Having made a poor impression with her bad performance playing the morning call on her trumpet, Kanata is disappointed when Rio instructs her to practice using a mouthpiece only until she gets better.
Before heading down from the tower, Kanata spots Kureha in the courtyard and shouts a lively morning greeting only to get shot down by a swift response her trumpeting was horrible.
At the breakfast table, Kanata is given a stool for they only have four chairs. The enthusiastic girl is properly introduced to the commanding office Felicia, soon fast asleep tank mechanic Noel and the feisty gunner Kureha.
Aghast at the seating re-arrangements, Kureha is all but pleased that she’s no longer sitting next to Rio, whom she vehemently admires, and the twin-tailed girl lets no chance slip by to express her discontent.
Rejoicing in the impressive spread and sampling tasty strips of bacon, Kanata’s bliss when she is told to eat well so she can grown a strong body soon turns to despair when she spots Rio and Felicia’s ample chests.
Ordered to show Kanata the ropes, Kureha is unhappy about the assignment and uses the opportunity to boss their newest recruit around. Taking Kanata around the fort, the fiesty twin-tailed girl shows the fort’s location on the map, stressing the importance of their squadron’s assignment in protecting the nearby border to nomansland.
Proudly showing the squadron’s tank that Noel is working on, Kureha gets defensive when Kanata observes it’s still in pieces and missing its legs.
With Rio looking at the dark clouds outside, Felicia observes that Kanata and Kureha will surely start to get along soon, much like when she herself and Rio first met but then the bespectacled girl reveals she had to console Kureha the night before when the young girl threw a jealous fit.
As lightning strikes in the distance, Noel tells everyone how she saw a ghost in one of the abandoned buildings adjacent to the fort.
Frightened at the sheer mention of ghosts, Rio and Kureha brush Noel’s claim off as idiotic but soon shake in their boots when Kanata confirms that she too saw a ghost standing at one of the windows in the derelict buildings.
Shouting ghosts do not exist, Kureha finds renewed confidence in Rio’s affirmation she too believes they do not exist.
But the twin-tailed girl’s frail hopes are mercilessly crushed when she and Kanata are assigned to investigate the abandoned buildings in search of the ghost.
Terrified, Kureha is awed at Kanata’s sheer enthusiasm, their new recruit excited about exploring the old buildings.
Their derelict surroundings illuminated only by the occasional flash of lighting, Kanata and Kureha wander through what once seems to have been a school, judging by the classrooms filled with dilapidated desks, old soaked books and weathered chalkboards.
Knees shaking, Kureha’s fear is offset against Kanata’s curiosity, but both girls do eventually flee screaming at the top of their lungs when a horde of rats rushes past them.
Making it to what seems to have been a music room with a run down piano, Kanata imagines what life used to be like at the school and enthusiastically tells Kureha how Seize is a wonderful city and their squadron is a great unit.
Just as Kureha’s laments their squadron is small and all but forgotten by the rest of the army, an owl flies into the room, scaring the living daylights out of both girls.
Running into the corridor, Kanata trips and falls down. Upon seeing her fellow squadron member down, Kureha fires a round at the owl, bringing down part of the ceiling down and knocking the bird to the ground.
With the owl captured and exposed as the culprit, the mystery of the ghost has been resolved and Felicia opts to keep the feisty bird as squadron mascot.
The next morning, Kanata sees that the stool she’d been given has been replaced by a proper chair, brought in by Kureha who had spotted it the day before during their exploration of the abandoned buildings.
Tightly hugging Kureha in gratitude, Kanata causes the twin-tailed girl to drop the plates she was holding, making quite the scene.
After last week’s episode that simply played the opening song over normal scenes, this week we get a full opening sequence animation which used illustrations as seen in last weekend’s monster legend scene. It gives the series a rather unique feeling and builds more on the fantasy/historical element of the story.
Seeing those images together with Kalafina’s opening track for “So-Ra-No-Wo-To” did somehow feel reminiscent to the opening for “Elfen Lied” which featured similar styled images based on paintings by Gustav Klimt, accompanied by the ominous music track ‘Lilium’.
This episode was squarely rooted in the slice-of-life/heartwarming genre, with Kanata meeting the rest of her fellow squadron members and befriending the initially reluctant Kureha.
It also again confirms that those who erroneously compare this series to “K-ON!” simply due to similar character animation style are alas mistaken. While Felicia may visually resemble Sawako from “K-ON!” their characters are not alike and Kanata is quite different from Yui, in fact her positiveness, lust for life and idealizing past events are far more reminiscent of Akari from “Aria”.
Really loving this series so far and hope it continues on in this direction!