Brother against brother.
What They Say:
While on patrol, Akihiro and Takaki encounter unknown enemies and engage them in battle. The attackers turn out to be Brewers, a pirate group that operates between Mars and Earth.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I was joking about space pirates in a previous episode, but Tekkadan finds out they’re no joke. We have our next batch of comically evil bad guys to dispatch, but this time it’s personal. Actually, it seems to constantly become personal in these battles. As soon as someone falls the young soldiers all immediately call for revenge and vengeance. (Ein certainly hasn’t forgotten his commander, we actually get to see him swearing revenge again for the umpteenth time in this episode.) Yes, it’s completely contrived that right after Akihiro talks about his missing brother he just happens to show up as a space pirate. An unwilling space pirate, it would seem. It was either present this information before or after the introduction at this point in the series, so it comes across as clunky as possible. This does present a new goal for Tekkadan for the next episode, complicated by the fact one of the space pirate kids wants revenge for his newly departed friend.
The fight with the pirates leads to an interesting situation, Gjallarhorn paid the pirates to attack Tekkadan and retrieve Kudelia. The Hitler look-alike provided the information to Gjallarhorn, from what Gaelio says. He’s yet another character who feels like he has a score to settle, but McGillis talks his friend down because he has bigger fish he has his eye on. McGillis seems to want to grab power for himself, and his relationship with his father is strained. Back on earth, in a magnificent city floating in the ocean, the Gjallarhorn boys relax and regroup. The blues and whites of earth contrast starkly with the reds of mars and blacks of space. We meet Gaelio’s little sister, who indeed appears to be just a child, who is in an arranged marriage agreement with McGillis. Classism is alive and well, with old rules of nobility applying. The throwback of society mores stands out strongly against all the sci-fi technology on display. It’s unsettling to say the least.
The clash with the space pirates is not without danger and loss. The battles in this series have been well choreographed, even if they tend to abuse classic framing devices on a regular basis. Takaki is almost captured by the space pirates but is rescued at the last moment. Badly injured, we get to see what blood floating around in zero-g looks like. Akihiro blames himself as Takaki bleeds out in his spacesuit, saying it’s punishment for forgetting about his vow to save his brother and enjoying his life. Orga intercedes on the pity party taking all responsibility on himself. The next episode should be an action heavy one as Tekkadan and the Turbines take on the space pirates.
Back into the fray as Tekkadan squares off in a sudden conflict with space pirates hired by Gjallarhorn forces. A bit of forced drama escalates the conflict, turning it into truly a family affair. The action is solid, bracing, and not without serious consequences in this series which isn’t afraid to show the bloody side of conflict. I can’t say I care for the increasingly cartoonish bad guys who practically scream monster of the week every time they show up. Back on earth McGillis plots to change the very organization he is a part of, with or without the help of Kudelia. Next week will see the Turbine women jump back into battle, and we’ll see if Akihiro can keep his promise to his brother.
Episode Grade: B +
Streamed by: Hulu, Daisuki, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Youtube in select regions. Phew!
Review Equipment: 27” iMac running OS Yosemite, via Safari 9, FIOS connection. Your mileage may vary.