Hisone to Masotan – Episode 4
Thankfully there wasn’t a lot of waiting involved before introducing more of the cast in Hisone to Masotan. This episode we meet lots of new characters! There’s an announcement that OTFs pilots from other locations will come train alongside Amakusa Hisone, so she, as the face of Gifu, has to welcome them. This ‘as the face of Gifu’ bit makes me giggle every time! Hisone is still very concerned about her communication skills, as she should, but soon enough we find out that this… ahem, colorful aspect of her personality is slightly mirrored in all the other new pilots that we meet.
So, from different bases from Japan, we meet Ririko, TAC name Jimmy, Hitomi, TAC name Morris and Eru, TAC name Penguin. They all have some colorful aspect in their personality! Hitomi is kind of laid-back and slow-paced. Ririko is kind of paranoid and negative and Eru is ridiculously proud and strict. These aspects are not all noticeable at first sight, but come to surface during the episode. The central theme this time around is whether they should see themselves as pilots or as caretakers. That was a very interesting thing to bring up and really shows the special relationship that there is between and OTF and its pilot.
Hisone gets really excited about the whole event, right away trying to learn tips to improve communication, although she still can’t figure out when to utilize these tips in conversation, which are used both as a gag and as argument fuel this episode. Right away Eru is scoffing at everything around her that doesn’t equal pristine and rule-abiding military life. She runs faster than all of them, wants to do flight training right away and is not impressed by Hisone’s clumsy attempt at showing off with Masotan’s flight maneuvers.
She lets up for a bit when she invites Hisone and the rest drinking, probably another aspect of what she sees as proper life conduct more than as an attempt to really get closer to her teammates, but still appreciated by Hisone who soons enough starts getting teary-eyed over holding normal conversation with other women her age. One thing that was funny was that because of the cute art, it slips my mind that they’re adults, so when they first mentioned going drinking, I was taken aback for a sec. Here they talk about the reasons for their TAC names and we get a glimpse of Eru’s ambition behind her reason to choose Penguin as her TAC name. Unfortunately the outing ends in a bit of a sour note.
The next day, as they undertake their mock exercise mission, Eru is relentless in her strict behavior, but during her flight, her OTF suddenly sheds part of the armor and she doesn’t want to report the issue and eventually, the dragon just emerges out in the sky. This was foreshadowed with the mention that OTFs are under stress while they’re in foxtrot form and F-2 had been kept this way the whole time while in the hangar. After the failed mission, the girls are shown in the changing room and an argument ensues. Eru expresses her frustration over the OTF not following her orders and the discussion over the dragons being ‘pets’ or ‘weapons’ and them being ‘caretakers’ or ‘pilots’.
I personally can’t say Eru’s attitude is right or wrong. I do think that she shouldn’t put so much stress on her OTF and her disdain for the other pilots’ way is rude and pretentious because they are also recognized pilots. In the end the episode offers us no resolution for this situation, only an awkward aftermath that serves like an ominous cliffhanger. I wish the next episode were available already, but no! I’ll have to wait a week to see how this discussion of what their role is and why they were chosen and have in common will develop.