「背負った十字」 (Seotta Juuji)
“The Burdened Cross”
The Hagane battleship captained by Daitetsu Minase (Shibata Hidekatsu) and vice-captained Tetsuya Onodera (Horikawa Jin) arrives on the scene, and with it the SRX team as well. The Choukijin that came and gone have become the focus of Bullet’s investigation, while the subtle reintroduction of Kusuha Mizuha in his prized photograph sort of foreshadows what will come from them. Where the story takes us now is the recovery of a piece of the Aerogaters’ Judecca mobile weapon — better known as the “White Death Cross” — that was destroyed in the Earth Federation’s L5 Campaign that drove back the alien threat. Also, Ryuusei Date (Miki Shinichirou) of the SRX Team is tasked to test out the new prototype R-Blade against Latune Subbota (Hirai Riko) in the prototype Wild Falken. Now in my mind with the Alpha games as a basis, the R-Blade was a shoddy replacement for Ryuusei’s R-1 personal trooper and the extremely agile and Tesla Drive-equipped (i.e. flying capable) Wild Falken should have flown circles around it. However, Ryuusei’s hot-blooded and unorthodox piloting style proved to be the deciding factor beyond what specifications would indicate, making it clear that the super robot fanatic is the better pilot. Incidentally, the prototype testing did little more than set the stage for the Neo Divine Crusaders to swoop in and steal the Wild Falken, which fans of the SRW games will know becomes Seolla Schweizer (Kakazu Yumi) personal trooper of choice. As such, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise when they successfully snagged the new unit at the very end.
Story-wise, this episode did mention The School for the first time in this sequel, which was an Earth Federation facility tasked to “train” children into personal trooper pilots. Needless to say, it was probably more akin to finding the next King Bradley candidate in Fullmetal Alchemist, seeing as there weren’t too many surviving graduates from it. The School was scrapped and later salvaged by the Divine Crusaders, hence why Seolla and her partner Arado Balanga (Kaichi Kazuya) are with them now, whereas Latune was rescued by Earth Federation pilots when her “line” of pilots was deemed failures. Designated Latune-11, Bronzon 27 (Seolla) and Bronzo 28 (Arado) were a couple of friends she made at The School. As such, Seolla didn’t really want to fire on Latune to steal the Wild Falken, but did so once some good ‘ol brainwashing kicked in. In any case, this was more or less another introductory type episode revolving around the SRX Team and The School graduates, with the only real bit carrying on from the two episodes prior is Lamia’s ongoing suspicious behavior. She definitely isn’t a good liar, and Kyousuke looks like he’s more than aware of that fact. One of the highlights though had to be Kai Kitamura (Saizen Tadahisa), former member of the Earth Federation Army’s “Aggressors” unit, laying the “Jet Magnum” beat down in his green Gespenst Mk. II M Custom like nobody else can. Don’t mess with the instructor from hell.
In addition to some fan-service from Excellen, as well as the butt shots of Lamia and captain Villeta Vadim (Tanaka Atsuko) of the SRX Team, the series doesn’t look like it’s going to shy away from interesting shots of pilots in their cockpits either. Mecha with a mix of fan-service. Hmm, no complaints here as long as it’s used sparingly. Anyway, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of Shadow-Mirror joining the mix next episode, if this show of Lemon Browning is any indication of things to come.