Episode 6: Death Star
The plot for the latter half of Episode 6 reminds me of something, just can’t put my finger on what it is…
Yes, I made two references to outside franchises right off because that’s the way we roll down at GHQ.
Gai turns out to be alive, having survived the Leukocyte strike on Point Delta. Returning to rendezvous with the forces stationed at base camp, Gai briefs the Undertaker rank and file on the target of their next objective, indicating they will launch an offensive against a dam complex which houses a subterranean control center for the Leukocyte satellite system. Unfortunately, logistics calculates potential casualties at around 35% of forces, a figure Shu finds completely unacceptable. Questioning Gai’s seemingly callous acceptance of lost lives, he refuses to participate. Afterwards, Inori shows Shu just how much of a tortured soul Gai actually is: all too aware of the weight of each human life he shoulders and haunted by the blood sacrifice of countless comrades fallen in the name of the cause. Shu resolves to help Gai.
However, there are complications as they commence their attack on the dam complex, as GHQ has anticipated their movements and immediately launches a counteroffensive. Gai and Shu manage to reach the control center for the Leukocyte but the operation is compromised when they are interrupted by Lieutenant Daryl, eager for vengeance for his humiliation in his previous sortie with Undertaker. The float cage encasing the main control mechanism is severely damaged in the ensuing skirmish, setting off a chain reaction that disrupts Tokyo’s power grid and the stability of Leukocyte 1, which begins to descend into freefall from orbit at alarming speed. Knowing the satellite poses an imminent threat to the entire population, Gai decides to use Shu’s special “pen” to destroy Leukocyte and brokers a deal with Segai, who tracks them to the location, to have Shu exonerated; however, this time Shu won’t allow himself to passively stand by and takes charge of the situation.
Thus, humanity is saved. Right?
Episode 7: Wine, Women, and Song… and Missiles
Shu’s rejoins his classmates at school for the first time since Segai took him into custody. At first things are tense but Seitoukaichou Kuhouin Arisa (Endou Aya – Cheers to you, Sheryl) smooths things over for him, relieving any lingering misgivings in the air amongst his peers, who are actually curious and eager to talk with him. Yahiro, however, is conspicuously absent.
And now for the most important part of the episode:
This is Shu’s mom, Ouma Haruka (Fujimura Chika). His mom, for gyoza sakes. She’s been seen in fleeting glimpses alongside Keido in several scenes in earlier episodes but this is the first episode to feature her in any significant capacity, personal or otherwise. Shu refers to her as simply “Haruka,” sans any any honorific or familiar appellation whatsoever. The second she appeared in her unmentionables, beer in hand, I just knew what kind of parental figure/guardian she likely is. Case in point:
Ouma Haruka, mother of the male protagonist though she has more of a sisterly air, and…
Katsuragi Misato. While she also projects a sisterly air, her relationship with her series‘ male protagonist is decidedly much more… complex, shall we say.
Meanwhile back at the plot, Gai crashes the Kuhouin Group’s private party aboard a luxury yacht to petition the family patriarch Kuhouin Okina (Houki Katsuhisa) for cooperation in securing a new supply route, essentially securing a vital lifeline for the resistance. Shu, accompanying Gai for the mission, is surprised to see Haruka in attendance lobbying amongst other industry players.
Things turn deadly serious, however, when Tsugumi relays the message a GHQ detachment, led by obnoxious field commander Dan Eagleman (Mogami Tsuguo), means to destroy the vessel with surface-to-surface missiles. Gai finds Arisa and leads her on deck where Shu makes use of her Void, a highly-resilient barrier type Void that, fortunately for everyone onboard, is able to withstand the entire combined payload of GHQ’s missile strike. More importantly, it makes pretty lights!
Like this! AT Field! If there is a more efficient way of producing fireworks, I don’t know what it is.
Episode 8: OBLIGATORY SWIMSUIT EPISODE!!!!11 (sort of)
Yes, that is the official translation of this episode’s title.
Shu is taking a class trip with his friends from school to Oshima Island but the entire thing is an elaborate cover to facilitate Undertaker’s most recent mission, which involves infiltrating a secret GHQ laboratory on the island. There, Gai plans to acquire the “rock that started everything.” He arranges for Shu and his classmates to stay at a rented villa provided within a short distance of the site.
Key to the mission is Shu’s classmate Tamadate Souta (Sakaguchi Daisuke), whose Void is essential to bypassing security to reach the inner facilities of the GHQ compound.
Oshima is also where Shu’s father Kurosu is buried. As Ayase and Tsugumi reconnoiter the GHQ base, Ogumo, Arugo and Shibungi monitor Shu’s classmates enjoying the sunny beaches while standing by. Later, Shu becomes agitated over his feelings for Inori and jumps the gun, drawing Souta’s Void under less than ideal conditions. The assembled Undertaker members decide to adjust for Shu’s impetuousness and proceed with their objective.
Using Souta’s Void, a camera-like object with versatile, skeleton key applications, they bypass each level of security until they reach the secure storage chamber for their objective, only to find GHQ commander Keido Shuichiro has already taken it. Chillingly, he accessed the facility with Ouma Kurosu’s clearance cardkey.
The series is picking up and really improving. Notably, Shu is becoming more sure of himself and displaying more competence as a member of the resistance and as a male in general. While I’m still wary of the production going overboard on the romantic engagements with the possibility of unnecessary melodrama, it’s good to see Shu assert himself where Inori is concerned. Though he has had a few missteps with his associates in Undertaker and lacks finesse in certain social situations, Shu is definitely on his way to earning his man card. Let’s hear it for the kid!
Oh, and please remember to vote YES to more of the luscious, languid splendor that is Haruka in her skimpies.