The Pumpkin Scissors group is stuck in the middle of a firefight that finally ends when Oland faces the enemy tank head on. Although he is okay, his uniform is once again damaged. Back at the office, Stekkin sews it back up him and starts talking about how the group has changed from how it was at the beginning. She recounts that it started out with just her and Hunks, with Oreld, Machs, and then Alice joining later. A year ago, Machs had been assigned to a different group and was at odds with his commanding officer Major Ranke about war relief supplies. He had gotten together with Oreld at a bar and the two drank until Machs threw up. Oreld had offered Machs a place in the 3rd Section, though Machs hadn’t taken it at first. It wasn’t until Machs got assigned to the reserve by his commanding officer that he joined Oreld. And even that would have ended prematurely if Hunks hadn’t hinted that he might take the corruption case against Major Ranke that Machs had been investigating.
During one war relief effort where they were handing out food to the masses, they had encountered one of Machs’ former colleagues – one of Ranke’s subordinates. The man had chided Machs for being degraded to this kind of work, but Oreld had forced the guy to leave. Upon returning to the office the next day, they had met Alice, who had just joined the group. They learned that she was the successor to one of the Thirteen Appointed Families and had assumed that she was here on a whim. She had claimed to be devoting her life to war relief, but Machs didn’t want to hear anything about it and excused himself. Regardless, the group had done its duties normally until one day Alice burst into the office and announced that they were going to arrest Major Ranke for corruption. Machs had wanted to be sure they had a chance at succeeding, but Alice made him realize that it didn’t matter because they couldn’t back down for sake of the people.
Upon arriving at Major Ranke’s office, Alice had produced the warrant, but Ranke had called in troops. When Ranke claimed Alice and company were traitors, Alice had called Ranke himself the traitor to the people. The soldiers were reluctant to shoot the group, so Ranke commanded his subordinate Rudolf to do the job. To make things harder on Rudolf, Oreld had revealed that Alice was the daughter of a Malvin, one of the Thirteen Appointed Families. Rudolf had pulled the trigger after more urging by Ranke, though Machs dived in the way just in time. In the end, Machs wasn’t injured seriously and they got the corruption evidence against Ranke. Stekkin remembers how after that incident, Alice had come up with the Pumpkin Scissors emblem. They were up against people who used money, violence and power as protection for their own interests, much like a pumpkin’s thick skin. They needed a blade – scissors – to cut through that outer layer, and that’s why they’re called the Pumpkin Scissors.
Well, this wouldn’t have been so bad an episode about the past of Pumpkin Scissors, except that the animation quality was several notches lower than usual. *sigh* The look into the past was moderately interesting, though I continue to wish that they’d get back to the manga storyline. The high point of the episode was hearing Alice’s explanation for the name Pumpkin Scissors. Although it sounds far-fetched, it does make some sense when she describes it, and it makes for a memorable name. Anyway, I hope the animation quality improves next week…