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 – 23

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After the Straggle Laser and sublight missles fail, the Wulgaru start to wail on the Earth forces. An impatient Jiart sorties hoping to draw Izuru out, and Dorgana fights with Ange. When Suzukaze runs out of options, she grudgingly lets Izuru sortie, allowing Asagi and Tamaki to refuel. Theoria and Daneel launch, and she orders the Wulgar to retreat. The Straggle Lasers recharge and fire at the gate again, but are destroyed by Dorgana. Simon orders the Star Rose evacuated in preparation to ram it into the gate.

We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t a part of us that believed the battle would end this week, allowing the finale to be all aftermath/epilogue. That didn’t happen, as the battle rages on, but we have to hand it to this episode for successfully sustaining the heated action. At the end of last week the humans were down, but not out. There was some hope non-energy weapons would be able to penetrate the gate’s armor, but that hope fizzled out as well. Then, just when the six hours needed to recharge the lasers passes and they re-fire, they’re extinguished in an instant. The Rabbits and Theoria do their part, but ultimately that gate will have to be closed using the only projectile big enough to do any damage: Star Rose itself.

As soon as Star Rose accompanied the battle fleet, it became “Chekhov’s Star Rose”, a weapon whose mere presence assured it would ultimately be used. Simon seems poised to pilot the thing to the target, saving Amane from sacrificing herself. But before it gets there, there’s still a lot of battle yet to be fought. Much was made of the fact that Izuru’s next sortie would be his last, and here he is sortieing. Simon looks poised to go out with a bang as well. Predictions about who will live or die aside, that gate’s gotta come down; its just a matter of how and how quickly mankind secures victory, allowing the rest of the finale to deal with the aftermath.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

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 – 20

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Everyone is shaken and numb from the death of Randy and Patrick. Rakesh gives Tamaki the gift Patrick meant to give her when he returned: premium pickled fish guts. Kei shares her bed with Tamaki but they can’t sleep, so they join the other Rabbits in Asagi’s room. Izuru passes out and turns out to be suffering from accelerated aging. When Asagi activates Red 5 during tests, Suzukane reveals to him that he and Izuru share paternal DNA, sourced from Cmdr. Simon. With help from Theoria, Amane is able to convince the world powers to join forces to destroy the Wulgaru base.

Last week while drinking with Suzukane, Captain Amane lambasted world leaders as impotent morons. This week, as GDF Chief of Staff for Operations, it falls to her to convince those assembled morons that they must combine their forces at one big offensive aimed at the Wulgaru gate if humanity is to have a chance. Not surprisingly to her or us, she isn’t able to do so, at least not without a badass entrance from Princess Theoria, who pledges to fight by their side. So the course to mankind’s salvation set. The question is, will they actually be able to ice that gate?

Team Rabbits doesn’t see any action this week, but had to deal with a lot: Izuru’s health is rapidly deteriorating, which worries Ke. Tamaki is distraught upon realizing Patrick liked her. Asagi suddenly learns he and Izuru are technically brothers, with Simon as their likely father. Needless to say, no one is in a particularly optimum psychological state at a pivotal time. In the final four episodes (or three, if four is a prologue) the Rabbits will have to put aside all their ills and rise to the occasion. That gate’s gotta go.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 18

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Klein survives Suruga’s first blast. Kei and the pit crews’ ships help recharge his cannon while Izuru, Asagi and Tamaki keep Klein and his support at bay. Izuru and Asagi are able to pin Klein down, and Rose 3 kamikazes her AHSMB into him, with Tamaki ejecting at the last moment. Suruga fires the cannon at Rose 3, and Klein is destroyed. Dorgana’s fleet withdraws. As Team Rabbits rests and their AHSMBs repaired, the Wulgaru hold a meeting to decide their next course of action. Later, Radha overhears Jiart and Lumes discussing Teoria. They frame him for treason, then pursue and kill him.

Thanks to Team Rabbits, the Dobermans, and some very un-Wulgaru-like sacrificial tactics, humanity lives to fight another day, if only just. Their victory this week is Pyrrhic, as the GDF fleet is in tatters and all of the Rabbits’ AHSMBs were virtually destroyed; all to take out arguably the weakest and stupidest Wulgaru commander in Klein. If Lutiel had her way and the remaining commanders launch an all out attack on Earth, humanity wouldn’t have a chance. But interestingly, the fact that they successfully take out Klein actually makes the Wulgaru a bit antsy, preferring to sit back and wait for their wounded prey to succumb on its own.

With the political bickering going on between the economic powers, that’s probably the safer choice; bereft of a common enemy, they’ll eventually turn on each other – it’s just what we do. Yet it’s because these “primitives” managed to not only take out Klein and hold them back, but fight on almost equal terms with Jiart that fascinates him so, and why he and his loyal subordinate Lumes want those human genes now more than ever. Still, every day they waffle in their plans to conquer Earth is a day earth, the GDF, Team Rabbits, and his sister Theoria have to prepare their defenses, making the ultimate battle that much tougher.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

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 – 10

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The Wulgaru defector, Theoria, tells Team Rabbits that humanity was one of many species that evolved as a result of the Wulgaru spreading their genes across the galaxy to combat death. They then engage in “hunts”, the latest of which is against Earth. Simon and GDF intend to use the Rabbits as decoys and trump cards, knowing the Wulgaru will consider them prized prey. Theoria also tells Izuru they were once close friends, which explains his familiar feeling he has around her. Back at Wulgaru HQ, Jiart declares the earthling he encountered to be his personal prey, and that his compatriots should also each choose one of the other four earthlings who put up a fight during the Battle of Ceres. Simon informs the Rabbits that a Wulgaru vessel has been found on Mars.

Like the queerats of New World and the Hideauze of Gargantia, the Wulgaru share genetic commonality with humans, who now find themselves locked in combat with them. But if it weren’t for the Wulgaru, the human race wouldn’t exist; the reverse of those other two scenarios. Humans are one of many genetic “crops” the Wulgaru have spread across the galaxy in hopes of keeping their civilization alive. We wish the show would let us in on exactly how killing off large numbers of humans extends the Wulgaru lifespan (???) but there it is. Theoria and her missing mother are Wulgaru noblewomen who oppose such “hunts” and she’s worked with the GDF to devise defenses against Wulgaru belligerence.

There’s a lot of Majestic Prince yet to watch, so this was a good time to reveal these truths. It speaks to a larger theme of honesty always having a positive impact on things. Now that the Rabbits know the score, they can psychologically prepare. Izuru, Tamaki, and Suruga are synching better to their AHSMBs because they’re open and honest with their feelings, while Asagi and Kei struggle because they’re more introspective and self-conscious. Every time Izuru and Theoria talk to each other, Kei has this subtle look of irritation on her face, but if she has something to say, she hasn’t expressed it strongly enough for Izuru to notice. We’ll see if either she or Asagi open up a little more. Their lives may depend on it.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Both Izuru and Tamaki are excited to meet Theoria and Daneel, respectively, but they go about expressing their attraction in very different ways.
  • For Theoria’s part, she seems game about one day reconnecting with Izuru.
  • Jiart: Kinda a dick. His brother’s king, but gives him a lot of leeway.
  • Can’t get on board with the other Wulgaru generals. Aside from the fact they all look ridiculous, they’re little more than sniveling thugs.
  • We didn’t realize just how ENORMOUS Tamaki’s AHSMB was until they showed them all to scale.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 09

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Before returning to base, Izuru is forbidden by Suzukaze from discussing with anyone that he saw a Wulgaru up close, and she won’t tell him anything. After waiting for him to come back, Kei goes looking for Izuru and finds him, but he’s distracted by Theoria and runs in vain after her. While the Wulgaru did withdraw, the Rabbits see that the massive losses the GDF suffered take a toll on general morale. Two GDF operators are about to buy them dessert when they are summoned by Commander Simon, who decides to divulge that the Wulgaru resemble humans, and furthermore, their AHSMBs were developed using technology shared with the GDF by a Wulgaru defector,Theoria.

We left last week’s battle thinking Team Rabbits, and Acting Leader Asagi did a pretty good job under the circumstances, but Asagi’s lil’est pit crew member isn’t as generous with praise, dubbing him a “lame pilot.” And it gets to him, at least until Kei tries to cheer him up. There was some nice romantic tension in that little moment too, underlined by the fact that Kei was only there, in his room, because she was waiting to hear about Izuru, whom she cares about a lot. But despite how well the Rabbits may have performed, the fact remains the GDF got pwned by the Wulgaru, and would have been wiped out had the enemy not just sodded off of their own accord. It’s good to see that not even the Rabbits’ eleventh-hour heroics will always save the day.

Earth took heavy losses, and there’s fear and doubt seething through the ranks. As it turns out, the only ones who had any success against the Wulgaru at all were those using tech lifted from those very Wulgaru, courtesy of Koko Hekmatwulgar herself, Theoria. Hey, nine episodes in and we finally learn who she is! She’s also something of Izuru’s Muse/Dream Girl, which pisses of Kei to no end. Until the rest of the team learns why he’s acting so distant, Izuru also has to deal (albeit very briefly) with privileged information he can’t even tell his closest comrades, which is something of a first that would have frayed their bonds had he needed to keep that secret longer-term. Instead, the whole team is in on it, because they’ll be playing a far larger role in the conflict from now on. We look forward to it!


Rating: 8 (Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Interesting how Izuru’s AHSMB won’t move when he tries to pursue Jiart.
  • Suzukaze’s riding crop slapping across the desk was a nice little touch, literally slapping down Izuru’s curiosity. They’re no longer an Instructor and Student, they’re Captain and Subordinate  meaning it’s no longer her job to satiate his curiosity ..it’s her job to issue orders and it’s his job to follow them, period. We liked how that scene underlined the distinction and the resulting change in their character dynamic.
  • Kei pines for Izuru while Asagi pines for Kei, but Ataru and Tamaki prefer to pine for those outside of their circle, which kinda makes them the smart ones, until you realize both of them have unrealistically high standards.
  • While there was plenty of foreshadowing, Theoria’s reveal, combined with the revelation about the AHSMBs being derived from Wulgaru designs was still surprisingly thrilling.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 04

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The Princes engage the Wulgaru and fight hard, but they eventually run low on ammo and power and must retreat. In the process, Izuru sticks his neck out to protect both Tamaki and Kei. With everyone’s  suits heavily damaged, the Princes return to Gurantseere Cosmopolitan Academy. On the way they meet Team Doberman, the older pilots who helped bail them out.

The Princes are unable to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat – the odds are simply too stacked against them – but in the end they exhibit good teamwork and most importantly, they all survive the battle. This despite an incompetent dick of a commanding officer, Komine, who would just as soon leave them out there to get slaughtered. Rin and Simon have to step in to ensure the Princes’ lives aren’t squandered to satisfy Komine’s pride.

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Aside from their retreat and subsequent hanging out in their rec area, the Princes don’t do all that much. This episode decides to focus more on Suzukaze Rin, who carries the burden of having to train a team of young pilots not originally suited for teamwork, but who are also incomplete individuals due to their childhood memories being erased. While getting drunk under the table by her childhood friend Reika, Rin-Rin laments the Wulgaru’s superiority.

The episode starts with a brief flashback to when Simon first assigns Rin to the Rabbits. Simon reveals that he’s invested in making sure that the kids’ potential is fully realized. He knows it won’t be easy to train them to be a better team, but is willing to give them the chance to prove themselves. So far the results have been mixed, but there have been flashes of greatness and progress is steady. So maybe it was just the sake talking.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Various character interests: Izuru gets lost in his manga drawings and their accompanying stories. Both Rin and Kei enjoy sweets. Tamaki likes boys. Ataru likes girls and geeks out on military equipment. Asagi likes antacids. Reika enjoys booze. Theoria likes picture books (we think).
  • Reika’s boobs…how can we put this…they’re just too big.
  • Will Team Doberman be friendly and eager to lend their wisdom to the Princes? Or will they be arrogant bullies? We’ll see…