A bit of downtime after the last episode’s tragedy sees Kouichi finally turn a corner.
What They Say
Kouichi looses consciousness due to the LINEBARREL going out of control, and is taken into custody by JUDA. Ishigami tells Kouichi about the MACHINAs, and their enemy KATO-KIKAN. Kouichi is persuaded by Ishigami to fight together as a hero of justice, but cannot make up his mind. Meanwhile, Shizuna and Izuna Endo, twin members of JUDA�s Special Task Force, were being attacked by KATO-KIKAN ARMAs and now have their backs against the wall.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the tragedy that struck at the end of the last episode, you would expect the story to take a bit of downtime in order to give the characters, especially Kouichi, a bit of time to breathe, and that’s exactly what happens here. He wakes up at Juda headquarters not remembering much except that Yajima is dead and he has a lot to do with it. Kunio Ishigami, Juda’s President, explains to him all that has happened, and in particular about Juda’s fight with Kato-Kikan and what they are working towards, and also tries to convince Kouichi to join them in their fight.
Kouichi is unsure of what to do though, seeing only that Juda took the Linebarrel away from him. While at the headquarters, he also meets Shizuna and Izuna Endo, twin Machina pilots, one of whom takes exception to his wayward actions since he became the Linebarrel’s Factor. But before he can have much of a response, he comes face to face with Emi. This was one of the moments worth looking forward to, and her silence in the car on the way back with Kouichi is telling of her attitude. But as things continue, and the two talk more, it becomes clear that Emi also holds some of the burden of Kouichi’s current plight on her shoulders.
It’s nice to see Emi’s reaction to what has happened because when all is said and done, she should take some of the responsibility for what’s gone on because it was her who put Kouichi in this position without even knowing him at all first. But in many ways she works Kouichi’s emotions really well, saying all the right things, to make him realise that his actions have had significant consequences, and she plays a great role in finally turning Kouichi around to fight with the Juda forces. Yes, at last Kouichi is fighting on the side of good, and will hopefully give far more consideration to what he does from here on out.
Five episodes in, and it’s also nice to finally get some sort of exposition on who Juda and Kato-Kikan are, what their fight is and just generally what is going on in this world at large. While some of the motivations remain rooted in mystery, we at least know the basics and so we can get on with focussing on what is happening now rather than wondering who all the players are. The introduction of the twins is another high point of the episode, as both play off each other well with their differences in personality, and Shizuna especially has a great dynamic with Kouichi. Seeing their ambush and then watching Kouichi come in for the rescue made for a nice change of pace, injecting some action into the more character oriented scenes we’d seen until that point. There was a fair bit of humour too, especially with the President’s unusual viewpoints on everything.
Once again, Linebarrels of Iron pulls out an entertaining episode. We finally find out a bit more about the organisations that are fighting each other, get some good action and, best of all, Kouichi finally turns the corner and will hopefully move forward from the rather childish stance he’s taken up until now. I’m continuing to enjoy this series a great deal; it’s certainly not the most original but it is certainly a lot of fun.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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