Xam’d Lost Memories – 02
In the aftermath of the bus explosion, the aircraft above Sentan Island start dropping large pods, and one of the those lands in the school yard right by the carcass of the bus. From it emerges a large creature that the soldiers recognize as a Humanform Weapon, and it has the ability to rip through nearly anything with its beam weaponry. After destroying an armored car and cutting the school in half, the creature turns its attention towards the bus where Haru and the transformed Akiyuki are. Their friend Furuichi tries to get Haru to escape with him, but Akiyuki grabs her hand to stop her. The two are separated when the creature fires a beam through the middle of the bus and then tackles Akiyuki. While Akiyuki holds onto its snout, the creature runs amok through the industrial part of the island, and when Akiyuki finally lets go, he goes flying into a nearby waterway. The creature still tracks him down and fires at him though, forcing Akiyuki to block with his newly acquired transforming skin. He responds by punching its face and then leads it to another part of the waterway where he continues the struggle against it. Haru had followed him and tries to get Akiyuki to run away, but her words have no effect, and debris causes her to fall off a broken pipe.
Akiyuki manages to catch her, and, while holding her in his other arm, he charges at the creature. He manages to slice off a leg and then starts hammering the creature with his fists, and this leads to a layer of stone suddenly forming all over the creature’s body. While this is going on, Nakiami arrives on the scene and stabs Akiyuki’s arm with her cane. She wonders why a complete Xam’d is in a place like this, and when Nakiami questions if Akiyuki was a human, Haru asserts that he is. Nakiami then offers Akiyuki the choice of either dying there or going with her and living, and when Akiyuki chooses life, she subdues him simply by touching the gem on his forehead. This also causes him to change back to his original human form, and Nakiami carries his unconscious body off with her, leaving Haru behind. She brings Akiyuki back to Ishu’s ship, and after they depart from the port, Nakiami performs a procedure on Akiyuki that involves stabbing and restraining the arm with the gem on it. Once it’s done, she lets him rest and wonders how he can want to live even though no one is happy about his creation.
Back on Sentan Island, Haru is reunited with Furuichi and listens to the report over the radio about how the attack today was targeted at the military base and industrial complex. She believes that Akiyuki is still alive, but she feels bad about how she wasn’t able to keep her promise to his mother. At that moment, Akiyuki’s mother is paying a visit to his father at his clinic and tells him that Akiyuki never came home. Akiyuki’s father is worried, but he also has to prioritize his own patients, and this frustrates Akiyuki’s mother because she feels that he doesn’t care about their son. She thinks that Akiyuki could be waiting for them under a pile of rubble, and when Akiyuki’s father doesn’t move to act, she decides to search for Akiyuki by herself. Meanwhile, at an underground installation, a man named Commander Kakisu meets with a Dr. Kanba in front of a chained creature that Kanba refers to as a Xam’d. Kakisu talks about moving a research institution to Sentan Island, and Kanba urges Kakisu to show the island inhabitants the power of the Xam’d.
After all that, I don’t think I can call this series slow-paced anymore. I didn’t doubt that the BONES team could pull off a good action scene, but it’s always interesting to see when and how they’re used. The battle here reveals what appears to be Akiyuki’s key ability – reforming his arm and/or body into any shape – as well as one of the common enemies that he’ll probably be facing from now on (it’s the same as the one in the OP). The monster didn’t really pose any big threat to him though, and I would have thought his transformed body was close to near invincible if it weren’t for Nakiami showing up and stabbing his arm. It’s not entirely clear what that was about, but I assume that the gem is his weak point.
Speaking of things not being clear, this episode just raised more questions about pretty much everything – who’s Nakiami, what are the Xam’d, why did that Humanform Weapon target Akiyuki, etc. The writers appear to be taking the route of just introducing as much as they can before going into any explanation or significant character development, and while that’s not necessarily a bad approach, it can get pretty confusing and overwhelming in the beginning. One of the few things that was evident though was Akiyuki’s parents’ strained relationship. For whatever reason, I really liked all the emotion in that scene between the two of them, and I think it’ll make for an interesting subplot as the story moves forward. The preview indicates, however, that the focus of next week’s episode will be on Akiyuki getting acquainted with Nakiami and the crew of Ishu’s ship, and they’ll get attacked by a flying Humanform.