ZEGAPAIN – 18
The AIs report that the parts of Ryoko’s data which were destroyed have been repaired. Dita says that it’s not a restoration, but rather a transplant, as if Shin transferred some of herself into Ryoko. Shima is worried, but the AIs report that no dangerous programs were buried inside Ryoko. Kyo is excited about Ryoko returning to normal, but an emotionless Fosetta warns that the area where Ryoko’s feelings are formed is still left in the apparition buffer of the Altair. When May-Yen wonders why Shin helped, Fosetta suggests that it might have been good will. Chris, however, doesn’t believe that Shin is human and has those types of feelings. In the server world, this is the day Shizuno transfers into Kyo’s school again. After class, Mizuki sees Ryoko reading a book about scenarios and tries to strike up a conversation about movies. Ryoko stays silent through it until Mizuki gets called away by a friend. Kyo then walks home with her and tries to act excited about her restoration. He asks if there’s somewhere she wants to go play, but Ryoko simply tells him not to over-exert himself. She says that she has memories and thoughts, and is able to act through logic, but she doesn’t feel anything. Kyo doesn’t let that get him down, asking where Ryoko wants to go or what she wants to eat. The only thing Ryoko seems remotely interested in is the video rental shop across the street from them.
The two end up watching movies for the rest of the day. Even as it’s getting late, Ryoko doesn’t show any signs of being tired and continues to pop in more DVDs. She doesn’t understand if they’re interesting, but keeps watching because she’s sure she likes them. During the next action flick, Kyo starts thinking about Shin’s assault on the Oceanus. As if she were responding to his thoughts, Ryoko said that she really wanted to know the reason they fought. Ryoko recalls how she had said that she had something irreplaceable she didn’t want to lose. She then asks Kyo about the swim club, reminding him that Shizuno transferred in today. Kyo remembers how he had met Shizuno last time and the kiss they had underwater. His gaze now wanders to Ryoko’s lips and he leans in as if he were about to kiss her. Ryoko closes her eyes, but Kyo backs off and laughs unnaturally. He goes and puts in a Robin Hood DVD, mentioning the shooting of the apple story in an attempt to change the subject. Ryoko seems still caught up on a moment ago, so Kyo tells her that it was nothing and that she should forget about it. She tells him that he made a mistake: it was William Tell who had shot the apple.
Back on the Oceanus, Minato wakes Shima up from what appears to have been a nightmare. Getting philosophical, Shima says that they who are illusions have dreams that are illusions. Do the people in the dreams also have dreams? Giggling to herself, Minato says that perhaps they are being watched as part of someone’s dream. Shizuno walks up and suggests that perhaps it really is that way. In a sense, they are the dream that the quantum server sees. Shima then has Minato leave the room so that he can speak privately with Shizuno. He tells her that time has not stopped and that things are happening faster than he thought. Shizuno asks if there’s a chance of success, but Shizuno says that it depends on her and Kyo. Shizuno reports that Kyo’s fighting potential is sufficient, but this still leaves the problems with his mind. Shima doesn’t care about private problems as long as Kyo is able to fight. Sometime later, the Altair is finishing up another patrolling mission, and Kyo and Ryoko feel that their time together is too short. Ryoko compares Kyo to a bird, able to fly freely with the strength of his wings. But sometimes, he comes back to the roost where she will always be waiting for him. She causes him to blush by proceeding to call him an idiot for forgetting that that was a line from a movie they watched. Ryoko then asks why he stopped the kiss yesterday. She teases him about it as he tries to deny that it was going to be a kiss. In the end, she thanks him for being together with her and gives him a kiss on the cheek right before she transfers out.
At school, Ryoko is reading in the library when Mizuki runs in looking for a place to hide. Mizuki notices that Ryoko has started writing her movie script, but it seems that she’s jotted down two titles: “The Memory of the Rainbow” and “The Place Where The Sky Meets The Earth.” Ryoko isn’t sure about the title yet, and Mizuki can’t stick around to chat because she gets discovered by her teammates. Kyo meanwhile is resting on a park bench thinking about this created world when Tomigai comes looking for him, worried because he skipped school. Kyo doesn’t want to hear about it and instead changes the subject to yakisoba bread. Walking on the street alone later, Kyo sees Kawaguchi, Ushio, and Hayase come out of an arcade. At first, Kyo tries to ignore their insults, but then he tries to justify himself, eventually getting angry and telling them that their lives are illusions and that everything is a fake. Kawaguchi doesn’t understand but gets ready to hit Kyo anyway. Kyo notices that Ryoko is now watching them, but then he and Kawaguchi start fighting. It’s later in the Altair that Ryoko scolds Kyo for fighting with his friend. In her view, he should take a happier approach since he gets to repeat the same thing many times. With her urging, the two then land the Altair in a field of white flowers.
At that time, the Oceanus is flying over West Australia. Shima enters the bridge and orders the ship towards Japan as soon as the Altair returns – they are headed for the Maihama server. Lu Sheng and Chris voice their concern because doing so means that the enemy might discover the server. Shizuno tells them that they have to do maintenance on the server, and then she has Fosetta explain that the error rate on accessing the Maihama server has gone up. Lu Sheng stares at the emotionless Fosetta, but when she notices, he says that it’s nothing. Back at the flower field, Ryoko tells of a story about two lovers who were separated. In her pain, the woman’s body became a lily flower. Kyo recognizes this as a Caucasus legend and he also knows that there’s more to the story. Since the woman who turned into a flower needed to be watered, God turned the man into a rain cloud. Thus, in order to continue being together, the two stopped being humans. Kyo then asks Ryoko if they’ve already become not human and wonders what’s truly real – this “real” world that the Celebrants see or the created world inside the server where everyone else is. He remembers the fight he got into with Kawaguchi and how it wasn’t painful. Actually Kyo thinks that he just can’t feel anymore.
Ryoko tries to touch a white lily nearby and her hand passes right through it. She tells him that everyone is a fake, and that what’s real are the people who touch these flowers, the people who live in this real world – people like Shin. Kyo starts cursing and trying to scatter the flowers around him, eventually falling to his knees and asking what they are. It is at this point that the two get attacked by a group of Gards-orm ships. The Oceanus gets alerted and Shima orders the Garuda and the Hraesvelg to scramble. However, Kyo yells for them not to come. He also yells all sorts of things about how he doesn’t believe that they are the fakes and the Gards-orm are the real ones. He takes his frustrations out on the enemy by destroying every single one of them, but in the process of doing so, he lights the field of lilies on fire. Afterwards, Kyo vows that although it might be impossible right now, eventually the day will definitely come where they can return to being humans, the day where they can touch these flowers. He reaches out towards one of the lilies, but it floats right through his hand before completely burning up.
First things first – ARIKA!!!! She’s pimping the Zegapain DVDs! Good job Sunrise lol.
Anyway, there was a lot of Kyo angst this time, set off partially by how Ryoko supports the notion that they are fake and the Gards-orm are real. Makes you wonder if Shin’s transplant really did have some sort of effect on Ryoko past just repairing her. Who knows, maybe Shin likes Ryoko so much that she’ll come back and kidnap Ryoko sometime. I can just imagine the angst we’d see if Ryoko joined the Gards-orm and Kyo had to fight her. Also changed this episode is Fosetta, who the credits now list as Fosetta II (still Okada Junko voicing her). They either really wanted to show that Fosetta is different after the reinstall or perhaps there’s something more to it than meets the eye.
I get a bad feeling about how Shima and Shizuno are plotting what appears to be a final strategy and not telling anyone else. There’s so much that we don’t know about them that I can’t help but be suspicious. And since it was Shima who announced that they were headed for Japan and Shizuno who backed him up, it’s possible they have an ulterior objective for heading to Maihama. That’s certainly implied from the preview, where it looks like Maihama server will indeed come under attack and Lu Sheng confronts Shizuno.