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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 22: He Who Eats Demons

May 9, 2009

“Those who had become Machina knew only one desire: to expand.”

Katou Hisataka, Linebarrels Of Iron episode 22: He Who Eats Demons

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“I’m sorry, Mum, I can’t leave now… We’re all going to watch ‘The 18+ Adventures of AV Shizuna‘ later…”

Wet, moist and misty describes the opening scene perfectly. With Yamashita down, the faceoff is now Moritsugu against Kouichi; arguing against Reiji’s logic about JUDA being too weak, Kouichi commences his attack on his former mentor.

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“…The Flood Slushie… Alkaline Alien… three cups of Boomer Bile… Boomer Bile… *baaaaaaaaaarf*”

While Kouichi and Reiji slug it out in Japan, Risako answers a call from her worried mum about her location. Her troubles however, are nothing compared to JUDA’s current predicament or Izuna’s whispered recollection to his sister about his brief tangle with Kiriyama through Deceive’s Nerve Crack. Izuna remarks that it was like looking into a vessel, different consciousnesses linked together with a single unyielding purpose; to assimilate any single mind it finds.

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“Die rolls a six for Reiji! Counter, Cool Moves and Double Damage activated!”

Reiji and Kouichi, meanwhile, are still at each other’s throats; Reiji easily dances around and out of Linebarrel’s straightforward attacks, but finds that a straight-out match of strength will result in his loss. Taking advantage of Kouichi’s cockiness, Reiji traps Linebarrel with Vardant’s wing binders and pelts it with twin handheld machineguns. Stunned, Reiji easily turns the tables around and mocks Kouichi’s proclamation of being a hero of justice, all the while keeping Linebarrel under Vardant’s foot.

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*sound of cameraman hit by random flying debris*

Kouichi activates Linebarrel Mode B, but even the advantage afforded by teleportation cannot let him wrest the pace of combat from Reiji’s hands; his moves are easily predicted and repelled or countered. Reiji responds to Kouichi’s confusion by telling him that his moves are too easy to read and mocks him further by asking if his justice extends to such. Visibly pissed, Kouichi prepares to rush Vardant; Reiji decides to strike first, but Yamashita observing from the sidelines observes that Reiji missed the final strike on purpose.

While the entire battle was taking place, Katou is overseeing the final adjustments of the devices that will allow Machina forces from the other dimension to enter that of our Earth’s. A message comes through asking for a leader familiar with local terrain to lead the first wave of six million coming through, and Katou picks Masaki and the Glain-Neider. Masaki, not entirely believing that Katou could hold against a JUDA-led attack, leaves somewhat unwillingly.

Meanwhile, Kouichi is teleporting so fast as to start causing afterimages; however, Reiji intercepts them all, and as Yamashita watches, counters only when it will not land a fatal blow on Linebarrel. Despite this, Kouichi is easily beaten to the ground and cornered; Reiji mocks him further by telling him that if he cannot even kill a simple traitor, he will not have enough power to defend all the people of JUDA.

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“Ok, good job people, let’s call it a wrap. Kouichi, you’re staying back with me to repair Vardant’s arm.” “W-What?!”

Kouichi, angered beyond words, pushes Linebarrel to berserk status as he did before when Yajima died. Imbued with extra strength, he reverses the situation on Reiji by stopping Vardant’s attack and cutting off its left arm. Having finally achieved his original goal of having Kouichi push Linebarrel to the limit at will, Reiji turns to Yamashita, asking if the battle data has been recorded with Hind-Kind, and it is now Yamashita’s role to help Kouichi advance further.

The Flag arrives at the scene, ready to retrieve Linebarrel and Hind-Kind. They are joined shortly by Katou in the Shangri-La, now an aerial fortress. Katou appears on-screen to remind the JUDA people that in fifteen hours time, forces from another dimension will be appearing to take over the Earth. Shizuna replies that they’re ready to kick Katou and his goons back through their portal and into the Thursday before the last three; Katou, satisfied with the answer, proclaims that he would like to join JUDA as an ally in the upcoming conflict, leaving everyone stunned. Katou reveals that his original goal as commander of the Katou organization was to fight the dimensional invaders, as well as seek allies in that endeavour.  As Katou gives Emi a short greeting, she finally remembers Katou as her own brother.

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“OMFG lolishota farm LOL.”

What follows is a short recount by Katou about the history of the other dimension; aside from genetic differences, the entirety of humanity, in an attempt to advance even further and faster than they already were, have linked their minds together into a hive-structure command; there is no individuality, no emotions, only the single desire to advance and expand.

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“Too bad Ral, these ain’t Goufs either. But these guys have awesome insurance; you get to backup your brain!”

Opposing this is Amagatsu Kizaki, who sought to combat the decaying individuality of the human race. Digging the long-abandoned Factor-pilot system out of its depths in data streams, he creates Linebarrel, his final work. Katou, who was working with his father at that time, remarks that while his father’s plan required no casualties, it was too risky to implement in their current facility.

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“Papa is watching weird things on the computer…”

In due time Central, the main governing body, found out about Amagatsu’s plan; in the end Katou is forced to kill his own father to prevent Central from directly destroying all of his father’s works. While Emi managed to escape with Linebarrel, Katou became a false servant of Central, with his true goal being to unite all humanity on the other side against his own people.

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“… If I join you, will you promise not to hack touch my hard disk?” “… Ok. Deal. “

While Emi remembers that her mother’s maiden name was Hisataka and agonizes about Katou killing her father, the JUDA and Katou crew are in discussions over their next steps. The pilots of both sides are less than in agreement after looking back at all the deaths that had taken place, and not holo-Ishigami’s wise words can patch them together. Izuna however, remembering Eiji’s mind, realizes that to unite would be the best; Katou offers his hand to Kouichi to cement his wish to fight alongside him. Kouichi decides to accept not his hand, but his offer to merge.

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[Scenario 1:]…I can’t breathe… *meep*”

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[Scenario 2:] Dammit no, we’re just merging organizations, you’re not going to have to ‘gattai‘ with anyone!!!”

While various soldiers and pilots agonize over their personal problems caused by the sudden merger, the other less-involved pilots muse on their current situation. The JUDA pilots still have some apprehension about the entire thing, though some less than others. Yamashita is wondering as to why Ishigami couldn’t have told them about the entire thing from the start; holo-Ishigami apologizes in his stead, and states that he left Katou to see if there was a less bloody road to saving the world. Thanks to that Reiji had to play the role of a double-agent, killing off Ishigami so that his consciousness could become the core of the Flag.

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“I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it in time for the show.” “…Isn’t that a good thing?”

Come morning, Risako is ready to leave for her home; she meets Kouichi on her way to the waiting helicopter, but the following conversation ends in a hug from Risako to Kouichi. As Miu and Risako bid a final farewell to each other at the helipad, Yajima and Makoto intercept Kouichi in the corridors and throw him into Emi’s room. Emi tries to hide her tears by asking Kouichi if he came to see whether she was depressed, as says that it is her duty as given to her by her father. Kouichi says that it is okay to not fight if it runs counter to her own will, but before she can give an answer, holo-Ishigami sounds the alarm.

The invasion has begun.

Okay, first off, good job with the Vardant-Linebarrel fight scene in the first part. That was easily one of the best one-of-one I’ve seen in the anime so far. Plenty of revelations this time round, like how Katou and Emi came to be in their current states, and what it’s really like over at the other side. It’s like classical sci-fic but instead of a decadent society or even space communism, we have the human hive-mind. Awesome. Two episodes left to the end!

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