The plot for episode two remind me of a film called Hard Target
, which has a drifter going against an organization that arranges games of man-hunting and cat & mouse chase for the rich folk.
They pick-up or kidnap homeless, poor bums with seemingly no family (and no one giving a damn where they end) and offer them prize money if manage to escape while being hunted, but unfortunately end up losing.
As for the Imperial Army, Section III Unit: Pumpkin Scissors, I understood that the Empire provided the budget to dispatch the war relief efforts for reconstruction, however, the bastard Wolkinson splats on Alice's face that this is only a diversionary tactic from the militia, so to appease the minds of the people. Because Pumpkin Scissors is owned by the militia, and they are dogs just following orders.
However, Alice and her subordinates made their stance that although people cannot choose the circumstances of their birth, while the're still living they can decide what to do with their lives.
From this words it is evident that unlike the rest of the military seen so far (for now) Section III indeed cares for all of its members, and their humanitarian disposition comes from their will not just because they follow orders.
The whole discussion theme about the tyrant and corrupted Nobles terrorizing the Commoners did not ring bells to me, since it's a standard to be used in war, fantasy, and epic dramas.
Wolkinson crossed the line for wusiness, that would have been better if the maid had shot him to death.
What was appealing is that I can see the animation picking up an influence to that of Hiromu Arakawa's style. I mean making parallels with some of the characters like Marchis and Stekkin who bear some resemblances with Cain Fuery and Winry Rockbell from FMA.