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Episode 24: Ubiquitous Righteousness

 

Review by Scott Richardson

June 5, 2007

 

Summary

 

As the Nadesico makes its way to Jupiter, Yurika wonders if their choice was the correct one. Megumi asks if she really thought they were better off on Earth. Yurika doesn't, but says she lacks confidence in herself to say what she's doing right now is truly the correct course of action. Minato chimes in that she believes in what they're doing because she also believes in 'him'. Meanwhile, Gen-Ichiro tries to stop Shiratori from leaving for the Nadesico to attempt peace talks. He believes that Shiratori isn't going simply to talk peace, but is instead going to see that Earth woman he fell for. Gen-Ichiro's accusations are confirmed when Shiratori's suitcase is knocked open, revealing an engagement ring. Gen-Ichiro reminds Shiratori that they used to agree that Ms. Nanako (the female lead from Gekiganger) was the ideal woman. Shiratori shocks Gen-Ichiro by reminding him that, although Ms. Nanako is a fine woman, she doesn't actually exist. While Gen-Ichiro reels from this statement, Shiratori makes his escape. Shiratori is welcomed on board the Nadesico by Yurika, Akito, Minato, and Yukina. Shiratori offers his hand to Akito and asks him if he wouldn't mind telling him his name this time--Akito accepts the handshake and introduces himself properly as ship's pilot and cook. As a gesture of good-will, Shiratori has brought a special episode of Gekiganger 3. Uribatake manages to hook up a player for the obsolete video tape and the crew is forced to gather in the ship's mess for a viewing. Though many crew members, like Hoary are initially resistant, by the end of the episode, they have all been won over by Gekiganger's charm. Yurika jumps up and declares that Gekiganger is the answer--the UEF might be somewhat evil, but through their love of Gekiganger, it's obvious that the Jovians truly understand the meaning of justice and righteousness. Shiratori heartily agrees--love, courage, and passion will bring about peace to this world. Yurika is desperate to know as much as she can about Gekiganger, so a decision is made to have a Gekiganger festival over the next couple of days. When the festival begins, it comes complete with vendor tables, cosplay, and a special showing of the entire series of Gekiganger 3. Yurika and Akito sit down to enjoy the show's first episode, and Akito remarks that Gai would be pretty happy right about now. Yurika asks him what happens at the end of Gekiganger, but Akito has to confess that he's never actually seen the last episode. He always wound up avoiding it because he's a bit worried that if the show ended, it would end inside himself as well. Akito resolves that this time, however, he plans to watch the series all the way through. And with that, the opening sequence begins to roll for a packed house. At the end of the first day of the festival, Akito and Yurika crawl around under the tables in the abandoned festival hall looking for Akito's die-cast Gekiganger's right arm. Minato drags Shiratori into the room, believing it empty, and embraces him, noting that this is the first chance they've really had to be alone since he got here. Shiratori begins to blush wildly and asks her to please take a step back. She doesn't, and he begins to get even more flustered, explaining that there are very few women among the Jovians and so situations such as this one occur very infrequently. Minato seems to find his discomfort extremely cute and asks him if that means he's never kissed a girl before--and then volunteers to teach him how. As it turns out, Shiratori is a quick learner. Embarrassed, Akito and Yurika silently make their escape. As they walk back to their respective rooms, Yurika stops and notes that since Akito has resolved to watch the final episode of Gekiganger, would he also make another important decision--regarding her? Uncharacteristically aware of what she's getting at, Akito slowly goes in for what might just have been a kiss if Yukina hadn't popped up looking for her brother and ruined it. 

 

On the Jovian mothership, Vice-Admiral Kusakabe informs Gen-Ichiro that they have finally found what they've been looking for on Mars. Now that they have the location of the ruins, they can replenish their supply of artifacts and crush the UEF. Gen-Ichiro wonders what this means for the peace talks, causing the Vice Admiral to explain that this discovery will most likely remove its support in the government. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, the Vice Admiral plans to meet with the crew of the Nadesico, and tells Gen-Ichiro that he has a special assignment for him. Back on the Nadesico, Shiratori and Akito prepare to watch the final episode of Gekiganger. Akito remarks that Gekiganger doesn't end here--he sees the peace talks as a different form of Gekiganger. Shiratori agrees, and tells him that he plans on proposing to Minato when this is all over and asks Akito if he's thought about what he'll do when the war is over. Akito tells him he hasn't thought that far ahead, and remarks that he's amazed at how confident of everything Shiratori seems. Shiratori tells Akito that when he meets his true love, he won't hesitate either. Akito considers this, and can't help but remember how Yurika looked last night. The episode begins, but is almost immediately interrupted when Ruri pops up to announce that a Jovian fleet is approaching. Yurika and the others return to the bridge and receive a message from Vice Admiral Kusakabe, who informs her that they have come in the interest of starting the talks as soon as possible. Shortly thereafter, Yurika, Minato, Hoary, and the Aestivalis pilots are lead to the Jovian flagship by Shiratori. Yurika and Minato are very optimistic, but Hoary warns them not to let their guard down. Yurika, Minato, Hoary, Akito, and Shiratori formally meet with the Vice Admiral who provides them with some paperwork detailing their terms for peace. The terms include the complete disarmament of Earth, the breakup of certain corporations and financial institutions, and even the complete conversion of political ideologies. In effect, they require the Earth to become nothing more than a Jovian colony. Having been handed terms for surrender rather than terms for peace, the group from the Nadesico is taken aback and an enraged Shiratori demands that the documents be withdrawn immediately. The Vice Admiral asks him for his reasoning, and Shiratori responds that the crew of the Nadesico love Gekiganger as well. When he recently watched Gekiganger all over again, he was once again overwhelmed with the universal truths of courage, friendship, and love. And in that spirit, these people have come looking for peace--there must only be one true righteous path. The Vice Admiral agrees that there can only be one true righteous path, and with that, Gen-Ichiro emerges from the shadows and shoots Shiratori in cold blood. Armed guards immediately rush in and surround the group from the Nadesico. An enraged Akito asks why they shot him, and the Vice Admiral calmly explains that the evil empire must be destroyed by righteousness--that is what Gekiganger is all about. The Earth government which banished them is that evil empire, and they will destroy it no matter what--that is the one true righteous path. Trying desperately to stop Shiratori's bleeding, Minato screams that she doesn't care about any of that, she just need someone to save Shiratori. Hoary springs into action, and kicks one of the guards' gun to Akito. Outside, the Aestivalises and the Nadesico come under attack by the Jovian forces. Jun asks if they can pull out of range of their cannons, but Ruri tells them that would mean abandoning Yurika and the others. Akito manages to get Yurika and the others off the Jovian ship, but with the Nadesico's forces surrounded on all sides, things look hopeless. Suddenly, a gravity blast smashes through the enemy lines, opening up a path for retreat. The newest Nadesico-class ship, Akatsuki's Kakitsubata comes blasting in, giving the Nadesico a chance to withdraw. During their retreat, Inez rejoins the Nadesico to help try to save Shiratori, and Yurika heads up to the bridge and asks if the phase transition cannon is ready to fire. Mr. Prospector warns her that that would mean the end of the peace negotiation, but she tells him it no longer matters. Having made their escape with the Kakitsubata, Akito, Minato, and Yukina gather around Shiratori. In tears, Yukina tells Shiratori that she won't make fun of Gekiganger anymore. Weakly, Shiratori hands Minato his blood-stained engagement ring and tells Akito to never forget the heart within himself that believes in justice. And with that, Shiratori dies of his wounds. On the Jovian ship, Vice Admiral Kusakabe tells Gen-Ichiro that Shiratori was a spy for the Earth and that his death will be reported to their people as an act perpetuated by Earth in open defiance of their noble attempts at peace. He congratulates Gen-Ichiro on a job well done. Back on the Nadesico, Akito rages at Gekiganger. Because he liked it so much, he only saw the parts that made sense to him. 

 

Commentary

 

Having lost all confidence in the UEF, the crew of the Nadesico decides to trust in Gekiganger and the Jovians who worship it. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work on super robot terms, and they wind up one awesome Jovian dead. Losing Shiratori in such a cold-blooded manner isn't quite as tough as losing Gai, but it does come close--at least Gai didn't have a girlfriend and a little sister to take care of. In yet another ironic twist, the Nadesico has now been screwed over by both sides of the conflict and finds themselves forced once more to follow Nergal's lead. In the end, you just can't trust anime to solve your problems for you.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Nadesico Episode 24 Nadesico Episode 24

 

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

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