Changes of side seem to occur quite quickly in this show, though there is a logic to them. And a blast from the past returns, probably to make things more confusing in the future.
What They Say
With many of its central personnel lost in the war, the Earth Federation Government is forced to rebuild, and Brian Midcrid, president of the Unified Colonies, takes the position of its president. During an emergency session of the Federation Diet, he publicly acknowledges the existence of extraterrestials, and reveals the events of the L5 campaign to the masses in what will later come to be called the "Tokyo Declaration". He goes on to state that these aliens pose a serious threat to humanity.
President Midcrid continues, asking for the colonies to unite with earth, and to expand their military forces in a plan called the "Aegis Plan". Under the plan, new weapons are developed, and more mechs are mass produced as the entire planet's defense network is strengthened. But threats still lurk in the shadows. The remnants of Bian Zoldark's "Divine Crusaders". Those within the Federation and its army who plot to turn it into a military dictatorship. And none have yet realized...that the true threats are coming from a world "so close, yet so very far away", and a world of silence...
The planet is being invaded by foes from a parallel world, and from the past.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It seems the Chokijin showed up again somewhere, and may have battled the strange monsters that we saw with them last time. Thus Archibald learns from one of his DC operatives who was sent out to investigate. The Chokijin, however, are long gone, leaving nothing behind but pillars of salt (how biblical).
Meanwhile, on the Hagane, Arado has finally awakened. As he opens his eyes, he sees something big in front of him. Leaving Excellen aside, Latooni is there, looking worried, though also relieved that he is still alive. The Captain and his senior staff debate what to do with Arado, but Major Kai seems to have a suggestion. Arado and Latooni at least are reconnecting, as the bond between survivors of The School seems to be rather strong.
Off elsewhere, Seolla is being brainwashed by Dr. Setme to forget about Arado, or Bronze 28 as her conditioner calls him. It would seem that here we see the truth of things: it is not Latooni who needs to be liberated from the "evil" Federation, it is Seolla who needs to be freed from the Divine Crusaders, who appear to believe that any means, no matter who gets hurt or how, are justified in achieving their ends. While it is said that you can't judge a book by its cover, the appearance of Dr. Aguila Setme reminds most of the Wicked Witch of the West, the original version, and I highly doubt that it was anything other than deliberate.
Interestingly, Arado's "imprisonment" and fair treatment by the Federation people is throwing our android spy Lamia into a strange mode of thinking. She finds it odd that Major Kai wants to treat him as a human being and not a guinea pig, as he was at The School. Perhaps she sees how they way they are treating him as quite different from what she expected. Thus, she even finds herself, oddly, speaking up for him as others question whether he is a spy or not. She reminds herself, however, that such thoughts are at odds with her mission, of which we have only the vaguest ideas for the moment. Unless something very strange happens, it is clear that she is going to do something very bad to the Federation when she is finally called upon to do it.
Of course, it's not Super Robot Wars without some action, and it comes as the DC forces suddenly attack. They have two missions: one is to try to capture Latooni. The other is not really the DC's doing. The mysterious "Whiskey" group needs to get into contact with W17, Lamia. Making things slightly more interesting, Arado took the chance of the confusion of the alarm to sneak out of his room and make his way to the hanger deck and steal a personal trooper. Latooni tries to stop him, but he pulls her into the cockpit and takes off.
So, in the battle Ouka, the mysterious top student of The School appears, come to get Latooni, while W16 deliberately attacks Lamia and takes her out of the battle in order to make contact. At the same time, Ouka tries to talk Latooni and Arado into coming back to "Mother," but it seems that Arado, free of Dr. Setme's conditioning, refuses to go back, as he doesn't know who this "Mother" is. When Ouka tries to remind him that it's their dear "Mother," Dr. Setme, Latooni cringes in fear while Arado's face shows anger and deep hatred. He remembers well what Dr. Setme has been doing to them, and so he swears that he will not bring Latooni back to the tender treatment of doctor. Ouka at this point seems to have some problems, as her conditioning appears to be challenged by her feelings for her fellow School survivors, plus the fact that as was mentioned earlier, the mental conditioning, when implanting false memories, does not always work very well. At this point, Arado and Latooni also get some help from Nanbu, so Ouka retreats.
But in the real surprise of the battle, suddenly another unit from elsewhere jumps in. It is Captain Axel, from the very first episode, in a badly damaged unit. But Nanbu sees him and immediately attacks. Axel moves to the attack as well, calling Nanbu's unit "Beowulf," the enemy he was fighting back in the confusing opening episode, which seemed like it was taking place on another world at another time. Nanbu tries to unleash his ultimate beam attack on Axel as the Whiskey units try to help him escape, but another personal trooper intercepts the attack, allowing Axel to escape. We end with Lamia, who has completed her own personal mission to contact her side and inform them of her statue, looking into the sky and saying Axel's name.
We finally get some tie in with the initial episode, as Captain Axel, whom we last saw in the first episode, jumps to Earth, and is then rescued by the "Whiskey" group, the mysterious people helping the Divine Crusaders, though obviously for their own reasons, not because they have any interest in their cause. Thus, we begin to learn a little about who these outsiders are. But otherwise, we see a rather sudden change as Arado, rescued by "the enemy" in the last episode, now refuses to allow Latooni to be taken back to "his" side, as he sees the positive changes that have occurred in her since he last saw her, compared to how she was under the "tender" care of Dr. Setme, the evil mind-control freak who has been brainwashing all of her former students from The School she can get her hands on. Sadly, it appears that Seolla and Ouka, the other two survivors of The School we have been introduced to, have been steadily reconditioned to the point where their memories are no longer even theirs anymore. Things continue to get more complex.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard