Episode 10: Hong Kong in Two
Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal
August 18, 2010
On Merida island, Tessa prays to God for protection before ordering the Tuatha de Danaan to set out. Lemming explains the how the Lambda Driver works to the SRT. Sousuke climbs into the Arbalest’s cockpit checks up on Al. He converses a bit with it and asks who taught it what it knows. Al reveals that a technician named Bani Murauta was responsible for his creation. Sousuke remarks that Bani’s creation is a failure and Al confirms it by saying that the faulty component is actually Sousuke. Al offers to give Sousuke some consoling and the latter is about to start an argument when Mao calls him saying that they have a mission. Kalinin and Clouseau explain the situation of the MP Codarl running amok in Hong Kong and causing even more tension between North & South China after the Nanking incident. No demands have been made so Clouseau suspects that this an open challenge to Mithril. The SRT’s mission is to conduct field reconnaissance to locate the Codarl’s hiding place. Mao asks why Sousuke will come along, and Clouseau replies that the Arbalest is currently unstable. Sousuke packs his equipment and heads to the hangar. He encounters Tessa in a hallway and they awkwardly avoid eye contact. The SRT rides a helicopter to Hong Kong.
Mao notes that Hong Kong hasn’t changed much since her last visit before the restoration. She reveals that she stayed here for a while after getting discharged from the Marines. She rants on about how her father tried to marry her off to a Harvard graduate after she finished high school, so she ran off and enlisted in the Marines on her wedding day to spite him. Gavin Hunter from the Hong Kong branch of the intelligence division enters the room and introduces himself. He explains the situation once more. Because of the Codarl, the North and South armies are on the defensive, entry into the region is restricted and the economy is suffering. They don’t know where the Codarl is hiding yet, so Mao draws up search routes through areas devoid of birds and other sensitive animals because those could spot a cloaked arm slave. Sousuke is silent throughout the whole exchange. Hunter uses his influence as a businessman to issue the SRT fake driver’s licenses as well as uniforms and vans belonging to his cleaning company. Mao splits them into two teams and goes with Sousuke. She warns everyone not to engage the Chinese armies or reveal information if they get caught. Mao and Sousuke cruise the empty streets and pass a checkpoint. As they drive through a tunnel, Mao muses that’s quite a shock to see Hong Kong empty like this and asks Sousuke to imagine this kind of situation occurring in Tokyo. They reach the other side and pass another checkpoint. Sousuke starts thinking about Chidori and nearly crashes into a taxi cab, drawing the attention of a nearby army unit. The soldiers try to arrest them but suddenly the Codarl appears and destroys an M6. A fight breaks out and Sousuke is too dazed to even duck for cover. Mao tackles him to the ground and the Codarl jumps on top of a building and disappears using ECS. Back in the van, Mao scolds Sousuke for nearly getting them arrested and says that if he can’t stop thinking about Chidori he’s better off not continuing the mission. Sousuke says he understands, then steps out of the car and walks away.
This episode is mostly a setup for the final arc of the show. The exchange between Sousuke and Al was pretty amusing, what with Al going on about words like instinct then asking Sousuke if he needs advice. We also learn more about Mao’s past before she joined Mithril and get to see yet another intelligence agent here with Gavin Hunter, who’s actually publicly known as a legitimate businessman. Hong Kong’s is messed up in more ways than one thanks to Yu Fan’s merry spree of destruction, and poor Sousuke can’t even focus because he can’t get Chidori off his mind.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Buy the collection (eps 0-13, OVA) on Blu-ray from Amazon