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Episode 13: There is no Single Truth

 

Review by Scott Richardson

May 29, 2007

 

Summary

 

In a secret laboratory, a captured Chulip is forced open and an Aestivalis and its pilot are lowered into its maw. Nergal is conducting experiments with organic boson jumping. So far all attempts have ended in failure, and this attempt is no exception. Many of the researchers are having doubts as to the feasibility of organic boson jumping, but Erina insists that her time on the Nadesico has convinced her that organic boson jumping is possible. On the Nadesico, the crew is busy preparing for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Yurika is busy hanging posters to advertise her company-sponsored Christmas party, but it seems that most of the crew has already been invited to Akatsuki's rival Christmas party. Ryoko decides that Christmas is best spent with 'friends' and thus goes to find out which party Akito is going to. Ignoring Ryoko pounding on his door and the two party invitations sitting next to him, Akito is busy watching the second to last episode of Gekiganger 3. Though he's already watched 38 episodes, he just can't bring himself to watch the last episode. Elsewhere on the ship, it seems that Hoary and Minato have secretly become an item. Hoary worries that the crew of the Nadesico is about to be officially drafted, and has secured a position at Nergal's head office for Minato to keep her out of harms way. She doesn't seem horribly keen on taking the position, however. The increasingly unpopular Nadesico cruises into the UEF's battleship dock at Kokosuka Bay. The crew is gathered and informed that they will be officially incorporated into the military. It seems that the Omoikane's rampage left Nergal with little choice other than to bow to the UEF's demands. The crew is informed that any who choose to leave the ship rather than be drafted will be subject to 24-hour surveillance. Megumi asks Akito what he will do, to which he replies that he's not fond of the idea of making war his job, but before he can finish, he is informed that the military does not plan to leave an Aestivalis in the hands of a novice, and his replacement has already been decided upon. Furthermore, due to his recklessness in the past, he will not be allowed to remain on the Nadesico, even as a cook. Before he can react badly to this betrayal, his purple-hair replacement, Itsuki Kazama, approaches him and congratulates him on his wonderful job up until now and hopes that when the Jovians are defeated they can greet each other with smiles. This seems to lift Akito spirits a little, and prevents further outbursts. Megumi announces that she will be leaving with him. To Yurika's horror, Akito and Megumi return to shore as civilians together. Megumi asks Akito what he plans to do now and Akito supposes he'll go back to being a cook, but wonders if they'll just consider him a washed-up pilot again--in the end, he believes, nobody really wants him. At that moment, Erina drives up beside the two and offers him a job she says that only he can do. He and Megumi are taken to Nergal's laboratory where they meet Inez, who has also expressed an interest in this project. While the Jovians use boson jumping to get unmanned robots to the front lines in great number, it seems that not even they have mastered jumping organic material--but somehow, the Nadesico was able to boson jump from Mars to Earth successfully where as every other ship wound up with a missing crew. Megumi wants to know why they think that only Akito can do this, and Erina pulls out a small purple crystal, which she identifies as a Chulip crystal (a CC), which was found on Mars. A shocked Akito recognizes it as being very similar to a crystal that his father left him, which he lost upon escaping Mars. 

 

Erina leads them into a room full of CCs, all of which were found on Mars. Their internal formation is identical to that of the Chulip, and Erina believes that they are the trigger for boson jumping. She believes that it was through a CC that Akito managed to escape from Mars. Akito confirms that just as the Jovians broke into the shelter on Mars, his crystal lit up and then the next thing he knew, he was on Earth. Erina excitedly asks Akito to join the project. Before he can respond, however, they get word that the Aestivalis they put through the Chulip earlier is back--and smashed nearly beyond recognition. Inez notes that they seem to have already been trying live experiments. Akito is not pleased at seeing the wreck, noting that Erina just wants him to be a guinea pig. Erina angrily suggests that since he's already a failure, at least this way he could get some respect back. Akito and Megumi decide to leave. Inez and Erina discuss the situation, when suddenly the captured Chulip activates and breaks through its restraints. Inez points out that if the Jovians saw their scouts, they'd know that Earth was experimenting with boson jumping, so it's quite natural that they'd make a move to hamper this development. Erina looks on in horror as two large, unfamiliar mechs emerge and lay waste to the laboratory. The Nadesico's pilots are immediately scrambled from their Christmas party to deal with the two new enemies, which Hikaru describes as Gekiganger-ish. Unfortunately for the Aestivalises, these two mechs are equipped with distortion fields and gravity blast cannons. In a nearby restaurant, Akito and Megumi listen to a news broadcast, and Megumi asks Akito if he wants to fight. Akito explains that, with Mars gone, the Nadesico was all he had--it was what he was fighting to protect. Megumi sadly asks him if just protecting her is not enough. Back at the battle, the Aestivalis pilots are being soundly defeated, as the new mechs take them by surprise by boson jumping around the city. In a heroic attempt to take one of the mechs down, Itsuki Kazama uses a grappling hook to repel up to the enemy mech's head. To the Aestivalis team's horror, the mech boson jumps with her attached, and Itsuki Kazama is no more. Akito leaves the restaurant and a crying Megumi. Akatsuki finally figures out the pattern in the mech's jumps, and it seems that the Aestivalis team finally has the upper hand. But suddenly, Inez notices that the mech is preparing to self-destruct its phase transition engines--an act which would vaporize the entire city. Erina notices that Akito has just driven up and tells Inez she's not worried. A short time later Akito runs to the site of the battle with a suitcase acquired from Erina. To the crew of the Nadesico's shock, he throws the suitcase full of CCs at the last enemy mech and his image feedback system begins to glow. A giant portal opens up above him and draws in both himself and the enemy mech before disappearing itself. After the battle, Megumi re-joins the Nadesico and the bridge crew muses that at least Akito went out a warrior. Megumi blames Erina and Inez for Akito's loss, but Erina informs her that Akito is very much alive, and opens up a channel to him. Akito informs them that he wound up on the moon and two weeks in the past after the jump--he'd been trying to get in contact with them, but has only just now been successful. Akito also makes a call to Yurika's room, where she's crying over his loss, and wishes her a Merry Christmas. Meanwhile, on the hangar deck, Uribatake and his crew dismantle the remains of the enemy mech. Uribatake wonders who's playing the Gekiganger theme song, when suddenly, the maintenance crew locates what seems to be the cockpit of the mech. Upon forcing it open, they find no trace of the mech's pilot, but do find a Gekiganger-styled pilot seat as well as a sound system currently playing the Gekiganger theme song... 

 

Commentary

 

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite anime plot twists. I mean, sure it seems like everybody on the Nadesico loves Gekiganger, but now the Jovians are fans, too? What are you supposed to think about that? Has Nadesico finally abandoned any ties to a serious plot in favor of a bizarre war between Gekiganger fans? Or, are we allowed to hope that perhaps Gai Daigoji somehow clawed his way back to the land of the living and has stolen a Jovian machine for his own hotblooded purposes? If only that one were true... Overlooking the terrifying cliffhanger though, Akito gets a nice part in this episode--being cruelly dismissed from the ship which he has saved several times, only to come back and make a noble sacrifice to save the whole city. Though he came out of it alright, it seems that he might have lost Megumi in the process.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Nadesico Episode 13 Nadesico Episode 13

 

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

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