Haifuri Episode 2: In a Pinch During the Pursuit!
The doujins are writing themselves!
It’s been two episodes, and I still have no idea how Haifuri will turn out. Even for an original, each week is going to be super exciting if they keep this up. All I have is a vague feeling that something bad will happen to Moka next week. Or would that be too formulaic? I do know that we’ve definitely gone past the point of no return with the whole mutiny thing, though. Which is exactly what I wanted to happen – and if we’re going to get regular battles out of it, then all the better. I came for the cute girls, but I’m happy to stay for the plot. I still think that the Harekaze have been unwittingly caught up in some kind of major conspiracy which now clearly involves multiple countries. And they’re only digging their graves ever-deeper at this point – it was already going to be hard enough for them to explain why they shot at the Sarushima and why it sank (especially since it really shouldn’t have) but now they’ve willingly damaged this German ship too before fleeing. All the evidence is mounting up against them. Not that it’s their fault at all – I’m not familiar with how naval forces respond to mutiny, but it felt like the Admiral Spee had a slightly disproportionate reaction to encountering the Harekaze. It shot at the Harekaze with live ammo, and a single direct hit would have sunk them immediately – it’s like they were trying to kill them all. And what was up with the German girl who was shot at by the Spee? Was she escaping from the ship? Weren’t they her comrades? Did something happen on board? Is the same thing happening to the Musashi?
If I had to take a guess at this stage, I’d say that all this has something to do with Shiro and how her mother’s both the current principal of the school and the head of the Munetani family of Blue Mermaids. It would explain why Kuro-chan admires Shiro so much. I’ve also just realized that Akeno has nicknamed them Kuro and Shiro, that’s super cute. Shiro was cute as a loli too. Anyway. Shiro being in the Harekaze class could have been due to her unlucky test-taking, but it could just as easily have been the result of Furushou doing some meddling. It doesn’t explain why she was only made the deputy captain and not the actual captain (with all the responsibilities and accountability the role brings) but it must still be of significant impact for the higher-ups to learn that a Munetani is currently serving on the bridge of a mutinied ship.
I also want to talk about Akeno for a bit. I know I said Mei was best girl (and she was sufficiently genki to retain that role this week) but Akeno makes me swoon. My heart almost skipped a beat when she dashingly headed out solo to save the German girl. I didn’t think she’d be so capable as a captain, and combined with her comfy friendliness and quick judgement she’s actually turned out to be really competent. Her resemblance to Nanoha actually makes me smile. I foresee lots of zenryoku zenkai and aggressive befriending in the future. In fact, she might just have found her Fate-chan – although I’m kind of hesitant to put on my yuri goggles given how sparse yuri will likely be in Haifuri. And would this new girl even be the OTP for Akeno? Last week I would have suggested Shiro, or maybe even Moka (if something… unfortunate doesn’t happen to her). I do think they look beautiful together though.
The general tone of the show is also different from what I’d anticipated. It’s surprisingly light-hearted given that they’re in a lot of trouble – the entire crew haven’t shown much signs of tension so far, save for Shiro who’s always tense and Akeno during that one scene in the shower. There are a lot of laughs and everyone is really cute. Given how the first half of last week’s episode played out, I should have guessed that things would stay somewhat fluffy. It’s a little like Sora no Woto or Strike Witches, both of which had a dead serious premise (in theory) but ended up having lots of comedy and slice-of-life, most probably because of the influx of cute girls everywhere. I still haven’t worked out whether this is a good thing – or indeed, whether it’ll adopt a drastic change in tone once something happens.
I don’t want Moka to die. There, I said it – she has a couple of death flags hanging over her. I don’t know whether the Musashi is going through the same problems the Harekaze did, but evidently they didn’t make it to the agreed location either. Say they’ve been unexpectedly attacked – if the Harekaze manages to make it to their location, will they even be able to do anything against a ship who’s managed to harm the Musashi to the extent that Moka’s sending out distress signals? Or is it a trap – what if Akeno arrives with the intention to help, and realizes she’s been baited? If German ships have gotten the memo about the Harekaze mutinying, there’s no way the Musashi didn’t. At any rate, there’s a surprising lack of Moka in a lot of the OP and all of the ED, which indicates that she isn’t going to be playing a core role in the series despite her status as Akeno’s childhood friend (i.e. it’s not looking good for her). Akeno even spends a lot of the ED staring at a certain locket, which makes it all even more ominous. Akeno, please keep Moka safe.