Anime Rewatch 2021: Total Eclipse 13-14

Original Post

Episode 13 kicks off with another new flashback, this time to a battle that took place a year prior. This is the anime’s only look at Kyoko Takatsukasa, the pilot of the blue Takemikazuchi from episode 2. Not that the flashback bothers to explain that. Or even who Kyoko is, beyond Yui calling her “Kyoko-sama”. It’s kind of a strange flashback in that it doesn’t explain who any of the people in it really are or what the context is. Its only purpose is to establish the Fort-class BETA as a serious threat, foreshadowing its appearance later in the episode. This flashback is a lot more interesting after seeing Kyoko’s backstory in the novel and game adaptations of the Imperial Capital Burns arc. On its own, it’s one of the anime’s less successful original additions.

One of the major plot points shown in these episodes is the BETA’s abnormal interest in the Type-99 cannon. Those who have played through the original Muv-Luv trilogy can probably guess the reason – it’s because the cannon’s core module contains G-Elements, which attract the BETA’s attention. The anime never explains this aspect of the world setting, but it’s not really their fault – no version of Total Eclipse goes into detail about it, because the G-Elements are highly classified, and nobody in the Total Eclipse cast knows it well enough to explain it to the audience. I can certainly see how that might be frustrating for viewers of the anime unfamiliar with the games, but I also think it’s an interesting narrative device to show off just how classified this technology is.

Episode 13 ends with a great battle scene between Yuuya and the BETA. It also has a nice detail that speaks to Yuuya’s mindset – as the episode closes, Yuuya calls his TSF by the Japanese name “Shiranui” for the first time – before that, he had always referred to the machine as “94-Second”. I think this particular scene might be an anime-original detail as well.

As for episode 14, the part I’m most interested in talking about is the final scenes involving Latrova and the Zhar Battalion. Although Yuuya and the others hear the report later confirming their deaths in battle against the BETA, their final moments as actually depicted are shrouded in mystery, as they are attacked by a mysterious unidentified TSF. The novels were just as ambiguous in their depiction as well, so at the time the anime aired, nobody knew exactly what happened to them. It’s one of several moments where the anime had to skirt around mysteries that were still ongoing. Eventually the game, which extends the story past the novels and anime, would explain this plot point in more detail.

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