We’re getting a Natasha-centric episode this time around!

Summary:

One day, the Zvezda’s base udo plants all wilt at once, causing the base’s power to go out.  Apparently, udo is the power source for not only the entire base’s functions, but it is also what powers the members’ magical powers.  Thus, Jimon, Natasha, and Kate embark on a quest underground in order to find the parent udo root, which seems to be what’s causing all the other udo to wilt.

Suddenly–FANTASY RPG!!!

On the way, Natasha and Jimon talk, which leads into Natasha talking a bit about her past and how she ended up meeting Kate.  However, the trio can’t relax for long, as when they finally find the parent udo root, it’s dying.  It seems a strange dark cloud is attacking it, apparently made up of the fears of humans.  Natasha holds the cloud off at bay while Kate and Jimon attempt to re-pollinate the udo plant—the only thing that seems able to save it.  Natasha is forced to face her painful past, though thankfully, she’s not alone.

Little!Natasha! So apparently she was pretty good at building robots from a pretty young age.

…I kind of like this outfit more than Kate’s current one.

My Opinion:  (Once again, there are SPOILERS HERE!)

This was a much, much better episode than last week’s was.  While this episode is definitely not as “funny” as the last three, I think the small attempts at humor were much more effective here; as the series seems to be returning to its relatively harmless albeit over-the-top ridiculous form of humor.  (Because honestly, last week’s episode was just a tad uncomfortable)

The reason for less humor this time around is due to Natasha’s somber back-story.  I was honestly quite surprised at just how sad her past was—I never expected Sekai Seifuku to actually address all the characters’ backstories like this.  Natasha’s backstory is a bit… vague to say the least.  She was born in Ukraine to scientist parents, and was quite a child genius.  While it appears that she was spirited away by “fairies,” I think it was just a less harsh way to say that she was essentially abandoned by her parents for being so “weird.”  And that’s when she was saved by Kate who… looked the same back then as she did now, further cementing proof that Kate is some otherworldly being.

Anyway, it seems like there’s going to be a “theme” parodied by each episode of Sekai Seifuku.  I’m… not quite sure what the first two episodes’ theme were (alien invasions and spy flicks?), but last week’s episode was definitely parodying some kind of serious war film or something.  This week’s episode focused on RPGs.  Jimon, Natasha, and Kate basically went on a dungeon crawl to reach the parent udo root, and the whole last part of the episode was basically one big boss fight (though much more serious in tone because it was dealing with Natasha’s past).  I actually really liked the BGM in the last part of the episode that plays as the udo plant was revived.  It was VERY fantasy RPG-like, but it was also very beautiful at the same time.

There’s something I want to bring up—I really love the way this any handles fanservice.  Yes, all the girls are pretty scantily clad, but the anime never really attempts to bring any attention to it: there are no lovingly slow pans over the girls (apart from the OP), and none of the male characters ever really comment or fixate on the fact.  Even Yasu (who’s the most “unsavory of the group”) is never shown to be a pervert towards any of the girls.  And the girls never seem embarrassed about what they’re wearing, implying that they were the ones who choose to dress like this of their own free will.  It’s refreshing!  THIS is how you do fanservice right.

Overall, I quite liked this episode.  It’s probably a bit more serious than what’s to be expected from a series like this, and there isn’t much comedy here, but it does shed a lot of light on Natasha (who is, admittedly, my favorite character so far).  The animation also seems to be a bit higher here than last week’s episode, and man is that soundtrack at the end great.  It seems like we’ll be getting a look into how all the members of Zvezda met Kate, and Itsuka/Plamya is up next.  I don’t… really like Itsuka too much, but let’s hope the next episode explains why she acts the way she does.

Out of five:

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