Note: There are spoilers below!
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Loser is furious. Mabuchi has forgotten everything about the incident, including the death of Loser’s wife and the start of the nothingness. As they argue, the blue sphere arrives. Loser seems to know what it is, and for some inexplicable reason, Mabuchi ignores Yurizaki’s warning and touches it. He collapses unconscious. As Loser leaves, Elizabeth Greenhough Smith joins him, and he tells her the sphere is looking for the “key” — which Mabuchi somehow has.
Mabuchi “awakens” in a memory of his training with the Grendel. An evil version of Mabuchi taunts him for hoping his girlfriend will recover. He receives word that Central Africa — where Salba Ene Tibesti (a.k.a. Salva-Enna-Tibesti) lives. There, Salba tries to prevent the overthrow of his adopted father’s government. Unlike Mabuchi, Salba seems aware he’s in his memories, as if this isn’t the first time it’s happened to him. Like Mabuchi, there’s an evil (well, more evil) Salba jeering at him about what’s to come. Salba obtains the king’s permission to put down the foreign-influenced rebellion. Ruwai Aura Tibesti (a.k.a. Lwai) said he would help.
Mabuchi and the Grendel arrived on scene in Central Africa to secure the New Tesla Energy tower that had fallen into enemy hands. The Grendel team discovers that a rogue scientist named Haruka Schmeyer was behind both the coup attempt and the assault on the New Tesla tower. Both were his declaration of was on New Tesla Energy.
By that time, Salba had defeated his enemies as well. Lwai attempts to join on the streets when a double agent attempts to assassinate Salba. He retaliates with a mech, and the resulting destruction traps Lwai under rubble. His body is crushed.
Still in Mabuchi and Salba’s memories, Schmeyer begins gathering scientists to his side, supposedly to protest New Tesla Energy’s executives’ decision to restrict Shidou Yurizaki’s research. The Grendel pursue him. All but a few scientists have already joined him.
Meanwhile, back in “reality,” Loser and Elizabeth reach the doors to Adrastea, Loser’s former place of employment. He and Elizabeth hope to find his dead wife, given the coil’s ability to manifest possibilities. At the huge air-lock door, they find one of Mabuchi’s old coil-powered darts. When they opened the door, they find… Nothing. It’s empty. Loser concludes he needs to find one more numbered coil.
Back in memory-world, the Grendel track Schmeyer to Easter Island and the top secret New Tesla Energy research facility. They realize Schmeyer’s activities amount to a scientists’ revolt against the executives. Mabuchi’s commanding officer tells him Miyabi Azumaya’s condition has worsened, and he just has time to visit her before the mission to Easter Island.
After saying goodbye to her, he becomes aware he’s in a memory, and he expects it to end when he says goodbye. However, he finds himself in Salba’s memories, with Salba watching doctors give Ruwai an artificial body. Salba’s shocked; Mabuchi should not be in this memory. Together, they realize the blue orb has captured both of them. At that moment, the blue orb takes Mabuchi away. The blue orb is Schmeyer and it tells Mabuchi that memories connect Dimension W to the physical universe. The universe exists because of memories, and Schmeyer was waiting for Mabuchi and his key recollection. He tries to force Mabuchi to show him what happened the moment the Nothingness appeared. Azumaya appears, expressing support for Mabuchi and freeing him from Schmeyer.
In “reality,” Yurizaki finds Mabuchi’s picture of Azumaya (the man apparently drops the picture every time he turns around). Yurizaki remembers a conversation she had with Mary where she learned that her body was the prototype for Azumaya’s replacement body. They were exactly the same size. She wonders what Mabuchi thinks when he looks at her.
New enemies appear between them and the escape route. Yurizaki declares that she’ll protect Mabuchi.
What I Liked
Elizabeth called Mabuchi the “happi coat guy.”
Yurizaki wonders what Mabuchi thinks when he looks at the robot whose body was made to save his dead wife. This was probably the most emotionally satisfying scene in the entire series. It reminded me of how much I like Yurizaki’s almost naive sweetness, especially in the context of the heaviness that pervades the rest of the series.
What I Liked Less
Why did Mabuchi willingly touch the blue sphere? Did he know what it was? He’s usually more intelligent than that. I wonder if he’s try to touch machine gun bullets as they streamed by?
Salba slapped Lashiti (a.k.a. Lasithi) for no reason other than to exert his authority. Can’t say I think much of that. I wonder if he also slaps kittens, steps on puppies, and torments baby otters? Maybe he taunts the aged?
In the memory flashback, Mabuchi dropped the picture of his girlfriend while they were in the field, and Albert Schumann found and returned it. What soldier would carry a photo like that without properly protecting it? Mabuchi seems much more thorough than that. Not only that, but he dropped it again for Yurizaki to find later! Maybe he had dozens of copies made so he can strew them all over the place?
The picture of Schmeyer in desert robes had severely misaligned eyes. I thought maybe he was drunk. But the more I looked, the more I realized that no, he was just so evil that his eyes were crooked. Or something.
Mabuchi’s commanding officer tells him Azumaya’s condition has gotten worse. The last time Mabuchi saw her, she couldn’t even open her eyes. However, despite her condition being “worse,” she’s able to open her eyes and have a normal conversation. That felt really contrived and cliche to me.
I hate to say it because I want this site to be a fan site instead of a critic’s site. But I have to be honest: this show seems to be sputtering. This was the ninth episode, and now I get introduced to a new villain? Apparently, the villain for the series? First, why introduce the antagonist so late? Second, why does the villain, alone among the characters (well, okay — Mary) wear eye shadow? What does makeup have to do with his evilness? Was it infused with lead or another neurotoxin that destroyed his common sense?
Not only that, but instead of resolving some open issues, we get more questions. Why is Yurizaki’s body the same as the one designed for Azumaya? What’s the key that’s in Mabuchi’s mind? Where has Schmeyer been all this time — living in Dimension W? In the nexus between our universe and Dimension W? In Mabuchi or Salba’s memories? Why does Yurizaki continue to support and help Mabuchi when he keeps treating her like trash?
Speaking of Yurizaki, even in episode 9, we only get to see a little bit of her. She’s my favorite character in the series. As I mentioned before, she’s so up-beat and positive that I find her to be a welcome relief to the almost relentless negativity of the rest of the world — the or relentless ambiguousness of the plot.
Reviews of Other Season 1 Episodes
- Episode 1: Collector
- Episode 2: Loser
- Episode 3: Chase the Numbers
- Episode 4: The Mystery Hidden in Lake Yasogami
- Episode 5: The Possibilities of the Dead
- Episode 6: The Wind of Africa
- Episode 7: The Voice Calling from the Past
- Episode 8: The Island That Fell into Nothingness
- Episode 10: Resurrected Nightmare
- Episode 11: The Lost Genesis
- Episode 12: The Future Reached