SYM-BIONIC TITAN “Escape From Galaluna” Review

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SYM-BIONIC TITAN “Escape From Galaluna” Episode 16 – In a word? Epic. This flashback episode of Sym-Bionic Titan was a long time coming and it completely delivered from practically every angle. I know that a big draw of Sym-Bionic Titan is having our protagonists deal with an intergalactic alien threat while adjusting to normal high school life, but tonight, I didn’t miss the high school at all.

On a peaceful Galaluna, it was nice to be able to see a tiny bit more of what their lives were like immediately before they had to escape to Sherman High. While both Lance and Ilana have grown in their time together on Earth, they’re still very much the same admirable characters they’ve always been.

We see Lance as a completely capable man of the military with a rebellious streak, but as always, dependable and determined. Ilana is fully immersed in her role as a princess, but she’s still the compassionate and quirky person that we’ve come to know on Sym-Bionic Titan. I liked seeing her relationship with Hobbs. The way he treated her definitely made her seem like a princess, but the fact that he was so used to her getting dirty and had no qualms about instructing her on how to use weaponry also seemed to indicate that he had a certain level of trust in her abilities to take care of herself and others.

Being that this episode basically covered the invasion and destruction of Galaluna, there were obviously a ton of battle scenes. I loved how ominous the sky looked with the Mutraddi airships slowly creeping in over the city, and the silhouettes of the Mutraddi mega beasts plowing through the smoke set the tone for total destruction.

Lance’s awesome sword fight with his traitorous Commander was without a doubt the best fight of the episode. It was a long fight, but the way it was animated with fast moving, ninja-like action really made it seem like it was over so quickly. I loved the cutting between wide shots showing a vast span of visual distance and intimate close ups of faces, hands, feet and weapons throughout the entire fight.

At the end of their battle, I was really surprised to see Lance actually stab the Commander. I know there was no blood in the Commander’s wound, but I still expected Lance to maybe jump up and shove the Commander off the edge of the bridge, only to reach out in vain as he tried to save the Commander from falling to his death. In my head, there’s something different about killing a Mutraddi creature in battle and killing a fellow Galalunian in battle (even if he is a murderous traitor) so this scene added a different kind of darkness to Lance’s character that I hadn’t perceived before. It was a somewhat grim moment, but it was definitely in keeping with the edgy feeling that the entire episode had. Despite my initial shock, I’m actually kind of glad that they didn’t shy away from that reality.

Flashback episodes can be difficult to do right because a lot of the time they come off feeling awkward or forced like an odd recap. I appreciate that there was no attempt to make it seem like Lance, Ilana or Octus were hanging around on Earth recalling these memories for the sake of continuity. Instead, they just thrust us into the past so we could see what happened from an outsider’s perspective.

This episode of Sym-Bionic Titan makes me want to go back and watch that very first episode now to see if maybe I’ll notice things I wouldn’t have picked up previously. The music, animation and story were all working together wonderfully and I honestly could have continued watching for quite a bit longer. Like I said, epic.