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Megazone 23 Part II

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 7, 2007

 

Summary

 

On Megazone 23, soldiers prepare for the maiden voyage of the new battleship FX-101. Watching from nearby, Eigen comments that it was a good idea for the financial community to invest in the ship. Elsewhere, Eve continues to call out for Shogo, and BD orders a trace on Eve's broadcast point. In the city, the motorcycle gang Trash parades through the streets. As the FX-101 launches, Eigen tells another man that the ship is a big bluff because it's already obvious to him that they can't win the war. He says that it would be better to surrender to the Dezalg rather than to prolong the conflict. He believes they can collaborate with the Dezalg on technological development, and some members of the military are already attempting to contact the Dezalg. The other man asks about BD, and Eigen says he isn't worried because there are many soldiers and most of them can be bought with the right amount of money. BD's subordinate traces Eve's power flow to the ship's core and says that soon she might be able to reach out to the Tokyo Base, but BD wants that to happen so he can lure in Shogo. He orders another subordinate, Yuichiro Shiratori, to make sure that Shogo is captured. Elsewhere, Shogo crawls out of a sewer and enters the city. Shiratori tells three subordinates that their top priority is to apprehend Shogo for Tomomi's murder. When one of the men asks why the emphasis on this case, Shiratori punches him and tells him he has nerve to question him after wasting six months trying to find Shogo with no results. In another part of the city, Yui meets with Trash's leader, Lightning. She calls the traffic center and reports that she's seen Shogo on the street. A police officer approaches Shogo on the street, but Shogo shoots him with a pellet gun and steals a motorcycle he was hot wiring. As the police chase Shogo through the streets, he passes by an electronics shop and sees Eve on all the TVs. He then drives into a department store and tears the place to pieces. The chase returns to the streets, and Shogo leads the police into a dead end construction site where all the members of Trash are waiting. The Trash members rev up their bikes and begin attacking the police. An enormous man named Guts picks up a police car with his bare hands and flips it over. The melee ends with Trash triumphant. BD orders Shiratori to release certain information at a specific time because he's sure it will cause Shogo to act within a day or two. Nakao reports to BD that the Dezalg seem to be interested in Megazone 23's infrastructure and the unidentified section where Eve is. Another soldier reports that the FX-101 fleet has encountered Dezalg forces. The fleet's Tivar IV fighters are no match for the Dezalg's Sturm Gertz units, so the 00 Hargans launch and attack while the FX-101 charges its main cannons. The main guns are finally charged, but Dezalg attack cables break into the ship and kill the gunner and the bridge crew.

 

Back at Trash's rundown base, Lightning and Jace chuck beers while Garam and Dumpi play pool. Yui points out that Shogo didn't come back to the apartment, and he tells her he didn't want to be a loser and have them lick each other's wounds. Yui reveals that she wasn't waiting for him because people thought of her as a murderer's lover, but also because she didn't want to wait for someone who might die at any moment. Yui says she isn't strong and can't survive on her own like Shogo can. Shogo drinks a beer, and Lightning tells him that they should talk about less depressing things since they've just been reunited after half a year. In another corner, Jace, Rayner and Cindy watch Shogo and comment that Yui is an attractive girl. Garam shows off with a fancy shot to win the pool game, meaning that Dumpi owes him three dozen Heinekens. Lightning tells Shogo a racing story, but he's interrupted when a naked Eve appears on TV and asks for the operator of 7G. Shogo says that's the real Eve and adds that if they can get the Prototype Garland back, they might be able to meet her. Nakao delivers the FX-101's flight recorder to BD and plays the video. He's visibly shocked while watching the crew get torn to shreds, but BD has no reaction. Later, BD goes to a shooting range for target practice. Elsewhere, Yui practices her riding skills with Dumpi, Rayner and Cindy, but she doesn't do very well, so Dumpi demonstrates how it's done. Rakko shows up with supplies and gives everyone beers. Later, Shogo smokes cigarettes with Lightning while Yui showers with the girls. Everyone watches an old Eve music video, and Rakko walks into the room with a cassette player blasting. They tell him to shut it off, but Shogo tells him to leave it alone because he can hear Eve calling for the operator of 7G during the song. Rakko delivers beer and cigarettes to Jace, who listens in on a military transmission revealing the location of the Prototype Garland. At the military base, Shiratori briefs his men on the operation, codenamed "7G."

 

After three days of practice, Yui shows remarkable improvement in her bike riding skills. She goes to Shogo's room, and when he asks her why she cut her hair, she tells him she wanted to try something different. Yui begins talking about bikes, but Shogo grabs her and kisses her. They have sex, and afterward Shogo wonders what kind of message Eve is trying to send him. Elsewhere, Shiratori and several Military Garland pilots lie in wait around the Prototype Garland, waiting for Shogo. Shogo tells Yui that he plans to go where the Garland is and take it back. Shogo, Lightning and Guts break into where the Prototype Garland is stored, and Shogo hops on and activates it. Several Military Garlands smash into the room, and Shiratori orders Shogo to surrender. Guts and Lightning open fire and escape on the Garland with Shogo. The Military Garlands and Flaggers chase after them, but they're nowhere to be found. After hiding in a narrow corridor, Shogo and the others emerge in a subway corridor. Shogo finds a transmitter, and Guts places it on a passing subway train. After they leave, Shiratori is still able to track them because that transmitter was a decoy to distract from a smaller one on the mirror. At the Trash base, Shogo speaks to Eve on the Garland's screen. She tells him she's been cutoff from most of Bahamut's systems, but now she's able to exist independently. She asks Shogo to come to her location in Bahamut, but he asks why it has to be him. Lightning interrupts and proclaims that they should go to Eve. Shiratori is informed that the Prototype Garland is now stationary under an abandoned embassy in Roppongi. As the police surround the embassy, the gang breaks out with Guts and the suicide squad in the lead. They attack the police with guns, bazookas and Molotov cocktails. Several Flaggers close in on the rest of the gang, but Dumpi destroys them with grenades. Two Military Garlands attack Shogo, so he transforms the Prototype Garland and attacks, disabling one Military Garland and stealing its beam gun. Back at the embassy, Guts faces off against the riot police by himself. Shiratori writes a goodbye letter to his parents that is to be delivered in the event of his death.

 

As Trash members speed through the streets, Shiratori flies over to personally command the operation. Flaggers damage some of the bikes, but Jace destroys a Flagger with a grenade. At a tank barricade, soldiers open fire and mow down the Trash members. A soldier grabs Rayner and demands to know where Shogo is, but she tells him to find out for himself. The soldier hits Rayner and knocks her down, so she gives him the finger. Elsewhere, several Sturm Gertz units blast into Megazone 23 and enter the abandoned city where Bahamut is located. BD is informed that Shiratori and his men are closing in on Shogo in the city. Shogo asks Yui if she's ok, and she tells him she's fine because Yui is with her. Rakko runs out of bullets and is shot by a Flagger while reloading. A Military Garland closes in on Yui's bike, but Cindy shoots the cockpit and Shogo smashes it into a building. Lightning blasts a Flagger and tells everyone to head for the train tracks. Dumpi is shot while attacking several Flaggers, but everyone escapes in the subway tunnel. When they reach the end of the tunnel, they find a blockade of Military Garlands and Shiratori's Wilde Sau waiting for them. Lightning says they won't surrender after coming so far, but Shogo says he'll take care of it. He slowly drives the Garland forward and tosses two smoke grenades at Shiratori. In the confusion, Shogo transforms the Prototype Garland and breaks the roof open to grab everyone. Lightning says he has an idea, and the bikes escape. The Military Garlands shoot Garam and Dumpi, causing them to crash. Dumpi asks Garam if he's ok, and he says it's like a movie when the unimportant characters are killed off. A fire burns around them, but the Prototype Garland moves a truck next to them and blocks the flames. Shiratori emerges from the smoke and blows off the Prototype Garland's arms and legs. When he rips the cockpit open, he's shocked to find Lightning is the pilot. Just then, Dezalg cables smash through the ground and kill several Military Garland pilots, setting off a massive explosion. Shogo is worried about Lightning, but Cindy says he'll be ok because he's immortal. She then stands guard outside Eve's room while Shogo goes in with Yui, who was shot during the escape. Shogo calls out to Eve, who removes the seals to her chamber. Inside, Yui collapses and falls to the floor. She tells Shogo that six months ago, she was really waiting for him and waited every day. She asks why he didn't come back, and he says he didn't want to get her involved. Yui says that no matter the difficulties, she wanted to be with him. She then passes out, and Eve appears and tells Shogo that Yui isn't dead yet. Shogo carries Yui into Eve's chamber and places her in a capsule. Eve says Yui will be ok because she can be treated.

 

The room then goes dark and turns into a street side cafe. Shogo angrily says that he came to talk to Eve, not watch her put on a show. The scene changes to a beach, and Shogo says he has nothing to hide, wondering if Eve is testing him. She asks him why he didn't join the military and fight, and he tells her he doesn't like how they do things. She presses him about what he doesn't like, and he says they sweep away small things like trash and declare things as facts without understanding anything. Eve tells Shogo that 500 years ago, humanity nearly destroyed Earth in a large war. As a result, the United Nations created Earth preservation laws and the Adam system to watch over Earth while the surviving cities left for five centuries. She asks him if he loves Yui, and he says he likes her. Shogo says he thought he always wanted to be with her and protect her, so maybe he's starting to love her. As the scenes change, Eve asks Shogo what he wants to do, and he tells her he wants to visit bike shops and go out in his small town within Tokyo. Eve asks Shogo what it means to be an adult, and he says he doesn't want to be an adult like the ones who lie and kill others. Eve tells Shogo that perhaps he can be an admirable adult and change the ship's misguided society. Suddenly, the Adam program activates and cancels out Eve's illusion. Eve tells Shogo that she's designed to bring back to Earth only the people who won't make the same mistake. Shogo asks what Adam has decided, but Eve tells him that she doesn't know and can't force Adam to release the information. Shogo says he doesn't think they're good enough to warrant continuing, but he's glad he was able to meet Eve with everyone's help. Eve tells Shogo not to lose hope because she'll do what she can until the end. Shogo leaves the chamber, and Cindy tells him no one has shown up yet. A mortally wounded Shiratori shows up in his damaged Wilde Sau, but he collapses and dies before he can shoot Shogo. Lightning then shows up in the damaged Prototype Garland with Garam and Dumpi in tow.

 

Eve's chamber interfaces with Bahamut and takes control away from the military. As Megazone 23 begins to break up, BD orders all soldiers to escort as many residents as possible to the spaceport or shelter. Lightning and Garam sit back to drink beers, but BD and a squad of Wilde Saus appear. Shogo angrily rushes BD, but BD punches him and knocks him down. He kicks Shogo and tells him that the world where the just were victorious ended long ago. Shogo yells at BD and weakly punches him, but he stops and says it's a waste of time to fight someone like BD. Two screens appear and show Adam, and BD explains that the entire Moon is a defensive weapon. As the Dezalg ship approaches the Moon, it's completely destroyed. As Megazone 23 approaches Earth, the outer layer and city are destroyed. Shogo asks if they're going to end up like the Dezalg, and BD tells him to live the way he wants while he can. Shogo asks BD if he intends to die, and BD says that the world was worth living in, but the time where he could live what he thought was the right way is over. He then boards his Zahme Sau and tells Shogo that they'll probably never meet again. BD and his men head into space, and Megazone 23 completely breaks apart, leaving only a small core that enters Earth's atmosphere. Shogo and the others assume that they're going to die soon, but the door to Eve's chamber opens and Yui emerges, completely healed. Shogo and the others climb up to the top of the core and go outside, where they see an Earth that is green and full of life. The other members of Trash emerge from the core and join Shogo outside.

 

Commentary

 

It's clear just from looking at it that Megazone 23 Part II is different in many ways from its predecessor. First, legendary mecha animator Ichiro Itano (Macross, Gundam) takes over from Noboru Ishiguro as director. The most obvious change here is the character designs, which were done by Yasuomi Umetsu, best known for projects like Kite and Mezzo Forte. To say the changes are drastic is an understatement. Shogo and Yui look nothing like the way they did in part 1. Perhaps the biggest change is BD, who is now some super buffed up metrosexual. The only returning characters from part 1 are Shogo, Yui, Eve, BD and Eigen, so we never see what happens to Shogo's friends or Mai. Six months have passed since the first part, and a lot has changed. Part 1 ended with Shogo injured but still hopeful. Here, he's just slacking off with a bunch of bike gang losers. It seems to me that they tried a bit too hard with the "rebellious" theme here, since there's some more explicit sex, plus tons of beer and cigarettes. Makes you wonder if there was some paid product placement, because we frequently see Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes and Budweiser and Heineken beer on screen. Although part 2 had a lot of potential, it's mostly squandered with much going unanswered. We never even get to see the Dezalg up close, so they're just a distant, almost alien threat. The first part presented some great plot development with the realization that everyone's living in a fake 20th century on a spaceship, but none of that is followed up here. Almost the entire story is Shogo and his buddies hanging out or evading the military. This installment in the trilogy isn't great, but by the same token it isn't terrible. Of course, it's also essential for setting up the story of part 3, which is set even further in the future.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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