With Makoto gone, Saku Hibiki proposes a final test for Iori to become the Nebula’s Idolmaster. In addition, he tells Joseph about installing a new piece of equipment called the Master Unison – supposedly a data logger – onto the Nebula. Iori is thus sent into space with the mission of launching some Drop early warning satellites, and she’s particularly excited because today is an anniversary between her and the Nebula. When the mission goes off without a hitch, Saku has Azusa declare Iori the Nebula’s Idolmaster, causing Iori to be overjoyed. However, soon after, the Nebula suddenly locks up and activates the Master Unison. It then begins moving on its own and launches the third back-up satellite, causing everyone in the control room to be shocked except for Azusa and Saku who know that this starts the second part of the mission. As Saku explains, they want to collect data on unmanned operation of an iDOL through artificial intelligence. When Haruka wonders why they need something like this when they have Idolmasters like herself, Azusa reveals that it’s in response to the enemy’s Epimetheus. Iori thinks that this means the Idolmasters won’t be allowed to pilot the iDOLs anymore, but Saku claims that this is only so that the girls aren’t put into danger.
In frustration, Iori slams her fist against the control unit in her cockpit, and the warning lights suddenly start going off. Ami realizes that it’s because the Nebula hates the Master Unison unit, but they don’t have a way to return control to Iori because the commands are still locked out. What’s more, the Nebula’s internal core temperature starts rising rapidly, and they find it impossible to detach the Master Unison unit. In this dire situation where the Nebula could lose its personality and forget her, Iori decides to don a space suit and leaves the cockpit to manually remove the Master Unison unit. Iori is determined because today is the anniversary of they day they met seven years ago, and she remembers that back then, she had been teased by her friends because only she had seen the Nebula in the woods. She feels that they met by coincidence at the time, but without that, she wouldn’t be here now. Thus, she believes it to be fate. Addressing the Nebula, she says that she won’t forget it, so she doesn’t want it to forget her either. Unfortunately, the last lever refuses to press down, so Iori punches with all her strength until it finally gives way. Although this breaks the bones in her hand and requires her to wear a cast afterwards, Iori manages to save the Nebula by jettisoning the Master Unison unit. Later while the girls are off celebrating back at the dorm, the Nebula recalls the scene of Iori in space and the scene of Iori seven years ago.
It’s interesting to see how quickly Saku Hibiki is taking over control of the Mondenkind iDOL operations, doing things that even Joseph isn’t aware of. It makes me wonder if the main branch of Mondenkind is going to turn out to be evil or if it’ll at least become sinister enough so that even the Turiavita doesn’t seem quite as bad. Of course, the main point of this episode seemed to be to once again emphasize that iDOLs have feelings and that Iori is the destined pilot for the Nebula. In that regard, I found the episode fairly predictable once they explained what the Master Unison actually did. It didn’t seem very likely that Iori would fail with the Nebula twice, especially since that would leave it without a pilot.
On a separate note, there’s a small chance I may decide to start watching/blogging a j-drama on Mondays starting next week instead of Idolmaster, but I won’t make that decision until at least next week.