Soukou no Strain – 08
With Emily gone, Sara chases after the garbage truck that went into the city. Lavinia contacts Lottie, who decides to gather the other pilots to help with the search. Sara eventually makes her way to a garbage facility and sees what appears to be a doll’s hand sticking out. This alone is enough to make her try to go over the railing onto the garbage conveyor belt if it weren’t for the fact that Carris arrives in time to stop her. Sara is so caught up on Emily that Carris has to slap some sense into her and point out that the hand she saw belongs to a different trashed doll. He promises to find Emily, revealing that he used to live here before he went to Basion, so he knows the place pretty well. He then heads to the central administration bureau to ask about a person named Donny. It just so happens that Donny walks up behind them and greets his brother with a big hug. Carris explains to Sara afterwards that Donny is actually his younger brother despite the older look because of the time dilation that goes with sub-speed-of-light movement. In any case, since Lottie and the others are currently looking for Emily, Carris takes Sara out to grab a bite to eat. By chance, the two pass by real Emily, and she follows them to their cafe table.
Meanwhile, Melchisedec and Carmichael are at a hidden computer access point above a bar and are comparing Sara’s body’s data with the database of the integration headquarters in order to find out more about her. Back at the cafe, Emily gets served a pasta dish, but chooses to eat a chili pepper first. When she gasps because of the spiciness, Sara gives her a glass of water to drink. Emily’s attention then turns to a man handing out balloons across the street, though Sara fortunately notices in time to save Emily from getting hit by a car. Along with Carris, the three of them spend the rest of the afternoon having fun while Lottie’s group continues the search elsewhere in the city. When Emily is resting her head on Sara’s lap later, Sara and Carris trade compliments on how they’d make good parents. The water fountain in front of them suddenly turns off, causing Carris to realize that it’s degauss time. It seems that since long ago, this town has accumulated magnetism, and if left alone, machinery will be of no use. That’s why every 24 hours, they discharge the accumulated magnetism in a fashion that lights up the surrounding air. Carris then gives Sara a present for Emily – a dress. When Sara asks why he’s doing all this for her, he claims it’s because they’re comrades and suggests that she stop speaking lowly of herself like that. At the right moment, the two almost kiss, but are interrupted by a call from Donny on Carris’ communicator. While he is talking to his brother, the real Emily suddenly wakes up after the doll Emily’s eyes start glowing in the dump where it has been deposited.
Carris’ brother tells him about the S35 area, but also warns of something going out at the outer wall there. Carris then notices that Sara is now gone – having been led off by Emily – but he can’t do anything about it because he gets an emergency return order on his communicator. The Libertad has been asked by the station’s forces to scout out some unidentified machines, so Lottie sends Carris and Jessie back to the ship while she goes to the S35 area. Lavinia initially heads back towards the ship too, but then has second thoughts and follows after Lottie instead. By this time, Sara has arrived at a garbage dump with Emily, who goes straight for a large mound and finds the doll Emily. Happy that her Emily has been found, Sara hugs both the girl and the doll, not knowing that they share the same name. Wiping off the doll’s face, Sara apologizes to it for leaving it alone. To her surprise, real Emily responds by saying that it’s ok because she believed that Sara would find her again. She had been scared, cold, and lonely in the dark place where no one came, but then Sara had found her, named her, and talked to her every day – that’s why she’s not lonely anymore. When a confused Sara tries to figure out what the girl is saying, the real Emily introduces herself as Emily and knows that Sara’s real last name is Werec. The real Emily then explains that the doll she had been searching for a long time is actually herself. Both she and the doll had been lonely, and with how nice Sara was, Emily came to see her.
At that moment, however, a male voice calls out to Emily from above. Sara is shocked to see her own brother standing at the top of the garbage mound. Carris and the other pilots meanwhile have found an infestation of Tumors and have engaged the enemy. Some Tumors happen to fall through a hole on the station’s side and explode, causing the ground to shake inside. Both Sara and Emily lose their footing as a result and fall off the mound. Fortunately, Sara manages to grab a metal bar and Emily gets saved by Ralph, though she drops the doll. Seeing her brother hold Emily in his arms, Sara realizes that the young girl is the same person Ralph took from the laboratory back on Glabella. When she tries to get him to stop so that he can finally tell her what all this means, Ralph responds in an icy voice telling her not to be concerned about him and to forget about him and Emily. He has something that he’s decided to do at any cost, and he doesn’t want her getting in the way. On that last statement, Ralph’s Gloire-type springs up behind him. As he boards it, Ralph tells Sara that he won’t show mercy to anyone who tries to stop him, not even if it’s her. Sara continues to ask questions about what happened to her brother, but he’s already launching off in his Strain.
Lottie, who had seen the Gloire-type appear, comes running with her gun firing, but stops in her tracks as she hears Sara yell out to her brother. Ralph flies up and out, coming through the hole outside the station right as Carris is looking at it, and in the process spearing through Carris’ Strain. The Gloire-type watches as Carris’ Strain explodes, and then it flies off into the darkness of space. Unaware of what just happened out there, Lavinia picks up the dirty Emily doll and hugs it as she notices a furious Lottie confronting Sara about Ralph being her brother.
Now THIS is what I’ve been waiting for: an episode with so much juicy stuff happening in the plot. I certainly didn’t expect that Carris would be the first one of this new group to die. Heck, he didn’t even manage to get that kiss, and this would be the second of Sara’s love interests that has been killed by Ralph. In fact, similarly to Sara’s previous three friends, Carris’ death happened so fast (literally in the last minute of the episode) that you barely had time to react before they returned to Sara facing Lottie and then ended the episode.
What I did expect what that Lottie would “turn” on Sara once she learned Sara’s brother is Ralph. Next episode looks like Lottie will have to come to terms with Sara being a Werec and will spend a lot of time pointing a gun at Sara. It’s noteworthy that the animation quality in the preview seemed rather high.
Incidentally, the real Emily is really cute when she’s running around having fun.
As another reminder, episode 09 of Soukou no Strain will air next week, but there will a two week break after that. Episode 10 is set to air on January 10th, 2007.