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Episode 52: Shooting Star

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 8, 2005

 

Summary

 

In space, Minitri and Togol decide that their last hope of defeating Chirico may be to annihilate Quent. A Scopedog attacks Chirico, and he uses the Rabidly Dog's arm punch to smash its cockpit. He continues onward, but another Scopedog attacks him and the two are teleported into another chamber. Chirico uses his arm punch to smash the cockpit, but by the time he finishes he's run out of punch cartridges. Fyana enters the chamber and asks Chirico to come with her, but he tells her to stay out of it. She asks him what he intends to do with Wiseman's power and insists that it's useless. She tells him that if he moves she'll kill him and then herself. Chirico walks away, and Fyana charges forward and slams into him. The two fall down, and Chirico grabs Fyana's rifle and shoots at her Berserga DT, knocking it back through the teleporter. Wiseman congratulates Chirico for hardening his will so much in his determination to become the Successor. Chirico walks onward and begins to climb a metallic tower. As he climbs up, the damaged Rabidly Dog overheats and finally breaks down. He continues to climb on foot, and Wiseman appears as a robed man, urging him onward. Chirico says he wants to see the real Wiseman, but Wiseman says that his physical body rotted long ago. Chirico asks Wiseman if he even exists and if he brought him here just to show off some mechanical trickery. Wiseman says that his consciousness still exists and that he's watching Chirico at this very moment. The area is suddenly filled with a yellow light, and the area Chirico is climbing turns into a platform that ascends through a shaft. When the platform reaches the top of the shaft, Wiseman tells Chirico that he can do no more to help him. Chirico continues to climb and finally reaches the top of the tower before collapsing. Wiseman begins to lower a plasma transmission device to transfer all his knowledge and power to Chirico. Chirico says that he can't stand up, and Wiseman asks him if he really is a weakling after having come so far. Wiseman implores Chirico to stand up, but Chirico again says he can't. As the device comes closer, Chirico pulls a wire which flips his gun vertically and fires it. He then grabs the gun and continues to fire until he destroys the device. Wiseman asks Chirico what he's doing and doesn't understand why Chirico doesn't fear him.

 

Chirico begins to pull out Wiseman's memory modules, and Wiseman threatens to kill Chirico if he doesn't stop. Chirico says that he's inside Wiseman's brain now, and he doesn't think Wiseman would use defense systems inside his own brain. Wiseman tells Chirico that he doesn't understand his true power, and he begins to play the patriotic music from the Red Shoulder video. Wiseman explains that he has manipulated Chirico's life and saved him time after time. He says that he ordained Chirico's meeting with Fyana and says that's how Chirico knew what her name was. He says he wanted Chirico to love like an ordinary man, but now Chirico's lust for power has surpassed his love for others. In that sense, Wiseman doesn't find it odd that Chirico would try to kill him as well. Wiseman tells Chirico that the sins of all his killing will haunt him forever, but he says that Chirico can find absolution in divinity. He says that only God does not sin when He kills, but Chirico ignores him. He continues to pull out memory modules until one of them shocks him and knocks him to the ground. Rochina enters the chamber and demands that Chirico put the memory modules back in place before Wiseman dies. Fyana enters the chamber and knocks Rochina out from behind. Chirico apologizes for shooting her and says he had to fool Wiseman until the very end. Fyana says that she understood his intentions because he didn't shoot her fatally. Fyana and Chirico both pull out memory modules, and Wiseman's speech becomes slurred as his power diminishes. In space, the Gilgamesh-Balarant fleet prepares to fire missiles at Quent's surface. Rochina wakes up and says he can't believe that Chirico forsook a throne of power and killed God. He activates the chamber's self-destruct sequence and says he wishes he were an Overman so that he could take Wiseman's power. Quent suddenly explodes, sending a massive shockwave out into space. One year later, a conflict in the Nonaggression Zone escalates into another full scale war between the Gilgamesh and Balarant. At a Gilgamesh base, Gotho, Vanilla, Coconna and Shako disguise themselves as soldiers and set off explosives in a ship to steal a shuttle. As the shuttle heads into deep space, Chirico and Fyana prepare to launch in a stasis capsule. Gotho asks Chirico to reconsider, but Chirico says that even though God died, another war broke out. He believes that as long as a world of war exists, people will try to use him and Fyana. Chirico tells everyone that he'll never forget them, and the capsule launches into space. Before going into stasis, Chirico and Fyana look out at the stars. Chirico thinks to himself that he was lucky to have met Fyana and his friends.

 

Commentary

 

And so ends one of the classics from the golden age of 80s real robot shows. Across 52 episodes, VOTOMS took us on a journey through a galaxy savaged by unending war. This all played out in four distinct arcs. Woodo set things up but was the least interesting, Kummen was engaging throughout, Sunsa revealed many secrets, and Quent finished all off with a grand conclusion. Aside from some fantastic mecha battles, VOTOMS raises some interesting questions about war and religion. Thousands of years ago, the Overmen thought of themselves as gods and created the Secret Society to worship them. They manipulated the weaker human race and were the cause of all the wars between the Gilgamesh and Balarant, including the recent Hundred Years War. Throughout all of this, Wiseman's ultimate objective was to breed an Overman as his successor to become God. It's somewhat reminiscent of Frank Herbert's classic Dune series in which the Bene Gesserit sisterhood manipulated birth lines for millennia to produce their ultimate being, the Kwisatz Haderach. Whereas Paul Atreides became a God unto himself and was a victim of destiny, Chirico succeeds in killing God and making his own destiny. The question here is, is a god nothing more than someone who is more advanced than others? In his three millennia rule, Wiseman only did things for himself, not for humanity. They were nothing more than tools to be used to achieve his end. Maybe that's why Chirico killed him, but as he pointed out, even with Wiseman dead, the fighting continues. Although the TV series is over, there's still much more to see. Various one shot OVAs tell stories about Chirico during the TV series, but Shining Heresy continues the story of Chirico and Fyana after this episode. If the TV series is any indication, they're worth checking out.

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Overall Rating

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5 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Episode 52 VOTOMS Episode 52

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