Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Episode #11 Anime Review

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Episode #11 Anime Review The BETA are coming, the BETA are coming!

What They Say:
A massive force of underground BETA is heading towards the Soviet Base, and there’s no time to do anything but pack up and leave. Yui stays behind to destroy the Type 99 Cannon, but the Soviets want it for themselves…

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While we’ve had some thoroughly engaging moments in the last couple of episodes with the weapons at hand, the hand to hand combat and the general approach of all those fighting the BETA, it can’t go positive for all that long as we head into the mid-season climax. With the BETA attacks now coming in a new way, pushing up from underground to go after the Soviet base where the high tech weapons are, it’s clear they’ve learned that a new approach must be taken in destroying humanity since they can now fight back, at least a little, with that prototype weapon that made Yuuya a hero for a little while. But now with the way things are going, the brass is call for a full out retreat in order to salvage things since fighting them coming from underground is a losing choice.

The show gives us some good tension early on as we see the rank and file deal with the first blush fighting going on and the orders they’re given, but it slows down to some awkward if interesting behind the scenes material as the higher ups figure out the best approach. An approach best for the Soviets in the end in order to gain access to the cannon that Yuuya used before. That’s not something that goes over well, but there’s only so far they can actually go in dealing with the Soviets since it is their base, their evacuation plan and their call. The nuance in how it’s phrased down the line is key though and it’s something that has Yui doing her best to ensure that the cannon doesn’t fall into anyone else’s hands. As always, humanity is its own worst enemy.

Yui’s attempts at dealing with things is pretty nicely done and it adds a good bit of tension as it progresses, especially since she ensures that others get awy so she can do what’s needed. Her mindset about the cannon and its role in things is definitely a big part of her character, as is the problem solving that has to go into it while the BETA are inching ever closer to them. While events only go so far here, there’s a lot of good tension as we see the different facets of the final moments of the base come into play with the BETA making their own plan. They’re mostly off screen for it, but you can feel their presence throughout the episode, which works well since the grunts on the front line are starting to feel like they’re getting bad orders just to protect certain command officers.

In Summary:
While the episode isn’t as strong in the character department as I would have liked as it’s only Yui that gets some serious screen time, there’s a lot to like here overall. We know the base is going to fall, the pullout is fully underway and moving quickly and there’s some careful maneuvering on the Soviets part to get what they want, and even if they don’t get it, it’s lost to the XFJ forces so that’s almost as much of a win. With the front line troops getting nervous about the situation and Yui intending to make sure her project isn’t going into the wrong hands, there’s a sense of people that will make the hard decisions and follow through on them here being key. We usually don’t have this, instead getting a lot of waffling or avoidance, but here the situations aren’t pretty and they have to make the choices. That continues to be the big draw and seeing what transpires next has me eagerly looking forward to the next episode.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.