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Episode 1: Recurrence

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 26, 2010

 

Summary

 

In Astragius Year 7247, the Gilgamesh Confederation and the Balarant Union continue to wage war. It has been 32 years since Chirico Cuvie and Fyana went into cryogenic stasis in a cold capsule that was launched into deep space. The cold capsule enters popular use as a way to rush injured soldiers away from the battlefield, but it's cynically called a "cold coffin" because being put in one could in essence lead to burial rather than treatment. Following a battle between the Gilgamesh and Balarant, many cold capsules begin to travel away from the battlefield. Workers at the Conplant space station in orbit of planet Manaura process the incoming cold capsules, including the one containing Chirico and Fyana. On Manaura, a ceremony to the god Marteal is performed to bestow the 13th rank of Marteal, the "Shield of Order" upon Teitania Montewells. The ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of a special envoy from the holy land Alegium. Inspector General Irin Noskowitz introduces himself to Cardinal Viachesrav Montewells and announces a message from the Council of Elders: Chirico has been resuscitated. Moving the meeting to a private room, Noskowitz explains to the church officials that the contract medics accidentally revived Chirico while treating other soldiers in cold capsules. The elders have decided that Chirico must be recovered and convinced to take a righteous path, or killed if he refuses. Old man Raht points out that 32 years ago, the Chief Scribes declared Chirico the Untouchable One, but Noskowitz counters that decision was made under the assumption Chirico would sleep forever. Noskowitz says that Chirico's existence is a contradiction to their faith. He then tells them it's their problem to deal with from now on. Raht thinks it's too coincidental that Chirico appears when Teitania is inducted into the Shield of Order, so he thinks Alegium must've woken Chirico. Another man thinks this must be a deliberate attempt to create a battle between Chirico and Teitania. Montewells visits Teitania during her maintenance period, so she speaks to him via her auxiliary brain. She says she knew the day would come when she would touch the untouchable. Teitania then wakes up and reminds her father that he said to increase her power as a Nextant, she would have to excel at AT piloting and defeat Chirico. Later, Teitania's shuttle takes off and flies up to Conplant. Chirico tries to get up and has trouble moving. He manages to slowly sit up and look over to Fyana, wondering if she'll be revived too. He tries to stand and falls to the floor, but two orderlies come in and put him back on the bed. They then close Fyana's capsule and wheel it away.

 

Teitania walks into a bar and uses her enhanced hearing to eavesdrop on conversations. She overhears two men named Larkin and Zullo Baldec talking about a capsule retrieval racket that paid a high amount to revive Chirico and take Fyana to a specific location. Teitania walks up to their table and tells Larkin that she wants to meet Chirico. Baldec tells Larkin that she isn't the one, and the men in the bar all begin to look at Teitania. Two men attempt to attack her, but she easily deals with them and throws a bottle at a man with a gun. Larkin and Baldec run out the bar and hide behind a man with a Gatling cannon. The man opens fire, but Teitania easily dodges every bullet with her enhanced reflexes and attacks the man. Larkin and Baldec escape in an elevator and run to the room where Chirico is. Larkin opens the weapons locker where Chirico is hiding and grabs a bazooka, which he fires at Teitania. She swats the bazooka round aside and continues to come after them. Larkin tries to fire again, but she quickly grabs him by the neck and asks where Chirico is wand who paid for the job. Larkin says nothing, so she snaps his neck. After she leaves, Chirico stumbles out of the weapons locker and accidentally hits a bullet with his foot, which brings Teitania back into the room. Teitania asks Chirico to come with her, but he tells her that he's busy. He then escapes by sliding through a garbage chute, and Teitania follows him down into a junkyard. Chirico warns her not to get involved with him and says that he's set up explosives all around the room. Teitania ignores his warning and starts firing her machine gun at Chirico. The explosives go off, and she tosses a mine like a disc at a wall. Chirico stumbles away and checks a computer to find out where the cargo hold is. Teitania blasts her way into the room and starts shooting at Chirico again. He tosses a grenade and runs away, and the resulting explosion triggers more explosions across the station. Teitania uses her vision to track Chirico's footsteps to a hangar filled with tanks, helicopters and ATs. She walks over to his dropped machine gun, and he smashes through several boxes in a Scopedog. Teitania fires a bazooka at Chirico and dodges the fire he returns to her. One of Chirico's shots hits Teitania and blows away her cybernetic arm. Chirico asks Teitania if she's also a Perfect Soldier, and she tells him she's a Nextant. She tells Chirico she won't let him cause more damage to her and starts chanting a prayer to Marteal.

 

Commentary

 

Although several OVAs were produced after VOTOMS ended, one question was always left hanging: what happened to Chirico and Fyana after they went into stasis? Although 32 years have passed, it seems not much has changed in the Astragius Galaxy. The Gilgamesh and Balarant were starting another war at the end of the TV series, and we see it's still running more than three decades later. By seeming coincidence, Chirico and Fyana get picked up and defrosted with a bunch of soldiers at the space station Conplant. But there's more at work here, including the complicated political maneuvering within the church of Marteal, which seems to have quite a bit of pull within the Gilgamesh military. Chirico's awakening is anything but gentle - just as he can barely begin to move, he's thrust into a battle against an apparently unstoppable opponent. Teitania is a bio android referred to as a Nextant, and her skills are easily on par with a Perfect Soldier. It seems as though her father has long prepared her for a fight against the infamous Chirico, and eerily she looks like a female version of him. Although the episode ends with Teitania damaged and Chirico in a Scopedog, I don't think the battle will go easily for him.

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Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Shining Heresy Episode 1 VOTOMS Shining Heresy Episode 1

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