Tide-Line Blue – episode 10

October 5, 2005 on 3:24 pm | In Tide-Line Blue | Comments Off on Tide-Line Blue – episode 10


I seem to have been saying that this series has only been half good – but looking through previous writings, I have only taken issue with 30% of the episodes (ie three of them), and they were all more than passable. Of those, I have only been angered by one episode (ie episode four).
Tide-Line Blue, by playing the percentages, has been quite good overall. This episode is the calm before the storm and boasts some more of the characterisation that I like so much.

The Ulysses and the repair ship finally meet up, which means that Isla and Keel are finally reunited – as are Tean and Joze with Gould. Keel becomes angry with Tean at Tean’s inability to show emotion, and Tean envies Keel’s own expressive nature. In the process, he reveals that he has something of a mother complex, something which I really hope does not carry on to Keel; doubtful as Keel sees Isla as someone to protect.
Keel then needs to consider what he thinks is right. The episode concludes with some fine character relation tension and flashes.

This episode was pretty damned good: I got more of a feel for Tean’s character, the fangirls got enough twincest inspiration to last them the rest of the week. Keel says that Tean is incapable of displaying any emotions, but the animation on Tean’s face does an excellent job of showing inner turmoil. Watching the character I get a sense of tragedy that I normally don’t feel when I’m watching anime – although I suppose, because I got it from Honey & Clover and Emma, I suppose I just don’t pay enough attention most of the time.

Keel got his own sense of drama in this episode, but the impotence that he feels when in the presence of Gould is something that does not sit well with me: I suppose that, when placed in front of a character with such a strong and immovable set of ideals, Keel feels that he cannot move the world himself – boundless confidence does, after all, find its boundaries in the right context. I suppose that it’s really an advertisement for futility; the shots of Keel uselessly pummeling Gould were definitely worthwhile.
This sense of impotence, then, is the impetus for a renewed vitality in Keel: not exactly vigour but a not-entirely-defeated sense of purpose. While it seems bizarre at first, this relationship does grow into something positive, and the internal dilemmas of this episode along with the recurring theme of what is “right” works well.

Isla, of course, watches on and again demonstrates that she has an intuitive understanding of the situations. Like Joze, Isla has proven that, with exposure, she can understand these characters better than they do themselves and each other.

The final note is that the scenes of communication between Aoi and Gould were brilliant: the sense of loyalty, betrayal and, again, “right” and “wrong” were perfectly wrung. The problem with being at war is that communication lines are frayed and natural misunderstandings can occur.
There is a big difference between a natural misunderstanding and a “hilarious” misunderstanding, and Tide-Line Blue has effectively demonstrated that. Muddy motives and “need-to-know” have shined through in these past two episodes and effectively lead into the impending grand finale.

My biggest problem with Tide-Line Blue back in the day was that it provided little characterisation and motivation – now it no longer faces that issue. I used to think that 13 episodes was too few to tell this story, but it turned out to be a wise choice: I eagerly anticipate the battle at Metasequoia.

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