After witnessing Mao Industries on the moon get taken over by the Inspectors, the focus shifts to Tesla Reich Institute where they’re in the process of doing the same. There the forces led by Vigaji are interested in taking over the research facility and stealing the latest Earth Federation prototypes, forcing the pilots of the Project TD team to escape with them. Coming in to lend a hand is none other than Trombe. More specifically, Rai’s older brother Elzam V. Branstein (Inada Tetsu) bursts onto the scene in his Guarbein Mk. III Trombe, under the not-so-secretive alias Rätsel Feinschmecker, i.e. “The Mysterious Gourmet” in reference to his cooking skills. To fans of the series — myself included — the biggest change of course is that Rätsel’s unit has been changed to some sort of hybrid between his Guarlion Custom Trombe and Huckebein Mk. III Trombe, further reiterating that we probably won’t be seeing any Huckebein’s with V-fin antennas in this adaptation.
However, what didn’t change were his use of gravity-based weaponry, which he used to drive back Vigaji in his Galgau to allow the transport shuttles to escape with Kuzuha’s Grungust Type-3, Ibis’ soon-to-be Astelion, and the Fairlions that will be deployed next time. During all that, what came as a surprise were the jokes amidst the flurry of action as the “Trombe!” theme played in the background. I really wasn’t expecting the comedy to kick in during battle, but I did get a good chuckle when Vigaji thought his translator was broken for interpreting Elzam’s alias as its German meaning, and when he broke the fourth wall out of frustration. Funny stuff indeed.
The other big arrival this episode was of course Masaki in his Cybuster going head-to-head against Aguija in her Silverwind. The only thing that felt kind of missing for his dramatic entrance was his traditional “Neppu! Shippu! Cybuster” theme, which was replaced by his Original Generation “La Gias no Kaze” one. It makes perfect sense in the context of this OG anime, but for someone coming from the classic games, The Elemental Lord of Wind’s theme will forever be the one that it’s been since Banpresto introduced Cybuster as their first original mecha. In terms of seeing his mech’s abilities in action, it would’ve been cool to see his cats Shiro and Kuro use the funnel-like High Familiar or Masaki bust out the Cosmo Nova right away, but the Akashic Buster we got instead wasn’t too shabby. I’m actually a bit surprised that a Rest Djemila coming in between was enough save Aguija from a Cybird coming at her at ramming speed though.
In any case, the real highlight of this episode should have been Ibis being chosen to pilot the Alpha Proto, i.e. the Astelion mentioned above, and successfully executing a Maneuver RaMVs attack. As Ibis is clearly less talented pilot (at least for now), it’s naturally a big snub to Sleigh to learn that her brother picked Ibis over her to pilot the new unit. This leads to Sleigh parting ways from the rest of the group that’s rendezvousing with the Hiryuu Custom, while Ibis gains some renewed confidence in herself from the prerecorded message that Filio left for her. It’s probably safe to assume that subplot will resurface before long, though the upcoming task of retaking Riksent is much more appealing since the Hiryuu Custom has met up with the Hagane and most of our protagonists have assembled for a single cause. It’s like when two separate battleships and their respective crews finally meet up in the game, which tends to be a big event of sorts much like it was made out to be here.