And, not a bad episode to begin with. Also, that enemy mine situation at the end.
The JGSDF fight against the Gastrea, seemingly winning. In a lull though, a Type 10 tank flies through the air, and from the dust explosions, hundreds of insect-type Gastrea emerge, the victor against the JSDF. Rentarou and all other Adjuvants get ready for the fight, but only Rentarou’s group saw the detatched group of Gastrea flying behind them.
Abandoning their position, they eliminate the detatched group only to arrive back at the main battle as the other Adjuvantds are being overrun.
Rentarou tries to tell their leader to fall back, only to find him in a daze. Holding the cut hand of his initiator, Kokone, he talks about the Spear of Light. An explosion rocks both of them, and Rentarou’s commander plummets to the waiting jaws of a Gastrea. Rentarou sees the spear of light being referenced, wiping out groups of Civil Officers, before Aldebaran, the one controlling the Gastrea, issues what amounts to a retreat.
As they clean up, Tamaki and Rentarou are faced with the fact that while they destroyed a great deal of Gastrea at the cost of half the gathered Adjuvants, the Gastrea regained their losses with transformed Civil Security and JSDF troops. Back at a field hospital, Rentarou is greeted by Enju and Kisara acting as nursemaids, as well as Dr. Muroto. Dr. Muroto had ripped her ticket for the shelter in half, and declined to give it away, stating people would kill for that one ticket. Asking about Enju, she informes Rentarou that Enju is a lot stronger than she looks, but it would be best not to remind her of the bombing.
Arriving at a creepy abandoned building, they are greeted by Tina who was cleaning up the place, stating that they’d be happier staying in it if it was clean. Settling down to dinner, Kisara reports that those that were injured by the Spear of Light attack were showing signs of Mercury poisoning, while Tina says she had spotted what looks like the culprit through Shenfield.
At that point though, Rentarou is summoned to meet with Commander Gado at the temporary HQ. Showing off his leg, he stated that it wasn’t taken from him, but he gave it to them. Asking about his son, Hidehiko Gado (Rentarou’s commander), Rentarou gives the deceased some honor and says he had fought bravely, with Gado stating he wished he had let his son do what he wanted.
Rentarou points out that the JSDF being easily defeated and Gastrea protecting Aldebaran were led on by pheromones. Gado then reveals that Aldebaran is immortal, having cleaved the Gastrea’s head in half, it continued to regenerate, albeit slowly. Stating also that the other Gastrea with the Spear of Light, Pleiades, is just as threatening as Aldebaran. In order to win, they also need to defeat the queen (chess speak, not literal).
It is at this point that he reveals his plan. To make amends with the fact Rentarou had abandoned his position (even if to save the position form flanking Gastrea), his adjuvant has been disbanded and he’s been sentenced to capital punishment. His outburst causes him to be pummeled in the stomach by Gado’s initiator, and held at swordpoint, his job is to defeat Pleiades, in exchange that his Adjuvant will not be punished.
Leaving the creepy house behind, Kisara tries to tell him that they should run away, only for Rentarou to say there was nowhere left to run. In the wild, Rentarou is chased by a pack of dog-like Gastrea. Falling off a cliff and into a river, he encounters the leader of the pack before they are led into the dark woods by something. They reappear, dead, their killer: Kagetane Hiruko and his daughter, Kohina.
Holding both of them at gun point, they talk shop. Kohina goes on wanting to see and cut Tina, while Rentarou and Kagentane ask each other what they’re doing in Gastrea-infested land. Kagentane declines to comment, while Rentarou states he’s going to kill Pleiades. Kagetane states he had seen the battle, and declined to take part in the battle primarily of what winning would bring about, peace. Rentarou states he’s truly broken, but he asks if he ever considered him to be normal.
We don’t ever see his face when he removes his mask, but he says the mask only shows the truth. That it is him under the mask. Kagetane once again says he and Rentarou are above humans, and that Rentarou envies him because he is doing what he had always wanted to do. To use his power against humans who look down on him, and by association, the cursed children he protects. He though also envies him, being able to live comfortably in such a hate filled world. Even if Rentarou will not use his powers in the same manner that Kagetane does, Kagetane still thinks in the end, Rentarou will cross over.
The next morning, Kagetane informs Rentarou on where Pleiades is, and follows him, stating that is where they were going as well. With that, the unlikely trio head off deeper into Gastrea-held territory.
Not too much really. I do agree that Rentarou had all rights to defeat the Gastrea that was flanking his encampment, but it is still going AWOL in the face of the enemy. Although this did mean he and his group got spared from the onslaught.
The elder Gado seems to be one of those entrenched backwards people. No doubt he treats his initiator like his daughter, or at least his partner in battle, but for change like what Rentarou and his friends are doing, it isn’t something he would be a part of. He most likely sees Seitenshi’s attempts to give cursed children rights as appalling, but not to the extent as the attempt by Kikunojou Tendou to destabilize and destroy Tokyo and try to pin the blame on the cursed children.
And the best part of the episode is Kagetane and Kohina’s reappearance. I always found Kagetane to be one of those villains you hate to love, and after the rather underwhelming battle earlier in the series, I was hoping for a rematch. Sadly we didn’t get one this episode, nor do I think we’ll be seeing one at all next episode, but the fact there is a sort of détente or at least a cease-fire between the two and Rentarou seems refreshing after the emotional bomb that was dropped on us last week.
And somewhere out there, someone is shipping Rentarou x Kagetane. Very much foe yay with this. And this scene was kinda…
Of course, Kohina is cute. In an axe-murderer, batshit crazy is her normal kind of way.