At Nergal’s Hiratsuka Docks, Erina informs Akatsuki that it will be two more weeks before the Nadesico can be re-launched. Half the crew escaped in the aftermath of Akatsuki’s betrayal, and those that stayed don’t seem horribly motivated to get the ship back in working order. Hoary has already picked out a replacement crew, and though they seem much more stable than the last crew, they are also doubtlessly less skilled. Akatsuki remarks that it’s worth it to not have to worry about another mutiny. Elsewhere, Yurika, Akito, Jun, Minato and Yukina are laying low, working at the ramen shop Akito worked at prior to joining the Nadesico. Yurika makes a surprisingly good waitress, taking orders for the entire dining room without writing anything down and then repeating them all back correctly. Akito remarks that this the first time he’s ever seen Yurika actually being helpful. Jun defends her, reminding Akito that she was an honorable captain. Akito muses that it was through that kind of honor that they wound up here–they tried to be heroes, only to find out that Earth doesn’t want any. Behind their living area, Minato seems quite content hanging some laundry out to dry with Yukina. More and more impressed with Minato, Yukina admits that perhaps some Earthlings are alright after all. Back at Nergal headquarters, Erina gives Akatsuki the final report on the Nadesico crew’s mass desertion. Though one hundred and fifteen people left the Nadesico in the confusion, only four remain unaccounted for–Ruri, Ryoko, Hikaru and Izumi. Twenty have returned to their former occupations, thirteen have requested to be reinstated on the Nadesico, and all the rest are currently under observation. Akatsuki remarks that it was convenient that the most dangerous of them wound up in the same place, and tells Erina that if push comes to shove, they should not hesitate to have them neutralized. Mr. Prospector overhears this, eves dropping from his new position managing Nergal’s library. Megumi has returned to her former occupation as an anime voice actress, but finds it less fulfilling than it used to be–the magical girl show she has returned to has devolved into pro-Earth, pro-war propaganda. She discusses this with her co-worker, who tells her that she’s been doing a great job, and that it’s really in her best interest to stay–and she’s sure that Erina would say the same thing. This catches Megumi off guard, even more so when Erina herself shows up and her co-worker reveals herself as a Nergal employee. Erina reminds her that Nergal is a big sponsor of their show and they even pulled some strings to have Megumi hired back on for a major reoccurring role. Moreover, Erina suggests that things will continue to go well for her, as long as she forgets about the Nadesico. Overwhelmed, Megumi bolts from the restaurant and runs down the street, unsure of what to do. Suddenly, she runs into some robot-like little boy who calls her by name and asks her to come with him. Noticing that something is going on, the plainclothes Nergal employees who have been keeping an eye on Megumi move against the robot, which launches dozens of firecrackers to cover Megumi’s escape. Not so surprisingly, Megumi finds Uribatake waiting for her nearby. Free of Nergal observation for the time being, Uribatake tells her that the entire crew is under Nergal surveillance, though he’s heard that a few are still on the run. Uribatake laments that if they could just use their communicators they could talk to everybody, but Omoikane has undoubtedly been reprogrammed to follow Nergal’s orders. He muses that the Nadesico is no longer the Nadesico that was their home. On the Nadesico, Inez asks Howmei why she decided to stay, but Howmei simply tells her that her contract wasn’t up yet. Inez notes that there’s also the matter of the little kitten she’s been taking care of… That night, Megumi sleeps fitfully, clutching her Nadesico communicator, which suddenly activates. An image of Ruri, who seems to be dressed as a cat, pops up to try to wake her up.
Using an untraceable line she’s set up through Omoikane, Ruri patches herself through to all of the Nadesico‘s former crew members. She explains that she’s been hiding in the Nadesico‘s walk-in refrigerator under Howmei’s care. Over the past week, she’s been working on getting Omoikane to act out the part of the program that Nergal attempted to replace it with. The largest obstacle has been Omoikane itself, which does not seem to like pretending to be something it isn’t. Unexpectedly, Ruri smiles, and tells them that she wanted to remind them what someone once told them all–that the Nadesico was their ship–and it is something she still believes. Knowing what they need to do, former Nadesico crew members get ready to move out, including the three missing Aestivalis pilots who have been hiding out with their Aestivalises in the forests near the base. Akito and his group load Akito’s Aestivalis into a truck as the ramen shop owner wishes them well. To get things started, Ruri and Omoikane lock down the base, trapping security officers at their posts. Akatsuki is alerted that something is going on with the Nadesico, but he isn’t worried as he reminds them that they can’t do anything without the Nadesico‘s master key. Ryoko meets up with Akito’s group with helicopters on her tail and asks Akito to hold them off while she gets Yurika back to the ship. Leaving Akito and the others behind, Yurika muses to Ryoko that running a ramen shop would be a pretty decent life for her and Akito–but the Nadesico means too much to the both of them right now. Back at Nergal headquarters, Akatsuki laughs when he finds a note left behind by Hoary, informing him that he has taken the Nadesico‘s master key. Sure enough, when Ryoko and Yurika arrive at the Nadesico, they find Hoary and Mr. Prospector on the bridge, waiting for them. Yurika inserts the master key, bring the Nadesico back online, and orders the retrieval of all of the remaining crew members, starting with Akito. At his home, Uribatake packs his gear to leave for the Nadesico. His wife enters the room and asks him if he’s leaving to go chase women again. Showing a surprising amount of maturity, Uribatake tells her that he’s got friends waiting for him that need his expertise as a mechanic. He tells her that he doesn’t know when he’ll be back, but he promises her that he will definitely return to her and his son. After Yurika finishes reassembling the crew, she orders the Nadesico to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and and set course for Jupiter, to reunite Yukina and Shiratori. Back on Earth, Akatsuki is informed of the Nadesico‘s escape. He muses that whoever said “personalities aside, it’s the best crew ever” wasn’t kidding and asks Erina if the Kakitsubata is ready to launch. With Erina and Inez still with him, things are about to get pretty interesting.
It’s the characters that make Martian Successor Nadesico such a fun show to watch, so seeing them all getting back together again after being scattered is hard not to enjoy–even Akatsuki is a bit tickled when they take his ship back. Ruri has really come into her own, going from the bridge mascot whose whole business was calling everybody a fool to being the one person who was perhaps more determined than anyone else to get the crew back together. It’s also nice to see Uribatake finally resolve his trouble with his family. But the real question is, what do they plan to do at Jupiter? It’s not like they’re formally connected to Earth anymore. You almost get the feeling that they’re just looking for yet another adventure–and that probably isn’t far from the truth.