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VOTOMS Pailsen Files Ep. 9: Downburst

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Summary

A large Balarant AT force assembles as the Barkoff squad speeds back to the frontline base. Godan asks Barkoff if they can trust Kochak, and Barkoff points out that Kochak used to be involved with AT research. The Balarant forces begin their bombardment, and the base’s automated gun turrets return fire. Godan mocks Kochak’s ability to calculate the proper mixture for the PRL, and Barkoff tells Kochak to calm down because they’re entrusting their lives to him. Barkoff concludes that the current weather is the result of them blowing up the PRL tanks at the M7 base. Barkoff says they’ll risk everything on Kochak’s delicate nerves, and when Zaki asks what that means, Barkoff explains that Kochak has survived because of his personality. Godan thinks it’s cowardice more than personality, and Barkoff points out that it’s dangerous to experiment with PRL in the minus 250 degree range. If the mixture reacts too slowly, the AT will freeze due to the cold, causing them to freeze to death. The Balarant forces continue their attack while Wappe mans the automated defense systems. Wappe asks Barkoff what he learned from fighting the Balarant recon squad, and Barkoff says they’ve stopped doing everything to prepare for the super cold air mass. Wappe yells at him, but Barkoff argues that preparing for the cold air mass and Balarant attack is more important than searching for the murder suspect. Wappe criticizes Barkoff for not following his orders, and Barkoff tells him he doesn’t know the destructive power of what they’re facing. Wappe calls Barkoff a complainer and says cold air masses are common in the extreme north, so they can’t abandon their mission just because of that. Barkoff simply walks off, and Wappe threatens to reveal his demotion to the others. Zaki and Godan are amazed as they watch Kochak calculate the formula, and Chirico tells him to hurry up because the Balarant are closing in. Kochak begins to panic and asks everyone to help him by gathering several ingredients. He gives Zaki, Godan and Chirico samples of PRL and adds a mixture to it. He tastes the mixtures and applies electric shock to Godan’s sample, causing it to dissolve in a puff of smoke. He almost gets a stable reaction with Zaki’s sample, but he finally succeeds with Chirico’s sample. Kochak declares that this is the correct mixture that will save their lives. He’s not completely sure, but Barkoff says they’ll have to trust him because the Balarant have already broken through. Wappe walks in and asks them why they’re listening to a man who was demoted from first lieutenant to petty officer, saying they can’t trust him. He calls Barkoff a disgrace to the Gilgamesh, but everyone ignores him. Wappe accuses Barkoff of abandoning his men during battle, and Barkoff pulls his gun on Wappe. Chirico tells them to calm down, and Wappe boasts that no one can handle PRL as well as he can. Wappe tells them to do what they want because he won’t care when they die since one of them is a murderer. As the base rocks from Balarant attack, Barkoff orders them to prepare the PRL.

One by one, they load the new PRL mixture into their snow battle Scopedogs. Balarant attacks take down the remaining automated turrets, allowing them to get closer to the base. As the Scopedogs speed through a tunnel, Barkoff tells Chirico that he’ll be the distraction so they can attack from behind. Chirico jumps out of the tunnel and draws the attention of the Balarant while the others move to get behind. The Chubbys open fire on Chirico and kick up a snow cloud. Chirico draws a large force of Chubbys away, and the others begin their attack from behind. The weather begins to worsen, and Wappe suits up and gets into his Standing Tortoise. Barkoff tells everyone not to freeze to death, and the downburst begins. Surrounded by Chubbys, the Scopedogs drop their weapons and huddle in close together. A massive cold burst hits the ground, freezing the Chubbys and their pilots. Chubbys all around begin to explode. Later, Wappe emerges from the base in his Standing Tortoise and heads to the battlefield. Surveying the frozen Chubbys, he eventually finds the frozen Scopedogs and laughs at them. He knocks the Scopedogs over and says they got what they deserved for listening to Kochak. Spotting only four units, he rushes to find Chirico so he can confirm his death and get another promotion. Finding Chirico’s frozen Scopedog, Wappe comments that it’s a stupid way for a Red Shoulder to die after having survived for so long. He debates whether he should shoot Chirico, but he decides against it because he’ll need Chirico’s corpse. Wappe slides around and happily declares that he’ll get a promotion, but suddenly the PRL ignites inside his cockpit. The cockpit hatch doesn’t open, and Wappe is killed when the cockpit explodes. On Kuzsuk, Wockam looks at the satellite data and says the storm was more powerful than he imagined. Pailsen points out that there doesn’t seem to be any survivors, so Wockam asks Ruske to confirm it. Ruske reports that there’s no response, and Wockam concludes that in the end they were just regular soldiers. Pailsen says it’s too early to give up because miracles happen during these times. The PRL reactivates inside Chirico’s cockpit, slowly unfreezing him. The other four wake up and greet Chirico when he returns. Wockam thinks all five are abnormal survivors because this snow test definitely confirmed it.

Commentary

These last two episodes have provided an interesting environmental change, as up to now we’ve never seen snow combat in any VOTOMS series. You can almost feel the cold as the approaching storm gets worse and worse in the midst of an enemy attack. As the stereotypical idiot commander, Wappe gets exactly the kind of death he deserves. He also revealed that Barkoff was demoted for abandoning his men, and that certainly pushes Barkoff’s buttons. Whether there’s any truth to the accusations remains to be seen. If the Balarant had access to accurate weather data, it makes me wonder why they would choose to attack a Gilgamesh base in the middle of a powerful storm. It certainly doesn’t get them anything, because they wasted forces attacking a nearly abandoned base and lost everything. Although Wockam is now convinced that all five men are abnormal survivors, I doubt this is the last thing he’s going to throw at them as part of his experiments.

Overall Rating
4/5
Pailsen Files Info


Director:
Ryosuke Takahashi

Writer(s):
Fuyunori Gobu
Soji Yoshikawa
Ryosuke Takahashi
Masayuki Nishimura

Mechanical Designer:
Kunio Okawara

Character Designer:
Norio Shioyama

Musical Composer(s):
Hiroki Inui
Yasuaki Maejima

Video Release:
Japan 10.26.2007 – 08.22.2008
U.S. 05.14.2019

Theatrical Release:
Japan 01.17.2009

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