The match between Laura/Houki and Ichika/Charlotte winds up being a 2-on-1 as Laura tosses Houki to the side and attempts to finish off Ichika and Charlotte on her own. Yeah, kinda helps to have the super-soldier gene there just a little.
I’ve always been interested in Houki’s potential in this show. She was the first of the haremettes to be introduced, yet is the only one with no personal IS unit. It makes me wonder if any of the other girls would even come close, or if Ichika would be able to eventually hold his own against her, especially since they both use swords.
Still, Charlotte takes the cake with the most practical skills. Being able to take on a katana slash with a dagger while accurately aiming down-rifle off the defense clearly impressed me.
So the story takes a convenient point of the battle when Laura starts to lose and she begins to retell her past. We find out that Laura was the subject of a super-soldier project and became a combat ace at a very young age. When IS units became the de facto warring tools, she forcefully underwent surgery for nanomachines to be placed in her eye so that she could pilot her own IS. Unfortunately, she couldn’t adapt quickly enough and buckled under intense scrutiny. Sometime later, Chifuyu joined Laura’s unit as an instructor and helped Laura regain her ace-status once more under her tutelage.
But Laura’s admiration for Chifuyu became her own greatest weakness as she was unable to accept that Chifuyu’s strengths coincide with her will to protect her younger brother, Ichika.
At this point, we were already aware of some level of resentment that Laura had against Ichika, and the battle between the students was an easy way to go OVER NINE THOUSAND in her attempts to rid of him. The most ridiculous part of all this was how easy it seemed for Ichika to fight back against Laura’s transformed state with only his right arm and his sword. Really? If anything, I suppose the easy win had to do with Laura’s inability to properly control the Valkyrie Trace System. However, given that this episode was really just a placeholder for getting Laura comfortably situated within the harem like all the other girls, I’d say we’re probably never going to see that form again until somewhere in the finale.
Tell it like it is, Chifuyu! It looks like even the most stubborn of the girls just needs to be told off to be put in her place. I’m just glad that Laura finally got the idea that being herself is probably her best bet in succeeding as an IS pilot, as well as eventually landing a spot in Ichika’s heart like Charlotte is easily doing.
On that note, Ichika’s inability to sense the other girls’ feelings gets the best of him yet again when he works up Houki by accepting her offer to go out on a date with her, but later adds that it’s fine if it’s just to go shopping. Should I pity Houki? I think she has it the worst amongst the girls, but that could also mean that her ‘route’ could wind up being the most anticipated and well-played in the end. And no, I’m clearly not shipping Houki and Ichika. Charlotte is gaining some even ground, especially now that…
…she’s actually gone public with her true gender. While I’m not surprised that this eventually happened (I actually thought it was long overdue), I am a little saddened to see how the covert antics to hide herself as being a female before will no longer drive a good chunk of the comedy.
Nonetheless, we now have Laura joining the harem! I’m looking forward to seeing more of her straightforward, brash personality to contrast the rest of the girls. And her marriage proposal at the end was hilarious; at least we have a better idea of who’d be wearing the pants in that relationship.