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Ten days without any mew entries, I feel a bit guilty but I am so much behind the aired Simoun episodes anyway. Not that this should be an excuse for my laziness. I hope the next entry will come more quickly because the next episode is simply awesome. This one is an important setup episode, although it suffers from having too little Aaeru and Rimone.

This time the episode starts with the bickering between the members of Choir Tempest and Choir Rubor. Apparently the latter are only too happy to see problems in Choir Tempest which have resulted in them getting harder missions. Being happy with the harder missions seems like the idiotic logic of military personnel, so I think this is a proof of the hypocritical position adopted by everyone who claims the Sybillae are only priestess. But then again, history tells us that priests can be just as stupid as generals, so maybe not.

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Only Aaeru seems calm and talks nonchalantly with the “enemy” Choir member that she shares a room with. Then she expresses her happiness of the fact that the Simoun ready for her is the one her grandfather has used in his (at the time more like “her” actually) Sibylla career. The old man has kept is a training craft – Simile so I guess Aaeru knows the machine quite well. I am guess the mechanics have installed the yuri powered thing to convert it to Simoun.

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During the sortie Floe bitches that once the Rubor members were basically nothing compared to those of Tempest. Everyone decides to do their best to put Tempest on top again. Someone tells Aaeru she would do that just to postpone her Holy Spring visit, one thing leads to another and Alti confesses she would go immediately if her beloved would come with her. She would become man and her would-be-lover – a woman. Morinas just has to have her fun and says that in that case the two should just have sex right next to the Spring. Hilarious moment with Rimone covering her ears with her hands and Kaimu’s blush just inreases the suspicions of incest.

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The way to return the top position of Choir Temest according to Paraieta is to get two new members because a choir seems to need six pairs and to finaly convince Neville to pair up with Aaeru. The rest of the choir are surprised that Para-sama is now supporting such a pair but since I remember the duel, I am not. Kaimu seems to be thinking that Paraieta giving up on Neville means she is now free to love her…poor misguided girl.

While our heroines are trying to show off their ri-maajon skils another enormous ship approaches – the Arcus Niger. It sends a Simile to the Arcus Prima. The Simile is bright pink in colour, I guess this is the newest camouflage fashion. It flies straight through the Tempest formation and just seems to be keen on teasing them. As if anyone can take seriously a pink war machine when Lacus from Gundam SEED is not around…

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Back at the Arcus Prima some delegation of Simulacrum big shots gets ready to conduct negotiations with some people called the Plumbum Highlanders. I wonder if their name comes from the awesome sanitation and plumbing skills their country is renown for or simply from the latin word for the metal lead.

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Later Paraieta explains to the rest of the Choir (or more to the viewers because I doubt they didn’t know these things) that Simulacrum is waging war with all of its neighbouring countries. Apparently they are poor and want the secret of the helical motors. Since the motors are not produced but found in ancient ruins, my question would be why don’t the Simulacrans sell a few of them or give them in exchange for ending the war? Maybe they have tried but the neighbours want more? And let’s not forget that the motors are probably sacred and all that jazz.

The two pilots of the pink Simile come to have some fun with the Tempest girls. And by fun I mean a quarrel which starts with really nasty glares from the blue-haired girl. She tries to be nice and apologizes for her earlier pliloting insanity and then claims Choir Tempest does not live to its reputation. Unfortunately for her, Floe had predicted her words just second before she said them and they are met with a lot of laughter.

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Then we have a bit of class struggle – as could be seen in the short flashback the blue-haired (who is called Mamiina) has once been a child of some servants in the mansion of Rodoreamon’s family. So she calls Rodoreamon “Ojou-sama” (Milady) and seems ready to get back at her for simply being a little princess as a kid. You know, every time I hear “Ojou-sama”, I think of Madlax and Elinor, at least Mamiina seems quite reluctant to use it as often as Elinor, not to mention she does it with a quite sarcastic glee in her voice. I also wonder will there be any characters we won’t see in a flashack as kids – we have already seen Neville, Aaeru, Paraieta, Mamiina, Rodoreamon, Rimone and probably some others that I don’t remember now.

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Mamiina and the other new girl called Yun are just what Paraieta wanted – they come to fill the gap in the ranks of Choir Tempest. Yun seem a totally straghtforward type of person – she just says “I hate war. That’s all”, out of the blue. Then Paraieta is outraged that a new bed is installed in Neville’s room. I can just imagine her thoughts “If there has to be a new bed her, it should be mine!”.

Seems like Neville’s father is some big shot in Simulacrum (a vice president of something according to Paraieta) and he has decided Neville needs to share a room with her new Simoun partner (I don’t like using “pair” for one person ;)). Aaeru thinks this must be her bed then. But no, Mamiina is to be Neville’s new partner. “Dad, are you a bloody moron?” would have been my reply if I were Neville.

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Neville’s dad has once been a Sibylla too but he is not convinced by her argument that pairs should be formed naturally and with the consent of both parties. Mamiina is ready to switch from auriga to sagitta just to be in pair with Neville. It seems Mamiina has been the best among the Sibyllae trained in the Grand Temple and loves dangerous ri-maajons. Oh, well Mamiina you have come just at the right place, I would suggest you, Rimone and Aaeru to have a club of extreme ri-maajon fans. Just make you sure to forget about your long term plans in life if you get carried away with this insanity.

Anyway, forcing Neville to accept such a reckless girl partner is really stupid, she is depressed exactly because she lost her partner in a dangerous ri-maajon. It’s like trying to get a man bitten by dog to love animals again by giving him a vicious pitbul for a pet. Oh, well, Aaeru immediately claims she has not given up on Neville yet. Yes, very surprising indeed, considering her stubborness. 🙂

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Yun seems to dislike being a Sibylla and fighting but does it because to simply leave would be more or less treason, as far as she is concerned. I like this attitude, although being the coward that I am I would probably try every means to get away if I am in a similar situations. But at least Yun knows why she keep on fighting, unlike some other Sibyllae.

Next morning Mamiina just gets into the bathroon while Neville is taking a shower and has a simpla wish – Neville to be her partner, body and soul. What happened to good old fashioned courting – why all the haste, Mamiina? Neville’s answer is superb and possibly the climax of the episode “Sybilla Mamiina, even if you take my body, you will never be my pair”. Yes! We really needed Neville to show a bit more strenth and determination. Her face expression is so regal in this scene, no wonder Mamiina does not really try to force her into some sexual act right there and then.

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As usual Aaeru is at the right place at the right time (she seems to have some uncanny ability for that) and manages to cheer up Neville after she finally finishes taking her shower. Apparently Aaeru had broken in through the window which seems to enrage Mamiina who is still in the bathroom.

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Choir Tempest is to perform the prayer for the diplomatic meeting and Aaeru goes to train a bit in the Maaju pool. Mamiina follows her and for Aaeru this seems like deja-vu from the last episode. But Mamiina is not in a mood for duels. She tries to rip apart Aeru’s special (revealing) training suit which would lead to Aaeru plunging to her death. The reason? One less competitor for the position of Neville’s partner. Mamiina even says that Aaeru is not from a good family and can only fly Simoun well so she is not worth of Neville. But the same is true for Mamiina so her argument is not exactly convincing. She seems to be thinking that Neville does not want her just because of her lowly birth. But if that’s the case why try to kill Aaeru who according to this logic has no chance for Neville either? I guess she Mamiina not exactly thinking rationally at that point.

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Not surprisingly, Yun and few other Sibyllae manage to intervene in time to stop the fight but the damage to the Choir’s reputation is done. Neville’s faher decides that after the peace conference Coir Tempest will be disbanded. Mamiina is shell-shocked while the rest are not too happy either. In the end we see the enemy delegation being transported to Arcus Prima.

By itself this was not the best of episodes but it seems important if we put the events in it the perspective of the whole series. Neville is on the verge of ending her self-imposed isolation, two new members of Choir Tempest, peace negotiations are to start, Choir Tempest is on the verge of being disbanded . We see more of the importance of the right family background in Simulacrum, learn more about the political situation and the scale of the conflict.

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I think it’s important to have episodes in which forces from the outside world really influence Choir Tempest, in this episode the precarious position of its members is very clear. Neville’s refusal to accept her new partner and the consequent fit of jealousy from Maiina were really well done. The group dynamics in Choir Tempest continue to be fascinating for me and with Mamiina and Yun in the equation now this aspect of the show seems even more promising. Seems like Neville didn’t go crying to her father demanding from him to use his influence to make Aaeru and co to stop trying to convince her to return before she is ready, which is a point in her favour. Actually he wants to force her to decide as soon as possible to gain a bit of prestige for himself. What a loving and caring parent…

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