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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 7: A Disaster After School

November 20, 2008

“I want Linebarrel.”

Hisataka Katou, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 7: A Disaster After School

Late again; damn, it’s hard tot ypew with a split thumb, lepwt alonef chasifng out an intweder.

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“Damn, five minutes for a cup of Insta-Ramen?”

So it starts with a shot of the Katou Organization’s mobile HQ and battleship. Again. Katou’s right hand man ** approaches Katou and tells him that they’ll be at the target point soon, to which Katou gives confirmation.

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“I’m sorry, but Kouichi is now having mad sex with himself and cannot answer your needs.”

After the OP, we start off the episode with Risako. She’s at Kouichi’s house, waiting for him to come out so that they can walk to school together, but unfortunately, the one answering the door isn’t Kouichi, but his mother. Risako then learns, to her great disappointment, that Kouichi isn’t living with his parents anymore as he’s been hired by JUDA and now resides in their staff dorms (as we all found out last episode.) Risako’s weak argument that Kouichi is just fourteen years old is quickly buried by Kouichi’s mother, who remarks that Kouichi’s a “special” employee, and with glee, says that he’s drawing a great paycheck and his future career is set. As a last shot (albeit done unintentionally like the entire conversation), Kouichi’s mother says that he now commutes to and from school from the dorms, and she is sorry that Risako took the trouble t walk all the way here to meet up with him.

Risako’s frustrated scream of “What the hell?!” echoes in the clear morning air.

Meanwhile, cut to Kouichi, where having woken up late on a school day, is cycling with all he’s got on some kinda path up a hill. He slows down when he sees Kizaki, and calls out her name, as well as wonder out loud as to why she left before him; Emi, in her usual morning-greeting style reserved for Kouichi, says that if she had waited for him she would have been late.

Kouichi remarks that it would be nice if she could have just given him a call since they’re both going to the same place on a school day, and Emi coldly brushes him off by telling him that that’s his problem to deal with, and to wake up by himself. Kouichi mutters that Emi used to wake him up every morning, and Emi, blushing, increases her pace. Kouichi tries to catch up, but before he can do anything…

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“Wild Pokemon appeared!”

Well, not really, but someone jumps out of nowhere and attempts to grab Emi. She’s fast, but he’s unfazed, and gives Kizaki a morning greeting. He then proceeds to give the usual “You’re looking good today” and “We got gym class today, are you good at sports?” ass-kissing. Before she can give any response however, Kouichi steps in and confronts the dude as Emi runs to hide behind Kouichi.

Kouichi recognizes the person, but he doesn’t know his name; the man gives it as “Moderate grades, but excellent physical abilities; the most charismatic middle school student and popular with all the ladies”, Makoto Domyoji. While Emi draws a blank look, Makoto expresses his curiosity at Kouichi’s sudden power and expresses his want to challenge him to a fight. Kouichi then tells Emi to stay behind, as he confronts Domyoji with “I’m warning you; I’m ridiculously strong” and a smirk on his face. Makoto simply registers the statement with “Great/I see”.

Kouichi starts off with a simple punch, but to his (and Emi’s) extreme surprise, Makoto who remarks to himself that Kouichi’s really fast, easily dodges the blow and plants his knee into Kouichi’s abdomen with a “I guess not”.

Kouichi’s facial expression reflects Emi’s thoughts of “No way; Kouichi’s a FACTOR!”

Makoto taunts Kouichi and tells him to stand up, and the following fight is nothing short of a pushover as Makoto dodges all of Kouichi’s attempts to land a hit, before sticking out his leg and tripping Kouichi onto the floor. Answers are immediately given when Makoto remarks that Kouichi has strength and speed, but he doesn’t know how to fight at all, which explains how Makoto, who, presumably has experience in brawling, could beat his FACTOR-enhanced body so easily.

Upon hearing that Makoto is disappointed that Kouichi has only that much power, he proceeds to declare that he’ll show his “true power”.

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“COME! LINEBARREL!”

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“That’s one ridiculously big stinger you have under your pants, Kouichi…”

Amidst Kouichi’s exclamation of “I warned you, I’m ridiculously strong” and Makoto’s blank face at seeing a 18-meter tall mech at the beck and call of some weakling, Emi’s “You are the worst” cuts through all the dust, smoke and 14-yrs old testosterone like a hot knife through butter.

Back at JUDA HQ after school hours, Kouichi is given a through dressing-down by Rachel; apparently, summoning of a Machina during its routine maintenance will cause all collected data to be lost, and of course, no regular delicious loli scientist will accept the fact that they have to repeat what they spent the last few hours doing for the next few hours. As punishment, Kouichi will have to be in charge of washing the staff dorm’s toilets and bathrooms for the next month. Kouichi’s half-hearted apology is largely ignored.

Meanwhile, the Endo twins, Yamashita, and Reiji are watching the entire proceedings. Shizuna affirms her “Kouichi’s an idiot” theory, Yamashita suggests that Kouichi start over from from Day One as a FACTOR (what a weird suggestion) and Reiji shoots down said suggestion by saying that it’s impossible to change one’s behavior. Shizuna jumps on the bandwagon with “Once an idiot, always an idiot.”

Kouichi’s weak rebuttal is quickly overshadowed by Yui and Ishigami approaching the group, with Yui’s remark that boys with a natural aversion for losing,  will always behave that way (so what does that make Reiji?) Ishigami then calls for Yamashita and Reiji to follow him. Kouichi’s question of “where” is quickly answered by Ishigami; they’re going to a UN meeting to discuss anti-Katou measures, listen to the customary bitching, and generally take sneak peaks at new technology, and instructs the “leftovers” to keep JUDA safe.

Cut to Emi, walking towards JUDA HQ, paper bag in hand; she’s apparently very happy, which quickly gives way to surprise as she spots Risako wandering outside the gate, and quickly calls out to her.

In the JUDA grounds, our receptionist is approached by a very familiar figure; Katou Hisataka himself, and his right-hand-man **, who request to meet with Kouichi Hayase. ** himself (or is it a “her”?) is carrying a sizable briefcase. They’re allowed entrance, and even the landlady pays no heed to the two.

Meanwhile, Kouichi, cursing Domyoji to the high heavens, is walking along the corridor, pail and mop in hand; he, however, catches sight of Katou standing in just in front of the doorway, to which Katou gives a greeting.

As the conversation between the idiot protagonist and evil mastermind goes on, Miu, Rachel, and the Endo twins, hidden behind a staircase, watch the proceedings. The landlady doesn’t seem to mind, however, as she serves him tea and leaves him alone. Looks like it’s not yet at the stage where they have posters of him up and around like terrorist mugshots.

Kouichi’s first question is “You’re really him?” and “What are you doing here?”. Katou answers both of these truthfully, with the answer to the second being “Yet I sit before you, and you can imagine why.” Kouichi remarks that no sane person would know what could terrorists be thinking, and Katou replies that  the ability to imagine is to be prepared for the future; if Kouichi cannot imagine, then he is no better than reared livestock. Kouichi waves it off and asks about Katou’s true intentions, to which he replies, “I want Linebarrel”.

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“Quickly, or well miss out on the Kouichi-on-Katou action!”

Meanwhile, Izuna has called the security forces in JUDA to action, and they’re in the process of surrounding the building. Shizuna still cannot believe that the front desk let Katou in just like that, and Izuna offers the only explanation available; Katou and his goon were unarmed.

Back to Katou; stating that he’s here to congratulate Kouichi on having escaped capture by Katou forces and now successfully awakening his FACTOR powers, he’s here to make his face known to his foe.

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** puts the briefcase on the table and opens it, revealing bars of yellow material inside; they turn out to be sponge cake.

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“Ah… we’ve been spotted!”

Katou calls on Kouichi to have a bite, and even invites the four girls- I mean, three girls and one guy hiding out at the staircase edge to have one as well. As assurance, Katou picks one up himself and bites into it. Kouichi, never one to turn down a dare (even if it’s a subtle one), picks one up and takes a chunk one out it; only to find that instead of being sweet, the sponge cake is spicy; curry-flavoured (man, I wanna learn how to make that).

Katou uses it as an example to cite imagination; once it stops, the world will stop advancing, and in order to prevent that, one must use all available information, analyze it, and with some imagination, come up with the best course of action. Katou then proceeds to reveal the entire truth about everything to Kouichi (including the tens number 4 but not its ones counterpart the 2). When Kouichi asks what is the Katou Organization and their motives, Katou gives the most straightforward answer; to conquer the world.

***

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“Whay do you need to ask if I would be free tonight?”

Cut to Emi and Risako, apparently inside a cafe located on the JUDA grounds (remember the shopping mall last episode?). When Risako, after knowing about Kizaki’s employee status, asks about how teens can become JUDA employees, Emi keeps her lips shut.

At the UN meeting, the entire hall’s worth of people are not very happy that their only defense against the Katous are JUDA and their technologically-superior “true” Machinae; therefore, the SSDF has being development of next-generation Arma technology (presumably referring to the tin cans we say back at episode one getting their asses kicked by Katou Armas). As Reiji and Satoru listen to the droning, Satoru remarks as to why the President is absent from such an important proceeding. Her question, however, is drowned out by the appearance of one Mr. Eji Kiriyama, the President of Kiriyama Heavy Industries; the ones responsible for the development of the technology mentioned before.

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*robotic beeping* “Hello, my real name is plate-face.”

Eji shoots a look at Reiji, which catches Satoru’s attention. What follows is the unveiling of a next-generation machine; the HFX-19 Jinrai.

Meanwhile, Ishigami, in a dark room and on a long-distance call to Yui, catches wind of the current events at his company; it seems that Ishigami expected it, to a certain extent.

Back at JUDA HQ, Katou questions the credibility of Linebarrel and JUDA’s other Machinae; given the current technology of the world is not even at that level to be able to manufacture true Machinae. Katou then drops the bomb when he reveals that the Machinae came from another Earth in another time and dimension.

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“And that’s how you make little Kouichis; asexual cell division!”

Katou then launches into a lengthy explanation of how, a long long time ago, one world in one universe in one time somehow split, and instead of all reality in that universe ending, it somehow came off as twin universes; same planet, same people, different location in the fabric of space time, therefore leading to the formation of different futures, explaining the discrepancy of the Earth that Kouichi lives in compared to the blue globe “over there”. The Machinae were sent over as some part of the grand plan to conquer “this” Earth by the “other” Earth, and that the Katou Organization is just a scout force sent over to facilitate the invasion, with Katou being supreme commander of this force (think Undead Scourge from Warcraft III), and therefore from the “other” Earth. Kouichi’s surprise increases when he finds out that he’s the only Machina pilot to not know the truth.

Katou then proceeds; he reveals that he’s the only human form the “other”, and that all of the Katou forces were humans on “this” Earth who sympathized with his ideals.

As Shizuna’s accusation of Katou tricking those humans, Katou replies that if he had his original power back at the “other” side, he would have easily conquered “this” Earth, if but for a few missing links. When Kouichi presses for more information, Katou tells him that it would require membership in the Organization. Shizuna accuses this conversation of being nothing more than a recruitment drive, and Katou says that he’s only interested in Linebarrel, and by extension, Kouichi.

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“Why? Don’t you want me?”

While Kouichi is being “Come to the Dark Side”-ed, Risako and Emi are still at the cafe, with Emi furiously thinking of ways to get away from Risako so she can go home. While Emi is thinking of one hundred and one reasons as to why even Yui is not picking up the phone…

Risako makes her attack. What follows is a excerpt from the video.

Risako: Hey…

Emi: Y-Yes?

Risako ( 😦 ): You’re both [Emi and Kouichi] living together, aren’t you?

Emi ( ‘:-O ): …What?

Risako ( D-: ): You are, aren’t you? You eat together, take baths together… Then at night, maybe… he t-t-t-touches your chest, and then…!

Emi ( D-‘: ): H-hey, please stop!

Risako ( D-X ): He does this, that, and even that to you!  No!

Onlookers: O_O|||

Emi ( D-‘X ): Please be quiet!

Risako then focuses her aim on Emi’s brown paper bag, suspecting it of being a homemade lunch for Kouichi and ignoring Emi’s denials. She grabs it and extracts the contents…

…only to reveal a bonsai plant.

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“Oh my god, she’s getting hot over a plant!!!”

Emi then goes into /love&rant about bonsai plants, leaving Risako totally bewildered.

At the dorms, Rachel steps into the verbal fray; she acknowledges Linebarrel’s technological prowess and superiority, but says that she cannot understand why Katou would be so fixated on it.

Katou remarks that compared to the other Machinae, Linebarrel was re-designed from the ground and up, making its construction and type one-of-a-kind; the man who oversaw Linebarrel’s construction, Amagatsu Kizaki, was heralded as a genius over at the “other” Earth.

/WASHOCKU for all present, though more so for Kouichi. Much more.

Katou also reveals that all the JUDA Machinae were originally from the Katou Organization, unlike the Linebarrel, which landed on a random location. Whence they became JUDA’s was due to Ishigami, who stole them when he defected from the Katou Organization.

/WASHOCKU II for all present.

Kouichi, however, is only intent on one question; was Kizaki working for them?

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“The one is the background was my first boyfriend. Gosh, what a beast.”

Katou says that even back on the “other” Earth, Amagatsu was a foe of Katou; it was due to his efforts that Kizaki came here to the “this” Earth.

That was all Kouichi needed to hear; he tears Katou’s letter of invitation in half, and says that no matter who came from where and what they were, as a hero of justice, he will take down Katou and his evil band.

When Katou asks what is justice to Kouichi, Koiuchi flares up, telling him that the murderer of Yajima has no right to talk about justice. As Katou, realizing that Kouichi wouldn’t listen, prepares to leave, he is stopped by Kouichi, who asks if they really think they can make it out of JUDA unscathed.

“But of course”, Katou says.

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“Ahhahaha Zerg Rush!!!”

At that exact moment, a HUEG battalion of Katou Armas rises out offshore the dorms, and with nothing to be done against such huge numbers, they have no choice to let Katou go. Only then do the alarm bells in JUDA HQ ring, and Emi, taking advantage of the confusion, escapes from Risako and towards the dorms. Katou spots her, but chooses to let her go, and once he’s safely in the care of the Katou forces offshore, they retreat. Ishigami, getting news of the entire proceedings from Yui, remarks that Katou knows its not the time yet to start the battle.

The next day, Kouichi is musing about the facts that he learnt the previous day while on his way to school. He meets Kizaki halfway there again, but before he can ask anything important…

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“Linebarrels Episode 7: The Coming (And Return) Of Domyoji.”

…Domyoji shows up. He’s not looking for a fight, but rather, he’s come to meet Kouichi after noticing how JUDA almost got leveled yesterday. Ignoring Kouichi’s exclamation at how a student could have possibly gotten top-secret news, he exclaims that he has found out Kouichi’s identity through recorded videos on the web regarding the Linebarrel’s previous fights.

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“Ah! So they WERE **** after all!”

He then proposes a dangerous idea; as someone who knows the truth, he’s going to help Kouichi, along with Emi (“What? Me too?”). Kouichi initially maintains that Makoto just wants a piece of the action because it looks like fun, but when Domyoji replies that it’s a lot of fun, Kouichi accepts the offer, leaving Emi to wonder about the chemistry of boy bonding.

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“Mmmh… I want my fair share of pleasure too…”

Risako then appears, mumbling about how she;s always left out; Makoto reaches out to grab her, and adds her to what he terms the Hayase Corps; Makoto being first mate. He also remarks that he’s in it for the two most popular girls in class (Risako and Emi) and that he’ll also help Hayase as well, before Kouichi can take his remark seriously. While the two boys are dancing happily around, Risako adds in a “I won’t lose [to you]” to Emi, who can only accept it silently and in despair. Makoto then suggests that they all go to a family restaurant to discuss the workings of the Hayase Corps, and it’ll be Kouichi’s treat.

Of course Kouichi isn’t happy, but… who cares?

This episode wasn’t the mech-pounding action I expected (next episode), but they revealed plenty of secrets about it that were kept much later into the manga storyline. Examples include Ishigami’s defection and the secrets of the Machinae. Otherwise, nothing of note this time, except of course if you count the Noein-style explanation halfway through. Changes from the manga include the revealing of Ishigami’s little secret; it was suposed to be to the country’s cabinet members and done by Katou, watched via video feed by Kouchi, and not directly to the JUDA pilots. By rights, this entire episode should have never taken place, since Katou has never met with Kouichi once in the manga. Domyoji’s origins have been altered as well, since he was originally a ganster. But if we consider it from the viewpoint of someone who’s new to Linebarrels, it’s pretty exciting to suddenly know so much in-series information.

Also, I hope that all the “alternate dimension” stuff they’re feeding to us is something that’ll turn up later in the manga and not just anime-exclusive liberties they’re taking with us; like the Jinrai and Painkiller and other whanot…

And as to why it is **, well, anti-spoiler measures.

Well, good night, and if you happen to be in Singapore for the next four days or so, see you at Suntec City! ^_^

DECULTURE!

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