While I compile my post on the second half of the Soviet arc, let’s look at what’s coming down the pike.
Next week is a recap special. Note that terminology – it is not a recap “episode”, meaning it does not count towards the show’s 26 episodes. In other words, after next week, there will still be 12 episodes left in the series. If you look at the calendar, there are actually 13 Sundays left in the year, meaning one of those weeks will go without a TE episode no matter what. I suppose it was possible to run through the remaining 12 episodes immediately and let that last week be the empty one, but I think it makes a lot of sense to take a break here since the opportunity presented itself.
In addition to recapping the story, the special will cover some of the background information of the world setting. And, according to Yoshimune’s Twitter, something “embarassing” is going to happen to Mai Nakahara (Yui) and Hitomi Nabatame (Cryska), who are presumably going to host the special. Yoshimune himself is also going to appear. They may also include the real-life Laser-class costume, which has been popping up in recent TE-related events and just yesterday made its TV debut in a commercial for the BD/DVD release. They really seem to like that thing.
For those who might not be interested in such things, the special is also going to offer a sneak peak at the new OP and ED. The 2nd OP is by Minami Kuribayashi, and the 2nd ED is by ayami. The new OP and ED will make their debut on the actual show sometime in November, presumably to coincide with the show’s final arc.
On a personal note, the upcoming arc happens to be my favorite of the Total Eclipse storylines published so far. I know there are going to be people (quite likely a lot of people) who will find the final arc to be by far the best, and will find this upcoming arc to be slow and lacking in tension by comparison, but I don’t care. I’m a sucker for the setup of this next arc, and I love the new characters that are introduced and the relationships between them and our existing characters.