Plain and simple; it's war.
What They Say
There is no happiness in the world.
There is no joy. If anything, it is a dark and needy world.
However, that is just one state of the world...
There are beautiful things, filthy things, harsh things, and even enjoyable things...How you take them will be up to you?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I went into this episode with a bit of trepidation after the news, welcome news, that episodes thirteen and fourteen were going to be DVD only releases but that we'd be getting them streamed when they come out in Japan. With that being September, the idea (one that Japanese fans regularly deal with, I know) that I'd have to wait five or six months to see the finale to the series took a lot of the motivation out of watching this one. Of course, once you load up the episode we're told that episode thirteen will stream next week without a problem and the Japanese Blu-ray listings don't indicate that volume seven will have anything more than episodes twelve and thirteen, though it may just be a lack of clarity in the description.
The situation has turned from bad to worse as events play out after the arrival of Aisha in the last episode. With the Roman army now at the border and men within the local military eager for war because it advances civilization and science, they're ready to get everything going no matter the cost. With Aisha being shot and Noel a mess after remembering everything that happened back when she was in more detailed service to the military, everything is falling apart around them and it's felt even more so by Rio not being there. Kureha, bless her heart, is doing her best to be the strongest she can there since she feels the need to support the others but it's quickly taking a toll on her in a way that's very striking when she lets loose with it.
The story of the Flame Maidens resurfaces once again, which we expected based on the earlier episodes of the series and its importance, and it comes at the time when the girls take the center stage to do what needs to be done to protect everyone. The culmination of a lot of things from the show is brought out beautifully here as Yumina recounts the legend while the tank takes to the field at long last and the team acts in a way that's really right as they've spent so much time together now and have actually done drills as well. The animation for it is really striking as the blend of CG and background and character animation flows together.
At the end of the episode, all the trepidation is gone and I'll even admit that I'm not all that concerned about any future episodes. What we get here is a perfect ending to the series and anything further is either going to be pure gravy or something that has no real impact. But then again, Soranowoto has been about the characters and their small moments from the start so any additional episodes are likely to be more of that so it's going to be good anyway. The series took a different turn in the last few episodes and it played out well, culminating in an excellent episode here that gives us an idea of how intriguing this series could have been if it focused a little bit larger on events and characters. This has been a beautiful show, one that has some seriously slow moments, but it ends it on a big note and shows the destination of the characters whose path has been intriguing from the start.
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.