OMG How has Subaru NEVER REALIZED that there is a weird magical garden in the middle of her school. What is this suspension of beliefs?!?? Now she’s clumsily gardening to fill the awkwardness of this disbelief that she’s met this person in it’s really not a dream. Subaru. What. Even. I mean, I know we’re in a magic girl anime and you’re adorable but still, this girl might need a serious reality check.
I feel like Houkago no Pleiades is one of those series that you must watch altogether in order to catch all the relating themes and dialogue planted back and forth between the dreamy garden scenes and the actual magic girl scenes. I have no idea if there’s supposed to be any emotional support between Minato and Subaru. I can’t take Minato seriously as an actual guy. He looks like a girl. And is clearly the red horned demon that tries to steal the girls’ fragments.
This episode, the girls are going after a HUGE comet of a fragment, once again, taking it so far out of this world with the magic all the way up to space. The problem is, the comet is in danger of falling into the sun. All the pushing and pulling and falling isn’t helping. Girls. Gravity and gravitational pulls are a thing. Like actually. I really wish they spent more time explaining a bit of the physics behind the space elements but then again the “magic girl” label lets the series get away with minimal to no explanations of anything because *throws sparkles in your face* MAGIC!!
Side note 1: I love the mini art illustrations they insert as screen cards in between A part and B part of the episode.
Side note 2: Really glad Houkago no Pleiades actually got a decent budget for all these grand space explosions and magic girl aerial animations.
Seriously though I don’t know what’s up with Aoi’s angsty feelings towards Subaru. The Subaru and Aoi flashbacks were way too awkward and poorly inserted into the flow of the story, sorely interrupting the action of the magic girl plot line all out of the blue. It ends up being a mutual understanding. Anti-climactic indeed. YOU ARE ALL FLOATING IN THE MIDDLE OF A FIERY WORLD OF SPACE DEATH. SAVE THE DRAMA FOR LATER!!! Luckily we wrap up the emotional introspection quickly and dive right back into the battle against the horned demon guy. At times like this I wish the girls had more weapons at their disposal so they could actively fight him. Mad props to Subaru and Aoi for their teamwork in retrieving the fragment despite all the interruptions.
As more and more fragments are collected, remaining fragments are farther, more distant and more difficult to grasp. However, if we launch one person there, 0.25 light years, by combining all five of the girls’ powers, we can technically beam all the girls to that one destination. Nanako decides to go on her own alone.
Awkwardly for Nanako, she’s totally quiet and awkward at home. Though her dad tries to emotionally connect with her, she’s quite weird… and her English is quite spot on. The little Pleiades becomes a stand-in for Nanako since it takes three months for the girls waiting for Nanako to go. Subaru gives Nanako a travel guide for the scenery and the stars. Unfortunately for Subaru, the scenery changes at the speed of light so it doesn’t exactly work out. Hot damn though, Subaru is REALLY CLEVER when it comes to astronomy, calculations and constellations.
Meanwhile, Nanako is flying on her own in space. It is really quite amazing that she can travel on her own so well. Wow. I did not expect the series to montage about three months for Nanako. Apparently travelling in light years, Nanako only feels half a day of the journey. Throughout the trip however, she ponders her childhood, being alone then, being alone in space. She remembers being lied to, making a promnsie to her younger sibling that was never fulfilled because her mother took her brother and left her with her father. In the end for her, everyone is alone, no matter who you love.
I find Nanako quite intriguing here because she ends up as the only person who can interpret the Pleiades speech and she is strangely brought on as a magic girl. But just before we can get to any exposition emotional climax with Nanako, she arrives at her destination and immediately begins to call the rest of the girls. She runs into a bit of a problem though because she can only call the girls by heart, genuinely with her heart but she’s way too accustomed ot being on her own, not relying on anyone else.
Nanako stumbles upon a strange new planet in space, out where the sun reaches nothing. She names the planet Apate, after the goddess of deceit and proceeds to catch the fragment. When she realizes she can’t do it alone, she ends up accidentally calling the girls anyway. When we flashback to Nanako’s meeting with the Pleaides, she realizes that the Pleiades is formed the way it is because of her visualization of the little alien from her younger sibling’s drawing. I found this little back story detail quite endearing of the characters.
SOMEHOW the horned-demon (still got no name), appears where the girls are, EVEN THIS FAR IN SPACE. Man, I wonder how many scientific research and physics the writers of the show did for these intense space scenes. Miraculously, the girls reappear back in the club room and are sent back to the day Nanako left. The Pleiades explains that there were two possibilities of return. Either the day when Nanako left or the three months after she left. Not sure why but… the day Nanako leaves is actually her birthday and the girls get to re-spend the three months with Nanako all over again. OMG all the tests and random school events relived…
Nanako returns home to find a birthday present on her desk from her father; a touching little gesture to quietly wrap up the episode.
What are you pondering today?