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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 6: A Joyful Night

November 12, 2008

“If Yajima was still here… he’ll probably say ‘it’s never too late; always now than never!'” Risako to Kouichi, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 6: A Joyful Night

It seems that Sunday is the only day that I can write episode reviews/summaries for LoI now… Following an action episode, this week of Linebarrels takes on a much more humourous outlook. New week will see the resume of more Machina madness, so keep your eyes peeled for it; that is, if you haven’t decided to drop it by now.

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So the episode starts off with Kouichi on a stretcher. Why is that so will have to remain unanswered for a little while longer, since the OP starts immediately after this. Kouichi, now an official member of JUDA, is seen cycling towards JUDA HQ on a bicycle, carrying all sorts of items in a huge bag on his back. Must be nice to be a FACTOR; able to move your quarters with a load that would cripple even a snail.

Okay, so his bag isn’t THAT big…

Of course, JUDA is a world-famous coporation, and emphasizing on manners, they had Kujo Miu on standby to welcome Kouichi at the front gate and guide him to his new quarters. While they walk, Miu, bless her kind soul, inquires everything and anything that has relation to Kouichi’s well-being and even cheers him on. Reaching the dorms (looks alot like a pyramid), Miu remarks that that is where all important JUDA employees reside, and hearing that, Kouichi wonders out loud if Kizaki is inside this building as well. What an easy kid to tease; and JUDA head honcho Ishigami, approaching from behind, grasps on to his chance, surprising Kouichi and ushering the boy towards the building. Before Kouichi can flare up to epic proportions, however, Ishigami diverts the flames elsewhere by handing Kouichi his room key.

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That’s the key. To urge Kouichi on, Ishigami even offers to lead Kouichi to his room, but Kouichi snatches it away, and struts up the stairs to his own room. Miu, coming form behind, apologizes to the nearby landlady of the dorms for the commotion. She’s even kinder than Lacus Clyne. O_O

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Wait, why is he smiling like this? Oh no, Kouichi, IT’S A TRAP!

Meanwhile, Emi is taking a shower (this time using a showerhead instead of a tub), and thinks back to Kouichi’s last sortie with the Katou people (last week’s episode). After considering that his actions saved the Endo twins, she grudgingly admits that Kouichi may be changing for the better, and that it’s probably time to revise her own views about him. Meanwhile, Kouichi, the unsuspecting fool, slides the card key Ishigami gave him into the keyslot, and almost walks in. Almost, and he probably would have too…

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… if that HAD been his own card key. It’s the card to Emi’s room, however, and what an opportune moment to walk in.

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Of course, only an idiot would just stand there, and that’s exactly what Kouichi does. Even as Emi charges towards him, he can only get a few words out (e.g. “oppai”) before Emi does the Well-Endowed Staring Price Payment Punch on Kouichi’s face.

The hospital scene comes again, and now we’re getting the idea that it’s going to be the series’ example of gag-humor; a team of doctors rushing someone to the operating theater. As he’s wheeled away, the Endo twins, Yamashita and resident loli Rachel stares on, wondering what in the world has the new man done. The scene cuts to everyone being gathered in the lobby (I assume), with Ishigami explaining the entire situation. As Emi looks away guiltily, Yui promises that she’ll scold the Chairman throughly, something that our head honcho seems to face with extreme dislike.

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Having finally cleared all misunderstandings, Ishigami now proceeds to, or rather hand the task to Emi, to introduce all the members of JUDA, starting with Reiji.

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Reiji Moritsugu, Factor for the close-combat Machina, Vardant. One error; it’s right eye is supposed to be “blind”; here it’s drawn as normal. Reiji then introduces himself to Kouichi, to which the kid replies with less-than-average enthusiasm.

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Satoru Yamashita, FACTOR for the ranged-combat Machina, Hind-Kind.

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Shizuna and Izuna Endo, FACTORs for the electronic manipulation Machina, Deceive. Shizuna, the tomboy twin, is in the background. Izuna, the nice guy counterpart to Shizuna in the foreground, gives her-sorry, his thanks to Kouichi for his timely assistance that day, to which Shizuna simply gives a derisive sniff, and turns away from Kouichi. Before Kouichi can make a remark, Emi cuts in with the final pilot.

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Kujo Miu, FACTOR for the base-defense Machina Painkiller. Like her Machina, Miu is an anime-exclusive, so it’ll take a few more episodes to get to know her more.

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If you thought that that was some new holographic display screen for the past four pictures, be in for a sore disappointment. It’s none other than the hardworking landlady carring signboards around. Ishigami gives his thanks just before Emi moves on to the technicians.

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Maki Goro and Rachel Kelvin are the two technicians in charge of all the JUDA Machinae’s health. Both greet Kouichi, and Rachel warns Kouichi not to increase their workload anymore by damaging anymore allied Machinae. Ishigami, in his usual disconnected style, then proposes a welcome party for the two newcomers to be held that night, and to enhance their teamwork, everyone is to think up of a performance for the party. Everyone shows pleasure, with Kouichi being the only wet blanket.

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Shizuna pounces on Kouichi immediately, stating that this time she’ll pound the under-confident Kouichi into the ground with her breathtaking “super refined” performance. Izuna’s words are largly ignored.

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As everyone splits up to do thier part for the performance, Kouichi heads back to his room with another card key. This time, however, he doesn’t take any chances, first listening as the door, then after sliding the card through the reader, hiding behind the wall before peeking in. Thankfully, it’s empty, and Kouichi quickly takes a liking to his “private” new room (being thrice as spacious as his old one), and is just about to settle in whan Rachel and Satoru barge in, tell him that there’ no time to waste for the up-and-coming performance, grab him, and then drag him, kicking and yelling, out of his “private” quarters.

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Not so private now, eh?

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As Kouichi, accompanied by Satoru, Rachel, Miu, and Emi take their time on the escalators, Kouichi remarks that there’s even a shopping center on JUDA grounds. Satoru explains that this is for the benefit of security; JUDA, being the largest medical equipment manufacturer (it’s not a political front at all), has a duty to safeguard it’s employees, and everything, from shopping to eating and even an aerobics session can be found her; they’re all cashless transactions too, as long as you bring along your work ID (the card key) with you.

Looks like in this small part of the world, Mastercard has gone out of business. Rachel continues by asking if Kouichi has his ID with him, and once he takes it out for visual confirmation, the fun begins.

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Those two shop faster and harder than ladies out hunting for a good deal. As Satoru and Rachel contiune to hurl stuff into the trolley Kouichi is pushing, he questions if all this is truly needed for a simple party, and if they couldn’t just sing or something. This stops the girls in their tracks, and Rachel remarks that such thinking will be the end of Kouichi soon.

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Miu reinforces their views by adding in a knife set to the pile of stuff, and Kouichi, deciding that focusing on something else is better, turns to ask Satoru and Rachel about their act. Both of them are set, and Rachel says that it requries more than a simple stunt to impress. Kouichi, desperate to salvage his dying social relationship with Emi, decide that something drastic has to be done.

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Personally, I’m more worried as to why she’s at the woodwork section looking at motor saws.

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And where’s Reiji, you might ask? Sitting in his dark room, practising his close-combat timing and physical coordination. What an anti- interaction hikikomori.

As the five-man raid party return from their shopping trip satisfied that they have enough materials, Kouichi is the last to stumble through the door, and finally collasps from the immense weight once he’s through. He accuses the girls of bringing him along just to play the role of a mule, to which Rachel replied that they gave Kouichi so many ideas to use during the trip. Kouichi vehemently denies any part in dodging knives and jumping through flaming hoops, and promptly sits his ass on the nearest chair. By now, however, viewers should have knew that Linebarrels isn’t the type to do scenery shots.

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Ishigami comes by with a crash dummy, and remarks that Kouichi is sitting on one of his new inventions. This new wheel-chair, made with technology JUDA got from the Machinae, has a rocket booster together with an ejection seat, and there’s even a parachute included. As Ishigami goes on and on about the new automated wheelchair, oblivious that the wheelchair’s clamps have locked Kouichi to it, he says that the problem is… the parachute hasn’t been installed yet as it was still under testing, hence the crash dummy. Before Kouichi can do naything else, the chair’s booster activates, launching our protanogist out of the dorms and into the sky.

Cue the stretcher scene again. Gag, gag, gag, gag, laugh.

As the girls watch, Satoru remarks that it’s not Kouichi’s lucky day, and Rachel likens it to initiation for the new man.

Cut in to school, where Kouichi walks in (half day?). He glances as Yajima’s seat before settling down at this own. Risako, who had juts walked in, is ready to talk with Kouichi, but stops herself at the last moment, leaving Kouichi to think about the events of the past few days.

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He’s so engrossed in thinking that he completely misses the teacher’s announcement about a new student, only looking up later and seeing -lo and behold- Emi.

During lunch, the entire class is gathered at the entrance to the rootop to see what’s going on between Kouichi and Emi, who’re currently talking at one corne of the rootop. Poor Risako, who couldn’t get a front seat, is left to bounce around the back like a rubber ball. Kouichi is rather surprised to find Emi in his own school, and Emi replied that the Chairman said that is was her right to enjoy a normal school life like the rest of the JUDA members who do attend school, even though the decision to come to his school was ultimately her own choice, since that if she’s not close to Kouichi, she feels that he might screw up again. Kouichi goes from surprise to scarsam immediately.

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Emi askes if his preparations for the party are complete, with the natural reply being ‘no’. Emi chastises Kouichi, chiding his lackluster attitude when everyone was putting so much effort into making the two of them welcome, ending with her trademark “You make me sick/You’re the worst.” Kouichi remarks if it is that big a deal to begin with, to which Emi replies that that’s exactly the problem with Kouichi. Kouichi hits back by asking if Emi has done her own preparations, and Emi, confidently stating that she’s ready to rumble for the party, leaves Kouichi without an answer.

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Cut back to Hikki Moritsugu, where he’s still practising his skills. Pwah!

Kouichi is now alone in some garden park near the JUDA dorms, and feeling pressured by the overwhelming confidence of evryone’s preparations, feels that he should probably get some done himself. His train of thought is interrupted when someone calls out his name.

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HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHO THE FU*K IS THAT?!

Kouichi, who recognizes it as Izuna Endo, shows a look of disbelief as Izuna ducks behind Kouichi, begging for his help.

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Enter Shizuna Endo, dressed in male clothes. She’s chasing after her brother, all they while shouting that if Kouichi sees them before performance time, their plan will be ruined. Three seconds later, she realizes that Izuna is standing behind Kouichi, and demands to know what is he doing here (not that he could give a proper answer). Deeming their plan a faliure, she proceeds to strip her own twin brother in broad daylight; she almost would have succeeded as well, if it wasn’t for the timely intervention of Kouichi, who rebukes her actions by telling her that a girl strippping a boy in public is wrong on all levels(aye!), and that a girl her age should act like so. Shizuna is almost convinced, until Kouichi places his hand on Izuna’s shoulder with a remark of “Right, Shizuna?”

Shizuna, angry that Kouichi got it wrong on prupose, is all but ready to bite his head off, and nearly does so, until Kouichi dodges her fury and plants his necktie-clip on her hair, saying that it’ll be easier to differenciate using this, and a girl should style her hair once in a while.

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If only heat transfer was as fast in the real world as it always is in anime, than I wouldn’t have to wait an eternity and a half for coffee every morning. Shizuna, visibly embarrased by this, tells Kouichi that be that as may be, she’s still going to wipe the floor with him tonight, and that he should get ready for it. Her speedy departure is only slightly delayed by her running into a lampost, with Izuna chasing after her and out of Kouichi’s sight.

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Watching the siblings, Kouichi decides that he should do something about his performance as well, and is just about to do so when a voice remarks that Kouichi is feeling troubled. Kouichi tuns behind to see nothing but a tree, and proceeds to fall flat on his ass when the tree turns aound to reveal that it is Ishigami in disguise. Kouichi’s breathless exclamation of “President!” is shot down by Ishigami announcing that he is a fairy living in JUDA’s (garden) forest, and proceeds to hand Kouichi a present that he says will give Kouichi an idea of what he should do tonight. A weird gleam fills his eyes…

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BAck at the dorms, Kouichi, intruged by Ishigami’s remarks, open the present to find a video player of… Emi undressing.

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As the video progresses…

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Kouichi gets more engrossed…

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Until the JUDA censors come online. Ishigami says that Kouichi should watch closely to see what kind of performance Emi will put up; unfortunately, we won’t get to know. It was pretty funny to see Kouichi bending here and there as though he could see under/over the censors.

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Unfortunately, Miu and Rachel stumbel upon him and his little video, and almost immediately, Kouichi’s fate was deemed sealed. As they call on Emi and all three corner him, Kouichi makes a last, desperate bid to keep his life by pushing all the blame to “the forest fairy”. Even Rachel didn’t buy the last-ditch attempt one bit, as all three (or at lest two of them) perform the Un-Animate-able Act Of Supreme Anti-Pervert Violence on poor Kouichi, victim of Ishigami’s practical joke. Ishigami himself is amusing himself with listening in to the proceedings, and is certainly having one of the times of his life; that is, until Yui Ogawa approaches him, popping vein on forhead and all. Ishigami realizes the incoming danger, but it is too late…

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…As he joins Kouichi for the stretcher scene.

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Does the man not require rest? o_O|||

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The manga’s “Gal with the best bod” goes to Emi, but apparently the vote for that tin the anime version goes to Miu.

‘Since Moritsugu is going to be a bit late’ or so Ishigami says, he decides to start the part without slasher-boy, and proposes a toast; everyone responds with enthusiasm. First up is Satoru, reciting every stop in the Tokaido line. Shizuna completely ignoring Satoru, quickly runs up the stage and declares war on Kouichi. Kouichi denies declaring war on Shizuna, but his comment is completely swept aside by the twins revealing their costume.

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Shizuna, proudly showcasing her second costume choice to Kouichi, challenges him to find something wrong with her performance. Kouichi, quickly askes what the twins will be performing, and Shizuna suddenly realizes one deadly shortcoming; neither of the twins, who had spent all their time on costumes, had given a thought as to what to perform.

Shizuna (and Izuna) is forced to exit the stage and left to vent her anger on the party food by consuming whatever she can get her hands on, as Rachel and Miu take turns using Kouichi for their jump-through-the-fire-hoops and knife-throwing performances respectively. Well, except Kouichi is the one doing the jumping and having knives thrown at.

Rachel and a whip fit together like a well-played level of Tetris.

As Kouichi goes back to his seat in the crowd, he remarks that something as carefree as this group can be in charge of saving the world. Ishigami explains that that is precisely why they’re that carefree now; it is their only chance, since their job demands a 100% success rate, and with constant and undreasonable demands from the UN and other nations, it is a thankless job with a great burden. But that is also precisely why they do it.

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Miu has a nice bod, that’s for sure.

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Tora Dora deja vu!

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Even the landlady has quite the amazing trick up her sleeves. One question is why is she still wearing that apron at that party…

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Yui and Maki enagage in some traditional Japanese performances.

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Emi soon approaches Kouichi in order to apologize to him, having heard everything from Yui. Kouichi, never one to keep grudges with girls, is quick to forgive her, and even agrees to help Emi with her performance. Ishigami finds it something worth taking note about, and Shizuna remarks that it’s not fair that way… only to collasp mere moments later, alcohol beverage cup in hand. Izuna has really got his work cut out for him.

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Emi’s performance is the saw-a-man-in-half trick, and everyone is rather impressed by the execution of this high-level trick, considering that Emi demostrated that the saw was real by cutting a stack of hay in half with it, and that her subject, Kouichi, was in a normal box. Even when Kouichi starts to get misgivings about his part, Emi assures the kid that having seen it once on TV during the days she stayed with Kouichi at his house, she saw it done before; “when the cut sections of the box was put together, the body was back to nromal again.” Kouichi’s remarks that those were a magician’s tricks fell on deaf ears, and even his final plea of “You’re still angry with me, right?” does not get him out of this situation, as Emi brings the saw to bear on Kouichi.

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Reiji, still in his dark and gloomy room, receives news of current happenings with the top part of his straw training buddy losing its head, followed by a “What… was that?”, and ending with a “Still a ways to go.”

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Meanwhile, Risako is paying respects at Yajima’s site of death; looking up, she sees Kouichi behind her, flowers in hand. As Risako expresses relief that Kouichi came to visit Yajima (still under the assumption that both boys were on the worst of terms before they parted ways), Kouichi replies that it was his fault; if he had just listened to Yajima, it wouldn’t have ended with the current situation. But now it has come to that, Kouichi feels that the best way to apologize is to follow Yajima’s advice, even though it is too late. Risako comforts him by saying that it is what Kouichi wants to do that matters, and if Yajima were here, he would have probably said that it is never too late. Kouichi, tearing up, manages a “Thank You”. Well, that was Episode 6.

Not a monstrosity like I was semi-braced for, but still, even if it was pretty redundant in regards to the sortyline, it offered an insight to the lives of JUDA members… well, for a brief moment, that is. Saki comforting Kouichi near her own brother’s grave has been replaced by Risako, and the entirety of this episode is anime-exclusive. While the manga focused on Kouichi’s growth and the personal effects of JUDA members, the anime tries to fit in both the manga content and some of their own… which, in this case, makes the series thus far somewhat overcluttered. I’m looking forward to the other episodes… just to see how far can the Linebarrels production team take the Emi-came-from-another-world thesis.

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