#20: DIAMOND CREVASSE
ICONIC SCENE: “SEMPAI!!!”
STORY DATE: 2059
BROADCAST DATE: August 21, 2008
1. DAMMIT! The love triangle seemed seriously closed last episode, with Alto and Sheryl holding each other tight, but suddenly HERE, we see that that only happened because Sheryl nearly fainted again. This isn’t QUITE as bad as the post-war episodes of the original series, but it’s close.
So, no, Ranka, it’s not what it looks like. Although by all rights, it SHOULD be.
2. So Ranka’s heightened emotional state (and I honestly can’t blame her for that. I’d be upset, too) summons the Vajra… one of whom kills (gruesomely) the sniper that was all set to assassinate Cathy’s dad. So, um… it’s an ill wind that blows nobody good…? I guess…? For now, at least…?
I do feel bad for the poor schoolgirl who gets (half of) the assassin’s body falling on top of her, though. That’s gonna take a lifetime of therapy to work through, that is…
3. This is the first time we see the full-size two-legged (and green) Vajra, which reminds me… as I hinted before, and will completely explain later, the green Vajra are meant to remind viewers of the Regult, and the red Vajra are meant to remind viewers of the Glaug. I think it’s mostly subliminal at this point, but will become very explicit later.
Oh, and Ozma and Cathy take down Leon’s men, so good for them! Again, this is the love story I’m involved in!
4. The school venue seems empty when Alto surveys it. That seems really lucky, considering that Ranka’s concert was the main holiday event of the day. By all rights, there should be eviscerated bodies everywhere.
And okay, I get that Ranka not being able to sing is (according to the DVD booklet) an homage to Minmay near the end of Do You Remember Love, but, uh… that wasn’t Minmay’s finest moment, and the reference reflects badly on Ranka as well.
Sheryl slaps Ranka, in an obvious homage to Hikaru slapping Minmay in Do You Remember Love, but THIS time… well, gender politics being much different in 2008 than they were in 1984 (especially in Japan, but let’s not get TOO smug about it… remember films like Mr. Mom, where the idea that a man could run a household and take care of the kids is seen as intrinsically hilarious?), it has to be SHERYL who slaps Ranka rather than Alto. And that’s fine.
(Again, just as Hikaru looked extremely pained after slapping Minmay, Sheryl immediately hugs Ranka. And Ranka will get her back later, anyway.)
5. Alas, what Ranka decides (?) to use is “Aimo OC,” which still sounds extraordinarily creepy to me. And it doesn’t work, anyway, because the Vajra are reacting more to her emotions than her actual song.
And, unfortunately, a Vajra bolt hits the point where Sheryl and Nanase are. Sheryl’s okay, but Nanase will be in a coma (DAMMIT!!) for the rest of the series.
6. Huh… Brera has his first ethical problem, between staying inside Island-1 to protect Ranka, or obeying Grace and going outside to fend off more Vajra. Grace tries to eliminate the issue by telling him that the Vajra will never hurt the “Little Queen,” and that (plus a little electricity sent to sensitive places) convinces him. But he sure ain’t happy about it.
Oh, and Leon’s forces finally eliminate President Glass. I think Leon’s engagement to the President’s daughter is pretty permanently off now. Especially when she finds her dad’s body.
7. You know things are serious now because Michel and Alto have the military EX-Gears instead of their usual student ones.
And Klan gets much more forward than usual with Michel… good thing, because it’s basically her last chance to do so.
Klan goes to macronize, and Michel covers her… to his eternal cost. It’s a really moving scene. Almost as moving as…
8. Sheryl coming into her own as the goddess of mercy and hope for the people of Frontier. She’s in a shelter, taking care of Nanase, then claps her earring on and starts singing “Empty Diamond Crevasse.” And THIS, friends, is where Sheryl the character outgrows the two-cour anime series designed to sell robot toys and CDs and figures that she’s been placed in. As wonderful as this show is, Sheryl surpasses it in greatness, utterly, through her generosity and tenderness. She’s wonderful and perfect here. As good as this show is (and I find it VERY good), Sheryl is better.
9. And then… Michel dies, protecting Klan as she macronizes. Although, when asked about this scene, Hiroshi Kamiya (voice of Michel) said that his last line, “Klan… aishite…” (usually rendered as “Klan, I… love…you”) could’ve just as easily been “Klan, I… DON’T love… you” (because in Japanese, the negative would come at the end of the verb: i.e. “aishiteNAI” (“I don’t love you”) versus “aishiteRU” (“I love you”)). But yeah, that was a joke. Um… I think. Hope. Whatever.
And I’ll revisit this idea later.
10. Damn, what a great episode. Exciting, moving, everything. So much so that the death of President Glass, which would’ve been the key moment of a lesser episode, almost gets lost and forgotten here. And let us not forget Michel’s final lesson to Alto: you don’t know how much time you have left, SO MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND, YOU JERK. Not that Alto’s ever been a great listener…
ED: “Diamond Crevasse”
NUMBER OF TIMES RANKA SAYS “ALTO-KUN” THIS EPISODE: 3 (including one from the previous episode recap, and one from a flashback)
AND TOTAL: 71
EYECATCH: “Magical Girl Transformation” Klan again (so… is this that “Sailor Moon” stuff everyone’s been ranting about with Delta AGAIN…?), plus Michel trying to lock on to Klan (huh… first (and only) episode of Frontier to have TWO eyecatches…).
NEXT EPISODE: “Song of Tragic Love, ring throughout the galaxy!”