The Spearhead Squadron continues to move forward!
Episode 10 is both a laidback and somber episode for our heroes. With their victory against the Legion, they have proceeded deeper into the territory that once belonged to the Empire of Giad. But while the threat of the Legion remains, this is truly the first time that everyone has gotten their freedom, and it shows in their actions throughout the episode.
For one, the whole group is enjoying themselves despite their slowly dwindling supplies. Anju has moved on from the death of Daiya, while Kurena is acting very much like a child who finally gets the chance to play outside. The biggest surprise, of course, is Shin himself; for the first time, we see him actually laughing and joking, and he no longer wears his scarf in the neck but rather in his shoulder, showing that he has moved on at last. That’s something really sweet and sad at the same time because, as Raiden noted, Shin has no goals left except to fight and die. But despite this, Shin has a new goal: to find a country that the Legion has not invaded yet and live there in peace.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking moments in this episode are the scenes focusing on Fido, the Spearhead Squadron’s most loyal robotic scavenger. While Fido has initially appeared to be nothing more than a background character throughout the series, his role as a dutiful and silent observer really puts the characters, including the dead ones, in a very new light.
Fido has been there since the beginning: from being found by a young Shin, to his first encounter with the rest of the squadron, his various deployments alongside them, and ultimately on this final mission. As a robot which has evolved to a higher intelligence similar to a real dog, Fido has been recording every moment of the squadron’s daily lives, giving us another insight into their personalities that we haven’t seen before. We saw how Daiya really loves Anju; what Anju really felt when Daiya was killed; how Kurena acts like a lovesick teenager whenever she interacts with Shin; and a ton of other Spearhead shenanigans.
Thus, it is truly depressing to see that at the end of his service after presumably shielding his friends from Legion attacks, Fido spends his final moments remembering his life in the company of the Spearhead Squadron.
Overall, episode 10 sets the stage for what we can only assume to be a tragic ending. We’ve been given more insights into the various characters we’ve seen so far, allowing us to understand their actions in the past episodes, and making some of the deaths that much more painful.
Episode score: 8.5/10.