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Episode 7: The New Model 97

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 23, 2011

 

Summary

 

Goto starts to dig into some cup ramen, and Shinobu is surprised to see him around so late. She asks him if he's curious, and he asks in response when the new labor prototype arrives. She says again that he must be curious, and he answers that he isn't, but his people are. Asuma is surprised to see Noa, and she tells him there's nothing wrong with polishing Alphonse on her day off. She asks why he's here instead of seeing a movie, and Ota then walks in and says it's sad that Asuma is hanging around the station on his day off. Kanuka, Hiromi and Shinshi also show up, and Noa asks why everyone is here. Asuma then explains that Division 1's new prototype labor is arriving tonight for experimental trials, and Kanuka adds that it's supposed to be better than the Ingram. Shige then runs into the hangar and arrives that the labor has arrived. Everyone watches as the carrier pulls into the hangar and Sakaki gives orders to his mechanics. The carrier's deck is raised, and the mechanics remove the cloth covering the SRX-70. Kanuka mentions that the SRX-70 comes with a 42mm revolver cannon, as well as a 20mm vulcan revolver built into the shoulder, which makes Ota jealous. Noa says she doesn't like the SRX-70, and Hiromi comments that it's just sheer power and no soul. Shinobu thinks that Division 1 can finally show its power now, but Goto tells her not to get too carried away. Ota then begs Shinobu to let him fire the revolver cannon, but she refuses, and Goto trips him when he won't stop whining. The next day, a test range is set up for the SRX-70 with Gomioka as its pilot. As Gomioka practices his movements, Goto asks Sakaki for information about how they got the SRX-70. Sakaki hasn't heard anything, and Goto says his intuition tells him something is wrong because they got the SRX-70 too quickly. Sakaki agrees and notes that Toyohata gave them a labor in perfect condition, is suspending payment until the official rollout, and is handling the maintenance themselves. Sakaki agrees to investigate and comments that Asuma might be a better source of info with his family connections, but Goto says that Asuma will act on his own. Noa tells Asuma that she isn't jealous because she hates the SRX-70 and fears it will inflame crime. She asks why Hishii Industries is building a labor produced by Toyohata, and Asuma notes that his family's company started out making car parts. Noa explains that she thinks the labor should be built by a company with experience in vulcan cannons, and she wonders if they can trust Toyohata. She wonders if they're using Division 1 as guinea pigs and finds Asuma gone after she finishes changing clothes. Later, Division 1 responds to a call about two construction workers arguing and fighting with labors. They ignore Shinobu's commands to give up and attack Gomioka's SRX-70. He knocks aside a Bulldog wielding a girder and a Boxer. He then fires his gun into the air as a warning when the two labors get up. Shinobu asks the construction workers if they want to keep fighting, but they both surrender. Back at the station house, Shige asks Gomioka what it felt like to pilot the SRX-70 on his first mission. Gomioka answers that it felt very good and asks if that's what it feels like to pilot an Ingram. Shige answers that the SRX-70 is probably a bit rougher, and Gomioka answers that this is the first time he's hated Division 2 because he wishes he could've gotten the SRX-70 sooner. A maintenance crew from Toyohata then arrives to work on the SRX-70 over Shige's objections. He wants help from a superior, but realizes that Shinobu and Sakaki already went home.

 

The next day, Sakaki tells Goto that the Toyohata guys used maintenance as a cover to just copy the SRX-70's movement pattern disks. Goto then runs into Shinobu at the elevator and tries to avoid her, and she accuses him of prying into something and keeping it a secret from her. Goto lies and tells her she must be mistaken, but Asuma rushes in and says that something's fishy. Goto tries to cough to get Asuma to shut up, but he doesn't get it. Shinobu asks Asuma if he's referring to the SRX-70, and Goto gives up. Asuma then explains that Toyohata is building the SRX-70 in cooperation with Schaft Industries, but many people in the industry believe that Toyohata is just a front for Schaft. Shinobu comments that Schaft is a conglomerate that produces everything from toothpicks to space shuttles, and Asuma adds that he didn't make the connection at first, but the vulcan cannon reminded him that Schaft has to be involved in the weapons industry. Asuma thinks that SV2 will take the heat for conducting weapons development, and Shinobu leaves the office in anger. Shinobu meets with Fukushima, but he tells her that he already knew about Schaft's involvement and asks what the big deal is. Shinobu explains that labors function based on the movement patterns they acquire through use, including targeting and marksmanship. She asks what would happen if Schaft steals that data and uses it to produce new labors. Fukushima thinks advancing the labor industry is a good thing and tells Shinobu that she's thinking too hard about it. He tells her that labors are expensive and that she won't have another opportunity to get a state-of-the-art labor. Later, Shinobu stands by the waterfront and kicks a pebble into the water. The alarm then sounds with a call for Division 1 in Tokyo Bay. Sakaki begins barking orders to the mechanics, and Shinobu asks him to mobilize the Pythons instead of the SRX-70. Shige asks about the SRX-70, and Gomioka says he's rather use a labor maintained by their own mechanics than a new one messed with by strangers. Goto tells Asuma to call everyone together so they can backup Division 1. At the bay, a terrorist threatens police with a stolen Hercules H21. Shinobu tells Gomioka and Yuuki to watch out because the Hercules has a power advantage over them. They enter the warehouse, and the Hercules jumps Yuuki from behind and takes out his camera. The Hercules then punches Gomioka's shield, but he counters by hitting the Hercules with his baton. Gomioka and Yuuki then close in on the terrorist and take him out just as Division 2 arrives. Later, a crew from Toyohata arrives to take back the SRX-70, and Goto tells Shinobu he's surprised that Fukushima and the Section Chief agreed to let the SRX-70 go. Goto asks how she did it, and she tells him that she offered them a condition on keeping the SRX-70: shuffle the divisions and let Ota pilot it. Ota cries in the rain that he wants to shoot the gun, and everyone knocks him down when he tries to chase after the carrier.

 

Commentary

 

This episode illustrates an essential truth about technological development: as soon as something new comes out, it'll quickly become obsolete when the next thing comes out. Division 2 hasn't had the Ingrams for too long, and already the SRX-70 appears as a supposedly more powerful model. This episode marks a couple of firsts for the TV version of the story. It's the first time Schaft makes an appearance, and their goal is to use SV2's data for military development. Something is obviously wrong when the shady Toyohata maintenance crew shows up and only copies the disks. It's also the first time we see Goto get a hunch and reach the same conclusions as Asuma, but sooner. It was nice to see an episode focus on Division 1 for a change, and this is the first time we get to see Yuuki. They managed to prove that they could still do their jobs even if they have to use outdated labors. In the end, the real victim here is Ota, since he was so desperate to shoot the SRX-70's gun.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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