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Episode 5: Pledge (Promise)

 

Review by Peter Laliberte

April 20, 2005

 

Summary

 

Maya scales a cliff when she looses her footing but some one grabs her arm. She imagines it’s Kazuki, but it’s actually Soushi. He pulls her up and tells her since she’s a pilot candidate, she shouldn’t be doing dangerous things like that. She asks if he’s going to butt into her hobbies and he says it can’t interfere with the mission. She asks if he often goes to places like this, and he says it’s because he heard that Kazuki often goes there. Maya asks if he wants to understand Kazuki that much and Soushi asks if it’s a bad thing. Fumihiko looks over the Neo UN’s message when he’s informed they’d like to speak with him. He puts it through and an elderly female representative says she’s glad she can finally speak to him. She introduces herself as Esther Garrot and Fumihiko introduces himself. Esther says that during this time of war, it’s best they help each other out. She says she has a demand, and so does Fumihiko. He wants the UN to remove all their agents from the island and Esther is shocked. She says with power such as theirs, they can’t be allowed to not cooperate. Fumihiko asks what would happen if they declined and Esther asks if he can decline. Fumihiko gives in and he agrees to hand over the Mark Sechs to the Neo UN. Mamoru’s father is pissed because it took them years to complete it. Fumihiko says they have no choice and the UN will pick it up in two days. He says they have no time to be depressed and orders them to finish the final modifications on the Mark Drei and the Mark Vier. Youkou asks him why the UN would want the Mark Sechs. Fumihiko is silent and Youkou draws her own conclusions. She can’t believe it and Fumihiko says there’s a high chance of it. Youkou asks if he’s told Chizuru yet, and he says no. He adds that there are troublesome people in the background. Elsewhere, Maya asks Shouko how she’s doing and she says she’s fine. Maya says they should go, but Shouko wants to stay longer because Kazuki should be coming out soon. Soushi walks by and Shouko asks where Kazuki is, but he doesn’t know. Soushi then tells Maya she still has chalk on her and he leaves. Shouko says Soushi must be watching Maya a lot, but she says it’s nothing like that. Soushi runs into Kazuki and tells him to go the other way. He asks why and Soushi says he should do more training. Maya and Shouko continue waiting and Kouyou walks up to them. Shouko is disappointed that it isn’t Kazuki and Kouyou asks if she’s ok because she doesn’t look well. She insists she’s fine, but when she stands up she faints. They take her to the med room and Chizuru says she’ll be fine. Kouyou is relieved and Maya apologizes, saying Shouko’s pushed herself too far. Kouyou thinks she must be having a lot of fun. Chizuru talks to Yukie privately and says she’s thinking about removing Shouko from the project but Yukie says it’s not possible. Chizuru asks if that’s Fumihiko’s opinion or her’s. Yukie says it’s the policy of the Arcadian Project and that they don’t have much time left. Chizuru understands, and starts talking about Shouko’s disease, but Yukie finishes her sentence and says it’s supposed to be chronic. Yukie asks how many people she’s sacrificed and Chizuru gets mad. Shouko wakes up and Youkou asks how she’s doing. Shouko says she’s fine and Youkou leaves, saying she has work to do. Maya says she’ll stay with her and Kouyou says he’ll stay too. Shouko thanks him and Kouyou goes and gets some snacks. Shouko tells Maya something and she goes and gets Kazuki. He says he’ll stop by the infirmary later and Maya says she’d appreciate it if he went before running off. Maya, Kazuki, Shouko and Kouyou all play Old Maid and Kazuki takes his time choosing a card to take from Shouko. Kouyou, less than thrilled that Kazuki is there, tells him to hurry up and Maya sees how happy Shouko is.

 

The next morning, Kazuki tries to get some sleep in a chair, but Soushi shows up and tells him not to get too involved because they can’t stay friends for much longer. Shouko rests in the infirmary while her mother peels apples when Shouko asks if she can pilot a Fafner too. Youkou says she can when she gets better and Shouko wonders if she’ll ever get healthy. Youkou reassures her, because she has such a healthy mother. On the Neo UN fleet, Esther says she’d like to see a Notung model with her own eyes and a man on a vid screen says it’s a sight to see. At Alvis, a Solomon Prophecy goes off and a Festum attacks the UN fleet. Yumiko tells Maya she’s relying on her and Soushi tells her if she stays calm, she’ll do alright. Maya understands and her sister teases her. The fleet attacks the Festum, but their missiles miss and it destroys a ship. Esther refuses to give up until she gets a Notung model. The UN requests help from Alvis and though Soushi says it’s best they sink, but Fumihiko says they can’t ignore it and orders the Mark Elf to launch. Shouko tries to get out of bed, but Kouyou stops her, saying she hasn’t recovered yet. She says even she has a job to do, which is to help Kazuki. Kouyou understands and asks if there’s anything he can do to help. He takes her to the Fafner hanger and Kazuki is shocked to see her there. Shouko tells him to come back safely and that she’ll assist him. He promises he will and Shouko says she’ll protect the island while he’s gone. The Mark Elf is launched on the Lundwurm and Soushi tells Kazuki that this time, it is a rescue mission. The Festum destroys another ship and Esther asks if assistance has arrived yet. The Festum latches onto her ship and asks if she’s there. The Lundwurm crashes into the Festum and knocks it into the water. Solomon goes off again, and Yumiko is surprised. Kenji’s mom says that a Festum is materializing right over the island. Fumihiko orders the shield to be deployed and the island goes into battle mode. The Festum easily breaks through the shields and crashes into the island. Yumiko says that’s it’s a new type of Festum and the girl in the tube sends out the island’s defenses. They are ineffective against the Festum and they are destroyed. Soushi tells Kazuki there’s a change in orders and that he’s to go back to the island and Kazuki says he can’t go back because the other Festum hasn’t been destroyed. Shouko walks down a hallway and sees the new Festum on a video monitor. It continues to destroy the island’s laser pods and Shouko begs it not to destroy Kazuki’s island.

 

Commentary

 

Well, the Neo UN sure is needy. First they demand their own Fafner and now they need help. Soushi shows his hard side in this episode, telling Maya to give up rock climbing and telling Kazuki to not get attached to the others. This could be his way of showing he cares, but that remains to be seen. Since most of the cast are high school students, there is the obvious romance factor. Shouko obviously likes Kazuki, and Kouyou obviously likes Shouko while Soushi seems to have a thing for Maya while she seems to have a thing for Kazuki. The romance aspect is one of the things I love about this series. This episode ends on a cliff hanger with a new Festum attacking the island and from the looks of things, Shouko will do something about it.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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