Picking up almost where the last episode left off, Generation Bleu’s Pied Piper closes in on Okinawa just as Ao refuses to hand over the bracelet to Gazelle at any cost, and as something of a surprise he relents on the condition that he comes with them. The reason being that he’s a resident of the island too.
“Escape” by Hemenway.
At this point the Okinawan navy attempts to confront the aforementioned Japanese military vessel trespassing in their waters but the situation doesn’t exactly lend well towards it as the G-Monster continues to ravage the island. Elsewhere Gazelle reveals that the outline of a plan he has so far is to do something about this, catching up with the Japanese ship and locking onto it despite warning shots being issued, things then turn in their favour as the G-Monster turns its sights on the ship and they decide to take advantage of this chance by sending Ao to the FP that the bracelet unlocks onboard.
However it doesn’t turn out to be an FP at all, and as the previously inoperable IFO activates its screen displays a single message “Welcome Home Eureka”, transforming Ao’s hair to the same colour of turquoise as his mothers as Nirvash leaps back into action. Going on to confront the G-Monster, as Naru whose family has been picked up by Dr Fukai blames everything on Eureka, Fukai recognising Nirvash. At this point the Pied Piper as well as its two pilots Fleur and Elena finally arrive and note how amateur Ao’s piloting is as he pretty much leads the G-Monster to the Scub Coral. However in a moment of realisation Ao, having activated the Nirvash’s third engine, closes in and drives a severed arm into it.
In the aftermath to this Ao takes off with Fleur close on his heels, finding him floating in the water and rescuing him, introducing herself just as Gazelle and his group watch on from afar, deciding to check out a certain cave. However as Ao heads home he overhears Dr Fukai being confronted by the Okinawan army about him and upon seeing his now turquoise hair he takes off. While her father participates in the search, Naru also heads out looking for him and finds him further distraught at his alienness, however she consoles him about a dream that she had about him and the mythical protector of the island, and so he decides to show it to her.
Well this was a fairly good episode, the overall plot is beginning to get a bit more clearer, the strengths that the last episode had are still in play accompanied by some more awesome surfing mecha action and a good opening, and best of all Nirvash is back. Complete with a pretty cool new design.
Which honestly had to be my favourite part about this episode, the moment that Nirvash displayed those three words was just guaranteed to be one of those moments in anime that instantly puts a grin on your face, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Acting as a way of not only reminding us of its sentiency but also tying nicely to the previous series by showing it’s still the same old Nirvash despite the new design. Which is actually pretty cool so far as well, the white and burgundy is gone in favour of a more artificial grey and fluorescent green and so far it seems as if it’s gone through a much more weapon orientated transformation process, now possessing multiple guns and generally just seeming more like a weapon than a vehicle.
The Okinawan/Ryukyuan independence plot also seems pretty interesting as well so far, possessing a somewhat unique cultural identity and not being apart of Japan proper (let alone only being formally annexed some 140 odd years ago, fairly recent compared to some other examples), it poses the story of a small group of people’s struggle as they seek a return to some form of independence against a much larger and more powerful opposing country. Similar to those of many nations today who seceded from other countries or vast empires to become independent. The downside to this however is that while the Okinawan setting is refreshing it could mean that the story might be stuck there, as opposed to the original series’ travelling adventure style this one might consist of Ao defending the island in the quest for this with a few trips away with Pied Piper on the side.
Ao’s current position in this is actually kind of interesting as well, as a foreigner he would have already been an outsider but with his hair’s transformation to turquoise he’s become even more alien towards them, and with it now the same shade as his mother, Eureka’s hair who was likely shunned because of it and was coincidentally seen as causing Scub Bursts. So it goes without saying that they openly despise him because of it now. However at the same time they need him to fight for their independence and thus likely see him as little more than a tool or a bargaining chip for it. Which actually makes Gazelle’s position in this pretty cool, he doesn’t make any differences between them and instead sees them both as people who grew up on the island and thus care about it as well.
Also seeing this shot in the opening was awesome.