Nothing truly unexpected happens in this episode. Why bother mixing things up at all, right?
(Spoilers in this review)
The first half of the episode introduces the Architect, who is supposed to be a program that doesn’t have a physical body. She interrupts a match between Gourai and Jinrai in order to take them both on at the same time. The Architect sure has guts! Still, Gourai (and Jinrai) manage to defeat the program through Ao’s support (she sends Gourai yet another weapon), Gourai’s creativity, and Jinrai’s feistiness.
The Architect begins to experience a critcial error after the battle concludes. Jinrai theorizes that it’s because she’s never experienced defeat before and I believe it. If she had a human buddy to tell her what to do, the Architect would probably be unstoppable since she can manifest clones (and all of them are armed with machines guns), she can dominate in CQC, and she can fly. She’s so overpowered! But don’t worry, Gourai gives her a peck on the cheek, which allowed the Architect’s system to stabilize. Love and peace, etc.
The Architect leaves the battle zone, saying that she’ll try to remember what happened here even though she’ll probably be a different Frame Arms Girl when they meet again. And then Ao receives another package.
Three guesses about the identity of the new Frame Arms Girl that plans to live with the others and the first two don’t count.
It should be obvious but it’s the Architect. Even though the other characters specifically claimed that she doesn’t have a phyiscal body earlier in the episode. This series is not afraid of saying one thing only to immediately subvert it for convenient reasons. This is a dark omen in my opinion. Such occurances can trivalize dramatic moments (and the show as a whole) and I’m really hoping that this doesn’t occur later on when things get dire (if a major villain actually appears, that is).
The second half of the episode has Gourai acting out of character by offering to buy Ao some vinegar so she can make some sweet and sour pork (her one and only friend fixed up the cleaning machine, you see, so Ao is trying to thank her with some food). Gourai then turns the errand into a race. Four teams compete: Gourai+Jinrai (riding the new and improved cleaning machine), Styko+Baselard (since they can both fly), Incest Sisters (who claim to have found a new and unique form of transportation), and the Architect (who claims she can’t fly. Even though she totally did when she fought both Gourai and Jinrai by herself. Maybe she doesn’t have actual flying equipment for her physical body).
In the end, Gourai and Jinrai can’t steer the cleaning machine and it ends up stuck in a sandbox. Baselard gets distracted by goats and the two Frame Arms Girls who can fly end up being unable to fly because of the goats’ wet licking. The Incest Sisters, who had stolen the drone that delievered the Architect to Ao’s house, also sabotaged Baselard and Styko in an attempt to weed out the competition. They, however, end up crashing into a tree. As such, the winner is the Architect…who is then asked by Ao to go buy pork because she burned all of the pork while waiting for the Frame Arms Girls to return with vinegar.
This series is rather fond of introducing a new character in one half while the other half shows them doing human chores and activities (cleaning up Ao’s place, running errands, going to school). I guess it is acceptable that the show sticks to such a predictable pattern (since it would be way too rushed to introduce multiple girls within each episode…which is kind of what happened in episode 1, but I guess that’s how early episodes are, right?)
But now all the main characters are introduced and all the small rooms in Ao’s room are now occupied. I’m saying this because it seems like the last girl in the ED, who has cyan hair and has yet to appear in the show proper, is more like a villain. She’s rarely seen with the other girls and all of the other Frame Arms Girls team up to fight her according to the OP. I hope I’m right. I also hope the show diverges from its current episodic setup.
It is nice to see that Gourai is no longer an empty shell that has no concept of human values and ideas. However, she’s become some sort of parrot that only repeats concepts she’s heard before. But at least she’s also showing more creativity in her battles – at first, she was reliant on Ao to give her orders, but now she’s actually putting that artifical intelligence of hers to good use.