Plane elements in Tactical Surface Fighters; F-18E/F Super Hornet

The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet was an upgrade to the single seat F/A-18C/D line of Hornets. It all goes back to the YF-17 test fighter in the 1970’s, on which the base F/A-18 Hornet is derived from. This base F/A-18 Hornet is a twin engine multi-mission aircraft designed around leading-edge extensions with digital fly-by-wire controls, with single-slotted flaps and ailerons over the whole span of the trapezoidal wings. This, alongside with canted vertical stabilisers give the Hornet an excellent high angle of attack, which was tested by NASA’s High Alpha Research Vehicle. All in all, an aggressive fighter, if needed.

Originally, the Hornet was to have two variants, an attacker and a fighter. However, these were merged into one craft via the Hornet’s multi-function displays, which allows the pilot to change to attack or fighter mode, or both, making the Hornet a proper multi-role fighter. This proved to be valuable asset in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm, where operational commanders had large flexibility within scenarios and were able to adjust to situations with a single aircraft in the air.

The C/D version, the which Super Hornet is an upgrade on, has two variants; C being single seat and D being two-seat. D is more a training variant, while the proper mission-ready D’s second seat is reserved for Weapons and Sensors officer to assist the pilot. As such, it mostly served as U.S. Marine Corps’ night attack and Forward Air Controller.

Overall, the C and D models are block upgrades made to the Hornet in 1987, incorporating upgraded radar and avionics, ability to carry newer and larger variety of missiles and got neat little things like self-projection hammer and a synthetic aperture ground mapping radar. It also got a new ejection seat, the Martin-Baker NACES. 1989 models also had improved night attack abilities with Hughes AN/AAR-50 thermal navigation pods, good ol’ night vision goggles and two full colour MFD’s. An upgrade set that overall increases the effectiveness of the fighter.

The F/18-E/F upgrades were based on this, but where much larger in scale. While avionics, ejection seat and such things from the previous upgrades stayed largely the same, including the computer software, the Super Hornet is about twenty percent larger, has both heavier empty and maximum weights. Due to it carrying 33% more fuel internally, its mission range is 41% higher as well. All this meant that the catapults and arresting systems on the naval vessels had to be set differently for Super Hornets. Unlike the Hornet, Super Hornet was also designed  to for aerial fueling, extending its airtime even further.

The larger frame of the Super Hornet comes from its longer fuselage and increased win area. The oval shaped intake ramps of the Hornet were switched for rectangular intakes, which also also slightly larger. Despite the larger size, the General Electric F414 engines give the Super Hornet 35% additional trust compared to Hornet’s F404 engines. The fuselage was not designed for stealth, but the overall design was to reduce ballistic weaknesses and emphasize the use of existing electronic warfare with innovative tactics its flip-of-the-switch multi-role function allowed.

The fuselage is also considerably smoother than its predecessors, as Super Hornet saw extensive use of panel joint serration and edge alignment to eliminate unnecessary surface joint gaps and resonant cavities. These help to reflect waves away from the craft, and with smaller frontal cross-section than its predecessors, the Super Hornet is hard to pick up by radar. F-22 and F-35 would totally eclipse it with their stealth technology.

The F/A-18E/F saw its first action in 2002 during Operation Southern Watch in Iraq as a bomber . After that, the Super Hornet has been flying every sort of mission, from escorting to  close air support. For the U.S. Navy, they’ve proven a competent and effective fighter, which has made it a possible candidate for multiple countries for adoption. The Royal Australian Air Force acquired 24 Super Hornets in 2007, which was a controversial order due argument made that Super Hornet was inferior to the MiG-29 and Su-30 in the South East Asia. The first RAAF Super Hornet arrived in 2009, with the rest coming later down the line.  Numerous other potential operators are about, including Canada to replace their CF-18 Hornets, Finland to replace their F/A-18 Hornets under HX Fighter Program, Poland to modernise their defence in 2021 and to have something to replace their Su-22M4 fleet, with few others in the line. Numerous bids for Super Hornet has failed across the years.

The difference between E and F variants are, as you’d expect, is that E is a single-seat variant while F is a two-seat variant.

And as usual, the image board original

The history of BETAverse Hornet and Super Hornet are very similar to the real world counterpart. Based on YF-17 from the Lightweight TSF Program, McDaell Doglam refined the fighter into a multi-purpose surface fighter for the U.S. Navy to use. While the F-14 Tomcat was still around, the Hornet began replacing them as U.S. Navy’s mainline surface fighter due to its lower maintenance and better cost-to-performance ratio. This mean that a Hornet had a longer fieldtime compared to the Tomcat, just like with the real world fighter. All in all, the BETAverse Hornet follows the history of the actual Hornet very closely.

The same can be said for the Super Hornet. With the all the upgrades made to the F-18E/F Super Hornet, it’s effectively a 2.5th generation TSF and fights in the same league as the SU-34 Terminator. Shoulders saw expanded thrusters, head section gained upgraded avionics and sensors and lower body overall was increased in order to expand operating time. The Super Hornet has similar performance to F-15E Strike Eagle, but at a lower cost, making it U.S. Navy’s and Marine Corps’ flagship and mainline machine, which got exported to place like Australia. E and F variations have the same seat arrangement as the real fighter.

As for its armaments, the Super Hornet doesn’t exactly have a wide variety to choose from. The American Assault Cannon of choice, the AMWS-21 Combat System, is the standard long-range combat goes by. As a special option inherited from the Hornet is the MGM-140 ATACMS missile container system, which has a neat radar unit on it to help guidance. Luckily, the Super Hornet as CIWS-1A Close Combat Knife over the terrible CIWS-1B.

As for the design, the Super Hornet really goes its way to incorporate some of the fighter elements into the TSF, but due to the size of the shoulders and knees, you don’t recognize it as a Hornet of any sort from the first view. This is due to its front silhouette being too large, whereas the Hornet and Super Hornet were designed to have less bulk. The colour is adopted from a real life Super Hornet, as pictured above.

Super Hornet had that smooth surface going on for it, and the TSF version of it almost seems to use this. However, the torso’s many segments, and hanging bits on the skirt armour and slightly excessive raised levels on the arms tell that this wasn’t a main concern. Even Tomcat seems to have smoother surface than the Super Hornet. However, it must be mentioned that the skirt armour does relay some of the fuselage’s smooth look, but that’s about it. Not that TSFs have to concern with stealth when it comes to fighting the BETA, but it’s rather important when fighting other TSFs.

The Jump unit is a truncated and deformed version of the fighter, with the nose cut off. Nothing too special overall, though it is slightly bulky.

Where the Super Hornet made its name for the fans was during the events in The Day After timeline, where it serves as the primary American TSF. Especially notable is how twelve  Super Hornets defended USS John F. Kennedy against a sea of BETA in 2nd of July, 2004. Notable is also their use during the Defence of Seattle and during following events.

Plane Elements in Tactical Surface Fighters; F-15 Eagle

The F-15 Eagle was designed to be successor to the F-4. As such, the F-15 needed to be an all-weather, high manoeuvrable fighter that would keep the US Air Force at the top in air superiority. The F-15 had a legacy to stand up to.

F-15A made its first flight in 1972, and two years later the first USAF F-15B Eagle was delivered for service. Early 1976 saw the first front-line combat squadron delivery, and things carried on from there. However, the F-15’s first fight was not with USAF, but with exporter Israel who shot down four Syrian MiG-21s in June 1977.

The F-15 is probably fighter with the best combat record, with 100.5 victories over zero losses. This record is mostly due to the fighter’s maneuverability combined with high acceleration, work range, advanced avionics and range of weapons.

With two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofans that allow 11 340kg of afterburner thrust, the F-15 is a nimble and relatively low profile fighter with maximum take-off weight at 25 402kg, achieving maximum speed of 2 655km/h rather easily. Mainly armed with the N61A1 20mm Vulcan cannon in the fuselage, the F-15 can carry four AIM-7 Sparrows, AIM-9 Sidewinder AAMs and loads of other options up to 7 267kg ranging from rockets, missiles and bombs with its five hardpoints. With a range of 966km and ceiling of 19.2km that can be climbed in 15.25km/s, the F-15 was extremely well equipped.

It also helped that the F-15 had a low wing load and with the low weight-to-thrust ratio, the fighter is capable of doing sharp turns without losing airspeed. Another thing that helped was that the D-15’s avionics were superb for their time and are still serviceable. HUD on the windscreen displayed all necessary information and was visible in any light conditions. Due to its position, the fighter had no need to look down to the instruments for additional information. The radar that would provide the information was a versatile pulse-Doppler radar capable of doing pretty much any sort of tracking the fighter needs. The electronic warfare with the F-15 provided both threat warning as well as automatic countermeasures against selected threats.

The F-15 was initially a single-seat fighter with a TF-15 as the twin-seat variant, and these designations were changed to F-15A and F-15B after the first flight. In 1978, single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered production. Furthermore, F-15 Multistage Improvement Programme was enacted in early 1983, with first F-15Cs produced in 1985. Upgrades included a new central computer for new versions of AIM-7, AIM-9 and AIM-120A missiles, and expanded radar functions. Existing Eagles were retrofitted with these improvements, unifying the fleet as a whole.

During the Gulf War, the F-15 Eagles were the deadliest thing in the air. When Operation Desert Shield was put into action, U.S. Central Command deployed F-15C/D Eagles into air within hours, and forty-eight Eagles made the longest fighter deployment in history between 14-17 hours of nonstop flight from Langley to Dhahran. When the situation went from defence to offence to remove Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait, the air was effectively dominated by Colonel Richard Parsons’ 58th Tactical Squadron The Gorrillas, which were running on Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 low-bypass turbofans at this point, further pushing the fighter’s speed. On the first night of the war, USAF F-15s kept shooting down numerous MiGs, including MiG-29 Fulcrums. It bears to repeat; during all of Gulf War’s operations, F-15 simply dominated the air.

The F-15 saw an upgraded version with F-15E Strike Eagle. The F-15E was envisioned to be a replacement to F-111 Aardvark and to support the existing F-15. To oppose the F-15 role as air superiority fighter, the F-15E was a ground attacker. Its basic airframe is the same with internals changed for what is essentially a multi-role fighter. It can fight its way into enemy lines, bombs its target and fight its way back. Just like how the F-15 has been imported, the F-15E has seen exported by the different countries.

It would seem that the story of F-15 is about to end. In 2015, the F-15C faces cuts or retirement due to sequestration, and the willingness to push the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II as its successor. It is proposed that the F-15C fleet would remain at 51 aircraft even with the introduction of the aforementioned advanced fighters. Here’s a list what F-15 might need to go through in order to be completely viable in the future.

In Muv-Luv, the F-15 is dubbed the strongest 2nd generation TSF due to its performance and track record.

The initial need for superior TSF to fight the BETA comes from the failure of Operation Palaiologos, where NATO and Warsaw Pact tried to attack the Minks Hive, but after numerous attempts at capturing it during the following months, the BETA amassed a counter attack after Soviet’s failed 43rd Tactical Armoured Division’s failure to assault the Hive, leading both NATO’s and Warsaw Pact’s lines to be completely broken and allowing the BETA to advance further into Europe. The combat data and Volk Data gathered from this didn’t just launch the F-15 series, but also the Rafale and EF-2000.

The US department saw that the largest threat to the TSFs was the Laser-class, as over half of the units were lost to their fire. Increasing armour would not be an option, as the rest of the strains would simply destroy the units if they were heavier. Mobility and manoeuvrability   became the goals of the new TSF-X project as opposed to F-4’s armour. The F-15 mirrors its real world counterpart in having great weight-to-thrust ratio, advanced avionics and pioneered Operation by Wire further. It’s build is simple with optional hardpoints or weapon bays allows it to care spare ammo magazines or CIWS-1As in Blade Sheaths.

Unlike the real world counterpart, TSF F-15A entered service in 1984, which was rushed out rather than wait for the technology to mature. Only few years later the F-15 series saw its proper performance with upgraded fuel cells and Jump Unit engines, and upgraded avionics with F-15C. It wouldn’t take much to assume all existing F-15s went through these upgrades, much like how they did in real life.

Japan has its own F-15 variant in the F-15J, or Type-89 Kagerou. On the outside, nothing changed, but under the hood, the Kagerou saw large changes in order to accommodate Japan’s close combat doctrine.

F-15E on the other hand essentially an upgrade to F-15C instead a supplementing fighter. F-15E had completely overhauled insides, meaning that it looks the same from the outside, but out-performs its previous variants to the point of standing up to a Type-94 Shiranui without any problems.

Generally speaking, F-15s have basic armaments that all TSFs carry in their respective armies during respective time periods. This includes the Type-74 PB Blade for the Japanese variant. Outside the F-15 ACTV Active Eagle, all F-15 variants share the same basic outer frame (i.e. they all share the same sprites and CG resources), and as such in this comparison will use TSF F-15E Strike Eagle and base F-15 Eagle fighter. If we ever see the base F-15, then I’ll just rework this one.

Let’s get to the meat. You’re not here to read my ramblings on fighter history, you’re here for the design comparison.

 

F-15 EAgle
And the image board variant as per usual. We’re starting to run out of these. Click for larger size

The F-15 seems to be a repetition of the Tomcat in terms of what was lifted from the fighter itself is lacking. There are no real soft and curved shapes like on the fighter’s back, as most of the shapes in the torso and shoulders are straight. The nozzles on the shoulders would’ve been an excellent spot to curve things up a bit, but straight lines were used to make a hexagon casing. You can see that they have a slight slope to them on the back-view image, but most of the time it’s almost like they just straightened it out.

The torso really is a missed opportunity, as nothing has been lifted from the fighter itself. It is largely original, and the only thing that remotely resembles anything from the fighter are those round bits near the shoulder joints. Their general position looks like that of the fans in the intakes, relative to the head if it was the cockpit.

The arms have a softer look to them, but re really just straight lines. They’re generic TSF arms with no real elements from the fighter. Just like the legs, they’re more or less inspired by the fighter in some ways. The strangest bit out of them all is the vaguely hourglass shaped knees under the kneeguards. Unlike the sideskirt armour that’s just the top of the intake, the knees have no place in the fighter. Most likely they were done for the sake of the design.

Speaking of the legs, they display simplicity the fighter also carries. There’s nothing out-of-place or special about them. Just straightforward legs with no bells and whistles. The F-15 is supposed to be no-bullshit design after all, so maybe this sort of slightly angular simplistic look is supposed to drive that idea in. And of course, you have the fighter’s nose as the ischium, as per usual.

However, the must unusual thing about this is the Jump Units. They’re run-of-the-mill most of the time, but the nozzles it has looks like they’re from a pre-production F-15 STOL/MTD that has 2D nozzles. The usual nozzles are round, but these are flat. This would’ve been a really nice spot to use further from the base F-15, especially with the round shapes, but no dice.

There’s nothing much else to say. It’s the idea and role that carried over the real life F-15 rather than its sleek and aggressive shapes. This TSF just went lanky instead of those. It would seem that America’s TSFs are governed by straight lines most of the time and it shows. Maybe I’ll change to Japanese TSFs next time and go over how Mitsubishi F-2 served as a sort of inspiration for XJF-01a Shiranui 2nd Phase 2.

‘Muv-Luv Unlimited Alternative’ should be a thing even if it would be confusing name, but we’re not discussing it this time

Muv-Luv time. After all this time. Spoilers be due if you haven’t read the story yet, so be aware of this.

Some time ago we got translation patch for Muv-Luv Alternative Chronicles 01, which has all sorts of interesting stuff to read, but one thing most people are most interested in is Muv-Luv Unlimited; The Day After storyline.

As the name already implies, The Day After story is set in the continuity of the Unlimited timeline, where things just didn’t go all too well. Humans bombing, the Earth to hell, salt deserts covering half of the Earth, population on the verge of extinction and the BETA still roam the landscape without much trouble while only a handful of people were sent to space and migrate to a new world. I’m pretty sure that in this sort-of-continuity space migration is only something that will lengthen the time when BETA find you and start munching on your population.

“SEE YOU LATER DADDY” Nope, ever gonna see him, so better give it up, you’re already let down, we’ve already run around and world’s deserted, everybody’s crying and goodbyes has been said, lies are all we have and everybody’s hurting

Personally, I am not too interested in The Day After. I’ll give them a proper read one of these days rather than glancing them over and most likely turn my head, but the main reason for my disinterest at them at this time has more to do with the fact that it’s Unlimited continuity, which does not exist after Alternative’s events. The reason why Unlimited can’t exist alongside Alternative without retconning is our main man Takeru himself.

First of all, in Alternative the main motive Takeru has most of the time is to prevent that horrible future he has seen. We know that he has seen it many times, experienced all of its horrible events. In the beginning of Alternative, he finally begins to remember these events little by little and begins to affect how things go. Small things at first, until he drastically changes the future history, ending with Operation Cherry Blossom’s assault on the Original HIVE and making that contact with the Superior Existence.

One of the motifs in Muv-Luv and Alternative is that our choices have effects, and so does when we choose not to choose. Every action has a reaction and so does inaction. Takeru is given practically infinite chances to make choices that prevent a horrible future. Or Takeru is forced to take certain path in order to return home, depending on your view on Sumika. Even if your point of view is the latter, it is Takeru who chooses to go against the future he has seen more than once and decides to, essentially, rebel against the set destiny and change everything for the better. Nobody else chooses this for him, and it he who wills himself to stain his hands with blood in order to grasp a future with a brighter hope.

BETA coast; the most sought vacation spot in visitor numbers
BETA coast; the most sought vacation spot in visitor numbers

Takeru succeeds in changing the future. The horrible future is no more. His task is done, and it is time for him to return home, and this is the second reason The Day After can’t exist alongside Alternative.

The Takeru we have in the BETAverse, in the other world, is a collection of all Takerus from different worlds. He is all of them, which is why the Takeru we see in Altered Fable has his own flashbacks. This amalgamation Takeru is the one we follow in the BETAverse in both Unlimited and Alternative. He is the one who goes through the hellish future and the one who loops back. There’s unmentionable number of loops, thou one could always calculate the minimum number of loops he needs to go through, before he begins to regain some memories he can grasp one. Indeed, there might be loops where he has some memories, but nothing concrete he could comprehend or put in use, and there might be loops where he simply fails to create the 00-Unit, the key to it all. After all that, he is dispersed back to his home worlds, making all things right.

In short; TDA’s Takeru can’t exist as he is unique in the multiverse, being one existence made of many. There is only one of him who is many, and him being dispersed means that the wholeness he was no longer exists. He, as he is, cannot exist as a separate being in multiple worlds because of his composite nature and as the Causality Conductor. If TDA could exist even as a separate timeline alongside, it would mean it would have one Takeru of its own, but that is not the case. We know that the Takeru of BETAverse was killed when he was protecting Sumika in a HIVE.

Of course, The Day After is a neat storyline and all. It is a timeline that does not exist in the end, but it is still a story that needs to take place before Alternative erases it. This might be a thing that certain people do not like, as there seems to be a mindset that a story needs to be canon, as in to take place, to have some value. The Day After has an interesting position in this that the story in itself unmakes it while it still happens, which is all kinds of neat.

There is an opposing view that views these things from another point; every uncertainty branches into a new universe and timeline, eg. a thing that might not happen will happen in another and doesn’t in another, meaning with all timelines effectively run alongside each other. By all means, as this is fiction, both of these are just as valid.

As you’ve collected, I’m in the camp of The Day After taking place multiple times before Takeru’s final loop, which erases it from existence. Perhaps it’s because I want to see something that resemblances hope and happy things in the BETAverse’s otherwise bleak and bloody world. It might be that I just Alternative’s time looping like the old timey view on Back to the Future, where you travel in one time, affecting one timeline and no alternate worlds or any quantum juggling like that. But in the end, it’s the point of Takeru being amalgamation that brakes the deal for me.

In the end, this is fiction and as with all fiction, it’s in the whims of the author or authors. Muv-Luv as a whole, outside the main two Visual Novels, has its own brow lifting issues and perhaps this whole The Day After thing is the most apparent. I’m not sure if the authors are clear on this issue either, and perhaps one day we’re get a source book on The Fay After and sombody will scan and upload it. Joushi Eishi Cryska is clearly another separate timeline, so it’s not even an issue to discuss, unless we’re going to discuss the way the BETA in that world might want to get peace with mankind.

I'm sure she knows who her brother is in this timeline
I’m sure she knows who her brother is in this timeline

Unconscious prison, unconscious wish

Spoiler warning for Muv-Luv Alternative

One thing that seems to divide the Muv-Luv fanbase to a large extent is the core reason why Takeru falls into the Alternative world and why he keeps looping through the Unlimited timeline until he begins to remember.

Let’s open the issue a little bit here. Sumika was one of the people who were caught and experimented on by the BETA. She and Alternative’s original Takeru saw their townspeople taken away one by one as their screams echoed in the Yokohama Hive. She saw a Soldier-Class kill the man she loved soon after, and the next thing she knew was that her own sanity was stripped away just like her flesh. She became someone else, and locked her real self away as she became a mere lump of gray matter to be kept alive and observed by the BETA. What kept her alive was two things; love and hatred.

I reiterate; the BETA ravaged Sumika’s world and home town, killed and raped her closest and most loved ones, then proceeded to slowly mutilate her body in ways she never could never foresee, and turned her very soul into a twisted mirror of all the darkest desires and fears all men have, then only to have flesh stripped from her still living body until she was reduced to her absolute minimum, where one can’t escape from. These beings from another world needed to be hurt and punished equally and then beyond. Understanding and compromise were not options, only the obliteration of the BETA would allow the souls of the dead rest in peace. The hatred Sumika felt wasn’t something a normal person would experience. While I personally believe in grays in extremes, Sumika’s hatred toward the BETA was nothing but pure, world cindering hatred. And all that stemmed from her loneliness and love toward Takeru.

In her reduced state, Sumika’s mind had shut everything out she could, from her memories to her emotions. She barely thought a thing. Her unconscious repeated the only thing her heart truly desired; to see Takeru once more. With the retaking of the Yokohama Hive through the use of G-Bombs, something happened to her existence. It’s better to be left as an unknown event, but Sumika’s deepest desire crossed time and space with bittersweet consequences. She became cosmically aware on a very limited scale due to the G-Materials’ reactions to her unconscious wishes. I trust that most of my readers have enough life experience to say that love is not a clear cut emotion. It has shades of all the possible positives and negatives. Here, Sumika could only love in the most pure undistilled form combined with the wish to see Takeru again. Her wish to do it all over again before that destined day of 22nd of October, so that things could be better.

Because of that one selfish wish filled with nothing but love, Takeru walked a path of The Day After time and time again.

And TDA is not a fun place to be in
And TDA is not a fun place to be in. Takeru agrees

Sumika knows Takeru the best, but she is uncertain of herself and even less certain on Takeru. Her days with him in the Extraverse are happiness filled nonsense without a motion towards realization of her feelings and dreams until Meiya steps into the play. Yet she is certain of one thing; Takeru loves her sincerely, and despite the routes and everything involved, this is true. You can see his true emotions during Sumika’s and Meiya’s Extra route, and especially in Unlimited where he reminisces on Sumika and is happy that Sumika, as far as he knows it, does not exist the universe where the BETA exist. But Aalt, in Unlimited he automatically ends with Meiya or the other girls? How can he really root for ‘mika if he shags somebody else? Things change. Takeru was in an unknown world alone with versions of people he knew, and spend time with these people. He forged a new bond from his old ones. The time and place opened new doors for the others, where this one person was suddenly dropped into their lives. Takeru realized that he had to move on and live on what he had in his hands now, much like Takayuki did in the end of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. Here’s a general rule for any romantic relationships; be in contact with physical presence. Sumika wasn’t there, and so he moved on. Life is harsh and in motion. Time does not wait.

I agree that Sumika was selfish in her wish, but she can’t be held in full account for what happened to Takeru. We can play with straw man arguments as much as we want about Takeru suffering from Stockholm’s syndrome or whatnot as long as we are willing to see that ultimately nobody is to blame, much like in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. Actually, how could he even suffer from Stockholm’s syndrome when he had no idea what kept him in Altverse? It’s also largely disrespectful against all the other routes and girls, as it would also imply that he ends up with each of them just because he is trying to find a way out rather than sincerely living his life as it is now. Even as Takeru is in Unlimited, he isn’t a weak person and accepts his fate to live in a world that isn’t his. The events that played out were not dependant on one or the other, and it wasn’t Sumika’s choice to go through the experience. I am positive that if Takeru was asked if he would go through Hell time and time again in order to Save in the Name of True Love, he would agree with a nervous Yes. In the end of Alternative, he barely is what he was in the beginning of each of the major chapters. He grows and adapts, changes and takes responsibility not only for his own actions, but for what he chooses not to do. He has a clear goal and responsibility of carrying all the consequences of his own desires. Yet, he is a normal teenager, fearful and self-doubting. Then, a miracle he never wishes to be true happened and Sumika, the 00-Unit, stood before him.

00unit2

Feels wrong to see her eyes so lifeless

The 00-Unit arc, which can be seen as the True Route in Visual Novel terms, shows how Takeru has changed and how Sumika’s existence has an immense impact on him. No, even before that. Back in the Extra-Branch he saw Sumika’s accident and her losing all of her memories of him. He saw the one person he could always rely on to be there and the one he would always think of in the a [remove one article] place where neither of them ever wanted to be in. Sumika has always brought out the best in Takeru whenever necessary and that goes the other way around as well. What Takeru did for the 00-Unit was a selfish act from him. This is a complex issue, but I’ll put it like this; As long as there is a possibility to love and be with Sumika, Takeru will choose her. When she doesn’t exist, he lives a life without her because he has to.

Sumika, as the person who has all the answers and keys both Takeru and Yuuko were looking for, is devastated as the 00-Unit. Her wish may have been the one that brought Takeru back to her and had him go through living hell again and again, but I dare anyone to say that if Takeru had known he hadn’t gone through all that. Ultimately, she tried to take responsibility on what had transpired and make sure that Takeru would not go through any more suffering. Much like too many people, she didn’t confront Takeru face to face with the issues. What she did was something we all have done to someone else. Something we all are most likely going to repeat in the future. But Sumika’s a person with little life experience, and she went through her own hell as well. Normally I wouldn’t give anyone or any character a break, but seeing that Sumika wasn’t all that healthy, I’m willing to let it go. Fortunately, the Takeru she knew wasn’t alive anymore, as the one in front of her had grown, and this Takeru decided to do something he should have done a long time ago. Take Sumika and give all of him to her in return in both body and spirit.

The reason I love Muv-Luv are the main characters. I admit that I don’t give cents about the sides stories and I find The Day After rather pretentious with how its presented. No, that’s not it. I’m just mad at myself about a lot of things. Far too many things. What Sumika did was because she was scared. She pushed someone she loved from the bottom of her heart away because she thought it was for the best, because she was afraid how Takeru would see her after what had been done to her and what she now was. I assure you, dear reader, that without Takeru forcing himself through her defenses, the end result of Operation Ouka would have been very different and not for the better. In the end, what she did was not directly her own direct choice, Sumika did try to carry the weight of her deed, and she did it with the help from Takeru.

The thing I’m trying to say in a very convoluted way is that love in Muv-Luv, and in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien as well, is portrayed as a rather raw emotion. It is not fantastical, unrequited or fairy tail pure.

You know what? I’ll take a break from the characters and I’ll write about the TSFs in the next Muv-Luv entry before Total Eclipse.

While waiting for that, eat a marimo for breakfast
While waiting for that, eat a marimo for breakfast