Linebarrels of Iron Episode #03 (of 26) (Mania.com)

By:Dani Moure
Review Date: Friday, February 27, 2009
Release Date: Friday, October 17, 2008

As the plot begins to settle, the effects of finally gaining the superpowers he’s long desired are starting to show on Kouichi.

What They Say
Kouichi has caused massive damage to the town during his battle on LINEBARREL fighting the secret organization KATO-KIKAN. Kizaki feels guilty for getting the citizens entangled in the battle, but Kouichi himself has no such notion, truly believing that he is the hero of justice. Then, VARDANT, controlled by JUDA�s ace pilot Reiji Moritsugu, appears before Kouichi.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If the last episode started to show us that Kouichi had the potential to become a bit drunk on the powers he’s gained, then this one has him rolling around on the floor completely plastered. Right from the word go, you can just see that Kouichi has changed completely – and not in a good way. For some, a power like his might humble them and lead them to really think about their actions. But Kouichi just takes no prisoners as he lets his new found strength go to his head and then some.

From the moment you see him ordering around the bullies in a role-reversal from the first episode when he was on the receiving end of their antics, you can see him becoming, perhaps the best way to put it, mentally unstable. As he speaks with Yajima yet again in this episode, one of his main focuses is on the fact that the TV coverage isn’t showing him off as the hero of the piece, as they are attempting to cover up the involvement of the enemy. Even when Yajima tries to point out how Kouichi has changed in how he interacts with both he and Risako, Kouichi is dismissive and insists that Yajima is merely jealous of his newfound power.

It all conspires to paint Kouichi in a rather poor light, nicely leading up to the final battle in the episode, which sees the Kato-Kikan forces launch an attack on the Linebarrel near Kouichi’s home. As he strives to defeat this latest adversary and his minions, he’s given a helping hand by Reiji Moritsugu, of the Juda Special Forces. Mirroring the help Juda tried to give at the end of the last episode, Kouichi completely rejects it because there’s no way he’ll hand the Linebarrel over to anyone, and naturally he starts attacking Reiji. Thankfully, Reiji gives him a bit of a hiding but Kouichi just drives forward with the intent to destroy him.

Emi gracefully interferes by shutting the Linebarrel down, which doesn’t go down well at all and she puts it perfectly when she tells him he makes her sick. This nasty, spiteful side of Kouichi threatens to overtake him, and hopefully in the next episode we’ll see a bit of remorse from him. Certainly, he will become a complete annoyance if he doesn’t start to see that he’s acting so immature, but time will tell exactly where the writers take him.

As for the rest of the episode, there’s a hilarious encounter as Risako takes cupcakes for Kouichi and meets Emi. The latter makes their exchange hilarious by not realising at all how jealous Risako is at her presence in Kouichi’s house, and this is probably the funniest scene in the series so far. There are also a few interesting moments at the Juda headquarters, although I’d quite like to see a bit more of both them and what the Kato-Kikan forces are getting up to.

In Summary:
Linebarrels of Iron is developing into a solid show as it begins to really find its feet. Although we could do with seeing more from the various forces vying for power overall, watching Kouichi struggle to cope with the power that’s been presented to him is becoming interesting. It could quite easily end up becoming annoying, but hopefully we’ll see Kouichi start on the road to redemption soon.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony Vaio Laptop with 2Gb RAM and Windows Vista.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 25
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen Letterbox
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Linebarrels of Iron