22 CommentsMuv-Luv / By Shinmaru /

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse 2 – Redshirts Down

After watching this episode, I can’t help but agree with some folks that it’s a shame the first two episodes couldn’t air together somehow. Considering that the two episodes premiered together at the Muv-Luv panel at Anime Expo last week, I can’t help but think the creators intended for the pair to air together. That commenters pointed out that this is anime original content — maybe to provide some sort of context for those new to this somewhat intimidating franchise? — makes me feel a bit stronger about that opinion. I imagine the producers tried to have the episodes air together, too, but just couldn’t swing it. I’m not really privy to that sort of information, though, so that’s just idle speculation.

In the previous post, I mentioned briefly that we were spending time with characters that we knew only in the most basic of ways, but after thinking a bit more, spending more time with all these characters wouldn’t have made the events of this episode hit any harder. Getting to know the world itself is more the point. The lighthearted fun and good natured friendship is the shell the girls form to keep the horrifying reality further out of their minds, even as they train to enter that reality. It’s a space that dwindles by the day; they fight to protect what they have, but they can’t because they’re woefully inexperienced and outgunned. It’s a pretty fucked up world.

This episode does an OK job of establishing this world as a screwed up place where everything Good and Nice is being torn up and chomped to bits by crazed aliens, which is why I’m mostly fine that there’s relatively little attempt to give us every character’s biography, thoughts, feelings, measurements, etc. We all know they’re dying. They know they’re dying; that is, until that one moment of triumph where delusions of victory briefly set in, whereupon the girls get lasers to the face for their troubles. I would find it infinitely amusing if the aliens could somehow sense the most ironic moment to kill each human and took great pleasure in hitting people at just the right time to cripple morale the most.

Speaking of the aliens, I find myself fond of their designs. I like how different each distinctive class of alien looks, and how utterly, well, alien each of them is. It’s not fun fighting a bunch of aliens that don’t look utterly monstrous, right? I know I’d be afraid to have a horde of these freaks ripping my mech apart bit by bit until they got to the delicious, juicy human nugget in the center. The part of the episode where the BETA tear up Yamashiro’s mecha have a nice afternoon snack is probably the most affecting part of the episode for me. That shit is creepy. She just wanted to be Yui’s rival, but now aliens are using her intestines as dental floss. What a terrible way to go.

Unfortunately, the black censorship blobs of doom mar the episode for those of us who didn’t go to the Anime Expo premiere. There’s at least much less of it than expected, mostly because all the most gory, horrible stuff is saved for when it actually matters the most. Everything else is mostly blood splatter. There’s lots of mecha action and stuff getting cut up and blown up and whatnot for those of us who enjoy that crazy, violent action, but I do like there is some thought about impact when it comes to the shots of monsters slurping up organs.

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  1. LALLA~bye
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    You seem to be treating this series rather softly, aren’t you? Well, guess I’ll give the 2nd episode a try.

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Haha, maybe? Not like there’s nothing I’m interested in here.

  2. Erif
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    If you blog this I will end you.

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      You will have to catch me first.

  3. Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Not really a fan of Starship Troopers-style kill-em-all war scenes. Where a close battle is harrowing and a tactical victory is intellectually satisfying, the one-sided nature of the battle makes the aliens tremendously overpowered and the gory bits feel gratuitous. If we are lead to believe all battlefield encounters end up this way, how is it plausible humanity is still around in 3 years for the real story to begin? Either the dramatic tension in the story is all gone because it’s obvious human kind will exit stage left, or some logic-defying superweapon/mecha somehow turns the tide and I scrunch up my face some more.

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Good thing I have no standards!

      I guess we’ll see what direction the war goes in next episode.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t that the point though? They were supposed to feel tremendously overpowered and combatting them was an exercise in futility. At least, that’s what I got from it. Humanity is fucked man

  4. Lanf
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I thought this episode was a lot better than the previous, but only to the extent that it’s promoted itself to the level of an average old sci-fi movie. Perhap it was it reminding me of the ending of Berserk that raised my opinion of it somewhat…

    I don’t get the mecha obsession though, I’d much rather them be crewing up a slightly teched up MBT, though they all seem to be cursed to being taken out in one hit, whilst never dealing any damage themselves.

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s because mecha are cool, silly. If you’re going to die, then it should be while looking cool.

      • Lanf
        Posted July 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Tanks can look cool too, the Landmaster in the Star Fox games shows that futuristic tanks can be done, but modern conventional ones have much greater fear factor, as that slow lumbersome barrel turns to face you, firing a shell larger than your head.

        Plus, ramming BETA off the road at 60mph in a great metalic beast would look awesome.

      • Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        You make a good point. Tanks and mecha can be friends and blow stuff up together!

    • Posted July 12, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

      Tanks are used frequently in the Muvluv universe, but you most likely won’t be seeing them in Total Eclipse.

      Also, they went with mecha because it’s what worked better in the kind of terrain they usually fight in. Anything that flies is instantly taken down by Laser/Heavy Laser Class so humanity had to move away from aircraft-centric warfare. Fighting in Hives and even protecting cities requires constant multi-dimensional movement, which is what humanoid robots do best. That allows pilots to evade lasers and slaughter hundreds of BETA… if they’re really talented. You’ve already seen what happens to newbies.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    i do not luv these muvs

    comedy of the season, sorry Jinrui

    I will say though, the opening is A+ holy shit

  6. Black Dalek
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    EDIT: Yeah, no spoilers, please. Never know if that will be revealed here, and even if not, I’m sure some who might want to play the visual novels would appreciate being surprised by that detail.

    — Shinmaru

    • Golos
      Posted July 11, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      Well, we *are* intelligent organic machines with a consciousness.

    • LALLA~bye
      Posted July 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Your comment is actually one massive spoiler that is only revealed at the end of Alternative. I guess it’s okay…

    • LALLA~bye
      Posted July 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Your comment is actually one massive spoiler that is only revealed at the end of Alternative. I guess it’s okay… considering this is an anime spin-off.

  7. Posted July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Just a reminder to cool it with spoilers. Don’t give information if I don’t ask for it or need to be corrected on something.

  8. mellowship
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    This show reminds me of Soukou no Strain, at least so far.

    • Posted July 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and Soukou no Strain was also terrible.

  9. Nuu
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    So I take it…keep watching?

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