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Episode 20: Dark Troubles Rising

 

Review by Chris Guanche

December 12, 2011

 

Summary

 

Goto sniffs his socks, and Shinobu comes in and shows him a newspaper ad for a high paying labor pilot job with Holly Security Services. Shinobu comments that even private security companies are starting to use labors and asks Goto if he’s ok with that. He doesn’t have a problem, but Shinobu points out that they’re in the same business, and once they have competition, they’ll always be compared to the private companies. Goto sees that as the companies’ business, not theirs, and asks Shinobu if she’s curious what labor the company will be using. Shinobu admits that her labors are old, and Goto wonders if the company will use the SRX-70 that was originally offered to Division 1. Elsewhere, Kurosaki poses as a Holly employee and meets with several SDF officers at a labor testing ground. One of the officers comments that HSS is the first firm to bring along a labor for testing, and they’ll be treating it like one of their own labors. At the SV2 station house, Noa pilots Unit 3 and loads it onto its carrier. Sakaki asks Jitsuyama how long the upgrade will take, and Jitsuyama answers it’ll probably be two days. Shige asks if it’s just a sensor upgrade, and Jitsuyama explains that they’re also modifying the chassis to improve movement response by about 37 percent. If it works, they’ll apply the upgrade to the other Ingrams, and Asuma comments that they’re pulling further away from Division 1’s old Pythons. Sakaki adds that when new models come out in the spring, several construction labors will surpass the Python, which Shinobu won’t like. Jitsuyama tells Asuma that his father worries about him and suggests going home for a visit, but Asuma says they have an awkward relationship and don’t want to see each other. Noa asks how Asuma can say something like that, but he tells her to butt out of his business and storms off. Noa asks Jitsuyama what happened between Asuma and his father, and Jitsuyama explains they had plenty of arguments because Asuma always speaks his mind and his father put the company before family. Later, Noa finds Asuma laying down on the roof and suggests he make up with his father. She asks if he’s angry because his father forced him to join the police, but he answers that it’s nothing she needs to know. Noa says they’re supposed to work as a single unit, but Asuma counters that’s at a crime scene, not in his private life. He tells her that she’s bothering him, so she leaves angrily. Later, Shinshi and Hiromi struggle to make small talk to break the awkward atmosphere as Asuma and Noa ignore each other at dinner. Asuma tells Shinshi he’s an idiot for thinking the fried chicken tastes better, and Ota tells Asuma to come with him. Ota starts babbling before getting to the point that it’s ok for Asuma to mope, as long as he doesn’t bring other people down with him because it ruins team morale. Ota keeps going on, unaware that Asuma has left the room, which makes him angry. Ota runs through the station house screaming Asuma’s name and demanding that he show himself. Kanuka tells Noa that they’re all immature and that she doesn’t want to go back to the U.S. with the team in shambles. Noa runs into Asuma after making tea and asks him if he’s still mad, but he says he isn’t. He tells her she can be pig-headed, but she counters that he can be stubborn because everyone cares about him and he’s only worried about feeling sorry for himself. He tells her she can’t understand, and she shouts that she hates him when he acts this way.

At the training ground, one of the officers asks if private security employees need so much training, and Kurosaki answers that it’s good for morale and experience. A Samson moves through the dark and opens fire on a target, but it’s then attacked from the rear by a Schaft model Chimaera. The Chimaera grabs onto the Samson, but the Samson wrestles it to the ground just as the video feed is cut. A helicopter flies out to investigate and spots the flashes of battle, along with the Phantom. The next morning, Shinobu comes in to work and criticizes Noa for looking sleepy and wearing her tie sloppily. Asuma walks by and says the same thing, but Noa lashes out at him and quickly regrets it. Inside the office, Shinshi shows Asuma a newspaper article about an accident during mock combat between HSS and the SDF. Asuma looks at the picture and spots the SRX-70, which Kanuka explains has now been named Saturn. The Saturn was apparently sold to HSS, and Noa says that must explain why Shinobu is in a bad mood. Goto tells Shinobu to settle down, and she wonders if HSS is connected to Schaft. Goto says the Saturn was bound to be used somewhere, but there’s nothing they can do about it now. An officer inspects the damage on the Samson and concludes it wasn’t caused by a projectile weapon. Kurosaki states it was a beam weapon and says he heard about the New Year’s incident at Tokyo Teleport with SV2. Kurosaki asks if they’re going to cancel the war games, and the officer answers that they won’t, but this time it’ll only be SDF soldiers participating. Kurosaki says he’ll have to wait on standby because there’s no boat to go back to the mainland. Several men on a boat warn citizens at the harbor that a labor is approaching from the ocean. Fukushima tells Goto that the war games in Oshima were apparently disrupted by the same mysterious labor that attacked Tokyo Teleport. Fukushima orders Division 2 to head on down, and when Goto asks if they really need to go, Fukushima insists. Goto tells Shinobu that it’d be better if no one went, because it could be a ruse to lure out the Ingram. Goto asks that if you want to improve your chess game, do you practice against beginners or experts? Shinobu answers experts and sees that they gain valuable experience from fighting an Ingram. Goto adds that if their labor can stand up to an Ingram, it’s a match for any labor currently in production. Elsewhere, Fuwa supervises the loading of Helldivers onto transport planes and is notified that they’ve been upgraded to standby. Fuwa asks about SV2 and is told that they’ve mobilized Division 2. As Division 2’s carriers are loaded onto a ferry, Goto tells Asuma to go to Hachioji and pick up Unit 3 as soon as it’s ready. He tells Asuma that Unit 3 might end up being their trump card. Noa observes that Hiromi doesn’t look well, and when he explains that he has sea sickness, Ota calls him a wimp. As the ferry casts off, Noa runs up to the deck and watches Asuma drive off.

 

Commentary

 

This episode brings back a few characters from the Tokyo Teleport arc, namely Kurosaki and Fuwa. This time, Kurosaki is posing as an employee of HSS to conduct war games with the SDF. Naturally, the real purpose is to set up a situation where the Phantom can get combat data. And as you’d expect, Division 2 is drawn into the mess. the rarely seen Unit 3 is hauled off for upgrades, and Jitsuyama’s mention of Asuma’s father creates much of the drama for the episode. The elder Shinohara is clearly a sore point for Asuma, and he gets mad with Noa when she keeps bringing him up. This leads to a lot of amusing and awkward situations as they try to avoid each other. Since the Phantom is back, you can definitely expect that it’ll be causing more trouble for Division 2 in the near future. Overall, a solid episode with some character focus on Asuma and his occasionally strained relationship with Noa.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Buy the collection (eps 13-24) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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