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Linebarrels Of Iron Ep. 3: Blue Terror

October 21, 2008

“You… are the worst.”

Emi Kizaki to Kouichi Hayase, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 3: Blue Terror

I’m still in a stupor and a bit not right in the head, what with being hit hard by the Lynette’s Fanboy Syndrome and all. Well, I guess with some things you just gonna have to wait them out…

To facilitate my recovery (Lynette *hic* FTW!), I’ve decided to make my ramblings about Linebarrels Of Iron a series here, to excercise my dry and flaky wit. Henceforth I’ll be renaming all the Linebarrels-related episodic posts by their episode number and title, as you can see above.

Right, done with that, let’s get down to it. This episode of Linebarrel didn’t surprise me, with Kouichi’s loss against Vardant already depicted in the manga. The only differences thus far in the storyline are, as before, the appearance of a few characters that I don’t recall seeing in the manga; the appearance of the Katou Organization, and a new one, Emi Kizaki’s feelings. Right, we have the intro to the loli scientist type. Klan Klan mucho? Methinks Klan x 2 is more teh moe.

We start off with Rachel Calvin the scientist berating on how, even with Yamashita’s Hind-Kind and Miu’s Painkiller Machinae, they were still unable to capture Linebarrel. Yamashita is quick to point out that it was the head of JUDA, Kunio Ishigami, that recalled them, but the audience soon smells a rivalry with Rachel turning her back on Yamashita’s explanation. Their attention (or lack thereof) towards each other are thus thrown into the background with the news that slasher-pretty-boy Reiji is apparently back from battling the Katou dudes.

Of course, the apparent cause of the rivalry soon becomes clear when they both express joy at Slasher-Boy’s return. While the two lovebirds down there are squabbling over who gets to get to Prince Birdy first, Yui Ogawa, personal secetary to Ishigami, hands him a stack of compensation claims incurred during their last engagement with Linebarrel. Of course, he isn’t too happy about having to read through all of them than having to reimburse them. Yui wonders why did he give the disengagement order in the previous battle, and Ishigami replies that he believes in Kouichi.

Miu Kujo, FACTOR for the Painkiller. Hm… pink Panadol.

Right after the OP sequence, we see that Emi has been pulling out all the stops while living with him. She’s already made his breakfast, and he gets to stare at her bosom first thing in the morning when she goes to wake him up. 😛

While the breakfast isn’t particularly large in portion or appetizing, Kouichi wastes no time in chowing down, much to the amusement of his mum who remarks that he’d never eat the breakfast had she been the one who’s made it.

As the morning news comes on, Kouichi is getting more and more pissed that the government is still using the cover of “out of control” ARMAs to justify all the Katou assaults. Emi has a worried look on her face, and Kouichi, misreading her intentions, tells her that he’ll protect the town.

Meanwhile, Yajima, passing by Linebarrel’s landing site, finds something that he thinks is horrifying. A small plank of wood on the ground has “Hayase Kouichi was reborn here.”

Every episode seems to feature Katou walking around in his mobile submarine base. He reflects on how JUDA would be making their move soon (guessing correctly, what with Reiji returning and all) and he decides to intervene first. One of his captains by the name of Dimitri picks up the task.

Like they say, what goes around comes around/full circle/revenge is sweet/retribution/DIVINEEEE PUNISHMENT!/etc. and it’s no exception. Having been soundly beaten by Kouichi last episode, we see them here buying curry bread for the former victim. Apparently they had a time limit of ten minutes, since Kouichi in the picture is getting ready to slam his foot on the table with the time limit long past. Of course, he’s just playing around with their psyches, and they, predictably, flinch like a rat just chewed a chunk off their collective asses.

Risako, who’s on the sidelines along with the rest of the class watching this rather random display of male arrogance and subservience, is worried about the attitude change in Kouichi.

Meanwhile, Yajima, no longer able to put up with Kouichi’s bastardly attitude, is up on the roof of the school drinking (I hope) orange juice alone. He gives a sigh as he thought about how arrogant Kouichi has become; fortunately, he’s not the only one with that train of though; Risako comes to him, complaining about Kouichi’s attitude change. After a brief talk, Yajima suggest that Risako make some of her cakes since his own sister were missing them, and at the same time she could give some to Kouichi, which he liked when he ws still a kid, to get him to think about his personality. Risako, happy at having a chance to demostrate her love for the love-blind Hayase, jumps at this chance.

Meanwhile, Slasher-Boy Reiji finds the JUDA Airlines’ lack of onboard videos an appalling minus in his books, and promptly starts to give suggestions on how Ishigami should spend his cash instead of giving it away.

… …

I jest. Reviewing a video of the last battle, he remakrs that the pilot of Linebarrel is just wasting his time and effort, and makes it his first thing on the to-do list once he touches down to teach the newbie a lesson.

Spurred into action by Risako’s concerns, Yamija confronts Kouichi about his recent actions; Kouichi is still blind and deaf to the fact that his arrogance in battles is costing the city a ton of cash in damages, and even when he knew that Risako was worried and saddened at his change into a more cold-blooded guy, he brushes it off as Yajima being jealous of Kouichi and suggesting that Yajima had an inferiority complex by telling him that he was “used to protecting others”. Yajima, angered by this seemingly baseless accusation, tries to grapple with Kouichi, but it soon becomes apparent that A FACTOR’s strength is not to be trifled with, leaving Yajima with a bruised wrist and an injured pride along with endless frustration.

Meanwhile, Risako, having made the cakes, was just heading along with Yajima’s sister to Kouichi’s house. Naturally, she spots Emi hainging out clothes to dry; like any girl in love would do, the first thing she thinks of is “If a guy and a girl are living together, then*censored*”. Emi, having never entertained such impure thoughts before, is visibly confused.

Right after this we go straight into a flashback; Kouichi is being picked on by the same three bullies (abeit everyone in the flashback is only seven years old at the most) and when Risako tried to stop them, they bastard-slap her and pul at her hair. Yajima then comes to the rescue; he is pinned down, but true to his determination, he slips free and gives the kids a good beating.

Young Kouichi, looking on at Yajima being cheered on by Risako, feels pretty down and depressed. Everything then ends when modern-day Emi suddenly intrudes into the flashback, puts her hand on his shoulder, and then the entire vision pans out to reveal Kouichi at exactly the same spot where the entire incident took place years ago. He then smiles rather evilly.

Meanwhile, both the sisters of Kouichi and Yajima look on in amusement at seeing Risako squirm in the situation; both she and Emi are seated facing each other while waiting for Kouichi to return. The conversation goes rather awkwardly, with Emi’s innocent responses to Risako’s questions and remarks giving her more misgivings by the seconds.

Mild misgivings when Emi expressed surprise that Kouichi “used to like those sort of things[the cakes] too.” Risako read it as Kouichi not liking them anymore.

Everytime a misgiving occured, Risako would berserk at both sisters, whou would assure her than she had her own charms and not to panic.

Emi tries to make tea…

But she mixed up the tea leaves with the dried seaweed. Said seaweed proceeds to expand from having a potful of hot water poured on it.

Risako, more upset by the fact that Emi looked cute while making a mistake than amusing that anyone could mistake preserved seaweed with dried tea leaves, is YOU WA SHOCKU-ed, and once again, the sisters had to assure her that she could just be as moe.

Risako tries to emulate Emi’s feat with fish flakes (without Emi’s knowledge of course)…

But Hayase Kouichi has now arrived home, and unknowingly detonates her efforts by stating the obvious mistake for all to hear and see. With the main man in question in her grasp, Risako pulls Kouichi aside for an explanation…

But Kouichi, replying that he’s not the previous Kouichi she knew and that he’s already given up his past, inadvertedly hurt her feelings when she assumed that it meant that he had given up on her as well. Silly girl; he’d never gotten to you in the first place!

As both sisters cheer her on…

Risako regains her confidence, and she exclaims that she’ll make her relationship a real bang.

Some things should never be said out loud.

The Katou peeps were the ones responsible for Risako’s unintentional special effects, and haing grown tired of waiting, they decide that they’ve just got to have Linebarrel before JUDA makes a move. While everyone is running right away from the blasts…

Yajima is running towards the explosions, hoping to meet Kouichi there.

Back at the Hayase household, everyone is making for the nearest shelter. Unfortunately, something happens that only serves to increase Risako’s suspicions.

Risako, knowing nothing about Linebarrel and the Katous…

…would of course think naughty things. Run along now, little girl, it’s not your turn to shine yet(I sincerly hope she at least gets the chance to spark).

A last reminder before battle for Kouichi to minimize collateral damage. He’s not listening though.

Kouichi is quick to get into a fight…

And Captain Dimitri makes use of the hotblooded youth’s recklessness to ambush him. Linebarrel can take it, though.

But the pilot can’t, so the effect is still the same. As Linebarrel crashes up against a slope, Yajima, now at the scene, attempts to talk Kouichi into disengaging from the fight by telling him that Linebarrel was a power he got by accident, and that he shouldn’t be able to use it.

Bad move. Kouichi goes into SEED EMO(Emotionally and Mentally Overburdened) mode, and proceeds to hack at the Katou troops, making the entire fight look like an amateur playing Dynasty Warriors 4. All the while he lays bare his feelings of helplessness when he was protected by Yajima, and when he couldn’t protect Risako (oh, so he did go to her…)

Yajima is visibly shaken by this relevation. Oh no, don’t you go EMO on me too!

Captain Dimitri decides that there’s enough EMO left over from the SEED Destiny dimension spilling over into this universe without Kouichi adding to it, and gives the kill order. However, like always, shit happens for the baddies. This one’s specifically from the skies.

Cue the Vardant. Dimitri wisely decides to retreat, and Slasher-Boy Reiji focuses on Kouichi; hand over the Linebarrel and go home, or else. Kouichi, still EMO, attacks Reiji. Even worse choice. Reiji beats back the Linebarrel with no effort at all, and Kouichi, even more EMO, starts to randomly destroy things accompanied by a tirade about how no one would recognize his power.

Silence…

Reiji decided that it’s time to end this shit, and reveals that the wings on the Vardant can store swords in pairs.

Kouichi’s fear-induced counterattack is quickly neutralized, and the Vardant takes the offensive against its brother machine.

Twice, just in case. Reji then proceeds to make many “in-cases” by pounding away at the Linebarrel.

I think a large part of the JUDA spectators are too into it.

Well, anime-exclusive Miu isn’t very happy at seeing the thrashing. Hm… plot point to note of.

Yajima is visibly shocked. Can’t believe that he would later try to plead for Kouichi’s life… bu still, he did.

Reiji in the Vardant stops just long enough to consider…

And for Kouichi to go from scared shitless…

…As the Linebarrel regenerates…

…To EMO mode theSecond. He pushes Reiji back, but just before Reiji is forced to turn the Linebarrel into Machinae Jerky, Linebarrel shuts down…

And tells Kouichi in clear terms to get the fu*k out of his boob out of his cockpit.

It turns out that Ishigami ferried Emi to the scene, and Emi, with her rights as a FACTOR of Linebarrel, forced the shutdown.

Kouichi is pissed, naturally, and tells Kizaki Emi to go and nutjob herself stay out his affairs, and in the least polite way possible. Idiot, you don’t want to piss off the only person that allows you to summon your super robot! Kizaki, hearing that, is shocked. Very shocked.

Emi tells Kouichi that he should go and screw himself in the nuts using his left big toe and his right pinky is the worst.

STONED!

Well, the plot is finally going somewhere. One thing I noticed about this episode was that some parts of it featured the characters haing facial features not usual to what was expected, and the part where Linebarrel landed right next to Dimitri’s ARMA was a tad unrealistic in both environment and movement, as well as against Dimitri’s underlings’ ARMAs. Overall though, it’s going nicely, and with the entire cast now hating Kouichi, I would advise newcomers to Linebarrels of Iron to grip their seat-edges tightly. Judging by the preview… hehehe.

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