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Episode 5: Labor X-10, Out of Control

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 15, 2011

 

Summary

 

A man named Mamoru and his girlfriend are about to kiss in the forest when a quadruped X-10 labor suddenly smashes through the trees, chased by helicopters above. At the station house, Goto answers a call about a runaway labor in Gotenba. Hiromi pinches the buds on his tomato vines to make the tomatoes grow bigger, and Asuma asks him why he became a policeman instead of a farmer. The alert bell then rings, and Division 2 heads out on the highway. Noa asks what's going on, and Goto says only that they've been ordered to the Gotenba Interchange. Asuma asks why they aren't using their sirens to get there faster, and Kanuka speculates that headquarters may want them to get there discreetly. Goto confirms that and says that he doesn't know anything more than what he's told them. The X-10 continues to travel through the forest and comes under fire from several SDF Samson units. The X-10 returns fire and takes down two Samsons before escaping back into the forest. After arriving at the destination, Goto speaks with an officer named Aogi who is also in the dark about what's happening. Goto says he has a bad feeling, and Kanuka comments that whatever's happening involves labors. Shinobu calls Goto and tells him that she hasn't found anything. She says that everything around Lake Yamanaka and Route 138 are sealed off, with the official explanation being large road cracks at Kagozaka Pass near the lake. Aogi doesn't believe that story because he just came from the lake two hours ago and there was no problem, and Asuma notes that they were mobilized more than two hours ago. Goto says that whatever they're pursuing is being kept secret, and it's near the lake. More Samsons attack the X-10, but it returns fire. Helicopters open fire from above, so the X-10 fires missiles at them before slamming into a Samson. One SDF officer explains to another that the X-10 is meant to be unmanned, and its AI includes a program for leveling a city, which is why it's following the road to Gotenba. Helicopters drop paint bombs on the X-10 just before it reaches the highway.

 

Goto gets a call and receives orders to stop the runaway X-10. Noa asks why it can't shut down on it's own, and Goto answers that it will attack anything it picks up on its sensors. Shinshi asks if sensors mean it's unmanned, and Asuma concludes that it wouldn't have weapons unless it was a military labor. Shinshi points out that the SDF has a practice range near the base of Mt. Fuji, and Noa wonders why the SDF can't deal with its own runaway labor. Goto answers that the SDF already tried and failed, so SV2 must be the backup plan. The X-10 reaches the road and smashes through a police blockade. Goto gets word that the X-10 broke past the police and is heading for Gotenba. He spots a construction site next to the road and decides to wait for the X-10 there. After the two Ingrams are deployed, Ota gets his gun ready to shoot the X-10. The X-10 appears on the road, and Noa and Ota rush toward it. Just before contact, they run into the construction site to lure in the X-10. Ota shoots at the X-10, so it opens fire in response. Kanuka yells at Ota to pick his shots more carefully, and he falls down while trying to avoid missiles. Noa grabs hold of the X-10, but it spins around and knocks her away. Ota then gets up and grabs onto it. Goto sees the X-10's model number through binoculars and concludes that the SDF tried to cover up the fact that it's a military labor by dumping paint on it. Shinshi notes that the 'X' stands for experimental, and Goto answers that the entire project is probably top secret to hide it from the media. Ota runs out of bullets and is knocked back by an explosion from the X-10's missiles. After the smoke clears, Asuma tells Noa to rush in and take out the X-10's legs because it's out of ammo. Noa hesitates, so Ota rushes in and is blinded by smoke bombs fired by the X-10. The X-10 attacks Ota, and Noa tries to attack it with her baton, which does nothing. Asuma tells Goto they can't match its power and will have to board it to disable it, so Goto tells Asuma to do it. Ota holds the X-10 in place while Asuma rides on Unit 1's shoulder. Unit 2's motors give out just as Asuma jumps over. He crawls into the cockpit and tries to eject the movement disk. The X-10 rushes toward Noa and stops just before reaching her as he pulls the disk out. Afterward, Ota complains that he could've taken down the X-10 with more bullets, and Shinshi notes that Ota almost fainted earlier. Kanuka asks Goto if it's ok to leave an experimental military labor in a vacant lot when their orders were to destroy it, and Goto answers it was too tough to destroy.

 

Commentary

 

Oddly enough, an episode about a monster hiding in the forest is followed by an episode with… a runaway labor hiding in a forest. There's nothing wrong with the episode, but I don't think it should've been back-to-back with the monster forest episode. Interestingly, the X-10 is recycled from the first movie, where it also appeared as a berserk unmanned military labor. However, in the movie SV2 never had to take it down, and even here they can't. The X-10 proves too much even for heavily-armed Samsons, so there's no way the Ingrams could've taken down something they weren't designed to fight. Despite that, they caused more damage to it than the SDF managed to, so that says something.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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