Note: This post may contain spoilers, so please be cautious!
What’s In This Post
In The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy, the twenty-third episode of BUBUKI/BURANKI: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy, Mega-lala, Batalov, and Zampaza hurl themselves at the awakened Deus Manga — with little effect. Azuma Kazuki continues his mission to rescue Reoko Banryū. Migiwa Kazuki’s conversation with an alternate form Oubu takes a strange and unexpected turn. Guy Barville Abeille plays his trump card.
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- Batalov continues its attempt to break into Deus Magna; but even with Mega-lala and Zampaza’s help, Guy beats them down. The battle goes so badly that Karoruko Kazuki, in Zampaza, is reduced to holding the other two Buranki up so they don’t crash.
- Azuma regains consciousness. Having regenerated the damage from the previous battle, they launch themselves upward in search of Entei and Banryū. Breaking through Deus Magna’s material is painful and takes all of Azuma’s ability, so his team, starting with Hiiragi Nono, convince him to devolve Oubu into its component parts so his limbs can take the damage while he searches for Banryū.
- The talking version of Oubu picks up Migiwa and takes her into Earth orbit. There, he gives her more details about their past. For example, the Buranki’s original mission was to prepare Earth to receive Deus Magna. But seeing that the planet already inhabited, the Buranki decided to go to sleep, where many of them decayed. But their material mingled with humans, until one day, a Buranki who was also human was born: Migiwa. The speaking Oubu takes Migiwa back in time to when she saved Banryū’s life. Oubu tells her that she, too, can travel through time now. Migiwa enters Entei’s brain cavity in the past and takes on her role to keep Banryū alive until the present.
- As a consequence of Migiwa’s reawakening within Entei, she communicated to Banryū, who was stunned to realize Migiwa had always been with her. Azuma finally arrives and finds Banryū trapped in self-recrimination. After a short pep-talk, they decide to go after Guy. On their way, they retrieve Oubu’s Bubuki wielders. The latter are surprised to find that Entei and Oubu have combined for the final battle. When they reach Karoruko and Guy, they transfer the Bubuki to Zampaza and face off against their enemy.
- Entei-Oubu begins to overpower Guy, who realizes quickly that without Entei’s influence, Deus Magna’s head will detach. He tries to force them back inside, but the two redouble their efforts and crush Duroc’s skull, exposing Guy. Even without the Buranki’s protection, Guy tries to goad them into making a mistake, and Azuma nearly decides to ascend into Entei-Oubu’s brain cavity. But Banryū’s too wise for Guy’s tactic. She points out his error. As Azuma gathers himself to deal the killing blow, Banryū strikes first, saying, “Azuma, you mustn’t dirty your hands.”
- Entei splits from Oubu, and Migiwa speaks to Banryū, saying that the comet had come to gather her to help the Buranki scattered through the stars. She explains that when she merged with Entei in the past, she had forgotten who she was, which was why she didn’t reveal herself before now. Before she leaves, Migiwa restores Banryū’s human heart. The head that had been the comet blasts off, back into space, with Entei onboard. The teams return to Japan to retool.
What I Liked
Karoruko remains a drama queen, even in the middle of combat! Her complaints about how thirsty and hungry she was made me laugh. To her credit, she stopped as soon as Guy showed himself — carrying the damaged Mega-lala and Batalov.
Details make or break a story. In previous episodes, we’ve seen how the Bubuki power passes from parent to child. We saw that happen with Shūsaku Matobai, and we saw it happen with Guy. But we didn’t see it happen with Migiwa. I never noticed that, but in this episode, we find out why: Migiwa’s really as much Buranki as human. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but at least the detail that foreshadowed it was interesting!
Remembering back to the first episodes, where the characters were more or less at each other’s throats, then seeing how supportive all four of Oubu’s Bubuki wielders were to Azuma, was a testament to how far this series has come. I can forgive a lot of plot problems if I care enough about the characters, and I think that’s probably the case in this show.
Banryū’s a strong character. She owns the decisions she’s made and understands the effect they’ve had on her. She understands that so well that she struck the killing blow against Guy so Azuma wouldn’t have to live with the consequences of killing a human. I admire that.
What I Liked Less
At the end of the previous episode, Azuma had been beaten into unconsciousness. Oubu was badly damaged. When the story starts, he comes to as if nothing happened. I get that the Buranki bestow some level of regeneration, but it seemed to me that there was too little effect on Azuma. He should have been a little less effervescent, or a little more reserved. Or something! Remembered pain has an effect on folks.
Migiwa can traverse time now? That seems like a big jump in capabilities. I remember the scientist showing Double de Vabres (actually Zetsubi Hazama) a scan of Entei’s brain cavity. The scan showed a vaguely human-looking object, and in retrospect, that seems to be Migiwa. So the development seems plot consistent. But once you introduce time-travel into a show, you have to account for all of the times it’s not used. For example, if she can travel through time now, why didn’t she just go back and save Guy’s son — thus preventing Guy from going on his rampage? If there are dramatic reasons Migiwa shouldn’t do that (unintended consequences, temporal paradox, whatever), the show should have shown us!
Why didn’t Guy attack while Entei-Oubu was transferring the Bubuki users to Zampaza? Hasn’t Guy ever heard that he who hesitates is lost?
There’s still one episode left, but honestly, this felt like the wrap episode! We saw Guy not only defeated, but obliterated. The Deus Magna threat is gone, and Migiwa has gone into space within Entei to protect the Buranki scattered among the stars.
We’re 23 episodes in; next week’s the last episode of the season. We’ve learned the secret history of the Bubuki and Buranki. I’ll agree they’re noble; I admit I like the Buranki.
The Buranki’s history didn’t mention the Bubuki. Was that intentional? Were the Bubuki an adaptation to humans? Or is that material for another season? Or maybe material for next week’s episode?
Seeing Guy so soundly defeated made me reflect on my review from last week. Guy built a government around himself. No ministers, or functionaries, no judiciary or legislature; simply a cult of personality around himself. This week, true to form, he fought alone in a coerced Buranki. When the tide turned against him, he had no backup or forces in reserve. His collapse was sudden and complete. Compare that to Azuma and friends fought: four Buranki were in action against Deus Magna, and it took all of their combined efforts to achieve total victory. Though I wonder if Guy’s approach was realistic in his world, I have to applaud the manner in which he fell: alone, unaided, trapped by his own world view.
What do you think? Did Guy deserve his ending? What would you preferred to have seen? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- Preview of Fall 2016, which includes BUBUKI/BURANKI
- Review of episode 13, Black Oubu, and episode 14, The False Heart
- Review of episode 15, The Right Hand’s Scar
- Review of episode 16: The Hunter’s Bullet
- Review of episode 17: The Island Fortress
- Review of episode 18: The Butterfly and the Gallows
- Review of episode 19: Older Brother and Younger Sister
- Review of episode 20: The Rebellious Limb
- Review of episode 21: Swan Song
- Review of episode 22: The Comet Opens its Eyes