In a wholly unexpected turn of events the gang finally made it into space this week. It was pretty anticlimactic.
As with most things in this show the announcement that after spending half the series durdling around on Earth the show would finally be engaging with its endearingly silly premise again was delivered weirdly flatly. Nobody really seemed particularly invested in finally being able to do the thing they’ve been building towards for the past six weeks.
And this long build ultimately sort of undermined the whole thing. Because the show hasn’t actually featured any space fishing since the first episode it’s kind of created the implicit expectation that any future space fishing would be a big deal. A long build up to a climactic fishing trip could have worked, but that would require it to provide some kind of payoff. What we actually got was fairly rudimentary incompetent first attempt stuff with Namino’s usual headstrong demeanour getting her group into trouble. Which might have worked as episode 2 but feels out of place this far into the series. If anything it just serves as another demonstration of how little progress any of the characters have made. Nobody’s changed since episode 1, Maiko and Makoto are back to being nonentities now that their focus episodes are out of the way, Namino is still constantly feuding with everyone else, Haru is still the happy go lucky protagonist and Ruby’s an excitable child.
The one character given a little more emphasis this week was the affable but noncommittal Maki, but where previous episodes have made their respective characters the center of events Maki gets the short straw, with the sudden inclusion of space fishing eating a lot of the runtime. There’s an attempt to weave this together, with Maki being designated leader of the B team and having to overcome her self doubt to swoop in and rescue Namino’s team from an ambushing anglerfish but for all that it’s framed as a character moment she ends up not actually achieving anything. Instead it’s Haru who makes the save thanks to some last moment divine intervention. The effect of all this is that Maki ends up consistently overshadowed in the episode which might be her only chance to shine.
As with episode 1 the space fish themselves continue to be baffling. Who thought the giant laser beam firing anglerfish was a good idea? Given the absence of any other plausible explanation someone must have designed that fish. Once again the whole space fishing system just seems arbitrarily dangerous for no reason whatsoever.
At least they actually did the thing the show is ostensibly about at last.