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Three weeks had passed since my last Simoun entry and having watched the raw of this episode and read a few summaries, I thought I might not like it that much when I finally watch the fansubbed version. Wrong! I really enjoyed it.

In short in could be described as a great setup episode, which gives the viewers a lot of information about the world and the characters. No action to speak of but since I have watched the raws of all available episodes I can say that if someone is just looking for action, this is probably not exactly the best choice since the battles are relatively rare. I have to say this approach – not many action scenes but when they come they are awesome, all female elite group training for battles and the whole atmosphere remind me of Gunslinger Girl. But Simoun's not a rip-off in any way, it seems that a great effort has been made to make it a real Science-Fiction series, unlike the common pseudo-Science-Fiction shows which are quite superficial.

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The episode begins with the introduction of yet another character who is a replacement for one of the Sybillas killed in episode one. Her name is Morinas and like Aeru she is quite ignorant about the Simouns. Obviously this can be attributed to the need to give the viewers info about these machines. If the characters knew everything and never asked, the viewers would be left completely in the dark. From Paraieta and Waporif's explanation it becomes clear that the Simulacrumians don't know how to produce the Simoun engines, named Helical Motors and apparently they "dig it from the earth". I wonder how they understood that yuri power drive is required for them.:)

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Paraieta goes on to say that the Sybilas are priestesses of Tempus Spatium and so on but Morinas claims she has no interest to be a priestess and just wants to fly a Simoun (and get the hottest partner possible judging by her later actions). What's wrong with this new generation of Sybillas? What a lack of piety…

Floe comes and claims that she has mistaken Morinas for the new lover of Waporif, who despite his very much feminine appearance and voice is a male. They talk a bit more about the difference between the Simile which is the training version of Simoun, without ri-maajon capabilities and the real deal, the yuri powered machine of doom and destruction.

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Then we witness Aeru's waking up. I have to say she looks much better with her hair falling freely over her shoulders. She is late for the meeting with the other members of Corps Spatium. Paraieta emphatically declares that they had been the elite Corps and will now strive to reclaim that glory, despite the loss of three Sybillas in the battle in episode one and three who have gone to the Holy Spring. Well, as seen later in this episode with recruits like Rimone and Aeru that won't be such a difficult task, I guess.

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Morinas sees Neville and wastes no times in proposing to her. To be just her partner, or "pair" as it in the sub, that is, not anything else, I mean. Amuria was an exception to the rule, right? Well, I hope not but we know from the opening who si going to be Neville's partner so sorry, Morinas, you are out of luck.

Apparently, the pairs are formed during all out yuri orgies in the ri-maajon pool. This pool is used for training, although I do have some difficulties understanding how these training sessions help in battle. But since Corps Tempest are currently relieved of combat duty, they have little to do but train in the pool.

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Neville is still all angsty and depressed so at first she is reluctant to train with the rest. So they go and jump into the pool, wearing some rather revealing training suits. Well, if the engine is powered by yuri power, it makes sense that the training suits should be like that, right?

The training itself is quite a mess, some of the Sybillas almost crashing into each other and any attempts to form any ri-maajon patterns seem doomed. However Aeru and Rimone seem to have no difficulties controlling their movements in this strange place which seems to have weird laws of gravity and allows the girls to fly around it. The music really enhances the mystic feel of the place and the whole training really looks like a ritual.

In the end Neville decides to join them. Is that a sign that she is ready to come back and fly again? Well, we shall have to wait and see whether that's the case in the next episode, alas.

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As if to remind us that a war is raging outside the Arcus Prima (the enormous battleship where Corps Tempest is stationed), a burning Simoun barely manages to land on the deck in the end of the episode. It also serves to emphasise that our heroines will have to get their act together as soon as possible and help defeat the enemy.

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As I said I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. The focus seems to be on building the team spirit of Corps Tempest and integrating the new recruits into the group. The relationships between the characters are very intriguing and the competiotion for the position of Neville's partner is in the center of it all. Everyone is trying to cope with the difficult situation in their own unique way. From being kind of annoying in the first episode Aeru is quickly climbing to the position of my favourite character. She is full of confidence and seems to wish to try everything and ask every question but she usually knows when to stop and unlike many anime characters she can actually admit her mistakes and change her ways.

The details about the world are also interesting. The Simulacrum (the homeland of the Sybillas) cannot produce the engines for the Simouns, it can only maintain them and do minor repairs. One of the big revolving wheels of the Simoun controls time while the other controls space. I do believe it's a really advance technology, which ignorant people worship. It also seems that the ri-maajon is not only used for fighting since it's mentioned that the Arcus Prima was originally designed as a ship from which spectators could watch ri-maajons. I wonder if the ri-maajons are just for rituals and destruction or can be used for something else.

The music is again amazing, the animation quality is consitent with the previous episodes.

All in all one of the best series of this season. I only wish it was subbed faster…

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