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Episode 2: Kanuka Appears

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 15, 2011

 

Summary

 

At the police academy's Okutama branch, the members of Division 2 practice with the Dolphin, a training version of the Ingram. After training, everyone sits down for a meal, and Asuma is happy that their two weeks of training are over. Ota is happy about having to do a combat simulation, but Shinshi is worried. Everyone looks out the window and they're all amazed when they see a woman piloting the Dolphin and moving like a human. The next day, Goto tells everyone that they'll be splitting into teams for a labor competition. The woman then introduces herself as Kanuka Clancy from the New York Police Department and says she's come to Japan for advanced labor training. Ota then stands up to salute Kanuka, and Shinshi tells him not to be so formal. Later, while carrying pipes with Hiromi and Shinshi, Ota lectures Shinshi for not being respectful enough to senior officers. Ota then lets go of the pipes to chase after Shinshi, and the pipes fall on his feet. Noa walks with Asuma and says that you have to win the tournament to pilot the Ingram. Asuma explains that they need to choose carefully because the Ingram will adapt itself to the pilot, making it hard to switch pilots later on. Noa has an idea and runs over to the hangar for a minute. Shige arrives with Sakaki to inspect the Ingram and finds that Noa has written "This is mine" on the leg. The academy's instructor, Sakuma, tells Goto and Shinobu that the people from Division 2 are weird, and he can't tell if they're talented or losers. Later, everyone from Division 2 assembles for the tournament, and Noa asks Asuma why Kanuka is wearing one of their uniforms. Asuma says that isn't important and points out that Division 1's Tsutomu Gomioka is there and brought his Python. Shinshi's wife Tamiko cheers for him from the sidelines and calls him by his nickname, Miki. Sakuma announces over a bullhorn that the people from Division 2 will be fighting Gomioka and Kanuka, who'll be joining Division 2 for six months. Sakuma then lays out the tournament bracket, showing that the early rounds will be fought with Dolphins, and the final round with Ingrams. The first match will feature Noa against Asuma, and Noa vows that she won't lose.

 

Asuma and Noa bow in their Dolphins and begin fighting with batons. Asuma tips over and falls in the soft ground, allowing Noa to tap his cockpit with her baton and win. Sakaki thinks that Asuma deliberately lost, and Asuma complains that the Dolphin was defective. Shige takes that charge seriously, and when Asuma says it must be a factory defect, Shige points out that the Dolphin was built by Asuma's father's company. Asuma angrily states that he has nothing to do with the company, and Noa finally makes the connection between Asuma and Shinohara Heavy Industries. She asks why he's a civil servant if his family owns a labor factory, and Asuma mumbles that his dad swindled him. Tamiko then loudly cheers again for Shinshi as his battle with Ota begins. Ota boasts that the battle will be over in 5 seconds and pelts Shinshi with paint rounds from his gun. That earns him a penalty from Sakuma, and he tries to explain that criminals won't give up in a real fight. Tamiko yells that Ota cheated, and Ota laughs that victory is all that matters. Shinshi then gets an evil glint in his eyes and asks what's so funny. He charges toward Ota and knocks him over, repeatedly punching the cockpit. Sakuma disqualifies Shinshi, and Goto notes that Shinshi is surprisingly dangerous. In the next fight, Hiromi prepares to fight Gomioka, but he's disqualified because he's too big to fit in the Dolphin's cockpit. In the second round, Noa fights Ota and quickly dodges when he tries to shoot her. She then punches his gun out of his hand does a double axe handle on the Dolphin's head. Noa is declared the winner, and in the next fight Kanuka faces Gomioka. Noa asks Asuma how well Gomioka fights, and Asuma points out that Gomioka is highly ranked in judo, kendo and aikido. While Asuma and Ota argue about labor power, Kanuka beats Gomioka with a single shoulder throw. Noa doesn't think she can beat Kanuka, and Asuma tells her that in a real fight she can't pick her opponent or run away, so she needs to use wisdom and bravery. The final battle begins with Kanuka and Noa in Ingrams. The Ingrams rush each other, but Asuma warns Noa that she'll lose if she locks arms with Kanuka. Noa then tries to keep her distance and pulls out her baton, but Kanuka draws faster and knocks it out of Noa's hand. Noa then rushes forward and is knocked back. Kanuka then knocks a gun out of Noa's hand when she tries to draw it. The two stare each other down without moving until the sun sets. Asuma tells Noa to finish up before the Ingram runs out of power, and Noa asks which is wisdom and which is bravery. Asuma tells Noa that she should just attack, but at that moment Unit 1's battery begins to die. Kanuka then rushes forward in Unit 2, but Noa grabs Kanuka by the arm and knocks her down. Unit 1's battery dies, and Sakuma declares Kanuka the winner. Noa doesn't understand, and Kanuka explains that Noa wasted too many motions. Later, Goto announces the assignments. He assigns Noa to Unit 1 with Asuma as her backup in the command car, along with Hiromi as the carrier driver. He then assigns Ota to Unit 2 with Kanuka as the backup in the command car and Shinshi as the carrier driver. Goto asks Ota if he knows why he's the pilot, and Ota answers that he can't give orders to Kanuka because of rank. Kanuka tells Ota he's wrong and that it's because she's only in Japan for six months, so they shouldn't adapt the Ingram to a pilot who's going to leave.

 

Commentary

 

This second episode rounds out the team by introducing Kanuka Clancy, police officer extraordinaire from New York. Like before, she's only being temporarily assigned to SV2 for advanced labor training. She proves an effective pilot by taking down Gomioka in one throw and beating Noa with minimal wasted movement. We're also introduced to Shinshi's overprotective wife Tamiko, and we get to see the first instance of his creepy dark side emerging when he snaps. It was amusing to see Hiromi get disqualified merely for his size, along with the usual antics of Ota overdoing things and getting his ass handed to him. Asuma's "secret" is out, at least to Noa, who had no clue about his connection to Shinohara Heavy Industries. I guess he didn't want to be a pilot, given that he threw his fight with her. With this tournament out of the way, Division 2 is ready to get into gear and cause lots of collateral damage.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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