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Episode 12: Monad

 

Review by Chris Guanche

October 3, 2008

 

Summary

 

Several Fattys come in from behind and damage Kochak's Scopedog. In space, Gilgamesh battleships unleash a massive barrage on Monad. Larkinson comments that Wockam's plan is proceeding perfectly, and Niharko says they'll have to get on Wockam's good side after this. Wockam asks for a status report, and Ruske tells him that he'll win even if Chirico and the others die. Wockam thinks that would be bad because immortal soldiers are useful to have, even in peacetime. Back on Monad, Godan asks Kochak if he's ok since his chest is bleeding. Kochak says he's ok because he's an abnormal survivor and tightens his belt. He then gets into his Scopedog and says he can't die. Kochak then rushes out into the open and starts firing his machine gun. Several Fattys open fire from above and destroy his Scopedog, blowing him to pieces. Berkoff and the others destroy the Fattys, and Godan asks Berkoff what's going on. Berkoff simply says that Kochak's flesh and blood are everywhere. He wonders if Kochak was an exception and wasn't an abnormal survivor, but Godan doesn't believe it and says Pailsen spent his life looking for people like them. Godan points his bazooka at Chirico and asks what's going on, so Chirico answers that they have a high survival rate and can alter their environments and physical laws to an extent. Godan then fires his bazooka at Chirico, knocking him off of his platform. He then turns his bazooka to Berkoff and Zaki and orders them to show themselves to the enemy. As soon as they do, several Fattys attack, forcing them to fall back. Godan yells at them not to run, but his Scopedog is hit by two bazooka rounds from the Fattys. After the smoke clears, everyone sees that the arms and head have been blown off of Godan's Scopedog. Godan says he won't die like Kochak, and Berkoff tries to patch up his wounds and administer painkillers. Godan says he can give up his Grim Reaper name because he was an abnormal survivor and his body just reacted so he could live. He then sits down on his Scopedog and dies. Chirico snipes several Fattys from a high platform. Zaki comments that Godan wasn't an abnormal survivor either, but Berkoff believes they'll survive. More and more Fattys pour in, and Berkoff tells Zaki they can think about what they are after the war ends. A Fatty slams into Chirico, but he quickly arm punches the cockpit and kills the pilot. The planet then shakes, and Berkoff notices that the Balarant are gone. The planet shakes again, and Chirico runs over to the Fatty and connects his pilot suit to its radio. Berkoff asks what's going on, and Chirico explains there's an order for all Balarant forces to escape. Berkoff wonders if the Balarant did something to the core, but Chirico says they wouldn't have been able to do that. Chirico suggests looking for an LCS ejection catapult so they can escape.

 

Chirico, Berkoff and Zaki survey the situation and find an army of Fattys blocking their escape route. Using two Dog Carriers, they assault the Fattys from above and fly ahead of them. Larkinson thinks to himself that Monad's core is an unknown ball of energy like Quent's, and Ruske thinks to himself that no one could've predicted a planetary explosion, with Wockam wondering why this has to happen now. Berkoff opens the door to the ejection catapult and is immediately attacked by a Fatty, which injures him and damages his Scopedog. He says he's not an abnormal survivor either and will defend the area while Chirico and Zaki escape. Chirico and Zaki work on the computers to secure an LCS while Berkoff holds off a large squad of Fattys with two machine guns. Zaki tries to run back and help Berkoff, but Chirico stops him by punching him in the stomach to knock him out. The continued fire from the Fattys eventually overwhelms Berkoff, and his Scopedog hits the floor. When the Fattys move in closer to investigate, he sets off all his shoulder-mounted rockets at point blank range and destroys the whole area. Chirico hauls unconscious Zaki into the LCS and initiates the escape sequence. The core of Monad goes out of control, and the planet explodes, taking the Gilgamesh fleet with it in the shockwave. Niharko can't believe it and says there's never been such a massacre in Gilgamesh history. Larkinson orders martial law and gives orders to mark Wockam. Ruske says Monad's explosion wasn't their fault, but Wockam answers that he's given the military good reason to get rid of him now. Electricity is then cut off at the Department of Intelligence building, and soldiers break through the front gate. Wockam and Ruske get into the limo so he can report the experiment results to another loser. In deep space, Zaki wakes up inside the LCS pod, and Chirico says they have to go into deep sleep to conserve oxygen. Zaki suddenly recalls shooting targets with Chirico's picture and pulls out his gun. He reminds Chirico that he has an urge to kill him, even when there's no reason for it. Chirico tells Zaki his mind must've been conditioned to do that, and he asks Zaki if he wants to be controlled by another person. Zaki struggles with himself and says his body is going to pull the trigger. Chirico then tries to grab the gun and it goes off, causing the bullet to ricochet inside the cockpit and graze both of them. Zaki tells Chirico that the real abnormal survivor won't die in a place like this, and he wants Chirico to find Pailsen and get revenge for the person controlling him. Zaki knocks Chirico and turns the gun on himself, filling his chest with a load of bullets. Wockam's helicopter lands at the hospital on Kuzsuk. Menken tells Pailsen that it may have been reckless to have Zaki meet Chirico so soon, but he's impressed that Zaki lived so long and thinks they can do more precise brainwashing in the future. Wockam enters the room and is shocked to see Pailsen in good condition and dressed in his uniform. Wockam asks what's going on, and Pailsen explains that Menken was a spy working for him since the beginning. Wockam says everyone died, and Pailsen says everything happened because Wockam believed what was in his files. Wockam shouts that he broke the code and performed the experiment Pailsen couldn't. He says he wasn't being manipulated, and Pailsen asks him if it was necessary to take Monad. He says taking the planet was impossible, but Wockam thought it was possible for abnormal survivors to do it. He then thanks Wockam for creating a worse battlefield than he imagined, and Ruske realizes the fake data in the files influenced Wockam's decisions. As Pailsen walks to his helicopter, Wockam orders Ruske to kill him. Ruske instead asks Pailsen if Chirico survived and offers his assistance. Wockam pulls out a gun, but Ruske kills him. Wockam dies, and Ruske says his own name will disappear from history. After putting Zaki in a body bag, Chirico injects himself with a syringe and goes to sleep.

 

Commentary

 

Well, Pailsen Files certainly ends with an explosive finale. As I expected, everyone let the whole "abnormal survivors" thing get to their heads, and they paid the price for their recklessness. Kochak was the first to go crazy, and Godan lost it and shot at his own allies. Berkoff got to have a heroic death taking out a large number of Fattys, and Zaki committed suicide to fight the brainwashing compelling him to kill Chirico. Of course, these four men simply had to die because there's no place for them in the story of the TV series. However, their sudden deaths were handled well because it resulted from their recklessness and arrogance. At the same time, Wockam pays the price for his arrogance when Monad explodes and takes about 120 million Gilgamesh soldiers with it. In the end, Wockam was nowhere near as smart as he thought, and he was totally played for a fool by Pailsen. It's also interesting that Ruske kills him and pledges his service to Pailsen. The comment that his name will fade from history seems to indicate that he became the Chirico-obsessed Jean-Paul Rochina from the TV series. I'd always thought there was a connection between the two since they look almost exactly the same and are played by the same voice actor. One element that had initially bothered me about this series was the quality of the CG used during combat scenes, but it has definitely improved by the time the story reaches Monad. In the end, Pailsen is free again, and this series has served pretty well in returning to the VOTOMS world and bridging the gap between Roots of Ambition and the TV series. However, I'd recommend watching the TV series first, since Pailsen Files definitely spoils things that viewers aren't supposed to be aware of until later in the TV series. Either way, it's a good entry for a franchise that very rarely gets animated sequels (but definitely deserves more).

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Pailsen Files Episode 12 VOTOMS Pailsen Files Episode 12

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