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Episode 10: The Dangers of 'Feminity'

 

Review by Scott Richardson

May 29, 2007

 

Summary

 

A Chulip enters the atmosphere and, with the help of the Earth defense lines, crash lands near a deserted island. On the Nadesico, Admiral Munetake informs the bridge that they have been given the mission of investigating the errant Chulip, probably because 'his' Nadesico is of such high caliber. Unfortunately for him, it's two in the morning and the bridge is nearly empty. Down in the kitchen, Yurika prepares a late night snack for Akito, daydreaming of Akito sweeping her off her feet for being such a wonderful cook. Unsurprisingly, her meal quickly goes up in smoke. Meanwhile, Jun's dinner consists of a depressing carton of microwaved noodles. He sees Yurika walking towards him with a dish of something and wonders if his ship has finally come in. Unfortunately for Jun, she walks by him, barely noting his presence. In his room, Akito is busy watching an episode of Gekiganger in which the main character falls in love with a mysterious amnesic girl who seems to be perfect at everything, until it is eventually discovered that she's an alien sent to destroy the Gekiganger team. Yurika arrives, and Akito lets her in with surprisingly little resistance. She offers him a rather unpalatable-looking dish, and with little other choice Akito takes a bite. Akito's screams echo across the ship, bringing Megumi to his room with a glass of strangely-colored liquid. Akito, rendered immobile by Yurika's concoction, weakly begs for water. Megumi offers him her 'stamina building juice,' which he drinks without question. Again, Akito's screams echo throughout the ship. Megumi lists off horrifying ingredients until Akito comes to and throws them both out for trying to kill him. Undaunted, Yurika and Megumi return a short while later with new dishes. While trying to fight each other off, they both trip and dump their boiling hot dishes all over Akito. For the third time, Akito's screams echo across the ship. As the Gekiganger episode concludes, the girl destroys herself to save the main character, whom she had fallen in love with. Akito thinks that life would be so nice if there were really girls like her around. The next morning, the Nadesico arrives at the deserted island. The crew immediately break out the beach-wear and heads for the beach, with the exception of Erina, who attempts to remind the crew that they've got a job to do. Realizing that she is being utterly ignored, she throws off her uniform, revealing her own swimsuit, and follows them. The crew takes full advantage of the pristine beach, and Uribatake opens up a beach tea house which, in his own words, features powdery curry, bad-tasting ramen, and shaved ice that's mostly melted--classic beach tea house features that he now passes down to a new generation. Meanwhile, Akito is busy being sulky off on his own. Erina approaches him in a not-so-business-like manner, to ask him some questions about Mars and offers him some of her noodle dish. Still suffering from the effects of the last time a girl offered him food, Akito makes a hasty retreat into the forest. Being the lucky bastard he is, Akito runs right into a mysterious, beautiful girl, who immediately grabs him and starts calling him her prince charming. Akito notices a passing resemblance to the girl from the Gekiganger episode he was watching. 

 

Back on the beach, Admiral Munetake demands to know what everyone is doing. As he rants and raves about people not attending to their duty, he suddenly falls into a sand trap. Akatsuki and the other quickly run over and bury him up to his neck in sand. His demands to be freed are ignored and the tide begins to roll in. Meanwhile, Aqua--Akito's new companion--leads Akito back to her mansion on the other side of the island. She prepares a delicious feast for Akito, who is rapidly falling for the strange girl who claims to be an orphan. Back in the woods, Yurika and Megumi search for their missing Akito, but to their dismay, only manage to find each other. Back on the beach, Erina finally gets everybody to agree to get back to work, but notices that the captain is no where to be found. Jun quickly notes that Akito and Megumi are gone, too. Changing the subject, Ruri reports that the island was recently purchased by the Crimson Estate, causing Erina to excitedly recall that that powerful family made headlines recently when their daughter debuted. Inez pops up to add in that the Crimsons are one of the top makers of energy barrier systems, but their daughter apparently caused them a lot of trouble when she slipped a paralysis drug into the meal at one of their parties and kidnapped a manga author to force him to write a comic about her. Elsewhere, Ryoko and the other pilots finally locate the Chulip, but are surprised to find it trapped under a Crimson energy barrier. Meanwhile, Aqua expresses her undying love to Akito, and he returns her feelings. Unfortunately, Megumi and Yurika choose that moment to stumble upon Aqua's mansion, and demand to know what's going on. Aqua's expression suddenly turns surprisingly sour, and she hits a button which releases the barrier holding the nearby Chulip in place. The Chulip opens, revealing a new kind of Jovian robot, rather than the usual boson jumping gate. Ryoko and the others open fire, and the robot retaliates. At the mansion, Akito is saved from answering difficult questions when an errant rocket explodes nearby, sending the four of them flying. Akito tries to protect Aqua, who seems surprisingly happy about their impending doom. According to Aqua, she and Akito will be lovers who perish in the flames of battle--which is as romantic as it gets, as far as she is concerned. Akito realizes that the honeymoon is definitely over, but he finds himself unable to make his escape. It seems that Aqua slipped a paralysis drug into Akito's meal, rendering him immobile. Unable to reach Akito, due to the damage caused by the ongoing battle, Megumi tells Aqua to die on her own if that's what she wants. Aqua explains that she grew up with anything she could ever want within her reach, but all she really wants now is to become a tragic heroine. At that point, the Jovian robot lands nearby, and Akito unhappily stares death in the face. Fortunately, before Aqua can get her wish, Ryoko swoops in to defeat the robot and is none too pleased to see Akito in Aqua's arms. The Nadesico leaves the island behind, leaving Aqua on the beach yelling for Akito to come back to die with her. Back on the ship, Akito is cornered by Megumi and Yurika who demand that he try their cooking since he seemed to like Aqua's so much. As Akito desperately looks for a way out of this mess, Ryoko shows up with a dish of her own. Akito bolts from the room, with the three women in hot pursuit. They pass by the sad looking trio of Jun, Uribatake, and Akatsuki, who are unsuccessfully trying to enjoy their microwaved noodles. Akatsuki emotionlessly notes that one person's happiness is another's misery. Meanwhile, back on the island, the still-buried Munetake yells for the Nadesico to come back. Aqua sits down beside him and happily tells him that soon the tide will come in and drown them both. Munetake screams for help. 

 

Commentary

 

Nadesico is at its best when it's punishing characters for thinking that life works the same way it does in anime. There's not much in the way of plot or character development in this episode, just comedy. Thinking he's found the perfect girl, Akito winds up paralyzed and at the mercy of three angry women. My favorite part of this episode is definitely the scene at the end with Akatsuki, Jun, and Uribatake looking thoroughly miserable and lonely as Akito is chased around by three beautiful women who just want to feed him. The bitterness is almost palatable.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Nadesico Episode 10 Nadesico Episode 10

 

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

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