While Satella stands in the hallway daydreaming about Kazuya, he is away at East Genetics watching a simulated Nova takedown by Cassie Lockheart, the Godspeed of the East, their first ranked third-year. Though everyone is blown away by her mad alien-smashing skills, she reveals that she’s more interested in getting her NaNoWriMo manuscript published than she is in saving the world. Before abandoning all responsibility, however, she wanted to show Kazuya how energetically she moves while his sister is still inside her and so had him invited to East for the special demonstration. Even though she intends to abandon years of training and the millions of dollars that the military has invested in her so far, Kazuya is super supportive and is just happy to know that pieces of his sister are still in circulation. Talking to sister Margaret on the chopper ride home, Kazuya suddenly asks if there are any more of his sister’s leftover bits running around (probably wondering if he could get one for himself), and she reveals that Satella received six of Kazuha’s stigmata.
As the two return from East the alarm klaxon sounds, announcing the sudden appearance of four Type-S Nova. The military
tries something they’d have known would never work if they’d just watched Strike Witches deploys some attack forces equipped with conventional weaponry to slow their advance, and the effort manages to delay Novas for about two seconds before every last human unit is destroyed. Squadrons of Pandoras and their Limiters are then sent to the target site to combat the extra-dimensional menace, and though Cassie was all set to retire, she quietly shoulders her duty and makes her way to the front lines. As the students from East engage the enemy, Kazuya reveals to Arthur and Kaho that the real reason he was attracted to Satella is because he sensed the pieces of his sister inside her. Overhearing this, Satella runs tearfully toward her room just as the forces from East Genetics are completely wiped out by the Nova.
After eight and a half episodes of flashbacks, simulations, and foreplay (literally, in Rana’s case), we’re moving on to the real meat of the story. While the usual cast of characters wasn’t involved in the first wave (or second, if you really want to count that expensive fireworks display) of attacks against the Nova there is little doubt that they will get called into battle soon given the fate of the squads from East Genetics. Even as the action goes up another notch, however, my patience has finally worn down and after all the time I’ve spent being a Kazuya apologist… I’m moving over to the hater camp. For all his acting like a nice guy, Kazuya is a real jerk: he finally gets close to the most guarded girl in school, nags her until she lowers her defenses, and then tells all his friends that the only reason he fell for her is because she has parts of his sister in her? He’s never done a very good job of sticking up for her when people talk trash about her, but divulging her personal information to the pair that have done most of the smack talking (even if they are trying to look out for Kazuya in their own way) and verbally reducing Satella to a mere throwaway wrapper for what’s left of his sister’s meat is low even for him. What a tool.
Although they made it appear that Satellizer was extremely hurt over Kazuya’s dismissive words, what I’m hoping, now that they’ve revealed the source of her stigmata, is that she soon realizes that the only reason she can bear Kazuya’s touch is because his sister is inside her, I mean because she inherited some of his sister’s stigmata, and because he shared DNA with his sister, er, I mean he shares his sister’s DNA. So far in what I’ve read in the manga they haven’t explicitly stated that this is the reason that she can tolerate his touch, but I’m hoping that she puts two and two together pretty quickly and lets Kazuya know that it’s his genetics, and definitely not his personality, that makes him special. Be strong, Satella.
And while it seems that the Pandoras in general are ultimately disposable hosts for the stigmata, I thought it was strange that Cassie even thought that there was a possibility that she could just return her implants and leave the school. You’d think that there would at least be some sort of penalty levied against her for all the time and money that was put into her development if there was indeed a way out, but it would make a lot more sense to me if the only true exits from the program were either death or retirement after a specified term of service. At least she had a plan B, which is more than can usually be said of those who attempt to shirk the burden of saving humanity, even though she decided to carry out her duties in the end. Not that that decision served her well at the end of this epsiode, as she and the rest of the Pandoras were apparently consumed by the Nova.
I’m glad that the story is getting to the “good” parts, but I’m getting a bit apprehensive of the episode count. We’re through chapter twenty seven of the manga, and they’ve played things basically by the book up till now (though the current tension between Kazuya and Satella is a new development), so I wonder if we’re going to get a true end to the series, or if we’re going to go the Sekirei route and get a “to be continued… if people buy the BluRays.” Without a continue I’m not sure that Kazuya is going to be able to plausibly overcome his siscon tendencies long enough to even properly apologize to Satella, much less set things right. Either way, the upcoming battles should prove to be interesting, and if Satella accidentally lets Kazuya get killed in the line of duty, well, these things happen…. Until next time.