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Metallic Rouge Episode 3: Favorites

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Metallic Rouge Episode 3 – Quick Summary

In Metallic Rouge Episode 3, “Marginal City,” Naomi and Rouge headed for their next assignment. They needed to investigate rumors of a member of the Immortal Nine hanging out in a Nean settlement called Marginal City. But the two of them argued (what was Naomi thinking, giving Rouge’s chocolate away?), and now Naomi can’t find Rouge anywhere. Where did Rouge go? What kind of trouble can she get into? And why was Naomi so happy to get a replacement artificial bird?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Metallic Rouge Episode 3

Metallic Rouge Episode 3: Naomi knew she had screwed up. I hope!

At least she had the decency to regret her brutal words! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I like Naomi. I like Naomi a lot. But when he called Rouge a tool – “just a piece of equipment, really” (07:11) – I could have smacked her. Well, I would certainly have glared at her mercilessly. There was no call for that!

I mean, seriously. What was she thinking?

At least she seemed to think better of it. She knew she’d gone too far. She even admitted it, out loud, to herself. My favorite quote was the result of her self-analysis. She said (13:45), “I guess I’m still pretty immature, too.”

And as if that wasn’t enough, we got a quick shot of the shopping bag full of chocolates that Naomi had apparently just purchased. I’m guessing she intends to use it as a peace offering to Rouge. I hope that’s the case. She surprised me with the whole “piece of equipment thing,” so who knows?

Favorite Moment from Metallic Rouge Episode 3

Metallic Rouge Episode 3: Juval's words astonished Rouge

Rouge’s reaction to Juval made me feel sad – she was shocked to think of herself in such a positive light. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Juval Wanted Rouge’s Help – In an Unorthodox Way

I’m kinda not happy with Naomi after the stunt she pulled with Rouge. I don’t understand why she did it. I have theories, and I think the narrative will have an explanation, but Rouge just wanted her chocolate. Naomi taking it without permission, then saying such cruel things to Rouge, was just not cool. I’m beginning to regret saying I liked Naomi’s courteous snark! 

My favorite moment helped me understand why what Naomi said bothered me so much. Do you remember Huey from the previous episode? Apparently, Huey had seen Rouge turn into the red Gladiator. Since Huey knew Juval, the leader of their movement, that earned Rouge an introduction.

Even though Juval had been constructed in the form of a child, he still projected strong leadership. He was wise, well spoken, and considerate. He took Rouge to meet some other Neans, and as he did, he described their situation. It was bleak, as we’ve suspected based on how we see humans treating Neans. They’re not only treated poorly, they’re denied basics like self governance. 

Metallic Rouge Episode 3: The scenery is hauntingly beautiful

As they walked towards a hidden meeting area, Juval explained they weren’t allowed to govern themselves. The scenery evoked a feeling of bleak hopelessness. It established the mood for what was to come! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

A key problem, Juval explained to her, is the Asimov code. It meant that they could not harm humans. It also meant they had to obey humans. He mentioned a group of Neans, called Alters, who had somehow overcome that limitation.

Rouge, despite Naomi’s opinion of her, was still on mission. She suspected that the Alters might be her target. But when she asked Juval to give her more info, he told her that’s not why they had asked to meet her. It wasn’t her strength – the strength of the red Gladiator – that they were after.

Delivery: Rogue’s Value as a Free Person

“It’s your free will,” he said (17:25), visibly shocking Rouge. Compounding the shock, he said he had noticed she wasn’t bound by the Asimov Code. Moreover, he saw that she interacted with humans as equals. Quite a contrast to her last conversation with Naomi, isn’t it?

My favorite moment was when he told her (17:37), “Even just knowing that a Nean like you exists and walks in step with us will give many Neans hope.”

Metallic Rouge Episode 3: Rouge didn't know how to take Juval

You could see Rouge’s shock rise in intensity through the entire scene. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Rouge did a great impression of the “Mind Blown” meme

This is my favorite moment for two reasons. First, just thinking about how Rouge must have felt hearing Juval talk about her like that is inspirational. He said the kind of things Rouge had wanted to hear from Naomi – and right there’s why Naomi’s action pissed me off.

But every bit as cool is the idea that Juval wanted to fight for freedom using the power of positive role models. He didn’t see a need for violence. He saw the potential of instilling hope. That’s powerful. Too powerful, as it turns out. Just look at what happened to Juval at the end. The idea, though, that freedom is attainable through means other than brute force really appealed to me.

Now I just hope Naomi is a) actually regretful and b) knows how to act contrite. I’d hate to have to downgrade her from “courteously snarky” to just snarky.

What did you think of the Marginal City? What were your favorite moments from this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Metallic Rouge Episode 3: Favorites

  1. There were other ways to have Rouge go off on her own, like getting into an argument on how the op should be done. It makes me think they wanted us, as well as Rouge, to be pissed off at Naomi for a while.

    1. Well, it worked! And I hope it’s a little more than that. I hope it’s setting up a conflict between Naomi and her bosses, so that she and Rouge can fight it together. Maybe.

      I just hope it stays entertaining!

  2. Hm, from episode one I saw Naomi as the trickster type. Those types never say what they think (often because they don’t know what they think, or they don’t know what they think about what they think). Her tool-statement surprised me, too, not because she said it so much, as because I felt there was more emotional force behind that than I would have expected. The way I’d seen her character up to then I’d have thought she’d say this partly to see how Rouge would react, partly to acquaint her with the “party-line” up close, or maybe just because (and other reasons I can’t think of). However that didn’t seem to quite line up with her tone, I thought. It felt more… personal? (Yes, I’ve seen episode 4 and could say more about this, but… well… not here.)

    1. I think you’re on to something. I need to be more aware of character tropes!

      Interesting point about the emotion Naomi put into her mini-attack on Rouge.

      Episode 4 put an interesting spin on it — thanks for being thoughtful and not commenting about it here!

  3. Artificial people, created to serve specific functions, and reliant on their makers for the substance which keeps them alive, are ripe targets for discrimination, prejudice, and systematic oppression. They can’t even fight back, not with Asimov Code inside them. Juval isn’t just inspirational, he’s realistic. They literally cannot use violence to tear down their oppressors, and that probably wouldn’t get them very far anyway, so he focused on building his own people up. It is beyond terrible that the enemy a) killed Juval and 2) used his death as means to bring yet more heat down on the neans, including Rouge.

    The doctor – it was the doctor, wasn’t it? – who was cynical and mentioned the “at first” phenomena was, from what I can see, dead wrong. I mean, he’s right as far as many human movements have gone – witness: the French Revolution, BLM, etc. – but that does not and literally cannot apply to neans. At least, not unless they can find some way to remove or negate the Asimov code.

    Naomi was out of line, and all I can think of is how she hasn’t managed to stay entirely clear of the prejudices held by the society around her. Heck, she’s guiding one nean in the hunt for nine (now six) others, ripping something out of their cores and sending it back to the organization she works for. She may even feel a bit like a tool herself, but Rouge is practically the weapon system she directs against other weapon systems. I was happy enough to see her treating Rouge so well last episode, but she clearly has some growing to do, not entirely unlike Rouge herself, who is wrestling with her worth as a person.

    1. I think it was the doctor. I thought he was dead wrong, too!

      Have you seen the episode 4 yet? We get a little more insight into where he was coming from.

      I think you’re spot on with your analysis of Naomi. I suspect some of her dislike of her own situation spilled into her relationship with Rouge. I like seeing their relationship as it goes through some realistic ups and downs.

  4. Yeah, Naomi has tread the line between callous and cute crabbiness quite a few times. I still think she has the potential to be a great character, but she definitely needs some growth and development.

    1. I could have smacked her in this episode! Figuratively speaking, of course. But still, I don’t blame Rouge at all for running off.

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