Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 8: Prankish Devils

November 26, 2008

“What am I, a beast?!”

Kouichi Hayase to Emi Kizaki, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 8: Prankish Devils


“So, is tonight good?”

This episode kicks off with Yui and Ishigami in the President’s office, discussing about how the company’s security forces are being given a through screening by the Intelligence and Defense departments of the government. Ishigami agrees with the government’s decisions, but Yui is more concerned for Kouichi, whom she thinks might have received too great a shock from Katou’s surprise visit.

Their conversation is interrupted, however, when Reiji, who has been listening to the entire thing all along, says that he will guide Kouichi through any mental blockades that might affect his performance as a FACTOR of JUDA.


“yammer yammer yammer”

Switch to Kouichi’s school, where we see a rather delicious changing scene for the girls in the midst of preparing for gym class, Risako and Emi being amongst the group.


“What a delicious view! Yes! Yes!! A GAY HEAVEN!”

They think they’re safe, but hidden in an empty locker a few feet away are Kouichi feeling bad about all that, Makoto Domyoji, who says that he’s doing this for Kouichi, and one of the former bullies, whose name I can’t recall; he’s doing this to get close to Kizaki because Makoto told him so. Makoto eggs Kouichi on by asking him if he really wants to pass up the chance of seeing “those special spots she keeps hidden away”.

It has the opposite mental effect on Kouichi however, as it makes him remember Katou’s words and the truth about Emi; that she came from another world. Just as he snaps back to reality, Emi’s phone rings. She picks it up to find Yui on the other end… but there’s another phone ringing, and it’s coming from the locker behind her that nobody is using. Definitely busted, Kouichi is admonished by Makoto, who begins to back away from the locker door as Kouichi fumbles to answer the call. Meanwhile, Risako marches up to the locker.

As Kouichi looks on helplessly, Makoto and his new right-hand man escape through the one and only route, just as Risako opens the locker door, exposing Kouichi. While Risako stands around in shock, Emi doesn’t miss a beat. *slap*


“Are you sure those are wings?”

We return from the OP to see an aircraft flying; in it, the JUDA members in a mission briefing for what seems to be a reinforcement mission; apparently the purpose of the calls were to gather the people needed. While Miu, Kouichi (badly beaten) and Reiji are on the craft, the rest are back at JUDA looking on. Miu is surprised that the best Arma corps in the world couldn’t hold out against the enemy, and Ishigami cites superior numbers and technology as the reason.

Shizuna expresses that the Americans (oh, now we know) just had too much pride to ask for help from then Endo twins while they were there; Yamashita, however, understands that the Americans rather not own JUDA any favors if they could help it. It seems that the American base has been nearly overrun and leveled, and Yui remarks if that the Katous have just begun their full-scale invasion. Shizuna, ever the hot-headed one, marches up to the screen and tells Kouichi to work hard, to which our man replies with less-than-average enthusiasm.

Just before Reiji can order the mission to begin, Kouichi has one last thing to confirm with Ishigami; was he a member of the Katou in the past and did he steal the Machinae from them.  While everyone had their sights on Ishigami, he simply says nothing.


“This is my first time, Yui… please be gentle with me!”

Ishigami simply apologizes to Kouichi, saying that such things were hard to say outright and generally being the clown he was for the past two episodes. The Endo twins and Yamashita sigh, each picking a seat of their choice in order to watch the proceedings in full comfort, while Ishigami continues with his clowning. Before Kouichi can ask any further, Reiji shuts off the intercom, ignoring Kouichi’s protests. In the ship’s hangar bay, Miu apologizes for leaving Kouichi to ask such a troublesome question, even though everyone present when Katou visited JUDA HQ had the same question to ask. Kouichi doesn;t see it as that big a deal, but before the conversation can go any further, Emi cuts in, telling him to exercise some restrain in combat instead of going wild like all previous experiences, even citing today’s locker incident as an example.

While Kouichi feels insulted by this, Emi doesn’t think so, and leaves Hayase to wallow in shame as she closes the connection. When the two Endos and Yamashita remark at how tough Emi is, she states her argument by saying that the locker incident was too much. Not helping is Ishigami adding in that “a boy his age is by no means a any human being”.

While Ishigami meant that figuratively, Emi takes it at face value, expressing shock that Earth boys in this dimension branch off into a separate species during maturity, and earning Ishigami a harsh rebuke from Yui before she realizes the true meanings behind Ishigami’s phrase. The Endo twins already know that if it’s Koiuchi, something like the locker incident isn’t entirely impossible, but Shizuna says that Emi should forgive him too, since Kouichi is still being supremely confused by Katou’s visit.


“Shit, I didn’t wear pants today! Reel me back in! REEL ME BACK IN!”

Meanwhile, Reiji is going over the plan one more time in the plane. They’re to land at Point Charlie, and while Painkiller provides covering fire for the Americans there, Linebarrel and Vardant will proceed to Point Echo and wipe the floor with the enemy there. Kouichi, never having been in a paramilitary operation before, asks Reiji “Who’s Charlie?” Reiji, thinking that this is some sort of poor joke, simply remains silent and launches, while Kouichi is left to scream his question to no one in particular as he is, in turn, launched out of the transport and towards Charlie.



Meanwhile, the Katou Armas are slowly overcoming the American defense line in charge of protecting refugees boarding escape helicopters; before the Katous can move a step, Linebarrel lands on the foremost one, and Kouichi, flanked by Vardant and Painkiller, announces his presence with a “The heroes of justice have arrived!”


“This is your last chance. Do you like my cowboy hat, or not? No? Then…”



Before anyone can move, however, an energy blast nearly fries the entire team, if not for Painkiller executing a nicely timed counter with its own cannons. The beam turns out to be from the Katou’s new Machina; Glain-Neider, piloted by Masaki Sugawara, the commander of the Katou Organizations’ first brigade. Even the people back at JUDA HQ are surprised, and Masaki even opens a line directly to Ishigami. The two exchage some small talk, and Masaki starts the battle by opening up with a very Destroy Gundam-style attack. While Miu splits from the team and joins up with the Americans, Vardant charges towards Echo, Reiji unconsciously egging Kouichi on with “Hayase, don’t fall behind!”.


“Vardant can do Wind Walk too! *stomp**stomp**stomp*”

Vardant draws first blood; in a matter of five seconds, at least eight Katou Armas have bitten the dust/kicked the bucket/saw the light/heard the chant/were pwned/*insert your own religious preferences here*. Kouichi is amazed at Reiji’s proficiency; however, another Arma attacks from behind, and it is only with Reiji’s warning that Kouichi narrowly avoid being speared. However, the Arma is fast, and Kouichi is no match for its close-quarters



“Pink pink pink… it’s always the pink ones that are three times as fast, no matter how much they say it’s red!”


“Small wonder seatbelts are optional equipment.”

The pilot introduces herself as commander of Katou’s seventh brigade, Yuriannu Faithful ( o_O ? ), and her true goal to stand as a wall between Glain-Neider and the JUDA forces. Reiji then orders Kouichi to take care of Glain-Neider, while he deals with the Arma forces.

Sweeping aside Kouichi’s concern, Reiji remarks that he is used to dealing with numerical superiority during combat. Masaki orders the same thing of Yuriannu, and Kouichi isn;t given a say in the matter at the Vardant and Katou forces clash. While Reiji and Yuriannu dance thier machines across the battlefield, a bit more is revealed about Faithful’s Arma; a custom model, Tsubaki-Hime (flower princess?) has many times the speed of any Machina, thereby explaining how it could keep up with Vardant.


“… nom nom nom nom?”

Meanwhile, Glain-Neider has moved into place and now appears to be microwaving the ground, or at least something to that effect. Kouichi easily breezes through Glain-Neider’s guarding force, and Miu is doing well in the Painkiller as well, until another Machina armed with a giant lance shows up, much to the surprise of all present and watching. Yamashita’s remark reveals that the Painkiller is total rusty nuts in the close-combat category, and Ishigami identifies the Machina as Talisman, remarking that Katou is getting serious, beginning with this battle.


“This is your fault, Kouichi! You smashed my soba shop six episodes ago!”


“Pokey Pokey! >:-D”

The pilot of Talisman identifies himself as brigade commander no. 2, Sobi Nakajima, alog with lots of customary “We don’t hate you, we’re just doing this for your/the world’s/our own good” crap. While Sobi is spouting off, Ishigami tells Miu to retreat, given the situation disadvantage; Miu, however, is determined to protect the refugees still left in the base to the very last, and takes the Talisman’s electrical/plasma attack straight on.

Kouichi notices and decides to assist her, but Reiji, still tangling with Tsubaki-hime, tells him to focus on his own part in the mission above anything else. Kouichi gives the “Can’t abandon ma’ friends” reply, but Miu tells him to do his job; before she can convince him any further, Sobi fries the Painkiller’s artificial muscle fiber to the point of incapacitation, and for good measure, continues to fry the entire machine.

Kouichi decides that Miu’s life is more important than fat-man Glain-Neider, and ignoring both Reiji’s and the spectators at JUDA HQ’s protests, goes to save Miu. Reiji gives a frustrated yell, and with the small lasp in concentration, the battle with Yuriannu nearly goes from near-victory to near-defeat. Talisman easily intercepts Linebarrel, but Linebarrel’s amazing regenerative ability keeps the machine from suffering any damage worse than what it can’t handle. Talisman, however, increases the attack rate, and even Kouichi can hardly keep up with the assault; Painkiller, however disables the plasma lance with a well-thrown knife/projectile/kunai/metal biscuit.



While the base’s top officials attempt to abandon base through an unobstructed runway, they’re blocked by another Katou member, this one human-sized; he easily slices the plane in half, killing everyone on board, and then orders a  retreat once Masaki gives the green light, apparently finished with his “microwaving”. Everyone retreats but the newcomer, who proceeds to block Kouichi’s path and engage him in combat with Painkiller’s projectile; dislodging it from the ground, he flings it into the air, grabs it, and rushes towards Linebarrel, and the projectile would have most certainly embedded itself deep into Linebarrel’s cockpit if Vardant hadn’t stepped in and took the blow for Kouichi while cutting of the man’s arm.


“Stabbed by a pink piece of steel. :-c”

From that attack, Reiji realized that the man was someone who had turned his entire body into an Arma; the man replies by introducing himself as brigade commander no. six, Jack Smith. Reiji and Jack exchange names, and Mr. Smith replies that they will continue their fight at a more opportune moment. While Kouichi questions the existance of a human-sized Arma, Miu is more concerned for Reiji, who had half his shoulder severed in Jack’s attack. Reiji reveals that he was born without a sense of pain, thus making the magnitude of injury a moot point for him during combat. Yamashita, looking on from HQ, is given a new thing to ponder about.


“Dude, the Glain-Neider has REALLY BIG BALL(S)!!!”

All the Katous left behind was a jet-black dome. While Rachel has determined that it contains something in it, no one else can even get through the outer layer, as seen when Vardant inserted its sword in through one side and it came out of the other without even touching the inside of the dome. Even asking Emi didn’t help.


“Reiji… that hurt… a bit more gently please…”

Meanwhile, Kouichi is getting slapped a la Athrun style by Reiji, who tells him to stop being so stubborn and trying to act like a one-man army. Ignoring Miu completely, Kouichi asks if it would have been alright to let her die there, and Reiji replies that Miu was that weak as to die from such an attack, then JUDA doesn’t need her; as long as any of them can breathe, they should place the mission above all else. Kouichi, intent on continuing the fight, almost come to blows with Reiji, but it otherwise convinced by Miu not to.

Meanwhile, Emi and Shizuna are having a talk; Emi realizes how big an impact Katou’s conversation with Kouichi had left on our protagonist, and (somehow) assumes that Kouichi’s purpose in the locker room was for something as one-sided as trying to see if Emi’s body was any different from a normal human’s. Meanwhile, Kouichi is fuming in him room when Emi visits him. Saying that it’s not she and Kouichi are the same race, and since Kouichi wanted to make sure of it, she’ll show it to him right there and then, at which Emi undresses right in front of him. Miu enters by mistake, and promtly assumes that she should follow suit to thank him for saving her earlier.



By this point Kouichi is bleeding free from his nose again. Before he can rectify the situation, Shizuna, then Izuna, and finally Rachel, check in on him, and all give varying expressions from horror to anger. Kouichi, forced to explain in the spot, messes up his words, leading Emi to the conclusion that he only wanted to look at his body after all (which was that in the first place), and the episode ends with yet another resounding slap to Kouichi’s face.

So this episode fast-forwarded plenty, like mixing together Jack’s and Masaki’s first sorties against JUDA into the same time, and introducing characters like Nakajima and Faithful. I sure hope they were in the original cast of Katou’s brigade commanders. Linebarrels is ending up to become an anime where you get the same end result (attack on a base, just not right in front of JUDA, and Reiji getting injured, though it should be by one of Vardant’s swords that Jack took from it) but with radically different paths.

Also, Tsubaki-hime is more Arma that Machina to be, though Yuriannu might very well be receiving one of her own, what with the anime version making the Machinae into custom-production machines from the other side instead of one-of-a-kind models from a mysterious source. New machines like Talisman and Tsubaki-hime also appeared this time ’round, and while I’ve gotten used to it, I’m sure that with every new anime-exclusive Machina, God kills a Linebarrels manga fanboy. Animation was fine and all, but with some parts of the battle they were being unreal at best. Probably the most savory sections were whenever the action turned to Vardant. 😛 Well, at least it remains something worth watching. Tune in next week for more Linebarrel! (Or at least Miu’s hot bod.)




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