I’m not gonna be posting any other images from this episode because I just... I can’t bring myself to watch it a second time. Episode 40 I watched 50 times until the effect of its ending wore off, but this... I just can’t do it. The previous episodes were filled with death flags, obvious ones, and in the wake of the previous episode there was some hope that we were now going to mend the wounds and the bad guys were going to sorely regret what they did. But write Mari Okada is not done playing with your heartstrings and what she did for this episode was just cold.
The Akihiro x Lafter ship has been a thing since the first season. Fans shipped them from the get go because they spent so much time together because Akihiro is a freak for training and a glutton for punishment. This season finally confirmed that Akihiro and Lafter were definitely going to be a thing, probably because of the fan desire for it. It probably wasn’t even planned from the beginning, just a reaction on the part of the writer. This episode was supposed to be the biggest moment for this ship, the moment when the pairing became official, and it certainly seemed that way, but then Lafter decided to stick with her own family rather than join Tekkadan, which was sad, but it at least gave the possibility of them seeing each other in the future.
And then Jasley happened, freaking Jasley. Just as things were looking up, he has a hitman casually walk in front of the store Lafter is in, and then gun her down in true mafia fashion. Just a couple quick handgun runs through a window and that was it. My heart stopped, blood rushed to my heart, and my chest hurt. It came out of nowhere, a death flag that no one expected. In fact, the episode set up Azee to be the one to die, Lafter was not the obvious one even with the backstory they gave her this episode. But there it was, and you could only hope she survived for a few moments before they flat out say she was killed. The ship was sunk completely. Mari Okada played with our emotions and used that to the shows advantage. And the way it was presented was cold-blooded. It was so impersonal, so business-like, but also just casual and that is probably what pisses me off the most. This was not a casualty of war or anything, that would have hit less, this was just a lovable character being offed in this small corner of the world in the midst of her sadness and her happiness.
I’d talk about the rest of the episode, but there isn’t anything else to it. The whole episode was practically devoted to Akihiro and Lafter, everyone else was background for the most part. The next episode looks the retribution that has been a long time coming. Jasley’s head is on the chopping block and I imagine Iok is not far behind on McGillis’ end as his use of the Dainsleif has doomed him.
P.S. There was a little more with Mikazuki bluntly saying that he wouldn’t mind conceiving a baby with Atra, who gets all flustered and actually has to think about the thing that she really wanted. This is probably the most blunt Gundam has ever been about this sort of thing. SEED tip-toed around it even with one actual sex scene and one implied with extra nudity in the HD remasters, but this is just straight up “hey lets have sex.” Gundam is getting bold again and I love it.