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Stage 8: The Steel Ark

 

Review by Peter Laliberte

January 2, 2007

 

Summary

 

On the Hiryu Kai, Excellen reports that Sanger never returned. Elzam takes a handcuffed Sanger down to Earth. DC forces attack the Federation's Sasebo base and Latooni takes out a few units with her Gespenst. Garnet Sunday tells her not to push her luck and it would be sad if she died before she learned about love. Giado tells them to leave the comments for later and the Gespensts continue attacking the DC. Ryusei gets knocked back by some fire and says they shouldn't be cocky just because they can fly. A Lion dodges Ryusei's fire and the DC retreat. Ryusei wonders what's going on and Ingram tells them they've detected the launch of a MAPW and that they're going to retreat. Ryusei asks why they aren't pursuing and what a MAPW is. Rai explains it's a Mass Amplitude Pre-emptive attack Weapon and it will wipe out the base along with the neighboring civilian area. Ryusei says the DC said they wouldn't harm civilians and that he'll stay behind to shoot down the MAPW. Rai stops him and says it's impossible with their current equipment and his skill. He tells Ryusei to follow orders but Ryusei asks if it's ok to abandon the base and let civilians get involved. Rai says for a soldier, following orders is absolute. Ryusei curses and retreats. The MAPW hits and the base is destroyed. Ingram and Kai report to Laker and Kai says it was probably the DC showing their will towards them. Sakae adds there are probably co-conspirators inside the Federation. Ingram adds that the DC has developed Armored Modules using EOT and that the Federation is losing despite having larger numbers. Laker says it's not a war that can be won with numbers alone. Aya tells Ryusei not to be depressed and that it's also hard on her. Ryusei says if he had stayed behind to try and shoot the MAPW down, the chances wouldn't have been zero. Rai appears and says he would have dragged the others down with him. He adds that Ryusei hasn't changed and that people who can't follow orders have no right being soldiers. Rai walks away but Ryusei charges at him. Rai dodges his punch and Ryusei says he's a human, not a machine. Rai catches Ryusei's fist with his left hand and twists his arm around his back. He tells Ryusei to realize the danger his hot blooded attitude puts his allies in. Rai lets him go and walks away, leaving Ryusei in shock. On Aidoneus, Elzam takes Sanger to a house and tells him to go in alone. Sanger walks around until a dog leads him into the backyard where Bian is waiting. Bian offers him a seat but Sanger declines, saying he has to lose the shame of being captured. Bian says he's a proud man like Maier told him. He adds that Sanger was captured to see the enemy with his own eyes. Bian talks about how beautiful the Earth is and that they must unite to defend it. Sanger says Bian upset the unity but Bian reminds him of how the Federation was making a backroom deal with the enemy. He says humanity needs to awaken and that fighting is the way to do it. He says if it causes the Federation to wake up, all is well. Sanger asks if they want to be martyrs and Bian says if they don't, they'll conquer the Earth. Bian says he loves the Earth and tells Sanger to decide which side he'll join.

 

At the hospital, Kusuha takes a nurse registry form and the doctor tells her she's free to go. Ryusei broods over a meal and a man wonders if he has the wrong person because he heard Ryusei Date was a hot-blooded kid who never felt down. He introduces himself as Robert Hajime Ohmiya, a developer and technician on the SRX project. Rob says he heard a huge robot fan had joined them and Ryusei asks if he's going to make fun of him too. Rob asks if he'd like to see the prototype he'll be piloting and takes him underground. Ryusei complains about how cold it is and Rob finds it amusing that he fought in Antarctica. Rob shows him the R-1 and Ryusei is disappointed that it's not a super robot. Rob laughs and says that while it's a real type, it has the power of a super. Ryusei asks if Rob is a robot fan too, and he replies that robots are a man's passion. They laugh and Ryusei vows he'll never let an incident like Sasebo happen again. Daitetsu and Tetsuya arrive at Izu and meet with Laker. Laker tells Daitetsu he wants him to be the captain of the new Space Noah class ship, the Hagane. Sakae tells them about the ship and says it has the most firepower because of its Tronium Buster Cannon. Laker says he wants them to take out DC's main base on Aidoneus while DC's main forces are focused on Europe. He adds that there's not much time before they regroup and descend from space to key points. Tetsuya says it's reckless but Daitetsu replies that some one needs to do the reckless stuff. Laker says he's given him the raw deal again, but Daitetsu says it'll ease the regrets of his dead men. Sanger joins Elzam at the EOTI. Giado, Garnet and Latooni look at the Hagane and comment on how big it is. Mechs are loaded onto the ship and they see Ingram's Wildschwein and the Wildraubtier. Rob tells Ryusei the Wildraubtier can transform into a flyer mode and that it's pretty much R-1's prototype. Ryusei sees a Grungust and is excited that it's a super robot. Rob explains that it has more power than a personal trooper and can also transform into a flight mode. Rai wonders what it's doing there and Irm says his dad wanted Rob to do the final adjustments. He wonders if his dad had seen Bian's revolt coming. Kusuha enters Izu base and the doctor reports to Ingram that his mission is a success. Everyone has a good look at the Hagane and Daitetsu says it's their hope.

 

Commentary

 

Sanger has decided to throw his hat in with the DC and after listening to Bian, it's hard to see him as a villain. He just wants to send a message to the Federation saying “Hey! Aliens are attacking! Smarten up!” If they refuse to realize it, he'll have no choice but to take over. However using the MAPW might be a bit too much. A major theme is introduced here: when it's right to follow orders. Whether to be a “good soldier” and blindly follow orders or to use your own judgment and do what's best. Ryusei and Rai differ on this point and they come to blows. We meet Rob and he's quite similar to Ryusei, saying "Robots are a man's passion." We see the R-1, the other main battleship, the Hagane, along with a few other mechs. Kusuha has also joined the military and Ingram was the one behind it. The Hagane has her mission, so it's time to get things moving.

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Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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SRW OG Episode 8 SRW OG Episode 8

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Buy the collection (eps 1-26, OVA 1-3) on DVD from Amazon
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