At first, I did think that Ernst Zimmerman was one of those people who would end up being one of those antagonists, however, after watching episode seven my views on him are way different. Ernst definitely feels like a father in how he talks about the eight-six. After finding out that all members of the eighty-six will be thrown back onto the battlefield on yet another mission that is considered ‘suicidal’ by the country they are fighting for. Even after knowing that Shin and company would be going on that mission, Ernst still went out of his way to chat with the high-ranking officials to see whether or not there was something hidden behind this mission.
Which of course there was, with members of the military thinking that they’re monsters and that they were born to fight on the battlefield and that they should return to the place to die as well. In knowing that, Ernst made it clear that how they’ve been treated is not acceptable and is not in line with the values of the Federal Republic, where everyone is meant to truly be free and live without being judged. Although he couldn’t stop the Eighty-six from going on their missions, he made it abundantly clear to the military that it’s in the country’s best interests that they return. Ernst also made the effort to reach out to the Shin and company before their mission, reminding them that while they are on a mission to destroy Morphos their highest-priority mission is to return ‘home’. My favourite part was when he said “Come back no matter what, or I’ll destroy this world”.
While Shin and company do not see Ernst as a parental figure, Ernst very well sees them as his adoptive children. This we know is the case because like Shin and everyone else, Ernst has also lost family and he views them as his own and will whatever to make sure their return regardless of the cause. Ernst seems to be one of those leaders you want guiding you, he seems to be a very caring and motivating person.
Apart from Ernst, we had whatever was going on between Shin and Frederica. To me, this moment during the episode didn’t feel like it had the impact it was supposed to have because we had Frederica begging Shin to not go on the mission because she didn’t want him dying like Kiriya. She didn’t want Shin to become someone who only lived for war and went insane because of it, Frederica viewed Shin as an older brother similar to how she did with Kiri and it was because of this, she didn’t want to lose yet another person she deemed as family. You would think that such a scene would hold a lot more emotion, which was true in some respect with Frederica crying uncontrollably racing her voice and such. However, Shin not conveying any emotion, merely brushing off Frederica’s concerns are non-starters definitely killed the significance of that scene for me.
I get why Shin acted the way he did. As we know from the first season, Shin has already experienced so much loss, pain, death and suffering that he’s become numb to what Frederica has to say. Shin and Frederica are the exact opposites of one another, Frederica is very vocal, loud, and emotional while Shin is none of those things. Shin just kept brushing her off mentioning how Kiriya and Shin are not the same person and shouldn’t be viewed differently. Also mentioning that she shouldn’t have grown attached to him in the first place as it’s quite the opposite for him. I don’t know, that scene could have played out a lot nicer I guess, but in a way it makes sense. Frederica is trying to reason someone who has lived and breathed war, the concerns she has are things that Shin has grown used to.
Episode seven felt like it was an emotional episode, but I feel like something was lacking. Maybe it was because it was yet another one of those ‘calm before the storm’ episodes, so nothing really happened in that respect. I’m looking forward to seeing how the second season ends, it just sucks that with the production issues A-1 Pictures have been having that it’ll take longer than expected. But I cannot complain though.