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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 5: Guidepost To Tomorrow

November 3, 2008

“I’ll like to say that we’re too understaffed to do it alone, but this violence-crazy shit-for-brains here would just be a burden.”

Shizuna Endo, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 5: Guidepost To Tomorrow

No shit, man; Gonzo subs sure got the wordings right. XD

So the episode starts off with a shot of the interior of the Katous’ mobile base. Top commander *censored* remarks that not only was Linebarrel’s capture attempt a failure, thay had lost Appalachian (the mystery Machina) as well. Katou repiles that this is merely the beginning, comparing Kouichi’s newly-awakened Factor powers to a baby learning how to stand. Seems that Katou got what he wanted this time around.

After the OP, we get Kouichi in a dreamscape. He meets with Yajima, who askes him what is he moping on the floor for. Kouichi, not knowing that this is a dream, reaches out to Yajima…

Yes, tears… However, instead of seeing Yajima, or even the ceiling of his own house, however…

He wakes up in an unfamiliar environment and with an unfamiliar woman uncomfortably close to him.

The idiot jumps out of bed and places a considerable distance between mystery woman and himself. Said idiot doesn’t notice that he’s not wearing clothes…

Until she see his pet dolphin. Judging by her looks it’s the opposite of “ginormous”. And so he looks down to where her gaze is… *video emits meowing sounds*

Later, as they walk to see the President of JUDA, Yui Ogawa, executive secretary, reveals that Kouichi has been asleep for the past two days. Hayase askes where he is; the answer is JUDA. He seems to be familiar with the building, but we almost instantly learn that JUDA is a world-renowned manufacturer of medical equipment. Yui then introduces herdelf, to which Kouichi replies that he didn’t need that.

Yui then remarks that her briefing report has said that Kouichi’s ego would be big, but *looks at groin* then says “what a shame…”

*meowing sounds again* Of course, only an idiot would be happy that someone just measured his manhood by the size of his pet dolphin, and Kouichi isn’t an idiot, arrogant ass though he may be; he quickly follows with a line of “W-Where are you looking at?!”

Yui then leads Kouichi into a room. The moment he enters though, bang! Confetti rains down on him…

And Ishigami, pulled party cracker in hand, welcomes Hayase Kouichi into the very heart of JUDA, the office where the decision-maker sits. Ishigami wastes no time in ushering Kouichi to a nearby trolley, where a freshly-made sushi platter sits waiting for someone to chow at it. Just before he can offer a bowl of the delicois stuff to Kouichi though, the ass suddenly rememebrs that Ishigami was present at the day when JUDA confiscated Linebarrel; in fact, Ishigami was directing the entire post-combat effort.

Ishigami replies that Kouichi is correct, and that JUDA has been observing him from day one since Linebarrel came to Earth, reason being that a Factor has superhuman attributes AND superior piloting skills, and now… JUDA has need of this power than Kouichi has.

Meanwhile, cut in to Emi Kizaki, where she’s watering a potted plant. >_> Nothing much really, just Yui poping in to say that Kouichi is now awake and being his usual ass.

Meanwhile, the original JUDA gang are having some me-time in the lounge, or wherever they are now. The newscaster announces that following all the ARMA incidents (still refusing to call them terrorist attacks), the current Defense Minister has now resigned. Yamishita remarks that this makes it the fourth Minister to resign ever since the fiasco begin, and  that it’s all thanks to the Linebarrel and its ass of a pilot. Miu, as warm-hearted as she looks, argues for Kouichi by saying that anyone impued with so much power and thrust into such bloody conflict instantly would have reacted the same way. The newscaster finally gets on to the more important part of the most recent accident; Yajima’s death.

Cut back to ishigami and the kid ass, where Ishigami reminded Kouichi that he said he would protect the town as a “hero of justice”. When Kouichi askes where the problem is with that, Ishigami replies that JUDA does the same; except they protect the entire world. Ishigami the presses some sort of holographic interface, opening up some hidden elevator in the floor.

As they pass by office blocks in their weird journey down the building, Ishigami explains that while JUDA might appear to be a medical-equipment manufacturer, it is actually a dummy company, used to hide the fact that JUDA has actually been commissioned by the UN and several other nations to lead the fight against the Katou Organization, which has been around doing evil deeds of great harm since 1999 up to 2019, which is now. Thy have even recently gone as far as aiding terrorist groups in their evil-doing.

When Kouichi askes the reason behind the Katou’s evildoings, Ishigami’s reply is a straight “no”, followed by the statement that if they are not stopped soon, even more harm will befall countless other innocents.

Ishigami then arms the bomb; he shows a picture of Hisataka Katou, and explains his role as the evil mastermind. The bomb is dropped when he tells Kouichi that the man behind Yajima’s death is none other than Katou himelf.

Kouichi is visibly angered by this, and demands proof of Ishigami’s words. Ishigami replies that the truth is there, whether Kouichi believes it or not. Ishigami then takes it a step further by asking if Kouichi is scared. Ignoring Kouichi’s vehement ‘no’, Ishigami drops another, more volatile bomb by suggesting that Kouichi can’t take the heat once the stakes are upped.

Kouichi, never one to take “scaredy cat” taunts ever since he got Linebarrel’s power, lashes out as fast as his Factor-enhanced power can allow. To his surprise, however, Ishigami easily catches the punch, and tells him that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Soon enough, it is revealed that JUDA has a huge hangar underground where they store thier Machinae when not in use. Ishigami explains a bit about the Machinae there and then; they are of other-worldly origin, fashioned using artificial muscle as a medium of limb movement without extensive power loss throughout the entire frame, and encasing that, armor far surpassing what any war factory on Earth could produce.

Hind-Kind with the scar Linebarrel gave it the last time they met. Well, I think…

The Machinae all have one major technology in common; Drexier S.O.I.L.. It seems to be nanomachines that allows the pilots to control the energy levels of the machines, pilot control, and it gives all the Machinae regenerative abilities, Linebarrel’s being the most potent of them all.

Painkiller looks peaceful. I’m beginning to suspect that this is an anime-exclusive Machinae, thought the very thought of that is sacrilege…

Meanwhile, Ishigami continues that the Armas on the rampage now are but shoody imitations of the Machinae, contaning only a fraction of the Machinae’s true powers.It is with the Machinae that JUDA can take on the entirety of Katou with nary a scratch.

Vardant with half of it converted into atoms last episode.

Ishigami ends the speech by stating that the power of the Machinae is now Kouichi’s as well. Of course, also it takes Ishigami to state out loud that Kouichi should join the fight against Katou alongside JUDA for Kouichi to finally notice thasomething is wrong. Kouichi, after all, has no intention to fight alongside JUDA.

Too bad, Kouichi. The contract is already done (while you were alseep, of course).

Kouchi is, natually not happy with this, and his attempts to snatch the contract out of Ishigami’s didn’t work as well. Ishigami tries to convince Kouichi that working at such a company with good public reputation and a high salary is a good thing, but Kouichi isn’t having any of that shit…

Until…

Crotch-shot, you man-bitch!

*dot**dot**dot*

Current Score:

Shizuna Endo 1 : -1  Kouichi Hayase!

Shizuna Endo, one of two factors for the Machina Deceive, then procceds to go on a long rampage about how Kouichi’s stint as a rouge Factor in nobody’s employ caused nothing but trouble, blah blah blah…

She proceeds to drive home her point. Many times. Not even Ishigami, the head hocho of JUDA could stop her. Shizuna can’t believe that Ishigami would want to hire someone like Kouichi; at this, Kouichi tries to protest, but is promptly silenced by her Infinite Crotch-Drive of Endless Fury again.

Thankfully, Izuna, Shizuna’s twin, comes along to stop all this pile-driving. Shizuna Endo’s the hot-tempered tomboy one, and Izuna is the nice-guy second half… wait, nice guy?!

Ok, Pedobear and fellow supporters, I’m sorry to announce, but Izuna is a guy. I didn’t take notice of the fact that Izuna wore trousers ever since the manga featured them…

To put it simply, I forgot.

Just then, Yui cuts in with a tranmission; the Japanese military fleet is ready to recieve Deceive in a joint mission to search for the path Appalachian took in yeaterday’s firefight. While Izuna is kind enough, Shizuna can’t resist a parting shot contaning today’s comment, and tells Kouichi to watch while they go about doing their “beautiful, dashing work”. Kouichi, feeling insulted, walks out on Ishigami.

Or well, Kouichi was going to walk out on Ishigami, but who should greet him at the hangar’s exit than Emi herself.

Meanwhile, the Endo twins, having launched and met up with the fleet, are busy scouring the area…

And then Shizuna accidently drops a hot dog on the controls, and causes red spots to appear on the screen!

Nah, it’s just the Katou dudes in an ambush.

Back in JUDA, Ishigami and the three JUDA regulars (Yamashita/Miu/Reiji) are watching the entire thing. Their only backup would be the Linebarrel, but there’s the problem; the Factor isn’t there! Ishigami, however, seems to fervently believe in Kouichi’s final decision.

Meanwhile, Kouichi is being ferried to Yajima’s funeral in  a company car, Yui at the wheel and Emi as an escort. Kouichi tries to make small talk about Emi going to JUDA and the Endo twins, but his efforts are shot down when Emi gives him the lecture of his life; he knows zilch about the Linebarrel, he’s been using its, and his Factor powers only to feed his ego and vainity, causing trouble for everyone with his wild fighting method and protecting nothing, just like a chile playing make-believe. Emi then continues that he is not worthy to be Linebarrel’s pilot even though he is a Factor, and Yajima’s death was directly caused by said behavior of Kouichi. This hits Kouichi particularly hard, and he becomes silent.

Once Kouichi has left the car to attend Yajima’s funeral, however, she immediately goes a 180-degrees in viewpoint, blaming herself for dragging Kouichi into this mess. Yui tries to comfort her as Kouichi walks into the building.

*peels off Yajima’s photo* Oh no! LOCKOOOOON!

Ok, that was exceedingly dumb…

Anyway, everyone related is at the funeral, even the three idiot bullies who’re crying their eyes out, and as Kouichi enters, he’s stunned by Yajima’s photo. Almost immediately, both Risako and Yajima’s sister run towards him, relieved that he’s unharmed, but unable to hold back the grief of Yajima’s passing; both are unable to speak more than a few words before breaking down again.

Meanwhile, Deceive the non-combat Machina is doing exceedingly well; with its Nerve Crack data-hacking systems, whatever the Endo twins wish upon their enemy pilots become true; well, sort of. Nerve Crack sends hallucinations through the Arma’s man-machine interface, effectively feeding false info; like how a pilot can have his arms split open and his stomach gushing blood for more than 5 seconds, and still be alive to scream about it. But it does its job, and all but the squad leader (some nameless jack-up) and a few others are still capable of presenting any threat.

The leader and the few other left dive back into the sea. Shizuna assumes that they’re escaping, but the Armas damage some of the ships in the fleet, and proceed towards the island behind Deceive. Instead of attacking the Machina, the Katous go for civilian buildings, easily injuring and killing innocents.

Just as the team leader is about to continue his grisly job on a survivor, the Nerve Crack cables of the Deceive form a giant hand to catch the blow. However, in doing so, all the incapacitated pilots are free again, and they waste no time in attacking the Deceive from under, damaging it.

I’m assuming the above, of course, since there were only three or four spear-throwers at maximum.

Back to Kouichi; having left the funeral, he’s back at the impromtu grave he made to mark the day he became “brave”…

… plucking it out of the ground, he smashes a solid tree-trunk to bits.

He is about to start moping when Ishigami calls him (“Hello, Mr. Hero Of Justice?”); apparently the Endo twins are f*cked unless he agrees to help them out. When Kouichi puts on his usual pissy attitude and tried to wriggle out of it by asking if it is a threat, Ishigami replies that it is a honest request. He then sends a real time video feed to Kouichi of the twins’ situation; Izuna says that they’ll figure out something, and Shizuna tells Kouichi to never come to their help if he want to live. The feed is then abruptly cut off. Kouichi turns a wee bit emo by saying that the Endo twins might get done in just like that, and especially after Shizuna’s big talk.

Just then, Emi approaches from behind. Kouichi shows remorse for his actions, but he maintains that he will pilot Linebarrel; he can’t just leave the twins to die after  seeing them like this. Emi tells him to make no mistakes this time, and to become a real hero of justice. Both of them are filled with resolution…

…until it becomes clear than Kouichi didn’t exactly get all of Emi’s lecture… like knowing one of his powers as a fully-fledged Factor is to summon Linebarrel without any help from Emi via, say, boob grabs.

Meanwhile, the Katous are sinking ships and ravaging the fallen Deceive like a pack of hyenas. As Japanese soldiers abandon ship, a single Arma rises out of the water… and proceeds to crush the tiny raft just for the lulz, greatly traumatizing Shizuna. What better time for Kouichi to appear in the Linebarrel, grab the offending Arma, and fling it so hard that it crashes into another Arma and the impact of the explosion takes both out?

For a machine operating on the bio-muscle theory though, the Arma follows rag-doll physics well.

While the JUDA people back at HQ watch (Yamashita is surprised, Miu is happy, and Reiji is his usual poker-face), Kouichi lectures Shizuna for not showing him a “beautiful, dashing job” and for ending up in that sorry state after all her boasting. Shizuna tells him to get lost, but when Kouichi replies that even though he mihgt not know what he’s fighting for, he wants to save the two of them now; what would the two of them want him to do?

Shizuna, remembering all the injured/dead civilians, starts to tear up, and tells Kouichi to kill every one of the Katou pilots, and Izuna reinforces this statement by telling Kouichi to save all the civilians here by defeating the Katous. Kouichi happily obliges. The leader tells Kouichi not ot get too cocky, and orders his grunts forward. Kouichi pulls off an Omnislash and leaves them in bits and pieces.

Wow, that was flashy.

The leader threatens to shoot the Deceive in the cockpit should Linebarrel do anymore than that, but as he watches, the Linebarrel grows from a mere ginormous difference in size…

To something different altogether. The squad leader realizes that that was the Deceive’s Nerve Crack at work, but it is too late, as Linebarrel cuts the offending bastard down.

The people back at JUDA are impressed at Kouichi’s victory; Reiji, playing the role of resident bastard, comments that Kouichi will hit his limits soon if he relies to much on Linebarrel’s technological prowress. Ishigami says that it’s a pretty good start as any.

So this episode was pretty okay. Dang, can they just start following the manga storyline already? What happended to Risako’s pep talk? Replaced by Emi. Granted, there was the funeral part that didn’t appear in the manga (I think), but there’re too many differences. The Arma which rose out of the sea was supposed to be the commander’s Arma and was supposed to crush civilians in a cable car, and replacing them with soldiers in a rubber boat they could have jumped out of anytime sort of watered down the emotional effect. Heck, the Deceive wasn’t supposed to have any backup in the first place, making the soldiers redundant. Also, I don’t know how many viewers remembered the pilot of the blue Arma, Sawatori, but this episode’s squad leader was supposed to be him, and he didn’t die in the manga; in fact, he evn tried manual piloting until Katou told him to give it up and RTB. After, Kouichi would visit Yajima’s spot of death, where his sister Saki would be there as well, flowers in hand, and there follows a small conversation where Kouichi learns, through Saki, that it is never too late to change.

Well, at least they’re not making a worse wreck out of it. Though it isn’t very good at the moment… they even gave the Appalachian a redesign (many eyes instead of a mono-optic camera, a machinegun instead of a high-caliber rifle, and the fact that Linebarrel got to it instead of Hind-Kind, which was the manga’s main plot point in driving Kouichi to use the beam weapon in the first place).

Hell, if praying helps, I would try it out. Follow the proper storyline, dammit! If Soul Eater could do it, why not Linebarrels Of Iron?

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