image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 7: Sympath

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

June 10, 2006

 

Summary

 

Yuji and Marlene have now made it into the desert region, but are still traveling on foot. The heat is getting to both of them, as Yuji has finally run out of water and wishes for an entire pool. Ironically enough, over a hill, they find a supply depot of sorts with an outdoor water pool. When they get there, Yuji’s the first to take a swim, but Marlene looks around the abandoned depot and is surprised to see a small hill with a wooden cross on top of it. While Yuji is soaking in some water, Marlene decides to jump in as well, which of course catches Yuji’s attention and he stares at her for a moment, before turning away when she looks at him. He apologizes, but Marlene just remains silent and leans on a rock. Yuji splashes water on her a couple of times, but Marlene gets annoyed and splashes and him, which knocks Yuji over. He’s surprised at what she did, and she jokes at him, saying he’s the one that started it. Their fun is interrupted when a Land Whale type Blue appears next to the pool. Marlene and Yuji scatter as the Land Whale shoots some kind of solid substance at them, but misses. Marlene finds a metal rod, but her strike only gets the Land Whale’s attention. Yuji tosses a rock at it, while Marlene goes for her pistol she left at the pool side and takes a shot, but can’t hit the core at the back of its neck. The Land Whale moves towards Marlene, but a rifle shot from an AS breaks one of its horns, and it scurries away. An older Grappler type AS, which seems to be in a rough condition, stops next to Yuji and Marlene, and the pilot takes a look around, commenting on how he almost had that Blue that time. He looks at Yuji, and tells him that this particular pool isn’t the place to fool around. The man introduces himself as Dice, and says he’s the only friend so to speak around here. Dice takes water from a reservoir, with Yuji holding a barrel while Marlene stands guard. Marlene gives Dice the all clear, and he climbs down from the reservoir to help Yuji take the water barrel and load it onto his Grappler, telling Yuji to help him. They load the last barrel on, while Marlene looks at Dice with suspicion. Dice is glad there is enough water now, notices Yuji holding his back, and asks Yuji in a joking tone about how he’ll hold his women with that back of his. Yuji tells him it’s not like that, but Dice says Yuji’s a lucky man. Marlene asks Dice about his rank and unit, but Dice says he can’t remember, saying it was a long time ago, which surprises her. Marlene tells him they’re under orders to head to Baikonur, and that he’ll provide transportation for them. Dice tries to start up his Grappler, but jumps down and asks Yuji for help, since he can’t start it. He says he built the AS himself, but it still gives him problems, and jokes about it like how a woman gives trouble. Yuji decides to help Dice in starting it up, and the first attempt doesn’t work. Marlene points her gun at him and says she gave him an order, but Dice says she didn’t. Yuji’s confused by this, but listens to Dice and helps finally start it up. Marlene asks if he’s even listening to her, and Dice says that his AS can only seat one. She asks if there are other means of transportation, and Dice says it depends where she looks, and he moves his gaze back to the depot, where an old warehouse is. Just as Marlene turns to look, Dice jumps her, knocks her gun away, and pins her against the side of his AS. Yuji’s shocked at how good Dice is, while Marlene says he won’t get away with what he did. The grass nearby starts shaking, and both Yuji and Dice realize the Land Whale came back. Before Marlene can kick him, Dice punches her in the stomach to render her unconscious, and carries her with him next to Yuji and tells him to get going, since they also don’t want to stay at the compound at night. The AS leaves the depot, and the grass finally stops moving.

 

It’s nighttime now, and away from the depot, in a rugged, rocky area, the AS is resting at Dice’s makeshift shack. Marlene is sleeping in Dice’s bed, while Yuji puts a blanket on her. Dice clears his table of junk and puts some fresh food and drinks on the table, and says Marlene should be fine in the morning. Yuji looks around the shack, seeing beer cans, empty food cans, tanks of gas, and all other sorts of junk lying around, making the place truly messy, and then notices a dog tag hanging on the wall. Yuji eventually tells Dice his story, and Dice says Yuji’s the first Sleeper he’s ever seen. Dice offers him a drink, but Yuji decides not to have a drink. Dice pours himself a glass and taps another drink can, giving cheers and drinking up. Yuji seems to enjoy his company, and then Dice asks him if Yuji’s ‘done it’ yet, which startles Yuji, and Dice clarifies of what he meant by asking if Yuji has a thing for Marlene, but Yuji says it’s not like that. Dice says Yuji shouldn’t die, not until he’s at least held her. Dice asks him if he’d like to stay and hang out with him for a while, but Yuji says he can’t. Dice says it’s because he’s going with Marlene, and Yuji tells him he’s already made it this far with her. Dice says he can’t guide them to Baikonur, and he also doesn’t get along with soldier types. Yuji asks him if that’s the reason he stays in the desert all by himself, Dice says he’s still got something to do, and looks at the dog tag, and Yuji begins to realize what Dice meant by that. Morning comes, and Yuji finds Marlene missing from the bed, and wanders outside to see Dice, and also realizes his AS is missing. Dice says Marlene is a handful, and gets his rifle ready just in case. Yuji asks him if she intends to take his AS to Baikonur, but Dice says it’d be lucky to even get past the depot. An idea comes into Dice’s head, and he thinks he realizes what Marlene is after. Nearby the depot, Marlene is angry at the fact Dice’s AS has stalled again, and decides to go the rest of the way by foot. Meanwhile, Yuji and Dice move on foot to catch up, and Dice tells Yuji that the warehouse Marlene is probably after has old Armor Shrikes and Buggies. Yuji asks why he keeps riding the piece of junk Dice rides, and Dice tells him to watch what he calls junk, and also says that the warehouse is where that Blue likes to hang out the most. Marlene opens the warehouse door, and finds an intact AS and two buggies. She walks into the warehouse, not even noticing crack lines forming in the ground behind her. She starts a buggy up, but at the same time the Land Whale pops up from the ground. Yuji and Dice have finally caught up to his AS, but Dice can’t start it up either. Yuji starts to run off, but Dice says he can’t help her, and can’t beat that type of Blue without an AS. Yuji runs off anyway, and Dice actually smiles while Yuji runs off. Marlene jumps out of the buggy, just as it’s nearly devoured whole by the Land Whale. She turns to look at what happened, but the Land Whale has disappeared into the ground again. Marlene stays still and looks around, and Yuji shows up. Just as he enters the warehouse, a small hole in the center of the building starts forming, and Marlene tells him to take the last buggy and leave. She says she’ll keep it distracted and starts running, and the Land Whale resurfaces and starts chasing her. Yuji fires a shot at it to get its attention, and tells Marlene that they’re both going to Baikonur together. Yuji runs out of the warehouse when the Blue starts going after him, and Dice shows up in his AS to grab ahold of the Land Whale, and pins it on the ground. It fires another solid sand-like ball, and Dice just moves his head aside, while the attack leaves a hole in the back of his cockpit. Dice tells Yuji to shoot the back of the Blue’s head, and Yuji takes aim, but is afraid of hitting Dice. Marlene opens fire with a few rounds, and Yuji fires off a round, and knocks off the spike protecting the Land Whale’s core. The Land Whale tries to flee, but Dice gets his AS to pick up its rifle, and shoots the core, killing the Land Whale. Dice stares at the dead Blue, while Yuji and Marlene stand next to him. It’s now the evening, and Dice takes the dog tag from before, and places it on the cross, saying it’s finally over. Yuji asks him what happened, but Dice only says that there was one thing important to him in this world, and he couldn’t protect it. Yuji now realizes what Dice meant, and Dice forces a smile and says that they can get going. The three of them take the last buggy, and continue the journey to Baikonur. As they drive away from the depot, Dice takes one more long look, and says so long.

 

Commentary

 

Yuji and Marlene’s journey keeps getting interesting it would seem, and they don’t seem to have any bad luck in terms of not finding people. In this episode, we meet Dice, who seems to be a deserter, but hasn’t given his exact reasons for deserting. He seems to live the free life, as his messy life style shows. But seeing how he wanted to avenge someone he cared for against the Land Whale, made his character that much more human. Hopefully he can find some peace now, since the Land Whale is now dead. Marlene continues to try to act superior, but only gets shown up by Dice, since he seems to be the more experienced. In the beginning of the episode, we see another example of Yuji and Marlene getting along fairly well. After all, Marlene didn’t mind having a bath in her undergarments with Yuji. We also see the Land Whale type Blue in this episode, and for some reason I keep thinking of the movie trilogy Tremors. Most sci-fi, horror people should know those movies, about giant mutant worms that move underground and track by movement. There seems to be similar characteristics, but I doubt it was intentional. I wonder if Yuji and Marlene’s quiet times together will get noisy with Dice around.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

 

Blue Gender Episode 7 Blue Gender Episode 7

image
Buy the collection (eps 1-26, movie) on DVD from Amazon

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
image

image
image