Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – 10

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Ernesta keeps from Aldy that Rimsy is his limiter, indicating we haven’t seen the limits of his power yet. And while Ayato and Julis walk to Saya and Kirin’s match, they encounter Irene Urzaiz whaling on some nobodies before she turns her attention to Ayato. Her very polite sister Priscilla bails him out this time, but message received: Ayato has yet another powerful opponent gunning for him.

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While I’m sure Saya and Kirin are looking forward to a fight with Allekant’s puppets, this week’s opponents are no sweat, and Ayato and Julis don’t even arrive until the match is long over, when they walk in on a nude Saya is trying in vain to grab a nude Kirin’s boobs.

After another ridiculously quick and easy match against two dolls from Queenvail, Julis (who defeated “Non-Sugar” all by herself) suggests she and Ayato have lunch, then presents the sandwiches she made, then hints at Ayato to reward her fairly by patting her head too, something Ayato didn’t know she wanted.

It’s a cute little scene that underscores how far behind Stella and Ikki these two are in the romance department. Then again every couple has their own pace and rhythms.

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They’re also merely spectators for this week’s main event between Lester and Irene, who we see in action for the first time. Lester and his partner try using the same tired old strategy against Irene: keep moving and wait for her gas-guzzling Ogre Lux to drain her dry.

But that fails when she uses gravity magic that renders Randy unconscious, then sucks the blood of her partner Priscilla to regenerate her power and assault Lester into submission. A Vampire Girl with gravity magic? Pretty sweet combo right there that’s sure to cause headaches for our wonder duo.

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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 – 14

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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 – 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?