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Episode 3: Sunsa

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 27, 2010

 

Summary

 

Zophie Faddas drive a truck filled with scrap metal across the endless desert of planet Sunsa. She visits a shop owned by an old man named Goby, who jokes that she's been looking prettier ever since that young man came to work for her. Goby asks what his name is, and Zophie says he hasn't told her, so she assumes he has his reasons. Goby says the man might wander off since he's not her son, and she should think about retirement. Goby adds that she's losing her sight too, and she says there's no one who would take care of an old woman like her. Regardless, she wants to stay on Sunsa, even if it's just sand and scrap metal. Later, Chirico uses a torch to cut apart a piece of metal inside a crashed spaceship. Zophie walks out of her house nearby and fires a flare into the air to signal Chirico that it's time to eat. Chirico drives a truck filled with spare parts back to the house as Zophie serves stew. She thanks Chirico for working so hard and starting early every day. She asks how the food is because he never says anything, so he tells her it isn't bad. Zophie asks him what his name is, but he says nothing and returns to work. She then starts doing the laundry and decides to wash Chirico's clothes. She opens his bag, and when her vision focuses, she's surprised to find the top half of a Gilgamesh AT pilot uniform. After nightfall, Chirico returns for dinner, and Zophie tells him she can get a good price for the motor case he brought. The next day, Chirico returns to work on the spaceship while Zophie puts laundry out to dry. She spots something in the distance, and three Erdspinnes from the church of Marteal approach and open fire. Two of them fire grappling wires on the house and start to pull, which causes it to completely collapse. They then open fire on the crumbled remains and set off an explosion, which catches Chirico's attention. He drives back to the house, but the Erdspinnes are gone by the time he gets there. He asks Zophie if she's alright, and she tells him the ATs attacked out of nowhere. He thinks that they were after him and looks at their tracks in the sand. He pulls out his backpack from the rubble and tells Zophie they need to leave. Zophie protests, but he says she can't live there any longer. She sees that he is indeed an AT pilot and says she hates them, so he promises not to ride one. Chirico drags Zophie along with him in the truck and drives off.

 

At the holy land of Alegium on planet Jiagono, three church officials tell Pope Viachesrav Montewells that the moment has come to deal with Chirico the Untouchable One, but Montewells says nothing. After they leave, Montewells whispers to himself that it's too late because "it" has made its move. Old man Jean-Paul Rochina eavesdrops and thinks to himself that it must be true that the Child of God is about to be born. Elsewhere, several black cylinders position themselves in orbit of Sunsa. Zophie wonders why the AT pilots didn't kill her, since she was surrounded. Chirico pulls up to Goby's burning shop, and Zophie is saddened to find the old man's body under a pile of wreckage. Chirico asks if the city is far, and Zophie tells him it is. They continue to drive until the truck gets stuck in the sand. Chirico says that the engine is burned out and there's no more gas, so they have to walk. Zophie tells him to leave her behind, but he puts several pipes together to create a backpack she can sit on. She tells him this reminds her of a time long ago when a young man carried a woman across the desert to save her life. She asks him if he's ever heard the name Chirico, but he says nothing. She says she hated Chirico so much that she wanted to kill him, but then she got old. A sandstorm starts to roll in, so Chirico decides to take shelter inside a ruined battleship. Zophie tells him that someone is already there, and the three Erdspinnes appear and open fire. Chirico grabs Zophie by the hand and runs away inside the ship. The Erdspinnes give chase and continue firing, setting off explosions. Zophie tells Chirico to leave her because she'll slow him down, but he takes her with him as he keeps running. They continue to run from the Erdspinnes, so he jumps and grabs a chain that takes them down to a lower level. An Erdspinne blocks their path, and the pilot addresses Chirico by name and as the Untouchable One, which shocks Zophie. Chirico jumps away as the Erdspinne open fire, and he shoots at a pipe and uses the cloud of sand it lets out to grab Zophie and escape the ship. Zophie says she thought it was him, but he was still so young. Chirico apologizes and tells Zophie to get away from the ship. As she walks away, someone approaches her. The Erdspinnes surround Chirico inside the ship, but one of them suddenly comes under fire from Shako's Berserga. Chirico jumps onto the Berserga, and Shako takes him to where Vanilla and the others have a truck with a Scopedog. Vanilla tells Chirico to use it, but Chirico refuses. Zophie tells Chirico she understands what he's trying to do, but she's ok with him using it. Shako tells Chirico he can't die because the God of Quent needs him. As the three Erdspinnes close in, the black cylinders crash into the ship and the surrounding area. They then activate and teleport the ruined ship away, leaving a crater in the sand.

 

Commentary

 

Not surprisingly, the third episode takes us to the location of the third arc of VOTOMS: the dead world Sunsa. Some things have changed over the last 30 years since the TV series. Back then, the sky was blood red and the atmosphere unbreathable. The sky is blue now and the air is breathable, but the planet is still pretty much an endless desert littered with the remains from the Hundred Years War. Chirico has spent the last three months living with Zophie, although she wasn't aware due to a combination of bad sight and not expecting Chirico to still be so young. In the TV series, she hated Chirico for being a Red Shoulder and was generally a very annoying character, but old age seems to have mellowed her out. We also see a brief appearance by Pope Montewells from Shining Heresy, and when it comes to Chirico he still looks like a broken man. There's also a short cameo by Rochina, who still looks as crazy as ever. Chirico is very briefly reunited with his friends, but the reunion is cut short by the black teleport cylinders. We know from the TV series that they're super advanced Quentian technology, and Shako's mention of the God of Quent might mean Wiseman is involved somehow. We'll know something is up if in the next episode we start hearing freaky baby noises like in VOTOMS and Pailsen Files.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Phantom Arc Episode 3 VOTOMS Phantom Arc Episode 3

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