HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That was kinda epic of Kouichi there. Couldn’t stop laughing for a while after hearing him say that.
So it looks like they added a Christmas feel to the Helios arc, which isn’t too bad actually. This arc in the manga is actually quite an important one as it happens much earlier, around after the death of Yajima and it was in this arc that he actually regains much trust amongst his colleagues and the readers.
While they’ve moved the timeline a bit, I don’t think it was done in a bad way. They are still keeping the tension between Reiji and Kouichi too, as well as the “lost” Yamashita as well, so there’s plenty of room to toss in the requisite character development in the arc.
Also, it’s actually fun to watch Gonzo’s Christmas-themed episodes. They’re usually rather cliched but they somehow manage to inject a lot of enjoyment laced with a tinge of pensive solemness to it, which we can see here in the episode when they touched about the backgrounds of the other Factors. Not to forget, there’s also the fanservice too…
Interestingly, Doumyoji is revealed to be a JSDF soldier in this episode. Also, reference to Singapore’s Seletar base in the episode too!