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Episode 2: Woodo

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 1, 2005

 

Summary

 

Six months have passed since the war ended and Chirico escaped from the Melkian base. Rochina continues to search for him through the use of space satellites. Since his escape, Chirico has been hiding in Woodo City. Chaos erupts when bikers from the Boone Family ride in and attack a city square. The bikers destroy everything in sight and grab people by their necks with whips. Chirico tries to escape, but a biker captures him. Chirico and the others are thrown into a truck which drives out of the city. The police arrive after the Boone Family leaves, and an officer comments that the Boone Family is taking advantage of their relationship with the police. The truck drives out to a remote fortified complex. Chirico and the others are dragged out of the truck and given gas masks and drills. Gang members tell the prisoners that if they work hard they will be fed, but if not they will be killed. As Chirico walks through the camp, he runs into a worker named Rappe Julas who wants a light for his cigarette. Chirico asks what everyone is digging for, and Rappe shows him some jijirium. He says that jijirium crystals are produced when computer circuits are blasted by bombs, and he says the complex used to be a computer parts factory before the Balarant attack. He says that the Boone Family uses people to dig up the jijirium so they can trade it for food. A guard comes over and shoots at the air, ordering Chirico and Rappe to get back to work. Chirico ignored the guard at first, but suddenly acid rain begins to pour down from the skies. Everyone continues to work with their gas masks, but Rappe collapses. Chirico tries to help him up, but a guard comes over and harasses Rappe. Rappe asks Chirico not to interfere because the guards will kill him too. Chirico attacks the guard and punches him several times, but a few other guards come up from behind and beat Chirico down with the butts of their rifles.

 

At night, Rappe washes his face and tells Chirico he plans to escape. He knows that he'll be replaced and killed soon enough, so he'd rather die trying to escape. Their conversation is interrupted when a police gunbike and Garshim personnel carrier pull up to the complex. Rappe explains that the police are on the take and are paid off in jijirium to look the other way. Police chief Gust Remargas walks into a banquet hall and meets with gang leader Lark Regas Boone. A woman offers Gust some wine, but he refuses and tells Boone that they need to end their relationship. He says that he can no longer use the chaos of war as an excuse to let the Boone Family do as they please in Woodo. Boone laughs it off and tells Gust they are both in too deep to end their relationship now. Boone gives Gust a large bag of jijirium and says that this week's cut is bigger, and he hopes that will end any talk of ending their agreement. Outside, Chirico, Rappe and the other prisoners avoid the spot lights as they make their escape attempt. They attack the garage where all the motorcycles are kept and steal them. While most of the prisoners drive off in their stolen motorcycles, Chirico enters the complex. He walks into the banquet hall and finds that Gust and all of Boone's companions are dead. A wounded Rappe falls out from behind a curtain, and before dying he says he had hoped to get some jijirium for himself. Boone and two guards then walk in and begin shooting at Chirico. Chirico escapes and steals a motorcycle. He drives back to Woodo and is chased by two gang members. He makes a hard turn and forces one to drive off a cliff, but the other one fires several missiles and destroys Chirico's motorcycle. The space satellite picks up Chirico's tracking unit, and Rochina orders that rescue value C be used. Chirico runs into an alley to escape from the gang member. The gang member approaches and is suddenly killed by a bullet coming out from nowhere. Chirico runs away and falls into a junkyard filled with trash and scrapped Scopedogs. He crawls into the cockpit of a Scopedog and goes to sleep.

 

Commentary

 

Interestingly, for a mecha series, there's no mecha action at all in this episode. Chirico has been hiding out for six months in Woodo, but I'd say he looks rather conspicuous by still wearing his AT pilot suit. The members of the Boone Family definitely have 1980s punk written all over them. It seems that most of the police in Woodo are corrupt and let the Boone Family kidnap people as slaves in exchange for precious jijirium. That greed ends up causing police chief Gust his life. Chirico does well enough at first when he escapes from the complex, but I think Rochina's last minute rescue was a bit too convenient. How exactly did a sniper or whatever just happen to get to the right place at the right time to kill the biker and save Chirico? The Boone Family probably aren't too happy about the escape, and Boone himself has seen Chirico and will probably go after him.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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