Mina in a Pinch! (ミーナでピンチ！ Romaji: "Mīna de pinchi!") is the ninth episode of Hai-Furi.
Episode Summary Edit
As Mafuyu, Akeno, and Mashiro discussed their next move, Tsugumi received information about two capital ships: one ship located 200 nautical miles south of the Admiralty Islands and another 300 nautical miles northeast of Chuuk Lagoon. The Benten and Harekaze split up, with the latter going after the contact near the Admiralty Islands.
Aboard the Harekaze, the crew were filled with confidence, seeing as they fell the mighty Hiei that had every advantage over a destroyer in battle. Soon, Tsugumi identified the contact as the Admiral Graf Spee, much to Wilhelmina's surprise.
The Bigger They Are... Edit
With Wilhelmina dead set on saving her home ship, the crew offered its cooperation for the operation. Kouko even organized a raiding party consisting of Noma, Kaede, Minami, Momo, Mimi, Isoroku, and Wilhelmina herself.
Wilhelmina pointed out an exposed fuel pipe amidships that even the Harekaze can destroy. But it meant slugging it out with a ship that can probably maneuver just as well, with the added bonus of firepower.
Nevertheless, the crew sprang into action, tailing the Graf Spee undetected. They planned on making the ship expose its weakness by forcing it to evade the Harekaze's torpedoes. This would give the main batteries a clear shot at hitting the said pipe.
...The Harder They are to be Felled Edit
But the plan quickly goes awry when the Graf Spee didn't try to evade the torpedoes. The main batteries were forced to intercept the torpedoes to prevent hurting the ship. A second salvo was launched, but the torpedoes harmlessly dashed underneath the hull. The Graf Spee began its counterattack, knocking out the Harekaze's Number Three battery.
Seeing a hopeless situation, Wilhelmina suggested retreating for now, but Kouko urged her not to give up. Mei advised using a skipper to maneuver the raiding party alongside the Graf Spee, seeing that it evaded the ship's secondary guns with ease when Akeno rescued Wilhelmina.
Akeno mustered the courage to tell Mashiro that she would go, which the latter confidently accepted. Mashiro was given command of the Harekaze, which would draw its fire. Akeno left with the raiding party on two skippers, the other piloted by Satoko, to approach the Graf Spee from the starboard side undetected.
The Harekaze took yet another hit, this time on the firing command post where Hikari, Michiru, and Junko operated the main batteries. Fortunately, the post's safety airbags kicked in, saving all three. As the ship took more damage, the girls hurried to help with damage control. Mashiro, meanwhile, decided to pull away from the Graf Spee, unable to risk the rest of the crew.
Aboard the Graf Spee, the raiding party received an angry welcome from the infected students of Wilhelmshaven. Noting Minami's findings regarding the virus, Noma used a pair of water guns filled with seawater to knock them out cold, while Minami administered the antibody. Some degree of physical force also worked, as demonstrated by Kaede's skill with her wooden naginata.
The party reached the bridge, where Wilhelmina faced an infected Thea. Fortunately, her small stature couldn't cause any harm even with a kick. Unwilling to hurt her friend, Wilhelmina hugged Thea long enough for Minami to inject the vaccine. Her salvation marked the end of the battle.
Home Sweet Home Edit
That afternoon, a grand celebration was held aboard the Graf Spee for both its crew and that of the Harekaze. With the Graf Spee reclaimed, Wilhelmina would return with Thea to Seeadler Harbor for repairs and resupply. Kouko, disappointed by the news, ran back to the Harekaze. She was the only one absent from the celebration.
At nighttime, Wilhelmina bid her Harekaze friends good night as the Graf Spee prepared to leave. Kouko came out of her room upon hearing the ship's foghorn and managed to see Wilhelmina off, who promised to travel around the world someday and see her again.
Mashiro: You did the kind of work that doesn't have a payoff.
Kouko: And now I'm broke.
The Harekaze rendezvoused with the supply ships and began its repairs and resupply. But Akeno and Mashiro grew concerned about the damage the ship has received during the fight. Akeno became lost in thought, unsure of the road that lay ahead.
- This is one of two episodes (the other being In a Mined Pinch!) with post-credit scenes.
- The exposed fuel pipe aboard the Graf Spee is an actual design flaw. It connected the donkey boiler supplying heated oil to the day boiler near the engines. Severing this connection would've forced the ship to cut its engines, as the supply of oil in the day boiler would run out with no replenishment. The Royal Navy scored hits on this weakness during the Battle of River Plate but didn't understand its significance at the time. It was only after World War II that the Graf Spee's chief engineer publicly revealed this info.
- Between 1884 and 1919, Seeadler Harbor was a thriving German colony in Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands. It was part of German New Guinea.