In the midst of a massive space fleet labeled “SOS SPACE FORCE,” Haruhi orders the annihilation of the enemy fleet. Kyon convinces her that her fleet should hang back by reminding her that in shougi or chess, you don’t send the king out to the enemy lines. Haruhi agrees, so she sends out everyone else to find and attack the enemy admiral.
This all started one week ago. It’s a fall day after the cultural festival has ended. Everyone except for Haruhi (who is on cleaning duty) is in the room doing their normal activities – reading, playing board games, making tea – when there comes a knocking on the door. It’s the Computer Research Society and they’re looking for Haruhi. Seeing that she’s not there, the president gives Kyon a copy of the new video game they created, “The Day of Sagittarius III.” He says that they had presented it during the Cultural Festival, but Kyon doesn’t remember anything other than Mikuru’s yakisoba cafe costume. As for the reason the Computer Research Society is here, it’s so that they can challenge the SOS Brigade to a contest through this game. The president keeps repeating the word contest, which makes Kyon afraid of what would happen if that happens to reach Haruhi’s ears.
Right on cue, Haruhi enters the scene by delivering a flying kick to the president’s head. She assumes they’re the bad guys and starts babbling about how the SOS Brigade illuminates the darkness and exterminates evil. When things finally settle down, the president explains that the prize that his club wants for winning is the return of the computer that Haruhi stole. At first, she refuses because the computer is already theirs and they’ve been using it for editing their recent movie and for their homepage. But then she decides to accept the challenge and asks what the Computer Research Society is betting on the game. The president says four computers, and Haruhi makes him promise not to go back on his word. Haruhi then remembers that the Computer Research Society has no girls in it, so she decides that if her opponents want, she’ll give them Yuki. Or perhaps Mikuru is better? Kyon takes Haruhi’s arm off Mikuru and suggests that she bet her own body instead. Haruhi of course objects because being the commander is a holy and sacred existence.
For the match, the Computer Research Society sets up four laptops for the SOS Brigade. The game is going to be a five versus five online space battle simulation. The game will be in one week and the president advises them to improve their skills in that time. On the way home, Kyon tells Itsuki that he doesn’t want him to cheat. He thinks it’s best if they have a proper fight, whatever the outcome. It’s ok for them to lose because if they do, they only lose the computer that they had stolen in the first place. Itsuki is more concerned about the fact that Haruhi won’t like losing and that it could lead to a Sealed Dimension. Kyon doesn’t really care, which gets Itsuki laughing because he’s envious of the mutual trust between Kyon and Haruhi – Kyon trusts her not to create a Sealed Dimension if they lose and Haruhi trusts that she can win with him. The next day, the group takes their first crack at the game. Each of the five of them gets 15,000 ships under their own control and the objective is to annihilate the enemy or to destroy the enemy admiral’s fleet. The admiral for their side is of course going to be Haruhi. And since there is a fog of war, they have to search specifically for the enemy’s location. In their practices though, Haruhi keeps ordering all out attacks that wipe them all out. Haruhi gets frustrated, but Kyon blames it on her bad strategy. Despite this, he still tells Yuki not to cheat.
When the day of the match comes, Haruhi gives them a motivational speech about winning and getting the Board of Education to create SOS Brigades in all public schools. To Kyon she gives a long stare which she claims was filled with energy she sent to him. At 4PM sharp, the game starts. Yuki engages the enemy as she searches for them, whereas Haruhi and Mikuru are basically useless, making the match more like five versus three. The enemy fleets flank Kyon and Itsuki’s fleets, but they run away when Kyon finally turns his fleet in the right direction – a hit and run tactic. Haruhi gets so pissed off that she decides not to wait in the back and instead charges ahead. Itsuki and Kyon have no choice but to protect her sides, but that actually leads to their ships colliding with each other. In the chaos, the only reliable thing is Yuki and her fast typing. All of the sudden, the entire map lights up as numerous pockets of the fog of war are uncovered. Itsuki explains that Yuki has split her fleet into twenty smaller fleets and is thus able to explore more of the map at once. However, controlling twenty fleets simultaneously is technically impossible for a human.
Kyon gets up and walks over to Yuki’s computer, which has the game minimized and has dozens of command windows appearing and disappearing as she types lightning fast. He reminds her that he told her not to cheat, but she says that she’s not doing any special data manipulation and is observing the rules that were imposed on her. What’s more, she adds that it’s the Computer Research Society that’s cheating. Yuki explains that the computer club’s search mode is off, meaning that they could see the entire map from the very start. Kyon doesn’t think that they should cheat too because then they’d be the same as their opponents. Yuki once again says that she’s not violating his instructions and then goes on to say that she wants to introduce modifications to the program that are in accordance to the technological level of Earth. Kyon decides to let her do it, so Yuki executes her changes.
Yuki’s changes turn the Computer Research Society’s search mode on and throw them into disarray. The tides quickly turn, but the enemy admiral’s fleet is still at almost full power. Yuki uses her fleets to push the computer club’s president right into the fleets of Kyon, Itsuki, Mikuru, and Haruhi. And the final ship is destroyed by none other than Yuki herself. Having lost, the president comes over to concede defeat and apologize. He can’t believe that someone rewrote the game in the middle of playing. Haruhi is happy that they now have four new laptops for the club. The president figures out that it was Yuki who had those hacking skills, so he goes over and asks her if she would participate in some of his club’s activities. Haruhi gets angry because she claimed Yuki first, but Kyon stops her. He’s saw how happy Yuki seemed to be when she was typing on the keyboard and thinks that even she must be tired of observing Haruhi all the time. Kyon suggests to Yuki that she do what she wants, so Yuki tells the president that she can go once in a while. The president’s joy is cut short by Haruhi telling him that as the losers, the computer club should obey the winners. She wants all of them to swear loyalty to her. If they work their hardest, she’ll even make them SOS Brigade members. As she’s having Itsuki drawing up the paperwork, Kyon notices that Yuki is tapping her book like it’s a keyboard.
It figures that for the space battle simulation game, they’d actually animate a space battle. Certainly made it that much more exciting than just watching them play. And the rousing musical score made it all the better. Heck, this episode makes me want Kyoto Animation to do a space sci-fi series.
And so, Yuki becomes the hero and savior for the second episode in a row. Not that I mind because she pulls off some of the cooler stuff. This allows them to develop her personality a bit, as shown by the way she’s typing on the book at the end there. Should make all the Nagato-ism fans pretty happy lol.
Watching Haruhi’s flying kick was pretty funny, as was watching Yuki trying to figure out how to use the mouse and Haruhi trying to send her energy to Kyon through a stare. Oh, and there was the ever-so-blatant Gundam reference too (animated gif courtesy of DARUI).
As for the preview, for once Haruhi and Kyon agree on the next episode! That means story 12 next week! Looks like it’ll be the cultural festival that was hinted at in this episode.