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Episode 3: Trial

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

April 1, 2006

 

Summary

 

The carrier seems to have set down in the mainland, and the truck has been unloaded. Joey is trying to get in touch with headquarters about what happened, but can’t get anything, saying that the bugs make too much for any transmissions to work. Robert, bandaged and briefing Marlene, tells her that they now need to head to a nearby city, to take a cargo ship to Korea, since recovery in Japan has become hopeless due to increased Blue activity. Robert asks her if she can keep the Blue off of them while they journey, but Marlene gets distracted and sees Yuji looking at a motorcycle. Strangely enough, the motorcycle looks just like Takashi's. Yuji just stares at it until Marlene tells him it’s time to go. The truck has been going for a while now with Joey driving and Robert riding shotgun. Marlene and Yuji are in the back, and he just watches Marlene clean her gun and looks at the Grappler. He suddenly remembers all the death he’s seen so far, and almost freaks out again. A warning light on Marlene's suit goes off, and she tells everyone a Blue’s after them. Sure enough, a Man Eater is flying after them and chops off a small slit off the roof of the truck. Marlene tells Yuji to stay down and uses the hole to get to the roof and start shooting at the Man Eater with a rifle. Yuji decides he wants to help and grabs a rifle himself, but can’t figure out how to even put a clip into it. The truck shakes under one of the Man Eater's attacks and Marlene’s knocked down, but Yuji catches her. The Man Eater jumps onto the back of the truck and starts to rip it open, but Joey drives into a tunnel and swerves the truck into a nearby wall, trying to crush the Blue. The Man Eater doesn’t seem concerned and tries to go after Yuji, but a few rounds from a hand gun hits the vent-like object on all the Blue and kills it. The Man Eater slumps to the side, and Yuji sees Marlene was the one that killed it. Yuji asks Marlene if she’s all right, but she asks him why he ignored her order to stay down. Yuji apologizes and says he just wanted to help, but Marlene tells him what they all do isn’t a game and that there isn’t room for amateurs. She heads to the front of the truck, leaving Yuji somewhat discouraged. Nighttime eventually comes, and Yuji asks Marlene to train him to fight. He says he’s only excess baggage right now and says he can pull his own weight around. Marlene tells him he can’t, since he’d then be putting his life in danger when she’s supposed to protect him. Joey on the other hand says that Robert can’t help with his injuries and can’t pilot the Grappler. He says that he could teach Yuji how to pilot the Grappler, while she could teach him shooting firearms. Marlene finally gives up and agrees, but tells Yuji he has only three days to learn. The morning finally comes, and the training ground is an old school ground area. Marlene is teaching Yuji how to use a hand gun. But since he can’t get a basic stance, Marlene has to help ‘position’ him, and ends up pressing herself against Yuji’s back, which causes him to blush to no end. She asks him if he can remember the position, and he thinks he’s got it down. Yuji gets a combat suit on and goes with Joey in the Grappler. Joey tells him an important rule to remember is to not close his eyes when he’s in combat. Joey tells him to punch a jungle gym with the Grappler, but as the A.S. starts moving towards it at full speed, Yuji of course shuts his eyes for a second and veers away from it. After a little more practice, the crew finally moves on.

 

The truck finally arrives at the city and now is at the main harbor. Joey continues to help Yuji get used to the Grappler and this time asks Yuji to have the Grappler punch a chain hook line. This time Yuji doesn’t mess up and breaks the chain holding the hook. Yuji is happy he finally did it, and Marlene contacts the both of them, saying that she and Robert found a ship in pier 10, but tells them to hurry since they don’t want to attract Blue. The crew get together in ship’s main computer room, and Joey says the computer works despite its age, but needs maintenance. He says they could go by tomorrow night, but Robert says he wants the computer working by tomorrow morning, and Joey goes straight to work. He then tells Marlene and Yuji to continue about the duties they were assigned. A few moments later, Marlene is in her Sniper A.S. and drops off Yuji at a hangar, telling him to grab the supplies needed and put it on the ship. Yuji’s surprised, and tells Marlene is the first time she actually called him by his name. She says it would be simply inconvenient not to and goes off patrolling. Nighttime finally comes, and as Yuji is taking some food into the ship, he hears humming coming from the computer room. He sees Joey humming a song to himself and asks him where he learned it from. Joey says it was popular in his class, and Yuji tells him it was played all the time in the radio in his time. He says it reminds him of his family and home, and remembers the promise he made to his friend, and says the last thing he’ll do is get killed. Yuji asks Joey if he could continue humming the song, and Joey picks up from where he left off. But Yuji stops him for a moment and says one part is wrong, and corrects Joey by humming it correctly. Eventually, they both start humming together, while Joey continues to work. By morning the repairs are done, and everyone starts to load the truck onto the ship. While Marlene is on watch, she picks up Blue contacts, with Joey confirming there are three in the air and one on the ground. Robert tells Marlene she has field command, and Marlene orders Yuji and Joey to take the one Blue that’s coming at them from the ground, while she takes care of the air units. Marlene is in position, and three Man Eaters pass by, and she manages to shoot one down on the first pass before going after the other two. Yuji and Joey take the Grappler farther down the dock, looking for the fourth Blue. Yuji is a little anxious and Joey tells him to calm down. Joey suddenly warns him and tells him the Blue is above them, and Yuji looks to see a new type of Blue, the Man Eater 2, coming down at them from a crane. They get out of the way, but the Blue is larger than the Grappler and chases them down. Yuji manages to block an attack, but a punch from the Grappler doesn’t seem to effect the Man Eater 2. Yuji panics when a large move opens up on the head, and he runs backwards, which causes the Man Eater 2 to chop off the Grappler’s right arm. It falls over, and Joey is knocked out, with Yuji still in a panic. The Man Eater 2 start clawing the back of the Grappler, when Yuji remembers what Marlene told him about this not being a game. Yuji tells himself he isn’t going to die and finds the chain hook he broke from before. He wraps it around the Man Eater 2's body, and jabs the hook into one of its eyes. But it jabs a claw into the other arm, and renders the last arm on the Grappler useless. Marlene finishes off the last of her Blue targets, and moves to help Yuji. Yuji tries to get the Grappler to move, but it won’t respond. Just before the Man Eater 2 attacks, gunshots strike the Man Eater 2, causing its claw to miss the Grappler's cockpit. Marlene guns the Man Eater 2 down, and Yuji himself finally passes out. Yuji wakes up, looking at the ceiling of one of the ship's rooms. He overhears Marlene saying they can make it to the Korean cost by tomorrow, and looks to see he was resting on the main bridge, with Marlene and Robert at the controls. Robert tells him they should make it to the Korean Recovery Squad, and says that Joey is okay too, repairing the Grappler. He tells Yuji to help him out, and Yuji goes down to cargo hold. Just as Yuji leaves the bridge, Marlene takes a quick glance, then goes back to steering the ship. In the cargo hold where the truck is, Joey is looking for a certain tool and Yuji hands it to him. They both start repairing the Grappler, and once again start humming the song they both talked about while the cargo ship heads for Korea.

 

Commentary

 

Another interesting episode; so far Blue Gender has head some good progression, even on the early start. Yuji’s finally had enough of being in the back seat and has the team train him to help out. I can’t help but feel sorry for Yuji, since Marlene was "pressing" against him to learn how to use a hand gun properly. In the end his training pays off, even if he isn’t perfect. It’s good to see he’s relating to Joey, as they seem to be getting along fairly well. With Robert's injuries, he’s mostly giving orders, while Marlene still remains cool headed. We see the Man Eater 2 in this episode, which is a ground variant on the air type Man Eater. With the crew now heading towards Korea, they may meet a wider range of Blue possibly.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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