Satellizer's past is revealed in the midst of her getting the snot beaten out of her.
What They Say:
Realizing they've been tricked, Rana and Satellizer join forces in an attempt to turn the tables on their attackers. The battle rages out of control until a painful flashback triggers a powerful outburst from Satellizer!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The introduction of Rana in the previous episode certainly changed the dynamic a bit since, even though she's quite skilled and can be cunning and brutal, she's there with a mission but she has a smile on her face. With so many of the characters, all of them it seems, having been introduced with permanent scowls on their face, she was a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of them. It was little surprise that she got tied to Satellizer as well in a sense as the two are competing for Kazuya's attentions, particularly since Satellizer hasn't exactly gone by the book in working and bonding with her Limiter. Kazuya's a whole other kettle of fish in general since he's got some surprising abilities about him that has others wanting him, so this is only going to get worse as it goes on.
A good part of this episode is given over to the fight that ensues between the girls and like previous episodes, it has its moments since the choreography here is one of the shows selling points and having it take place in a lighted area lets it shine a bit more. It all still has a soft look to it though which reduces the impact of it since it's never quite clean and clear in a way. While the fight goes about as expected with issues all around, it does lead to us spending a good amount of time on Satellizer's past from when she first became a part of the Bridget household and the problems she had there, particularly from the one boy, Luis, that was completely cruel and taunting with her, controlling her completely in a way that certainly has scarred her to this day. It's pretty creepy in general but it goes even further with some of what the kid does that's implied.
With this piece in the middle of the action, which does a nice job of showing why Satellizer is like she is, it breaks things up in a decent manner before she really gets going against them. The combination of her and Rana is certainly interesting to watch and getting some of the motivation behind Satellizer revealed we get a better understanding of why she's acting like she is. The intensity of the fights makes this more engaging than it would be otherwise, since it is bloody, but the fanservice side of it continues to throw it off. If there was less of that with the blatant obscured nudity (what a phrase!), it'd all flow much better and not feel as forced and contrived. Combining that with the soft approach used to the animation style and it weakens it overall, though a lot of the quality still does shine through.
By this point of the series, I'm still really not sure what to make of it. There's a lot of large plot gaps that need to be talked about so all of this makes some amount of sense in the larger narrative, but even taking that out of the picture this is just one cruelly run school where there's nary an instructor in sight as the kids run wild in beating the snot out of each other in grudge matches outside of the normal training sequences. There's a lot of pent up anger being let loose here and a lot of these kids have some serious background issues that makes them less than ideal candidates for their supposed future as warriors against an invading alien race. Since none of them seem to know to follow the rules or chain of command, even though they insist on it, it's like asking for more and more disasters to occur.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.