I was expecting a more straightforward head-on confrontation after the arrangement of battleships opposite one another last week, but this show surprised me again. It was a sense of surprise that went from cautiously neutral to pleasant, as the cast just ended up in a scenario that was equal parts smooth-talking negotiations and beach party. There’s certainly an appeal to the way Gunzou picked, the subversive-diplomacy-verging-on-bribary option. It’s just a shame the ship he was trying to lull ate the peppers first, disarming the live charm-offensive grenade Gunzou and the crew tossed out. The slight expression of realization from Iona when she looked at Kongou’s plate was beyond priceless.
Beyond that, I gotta say that I really liked the beach party portion of the episode. One of the pleasures in anime with even decent casts of character is just watching them bounce off one another in goofy freestyle, and the beach party was just jam packed with that. In addition to bulking up the charming aspects of them all, it also doubles as a bonding experience for everyone on team Gunzou, as they hadn’t really had time to hang out as a group and gel before now. It should make the next episode, which will presumably contain a straight-up blow-by-blow with the now guns-blazing Kongou, worth the wait.