Dragonaut – 22
Having returned to the home where he, Jin, and Toa had lived until it was recently destroyed, Gio picks up a piece of cloth and recalls all the peaceful times that the three had spent together. However, he knows what he has to do and flies off somewhere in his dragon form. Jin and Toa meanwhile are still with Sieglinde and the others camping out in an abandoned building. Seeing them sleeping side by side, Sieglinde thinks about how Toa had revealed that she was going to die soon, and she decides to head outside as the sun begins to rise. On the beach, Raina and Itsuki are currently discussing how Gio claimed to be the successor of Thanatos and how he’s probably no longer the Gio that they knew. When Itsuki comments on how this is like survival of the fittest with wild animals, Raina suggests that it’s more like a type of weeding out. He feels that humans don’t understand dragons and only thought to use them as weapons without regard for who they really are. Joining in on the conversation, Sieglinde talks about how everyone lacks something and how they felt that doing a Resonance with a dragon was making up for that. She is sure that Thanatos got angry because its children were being injured due to man’s selfish desires.
Amadeus eventually interrupts this discussion because he sees a worn Sakaki stumbling out of the water and onto the beach. As he collapses, Sakaki utters Laura’s name. At that very moment, Laura is being experimented on by ISDA scientists who are working on the anti-Thanatos factor. Kazuki watches over the experimentation for a while, and when Widow asks him about Laura being Raum, he explains that the Raum in the giant tube that Nozaki had dropped into the lava was just an empty shell. Communicators normally keep their dragon forms in hyperspace, but in Raum’s case, after doing a Resonance with Sakaki, that connection was lost for some reason. Regardless, Kazuki gleefully awaits the end of Thanatos, Jin, and everything else via the anti-Thanatos factor and Laura. Meanwhile, Nozaki tells Yuuri that he’s running out of time and shows her the stigmata on his back. He then reveals that he, Raum, and Album were probes whose lives were limited from the very beginning. The three of them were created only to guide the dragons left on this planet to Thanatos – in other words, they’re disposable. Nozaki feels that Thanatos’ existence is beyond the range of human understanding, and he tells Yuuri to never forget that everything about Thanatos is different from humans.
Back on the island, Raina and the others question Sakaki about keeping Raum a secret while being the commander of the Dragonauts. They think that he was using Raum as a substitute for his daughter, but Sakaki claims that Raum isn’t Laura. Instead he thinks that the dragon that killed Laura also stole her appearance, and everyone starts to realize that this is why Sakaki was planning revenge on Thanatos and had used the Dragonauts as tools. Sieglinde then deduces that Sakaki changed completely after the Mars incident and tried to capture the Dragonauts because he became afraid of the power of dragons. Sakaki admits that Laura was a splendid tool to hunt the Dragonauts down and guesses that the ISDA is currently implanting the anti-Thanatos factor into her so that they can use her in a missile warhead. When Toa remembers how much Laura had wanted to be useful to him, Sakaki reiterates that she is a tool and suggests that Jin should understand as someone who lost a loved one in the shuttle accident. Jin, however, questions if Sakaki is satisfied with inflicting pain on the dragon that killed his daughter and with revenge on Thanatos. He asks because he can see that Sakaki has a pained look on his face, and he cites how meeting Toa saved him. The other Dragonauts then chime in on how each of them views their dragon partners, and Raina talks about how they want to be needed and can’t be alone. Jin suggests that this is what a Resonance is.
Gio meanwhile launches an attack on Nozaki’s secret hideout and levels an entire city block. Nozaki manages to protect the eggs with a shield, but he’s too weak to keep it up indefinitely, so he urges Yuuri and Yonamine Kou to run away because he knows that Gio is after the eggs. Luckily for them, the Dragonauts come to their rescue and attack Gio. They aren’t able to damage him though, and he shoots down Amadeus and Otohime. Jin tries to get Gio to stop all this, however Kazuki then joins the battle and has Widow tackle Toa. Widow blames Toa doing a Resonance with Jin for Kazuki’s sadness, and she slaps Jin aside when he tries to protect Toa. She vows to destroy everyone who makes Kazuki feel sad and is about to blast the unconscious Toa when Gio suddenly flies in and repels her. He follows it up with an energy blast aimed at her and Kazuki, and although Widow manages to shield Kazuki with her body, she’s heavily injured now. Gio then directs Jin’s attention to the sky where Thanatos is appearing. With Thanatos so close, Gio tells Jin to hand over Toa because this is the only way to save her. Meanwhile on Mars, unbeknownst to everyone, Machina opens her eyes while still in the ice tomb and soon disappears from it with Akira.
Up until the last few minutes, this was a really slow paced episode spent mostly trying to tie up loose ends about Sakaki, Laura, Thanatos, and the original dragons. Those last few minutes fortunately turned things around, though they did also leave me with a few more questions. For one, it reminded me that, although she talks about why she’s against Toa, I still don’t understand why Widow is so devoted to Kazuki. The bigger thing, however, is what the heck they’re planning to do with Machina and perhaps Akira. I probably shouldn’t have been too surprised by this development, but I was. I’m guess I’m used to the Sunrise Mai-HiME/Otome tradition of not showing the dead bodies for characters who aren’t really dead, and while I did suspect that something like this could happen, I assumed (wrongly) that a tomb of ice was the equivalent of having dead bodies. Regardless, it seems unlikely that the writers are just screwing with us, so I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to have some deus ex machina moment (no pun intended) in the near future.