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Episode 12: Ota's Afternoon of Puzzlement

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 27, 2011

 

Summary

 

Noa and the rest of Division 2's members are shocked to hear that Ota is meeting a potential fiancé for an arranged marriage. He shows them a picture of the girl, and Shige and several mechanics argue about stealing her away because she's so beautiful. Later, Ota and his aunt visit the home of his potential fiancé, Ayano Fujii. Ota is very nervous and formal during the meeting, and Ayano's mother suggests that she show Ota around the garden. The next morning, Noa attempts to ask Ota how his meeting went, but Asuma interrupts her and asks for tea. He then takes Noa aside and tells her that Ota fell into the pond, so now he's got a cold. Noa gives Ota a cup of tea and struggles to avoid saying anything that involves falling or breaking. The phone rings, and Hiromi tells Ota he's got a call from his aunt. Ota takes the call but only gives a few one word answers before hanging up, and everyone tries to cheer him up. He then stands up and laugh because Ayano has agreed to meet with him tomorrow night at the lobby of the Imperial Hotel. Shinobu asks Goto what Division 2 is up to since even the mechanics are involved, and Goto answers that they're working on a special case. Asuma and the others try to give Ota advice on what to do during the date, but Ota tells them all to shut up. The next day, Ota runs to the hotel because he's late and finds Ayano waiting. He tries to apologize and tell Ayano that she looks beautiful, but he completely mangles it. They walk through the street as sleet falls, and when Ota tries to get Ayano to switch sides after a car almost splashes water on her, he accidentally makes her step in a puddle of water. He then tries to wipe down her coat with a handkerchief, but he only spreads the stain around. The next day, Ota goes out with Ayano again and tells her about his work. Ayano takes Ota to a construction site and shows him a new model Rex 2500 labor. He's surprised at her level of knowledge, and she tells him that she loves labors. The next day, everyone gossips about Ota and wonder what Ayano sees in him. Ota then takes Shinshi aside and asks if Ayano's love of labors is somehow a way of expressing interest in him since he's a labor pilot. Later that night, Ota has coffee with Ayano at a restaurant and awkwardly begins to asks something, but she interrupts him and says this won't work before running off.

 

The next day, Ota is depressed while everyone eats lunch. Shinshi rushes in with news that they're going to use live ammo during target practice today, but even that isn't enough to cheer him up, so he leaves. Asuma and Noa talk on the rooftop and wonder what happened, and they're surprised to see Ayano walking up to the station house. Ayano asks Shige if Ota is around, and Shige immediately realizes who she is. As Ayano and Ota talk, everyone hides behind the Ingrams to eavesdrop, including Goto. Ota and Ayano walk out to the bay, and she apologizes for barging in. She says that she took advantage of him, and he comments that it's going to snow. He's then forced to leave when the alert siren sounds. Goto tells Ota that Hishii's newest labor has been buried under the collapse of a bullet train subway tunnel. Ayano overhears and asks if it's in Shinjuku and if she can come along. At the scene, Goto is informed that the cave in is worse than expected, so they can't use construction labors, and they also can't radio the Rex 2500's pilot. Ayano asks if they know the pilot's name, and the officer tells her that it's Takaaki Ichihara. Ayano begins to fall, but Ota catches her and tells her to rest in the car. Ota and Noa head down into the tunnel and reach the area that collapsed. Ota and Noa begin moving debris, and Noa nearly causes another collapse by pulling on a girder. Ota knocks her aside to hold the girder in place and tells her to just grab the labor's cockpit to rescue the pilot. Ota calls Ayano over the radio and asks if she wanted to talk to him about this pilot, and she tells him it was. The weight of the debris begins to press down on Unit 2, but Unit 1 manages to pull out the cockpit before the area collapses again. Noa breaks open the cockpit after reaching the surface, and Asuma tells Ayano that Ichihara is fine. They wonder what happened to Ota, but he emerges safe from the rubble. It begins to snow, and Ayano gives Ota a bow of thanks. The next morning, Ota complains to Goto about target practice being canceled due to heavy snow.

 

Commentary

 

After the seriousness of the preceding two-parter, this episode is a big change in town. When you take a socially awkward guy like Ota and put him in a fish-out-of-water situation of an arranged marriage, it's comedy gold. It's funny watching him be so stiff and formal around Ayano, along with his constant missteps. The idea of Ota marrying a beautiful girl piques the interest of nearly everyone in SV2, including Goto. Despite all the comedy, it's a little bittersweet for Ota that me meets a beautiful girl who loves labors, but unfortunately already has a man she loves. Even though he's a social screw up, we do get to see Ota shine while rescuing Ayano's boyfriend, showing that he's not always an incompetent gun freak inside his Ingram. By the end, though, he seems to have recovered quickly, since he wants to start shooting things again.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Buy the collection (eps 1-12) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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