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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 17: The Mechanical Curse

February 15, 2009

“Emi Kizaki… all this happened to us becasue you came to this world.”

Hideaki Yajima, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 17: The Mechanical Curse


Alright, I know this is batshit-late, but in my defence I did had a great deal to contend with, Imperial Guardsman in a crumbling stone fortress being the least of my troubles(Khorne would gladly kill himself if he had to do any of the assignments I had to complete.) I’ll try to write this as much as in keeping to what I thought while watching this episode two weeks back.

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“Yajima… your hair; how the hell did it get so silky?!”

The aftermaths of the battle for JUDA since episode 16; with the disappearance of Kiriyama, everything has gone back to normal; the government is in control again, and we see with back-from-the-dead Yajima eating lunch with Kouichi, Risako, the two sisters and Kouichi’s mum. While everyone is oblivious to the weird fact that Yajima is back from the dead, Kouichi can’t dismiss it so easily, and Risako is not helping matters by pestering Kouichi to squeeze all details out of Yajima; all Yajima is giving was that he was receiving treatment somewhere far from home.

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“Hi, I’m Judy Two. Nice to meet ‘ya all.”

JUDA is busy restoring itself, with help from the U.S. Maki arrives with a full shipment of supplies, and accompanying him is Judy’s twin sister, giving everyone a big shock. They barely have time to muse on it, however, as the siren sounds and all available Machina pilots sortie in their machines.

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“Go tell him that his fly is open!” “No, YOU tell him!”

Kouichi and Risako are still in argument as to how to approach the subject of the respawning Yajima, but on seeing how happy Saki is, Risako decides that his returning is all that matters. Before Kouichi can continue the subject any further, a call from JUDA comes in for his sortie, and he has to leave the gathering. Yajima looks on suspiciously.
As Kouichi zooms down the deserted streets on his bike, the radio is still airing the latest in news regarding the political situation in Japan; JUDA has split off from Japan following Kiriyama’s temporary annexing of the country, and is now officially considered U.S. territory. Following their actions during the Kiriyama regime, SSDF squad leader Shinobu Igarashi and Makoto Domyoji are declared AWOL, forcing the two to seek asylum with JUDA.

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“Shizuna no Tokubetsu… Gespensto KIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!!!”

Kouichi finally reaches JUDA HQ only to be greeted by a pissed-off Emi at the front gates. Emi chides him for spending too much time with his friends outside JUDA and reminds him that he has an obligation to be available instantly whenever JUDA wants him to, but she soon softens up and asks if Yajima is ok. Kouichi voices his doubts about the credibility of Yajima’s explanation for being alive, but before the conversation can go any further, the pair reach the JUDA President’s office and Kouichi is immediately pinned down by an indignant Shizuna, sore that he wasn’t present during the previous attempt to ward off Katou forces.

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“Can you spot the Jinrai?”

Kouichi declares himself innocent, but as usual Shizuna has none of it. The procession is interrupted by another Katou incursion and Maki leads everyone down to JUDA’s deepest dungeon-basement to reveal a secret; after enduring hologram-Ishigami’s death speech again, a special program within JUDA is activated; a la Tokyo-3 style, towers and solar panels unpack themselves from their hidden positions to reveal a system for sustaining a city-wide force-field. The Katou soldiers, beat, retreat, and Holo-Ishigami repeats his sentences. Izuna wonders aloud that Ishigami sounded as though he had anticipated his own death.
Back in the President’s office, everyone has gathered to plan their next step. Kouichi cuts an impressive figure when he suggests going after Katou’s main base, but Izuna’s inquiry about its location earns him a knock from Shizuna, and Rachel replies that if Kouichi could find it than anyone else could, earning an exclamation from Kouichi. Emi is cynic about things since JUDA’s declaration of being a rouge organization effectively cuts public support and makes it hard for them to garner important backup, but Shizuna has just the plan; a JUDA publicity drive!

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“One-boob ‘ere is an avid follower of the glass-o-milk after the workout, I see…”

While everyone in the office is discussing their next step, Yamashita and Aonuma are busy pelting Katou defector Jack Smith with questions while he’s working out. It is revealed that his contract with Hisataka Katou lasts only as long as he feels like it, and with Reiji on the team there’s no better time to leave if they’re to challenge each other again. Yamashita’s hopes of Reiji returning, however, are dashed, as Jack replies her question with the fact that Moritsugu and Katou were and are still close friends.
Come night, Risako and Yajima are walking home; it’s so deserted that the two can walk in the middle of what used to be a busy road. Risako remembers old memories with Yajima and Kouichi as they pass by a shop the three used to frequent, and she muses about how everything has changed so drastically. Yajima asks if she’s okay that Kouichi is so far away from her both physically and mentally thanks to JUDA, but she tries her best to shrug it off. Yajima wants to take the conversation further, but Risako receives a message.

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“Okay peeps, we’re here to make JUDA’s first ever adult video!”

It turns out to be an invitation to the first ever JUDA public event, a karaoke/cosplay session; gathered there are the JUDA pilots and civilians like Furuya, Risako, Domyoji, and Yajima. Furuya is shocked that Yajima is still alive and nearly offends him verbally, but thankfully the situation is resolved quickly and the party proceeds as planned. Miu and Risako kick off by trying to get Kouichi to sing an anime song duet with either of them, but Kouichi is having none of it. The winner of the fight for Kouichi would be Emi, however. As she flips through the book looking for anime songs to sing, she accidentally answers Makoto’s “whacha doin’” question out loud, and everyone that’s not Yajima, Miu or Risako ushers them other up on stage to sing. Yajima seems to have reached a breaking point of sorts; dodging Izuna’s questions, he leaves the room for the toilet.

As Yajima exits the washroom, he meets Kouichi; the two get into a discussing about how Kouichi seems to be goofing off instead of being a hero of justice. Yajima doesn’t accepts Kouich’s explanation and tells him to give it up; Kouichi remembers Reiji’s words of “even if you can feel the pain of others, it’s useless if you can’t save them from it.” Kouichi snaps at this point and the ensuing verbal scuffle alerts everyone to the fight outside. Everyone rushes out; spotting Emi, Yajima tells her that everything up to this point was her doing. Emi is forced to confront the truth she has been trying to keep suppressed for the better part of the series. Kouichi throws a punch at Yajima in order to get him to stop his verbal assault on Emi, but is faced with a shocking revelation when Yajima stops Kouichi effortlessly; Yajima has become a Factor.

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“Holy shit, Yajima got one of ’em MGs too?!”

Furuya tries to break up the fight, but becomes the first victim of Yajima’s Factor powers instead as he is hurled into a wall hard enough to crater the concrete. While everyone is distracted, he grabs Kizaki, knocks her out, passes a disk containing information location to Kouichi, summons Apparition, and blabs some kidnappers’ one-liners before making his escape, leaving the JUDA public event in shambles and its attendees in total confusion and horror.

It seems that the love square involving Emi, Miu, Risako and Kouichi are being played to the max for gags, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it can last. Some sparks are also flying between the unlikeliest of parings; Shizuna and Makoto, though whether it can amount to anything depends heavily on the amount of coverage they get.
The storyline in general seems to be heating up; there’s less comedy and more action, though much of it is through descriptive talk rather than a straight-out slugfest. There’s the Stratos Syndrome with the Brown sisters; Judy-one(deceased) and Judy-two(premier appearance), and Emi going slack whenever she is reminded that Kouichi became a Factor because she landed Linebarrel on him; I thought that they would have reached a mutual understanding by now. With Kouichi forced to venture deep into the enemy’s heart of operations in order to rescue damsel-in-distress Emi, it seems that some major revelation is in order.

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3 comments

  1. a linebarrel vs apparition slugfest sounds pretty epic…any takers on who will win the love triangle?


  2. Personally I’m going with Emi or Risako as the winner, though more to Emi; Miu, unfortunately doesn’t occupy an important enough role, and Linebarrels isn’t Macross so I can expect them to keep to the original pop paring. XD


  3. hmm..wonder if they would pull a macross frontier ending(ala protagonist doesn’t actually comepletely decide outloud) or maybe full metal panic(kinda open ended conclusion while still hinting at major “couple development”)?lol,Gespensto kick.



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