As Izuru serves tea on the Godinion’s bridge, the Rabbits arrive at the gate just as Lutier and Dorgna’s fleets are coming through it. Tamaki goes after Lutier as Asagi heads to the gate’s core to plant the target marker. Lutier blocks his path, but the other Rabbits surround Lutier, and blow her to bits. Asagi plants the marker, but the laser attack is absorbed by the gate’s energy shield. Dorgana surrounds the crestfallen Rabbits.
And so the climactic mega-battle everything’s been building to finally commences, and we were most impressed with its might and grandeur, as Earth throws everything they have left at the Wulgaru gate. Vast Napoleonic lines and webs of starships exchanging multi-color laser fire at one another can quickly grow monotonous, so the episode wisely mixes up many different kinds of battles, including a very novel multi-stage dogfight with the pesky, sadistic Lutier, whom Tamaki isn’t forgiving for killing Patrick. Asagi proves he’s a capable leader, and even Ange behaves himself and listens to orders.
Yes, Earth’s big trump card ultimately failed in a stunningly executed (if not altogether unexpected) twist of fate, but they’re not out of the fight yet. The challenge now is to bring down something as massive as the gate with conventional projectile weapons. Our first thought was, simply lob Star Rose at it; it’s the biggest “projectile” they have in their armory. Of course, we’re not expecting that gate to go anywhere before Jiart, Rumes, and their fleets come through to make things even more difficult. The Rabbits survived the first stage of the battle, but will we lose anyone in the onslaught to follow?
Rating: 8 (Great)
- At first we were scratching our heads at the impromptu lunch scene aboard the Godinion, but then we realized, they’re not at the front lines, so there were going to be some stretches of…nothing.
- In the end, we liked how the scene served as a kind of “coming up for air”, a brief respite in which even the exciting battle music pauses.
- Simon takes his plan not working pretty well, all things considered. Does anything phase this guy?
- The remaining Wulgaru generals are the smartest and most pragmatic of the original bunch, so things are surely going to get worse before they get better.
- Will give Lutier this: her birdlike AHSMB was a gorgeous machine.
As the global powers muster their fleets, Simon orders Izuru to resign, but he refuses. While he’s allowed to board the Godinion, he’ll remain on standby on the bridge as a last-resort asset during Operation Heaven’s Gate. The GDF’s C-in-C puts Simon in charge of the operation, and Simon pilots the evacuated Star Rose, whose core is the Wulgaru ship Theoria arrived in. The Rose will bear the fleet to the location of the Wulgaru gate.
With the forces of earth united and mobilized and the Wulgaru force similarly united and preparing for the final hunt, the endgame draws near. This episode was the calm before what should be one hell of a storm; an episode of physical and mental preparation, and also an episode of new roles. Ange is back on the Rabbits, Asagi assumes the role of their leader, and Theoria will jump in a cockpit and fight beside them, but everyone is doing everything possible to keep Izuru – who is not well – on the sidelines, as another sortie could kill him. Before the two massive armadas clash, this episode does a great job focusing on all the little stories of people stepping into their new roles.
There was also an emphasis on family and humans’ tendency to protect others and not just themselves, something the Wulgaru find unnatural. Asagi is taken aback by the sudden brotherly responsibility he now feels toward Izuru. Imbued with this new sense of family, he also lets his “little sister” Anna stay with her dad and granddad rather than flee to earth alone. The family theme is drilled home when Papa Simon invites the fleet to pile into the car (Star Rose) for a road trip that will determine the survival of mankind against a race of aliens who have underestimated them at every turn. And they’re not stopping to go to the bathroom.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
With the global military in shambles and Team Rabbits’ AHSMBs still being rebuilt, the Dobermans are given a recon mission that is crucial to the survival of mankind. They must locate the dimensional gate the Wulgaru are using, which lies beyond Saturn, further than humanity has ever gone. Using laser-fueled sails and booster missiles, they get close enough to the gate to gather data, but due to solar storms they must get it back to Earth in person. Legatus Lutier sends a fleet after them. Randy and Patrick are killed, but Rakesh survives when the Godinion arrives, and Lutier withdraws.
Lately this series has been making abundantly clear just how narrow a margin of error mankind has in order to survive the onslaught of the Wulgaru. Their top secret elite pilot training facility was almost wiped out last week – which would have been Game Over – but if they don’t find a way to close the gate the Wulgaru are using, it’ll be Game Over anyway. We see civilian protests calling for greater defensive measures, but the global military is utterly tapped out, and as the perceptive (and tipsy) Amane points out during drinks with Rin, they’re led by morons.
Theoria ominously warns them that Hitachi Izuru is essentially their only hope, even as he deals with medical exams that continue to worry his examiners. Still, Izuru and the others can’t do anything until their suits are repaired, which means it was the Dobermans’ turn to get the job done under heavy duress. The episode makes sure Patrick and Rakesh set death flags before setting off on their insanely dangerous mission to a part of the solar system no man has ever reached until, conveniently, now. But it’s Randy and Patrick who die: Randy in a blaze of glory, Patrick literally quartered by behind.
Their deaths are notable for being the first major character deaths on the “good guy” side. There frankly wasn’t much to Randy and Patrick aside from liking porn and Tamaki, respectively, but it makes us wonder if there are more casualties in store among the Rabbits and their command and support crews. With five episodes left, anything could happen. On its technical merits, this was also another exceptionally executed episode, including the Dobermans’ 120-hour cruise to Neptune and Suruga and the Godinion kicking some yellow Wulgaru ass.
Rating:7 (Very Good)