During a test in class, Kyo complains to his teacher that they hadn’t learned the material for one of the problems. The teacher Kurashige responds that it’s a middle-school level problem, in other words a freebie problem. Kyo doesn’t remember at all how to do it though. Between classes, Kyo finds Ryoko studying for her English exams, and she’s still a bit angry at him. On the Oceanus, Shima and the rest of his crew are discussing their next move. They report to Shima that Kyo’s condition has recovered fully and he’s in excellent shape. However, Shizuno thinks that Kyo isn’t the same as how he used to be. Back in the server world, Hayase and Ushio arrive at the pool and sign up for Kyo’s swimming club. The guys are horsing around when Shizuno walks by in her swimsuit and catches their attention. She’s come to practice for a while since she doesn’t want to deceive people by being the club’s poster girl, yet not be in the club and not swim. Kawaguchi walks by outside the pool alone, since his friends now are all inside. Meanwhile, in her room, Ryoko is rewatching the footage she had shot at the aquarium, including when Kyo had hugged her.
Chris, Arque, and Kyo are summoned to the bridge of the Oceanus where Lemures tells the three of them that they’ve raised the Oceanus’ battle power through the improvements in their fighting skills. Kyo feels like his status on the ship is rising and Lu Sheng even shakes his hand. Getting down to business, Shima tells everyone that there is a medium sized Deutera Area on the Pacific Ocean, which he dubs “Oscar,” that needs to be assaulted and destroyed. However, he warns that attacking an enemy base will be very dangerous. Kyo is willing to agree to the mission, but on one condition: Shima postpones discontinuing the swim club. Shima agrees, saying that he’ll put it off until the second school term starts. Kyo is thrilled to hear this though Shizuno calls the decision cruel. Surprisingly, Chris and Arque also have a condition. Kyo finds out first hand what this condition was when he discovers the two exploring inside the server world.
The three of them go to a cafe by the waterfront, and Chris explains that they’re trying to make memories. Arque confesses to having lost a lot of hers. Kyo thinks that she’s talking like someone who’s going to die soon, and Arque shocks him by saying that she is indeed going to die soon. Kyo becomes both angry and confused – if they’re data, how can they die? At Arque’s urging, Chris explains that they are preserved inside a quantum computer as digital data. There is an enormous amount of this data, which consequently means that errors can occur. It’s impossible for them to do a 100% perfect quantum teleport: a little bit of data is lost when they Entangle. And when they quantum teleport, the data from where they originated doesn’t remain. Copies and backups are impossible, so therefore there’s no way to get back the missing data. Because man’s body can be patterned, some of the lost parts can be reconstructed to a degree. However, a certain part can be lost and never recovered. That part is the memory. And with a disappearing memory, a person’s character will gradually change. Arque’s memory took a lot of damage in a previous transfer incident and that damage is now ruining her body. Chris ends by giving Kyo a warning: they are data, but that does not make them invulnerable.
Kyo walks back alone, taking in everything he just heard. He wonders if he’ll ever become like Arque and starts to think that maybe he has already. He remembers the time he experienced déjà vu and wonders if it wasn’t because he’d already experienced it before. Could it be because he just doesn’t remember? Kyo’s train of thought is interrupted by Ryoko, and the two start chatting on the playground swings. Ryoko tries to confirm that he hadn’t been serious when he was confessing to her because she had noticed that he was thinking about something else. Kyo jumps up, and, to Ryoko’s surprise, confirms that he was thinking about something else and that he really didn’t mean what he said. He tries to apologize, but Ryoko slaps him and runs off after calling him an idiot. Kyo realizes that even data hurts and wonders if he’s broken.
Kyo transfers back to the Zegapain world and boards the Altair for the mission. After they appear over the ocean, Shizuno verifies that the Garuda, the Hraesvelg, and the Charadrius have also arrived and that everything is going according to plan. Kyo asks her if being damaged on the inside is according to plan too – he now knows that there’s damage done when he transfers. Shizuno reports that it’s within tolerance levels and that are no abnormalities, but Kyo still thinks that he’s breaking. Shizuno finally confirms that Kyo has been reborn once, and Kyo thanks her. He turns his attention back to the mission at hand and the Zega team encounters the enemy. The Altair heads straight for the enemy base’s force field, but isn’t able to penetrate through on the first attempt. Shizuno turns up the power and they try again, this time succeeding. There are more enemies inside, but Kyo makes quick work of them. Yelling “Bonus Stage!,” Kyo starts destroying the structures inside. By the time the other Zega mechanicals enter the force field, almost everything is already in ruin. Chris is happy at the success of their blitzkrieg surprise attack.
The Zega team works together to defeat the rest of the enemies as the Altair goes for the Core. Shizuno asks why Kyo is fighting so violently – is it a broken heart? Kyo says that he’s only confirming that he exists here. Before he attacks the Core, he asks Shizuno what his old self was like, specifically what he was like when he was worried. Shizuno tells him that he used to carry all of the painful things by himself, fighting with those burdened on his own shoulders. And what’s more, he destroyed himself. Saying that he doesn’t need that, Kyo and the other Zegas enter the Core and destroy it. The next day, a sleepy Kyo goes to school and sees Ryoko in front of him. She also spots him, but gives him a dirty look and walks away. Kyo clenches his tie because just as he thought, it hurts. However, he accepts it and he accepts how he is right now as he runs toward the school building.
A small change: this episode confirms that Chris’s co-pilot’s name is actually spelled Arque, not Ark.
I had expected to see this episode all about Kyo being all happy and chipper now that he’s come to terms with his existence, but this episode ended up being quite the opposite. We, along with Kyo, learn what’s going on with Arque, which would be like a slow decay of data. From what they said, it seems that they’re physically ok as long as there aren’t any teleport troubles (as was in Arque’s case), but their memories are gradually chipped away at. I guess the question on my mind is how this affects the story, other than giving Kyo something more to angst about. I’m willing to bet that Chris and Arque won’t survive to the end of the series, but it’s hard to say how the memory thing will play into it all.
As for Kyo’s relationship with Ryoko, that crashed and burned because of the boneheaded way Kyo took back the confession. Ryoko was giving him another chance, a chance to repeat that he liked her, but he screwed it up. I think he deserved that slap, and I certainly laughed as Ryoko looked like she was powering up to slap him.
Next episode looks like it’ll focus on Ryoko and the server world. And summer time means time for yukata 🙂