image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 21: The Meadows We Once Ran Across

 

Review by Scott Richardson

June 2, 2007

 

Summary

 

With 20 minutes to go, Uribatake finishes preparing special bicycles for the coming operation. Akatsuki seems fearful of their chances, but Uribatake assures them that these bikes will keep them insulated from the high-voltage current running through the corridors and the independent gyros will keep them upright even without gravity. Hoary informs them that they only have twenty minutes to regain control of the Y unit. In stark contrast to Akatsuki's uncharacteristic cowardice, Akito seems aggressively pumped up. With 35 minutes to go, Izumi attempts to exorcise a spirit from the hanger. With 8 minutes to go, Akatsuki is shocked to see his long-dead older brother. Outside of time, Akito, Ruri, Inez, Jun, Yurika, Akatsuki, Ryoko, Izumi, and Hikaru play a strange game of mahjong where the titles represent each other's memories. Yurika receives an Akito tile with contains a memory of himself and Yurika happily biking through a meadow as children. With 54 minutes to go, the Nadesico engages an enemy force headed by a boson cannon-equipped battleship and two 'Gekigan-type' mechs. The mechs boson jump right past the Aestivalises and begin breaking through the Nadesico's distortion field. Fortunately, the Aestivalises are able to make it back to the Nadesico in time to destroy them with their distortion field lances. The enemy battleship begins to move toward them and Minato asks Yurika if she wants them to pull back to prevent them from coming within range of the enemy's gravity blast cannon. Jun informs her that if they change course now, they will not reach the designated point in time. Akito volunteers to take them out before they get in range. With 80 minutes to go, Hoary briefs the crew on their upcoming mission. The main UEF fleet is engaging the last of the Jovian's Lunar forces. The Nadesico is to come up from behind and lure the Jovian's boson cannon-equipped ship away and destroy them with the 'phase transition cannon'. Inez explains that with the extra phase transition engines built into the Y unit, they can forcibly phase transition a point in space, obliterating anything within a certain range, regardless of distortion fields. The Nadesico must reach the designated point in eighty minutes, however, or the operation will be a failure. As the crew files out, Erina grabs Akito and asks him to attempt an artificial boson jump. Akatsuki breaks in, saying that he wants to make the attempt as well. With 45 minutes to go, Akito spreads CCs around his Aestivalis and prepares to jump. Yurika worriedly tells him that there's still time to back out, but Akito ignores her. He successfully leaps to the enemy vessel, and before they can react he manages to destroy their boson cannon. Outside of time, Yurika notes that Akito has been rather different lately. Inez believes this has a lot to do with him being the only one on Earth able to boson jump. Young boys always want to be heroes, but as they grow older, that desire becomes a burden. Akito's disdain for his Image Feedback Controller and his continued assertion that he is merely a cook are examples of this. Akito angrily tells Inez not to look into his memories, but she tells him that she can hardly help it--that seems to be what this place is for. Jun chimes in that Akito has been more aggressive lately--and he is kind of a hero in the UEF for his boson jumping abilities. Akito asserts that in a war you can't afford to be a hero, or you'll wind up dead, like Gai. But what can he do now but give it his best? With 30 minutes to go, Ruri reports that the Y unit's weapons control computer is refusing to respond to her commands. Uribatake reports that all passageways leading to the Y unit are charged with high voltage and the gravity seems to be malfunctioning--it almost seems like the Y unit does not want anybody approaching it. With no way to fire the phase transition cannon, Hoary decides that someone must go over to the Y unit to figure out what the problem is. Mr. Prospector agrees, but notes that the pilots are not doing very well--they claim to be seeing ghosts. With 34 minutes to go, Ruri, among others, sees the ghostly image of Gai Daigoji and a man she doesn't recognize standing on the bridge. With 18 minutes to go, Akito, Akatsuki, and Izumi bike down the corridor to the Y unit. Akito is acting oddly aggressive, while Akatsuki seems almost child-like, meekly suggesting that they have a bike race--the winner gets Yurika. 

 

With 40 minutes to go, Shiratori suggests to his Jovian superior that a peace treaty with the Earth may be in their best interests, as they have assuredly secured a place in the solar system for themselves by now. His superior tells him that sooner or later the ancient phase transition core fabrication plant will break down, and their excavations on Mars are not producing the desired results. Shiratori tells him he has a plan for that. Later, Shiratori contemplates the war over an episode of Gekiganger, when suddenly, his little sister Yukina bursts in, infuriated that Shiratori suggested a peace treaty with the Earthlings. Shiratori tells her that they need to find a new path towards peace, but she thinks he's been taken in by an Earth woman. As proof, she rips down his poster of Gekiganger's female lead, revealing a picture of Minato. Outside of time, Inez tells the group that their memories have become interconnected. Ryoko wonders what's going on in their actual bodies, if their personalities are trapped here. Inez tells them that their bodies are currently being driven by the personality traits they usually repress. With 43 minutes to go, Ruri reports Akito's boson jump has been successful. Despite Erina's concerns, Akatsuki decides to make an attempt. He activates the CCs, but seems unable to complete the jump. Erina aborts the attempt, and Akatsuki finds that his pilot's outfit has partially fused with the seat. Angry at his inability to jump, Akatsuki cries the name of his older brother. Outside of time, Inez notes that Akatsuki's brother was much older than him, and was being groomed as the family successor. Akatsuki emotionlessly tells her that he died in an accident on the Mars route. Inez asks him if he wishes his brother was still alive, to which he angrily replies that it hardly matters. With 8 minutes to go, Akito, Akatsuki, and Izumi have reached the end of their bicycle trek, but are stopped dead in their tracks by visions of their dead loved ones. The bridge crew, not able to understand what has brought Akito's team to a stop are concerned by their recent personality shifts. Megumi notes that Inez hasn't even popped up to explain things yet. Akito wonders why Gai seems to be trying to stop them. Outside of time, Ruri tells Akito that the dead have nothing to say--there are no such things as ghosts. What he sees is the result of their personalities mixing, that which was suppressed has reemerged. What is holding him back is himself. With 5 minutes to go, Izumi confronts one of her two dead fiances. Noting that she can't love anymore, she tells him she's ready to go with him. She tries to embrace him, but he disappears. Leaving her feeling abandoned once more. Outside of time, Inez notes that both Izumi and Akatsuki are troubled by their strong connections to those who died, while Akito has never wanted to come to terms with the death of Gai Daigoji, because that would mean accepting one's own fear of death. Akito angrily denies this. With 3 minutes to go, Akito admits that he fights because he's afraid that if he doesn't, all his loved ones will die. With 1 minute to go, the Nadesico closes in on the enemy fleet as Akito finally makes it into the Y unit's control room. Finding a Jovian robot interfacing with a computer displaying their memories, Akito destroys it. With time up, Yurika orders the firing of the phase transition cannon. To Yurika's horror, the phase transition cannon is so powerful that not only does it destroy the enemy fleet, it also destroys that entire area of space. She wonders if they can ever use such a horribly powerful weapon again. Fifteen minutes later, Inez explains that the nanomachines used in the Image Feedback treatment creating something akin to a secondary brain within the bodies of those who undergo the treatment. The robot which took over the Y unit's computer saw these as computers and attempted to hack them using their communicators as a computer network. This is why all of their consciousnesses temporarily merged the way they did. Yurika notes that neither herself nor Inez have an Image Feedback implant. Uncharacteristically, Inez says she has no explanation for that. Meanwhile, the Jovian leadership have elected to send an ambassador of peace to the Nadesico. Shiratori is shocked, especially when he finds out that his little sister is the ambassador --and she is bent on finding the woman who stole her brother. Back on the Nadesico, Akito tells Erina he won't be participating in jump experiments anymore. Outside of time, Akito is surprised to find a memory tile belonging to Ai, the little girl he met on Mars shortly before it fell to the Jovians. Before Inez can try to explain, Yurika excitedly shows everyone a memory of herself and Akito, biking across the meadows of Mars. 

 

Commentary

 

Basically, a Jovian robot took over the Y unit and mistook the Image Feedback-equipped members of the crew for computers and tried to hack them as well. This caused their consciousnesses to merge and share memories while in the physical world the aspects of their personalities they suppress the most took over--I wish we had gotten to see more of violent Jun and cowardly Ryoko, they only got around two minutes of unimportant screentime, but were hilarious. It's also interesting that Yurika wasn't shown to have changed at all. It seems that Akito, Akatsuki, and Izumi all have dead loved ones holding them back. Akatsuki is pressured to live up to what he saw in his older brother, Izumi acts the way she does to keep people from getting to close to her due to her pain at losing not one, but two fiances in the past. And even though eighteen episodes have gone by, Akito just can't realize his potential with Gai's death hanging over him.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
Spacerimage

 

Nadesico Episode 21 Nadesico Episode 21

 

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

image

image

image

image

image

 

image
image
image
imageimage