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Episode 3: I Hate the Topless

 

Review by Peter Laliberte

April 1, 2011

 

Summary

 

In the Northern Stellar Region Asteroid Belt, Lal’C goes for supplies while the Jupiter Express group of Space Monsters fly by. Nono handles the re-supplying while Tycho charges in with her Buster Machine Soixante-Six. She destroys a lot of Space Monsters, but is distracted when one of her earrings comes off. Soixante-Six gets heavily damaged, exposing the cockpit. The stars remind Tycho of snow and she ejects before her Buster Machine explodes. Nono and Lal’C pick her up. Later, on a shuttle, Nono watches a video of Lal’C giving a speech at the Lunar Tokyo Swearing-In Ceremony. Casio explains that every year the highest scoring Topless gives the speech. Tycho tells him to do something about her Buster Machine, but Casio says it’s impossible to rebuild. He adds that it was one of the thirty-one Buster Machines in the world. The shuttle arrives at its destination: Jupiter. There, Casio briefs many other Topless about fighting the Jupiter Express. Present are Goya Reishi, pilot of Vingt-Deux; Citron Limone, pilot of Soixante; Nhan Nuok Cham, pilot of Trente-Six; Pasika Pesca Persicum, pilot of Soixante-Et-Un, Roy Anyan, pilot of Cinquante; Gurka Kuksis, pilot of Quatre-Vingt-Sept; Kartoffel Patata, pilot of Cinquante-Cinq; and Lou Seun, pilot of Quatre-Vingt-Neuf. They all have their complaints, one being that they’ve just lost a Buster Machine. Nicola enters and says there’s no problem because they have a brand new Buster Machine. The others say that most new machines are scrapped because they don’t awaken, and Lal’C wonders who the pilot will be. In the loading dock, Nono gets excited that she’ll be piloting the new Buster Machine, but Tycho kicks her away saying that she’ll be the pilot. Buster Machine Quatre-Vingt-Dix is brought in and Casio notes that it’s the first new Buster Machine in decades. He also tells Tycho that she can’t pilot a Buster Machine at the moment due to regulations. Nono and Tycho go to a hospital where they’re tested for space radiation syndrome. While getting changed, some one steals Tycho’s earrings. Tycho and Nono chase after them. Lal’C and Nicola take a boat through Jupiter. Nicola explains that it is ruins from before humanity was confined to the Sol System. He adds that it was a battleship built to fight Space Monsters. Nono and Tycho find themselves in an old passage way where they find three kids. Tycho takes her earrings back and Nono scolds them. They explain that they didn’t think that Tycho would come otherwise. They ask her to make the snow fall, pointing up to the stars. Nono thinks they’re adorable for being mistaken and says she wants to make a snowman with them. Tycho refuses but the kids say if she’s a Topless, she should be able to make everyone happy. Casio wonders if Buster Machines can be happy, and Lal’C asks if he thought that back when he was Dix-Neuf’s pilot. Casio says that Quatre-Vingt-Dix would be happy if some one like Nono would be the pilot and adds that Nicola thinks she could become a Topless. Tycho overhears this conversation. Nicola speaks to the Serpentine Twins, Piaget and LeCoultre. They tell him that their excavation is behind schedule and Nicola asks if they were the ones who arranged for Quatre-Vingt-Dix to be rolled out. Tycho muses about Nono being a Topless and thinks back to her encounter with the kids. She remembers asking a boy in the hospital to make a snowman with her.

 

Nono and Tycho join the squad of Machine Weapons which set up a minefield. Tycho pulls Nono away and challenges her to a duel. Nono knocks her away and goes back to work. Afterwards, Tycho pounds on Nicola’s door, but Lal’C tells her he’s not there. Lal’C is amused Tycho is getting worked up over some one like Nono, but Tycho says she can’t forgive Nono or Lal’C. Back when they had met the kids, Tycho said that snow will never fall on Jupiter. She tells Lal’C that Topless powers can’t make others happy. She asks if Topless powers can cure the sick, eliminate crime, stop wars, or let you meet the deceased. Lal’C says that Nono is working hard so she can become a space pilot and protect everyone. The Buster Machines launch and the Jupiter Express breaks through the mine field. They head towards the southern part of Jupiter where the hospital is. Nono tries to get Quatre-Vingt-Dix to wake up but Tycho says she’ll do it. Nono tells her she can’t because all she cares about is her score. Lal’C takes out a great number of Space Monsters, but some still break through and damage Jupiter. Tycho says she wants to make Lal’C stop saying Topless will make people happy at the swearing in ceremony because it’s a lie. Tycho thinks back to her childhood. She had told a sick boy of her Topless powers and said that she would heal him. She takes one of his wood carvings and holds it under her ear, asking if it looks good. The boy eventually died of space radiation syndrome, despite Tycho’s promise. She takes off her earrings, saying Topless can’t save anyone, but Nono says a Buster Machine won’t lend its power to some one who doesn’t believe in themselves. Nono asks if Tycho wants to save those children, and Quatre-Vingt-Dix wakes up. Tycho throws away her earrings, saying she didn’t want that boy to hate her. The Jupiter Express continues to break through, but Quatre-Vingt-Dix arrives and freezes the Space Monsters. The pilot is Tycho, and she laments throwing away her earrings because that boy won’t forgive her. However, she says that she’s fighting for herself, not him. She uses her Buster Smash attack, which freezes the entire Jupiter Express. Tycho sees a vision of her childhood and the Space Monsters explode, causing snow to fall on Jupiter. Nono climbs outside and makes a little snowman. She uses Tycho’s earrings to decorate the face.

 

Commentary

 

This is by far the weakest episode of the series. Now, I like Tycho, but I don’t think we needed an entire episode worth of development for her, especially when her role isn’t a very big one anyway. She resented the Topless because the sick boy she liked died, but Nono gives her the motivation she needed. We’re also introduced to many other Topless, most notably the Serpentine Twins. We get some interesting tidbits, too, like learning that Casio used to be Dix-Neuf’s pilot. Of course the most obvious thing that Gunbuster fans will notice is that Jupiter, which was used to make the Black Hole Bomb, has been replaced by an old Exelion class warship. The way Tycho challenged Nono to a duel is exactly how Jung challenged Kazumi in the first OVA, and space radiation syndrome also makes a return. A bit of a pointless episode, but it sets up a few things to come.

 

Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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