Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 16: Judgment At Dusk

January 31, 2009

“It’s been a while… How are you?”

New Yajima, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 16: Judgment At Dusk


“Kouichi!!! Let’s do ‘it’ again tonight!!!”

The episode kicks start straight from the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier; gathered there are Miu, Yamashita, Kouichi and Emi, joined by Yui, Izuna and Shizuna who just arrived in a helicopter. Everyone is pleased to see each other (perhaps more for Izuna) still alive and kicking, and Rachel herself arrives mere moments later, straight from a two-seater jet. The jet, however, blows Rachel up and onto a mast, courtesy of her billowing lab coat.

Once they’ve extracted Rachel from her precarious position, they team gets to work; everyone (but Kouichi) is dressed in wet suits and sitting through a meeting while Rachel explains as to how Kouichi plays the role of bait, while everyone takes one of her newest batches of gadgets, a Drexler S.O.I.L. Activator, rides in a stealth sub, get to JUDA, and uses it to re-activate their disabled Machinae gathering dust in JUDA’s underground hangar. Rachel goes on and on, but the technobabble proves too much for Kouichi to handle, who falls asleep with his eyes open. Exposed by Izuna, he is dealt a swift wake-up call by Rachel and a well-aimed, thrown Activator.

The team disperse after the meeting to tidy up loose ends before setting off, and Kouichi meets up with Emi in a corridor. His attempt to defuse an awkward situation falls flat, and the two get into an argument as to whether Emi should tag along with Kouichi instead of being with the infiltration team. The verbal spar stops only when Miu and the Endo twins turn up.


“Sorry, Rachel, but Izuna has first dibs tonight.”

Somewhat later, Kouichi, having won the argument, watches the stealth sub set off from the carrier’s deck. Rachel joins him and accurately divines the reason as to their fight, much to Kouichi’s surprise. Rachel is on Kouichi’s side for once, since she knows that Emi will definitely activate Linebarrel’s secondary mode if she is allowed the chance to take the controls, further straining her body. Kouichi’s pride forces him to deny it, but deep down, he knows that Rachel’s right.


“Just a question before we start… can they operate out of water too?”

JUDA field agent Hiro Aonuma is hiding out in the outskirts of the city, where he comes across a force of automated tanks waiting for Kiriyama’s command to rain shells on the city; in short, Kiriyama has the entire of Misaki City as one big fat hostage. While Hiro is stuck with that problem, the infiltration team swim their way to a secret entrance to JUDA’s underground, and Kouichi rakes off from the aircraft carrier to act his role. The infiltration team reaches a metal grill, but Yui’s concerns about breaking through are unfounded; Miu and Emi both brought their somehow-works-underwater-chainsaws, and they’re of the same model too.

Kiriyama in his office gets wind of Linebarrel’s approach, and tells Reiji to not interfere; he wants to have the fight to himself to earn glory points through having the fight broadcasted live by media elements under his control; Reiji agrees. In a matter of minutes, Pretender has launched and arrived just in time to intercept Linebarrel; Kouichi and Kiriyama engage in a bit of a verbal fistfight before going at each other.


“In order to get past this gate you must touch each other in exactly the way I instruct you to. You can(not) refuse.”

Meanwhile, the infiltration team has gotten ashore and to a gate marked with the number “1”; a holographic Ishigami appears and tells them that in order to progress, everyone has to give their weight, height, and three measurements into the mike in front of them. Yui goes first and whispers her three measurements into the mike given, but for some reason her values don’t match, and she ends up being deposited through a trap door and into the ocean she swam in from.

The fight between Kouichi and Kiriyama is considerable less of a slaughter than it was the previous time; Kiriyama’s tactics of mixing the Pretender’s wireless Nerve Crack receptors amidst a crowd of missiles falls short of their intended goal as Kouichi manages to destroy the receptors. Kiriyama is unfazed, however, and continues the fight, safe in the knowledge that he is being portrayed as a good guy. Kouichi’s mom and sister watch on with worry through their television set, while Risako gets a view of things on-scene, albeit from far away.


“I have to stay pure for Kouichi… Kouichi… Kouichi… *sob*”

While all the hubbub is going on, Reiji prepares to depart elsewhere via chopper; Yuriannu watching on, asks if Reiji is ok with Kiriyama stealing his thunder, and Reiji replies that he is simply respecting Kiriyama’s will.
While the infiltration team minus Yui is forced to play through numerous party games in humiliating ways, Kouichi and Kiriyama have reached the point of fighting in close combat with their Machinae. While the battle rages on, the team finally reaches gate 100, and are faced with the final trial; strip scissors-paper-stone (or jan-ken-pon).

While Kiriyama overwhelms Kouichi, Hiro is setting explosives on the tanks. He is startled by Makaoto’s appearance, but it soon becomes apparent that Makoto has no evil intents.

Kouichi is still safe, but the infiltration team, thus far, has taken massive casualties; Emi, Miu and Shizuna have naught to wear but a towel each, and Izuna is stark naked. The team wins by a narrow marign (Yamashita’s shirt is still on, LOL) and after having to endure staring at Ishigami’s holographic thing while he gives his congratulatory speech, are finally given entrance to the hanger.

While the team gets dressed, Pretender drags Linebarrel into the air and flings it into thin air; unable to dodge Pretender’s waves of missiles, Linebarrel is knocked off balance, allowing Kirimaya to grab on to Kouichi at point blank range and arm his Nerve Crack and give an ultimatum in order to force Kouichi to work for him; Kouichi rejects him. Just before he can fire, however, a shot from nowhere forces him to disengage, allowing Kouichi to regain his bearings and rush Kiriyama.


“Zaku had one eye, GaogaiGar had two, Eva 02 had four, and Painkiller has FOURTEEN…”

The infiltration team has gotten into the underground hangar, and managed to disable Kiriyama’s guards and get the Activators into their Machinae. Rachel, waiting in the carrier for her role, is finally granted a chance to showcase her 1337 hacking skills as she gets the Drexler nanomachines to start working again.


“I’ve got a new name… Jihad-kun!”

Outside, Kouichi has managed to score a hit on Pretender; Kiriyama, angered by this, turns around just in time to spot Emi in the JUDA President’s office, who climbed up there to better look at the fight; Kiriyama, sneaky bastard as he is, decides that killing a girl is easier that killing a pilot, and fires a salvo of missiles at her. Emi’s Factor powers manifest, and the Linebarrel somehow ends up right in front of her, blocking the attack; Kiriyama pulls out his final card regarding the tanks on the city’s outskirts, but even that fails him. While Hiro chances upon Katou member Jack sneaking around, Makoto appears and reveals that he joined Kiriyama to attack it from within as a member of the Hayase Corps, and Deceive, active again, has hacked into the news network and is broadcasting a true record of events to Misaki City’s news station. Fouled on every side, Kiriyama attempts to rush Deceive, but is stopped by Linebarrel; Pretender, heavily damaged, crashes into the nearby sea, and with the fight over Emi can breathe easy again. Katou, watching the entire thing, turns back long enough to congratulate a new member; Moritsugu Reiji.

With the city and JUDA HQ free along with the rest of Japan, the JUDA crew finally get a chance to return home; Yamashita, reminiscing about old times in Reiji’s room, finds a letter with “Yamashita” written as the addressee, and Emi is just glad to be back with her plants. Kouichi is just relaxing on his bed, but he can’t help but wonder where did the shot that saved him from Pretender’s impending nerve crack came from.
Risako is just looking at JUDA HQ, wondering if she will get to speak with Kouichi, when a familiar figure appears behind her; it’s none other than Yajima.


So ends another episode of Linebarrels. For a fighting episode it sure has little mech action, far less than the potential allowed; story progress keeps switching between the two ,but that’s normal and just something that I, personally, found a bit annoying. Kiriyama’s role was done really well, and Makoto was the good dude all along (like anyone couldn’t guess). It seems that new relevations are in order, Reiji has now jumped ship twice, and not everyone in Katou agrees with Katou Hisataka himself on how things are done.

Yajima is back, and judging by the next episode’s preview he’s accepted as a “tomb returnee”, but there’s something about his appearance that makes me think he might have just been bought over from the other world. If anything, Kouichi might even end up having to kill Yajima personally by the end of everything, though Yajima sacrificing himself again seems more than likely. Reiji has a letter to Yamashita, but he’s such a master of shock moments now that I wonder if it just won’t turn out to be another trap set behind to reduce JUDA’s attack power through psychological means.

Well, not much to do until episode 17 gets into my hands, to that’s that for now.


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