It’s the Festival of Holy Birth in the Giad Federacy!
Episode 2 is heartwarming and wholesome from start to finish. After fighting in countless battlefields and losing so many friends, the ace pilots of the Spearhead Squadron are finally living in peace.
The first few minutes deal with the daily lives of our heroes, and it is fun to watch them doing what they want without the threat of the Legion nearby for the first time. Theo can finally express his artistic talent, Anju is learning how to cook, and Kurena is living the life that she should have lived for her age.
Interestingly enough, Raiden choose to get an actual job, and even got some new friends in his work. And if we consider the rest of the team, their chosen hobbies actually fits their respective personalities.
As for Shin, our Reaper obviously goes to a library where he meets quite an interesting character: Eugene Rantz, an Alba. But unlike those from San Magnolia, Eugene is genuinely a friendly individual, especially toward Shin. Their initial interactions are quite fun, most notably with their first meeting which involves Eugene’s cute little sister.
But of course, this episode would not be complete without Frederica. And once again, our little empress shows just how adorable and manipulative she can be. But while Shin is irritated by her antics, seeing him smile genuinely during a heartwarming moment just shows that the Reaper is starting to really care for Frederica.
As the Eighty-Six’s daily lives continue in peace, it was to be expected that they will remain in a carefree lifestyle away from conflict. However, that is not the case, and it is interesting to note that Kurena would be the first one to voice out her feelings after seeing Giad’s military; after all, she is one of the youngest in the group. But even though that is the case, an earlier scene showing Shin’s dead comrades emphasizes his own thoughts, and the fact that he has never really moved on yet.
And so, Shin and the rest finally makes the decision that we all knew was coming: to return to the battlefield. Naturally, Ernst initially refuses out of genuine care for them. And it is here that Frederica shows that she is indeed beyond wise for her age, rebuking Ernst that only an empress could while revealing her true identity to Shin and the others. The scene itself is a chilling one, especially when the little girl starts to speak like an adult, but what makes it also a sad moment is when Frederica delivers a request to save her former knight, Kiriya, from the Legion’s control.
One interesting piece of worldbuilding and characterization here is the fact that Frederica also possess a supernatural power: that of seeing the past and present of those she knows. Perhaps this is why she understands people to a greater degree than most her age, or even adults, and why her mind is already mature enough. But this begs two important questions: how rare are these supernatural abilities, and where do they come from?
In the end, our heroes return to the battlefield once more—though not before finishing a mandatory officers’ training—with Frederica in tow as a new member.
Overall, episode 2 is a great episode with interesting interactions between our beloved characters and surprising revelations.
Episode score: 9/10.