Nothing like a little sun and fun before the big event!
What They Say:
Episode 12 - Untitled
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Taking on the feel of something much bigger than we've seen, on the scale of countries signing peace treaties and other documents, one has now been signed that will put Rio and Rina together in a match that has drawn all sorts of international attention. It's kind of amusing that it's gone to this level of interest around the world as Howard works his particular magic to try and get his resort back, and then takes all the girls off on a vacation to someplace warm where the sun is bright and the clothes are minimal. Howard's efforts aren't entirely noble of course since he wants to get things back to the way they were, but there is the added bonus of lots of very pretty girls in skimpy outfits walking around for awhile.
The show has an interesting angle to play where Rio finds her way back to her childhood home, which has been kept pretty much the same since those days. It's nice to see some pleasant memories surface from her childhood with photos that are there and the heartwarming feelings she has for Rina. It's a fairly relaxed piece in its own way for much of it as we see the girls enjoying the vacation they're on, but it has that undercurrent of something more ominous happening. There's a minor threat that comes into play during part of it where Rina shows up and saves the day in a rather curious fashion, which does help reinforce that she's not really a bad person. But that's been a given for quite awhile as there are very few truly bad people here, just those with their own agendas that may not always seem like they're doing positive things with their lives.
And that becomes one of the basics that comes out as Rina admits she knows exactly what kinds of lies Cartia's been telling her. Often you wonder how a character can be so stupid so as to not understand these things, but Rina knows it and understands it, but uses it as the reason for getting back on track with her life and simply following the course that she's on. She's not slavishly following Cartia because she believes the lies she's being told, rather she's following Cartia because the lie gives her something to believe in and use as motivation for moving forward with her life. It's not an easy thing for Howard to understand when he gets it, but it does change the perception of Rina just a little bit more from how she started off and why she's going through with events as they are.
The setup for the final gate battle that will settle the series is decently done here, though it could have used a little more fun at points to lighten it just a little bit more so it wasn't so serious. It opens well with a lot of fanservice in the sun with some fun and then starts to explore the darker side of events, touching more on the truth of the past between Rio and Rina and their mother Risa and the real reasons why Rina is doing what she's doing. All of it is for moving forward for each of them, albeit in different ways, with a whole lot at stake. The show continues to be interesting overall, though I find myself still wishing it kept to the lighter side of things, but it's now handling the serious material in an interesting and creative way as the game gets truly underway.
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.