Bullets that can shoot off clothing but cause no other damage? I think there are certain entertainment sectors that would love to get a hold of that technology. But is it enough to entertain the viewers of this show today? Let's find out.
What They Say
The sharp sounds of gunshots echo through the beautiful, untouched Yanbaru mountains, located in northern Okinawa. The two beauties start a fierce battle with their pride and dignity on the line. They each see each other as best friends, and sometimes as rivals. They don't want to lose what's important to them, and they fail to realize the feelings of sorrow that the other feels. What is it that made them fight in the first place and what will become of this battle? In a fight that literally strips them of everything they have, a battle begins to see which woman will stand on top.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This time we have a Starsky and Hutch opening. Clearly, the producers are firmly in the 60s and 70s with their TV opening fetishes.
So, we have yet another meeting of the Cat Cult, except now Antonia has informed its members that they are to stop worshipping cat ears and cat tails and instead be prepared to live with "people" who have those actual things. Elis then comes on to make some chit chat. After the video message for the cultists, we switch to Aoi giving Kio his first gun lesson, teaching him how to shoot properly. Well, he wanted to learn how to fight, and you can't find a much better teacher than Aoi.
In the meantime, Elis is having tea with Ichika, and a boring nerdy conversation ensues (where else would you have Arthur C. Clarke's maxim about magic and technology quoted?). Manami comes along to join their little tea gathering. We then have a quick cut to the Dogisian leader, who is hatching a plan to stop the Catians from establishing diplomatic relations with the Earth. She keeps the details hidden, but it's apparently unscientific. We cut back to Aoi continuing her training of Kio, though she begins to wonder where Manami is, since she should be practicing herself. When Aoi meets up with Manami later, the two get into an argument, Aoi not realizing that Manami deliberately left Aoi alone with Kio to further her attempts to win his heart. Manami, on the other hand, does not understand that Aoi takes preparedness for battle at all times very seriously. The two of them start shooting each other, though the result is not blood as they are using Catian quasi-antimatter bullets, which only destroy non-animate matter. The result is a lot of clothing damage which is not shown on screen thanks to the timely intervention of a group of Assistaroids holding up their little signs.
The upshot of it is that Manami and Aoi decide to settle things by having a one-on-one combat simulation, except they'll do it in the real world, up in the mountains. The winner of this contest will be allowed to order the other person around. So, off into the wilds they go, planning to test their combat skills against each other. Of course, the whole misunderstanding has resulted in an overreaction by both sides, but when the two are alone, they each, in separate internal monologues, get some perspective. Aoi is only being hard on Manami because she's worried about Manami not being serious enough, when the situation they are in at times is really quite dangerous and outright deadly, while Manami has a personal revelation: she is finally willing to admit to herself that she likes Kio (though why any girl like her would be attracted to Kio is a mystery).
As it turns out, after the lull, the battle is on, and Manami manages to win the duel, since Aoi runs out of ammunition and when she attempts to change gun clips while on the run, she stumbles across a couple of endangered birds, which leads to her dropping her ammo clip. When Manami charges out, gun drawn, Aoi tries to claim it's a draw, but Manami calls her bluff, shooting away a piece of Aoi's flak vest. She had been counting the bullets and knew that Aoi was out of ammunition. So, Manami gets to give Aoi an order, so what shall she do? She orders Aoi to kiss Kio when they get back. Aoi is completely flustered at the request, so Manami relents and changes it so that Aoi has to at least call Kio by his first name (she has to this point always used his last name). Things seem all friendly when Aoi suddenly notices a red dot on Manami's forehead.
Yes, someone had a laser sight on Manami's head, and had intended to put a bullet through it, but Aoi managed to pull Manami down to the ground before the trigger could be pulled. The two are now wondering what is happening. As we had seen earlier in the show, two mysterious women in a rather obvious car have been shown driving around, and now we know that these are the humans that the Dogisian Leader had said before would take care of their human problems. Aoi quickly formulates a plan, however, to get at these two assassins, with Manami rushing them point blank, but not in a completely foolhardy manner. Aoi will be using her rifle to fire an antimatter bullet to destroy the real bullet that will be fired at Manami as she charges the assassins. While this is pretty ludicrous in real world terms, it works well enough here, and Manami manages to shoot away most of the two female assassins' clothing, while Aoi has circled around their backs.
Back home it seems that Kio was worried about the two of them alone out on that mountain, where it had rained as well. So, he has prepared a special meal for their return. The two girls thank him, though Manami has to prod Aoi a bit to get her to follow through on her order to call Kio by his first name. After some convincing, Aoi does so, though Kio, being the dense twit that he is, does not seem to notice at all. This drives Manami crazy, so she gets up during the meal to put Kio in a headlock. Sorry, Manami, but that's not going to make Kio get a clue.
The final image that we have is the two female assassin, naked, being delivered to the Dogisian Leader in a box.
For all of the build up, as this episode is framed as a combat competition between Manami and Aoi, the actual fight was over fairly quickly. More time was spent showing the two girls sitting under trees during a rainstorm than in any fighting. While one has come not to expect much in the way of action scenes in this show, it might have been nice, for a change of pace, to have put in a heart-pounding, jaw dropping duel between these two lethal ladies. Instead, we had a lot of talking inside of heads, and Manami finally admitting to herself what everyone else already knew 5 episodes or more ago: that she likes Kio, though she thinks that it is now far too late for her to do anything about it. The sub-plot involving the Dogisian Leader's plans to eliminate these two human thorns in her side also goes mostly nowhere, as it is wrapped up very quickly and with little tension or drama to show for it. In general, this episode was more smoke than fire, much like broadcast fanservice has become, where the tantalizing prospect of naked skin is held out to the views, strategically covered, with the promise that you can see it all if you buy the home video versions, something that most people watching the streams are unlikely to do unless a domestic distributor decides to license the show for their region. Instead of being named "Let's play," this show should more appropriately be titled "Let's tease the audience."
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard