Simoun – Episode 3

Today we’re returning to Simoun! The first two episodes of this show were very good and very different from each other, and I’m eager to see where it goes next. The premiere itself was a pretty stunning affair all around, demonstrating a terrific balance of worldbuilding and narrative movement while introducing us to a very unique world. The second episode further illustrated some of the specific tenets of that world, putting concepts like the inevitability of visiting the Spring in stark personal terms. This world feels like both a fully realized fantasy and a clear parallel of many of our own world’s charged topics, and I’m excited to see where this story goes next. Let’s get right to it!

Episode 3

Judging by the OP, it looks like Aaeru will be permanently claiming the front pilot seat that Neviril used to occupy

Man, the big CG ship still looks so bad. It is such a shame that we’ve passed the point where mechanical designs are still hand-drawn, and doubly a shame that show creators seem to think shots like this PS2-era ship flying over a painted background look at all convincing

We’re introduced to what seems to be the final recruit of the team, Morinas. She seems a little more conventional than the little girl or Aaeru

“Helical motors” are used in the Simoun. Presumably from “helix,” echoing the generally curving design and interlocking parts of all Holy Land vehicles

“We know almost nothing about the helical motors we’ve excavated.” A classic setup – the Holy Land doesn’t understand its own marquee technology, it just excavated technology that was created long before. That seems appropriate, considering pretty much every element of this society seems to discourage intellectual curiosity and challenging convention. A society like that doesn’t seem like it would create something like the Simoun – instead, they simply excavated and then worshipped them

The Simile are the Holy Land’s attempt to imitate helical motors, but they’re a poor substitute

And of course, no one’s actually taken apart a Simoun, because they’re holy craft. This show sure isn’t pulling any punches with its critiques of religion

The red-haired Priestess refers to the engineer as “he,” but the engineer still seems to have a feminine body. Perhaps the “blessing” of the Spring actually is a meaningless gesture, and doesn’t result in any actual physiological changes?

Right, Paraietta is her name. Jeez, it’s hard enough for me to remember normal names…

“I’m not a priestess, but I’m not a soldier either”

“I’m bad at remembering people’s names.” We’re in this together, Floe

Wapourif is the engineer

The priestesses’ personal quarters are gorgeous

Aaeru has a little locket that contains a fan which, when blown through, creates a melody. Wind is tied to her sense of self

Contrasted against the deep blue sky and seen through this giant glass atrium, the Simoun overhead look like swarms of fish swimming through the clouds

Neviril watches the same sky from a much smaller window, shrouded in darkness

Neviril isn’t sure what she wants to do, she just knows the Spring isn’t it

The team plan to practice Maaju coordination in the “pool” at three o’clock. Presumably the pool is that strange air pocket Neviril was using last episode

Paraietta is so protective of Neviril. I wonder when we’ll get their history

Aw dang, Morinas trying to sneak in front of Aaeru to pair with Neviril

“Your pair will come to you naturally during Maaju.” Once again, they frame these very practical choices in mythical terms

Their ship is the “Arcus Prima,” which I suppose is a near-match for their fishlike Simoun craft

This show’s background characters tend to look pretty awkward. Even the main characters have designs that are strange enough that when they go off model, they look really off

They’re flying through what seems to be a war zone, but there isn’t all that much sense of urgency

Two of their teammates are actual sisters

“This ship must have been beautiful when it was a private liner used for viewing Ri Maajons.” It seems appropriate that their warship is a retrofitted pleasure cruiser, considering their weapons of war are retrofitted prayers

That also explains why this ship is so very luxurious. There’s really no such thing as “military grade” in this country, it’s all meant for other purposes

Apparently Floe and Wapourif used to be lovers

Neviril still getting awful flashbacks, unsurprisingly

We keep cutting to the young cadet Priestess, but she really hasn’t done anything yet

Floe seems to be the troll of the group, which I can appreciate

This is definitely a much slower episode than either of the first two. We’re kinda proceeding at the pace at which Neviril processes her grief this time, though we haven’t really known Neviril long enough for her feelings to seem all that impactful

The new arrivals lead the way. They can’t wait for Neviril

The team is a total mess, and keep almost running into each other. Morinas in particular seems overwhelmed by the disorder of the group

Alright, now we’re getting some character for the tiny new girl. She seems to be the analytical member of the group

Neviril finally arrives. She seems to think she can find her old partner in the dance

And once again, their motions are contrasted against artillery strikes outside

“No matter how you try to protect those girls, this is reality.”

And Done

Welp, that episode definitely wasn’t as much of a standout as the first two. We spent a fair amount of time just experiencing life at the pace the priestesses do, which is a reasonable goal, but I’m not sure if it actually brought us all that much closer to them. The show’s beautiful background designs are also somewhat wasted when an episode spends its whole duration on the ship – the art design is better than the direction, so new vistas tend to put the show’s best foot forward. That said, it does seem like Neviril is returning to fighting shape, so things will likely pick up soon. And there’s still plenty I’m interested in exploring in this strange world.

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One thought on “Simoun – Episode 3

  1. Simoun’s a bit of a slow burn, there’s one episode coming up where things get VERY SERIOUS, but not for a while yet. I remember bouncing off this show the first time because of that, but was drawn back by good reviews, and the show became a firm favourite.

    Yeah, the CG version of the ship looks shonky compared to the hand drawn parts, then again this was 11 years ago.

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