The invasion begins!
Episode 5 is a hauntingly epic and action-packed episode from start to finish. The Legion has began to move, and it is no exaggeration to say that it is like the entirety of Hell itself has been unleashed.
This is evident when even Shin, himself having seen and faced the Legion all by himself, actually felt distress over what he was hearing in his mind, which is almost too much to the point that he advised Raiden not to sync with him through the Para-RAID. However, Shin’s slight distress barely scratched the actual number of the Legion itself.
The Legion we see in this episode is perhaps the largest gathering of the sentient mechanical army we’ve seen so far. Almost every country is under attack, and not one has managed to stop their relentless advance. Furthermore, the one in command this time is No Face, an enigma who sounds eerily familiar.
Fortunately for Giad, Shin and the entire Nordlicht Squadron has mobilized to counter the threat, and the next five minutes is simply one epic scene after another. The battles are spine-chilling, especially with the background music complimenting the scenes and aesthetics. Obviously, Shin and his friends are the highlights, and it is so satisfying to watch them utilize their new equipment to deadly effect. But what’s even more fun to watch is how Nordlicht works seamlessly as a group, proving that their rigorous training has paid off.
But despite that, this is still a taxing battle both physically and mentally. And Shin obviously took the burden the most as he finally descends into a nearly insane, reckless killing spree. While we have seen this before, his creepy smile shows that this is the worst he’s ever been, emphasizing his desire to really die even if he still has friends waiting for him.
Thus, it is no surprise that Frederica would be the most affected after using her powers to check on Shin, who almost parallels Kiriya’s mental state before he became a Legion. But unlike Kiriya, Shin finally snaps back into reality after remembering a distant memory involving a certain Handler.
With the initial waves dealt with, the Nordlicht Squadron returns and Frederica welcomes Shin tearfully. But something is terribly wrong; Kiriya is not present with the Legion army that assaulted Giad.
Meanwhile, things are looking bad over San Magnolia’s side. While most of the Alba still lived without care, the Legion has broken through their front lines, forcing Lena to take matters into her own hands. But before that, she has one last exchange with her uncle who still believes that the Republic deserves its inevitable fate, and that no Eighty-Six would defend them.
However, Lena remains adamant, and though her words never managed to change her uncle’s mind, the fact that he is going to buy her time by personally joining the fight is really bittersweet. At this point, it’s almost certain what end awaits Lena’s uncle.
And so Lena finally commences her endgame plan: the ultimate defense of San Magnolia with the help of all Eighty-Six. The scene is simply epic, more so because Lena is syncing with every Processor, and it shows the character development that Lena has acquired throughout the series.
Overall, episode 5 is gripping and engaging throughout its runtime. The fight scenes are flawless, the music epic, and each scene managed to convey a lot of emotions that surpassed all the episodes so far.
Episode score: 10/10