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Episode 16: The Beginning of Nadesico's War

 

Review by Scott Richardson

June 2, 2007

 

Summary

 

Megumi, Minato, and their new Jovian friend, Shiratori, make their escape across the Lunar surface in Shiratori's escape pod. Shiratori seems rather uncomfortable being in such close quarters with two members of the opposite sex--so much so that he does not notice that he's being trailed by the Hinagiku. Ryoko tries to contact the runaways, but is driven off when they make it into Jovian territory. Yurika notes that the Jovian really reminds her of Gai Daigoji. Ruri chimes in from the Nadesico in agreement, and Uribatake points out that staging his own death and then coming back as a rival is a plot twist that Gai would have loved. Akito rages that Gai would never have gotten innocents involved like this. As the Nadesico lands in Nergal's underground docking bay, the crew is still reeling from the realization that they've been fighting people all along. At a high-level Nergal meeting, Mr. Prospector seems to be having doubts about the upcoming 'Third Reclamation of Mars.' Erina points out that organic boson jumping requires a huge amount of CC's which can only be found on Mars, but Mr. Prospector wonders if the crew of the Nadesico will follow them after they've learned the truth. Even so, it is decided that the Shakuyaku will be launched in secret in twelve hours while the Nadesico operates as a decoy. At this point, a rather inebriated Admiral Fukube bursts in, raving about being a figurehead admiral and demanding to know what evil schemes they've come up with this time. Erina decides to indulge him. She tells him that both Nergal and the UEF higher ups have known they've been fighting humans since the beginning. Fukube does not take this news well and demands to know how Erina knows something that even he didn't. Akatsuki enters the room, causing Fukube to tell him that this has nothing to do with pilots, but gapes when Erina whispers Akatsuki's true identity in his ear. On the bridge, Mr. Prospector, who had been tapping into the security cameras to watch the rest of the meeting, looses his connection. He is surprised when Ruri appears behind him and tells him that there are ways around that kind of security. With Ruri's help, Erina's discussion with Fukube is broadcast across the ship. Erina tells Fukube that the Jovian Lizards are actually humans who were banished from Earth one hundred years ago. Meanwhile, on the Jovian Superior Male Forces Battleship Yumemizuki, Megumi and Minato get treated to decent food and all the Gekiganger they can watch. Shiratori comes down to visit them, and Minato asks why they're being treated so well, despite being prisoners. Shiratori explains that they are women before they are prisoners, and gives them a tour of his ship. All throughout the vessel, Gekiganger is featured prominently. Shiratori explains to the bewildered women that Gekiganger is rather like the Jovian bible. Also, due to the chronic Jovian manpower shortage, robots are used extensively throughout the ship. Megumi begins to grow sullen and asks how they could commit such horrible acts when they're just as human as anybody else? At that point, a long-haired man named Gen-Ichiro enters and yells that it was Megumi's people who committed horrendous acts. Shiratori explains that the Jovians moved against Mars two years ago because Earth was preparing to come after Jupiter. 

 

According to Erina, 100 years ago, the Moon was moving towards independence. The Earth government infiltrated several factions involved, and successfully orchestrated a vicious purge between opposing factions. This was recorded in history as the War of the Lunar Autonomous Districts. What history does not record, however, is that the surviving revolutionaries were forcefully banished to Mars and Jupiter in order to complete the cover up. Sometime later, however, the UEF launched a nuclear attack against the Martian colony. The survivors were left with Jupiter and her satellites--but, in Jupiter's upper atmosphere, they discovered some sort of abandoned factory for phase transition engines as well as unmanned robots. Using this technology, they've come back for revenge against the Earth government. Fukube is taken aback and knows that due to the enormity of the situation, he can never tell anybody what he as just learned. But, to their surprise, Yurika bursts in and angrily tells them that the people who are risking their lives on the front lines deserve to know what they're dying for. Meanwhile, the Jovians are prepare for an assault against Nergal's underground dock. Megumi tries to talk them out of it, but her words fall on deaf ears. When the operation begin, Gen-Ichiro and his Daimajin robot boson jump above the Lunar colony and begins dismantling the colony's distortion field. The Shakuyaku is about to have its Y unit attached when a blast from the Jovian's long range gravity blast cannon hits above Nergal's dock, causing debris to rain down, which destroys the Shakuyaku. Yurika decides that there is no reason to waste the Y unit, and orders it fitted to the Nadesico. Akito manages to launch in his modified Aestivalis to take on the Daimajin. In the middle of their battle, Shiratori arrives in his mech with Megumi and Minato in tow. Megumi contacts Akito, telling him that they are not hostages, but they need to tell him the truth about the Jovians. Akito surprises them by already knowing the whole story, but that does not change his fierce determination to continue fighting. Megumi asks him why he wants to fight such an old war, but he tells her that it's their war now. Suddenly, the ground under Shiratori's mech gives way to the Nadesico blasting its way to the surface. The Nadesico activates its distortion field, effectively trapping Shiratori. Erina worries that he'll just boson jump away, sacrificing Minato and Megumi, who could not withstand the strain of the jump, but Yurika is betting on Shiratori's code of honor to keep him there. Akito gains the upper hand on the Daimajin, and decides to take revenge for all those lost on Mars. Shiratori intervenes, however, telling Akito he'll let the girls off if Akito fights him one-on-one. Megumi tries to talk Akito out of fighting, asking him what's wrong with just staying at home and watching Gekiganger. Akito agrees that that would be more like him, but he wasn't just a grownup watching Gekiganger, he was a kid who thought he could become Gekiganger. Before the duel can start, however, a UEF fleet appears over head. His temper cooling, Akito tells Shiratori to take his comrade and escape. Shiratori asks him for his name, but Akito tells him that he does not want to know the name of the man he is trying to kill. Afterward, Megumi returns Akito's Gekiganger disks and tearfully breaks up with him. Akito surprises himself by shedding a tear. 

 

Commentary

 

This episode is rather dense with information, revealing that the Jovians were actually forced to live near Jupiter, and rather than simply being invaders, are actually acting in retaliation for past infractions against them by the Earth government. With a heroic guy like Shiratori on their side, and shady characters like Erina on the Earth's, you've got to start wondering who the good guys actually are. Of course, siding with the Jovians would mean overlooking the slaughter at Mars, and Akito is obviously not willing to do that. And with Akito and Megumi's relationship officially dissolved, will Yurika finally get her wish?

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Nadesico Episode 16 Nadesico Episode 16

 

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

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