ZEGAPAIN – 23
A few minor changes to the OP this week, including some some crazed shots of Shin and Abyss.
With the other warships keeping the Gards-orm occupied, the Oceanus is racing towards the Sabato. The Altair has just finished QL charging inside the hanger when Ryoko leans forward onto Kyo’s back. Kyo comforts her by taking her hand and saying that the next time they touch, they’ll be real; he believes that this strategy will definitely be successful. Ryoko thinks to herself that she wants to become real too, together with Kyo. The other pilots are also ready in their respective Zegapain, with May-Yen as the odd person out so she’s watching over Shima. They get their chance to launch after the Oceanus manages to break through into the Sabato, and is met with fierce enemy resistance on the inside. Back outside the Sabato, the Dvoraka heads for the Gards-orm orbital base Claude, as per the Phase II plans. Suddenly, the Deukalio explodes and goes down in flames because the Anti-Zega has arrived at the battle. Abyss and Shin are easily able to handle the Zegapains that come after then, and they are specifically looking for the Oceanus and Kyo & Ryoko. However, the Corduax and the Cagayan get in their way.
The Oceanus meanwhile missiles open a rift in the ground, opening up the Gards-orm base so that they can go for the quantum portal. With all of the explosions occurring around the ship, Shima wakes up and immediately asks May-Yen about the progress of the operation. Aboard the Hraesvelg, Chris and Shizuno find a room full of bodies in tubes, which Chris identifies as the secret of Shin and Abyss’ immortality. In a rage, he completely destroys everything in the room so that those two can’t be revived again. Having found the quantum portal, Minato has everyone form up again and head into it together. Shizuno comments to herself that she’s returning to the moon and Lu Sheng warns that they’ll be right in the middle of the enemy when they get there. After a bit more banter, the group teleports to the moon. By this time, Shin and Abyss have figured out where the Oceanus is going, but the other Oceanus-class ships are still getting in the way. With the Anti-Zega heavily damaged, Abyss decides to blow it up and take some of the ships with him, including the Cagayan. He and Shin reawaken in new bodies, but they then realize that the rest of their replacement bodies have been destroyed.
As the Oceanus and its three Zegapain arrive at the lunar base, and Kyo realizes that this isn’t the first time he’s been up here. The moon defense forces of the Gards-orm respond to the threat, but they are easily destroyed by Hraesvelg and the Garuda. Shizuno notes that the pivotal point of this strategy was for the enemy not to have thought that they’d attack from the inside of the base. With the plan now in Phase III, Shima arrives on the bridge to guide them through contacting his original. Along with the Zegapains, the Oceanus descends down a shaft towards the server room. Shima first apologizes to Kyo for having him bear various painful duties. He then tells Minato of how he’s been researching apparition restoration and how it might be possible to help Minato with her lost data. However, around this time, the Oceanus comes under heavy fire from above. An entirely new type of Anti-Zega appears, more powerful than the last, but still piloted by Shin and Abyss. While the three Zegapain keep the Anti-Zega occupied, the Oceanus hurries to the bottom of the shaft – the server room. The Anti-Zega pursues them down there, and unfortunately the Altair and the Garuda need to return to the Oceanus to get a QL charge. But just as those two Zegapain are about to entangle timeout, the new Anti-Zega grabs onto both of them and disappears in a bright flash with them.
Kyo appears inside the Maihama server world, sitting as if he were in class. When he realizes that his teacher Kurashige is talking about the Gards-orm, Kurashige disappears. Mizusawa and Shizuno also appear and disappear, and then Kyo finds himself with Lu Sheng, May-Yu, and Ryoko in a different classroom. Lu Sheng has realized that somehow they’re inside the enemy’s quantum server. The shape shifter reappears, first as Shizuno and then as Kyo, saying that it only wants to talk with them. Lu Sheng accuses the person of being Naaga, and the person replies that Lu Sheng is both correct and incorrect because Naaga does not exist as a person anymore. Changing to Mizusawa’s form, the person in front of them explains that Naaga had assimilated with the data space of the quantum server group long ago. That means that the person who was formerly Naaga also exists in the human servers. In other words, they are all Naaga and what Kyo and company see now is just an interface.
Kyo accuses the interface of destroying the human race, and it replies that it might be so. It says that Naaga developed the quantum computer for infinite possibilities and then it shows them an image of a star going supernova. Since the life of a star is several billions of years, Naaga needed a much longer time to observe quantum explosions. This is where apparitions become very useful. If a server and transceiver device are sent, then even coming and going to a distant star is not an impossibility. May-Yu can’t believe that someone would turn Earth to Hell for the sake of their own interests. The interface Kurashige answers that it’s not Hell – it’s a god’s country. He reasons that without a body to tie them down, and with infinite life, any observer would think of them as the same as a god. With accelerated time, they are thus able to evolve efficiently. When Lu Sheng points out that seven billion lives and the history of man kind was destroyed, the interface Kurashige thinks that that’s not a big problem because they can just build history again as the new human race. Ryoko then takes a stand and asks about the feelings of all the erased people – doesn’t he understand the pain of all the dead people? Interface Kurashige had indeed not understood since his original naturally had no sense of pain. However, he understands now because they’ve reproduced that function. The interface then stabs his own hand with a pen and figures out that pain is an excellent way of signaling danger. With this stimulation, the survival instinct tries to defend the body. From this, it now thinks that Kyo and company must be fighting in order to avoid the pain. Kyo denies that – what they were talking about is the heart’s pain, not physical pain. The important town, the important people, the important memories – Kyo will never forget the pain in his heart from losing all that.
The interface tells Kyo not to misunderstand; their goal was not annihilation but rather evolution. Kurashige says that the variety known as Celebrant was generated as an unexpected harvest; if a new factor is added in, a new evolution pattern can be produced. He then offers to allow Kyo and company to join them, claiming that they have the technology to materialize what Kyo and the others desire. Faced with the choice, Kyo says that he doesn’t know what value the message of interface has. However, his fists, his arm’s biceps, and his soul rage. He knows that he hates them and no matter what happens, he won’t become friends with them. The interface declares that the negotiations have broken down and transforms into the Anti-Zega. In response, Kyo, Ryoko, Lu Sheng, and May-Yu turn into the Altair and the Garuda, and the fight starts once again inside the server room, with Kyo vowing never to forgive his enemy.
Most of this episode ended up being fighting, but I guess most of the story development came in the last five or so minutes. According to the interface, Naaga isn’t any one person, but rather everyone. The Naaga and the Gards-orm goal ideology seems to be heavily focused on evolution, regardless of what gets in their way. But that evolution feels very artificial to me, turning this into somewhat of an artificial vs. natural fight.
It was interesting that they decided to censor Kurashige stabbing his hand with a pen. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since ZEGAPAIN airs in the evening and not late late night as most other animes do. In any case, it still looked a bit weird seeing Kurashige’s hand fuzzed out like that. Maybe the DVD version won’t have it.
And as expected, things aren’t quite going according to plan. A few of the Oceanus-class ships were destroyed early on, and the Oceanus itself has yet to make contact with the original Shima, all of while the clock is ticking. Lu Sheng says in the preview that the resurrection has failed, and that sequence seems to show Shima dying. Maybe it means that they weren’t able to contact the original Shima or maybe there’s some other twist in store. I guess we’ll find out next week.
Incidentally, the ED returned to Little Goodbye, which is a shame cause I really liked Last Blue (not that Little Goodbye is a bad song).