A major battle against the Jovian forces is underway, and the Nadesico has been put right at the front of the UEF fleet. The Nadesico‘s Aestivalises open fire, but half of their missiles arc back around and target UEF units. The bridge crew is horrified, but Ruri reports that the targeting systems do not show any malfunctions. With the Jovians pressing down on them, the Aestivalis pilots are left with little choice other than to continuing firing while knocking down friend and foe alike. Fortunately, the Jovians are left confused by facing an enemy which is indiscriminately attacking both sides and soon withdraws, along with the Earth Forces, who are tired of taking fire from their own allies. In the aftermath, Mr. Prospector nearly has a heart attack adding up the monetary losses of ships and equipment shot down by the Nadesico‘s Aestivalises, but notes that fortunately, there was no loss of life. Admiral Munetake tries to figure out who to blame, but neither the pilots nor the maintenance crews will admit to screwing up. Ruri informs them all that the Nadesico‘s defensive computer is suspected, and a research ship is on its way to investigate. Unfortunately, as the research ship approaches, the Nadesico locks on to it and, despite Ruri’s pleading, fires a missile which destroys the craft. The research ship’s escape pod is brought on board and the understandably annoyed researchers start their job by nit-picking at all of the Nadesico‘s (and her crew’s) faults. Eventually, they find that the problem does indeed lay within the Nadesico‘s learning computer (which Ruri insists is named Omoikane). It seems that the computer’s memories, especially those of breaching the Earth Force’s defenses when they left Earth, has lead it to think of the United Earth Forces as its enemy. Omoikane’s stress has finally built up to the point that it is actively targeting UEF units. The only solution, as far as the researchers are concerned, is the deletion of all the computer’s memories and the re-installation of the entire system. Ruri objects that Omoikane’s knowledge of how to fight the Jovians gained during their escapades on Mars would be lost, but Munetake and Akatsuki wave her off, saying that those memories are useless and that humans should be the ones protecting the Earth, anyway. Ruri bitterly wonders if this is the rationale of adults–forgetting the memories that are inconvenient.
The techs arrive to reprogram the Nadesico‘s computer, causing Munetake to remark that the Nadesico will finally go from being a civilian battleship to a true battleship. Meanwhile, Yurika goes to see Akito down in the kitchen and asks him to come with her. Akito refuses, saying that whenever he’s not piloting, he wants to be practicing his cooking, but breaks down when Ruri suddenly appears to ask for his help. Akito follows Ruri and Yurika to Uribatake’s room–which is filled with plastic model kits and equipment. It seems that Uribatake has access to Omoikane from there, and by using holographic projections and Akito’s image feedback implant, they can send Akito into Omoikane. Akito appears as a small half-human, half-Aestivalis in what seems to be a library. Ruri also enters the program and appears on Akito’s shoulder to direct him to their intended destination. They head upwards, looking for Omoikane’s consciousness, but run into the military’s new program (which appears as a UEF battleship) rewriting a part of Omoikane’s memory. Akito wants to destroy it, but Ruri tells him it isn’t time for that yet and they continue on. They finally arrive at Omoikane’s consciousness (which takes the form of a giant tree) and Ruri explains that it is what makes the Nadesico the Nadesico. The memories that make someone what they are, the memories that you can’t forget even if you tried. Ruri asks Akito to cut the flowers (Omoikane’s memories) from the top branches. Though it seems cruel, they will eventually grow back, allowing the Nadesico to remain the Nadesico. She asks that Omoikane please pretend to follow the UEF’s orders for now. Akito goes about cutting the flowers, but is soon attacked by a strange force. Uribatake explains that this is Omoikane’s self-preservation instinct, and Akito is shocked to see it take the form of the Gekiganger III. Ruri explains that Omoikane thinks of the Gekiganger as the most powerful and righteous entity it has encountered–apparently, Omoikane has been watching Gekiganger along with Akito all this time. Ruri wanted Akito for this mission because he knows Gekiganger better than anybody else–his attachment to it is greater than Omoikane’s and, hopefully, this means he can beat it. Akito is understandably not optimistic at his abilities versus the super robot. After getting beaten around a bit, however, Akito pulls himself together and reforms his avatar into another Gekiganger III. Akito and Omoikane seem evenly matched, and Uribatake worries that a human won’t be able to win an even match against a computer, but Ruri tells him that Akito’s affection for the robot can’t be defeated. Akito agrees with her, and announces that, in episode 28, Gekiganger III was upgraded to Gekiganger V, and asks if Omoikane knows of the legendary transformation sequence, Dragonganger. Akito promptly transforms into into the Dragonganger, and defeats the Gekiganger III with the Dragon Blast. With the self-preservation aspect defeated, Akito is able to finish his job and destroy the UEF’s new program, as Uribatake feeds the techs fake information. Akito exits the program and admits that Dragonganger was never actually animated–he only learned about it from some of Gai’s old books. Ruri thanks him for what he’s done, and tells him that she’s impressed by how strongly attached he is to what he loves. The techs leave, thinking their job is done, and no abnormalities are found in the Nadesico‘s programming. As the Nadesico powers back up, a small window appears to Ruri bearing the words, “Those unforgettable days, for them I live.”
It seems that everybody loves Gekiganger III–even the computer. Ruri finally gets the chance to care about something in this episode, as she has warmed up to the computer far more than she has to any of her crew mates thus far. Admittedly, this episode is pretty cheesy, what with the very cute art-style inside Omoikane, and a super robot battle within a computer’s consciousness. But for some reason I’ve always been rather fond of this episode. As bonus trivia, the ‘Dragon Blast’ was a nod to the Mazinger Z’s Breast Fire attack.