The first thing that struck me while watching this episode is how eerily ethereal Ai Oboeteimasuka sounds like amidst the battles…so surreal and yet so mournful. I knew I just had to cut a clip of that battle sequence with the song playing in the background. It is hauntingly beautiful and brings out the bittersweet irony of the scenes that’s being animated. I never thought that it’ll be used to such a great effect and elicit a big ‘WOW’ from me. Megumi as Ranka Lee’s singing voice, certainly step it up by changing the tone of her vocals. It’s much deeper and more mature but still retaining that sweetness in her voice. The arrangement of the music is perfect for the set-up of the scenes. I can’t wait to hear the song in it’s original entirety when the OST 2 comes out. For this alone, I score the episode a 9. Why not a 10? Well, Alto getting blown up is somewhat cliche and is something I’d expected…lol.
Here’s the clip in all its glory (my favourite of the 3 MF clips I made so far):
What do I have to say about this episode aside from the lovely scoring of Do You Remember Love? It may come across as odd but I came off this episode feeling truly sorry for Ranka-chan. I think that she deserves much love. There’s one point in time where I had felt disappointed with her characterization but I now think it is what the writers had intended all along i.e. for her character to be weak, meek, innocent -like, naive and yet cutesy. Even her character design reflects the traits endowed upon her by her creators. Here is a character that’s been much vilified for her apparent faults and weaknesses by certain masses of the MF fandom.
For once, I am happy that she actually outshines everyone else in this episode despite the fact that her special gift is wrongly used by the show’s true villain. Even Alto getting shot down can’t compare to what Grace did to Ranka. She was from the very beginning a victim of circumstances not of her own making. Ranka became a person to be protected and a tool to be used because of a certain special ability she was unknowingly born with. She reminds me of a songbird being caged and let out to experience freedom only to be brought down by the reality of the outside world she’s come into contact with. Upon realizing the truth and tragedy of events past and present, this vulnerable young girl feels responsible and took it upon herself to bear such an immense burden and guilt of something that is beyond her control. No one can carry the weight of the universe on their own shoulders like that because if you do, then you’ll be swallowed up by guilt driven darkness and be taken advantage of, like what Grace is doing.
The people close to Ranka should open their eyes and see what’s really happening, thus help her through her problem. In other words, they need to snap her out of her depressive trance if they want to survive the penultimate episode as a whole. Lastly, I hope that by series end, Ranka will get to experience the happiness, love and peace that she sought if she lives (I hope she doesn’t die).