Dragonaut – 14
Three years ago, Raina had worked with Jin’s father piloting shuttles for the ISDA and had asked why Jin’s father was flying routes between the moon and the Earth. Jin’s father had been the first man to land on Mars, and Raina had felt that someone with his skills should have been taking important space exploration missions, but Jin’s father had answered that he had things he wanted to protect. Back in the present, reporters who want to know about the ISDA and the D-Project are swarming Kiril, and Sakaki is hurrying along the preparations of the Avenir. Jin is meanwhile watching over Gio’s recovery when Raina comes looking for him because he wants to know what Jin intends to do now. Jin answers without hesitation that he’s going to bring Toa back, and this leads to Raina asking if Jin and Toa are going to run away together again after that. Raina knows how important Toa is and doesn’t want to put Jin in any more danger, so he and Howlingstar offer Jin the chance to become a Dragonaut. Jin, however, doesn’t think he can do that because he wants to rescue Toa and because he doesn’t think he could defend the Earth from Thanatos.
When Raina points out that Jin had already accomplished that with Ostolm, Jin protests because it was Gio who actually did it, so Raina tells him to believe in his own strength. Howlingstar agrees, explaining that no matter how much power the dragons have, that power by itself is useless because they need a master to draw it out, and Howlingstar talking about the view from space reminds Jin of his own father. In any case, Raina doesn’t expect an answer right away and gives Jin some time to think about it. Before they part ways, Jin asks why Raina became a Dragonaut and learns that Raina wanted to test his own potential. Elsewhere on the ISDA base, Nozaki reveals to Yuuri that she had been the first one to find him when he crashed onto the planet after the shuttle accident. That was when the Resonance occurred between them. Nozaki felt responsible for the deaths of so many people from the shuttle, and he couldn’t accomplish his mission of bringing back the Earth-born dragons without atoning for his crime, so he severed contact with Thanatos and chose the path of living together with humans. He knows that Thanatos frowns upon humans changing Dragons, but he feels differently. His mission right now is to let the remaining eggs hatch safely, and he feels that Yuuri changed him.
Elsewhere in the city, Akira is trying to figure out what to do when Amadeus arrives with Sieglinde. After Amadeus explains how the Avenir is being prepared to launch, Sieglinde tries to get Akira to say that she’ll come back so that they can fight alongside each other again. Akira, however, has decided to go with Jin because she wants to see for herself the potential of humans and dragons. She offers Sieglinde the chance to come with them, but Sieglinde refuses to betray her friends. Their conversation is cut short by a broadcast from the ISDA to all its members about the Avenir taking off in two hours time and asking everyone to get ready. Akira ends up apologizing and saying good-bye, and she leaves Sieglinde angry and crying. A little while later, as the Avenir is about to launch, Raina remembers how Jin had asked him why he became a Dragonaut, and he thinks back to the conversation he had with Jin’s father about them and the D-Project. It had been Jin’s father who had recommended Raina for the D-Project because he felt that Raina was still young, and he was the one who asked Raina to test his potential. He had stressed being honest to oneself and going with what he believed in. After the shuttle accident, Raina had promised that he’d do it and believed in his own potential.
Akira and Machina are meanwhile watching the Avenir get ready to take off when Jin and a healed Gio fly in. They’re determined to go to Mars for Toa and want Akira and Machina’s help, and since the two are willing, Gio and Machina change into their dragon forms, and the four head for space. Before the dragons can fly away from the ISDA launching area though, Gio comes under attack from Widow. Kazuki is back again, and he’s as angry as ever. Unfortunately, when Gio dodges an energy blast from Widow, the blast ends up hitting the catapult that the Avenir is now accelerating on. Since Gio is occupied by Widow and can’t go to save the Avenir, Machina takes his place by holding up the collapsed part of the catapult with her body. This allows the Avenir to successfully clear the catapult and launch into space. Kazuki doesn’t care much about this and just wants to kill Jin, but fortunately Machina flies in to save him. Because Kazuki gets distracted, Jin has Gio knock Kazuki’s cockpit off Widow, and both Kazuki and Widow are quickly engulfed in a massive explosion. Jin initially feels bad about this, but he soon gets over it and has Gio fly up into space along with Akira and Machina.
The Avenir is also in space by now, and Howlingstar messages Akira to tell her to find a new connection between dragons and humans. At the same time, Raina passes along to Jin what his father had said about going with what he believed in, and Jin promises to return after saving Toa. No longer feeling alone, Jin then directs Gio towards Mars. Unbeknownst to him, something is at this moment awakening on Thanatos.
ED: 「FIGHT OR FLIGHT」 by 小林ゆう (Kobayashi Yuu)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
Unlike the first ED, the new one is a lot faster paced, though it’s still growing on me. More interesting were all the new shots in the animation sequence, particularly with their laughable portrayal of breasts.
This episode was proceeding along fine until Kazuki’s entrance, which I thought was random and really stupid. I don’t have any respect for Kazuki as a character, so every time he appears, I think of him as like filler between more important story points, used to take up time with pointless fighting. The only remotely surprising thing about that part was that Kazuki was engulfed in flames and is now theoretically dead. I hope he stays dead, but I highly doubt that’s going to happen. I bet he’ll have a nice cross-shaped scar or something on his forehead when he returns.
Most of this episode was devoted to developing Akira and Raina further as support characters, and if you think about it, the only really major event that happened in this episode was the Avenir launching into space. I can’t help but feel that more could have happened if they didn’t spend a quarter of the episode on the fight with Kazuki. Hopefully next week will be better in that regard because it won’t have pointless Kazuki scenes (can you tell how much I hate his character?). Oh and I almost forgot: according to the latest Newtype spoilers, we’re in for a one-year jump in the near future.