For all its light-hearted frippery, the climax of the last episode of Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo took us to a surprisingly upsetting place, with Imoko sacrificing herself to save Kirkwood from what would have been a lethal attack ordered by the Lunar Congress. I just hope they aren't going to cop out at this point and resurrect her somehow in a later episode.
Imoko's fiery destruction probably looks quite tempting to the inhabitants of the Moon right now, as Nerval's response to their attack is both swift and decisive; freezing both the attacking fleet of ships as well as the entire Moon itself - A state of affairs which looked pretty cool I have to admit. Do you see what I did there? Frozen? Ice? Cool? Hahaha. Ha. Ahem.
Anyhow, after that tragic end to the last instalment, this episode does seem to take on a somewhat darker tone overall, with Akiha almost entirely unable to come to terms with her loss, while we learn more shocking information about the fate of those who have been "boxified" - Numerous people are dying early and mysteriously within their boxes, while those that have been granted escape (by hidden away members of the Shishidou Elders council on Kirkwood) yearn to return to their boxes and the simple safety and luxury that it provides.
It isn't all death and misery however, as there's still plenty to cheer you up here - Honoka's direct approach in "persuading" Professor Fon to return to Leopard with her is a particular highlight, while Benkei's scuffle with Xanthippe and everything that involves is also a neat little blend of action and slapstick comedy.
I don't want to "big up" this series too much, as it's still no classic... Hell, it's not even the new Code Geass. However, it does seem to be improving almost episode upon episode, extending its emotional remit without losing the sense of fun and action that have turned the series from merely bearable into something that's actually watchable. The last couple of episodes have confounded my expectations somewhat in killing off Imoko and digging deeper than the "happily ever after" ending was perhaps expecting, and they've managed to do so without ruining the series - You know, I think I might actually start missing Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo when it finishes airing a month from now.