Dragonaut – 09
Two years ago, Sakaki had been at the airport to see off his wife Martina and daughter Laura. They had been on the same shuttle as Jin and his family, and Sakaki had watched in horror as it exploded. Back in the present, Jin is shocked to find out that Toa killed his family, but he doesn’t get much time to react because Laina and the ISDA forces suddenly spring their trap. The other Communicators quickly restrain Gio, and Jin learns that Toa had surrendered instead of being captured like he had thought. She feels that there’s something she still needs to do and asks Jin to do what Raina says for now, so he complies. Raina then questions Kazuki on why he and Widow brought the Album here, and Kazuki claims that it was a special assignment from Sakaki to capture Jin and Gio. Though it’s obviously a lie, Raina doesn’t call him on it and lets it slide. Over at the Girouard military’s trailer, Garnet and her men are looking through the resonance data that Raina gave them as part of the deal that they give up on Gio. However, they soon discover that the data is fake.
On the way back to Earth, Raina contacts Sakaki about what Kazuki said, and after a brief pause, Sakaki confirms that those were his orders. After the transmission ends, Sakaki asks his control room operators to show him Kazuki’s personal data. Yuuri meanwhile goes out for drinks with the chief of her research group, Nozaki Kasuga, and is quite happy that they’ve finally gotten their hands on the Album. She thinks that being able to analyze a living original dragon will mean a lot to the D Project, but Nozaki isn’t quite as excited as she is. Back in space, Garnet sends her fleet to attack the ISDA shuttle that’s carrying Toa, Gio, and Jin. At first, the Dragons are forced to stay on the defensive, but Sakaki eventually gives them permission to strike back. Howlingstar, Machina, and Amadeus thus dive into the fray and start destroying Girouard ships, but they realize too late that they’re being led away from the shuttle. While the three Dragons try to get through the waves of enemy fighters, Garnet prepares and fires her flagship’s main cannon in their direction.
Fortunately for the ISDA Dragons and their pilots, a fourth Dragon suddenly appears and shields them. They realize that this Dragon belongs to Habaragi Itsuki, the leader of the Vritra Unit, and she is apparently already acquainted with Laina. There is little time to chat though, because the Girouard ships keep attacking. The shuttle meanwhile is being boarded by a pair of Agathions that Garnet had released. Inside, Gio breaks free of his bindings and tries to convince Jin that they have to protect Toa. Jin is still caught up over how Toa killed his family, so Gio throws him to the floor and reminds him that he said he’d protect her. Remembering all the time he’s spent with Toa, Jin regains his determination and has Gio actualize. Gio quickly destroys both Agathions, and the loss of those forces Garnet to retreat. However, the shuttle is now plummeting towards the planet and is in danger of burning up, so Jin and Gio rush in front of it to act as its shield. They successfully allow the shuttle to enter the atmosphere, though afterwards, Kazuki is as angry as ever towards Jin.
A little while later, Toa gets personally welcomed to the ISDA by Sakaki, and she’s shocked when he introduces her to the Dragon in the large tube behind him that he calls her comrade. Jin meanwhile has been locked up again and is banging on the doors because he wants them to let him see Toa.
Well, this episode had a lot of Dragon battling, but it was rather pathetic in terms of the challenge that Garnet’s forces gave (aka. cannon fodder). The most danger the Dragons and their pilots were ever in was when Garnet fired her main cannon, and all that took was a new Dragonaut to swoop in and save them. Given that, I think it’s probably best for them to stay away from more extended Dragon fighting and just concentrate on the story. On that note though, I’m glad that we finally got a look into Sakaki’s motivations with the loss of his family.
What I don’t understand is why Jin and Gio, who had just saved the day, would allow themselves to be captured again. Instead, everyone is under ISDA control now, and it’s beginning to feel like we’re in a perpetual cycle of someone being captured, someone needing to be found/rescued/freed, or both. Having said that though, since Toa willing gave herself up, what she wants to do probably has to take place at ISDA headquarters or something. I just think that it’s stupid for Jin and Gio to be captured along with her – a little communication would have gone a long way. In any case, next week’s episode will hopefully clear up what Toa wants to accomplish, and it looks like we’ll finally get introduced to the guy who appears to be Garnet’s boss.