「楽園からの追放者」 (Rakuen kara no Tsuibousha)
“An Exile From Paradise”
As suspected, any sort of potential suspense or shock from Lamia’s sacrifice was short-lived, after it was revealed she survived the Ash to Ash self-destruct. Taking its place wasn’t a decisive battle between Kyousuke and Axel however, and instead an explanation on Shadow-Mirror’s origin care of one Gilliam Yeager, a.k.a. Helios Olympus. It looks like I jumped the gun on that revelation back in episode four, but what I didn’t mention then was how Gilliam helped created the System XN dimensional warp device that allowed Shadow-Mirror to come to this world. Gilliam had taken the first of two devices, Agyieus, to reach the Original Generations world as the “First Jumper”, whereas they had taken the second one, Lykeios, in search of him. All of that was really just some more background on who the Earth Federation is dealing with, which served its purpose after the startling statement Vindel made last time on what they perceive as an ideal world. The real surprise came at the very end, when Gilliam and Lamia explained to everyone why Shadow-Mirror had come to this dimension to continue their work. Even as someone somewhat familiar with the story, it was still a bit of an eye-opening moment to see the cold open that the series premiered with finally cleared up.
The big emphasis of course was on Kyousuke’s fearsome and practically inhuman other self “Beowulf” who single-handedly chased Shadow-Mirror off, with the fallout being that Gilliam is also a dimensional traveler. It was undoubtedly a defining moment of this sequel, which may leave some people wonder why it was subtitled “The Inspector” instead of “Shadow Mirror”. After all, the focus has clearly been more on their involvement up until now. My take on it is that the Inspectors are more deserving though, seeing as they were able to occupy key military facilities throughout the world in one fell swoop with absolute ease. In comparison, Shadow-Mirror isn’t much more than an unexpected nuisance that the Earth Federation has to deal with alongside Neo DC, given that Kyousuke and the others have been able to drive them back on multiple occasions already. Rather than the dominant galactic power like the Inspectors have made themselves out to be, Vindel’s group is more of a manipulative one that pulls the strings in the background. They aren’t interested in wiping out mankind, and simply want to see a world with unending conflict. In any case, what I find interesting is how all of that comes together as problems continue to arise from the different factions. It’s a prominent theme in the games and one that gets brought up every so often in the stages themselves, where you’re pitting against two groups of enemies in a complete free-for-all. The different there is that the player generally wants to wedge their units right in between and reap the benefits of taking out all the enemy units. Here, not so much.
In terms of some specific developments, Sanger Zonvolt (Ono Kenichi) makes his reappearance in this sequel piloting his Grungust, equipped with an enormous Zankantou sword. It didn’t really take too long for him to make a rival of his strikingly similar counterpart, Wodam Ymir a.k.a. W-15, and start crossing swords with him like only super robots can. Along with Lemon’s decision to not fix Lamia’s speech in hopes of seeing her sense of individuality continue to grow, and granting her a Zweizergain/Soulgain-like Vysaga super robot as a parting gift, the sheer number of over-sized swords undoubtedly provided the most “oomph” this episode. What I personally took more notice to was Gilliam in his Gespenst RV and Rai‘s reaction to being reunited with his older brother Elzam. Also, there was the huge cast of characters assembled during the meeting, most of which didn’t have any dialogue to potentially save calling in all the seiyuu for a quick one-liner. In terms of production, I was curious the anime would handle the cost of a large cast from episode to episode, so I found only focusing on a handful each episode a smart way of going about it. I’m fine with everyone simply being around, such as Ryune in her laid-back choice of clothing. Anyway, I can’t see this recent revelation affecting the Earth Federation’s actions too greatly. If anything, it just finally cleared things up on who they’re up against.