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Episode 38: Distorted Space

 

Review by Chris Guanche

October 7, 2014

 

Summary

 

On December 30th, the Earth Liberation Front gathers at the Nazca Lines in Peru to protect the Seal of Grados from Le Cain's army. David and Simone lead the Doll squad against the heavily armored Gradosian Gunstaids. The Gunstaids press forward and use flamethrowers to kill the ground fighters. David rushes in and uses his knuckle shot to destroy several units. Eiji arrives in New Layzner and uses V-MAX to fight against a Solomco squad. After a day of fighting, the resistance is pushed back to Cuzco to prepare for the final battle. At the Grados Tower, Le Cain looks at a battle map and decides to leave Roanne in charge of the operation. Before leaving, he tells Roanne to not hesitate and to live up to his expectations. Matthew runs out to tell David and Simone that Eiji is acting weird. They run over to find Eiji standing next to New Layzner and wearing his old space suit. The ground starts to shake and Eiji says words that no one can hear due to the noise. Anna runs over to Eiji, and the Seal of Grados, a large green cylinder, emerges from the ground and floats into the sky. Gradosian forces in Peru report to the Tower and request permission to attack, but Roanne doesn't answer them. He instead issues retreat orders and shoots a man who rushes toward him. He then announces that explosives are located around the Tower and that he is claiming it in the name of the Earth Liberation Front. Le Cain can't believe that the ideals he killed his father for are crumbling around him. Roanne asks Le Cain to understand since he's an Earthling. Le Cain comments that despite the betrayal, he entrusted Roanne with his fleeting dream. He tells Roanne that he's lucky to be alive for the moment and takes off in the Zakaal.

 

Julia floats inside the Seal, which has now reached space. She tells Eiji that he should go back to his friends on Earth and comments that it was too early for Gradosians and Earthlings to meet. She says that they have to inherit the knowledge within the seal that was passed on by the ancient Gradosians and places the pendant inside a console. Rei warns Eiji that the Zakaal is coming in at high speed with V-MAX. Eiji vows that he won't let Le Cain get near Julia, and Le Cain challenges Eiji to beat him in a fight. He then activates his super charge, so Eiji uses V-MAX to keep up with him. The two clash around the Seal, and Julia turns the pendant, which causes the Seal to glow and distort space. On Earth, David recalls the first time they all met Eiji on Mars in 1996, and Simone remembers it like it was yesterday. David also remembers how he mistreated Eiji at first and blamed him for everything. David and Simone tease Anna about when she fell in love with Eiji, which makes her blush. Arthur, Roanne and Elizabeth join them and reflect on their past adventures. Elizabeth remembers their first meal together and how much they enjoyed it. Roanne reflects on how they choose to join Eiji for the sake of their own survival. Arthur stands up and shouts into the wind that Eiji needs to come back because everyone is waiting for him. As the year 2000 rolls in, Anna wonders if Earth has anything to celebrate. The empty New Layzner reboots its systems, and Rei detects Eiji nearby. New Layzner activates V-MAX and heads for Earth to pick up Eiji.

 

Commentary

 

In case you're wondering, no, I didn't skip over a couple of episodes in my reviews. This really is the last episode, and if you're confused by the massive jump from the end of episode 37, I don't blame you. Sometimes a series ends poorly because it squanders the time that it's given, and sometimes it ends poorly because of a cancelation. In this case, it's clearly the latter. The jump here is so big that it's disorienting and I feel like I'm watching a clip episode recapping things rather than the real episode. In some unspecified time after episode 37, Le Cain kills Gresco, Eiji switches to New Layzner, the resistance becomes the Earth Liberation Front, and there's a big fight in Peru where the Seal of Grados is hidden. And the seal turns out to be some green cylinder thing that Julia hitches a ride on and uses to distort space with pretty colors. What? Yeah, that makes no sense at all. In addition, the final battle between Eiji and Le Cain is completely anticlimactic because we never even see it. Rather than focusing on that important event, the episode wastes what little time it has with the people on Earth reminiscing over old clips from Mars. Did Eiji beat Le Cain? Why was New Layzner empty at the end? Where did Julia and Le Cain go, and what was even the significance of the Seal? All of these questions and other plot lines are casualties of the cancelation, as is the Layzner Mark II, which never had the chance to debut in the series. I've read that some of Layzner's unused mecha designs were recycled for Metal Armor Dragonar, and that wouldn't surprise me given that Kunio Okawara worked on both and gave Giganos a similar design style to Grados. Even before the cancelation, the second half of the series could've uses some tighter focus. The cruel subjugation of Earth was interesting, but the Death Demon Squad weren't. I'd have preferred to see more of the former rather than just more murderous psychopaths. Overall, SPT Layzner is an enjoyable series, but this ending is completely inadequate. However, at least the third OVA comes along later to fill in the gaps and provide a better ending. I'd recommend watching that instead and completely ignoring this episode.

 

Overall Rating

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1.5 out of 5 stars
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SPT Layzner Episode 38 SPT Layzner Episode 38
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