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Episode 17: A Reunion That Came Too Late

 

Review by Scott Richardson

June 2, 2007

 

Summary

 

With the Y unit attached, the Nadesico now has four phase transition engines. In theory, this makes her the most powerful battleship in the fleet, but in reality the Y unit wasn't designed for the Nadesico. To get the Y unit working properly, the Nadesico is en route to dock with the Cosmos. Yurika wanders onto the bridge, finding it empty except for Ruri. She asks what's going on and Ruri explains that everyone from Nergal is going over the budget and everyone else is getting counseling from Inez--no one has taken the realization of the true nature of the Jovian Lizards well. Yurika figures that Akito, as a pilot, is probably taking it worse than most, and she's probably the only person capable of consoling him. Thus, she races off the bridge. While searching through the long line of people waiting to talk to Inez, Yurika is informed that Akito is off alone with Ryoko. She races off to put a stop to that, but is pulled over by Hoary, Erina, and Mr. Prospector, who tell her that after going over the budget, it seems that Uribatake might be embezzling funds. Uribatake has also been rather close with Hikaru lately, so they ask Yurika to launch an investigation. Down in the hanger, Ryoko sums up the reason for everybody's depression by saying that they were pleased with being able to fight a righteous battle against evil, but now they've found out that it's just like any other stupid war. Akito agrees, but adds that he has decided he has to keep fighting anyway. His determination impresses Ryoko, who tells him that he's stronger than she originally thought. Akito notes that nobody's ever said that to him before. A bit later, Akito gets dragged off by Yurika to help her investigate Uribatake and Hikaru. They find the two of them busily working on a 1/48 scale Aestivalis diorama. It seems that Uribatake has been teaching Hikaru how to properly paint plastic model kits. Akito is immediately taken in with this impressive work, and the three of them talk shop until Yurika finally just asks him outright where the money his misappropriated went. Uribatake shows them what he's been spending the money on--the X-Aestivalis. With its customized generator, the X-Aestivalis maintains the mobility of the normal Aestivalis while having the power of the Lunar Aestivalis frame--making it more than a match for the Jovian's super robots. Or, it would, but Uribatake designed it to fight against they mysterious Jovian threat--now that he knows that the Jovians are human, he's not as interested in working on a device that kills people. Suddenly, Admiral Fukube appears and excitedly orders Uribatake to finish this new weapon. It seems that, due to the fallout from the Nadesico learning about the Jovians, Fukube has been informed that he might be demoted. But, if he presents the top brass with a weapon like this, he should be able to keep his position. Akito decides to finally confront Fukube about the murder of Gai Daigoji, and calls him down to the kitchen. 

 

Fukube recalls his escape from the Nadesico, including how he shot Gai in cold blood, but dismissively tells Akito that everything happened as he wrote in the report. Akito reminds him how painful it is to have the truth kept from you (as Fukube learned recently), but Fukube keeps his cool, and they end at a stalemate. Back in the hanger, Uribatake and Hikaru use baking soda as snow for their diorama. It seems that Uribatake has fallen for Hikaru, but before he can say anything about it, Fukube pops up and demands to know why he's not working on the Aestivalis-X. Uribatake admits that it is complete, but the experiment was a failure. It seems that due to problems in the energy amplifier, if the unit's gravity blast cannon were ever fired, the entire unit would explode. Fukube blows a gasket, yelling that the Aestivalis-X is his last hope and nearly attacks Uribatake. Yurika appears and breaks the two up, and tells Fukube that an officer should conduct himself as befits his position. Falling quiet, Fukube retires to the ship's mess, where he dejected watches a Gekiganger episode currently being shown. Eventually, Howmei has to tell him to leave so they can close up. Fukube dejectedly tells her that there was a time, once, when he believed in truth and justice. Meanwhile, back down in the hanger, Hikaru decides to take a break and takes off her glasses for a moment. Uribatake tells her that she looks cute without her glasses. Hikaru teases him for sounding like a cheesy romance comic, but Uribatake tells her that if he had met her, a girl who understands his hobbies, long ago, he'd probably be a very happy man right now. Uribatake tries to admit his feelings for her, but she sadly suggests that he stop. Hobbies and relationships are two different things, as she learned when she moved out on her ex-boyfriend. Sadly, she says that she'll make this the last time she comes down here, leaving a rather depressed Uribatake to his models. Later, as the Nadesico approaches the Cosmos, a extremely spaced-out Fukube wanders onto the bridge. Seeing the Cosmos on the viewscreen, he loudly declares it an enemy and decides it is time to launch the Aestivalis-X. Before anybody can stop him, he steals the Aestivalis-X and launches while singing the Gekiganger theme song. Totally out of his mind, Fukube begins ranting about saving Tokyo and having the enemy feel his righteousness. Yurika sends out the Aestivalis team to bring him back, but before they make it to him, he has already begun charging the gravity blast cannon. Uribatake tells them to pull back, as once the charging begins there's nothing anybody can do. As the Aestivalis-X begins to overload, Fukube sees Gekiganger 3, piloted by Gai Daigoji, fly over to help him. Fukube asks why he's helping him, despite what he did. Gai explains that a true ally of righteousness doesn't hold any grudges for the past. Fukube yells 'Gekigan Flare!' as his Aestivalis-X explodes. As the Nadesico docks with the Cosmos, a somewhat sullen Uribatake and Akito puts the final touches on the diorama. Uribatake mumbles that it always hurts to be betrayed by what you believe in... 

 

Commentary

 

It's rather surprising how sympathetic they made Fukube seem, considering how he's basically been a villain this whole time. He actually went out rediscovering honor and righteousness, and even feeling bad about killing Gai. Relationships on the Nadesico sure don't have a very good track record so far--Akito and Megumi, Minato and Hoary, and now Uribatake and Hikaru. Of course, Uribatake actually has a wife and kid waiting for him at home, so this one's probably for the best. It did, however, give Hikaru a chance to shed her usual one-dimensional fangirl image, if only for a short time.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Nadesico Episode 17 Nadesico Episode 17

 

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

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