Stage 4: The Wings of Disaster
Review by Peter Laliberte
January 1, 2007
Tempest Hawker supervises the loading of supplies into a submarine, and the sub's captain comments on how nice the moon is. Tempest says it looks best from space and a crewman brings Tenzan. Tenzan stuffs his mouth with chips and complains about the transport. He asks if Tempest is the one from the special training squad and seems to touch a nerve. Tenzan tells him to relax because he'll show Izu the power of the DC. He's escorted away and Tempest wonders what Alder and Bian are thinking. Ingram watches Ryusei's combat video and wonders if the poor results are because of the battle with the tanks. Aya says they're re-evaluating their formation but Ingram says there's no time and he must be ready for the roll out of the R-series. Aya questions her ability to lead, saying she's only really had training with the T-Link system. Ingram says that's why Rai is there and that she can handle it. Aya cheers up and Ingram says the next mock battle will be held on schedule. The next day, Ingram tells them they'll be taking the enemy position and to break through in formation. Ingram reminds Ryusei that they'll be up against the Haruma team and reckless actions won't be tolerated. Aya tells him to keep it together and Rai suggests he takes point. The alarms go off and they get a distress call from a transport. An unknown enemy chases the transport and fires a missile. Irm tells the transport pilots to wait and the missile misses them. Irm figures they're taunting them and wonders if they know what they're carrying. Ingram contacts them and is surprised to hear Irm there. Irm says he doesn't think the enemies are Aerogators and Ingram tells him to head to their position. Ingram tells the pilots and for Rai and Aya to equip live rounds. Ingram calls the Haruma squad back and requests back up from Izu. Ryusei asks what he should do and Ingram tells him to fall back. He objects but Rai tells him he'll end up dead like Haruma said. Ingram tells Ryusei to back up Rai and tells Aya to remain behind. Ryusei and Rai head out and the Haruma tank squad heads back. One of his subordinates asks if it's really ok to rely on robots but Haruma answers that times are changing. The transport detects new model fighter jets behind them and Tenzan and his Lion fly past them.
Haruma asks if the enemy has been identified and is told reports say it's a flying Personal Trooper. Rai says it's impossible because there are no PTs that can fly independently. Ingram tells them to back up the Haruma squad and Ryusei wonders if he'll be able to protect them. Tenzan spots the tanks but is told to fall back because the mission is over. Tenzan says he has to show off the Lion's strength and cuts the transmission. He fires at the tanks and destroys several of them. The fighters attack Rai and Ryusei and Rai tells Ryusei to go ahead. Rai handles the fighters and notices they're well trained. He takes down one of them and wonders if his gamble will pay off. The tanks fire on the Lion and Haruma tells his squad to retreat while he draws enemy fire. Tenzan easily dodges and takes out the tank's treads. Tenzan fires but Ryusei's Gespenst Type-TT takes the hit, losing an arm in the process. He tells Haruma to run and Tenzan is glad a better game has shown up. He dodges Ryusei's fire and shoots back. Ryusei barely dodges but loses his footing in a crater and falls backwards. Tenzan goes to finish him off, but Aya's T-Link Ripper destroys the Lion's rail gun. Tenzan barely dodges the ripper's second pass and Rai's Schutzwald fires, causing some damage. Aya tells Ryusei to fire and he destroys part of the Lion's leg. Tenzan retreats and Aya says Formation S was a success. Ryusei asks what she means and she says it's a cooperative attack since they are a team. On the boat back to Izu, Ingram tells Aya that the Lion wasn't a personal trooper or a unit from the Federation and they'll investigate back at Izu. Ingram looks over to Ryusei and comments that he's gotten a grasp of cooperative combat. Haruma approaches Ryusei and thanks him for saving them. Ryusei says he could have done better but Haruma tells him not to be conceited and there was nothing else he could have done by himself. He tells him some of them wouldn't be there if it weren't for him and to keep it up.
Tenzan shows up to cause trouble but thanks to the combined efforts of the SRX team, he's beaten back. The whole time Tenzan was acting like it was all a game and fails to see war for what it really is. This makes him all the more dangerous. While mostly an action episode, it also incorporates some major character development on Ryusei's part, which is pretty well done. Being the Super Robot fan that he is, he figured one pilot was all it took to beat countless enemies. Unfortunately for him, this is a real robot show where it doesn't work that way (at least not all the time). He finally begins to see that he can't charge into things by himself and he has teammates to rely on. Now that that's taken care of, it's time for some major plot developments.
4 out of 5 stars
Buy the collection (eps 1-26, OVA 1-3) on DVD from Amazon