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Episode 2: His Name is Eiji

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 11, 2014

 

Summary

 

UN personnel search Eiji and ask if he's an American or Soviet, but he answers that he's from the planet Grados in the Urudoria system. They dismiss his claim out of hand as a joke, but he repeats that he's from Grados. Eiji's helmet starts beeping, and he runs up to the desk to try and grab it. He flips the two men over his shoulder and retrieves the helmet before escaping outside. He hops into Layzner's cockpit and asks its AI Rei for a status report. Rei reports that a shuttle is approaching, so he orders a retreat. Eiji decides to act as a decoy to prevent the Earthlings from coming under attack again. A Grados tripod carrier enters the atmosphere and launches two Bravers and a Grimekaisar piloted by Ahmos Gale. American jet fighters fly over the UN base, which makes the students think the Americans and Soviets are at war. Elizabeth asks everyone to head back to the room for their safety. Gale calls Eiji and asks him to surrender for the crimes of stealing an SPT and fighting allies. Gale wants to end things quietly, but Eiji refuses to offer an explanation. Gale tells Eiji that he'll be labeled a traitor and threatens to open fire in 10 seconds. Eiji doesn't want to kill Gale and has Rei pull up the Grimekaisar's specs so he can disable it. Gale and his men open fire, and Eiji kicks up a cloud of dust to jump into the air undetected. The UN personnel make a futile attempt to contact the American and Soviet bases, but signals are being jammed. No additional survivors are found anywhere, and there's only about four or five days of oxygen for everyone. Arthur's constant pacing annoys Simone, and Roanne wonders if a war really broke out. Arthur points out what they saw with their own eyes, but Simone thinks it wouldn't be so quiet if America and Russia were fighting. Anna wonders if Eiji is a soldier from Earth, and Simone doesn't believe his story. Arthur and Roanne decide to ask the adults for information, and Simone asks them to find David. Arthur asks Elizabeth what's going on, but she's called away to deal with David, who has gone back to the spot where Juno died. Elizabeth tries to comfort David and get him to come back with her. Anna thinks to herself that if this is a dream, she wants it to end.

 

The Bravers chase Layzner near some rock walls and damage one of its legs. Eiji flies up through a narrow space and shoots one Braver in the foot and the other in its backpack. Gale thinks that Eiji is being a fool, especially since they'll someday be brothers-in-law. Layzner leaves a trail of smoke and launches ECMs against the pursuing SPTs. Eiji flies through a narrow canyon, and one of the Bravers giving chase has trouble. When Eiji reaches the end of the canyon, he runs up the side of the wall. The leader of the remaining UN personnel decides to head to the American base and get information about the current situation. Gale scans the battlefield and again pleads with Eiji to surrender as the Bravers search from above. One of the Braver pilots picks up infrared heat signatures from the UN base, so Gale orders them both to return to the base and eliminate any survivors. The Bravers return to the base and open fire, so Elizabeth tells the students to run underground. One of the Bravers is hit from behind by Layzner, which crashes into the ground and performs a rolling tackle on the other. Layzner stands up in front of the base and spreads its arms, causing Gale to wonder what Eiji is doing. Gale then remembers that Eiji is half Earthling, but reminds him that he was raised Gradosian. Gale asks why Eiji would side with Earthlings when Grados has made him what he is. Gale tells Eiji to open his eyes and think about the conflict that will happen once Earthlings spread into space. Eiji asks why they have to annihilate the Earthlings, but Gale answers that he has no time for a debate. Gale insists that he'll kill every Earthling inside the base and tells Eiji to stand aside. Elizabeth and the others watch the standoff on video from inside the base. Gale and his wingmen open fire around Eiji and cause more damage to the base. Eiji ignores Rei's warnings and fires near Gale's foot. Gale jumps and opens fire, damaging Layzner's shoulder. Eiji thinks of his sister telling him that she might marry Gale. Eiji opens Layzner's cockpit and tells Gale to kill him first if he insists on killing the Earthlings. Gale orders his men to cease fire and vows that he won't let Eiji go next time. The SPTs retreat, and Anna can't believe they survived.

 

Commentary

 

Picking up from last time, Eiji naively tries to convince the UN people that he's come from Grados with a warning for Earth. But from their perspective, they've never encountered an extraterrestrial and dismiss his story, particularly since he looks human. And as we find out later, Eiji is half human on his father's side. We also learn that he stowed away on a Gradosian ship and stole Layzner via SPT pilot Ahmos Gale, his future brother-in-law. It's admirable that Gale tries to settle things peacefully, but as a soldier he's obviously going to follow orders and not pay much attention to Eiji's protests. However, he does relent at the end and order a retreat, giving everyone a brief reprieve. We also see that Eiji only wants to employ nonlethal tactics against his foes, but such a stance is difficult when he's facing off against more experienced pilots. At the same time, confusion abounds within the ruins of the UN base. No one knows what these robots are and still think it's some battle between the Americans and Soviets. David is still traumatized by Juno's death and can't quite accept it yet, but the situation demands that he can't grieve forever. It's clear that no one is coming to help these kids except for Eiji.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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SPT Layzner Episode 2 SPT Layzner Episode 2
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