The show is action packed tonight, as the opening sequence had been ditched for a continuation of the last episode’s opening shots. So shall we?
Right off the bat, we are greeted with a view of Iona’s and Takao’s aft quarters in a fanservice garnering henshin sequence, that changes when Gunzou outlines their intention to run, as well as letting Takao go on her own. Hyuuga meets with Kongou over the JTN (Joint Tactical Network) and exchanges some more pleasantries, including Hyuuga noting that Kongou seemed more ‘alive’ while they were on the beach and Kongou stubbornly sticking to the Fog’s modus operandi. With no other cards to play, she certainly plays her biggest one.
With her super-heavy graviton cannon defeating Hyuuga’s shield, Maya comes to deliver the finishing blow only for Takao to intercept Maya’s rather cutely fired SGC and cancel it out. Takao discusses her abnormality to Kongou, and both sides come to the conclusion, or rather, Takao, that there will never be understanding. I-401 escapes undersea and Kongou sees Hyuuga and Takao for what they are (decoys) and goes after the root cause of the problem, Gunzou and I-401.
With Kongou in hot pursuit, Iona navigates through a minefield set by Hyuuga, only to watch as Kongou goes through it recklessly, taking corrosive warhead hits nearly constantly. In this endless drive to return the Fog to ‘normalcy’, Iona takes a hit while Kongou rebukes Iona’s attempts to foster peace. Calling her a lifeless doll and vowing to kill Gunzou seems to have sparked something in Iona. She has gone past the eat-sleep-reproduce stage of animals and into the self-thinking ‘aware’ stage of what we humans call consciousness (or whatever it is, I ain’t a philosopher). Iona is looking for more in her existence other than the Admiralty Code.
Iona continues to say why she follows Gunzou. Explaining at least, she is alone, and felt best when she wasn’t. She knows Kongou is grappling over that herself, and she shouldn’t restrain herself especially now that they’ve got Mental Models. At the end of the exchange, realizing the futility of it all, Kongou at least acknowledges a feeling.
In the end, Iona (who had been processing to engage a super-burst mode the entire time) uses all available processing power to achieve it as Kongou submerges, intending to ram I-401 AND fire her SGC. All goes awry as her thrusters go off line, forcing her off course, allowing Iona and Gunzou to escape. Hyuuga and Takao contacts Kongou, Hyuuga clearly hacking Kongou and Takao noting that everyone BUT Iona and Gunzou was aboard her the whole time. Kongou’s single-minded drive to sink Iona and Gunzou being her downfall, allowing the protagonists to escape. As Kongou surfaces in the rain, she denies anything about her has changed.
At a post-credits scene, Iona suffers due to the system load of such a overboost mode, and succumbs to a twin attack by I-400 and I-402. Gunzou is knocked out after slamming against the weapons officer’s console (and breaking his arm from the looks of it), the last thing we see is I-401 sinking into the depths.
Action packed and filled with talking, the ham-fisted approach to existence is not as well executed like the manga, but gets its point across. We see Maya being cutesy, like a little berserker wearing a red dress and a pink bow. No doubt keeping the airheaded ‘joke’ character in the manga but packing a greater punch. The absence of more ships of the Fog and having Kongou as the head of the Fog is unsettling, but with the long awaited appearance of Iona’s sister ships, we can look forward to the next episode. It’s also nice to note that now they’re on Iwo Jima, they’ve gone all out. In the Anime they seemed to be playing with a nearly endless amount of corrosive warheads, when in the Manga it requires more guile and smoke and mirrors to take down opponents, mostly due to their limited
As usual, the themes of self-awareness over conformity, autonomous thought over rigid reliance on the Admiralty Code, is as noted, heavily lathered throughout the episode (nay, the entire series). In trying to simplify the one of many themes found in the source material, it seems to have diluted it to the point it is becoming a bit of a window-dressing. I sense partly due to that dumbing down, the short scenes of fanservice come to retain the audience, both those who have seen the source and loved it for it’s current runaway plot of Fog vs Fog and Human vs Human and that melee of a world seeing the status quo being tossed to the dogs; and those who came to see the anime.
Or it could be me?
Don’t get me wrong, aside from the usage of 3D which tends to subtract from the series visually, I’m liking this adaptation. I know others are too, but when ones starts to think, and compare, it seems like this is like a bottle of Bud Light compared to say, Guinness Extra Stout from the taps. Nevertheless, this episode doesn’t skimp on the action, is alright in its execution, and no doubt due to Mai Fuchigami’s voice, Iona’s adoration of Gunzou (previously unseen in the Manga) is better found here. Just because of that voice.
Anyways, I’ve rambled on and on, time for dinner.
Episode 9 Ending Gallery:
Main Episode Gallery: