Simoun – Episode 7

Let’s continue our journey through Simoun! Episode six was one of the most important episodes so far in a viewer-investment sense, as it gave us some desperately needed insight into the feelings of Para, Kaimu, and even Neviril. After several episodes of feeling stranded in something close to a dramatic stasis, we now have an emotional understanding of not just those three, but also Limone and Aaeru, meaning we can meaningfully perceive the dramatic push and pull of their various desires. On top of that, Para is actually working on the same side as Aaeru now, and has given Neviril her blessing to find a different pair. Simoun has been a slow burner ever since its dramatic first episode, but it feels like things are finally coming together now, and Neviril may actually come out of her shell. Almost all of these characters bear some kind of trauma that inhibits their freedom, but now that we actually understand their feelings and goals, it’ll be much easier to sympathize with their struggles. Let’s get right to it!

Episode 7

Hah. Cute match cut out of the OP this time, with the upbeat shot of the ship over bright, shimmering water immediately jumping to that same ship over darkened, turbulent seas

Aaeru is great. The other chors attempt to rag on Tempest, but she just responds with positivity, which cuts them short. Aaeru stands as a strong counterbalance to not just the solemn, often duplicitous nature of these other characters, but the very genre space they pull those qualities from. Simoun’s girls’ school melodrama leanings are directly undercut by Aaeru’s upbeat, action-oriented nature

This shot of the squad feels like an important moment. This feels like the first time in the present narrative where Chor Tempest has actually felt like a team, and even stood up for each other

“We’re the top choir on Archus Prima now. Us. Chor Rubor.” The contradiction of their tone and content here is great. They’re trying to express how they’re now the military top dogs, but they’re framing it in such childish schoolyard terms that their bragging undercuts itself. Even as they talk about what great warriors they’ve become, they’re revealing how they still see this as a game

“Let them pass, everyone.” And there’s Para keeping the level head. God, the change from two episodes to now is like night and day. From a collection of sullen ciphers, Chor Tempest has efficiently built itself into a team of distinctive characters who all play off each other in meaningful ways

This music is still so bad, though. This is basically elevator music – plonky smooth jazz with no artistry or emotional weight to it at all. I guess that sort of fits for this “two rival groups of friends sniping at each other in the hallway” conflict, or at least emphasizes how childish this behavior is

Aaeru just ignores all their snark, tells Vyura there’s some snacks in the desk if she wants them. Aaeru is very bad at having a melodramatic school rivalry

“Over International Waters”

“This Sibile was my grandfather’s prized possession.” “Your grandfather was a Simoun sybilla, too?” A nice detail emphasizing the unique nature of this world

And wow, these are some lovely backgrounds for Aaeru’s childhood

The newfound unity of Chor Tempest is underlined through the whole team communicating between their Simouns. The show really has come together

They’re even riffing on each other’s life desires now. Morinas makes a sex joke and Limone covers her ears, lol

Looks like they need one more pair of characters to get a full choir

We now know enough about the team to actually get a full pan of reactions to their future plans for the squad. These sure are some awkward couples

The Arcus Niger approaches, another seemingly commandeered cruise ship

A lovely shot out from the bridge. One of this show’s most consistently strong visual features is its great use of this ship’s curved windows

A bright pink Simile flies out

Meanwhile, Neviril enjoys some dang tea

Ah, they’re meeting with some actual foreigners, the Highlanders. They apparently worship a god called Animus

Nice to see that the Holy Land isn’t just antagonistic towards all of its neighbors. There’s a larger geopolitical order here beyond “the islanders on one side, the Holy Land on the other”

They need to cover up their Tempus Spatium markers because it’s likely Spatium and Animus are actually the same god. Interesting to see the adults of this society, or at least these particular adults, aren’t nearly as precious about the sanctity of their religious duties as the young priestesses

Looks like the blue-haired and blonde-haired girls from that pink ship will be gaining some significance

“Right now, our country is at war with all the other countries around it.” Oh. Well

Everyone wants the helical motors inside the Simoun. We’re placed in an interesting position here – it appears that this is almost a post-apocalyptic world, but the Holy Land’s control of the Simoun has allowed them to maintain their own wealth. We’re essentially inside what would be the ominous evil empire of another story, following the daily troubles of the empire’s footsoldiers

The Plumbum Highlands called for peace conferences

Floe totally calls the blue-haired girl on her nonsense. Nice to see Tempest laughing together

The blue-haired girl, Mamiina, is apparently a former servant of Rodoreamon. Rodoreamon is absolutely a Digimon name, so I’m gonna go with Rodo until the show gives me a more definitive nickname

Rodo also needs some character development, so this is a nicely efficient dramatic choice

Yun is the other girl, and they actually are the final Chor Tempest members. “I’ve got one thing to say: I hate war.” A strong start from Yun

Apparently Neviril’s father, the “Vice Chairman,” is planning on having Neviril pair up with Mamiina

Interesting seeing these gestures towards an aristocratic order within Holy Land society. It seems this society is segmented into classes in basically every possible way – though former servant Mamiina being paired up with the noble Neviril seems to contradict that

It seems that Neviril’s father in particular may be championing this pushback against social assumptions, even though he seems to be a very prominent political figure himself. It was his contingent who told them to cover Tempus Spatium, and now he’s both elevating Mamiina and also denying the tradition of pairs choosing themselves

Looks like Yun’s situation is messed up in its own way. She has no desire to pilot or fight, but feels obligated to because her old friends have all already died in battle

Aaeru always seems to be at her most vulnerable when listening to that music box

Neviril’s distaste for this situation is leading her to get closer to Aaeru, simply to rub it in Mamiina and her father’s face. Healthy relationships all around!

“I will not let my daughter be hurt.” The Vice Chairman’s position is understandable enough, even if it’s terrible. He seems to feel the crew of this ship have coddled his daughter to the point where she can no longer shine, and that his firm actions will counter this

Mamiina forgoes fancy duels and just tries to yank Aaeru out of the sky. I think Mamiina might be good

Hah, this shot of all of them roughed up is great. Good to see more scenes deflating their lofty self-images

Yep, there it is. The Vice Chairman is planning to break up Chor Tempest

And Done

The team expands! That was another fine episode, though not as much of a standout as the previous one. It felt like we had to rush a bit in introducing not just two new priestesses, but also Neviril’s family conflict, which meant Mamiina’s big dramatic moments here felt just a bit undercooked. But the episode was attempting to cover a whole lot of ground at once, so a little messiness isn’t that surprising. On the plus side, it was wonderful to see Chor Tempest actually working together and enjoying each other’s company, and it seems like both Mamiina and Yun will eventually add some strong character dynamics to the overall crew. I’m ready for the peace conference!

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