Kyo finds himself in the aquarium tank, watching as the earlier scene between him and Ryoko unfolds on the other side of the glass. He experiences a flashback of the self-destruction on the lunar surface, and then swims towards the surface of the water. He gets teleported to the Zegapain hanger where he has a brief run-in with Lu Sheng. On the bridge of the Oceanus, Shima is talking to Shizuno about how Kyo is on the verge of self-destruction. Lu Sheng joins their conversation and suggests that a hammer can fix a curved nail – they’re at the point where drastic measures are needed. Back in the hanger, Kyo interrupts a moment between Chris and Arque with more talk about being alive. After seeing the two in each other’s arms, Kyo wonders if perhaps he’s feeling lonely.
He goes to the bridge where Shima gives him a mission that will show him reality: a trip to Maihama. Minato opposes going there because the enemy could be watching, but Lu Sheng says that you can’t grasp anything without getting your hands dirty. Much to Shizuno’s surprise, Shima names Kyo’s Wizard (co-pilot) to be May-Yu. They launch in the Zegapain Altair into the middle of the Zegapain world’s Maihama. With no enemies around, Kyo gets to see a city completely different from how he knows it. May-Yu takes a sarcastic tone of voice about the ruins, which gets Kyo angry. She reminds him of his attitude when the Shanghai server was destroyed – reality is a lot harsher than he thinks it is. May-Yu then lands the Zegapain by a building and lets Kyo out. A flock of seagulls reacts to the noise and starts flying out, passing straight through Kyo like he’s a hologram.
May-Yu sends Kyo underground into a passageway. Kyo moves forward in the darkness and his feet hit a corpse. He runs the rest of the way to the wall at end of the tunnel. There, he finds a plaque with the words “MAIHAMA” written on it. May-Yu says that this is the world he believed to be reality, the Maihama Server. Kyo realizes that everyone he knows is inside and May-Yu reminds him that that’s why it’s so important. When he returns to the cockpit, she taunts him a bit more by saying that if it breaks, everything he knows will disappear. Kyo runs away by teleporting himself out. Unfortunately for May-Yu, a large number of enemy fighters show up on radar soon after. Kyo goes to the Oceanus, much to Minato’s dismay since Kyo just basically abandoned his co-pilot. However, he doesn’t listen to her and runs through the ship. He even passes by Shizuno, but instead of stopping, he teleports away again. As for the enemies, the maintenance on the Garuda is still not complete, but the Hraesvelg can sortie.
Kyo wakes up back inside the server world. He’s in the infirmary with his teacher and the nurse right beside him. He gets pissed off at the sight of the two getting along so well, since he thinks that love here is now worthless. When Kyo voices that opinion, his teacher asks him if he’s ever liked someone before. Kyo is reminded of what happened at the aquarium with Ryoko and runs out of the room. In his view, no one else understands that they’re not alive. He ends up bumping into Hayase, who asks him about the swimming club. Kyo doesn’t care about that anymore, which surprises his friend who wants to swim again. The windows of the school beside them fizzle and reveal the battle going on in the Zegapain world. Kyo’s cell phone then rings with a mail from Ryoko apologizing for last time. Kyo holds the phone close to his chest and realizes how warm she is. He finally begins to understand about Chris and Arque’s relationship and about what May-Yu had told him before. Seeing that Kyo isn’t paying any attention, Hayase slaps him and tells him to get himself together. Kyo feels the pain and knows that his wounded heart is still there. They’re all still there, still living. Kyo teleports back to the Oceanus and gives his answer to Shima: he’s alive and so is everyone else.
During this time, the Hraesvelg has been trying to hold off the enemies. In the middle of the fight, Arque gets distracted looking at the beautiful ocean, but an explosion jolts her back into reality. With the repairs done, Lu Sheng brings the Garuda out to battle. And with Kyo back, the Altair is ready to fight too. A lively Kyo has May-Yu equip the launcher against their enemies, which have shown themselves very resistant to their beam weapons. But Kyo’s strategy is to fire into the water to create a wall of water. When the enemies blindly fire through the water, Kyo is able to see where the shot came from and leap through to cut apart the enemy ship. Lu Sheng and Chris adopt the same strategy and end the threat. That evening, Ryoko gets a message from Kyo and holds it close to her chest. It’s a message where Kyo admits that he’s an idiot.
I thought Kyo’s turn-around in attitude came a little too easily considering how much angsting he’s been doing in the past couple of episodes, but I do like a cheerful Kyo more than a depressed Kyo. Ryoko played a big part in it, despite her small amounts of screen time this episode. It’s a contrast to Shizuno who got more screen time, but couldn’t really do much other than stand around and talk with Shima.
It was rather fitting that May-Yu got a little revenge for what Kyo said after the Shanghai server incident, but that certainly didn’t make her character any more likeable, at least not to me. And I didn’t realize how much Lu Sheng liked talking in metaphors until this episode lol (mainly the hammer comment).
As for next week, it looks like we’re going to be seeing a lot of the rejuvenated Kyo. I’m just waiting for something to make his world come crashing down again.