Episode 03 – “Enemy Fire Can Never Break My Spirit?”
Finally, we get to see the entire C3-bu in action and not against themselves for once! This episode, the C3-bu squares off in an inter-high school airsoft tournament, in which the battles take the form of a capture-the-flag style campaign. The rules are you lose if the opposing team touches your flag or if your team is wiped out. It’s a little different from what you may be used to if all you’ve ever played is CTF in Halo. Here, there’s no need to return the enemy flag to your base and there are no respawns.
Things go well enough for the C3-bu in their first round, and Yura even gets the flag for the win! These battle scenes are really fun to watch, and I’m quite pleased with how Gainax has handled the animation in these parts. There’s nothing really flashy about them but they still manage to be exciting. Plus, the facial expressions that the characters make while shooting or running are priceless. More or less, they’re all just really cute (did I mention that I love their visors, too?). Interestingly, the C3-bu goes against what looks like an all-boys school in the first round, which makes them the first male characters to appear in the series. I was kind of expecting no boys to show up at all in C3-bu.
It’s also hilarious how Yura apologizes after shooting an enemy, proof of her greenhorn-ness at the start of the episode. Also, I imagine there’s a lot of honor in this sport, since no one really forces a person to admit that they’ve been shot. There aren’t any judges, and it’s not like laser tag or paintball either. I guess it shows how seriously everyone takes the sport, but I wonder if this will become a point of contention anywhere down the line.
Trouble brews when Yura proves to be a hindrance to the club in the finals, against one of Sonora’s former partners, Rin Haruna. Somehow or another, Yura ends up the only one on the team standing and forfeits to the enemy team. Even though surrendering isn’t the most honorable thing to do, I still feel really bad for her too. I can sympathize with her feeling helpless and thinking that she’s not of any use to her team. After a mild scolding from both Rin and Sonora, Yura resolves to give it her all from now on and to give herself a haircut too. I prefer her original hair style, but I think the dorky short hair suits her too.