Filicia's past is on everyone's mind, except possibly Filicia's as the Fiesta de Lumieres approaches.
What They Say
'Chirping Crickets - Spirits Down the River'
On On a summer day when the crickets chirped, the rest of the squad is worried over a depressed Filicia. Filicia was thinking back to a battle she was once in, where she wandered through a ruined city alone and met the ghost of an ancient soldier. "Is there any meaning to surviving in this world?" he asked her. At the same time, Sieze is approaching the Fiesta des Lumieres, when paper lamps are sent down the river to appease the spirits of the dead.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series has progressed, teasing out bits of the past and the shape of the world as well as having the characters interact individually with Kanata, Soranowoto has built up an interesting premise if one that moves slowly at getting to the meatier material. With the seventh episode, we get a good look back at the past that explores why the world is like it is now and how some of the various customs of today are blended into this strange hodgepodge world that has evolved. And thankfully, all of it really centers on Filicia for the most part with only minor moments by the rest of the cast as they take on a supporting role. Even Kanata is kept to the side for the most part so that Filicia's story can be told.
While Kanata knows it as Obon, the locals call the upcoming festival the Fiesta de Lumieres, which is where people light their candles and float them down the river to help guide the souls of the dead to their destinations instead of getting lost along the way. This is a particularly difficult time for many who lived through the war or had friends and relatives die during it and we learn that even Rio did not celebrate it last year. All attention is focused on Filicia though as she seems to be quieter and more withdrawn than usual, spending time on other activities instead of her cleaning chores and not even eating properly. Everyone wants to be the shoulder she can lean on, but her withdrawn nature at the moment as well as her position in general makes it difficult, even for the earnest people like Kanata.
Through flashbacks, we see a young Kanata as she's the youngest member of a tank team during the last war in the midst of an attack along the Vingt front. Their group is doing well, advancing along the line and taking out enemy tanks, but it all goes to hell quickly when the other side takes them out and Filicia is thrown out of the tank. Alone, wounded and stranded in a battlefield full of high rise buildings and rubble, she does her best to survive as the enemy scours the landscape. Whether luck or fate, she ends up falling down a hole that takes her back to a time gone by, the previous era where she sees a Japanese soldier who has written down his last words in a language she doesn't understand. A hallucination, or divine vision, shows her the past from this soldier who fought when the enemy first attacked and set the stage for the end of the world. The idea that Filicia and everyone is living on borrowed time and that they haven't accepted that they've lost, coupled with information about the enemy coming back in the present, gives us a haunting view of what may be.
The enemy is never truly clear in what they look like, though we do see their machines of war, The scope of the damage is immense as is the idea that the glory days of mankind were reached only to be lost and never to be recovered. With Filicia being the eldest of the group, her past experience in the war colors her views but gives her something stronger because of it. Seeing what she survived, and what she understood of the old era, gives us a better glimpse of the present and why it is this way. With the hints that there's more coming as well, Soranowoto ups the ante a bit if it actually delves into that side of the story. So far we've been getting to know the characters and their hard but not harsh lives, and that may be all the show is about with the war as a backdrop for it. Either way, fleshing it out even a bit like this helps immensely and made for a very good episode.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.