reached until, conveniently, now. But it’s Randy and Patrick who die: Randy in a blaze of glory, Patrick literally quartered by behind.

Their deaths are notable for being the first major character deaths on the “good guy” side. There frankly wasn’t much to Randy and Patrick aside from liking porn and Tamaki, respectively, but it makes us wonder if there are more casualties in store among the Rabbits and their command and support crews. With five episodes left, anything could happen. On its technical merits, this was also another exceptionally executed episode, including the Dobermans’ 120-hour cruise to Neptune and Suruga and the Godinion kicking some yellow Wulgaru ass.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 17

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Ange is sent to assist the fleets on the front lines, but the rest of the Rabbits turn around and head to earth, where an independent Wulgaru detachment is headed, targeting the Gurantseere Academy. The detachment is led by Klein, who wants revenge for what the lumata did to him. Lumes (Rumes?) wants to join him, but is ordered to stay put. Izuru, Asagi, and Tamaki intercept them in time and stall them as Kei coordinates from orbit. Further out in space, Suruga targets a massive optical cannon at Klein, but after firing, he either misses or it is ineffective, as Klein emerges from the smoke unscathed.

Majestic Prince is nothing if not consistent –  always taking an episode off and change before the next big battle – and workmanlike in executing that battle once it comes.  This one’s the biggest so far; so big, we only get to see one half of it this week. Ange is sent to the front lines with the Dobermans, while Team Rabbits is ordered to deal with a far more imminent threat of a pissed Klein and a crafty Lumes armed with knowledge of where the humans make their elite pilots. Even snooty Price Jiart appreciates that pathetic as humans are, they’ve made a few such elites who have at least entertained him, meaning all this isn’t a complete hassle.

As for Klein, he’s still butthurt from his previous defeat by Ange, who isn’t even there for the rematch. But the Rabbits work much better as a team without that dude(ette), and while watching him/her battle among massive fleets of warring ships in space, the episode’s showpiece is the battle on earth, which starts with with Izuru and Asagi piggybacking on Tamaki’s Rose 3 as it barrels into the atmosphere. The Rabbits-on-Wulgaru skirmishing is kept fresh with the new backdrop of the blue sky and fluffy clouds. Suruga’s ultra-sniper weapon may have failed, but it looked awesome doing so.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Curiously, Amane isn’t promoted to Admiral in this episode. Not yet, anyway.
  • The other rabbits want to know how Izuru’s “date” went, knowing full well he only had five minutes with the girl, and she had a chaperone. It was a disaster.
  • Up until Asagi says otherwise, Tamaki had always believed she was the Ace of the team. She does have the biggest, toughest, most powerful mecha, after all.
  • The camera cut to the reaction shots of the evacuating humans on the surface, but one guy stuck out like a sore thumb on a few occasions…Click here to see what we’re on about.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 16

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Izuru undergoes more tests, but is judged to be fine. The Rabbits throw an official welcoming party for Ange. Amane, armed with the knowledge of a Wulgaru defector from Rin, is chosen to accompany the C-in-C of the GDF to a meeting with various economic powers. Simon offers Izuru and Asagi the chance to quit Team Rabbits and become instructors; they both decline. Daneel informs Izuru that Theoria wants to have dinner with him. He brings Asagi along for support, but before Theoria can get to why she invited him, the Wulgaru break through the absolute defense line, and the Rabbits are ordered to sortie.

Team Rabbits may be the heroes and potential saviors of mankind with their advanced, Wulgaru-based AHSMB suits, but they are also serving as test pilots, ironing out the kinks in the system before expanding the fleet. That’s sensible; if something goes wrong and an AHSMB wipes the personality of a pilot, he or she may do more harm than good (imagine an entire fleet of crazed Anges, taking orders from no one…chaos!) Then the political angle comes into play: the GDF doesn’t want to show its entire hand to rival powers, choosing to only sell older tech to appease them.

Amane (again quickly rising in the world as we thought she would) rightly calls this behavior out as petty squabbling amongst powers when the entire earth is at equal risk of being annihilated by the Wulgaru. We were also listening when Theoria lamented that her people are only looking out for number one; they are cultureless but for the hunt. But there’s a degree of that selfishness in humanity as well, which may be their undoing. It’s nice and all that Izuru and Asagi want to remain as pilots, protecting those they care about, but is that enough against the enormity of their foe?


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observations:

  • After last week’s thrilling battle, Team Rabbits is off-duty the entire episode.
  • They throw a party for Ange, but still no one is able to glean his/her true gender.
  • Tamaki is totally oblivious of Patrick’s interest in her, assuming he’s checking out Giuliano behind her. Poor Pat!
  • The “date strategy” meeting is pretty fun: Izuru is told the key to Theoria’s heart is to feed her pickled fish guts, compliment her cake, look cool while complimenting her as she talks, and doing little things to show he cares.
  • Theoria asks Daneel to pick a place, and he asks Peko, who chooses the Red Comet Okonomiyaki Teppanyaki Grill.
  • We guess it would be presumptuous to hope that when everything shakes out, Amane becomes the new head of the GDF…or even the President of Earth? She’s such a go-getter!

 

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 14

Theoria, Hitachi Izuru

Izuru succeeds in getting Ange to interact more with the team, but the newbie only proceeds to school everyone in everything from physical training, war games (at which Asagi excels) knowledge of weaponry and marksmanship (at which Suruga excels), and even baking desserts (which is Kei’s passion). Still, the team is scared of setting him/her off, and so grin and bare it. Theoria strikes up a conversation with Izuru, confirming that he hasn’t changed from the boy she was friends with, and still considers him both a friend and a hero. She asks him to promise to always come home alive.

The Rabbits are ordered to resuce a supply ship piloted by the Dobermans, which has gotten stuck in the irregular gravity belt, “Ship Grave Attractor.” When they arrive to make repairs, Jiart ambushes them. Ange snaps and tries to attack Jiart, but is unsuccessful. Izuru, buoyed by Theoria’s words, crosses swords with Jiart once more. His harmonic levels hit a personal high and keep rising, and Red 5’s frame evolves and eventually cannot process Izuru’s commands fast enough. Jiart also evolves, but the Dobermans’ ship is repaired and opens fire, causing him to withdraw.

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Having thoroughly terrified his teammates, everyone is extra careful with Ange, who immediately becomes the most petulant, most schizophrenic, and ironically most capable Rabbit of them all. It’s both humorous and somewhat irritating to see him soundly destroy everyone at their own game while maintaining his polite, modest composure. But once he enters a real battle, he simply loses it and will not cooperate or respond to any order. Last week that served him well, but this week he’s merely swatted away by Jiart, no doubt a humbling experience for Ange, who’s never faced a challenge he couldn’t clear with obnoxious ease.

As for Izuru, he proves to be more than capable of holding his own against the Wulgaru Prince who has tagged him as his personal “lumata.” This is because his harmonic levels are tied to his confidence and overall happiness, both of which were enhanced immeasurably by his princess, Theoria. We may be fans of Izuru+Kei, but the fact of the matter is, Theoria and Izuru have a history, they have chemistry, and most importantly, Izuru is aware of her feelings for him. It’s not the most romantic relationship, but it’s enough for Izuru to fight so hard, Jiart actually has to break a sweat.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • This episode managed to blend some of the better comedy of the series with some of the best action, hence the high rating.
  • We still don’t quite know Ange’s gender. The boys hope to use porn to change that…rather than, you know, asking him/her.
  • Note that Ange doesn’t one-up Tamaki at anything, because her skills are, shall we say, harder to quantify…or identify.
  • We did like how she likened the gravity belt to a kind of “space water slide.”
  • After being such a pill, it was nice to see Jiart of all people take Ange down a couple of pegs. He may be a one-dimensional villain, but this week he was the man.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 13

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The ship Suruga was waiting for his entire day off turns out to be transporting a new AHSMB, Black 6, to be piloted by a new member of Team Rabbits, Ange Kuroki. While seemingly shy and submissive at first, after engaging in a mock battle with Izuru (which he wins handily) his personality totally changes; a slap from Kei and the soft-spoken Ange returns. The MJPs are deployed to 4 Vesta to defend the GDF base from a Wulgaru attack led by Klein. Ange ignores all orders and operates on his own, destroying Klein’s entire squadron, then Klein himself, all while displaying the highest harmonic levels ever seen.

Well, that’s one way to shake things up! With a new half-season comes a new character, the “aloof ace”, someone who isn’t concerned with hobbies, socializing with his teammates, or even listening to a damn word they say. Ange Kuroki…well, he gets Angery. Ahem…we mean angry. He totally schools Izuru, then looks down on him. His AHSMB is the most advanced unit, and he must be the product of some new training program that’s left him less functional as a complete human being than the others. He’s not fitting in, nor does he seem to want to. Sure, Ange disobeyed orders, broke formation and did whatever he wanted, but he got the job done, and the superiors only care about results.

With the possibility Ange ever becoming one of the team being remote when he and his AHSMB are so far ahead of the curve, you have to wonder why he isn’t just his own one-man team. He certainly makes the other Rabbits look bad; no one but Ange is able to save an ambused Kei, who let herself get surrounded, and Tamaki just blasted after the first bogey Kei saw: a decoy. Add a pinned Izuru and Asagi and an inaccurate Suruga, and the team looked pretty poor out there. Even so, we’ve seen what they’re capable of and know they’re better than this. It just seems like Ange served as a hair in their pickled fish guts. Unfortunately for them, it’s a hair they’ll have to live with.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re assuming Ange’s a male and not a female, though he obviously has at least two distinct personalities. FWIW he’s voiced by a lady; Watanabe Akeno, who’s voiced characters of both genders, including Gou from Free!
  • That said, we like how disenchanted Suruga and Tamaki get after Ange’s revealing tantrum.
  • As if we didn’t have enough reasons to love Kei, she’s the first to slap Ange. Excellent!
  • Rin keeps trying to get closer to Izuru, only for him to completely not notice her. Keep at it, Kei!
  • We like the new OP and ED; we liked the old ones too but it’s good to freshen things up.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 12

Kugimiya Kei, Irie Tamaki

Izuru, Asagi, and Suruga have days off while Tamaki and Kei go on a PR tour with Peko. Izuru works on his manga and tries to show it to the pit crews. Asagi spends the day shopping with his pit crew member Anna. Suruga spends the entire day doing EVA with his crew, waiting for a countdown to end and a ship to appear. Tamaki and Kei go from photo op to photo op, wearing various costumes and helping to promote the GDF.

It would be…generous to say anything of consequence happened this week. This is a two-cour series, which means there’s going to be lightweight episodes like this, particularly after the revelatory, action-packed battle of last week. These kids need a break, but interestingly two of them don’t get one. The ladies are pressed into P.R. service, which strikes us as a little unfair. Why do the guys get to do what they want while Tamaki and Kei endure a dizzying schedule of photo ops? We don’t know, but the ladies do perform admirably.

The only thing we can say about this episode is that we’re glad it wasn’t just a straight recap. We hate recaps, and while there were a few recap moments, the episode had enough new material not to just fast-forward through in disappointment. There were some nice character moments, both between Tamaki and Kei and Asagi and that random girl on his pit crew, while repeatedly cutting back to Suruga out in space gave a nice slight sense of mystery to the episode, even if it’s never really explained what that ship is and why he was waiting for it.


Rating: 5 (Average)

Ginga Kikotai Majestic Prince – 08

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The battle to destroy the Wulgaru base Ragazza commences earlier than planned, and the GDF first line of defense crumbles. Team Rabbits mobilizes, but once Izuru is locked in single combat with Pleguzes Jiart, the team starts act independently and erratically. Izuru gives Asagi command of the rest of the team, and they start coordinating their efforts to great effect. The GDF’s heavy laser is able to get a second shot off, but is destroyed out by another Wulgaru force from above. Jiart cracks the housing to Izuru’s cockpit, and the two adversaries see who they’re fighting. Jiart withdraws, vowing they’ll duel again.

The key to a good space battle is keeping things interesting and tension levels high, and this episode excelled at both, putting the battle in the last episode of Valvrave to shame. Despite taking up the entire episode, we weren’t bored with the action for one minute. It also flowed very fluidly, as opposed to the choppy, somewhat jarring, and inelegant Valvrave battle. Hell, this battle lasted so long, people had to return to base to resupply on weapons and ammo. And for the second straight mission, Team Rabbits distinguished themselves. The battle started out rocky, with everyone holding their own against the Wulgaru but no one working together, since the leader Izuru was off fighting Jiart.

His duel was vital in distracting and stalling Jiart, who was so excited to be fighting someone near his own level, he didn’t bother participating in the attack on the vulnerable GDF fleet. Once Izuru gives Asagi command of the Rabbits, shit starts getting organized, and before long the team is a well-oiled ass-kicking machine. It’s a superb transition that even they notice and revel in. As for Jiart, once he sees the dude inside Red 5, and Izuru sees him, it’s for the first time, and rather than finish him, he flies off, hopeful for a future encounter. Izuru can’t help but notice the resemblance between his Wulgaru opponent and Theoria, the white-haired girl that interests him. So we’ll see where that goes.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Asagi really does a bang-up job as the leader, not complaining about his stomach once and making snap decisions to best utilize his teammates.
  • Everyone is useful in this battle, from Suruga, using his weapons knowledge to make sure he’s fully equipped; Tamaki launching herself at the Wulgaru and laying waste; and Kei coordinating units even faster than her Doberman counterpart can manage.
  • Komine very nearly loses the battle with his absolutely dreadful command decisions. The guy is a liability, and we sorely hope Lt. Amane takes action to rectify this soon.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 06

Suruga Ataru, Asagi Toshikazu, Irie Tamaki, Hitachi Izuru, Kugimiya Kei

After their victory at RA122, the Rabbits return to academy, where Suzukaze informs them they’ll be graduated early and enter the GDF army. They move out of their dorms and reminice on how they met as a team and eventually gelled. They then perform a competent demonstration in their AHSMBs that impresses the student body. After their graduation ceremony they board a bus, and the entire school assembles to salute them as they leave, perhaps never to return.

This episode had an air of final episode-ness to it, only we’re just a quarter of the way through the series. The young, now affectionately-named “Team Fail” is leaving the academy because they didn’t fail; they proved they were ready for prime time. We like this move and its promptness; we didn’t need another few episodes of them dicking around in school when there’s real battles to be fought. As Commander Simon says, there’s nothing more for them to learn at the academy. Their new schoolroom will be space and the war with the Wulgaru, and they’ll only progress with JURIA integration if their lives are put on the line.

Somewhat ironically, we hadn’t seen a whole lot of the team at academy, which is where they’d spent the majority of their time prior to becoming the Majestic Princes, so while this was a farewell tour of the school for them, it was simultaneously an introduction to their student lives for us. Despite not spending a lot of time here, the emotions of suddenly leaving a familiar place and entering adulthood are very relatable themes. They’re excited about going and meeting their destinies, but they’re also weary of “leaving the nest” and eveything they knew for drastically different and far more hazardous lives. Next week, their military careers officially begin.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We liked how a group of classmates did not instantly lavish praise on them for their victory. After all, they assumed the Dobermans were the key to success, even though the Princes did all the heavy lifting.
  • Even better, that same guy who mocked Asagi comes back after the demonstration to apologize. Classy move.
  • Lt. Amane is merely stewing for now, but we’ll see if her discontent with her superiors’ superiors leads to action in the future.
  • Subverting expectations for a fiasco, the Princes actually perform a clean demonstration, greatly improving their standing with the students.
  • Of course Asagi trips and falls at the graduation cremony.
  • Tamaki tearing up as the bus pulls away from their former home is a subtle but touching little moment.
  • Turns out those ships that escapes the base’s explosion were just Wulgaru.
  • Speaking of which, we finally see some Wulgaru in the flesh! And they’re damned silly-looking, with an aesthetic that combines sci-fi with midieval fantasy.
  • Their presence makes us wonder: is that white-haired chick one of them? She certainly has an otherworldly air to her.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 05

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After some shaky supplemental training on Earth, Team Rabbits’ suits are repaired and they are paired up with Team Doberman for a new mission to destroy a Wulgaru base. Doberman’s leader Randy gives Izuru some tips about how to be a hero, and lends him what turns out to be a sex tape. When they arrive at the planetoid, a fleet of Wulgaru enemies swarms over the base. Dobermans distract them while Izuru, Kei and Suruga infiltrate the base and Asagi and Tamaki guard their exit. The bomb they brought is damaged, but Izuru gives Suruga the time he needs to repair it. It explodes, and Tamaki saves them from the blast wave.

After a string of morale-busting failures, the Majestic Princes are given another chance to prove themselves to their superiors, their peers, and the world, after being labeled fuck-ups and one-hit-wonders. The Dobermans’ leader Randy, while possibly a pervert and a cad, nevertheless inspires Izuru and provides sound advice: there’s more to being a hero than simply saving the day on your own. Izuru has to learn to trust his comrades, project and air of confidence, make quick decisions, and never give up. Randy also advises him to enjoy life, meet people, and make memories, as every mission could be his last.

This mission isn’t Izuru’s last, nor is it anyone elses’, as they score a decisive victory despite having to deal with a whole Wulgaru task force in addition to the base’s defenses. This was the best-looking and most exciting battle since the first one, and we’re relieved that the quality of these sequences has been maintained. The Dobermans, initially thought to be taking the lead on the mission, end up playing a supporting role; it’s Izuru and the Rabbits’ show, and they don’t disappoint, ending their losing streak and proving that when properly motivated, the Fail Five can succeed with style and authority.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • The Rabbits’ individual reactions to the sex tape were worth a chuckle, particularly the fact Izuru and Asagi didn’t stop watching until the end…
  • Tamaki’s always complaining about her weight, but it’s her Rose’s width that keeps her from entering the base.
  • Izuru sees a small group of ships escaping from the blown-up base. Who could they be…just Wulgaru, or …someone else?

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 01

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Team Rabbits is a group of underachieving GDF AHSMB (mecha) trainee pilots who don’t gel well and score poorly in training exercises. When a huge Wulgaru (alien) fleet attacks the GDF’s forward base at Undina, they are sent into active duty in real-deal AHSMBs; each pilot given a specific role. Their mission is to simply buy enough time for Undina’s forces to evacuate, but they notice civilians were left behind, and they stand their ground. They do enough damage to force the Wulgaru fleet to retreat.

This series immediately immerses us in the middle of a heated space battle, and we’re thinking “alright, this could be cool.” Then we start seeing characters in the quite-unmistakable style of Hirai Hisahi of the excellent Gundam SEED/Destiny saga, and we take in their snappy interactions and very simple but well-defined personalities and we start warming up to it. Like Gundam, these are mecha pilots whose circumstances lead them to accomplish great things. Unlike SEED, these guys start out as slackers, who haven’t yet figured out how to work as a team or fully exploit their innate talents.

But whether it’s beginners luck or something just clicking, all five of them rise to the occasion when it matters most: when lifes are depending on them. They even go beyond the call of duty when they realize how awesome their new mecha are. They end up surprising everyone, including themselves. Color us surprised, too: while the characters have that unique, simple look of Gundam Seed, this is a fully modern series with suitably up-to-date production values. When the real fighting begins and the misfits find themselves in the big leagues, the pace quickens and after some initial disorientation, the team finds a groove and goes for it, which seems to be what their commander Simon was hoping for. But mostly this outing was just flat-out FUN.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • While the characters look very Gundam SEEDy, they’re way more lively and free to show goofy emotions, which they do in rapid succession.
  • At the same time, the space procedural operations-speak Gundam is known for is here in force during deployment sequences and lots of lingo, although not an oppresive amount of it.
  • The episode is also very efficient; Vividred insisted on showing each of its girls transforming individually; this one shows everyone launching at the same time in a 4-way split screen, multiplayer-style. More of this.
  • The bad guys are pretty one-dimensional so far, but that’s okay.
  • PEW PEW! KABLAMO!