With Thanatos having sent six billion Ostrums out to every corner of the planet, Sieglinde thinks that it wants to force Resonances on the entire human population. Despite these seemingly impossible odds, she, Raina, Itsuki, and their dragon partners still fly into battle and try to protect as many people as they can on Earth, including Sieglinde’s father. Jin meanwhile intends to persuade Thanatos to stop all this, and though he hasn’t thought up a plan to do so yet, he’s determined to protect the planet and to open a new chapter in the history of humans and dragons. He, Toa, and Gio have a hard time getting close to Thanatos though because of all the Ostrums in their way, and to their surprise, Nozaki suddenly appears and offers to help. Before doing so, he asks Toa if she’s happy, and when she responds yes, he goes on to explain that he always suspected that their feelings were brought about by the Resonance. However he realized that it didn’t matter whether their feelings were created or occurred naturally because what’s important is feeling that those emotions are real and believing in themselves.
Nozaki then reveals that he has the anti-Thanatos factor inside of him, so he can deal a blow to Thanatos. He has a person he wants to protect, and though he wanted to see the future of humans and dragons with his own eyes, he’s willing to entrust that to Jin and Toa’s bonds, so he urges them to deliver their feelings to Thanatos. And with that, Nozaki changes into his dragon form, charges at the mass of Ostrums, and detonates himself. This takes out enough Ostrums to allow Jin to fly Gio straight into Thanatos’ mouth, but they are met by the original Ostrum once they get inside. Gio sends Jin and Toa ahead while he handles Ostrum, and after a bit of fighting, Ostrum questions Gio about not obeying Thanatos’ will. Down the hall, Toa and Jin are stopped by Garnet who asks why Toa is so attached to Jin. When Toa answers that she loves him, Garnet decides to see if these feelings are authentic because she thinks that there is nothing that trumps over fusing with Thanatos. She sends Jin into a world where the shuttle accident never happened and he meets Toa on the shuttle instead. Jin, however, figures out that it’s not real and gets out of it by following Toa’s voice.
Back in the earlier area, Gio tells Ostrum that they all changed after doing Resonances with humans, but Ostrum refuses to accept this. Their fight continues until Gio manages to power up and impale Ostrum, and Ostrum ends up wondering if they really need hearts that care for others. Gio answers that he is glad to have been born on this planet because he was able to gain a heart, know love, and be with Jin and Toa. As Ostrum disappears, he smiles and comments on how the heart is where he and Gio differ. Jin and Toa meanwhile try to make Garnet understand that she’s the one who’s actually alone and that their love doesn’t depend on the Resonance. The power of their love washes over all of Thanatos as they cut themselves free, and this in turn leads to all of the Ostrums on Earth deactivating. The stigmata also disappears from Toa’s back. Realizing that she’s the one who’s alone, Garnet glows and disappears into a silver sphere that suddenly appears. The female figure who materializes – recognized by Toa to be Mother – concedes that she’s spent too much time alone and promises to think about the meaning of love on her way to the next planet. After returning Jin, Toa, and Gio to space, Thanatos explains that she’ll be back someday, and though she doesn’t know who will greet her then, she believes that if it is them, then she won’t be disappointed.
In the aftermath, Jin and Toa return to Earth and are reunited with the other Dragonauts. Gio has to leave, and as they watch him fly off into space, Jin and Toa hold hands and declare that they’re not alone.
So this ended up being the power-of-love ending after all, and no one died except for Nozaki. I don’t know why they even bothered to kill him off since it felt like his death was rather pointless in the grand scheme of things. Regardless, I didn’t think that the ending wasn’t a complete train wreck (alas, a song didn’t defeat all the Ostrums), but it was still pretty bad because using the power of love to solve everything is so deus ex machina-ish. Granted, I suspect that an ending where Jin and Toa sacrificed themselves to save Earth (like I had speculated about last week) probably wouldn’t have been too much better in that regard, but it just goes to show you the kind of hole the writers dug themselves into.
I thought there was one point in this episode where the story could have potentially redeemed itself a little, and that was when Garnet sent Jin into that illusion world. It might have been interesting to consider if Jin loved Toa enough to lose his family all over again for her, but that’s not the direction they ended up going with that scene, so it felt like an opportunity lost. This episode also had the weirdest fight sequence I’ve seen in a while – partway through Gio vs. Ostrum, both of them decide to turn upside down and fight with their legs. I couldn’t help laughing because it looked so strange.
Final Thoughts: I remember thinking last year that this show had a pretty impressive voice cast (the Suzumiya Haruhi group) and showed some promise. I had no idea that it’d turn out like this, though I probably should have guessed that this wasn’t going to be any good after the beginning of the story entered that seemingly perpetual cycle of someone always being captured and needing to be rescued. Before watching this show, I wasn’t a huge fan of Gonzo works, but I still thought they were mostly okay. I could have ended up feeling that way about Dragonaut too, but as the series wore on, my opinion of it just kept dropping, and all the Kazuki stuff in episode 23 drove the final nail into the coffin. At best, Dragonaut makes me doubly cautious of other Gonzo shows from now on. At worst, I completely stop watching Gonzo shows, at least until the memories of this fade away.