Beneath the dark skies of Tokyo, a man named Louis is running away from the police, but they finally corner him on a rooftop. Unfortunately for them, Louis is a Contractor, and he uses his abilities to toss one of the officers away before flying off. He lands on a different building far away, and starts to break his fingers one by one. A voice wonders if this is the cost of his contract, but Louis turns only to see the fleeting sight of what appeared to be a cat. He then comes face to face with a masked man dressed in all black. When Louis attempts to throw his new opponent into the air, the masked man uses cables to grab onto the railing and also onto Louis himself. This starts choking Louis, and he’s soon forced to the ground. The masked man wants to know about a stolen something, but Louis only knows that a woman has it. The masked man – named Hei –contacts a girl named Yin to ask about the police, and she tells him how close they are. Hei then grabs Louis’ head and kills him despite his other partner’s objection.
Around that same time, an investigator named Kirihara Misaki sees a star streaking across the sky. She thinks to herself that it’s been 10 years since thatappeared and the large wall was created. They don’t know what happened then and what’s inside what’s called the Hell’s Gate. The Contractors and Dolls (described as passive psychic mediums) appeared soon after. The next day, at police headquarters, the investigators go over the case after having found Louis’ body the previous night. It seems that highly classified information was illegally accessed from the National Laboratory, and the police’s new target is a woman named Shinoda Chiaki who had worked at the laboratory and is now missing. After the meeting, Kirihara unknowingly drives by a Chinese student named Li Sheng Shun who is searching for his new apartment building. Li finds the place, but the landlady mistakes him for the repairman and has him fix her TV. He accomplishes this after hitting the TV a few times and a surge of electricity somehow fixes it.
The landlady eventually shows him up to his room, though the two first run into his new neighbor, a woman named Haraguchi. She, however, doesn’t say anything to him and just leaves. It seems that Haraguchi works at a nightclub, and on this evening, two of the investigators are visiting as part of their search for Shinoda Chiaki. One of them notices that Haraguchi resembles the photograph of Chiaki, and when she tries to leave, the policemen begin their pursuit. Chiaki runs to a nearby park and finds Li there observing the starry night with his telescope. After he sees her and realizes that she’s being chased, he pushes her against the tree and kisses her so that the policemen only see what appears to be a couple kissing. Once the police are gone, Li panics and apologizes for what he did. She notices that he was looking at what she calls the fake stars and then realizes that he looks familiar. This causes Li to recognize that she’s Haraguchi and reintroduces himself, though she responds by thanking him and running off.
With the police still looking for her, Chiaki hides herself in an alley, but she gets approached from behind by a man named Jean. When Chiaki asks Jean about Louis, he claims that Louis is tied up at the moment. Jean is more concerned about that, but Chiaki remembers that Louis didn’t want her to tell anyone where it was other than himself. Hearing this, Jean attempts to knock her out with a chloroformed handkerchief, but before he succeeds, Jean is knocked out by Li. He tries to lead her away, but Chiaki thinks that he should run instead. As the two pass over a bridge, Jean suddenly materializes from a stone structure and punches Li. The force of the hit causes Li to stagger backwards to the railing, and Jean’s second punch knocks Li over and down right as a train is passing below. Having seen Jean’s Contractor abilities, Chiaki is powerless to his chloroformed handkerchief the second time around. She wakes up sometime later in a room with Jean and two other men. It is here that Jean reveals to Chiaki that Louis is dead and that he was a Contractor.
Chiaki then attempts to run away, but the door is locked, so she can’t get out. Unbeknownst to all of them, Yin has her feet dipped in water somewhere else in the city, though one of the men does sense something. The lights suddenly go off, and the door surges with electricity before opening to allow Chiaki to escape. The men try to chase after her, but a black cat jumps out and into one of their faces. Chiaki runs a distance in the rain before she runs into Li again at a street corner. He catches her as she collapses onto the ground and holds her as she starts to cry.
ED: 「ツキアカリ」 (Tsukiakari) by Rie fu
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
The opening is a decent abingdon boys school song, but it was the ending that I really liked. Then again, I’ve listened to a lot of Rie fu, and I like pretty much all of her songs, so I might be a bit biased.
This was a pretty good introduction, and BONES did a great job on the animation. For a Yoko Kanno show though,
I expected maybe a bit more from the background music I take that back – second time through the episode, it stood a lot out a lot more (my friend pointed out the beginning piano piece in particular). The episode started off fast-paced, but then slowed down with the police scene. The second half picked up that pace again and was certainly enough to keep me interested. I particularly liked the theme of the stars, including what appears to be a shooting star every time a Contractor dies.
I think there’s a lot of room here to develop the characters (I mean that in the best of ways). We get introduced to two side of main character – Li and Hei – this episode, but I’m equally interested in the people who support him, including Yin and in the talking cat Mao (all these names are based on Chinese words: Mao = cat, Yin = silver, Hei = black, etc). Though she didn’t get much screen time this episode, Yin appears to be able to use water to see and hear things. Chiaki, Jean, and Louis appear to be episodic characters, though they’ll of course be around for the second half of this episode next week. Anyway, with CODE GEASS finished for now, I think this’ll definitely make a good replacement, so I plan to be blogging this.