Pumpkin Scissors – 18
Since the waterworks incident, Stekkin has noticed that there’s a heavy air around the office, particularly from Oland. She decides to do a song and dance that’ll cheer everyone up and goes to practice it in front of Mercury-go inside a storeroom. It turns out to be more embarrassing than she thought it would be, and things are made worse by the fact that Oland inadvertently opened the door in the middle of it and heard her. With her first plan failed, Stekkin decides to ask Oreld for advice because he knows how to enjoy life. This leads to Oreld deciding to take Oland to a store that’ll raise his spirits, but when Stekkin figures out what he’s referring to, she vehemently opposes it. Since Oreld’s out of the question, Stekkin then turns to Machs, who she admires for how well he works by himself. However, she ruins that by accidentally announcing in the cafeteria that Machs is the best masturbator in the Empire.
With Stekkin’s plans not exactly working, Oreld decides to confront Oland directly about what’s bothering him. Oland admits that there were people he wasn’t able to save in the sewers, but this causes Oreld to angrily ask how many people Oland would need to save for him to consider the mission a success. Before Oland can answer, a member of the 1st Section named Lahn comes over to belittle what the 3rd Section does. Oreld tries to ignore him by moving to a different table, but Stekkin responds by using her arms like scissor blades around the guy’s head. When an angry Lahn looks ready to teach her a lesson, Oreld is the one who comes in and preemptively strikes with a kick. He then takes Stekkin and runs, but she notices that Oland isn’t escaping with them. Since Oreld doubles back and attacks all the guys who have surrounded Oland, Lieutenant Webner starts taking bets for the fight. She’s around because she was called up by the head of the 1st Section about the tank incident, though she didn’t tell him about Oland taking it on alone. Webner pushes Machs into the fight, but then security arrives to break things up.
Over at the 1st Section, Connelly is going over Webner’s testimony in relation to the waterworks incident with his two subordinates. They note that automatic rifles they seized were of a high quality – one that they couldn’t mass produce themselves. Connelly concludes that these rifles and that tank do indeed connect with what Hunks told him. After the meeting, the two subordinates are going down a hallway talking about the rifles when they pass Alice. Both of them stop to look at her as she walks away, and the one with the bandages on his head removes them to reveal that he’s the vice-captain that she defeated in the previous battle. Meanwhile, Stekkin is helping bandage up Oland again when he suddenly starts talking about how he hadn’t noticed Oreld’s feelings. He feels really bad that he was so caught up in his own worries that he didn’t see how much everyone else was trying to cheer him up. Stekkin attempts to make him feel better by singing a song, but Oland panics when he recognizes it as being from their enemies, the Republic.
Stekkin then reveals that she used to be in the military band and has loved to sing since she was young. She loved Republic songs, but she wasn’t allowed to study them, so she came over to the Intelligence department. Her point is that everyone is in the 3rd Section for their own reasons, and it’s ok for them to think about themselves. She feels that Oland should become the person that satisfies him the most. Although Oland doesn’t quite understand what she means, he decides to go apologize to Oreld and is glad that she sang for him. He finds Oreld outside watching as sewer refugees get on trucks to be shipped off to farms, but before he can apologize, Marielle comes running to say hi. She notices the bruise on Oreld’s cheek, but that was actually from the cafeteria fight. Before she has to go, Oreld takes her hand and tells her to live happily with her father. In the end, as he watches the trucks pull away, Oreld is the one who apologizes to Oland for what he said in the cafeteria. After thinking about it, Oreld has realized that every person they save is valuable, even if it’s just one out of one thousand. Oland, however, asserts that he wants to save them all, and Oreld responds by saying – with a smile – that they’ll be getting into a fight soon again.
Writing in her journal later, Stekkin notes that Oland cheered up even though she feels she wasn’t able to do anything. Nevertheless, she’s happy if everyone’s energetic again. The one who has her worried now is Alice, and she soon finds out why: Alice is getting married.
ED2: 「パンプキン音頭」 (Pumpkin Ondo) by 植田佳奈 (Ueda Kana)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1 Mirror 2 (10.4MB, XviD)
I didn’t even realize we were going to be getting a new ending song, never mind the song/dance Stekkin does at this point in the manga. It’s pretty cute and I find it catchier than the first ED.
Stekkin episode isn’t great, but not bad either because of the funny parts. Oland’s reaction to her song was great, as was her masturbation flub with Machs. As for the actual story, it looks like the two 1st Section guys might play a bigger part than I would have guessed. The two of them seem more likely to help Alice than fight her again in the future. In any case, the overall story appears to be headed in the direction of Alice’s marriage, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen Leonir.