Yet another tragedy strikes!
Episode 7 is somber and depressing throughout its runtime. While Lena grows bolder in helping the squadron both in and out of combat, to the point that she will bribe anyone just to send the squadron a box of fireworks and even confront her commanding officer, it is not enough to stem the tide of death that slowly picks off the Spearhead Squadron one by one.
Perhaps her greatest display of defiance is her choice of clothes during the Revolution Festival: a black dress fit for a funeral, signifying her tribute to the fallen members of her squadron. There is also her usual conversation with Shin and the promise to remember them should they die, as well as her resolve to prevent more casualties.
Meanwhile, Anju and Kurena has a little heart-to-heart talk about their recent experiences… and during a shower, no less. Ignoring the risque fanservice undertone of the scene itself, it is obvious that Anju is still sad about Daiya’s death. Moreover, we get a tiny glimpse of her backstory, though it remains as mysterious and intriguing as ever.
As for Kurena, it seems her hostility toward Lena has lessened greatly to the point that she, along with the rest of the squadron, wants to keep her ignorant of the truth behind their “terms” in the front lines. After all, Handler One has done much for them since she started, and despite her being an Alba, they have all taken a liking to her.
But war, as always, is unpredictable and cruel. Four more of the squadron lost their lives, and while all of them were background characters with barely enough screen time, their deaths serve as a reminder that the lives of the 86 are already forfeited the moment they started to pilot a Juggernaut. And for the first time, Lena made the call to abandon a mission just to save what remains of her dwindling team.
This tragic event caused her to have a mild breakdown, and we can truly feel her desperation and anguish that the higher command officers are uninterested in giving her more freedom to help her team. Thus, it is probably the reason why Shin revealed the truth at last: it is not simply because they are 86 that they are sent to the most dangerous missions and front lines, but because they are veteran 86 who has survived countless battles and might inspire the rest to stage a rebellion.
But despite their inevitable fate, most of them never hates their situation. And with an inspiring speech from Raiden, we finally come to realize that even though the Alba hates them, those in the squadron either have imperial blood or an Alba friend who took care of them and even sacrificed their lives to ensure their survival, as was the case with Theo. Thus, even though it means certain death, all of them promised to continue fighting until the very end.
Overall, episode 7 is another sad episode. The fight scene may have been brief, but audiences are given insight on several characters and reveals another twist to the story.
Episode score: 8.5/10.