We still have not hit the piracy portion of the show but boy did they make sure to tease us with yet more universe establishment with the cat and mouse game in interplanetary space and Marika’s plans for ambushing the would be ambushers. This is wonderful and I am fully committed to their combat mechanics, yes it is less high tech and more complicated but this is how it should be. More often than not space combat is simplified with visual scans and utility scanners but this is as hard sci-fi as it gets. Yes the Odette II is more like our current space shuttle than Battle Frontier, but it’s rare that we get a low tech space war that feels almost like Crest of the Stars. Granted we are approaching Start Trek levels of technobabble but I like the fact that space combat is going to be more than pew pew lazors. I am buying the premise that EW and celestial phenomena are going to affect combat and I am thrilled that they are making a conscious effort to explain in depth why the Sand of the Red Star is the likely point of ambush.
I was so giddy when they started using multiple sensors that were very specific in what they would be able to detect. That scanning equipment is limited and that the vastness of space prevents easy visual identification, I am eagerly anticipating long ranged games of cat and mouse where ships and fleets will use whatever means they can to fool sensors to gain tactical advantages. While it is strange to see a bunch of high school kids behave so calmly about imminent violence I guess that because space is so vast and help often so far that they would not be in the club if they were afraid, that or they are so young and green that their elan greatly eclipses their rational thought processes. Still if Ms. Doolittle knows that the Odette II is an old warship and the fact that somehow for some reason the weapons and military grade ECM, sensors, and armor were left intact and functional there is a good reason to believe that the Yacht Club is made up of more that foolish girls who like sailing. I just wonder if the leave every ship armed due to vastness of space, lack of military resources, persistent pirate problems, or any combination thereof.
Ms. Doolittle is as brave as her name sake and I have high hopes for one with such sound judgment and habit for thorough background checks. It makes sense, she is, after all, a very important heiress that is heir to an empire of sorts and she would not be taking dangerous space cruises with shady students or going far afield without the wits and means to protect herself. While the Bentenmaru is watching their back I am glad Kane and Misa aren’t taking over and allowing events to unfold to test Marika’s mettle. If Marika is the captain they hope her to be then they need to be able to trust her judgment and skills at military operations. Again Marika did not disappoint and while her plan is simplistic it is fundamentally sound, the only thing is that they better be able to execute and adapt to the changing battle when battle is joined.
The limitations of sensors just offers so many fun possibilities and new dimensions to every battle, stealth drones, faked signals, jamming, hacking, blind spots, and hiding places means that any combat at range will play out like submarine combat. You can’t see the enemy but you can possibly “hear” them so to speak. I am not sure what this means for fighters and bombers if they even play a real role in starship combat but given the limitations of sensors they might be able to saturate sensors with so many signals that a fighter/bomber squadron can get in close and wreck some shit. Marika’s idea to give their foe a fake database to attack as a method of ECM was pretty inspired as they could then lull the enemy into thinking that they had the upper hand and play along until the opportune time arose to give them a face full of whatever the Odette II is packing. I just hope that when combat is joined that they can hold their own and didn’t just walk into the firing arc of multiple hostile capital ships. Even if that happens it will be interesting to see how Marika responds to the shifting tide of battle. More importantly I really want to know what kind of arsenal the Odette II is packing. It was a flagship in its heyday I just hope it was armed to the teeth and not just some command and control ship that needs a fleet to protect itself.
While visually not gritty by any means, I like the idea that space ships can be used for centuries at a time and hulls are refitted and re-used it implies that every star system is largely independent and there might be very few galactic powers that have the means to send out war fleets, which means space is full of rogues and adventurers. Still I am really pulling for a massive engagement at some point, since there has to be some great power that the Sea of Morningstar rebelled against a century or so ago. Next week promises some degree of action and it will be fun to see how capital ship weapons work. If there is anything to complain about so far it is that the term battleship got tossed around, this worries me because the Bentenmaru looks to be a Pleiades class Battleship, I am hoping that this was a mistranslated and that there are bigger warships out there that fit my definition of battleship, that being big, heavily armored, heavily shielded, slow, and armed with enough fire power to level a major city in 5 seconds with conventional munitions. even better if they have Star Destroyer DNA.
A Message From Your XO, EO: Misa HHHHNNNNGGGGG Edition
Oh god, I think this episode was trying to kill me. Mai Waifu of the Season, Misa Grandwood, had many lovely appearances in between the explanation of all the electronic warfare and cyberwarfare systems and Marika’s plan this episode. From the moment when she slowly floated down behind Kane while he was at the console to her conversation about Marika’s plan, the HHHNNNNGGGGG was strong with this episode. But before I get to my uninhibited adoration of Misa, I guess I should mention the couple other thoughts I had on aspects of this episode. First, I loved the depth of detail that they went into with the sensors and EW/CW systems. Not being able to see or rely on optics means the ships have to use all kinds of other sensors to feel their way around in space, which really adds to the tension and feeling of being isolated out in the universe. Despite the pretty pink bridge area and the cast of pretty typically anime-style (character design-wise) girls, this show has more hard sci-fi in it than anything I’ve seen in quite a while. The other point that I thought I’d mention, one that comrade Crusader took issue with above, was the sloppy use of senkan/battleship. Senkan is the correct word for that class of ship, but it seems to get thrown around a lot in anime. I’m not sure if this is due to a lack of familiarity with naval terms among anime writers or if the word tends to be a catch-all word for warships in the language more broadly. I don’t recall series outside of Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Crest of the Stars/Banner of the Stars that used the terms for different classes of vessel like destroyer (kuchikukan) and cruiser (jyunyoukan) as well as senkan for battleships. In most series like Gundam shows the characters will use senkan to refer to any warship, whether a cruiser like a Musai-class or a carrier like the Albion or Archangel. Regardless of whether it’s a language issue or an ignorance issue, I appreciate it when fansub groups use ‘warship’ for the translation instead of the literal, but at least in my Commie subs they unfortunately went with the less accurate ‘battleship.’
But back to the important part. After Misa departed the bridge she floated elegantly down the corridor, another HHHNNNGGGG moment. One of many. Then she’s sitting at her desk in DAT POSE as she listens in on Marika and Chiaki, helping to ship them together so they can become the Pirate Queens of Tau Ceti. Then cut to Misa quickly while discussing Marika’s plans. And then back to her again, at an even closer distance JUST IN CASE I WASN’T DEAD ALREADY. So much <3
Kane, you’re a lucky so and so.
fffffffffffffff this episode is trying to kill me.
Someone’s played Homeworld.
I’m not sure what to even say anymore other than HHHHHNNNNNNGGGGGGG.