After a year of a hibernation (more like running away) from the original Muv-luv, I finally got the motivation to dig deeper into this franchise.
Before I get to the main point, as a heads-up, I will be dividing this post into 2 sections given the nature of this installment: Extras and Alternative.
Photonflower* – Extras
There is a lot more to this one than mere fanservice. Sure, some chapters might seem slow and feel dull on the surface, but, in all honesty, there’s at least something to mull over as a chapter reaches its conclusion. On top of that there were also some pretty hype scenes, albeit totally unexpected lol.
The epilogue is no doubt the most outstanding part for obvious reasons namely having the longest duration as well as the intent behind its creation. It was fun, it was dumb, and most of all, it has pretty well put drama (ok maybe somewhat but tbh I didn’t mind the overcomplication stuff).
And holy fuck, this supplementary installment is supposed to be experienced after the original Extras, NOT ALTERNATIVE, which is why when it comes to “fun” or cozy moments I just can hardly pull myself together because of you-know-what.
In any case, it was fucking worth it to get into these “fan-service” instances, no matter if you just finished Extras or even Alternative, it’ll most likely in some way create an impact on you.
With all that being said, these “Extra” chapters aren’t without flaws. As usual, things tend to get blown out of fucking proportion and thus might create a pretty awkward atmosphere while in the middle of a binge read.
Yet again, GoatKi sure knows how to pick up the pace and snipe at the right opportunity to redirect the flow towards the main and most engaging part of a chapter, which is to be expected from someone of his caliber.
In any case. There’s one thing that just keeps lingering on my mind during this “revisit” to the OG. Whenever I see these cute girls doing stupid things in their daily life, instead of just laughing it off, all I see are courageous souls and awesome women, maybe feeling “proud” of them is more accurate.
If I have to describe these supplementary chapters in a single phrase then it’ll simply be:
It made me fell in love with her for the “first” time…again.
Welp, now that I’ve covered the rowdy part, time to move on to the big gun.
Photonflower* – Alternative
A set of short stories (well not all of them) providing more hindsight of some events that are closely tied with MLA. While some of them have rather abrupt endings, the overall experience I had can be summed up as “wow”. Like, I never expected Kouki to be so adept at expanding the Muv-luv verse.
It is true that if I read them bit by bit they all feel very random. However, upon finishing the whole set of them, I can finally see the full picture behind all of these “bonus” chapters in Alternative. I think the one with the most impactful ending is Marimo’s Atonement chapter, the “8 minutes” thingy might be repetitive in the franchise but damn this one sure hit the spot given how it had been built up.
Nonetheless, the chapter that hit me the most overall is “Confession” (well, captain Isumi is my GOAT after all), even though it felt a bit forced in the end. I’d have preferred the reminiscing time being moved back around the time Isumi was having a conversation with Takeru before the commence of Operation 21.
Anyway, the way Kouki digs deep into a character’s thought and personality never disappoints. It might cause some unwanted effects such as slow pacing or boredom but it is really something to witness a character’s transformation through various stages of the story. That being said the conclusion didn’t head toward the direction that I expected it to be, but it sure added up later as Isumi’s final moment drew near.
Long story short, Photonflower sure as hell surpassed my expectation in many ways. The writing is one thing but holy shit, the well-timed ED delivery just simply hit me where it hurts the most. They always say ignorance is bliss, and I’m damn blessed to have pulled that twice for this franchise which is going into both the OG and spin-off/fanservice without any knowledge nor expectation.