Tell me Scott, are you starting to get in the holiday spirit? I got all my Christmas shopping done over a month ago so it’s actually starting to get a bit old over here but I liked the holidays! How about you, anything left to buy? I hope you’re not stressing out! about that Scott…

Hello Irina! :D. I’ve pretty good so far. I don’t really get seasonal depression usually because I am It’s oHi Irina! Yeah, I actually still have some holiday spirit going :D. I just recently did my Christmas shopping, so I have that energy still flowing into me. This is the power of procrastination I think. Sometimes, there are good things that happen when you aren’t being graded :D.

Here we are creeping up on the halfway mark of AMAIM and the pieces are starting to come together. You know, I would hardly call this show the perfect anime or anything but I will give it one big thing. As I watched this episode I knew exactly who everyone was, I wasn’t struggling to remember who that guy is or why he is there again. I even knew their motivations up to a certain point. For some of them, there are still variables that I believe have been left vague on purpose and admittedly some of those motivations seem a bit thin and simplistic at the moment, but they are existent which is more than I can say for some shows. 

That’s actually kind of an accomplishment. In a show like this, with a wide political backstory and lots of different actors, it’s not unusual for me to be grasping at the story threads about halfway through. But not in AMAIM. Are you having the same experience?

Yeah, I’m having a very similar experience. I like seeing where all the chess pieces on the board lie. Especially when there is so many of them all over the place. AMAIM has done a pretty good job of establishing so many things here and there with even getting an episode like this where all sorts of those characters and their motivations can talk and discuss things or even just gather information, clean a mecha, and play Go. AMAIM Has earned some good will for doing that.

At the same time, yeah, there are a lot of shortcuts and easy writing that did those things to make them work, but that’s fine over all. AMAIM seems to know what it’s doing at least and I can see where its going. Pretty exciting stuff! 

As the episode started up, I thought that we would finally get confirmation that obviously evil guy is evil but nah. German remains elusive as ever. It’s an interesting move to pit the military against Ghost. This could be a way to weaken both sides and a good if rather sneaky move for the resistance. 

Do you have any idea where this is leading?

I can only come up with some ideas and I don’t know if what I think German is trying to do is right or anything. Maybe he wants all the sides to meet up against Ghost? Because it seems very clear that German doesn’t want to sell out the resistance. At least for now. It feels complicated. I hope its not just the “I get more money” thing because that sounds boring.

Most of the episode was political machinations getting built up on all sides. The Russians, the Brads (is he American? Brad sounds like what a foreigner would name an American), the Resistance (who I use to call the terrorists – oops) and potentially German who might be on his own side.

Yeah, I am pretty sure that Brad is pretty American and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Especially since American representation from Japan is usually a lot more harsh then it is here. Having a more sensitive American soldier is pretty unique I would think.

However, we also had a bit of fun in the last act. Shion beating Gashin at go. They are showing more and more of Gashin’s childish side and I like it as far as character development goes. We got to see the main trio in costumes. Is it just me? I love seeing characters that always wear the same clothes get to wear something else. Hats man… I’m so easy to please. And I was amazed how a few accessories and different hairstyles changed all of them so much!

Finally, we even got an onsen scene. Oh lala

Haha, I’m not surprised you would say this. But then again, there are some pretty attractive looking characters in this show! I kind of feel the same way.

But yeah, I feel like AMAIM is making Gashin the most complex or at least most well rounded character in the show. I loved the Go stuff with Shion and Gashin in the background of this episode. And the costumes are definitely great. Hats are a pretty classic disguise nowadays, but it does a lot to change his profile enough to be plausibly unrecognizable.

I have to say, Brad is quick on the uptake. It completely subverted the old trope of having enemies meet by accident and not know who the other is. I didn’t hate it although we’ll see where it goes!

Yeah, that was so cool and it makes sense considering how Amou’s voice has been broadcasted all over Japan. Brad would probably know his voice pretty well at some point and I think that shows how attentive the guy is.

Also, I get that the show needed Amou to get the information about Ghost but I have a few questions here. One is why German didn’t tell them. Throwing more suspicion his way. But mostly, does this young resistance fighter, who has been hiding from authority and running for his life for months now, not find anything suspicious about a virtual stranger handing out military secrets in the bath? They aren’t going to act on this intel, are they? The show could have found a better way to have them learn all of this. 

I agree with a lot of what you wrote today :D. It would have been so easy to just have told all sides of this conflict where Ghost is and let them have at it. Especially since German seems to have all the contacts to pull that off in the world. I realize that Brad knows who Amou is, but meeting in a bath like that and discussing those details was a pretty strange idea. 

All in all, an ok episode. I think all political build-up or planning episodes in anime should include an onsen scene. Like half of Death Note should have been in a bath!

Oh, Death Note in a bath would be something special for sure. I kind of want to see that now. And I agree. Was a very watchable and enjoyable episode. Lots of decent points and then some confusing points that make a person go “huh”?

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