March 11, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 11

If my memory serves me correctly, last episode saw the show catch back up to Episode 02, and the Schoolgirl in Black (formerly known as Yomi) kill off half the cast.  Again.  However, she only got one member of the Disposal Team, Kazuki.  At the very end, Kagura's father (KDad) appeared in the nick of time, saving his daughter from joining the ranks of the corpses... and setting up a massive showdown between the two strongest Spirit Beasts, Ranguren and Byakuei.  So who's power reigns supreme?  We are set... let's get it on!

Cue two different staredowns and posturing.  Of course.  It's an anime fight scene, there has to be a staredown.

And if that wasn't enough, throw in some trash talking by the Schoolgirl in Black.  If I didn't know any better, I'd think this was a pro wrestling match.  Instead of, y'know, a fight that will likely end with the death of one of the two of them... and the destruction of half of the city of Tokyo.

Bang a gong, we are on! 

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 11: The Awesoming!

Remember that KDad is physically and spiritually linked to Byakuei; that link is symbolized by a big chain that makes it look like the most powerful Spirit Beast is nothing more than a big kite.  The chain is of magical length: it's however long it needs to be for the production company to do awesome things with it.  KDad is,somehow, immensely skilled in the use of this magical chain as a weapon, so when the inevitable occurs and the Schoolgirl in Black attacks, he's more than able to hold his own.

The fight is quite fierce, but from the looks of it, KDad would easily beat the Schoolgirl in Black... if he wasn't having to "control" Byakuei at the same time.  Maybe if he put a penny on the Spirit Beast's nose and added a cotton strip to the back...?

Remember when I said that KDad would win in a straight-up fight?  There's some of the evidence. 

Face it, kid, you're outmatched.  You haven't even come close to hitting the Jedi him.  And really, the one thing you shouldn't do is put yourself in a position where you can be restrained, like by jumping into the air for a dramatic but ultimately pointless "death-from-above" attack.

See?  I told you, but did you listen?  Kids these days with their Spirit Beasts and Death Stones and iPods and family swords and whatever, always thinking they've invented fighting...  I'm sure KDad is going to put an end to you right now, and you'll die knowing you got your ass kicked by someone old enough to be your father, you wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper.  Get off his damn lawn.

"Kagura, now!"  Ohfertheluvvapete, she's hurt and she's been screaming at the two of you to stop fighting for the past few minutes, do you REALLY think she's gonna pick up that knife-dart-thingie and stab her best friend, KDad?  No, what you should do is stick that chain down the Schoolgirl in Black's  throat and floss her insides with it, instead of relying on your angsting daughter.

Right on cue, Ranguren lets loose with a houkoha, targeted right between Kagura's tear-filled eyes, and it's obvious that there's nothing she can do to avoid it.

Tugging on the control strings chain, KDad does what any father would do... and steers Byakuei into the path of the energy blast.  This saves Kagura from being turned into joshikousi jerky ("Allez Cuisine!"), and the Spirit Beast seems to be completely unharmed, except for a terrible odor that combines burning hair with overmicrowaved popcorn.  But remember, Byakuei and KDad are linked...

...ew.  On the other hand, the smell of roast pork will eventually override the other smells, and maybe make the Schoolgirl in Black crave some good barbeque to boot!  While KDad fries, his concentration is weakened and the chains go slack, allowing his captive to escape her bonds... who promptly runs off to find a good rib joint.  No sorry, instead the incredibly obvious occurs.

"Like, it's like that part in The Phantom Menace where Darth Maul, who's totally more gnarly than that Vader guy, kills Cal-Gon Jinn and stuff!"

Cue Kagura's Big No moment, or should that be Big Iya?  I suppose technically, it's subverted as she never actually says it, but you know that's what's going through her mind... as opposed to KDad, who has a katana going through his mind.

"Mmmm... barbeque sauce!"

The Schoolgirl in Black prepares to administer the coup de grâce, but just as the blow is to be struck... she jumps away as a chunk of asphalt is gouged out of the street, right where her feet had been a moment before.  Wha...?

It's Motive Power Kiri-chan and her wire-guided kunai!  More than just an awkward actress and Prime Mover for The Boss, she turns out to be something of a badass, to boot.  What else would you call someone who, upon stepping into the arena against an opponent that has just hacked down a man widely considered the best Exorcist on the planet, calmly says "You're facing me now."  Bad-freakin'-ass, that's what I'd call her.  Or roadkill, since she's clearly not going to measure up to the Schoolgirl in Black.

Speaking of The Boss, she's on the field as well, checking up on Kagura and wondering where that delightful smell is coming from?  Still, even with the reinforcements, things look bleak for the Disposal Team...

...until the team sniper puts a laser dot on the Schoolgirl in Black's cranium and... BOOM!  Headshot!  No, wait, no, that's not what happens.  Instead, the Death Stone begins to glow and she stumbles around, blinded by pain.  At the very edge of coherence, she summons Ranguren, and the two jump off into the sky, leaving behind them a scene of utter carnage.

Grunts, we hardly knew ye.  Good that the emergency services are picking them up, though... could you imagine the traffic problems they'd cause if they were just left lying around?

Kazuki's remains are brought out of the tunnels... he looks so relaxed.  Not at all like the last time we saw him, half bisected and begging his best friend to kill his fiancee.

Of course, Mr Laser Weasel is taking the blame.  "Because I couldn't kill Yomi, she killed him.  All my fault, all my fault, I was a coward..." and on and on and on.  Well, I guess he's not wrong, but do we really need another emo character in this show?

Speaking of whom, KDad is still alive, and headed to a hospital.  Hey, Kagura, gonna run away from him, too?  Just what we need, two Death Stone-powered baddies running around town, looking to eradicate all life from the planet, all because you don't like hospitals!

The Boss and her Motive Power survey the scene, their dialogue boiling down to "Well, that didn't go very well, did it?"  Back to the office, Kiri-chan, we need to plan our strategery.

In some back alley somewhere, Yomi has returned.  As appears to be de rigueur for possessors of a Death Stone, her old self has fought it's way to the surface... and she remembers everything.  She also knows that it's only a matter of time before the Stone retakes control.  After dealing with a pushy salaryman, for whom a schoolgirl in an alley is a dream date, she raises Shishiou to her neck and...

...she can't get it any closer.  No matter how hard she tries, no matter what technique she uses, she can only get the blade within a few inches before the Death Stone fights back.

Tears in her eyes, she asks "I can't even die?" as the Stone glows more and more powerfully.  Fade to...

...The Boss' office.  Two of The Agency's three supernatural monitoring stations have stopped reporting in, one with nothing but screams.

Ah.  Yes, that'd probably explain the screams.  The Boss orders the personnel of the remaining station to head for the hills.  She then pulls a wedding band out of a desk drawer, casts a long glance at a picture of her and an unnamed man, then calls for an emergency mobilization of the Disposal Team and any remaining Grunts belonging to The Agency.  

As Nabuu, Nabuu and Isayama head for the door, they realize Mr Laser Weasel isn't following.  "Leave him, he'll just get killed in that condition.  Join us when you make up your mind."  Harsh. 

Wow, now that's a lousy hospital bed.  Hospice care in Japan has a long way to go.  And I don't care just how much of a hardass he is, you don't put someone with severe burns to his back on his back.

See?  You get a glowing, yet broken, mystic circle with an angry dragon-thing trying to escape from it, that's what happens!

Somewhere else, the members of the remaining monitoring station bug out.  You'd think this'd be a perfect time for the Schoolgirl in Black to return.

And you'd be right.  She must have a Shinkansen rail pass.

And one for Ranguren, too.  Cut to black, cue ugly splashing noises.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, KDad has managed to keep Byakuei under control for the moment, but things look pretty grim.  How grim?

It's time for the heart-to-heart talk.  The injuries are too severe for the tiny sealed fragment of Death Stone to heal.  Surprisingly, he actually apologizes for the hell he put Kagura through.  "We who bind with Byakuei don't live long."  The only way to live as long as possible is to become stronger.  All his training, all the abusive regimens he inflicted upon her were to give Kagura the most time possible upon this earth.  "It must have been hard."  Gee, ya think?

Cut to: generic atmospheric industrial complex at night, so we can have dramatic lighting for this exterior shot.

And of course the Schoolgirl in Black is there, bringing the snark.  "You're late.  I've already killed off your monitors, now you can't track me anymore, nyah nyah nyah pbbbth!"

"That's it?  Where's the rest of your staff, Boss?  Did they run away?  Or did I kill them?"  Oh, snap!  It does seem to be a somewhat paltry amount to take on the Schoolgirl in Black, Destroyer of Worlds: one Iwahata, two Nabuus, one wheelchair-bound Minister of the Environment, and one Prime Mover.  Oh, and one HMMWV, can't forget that.

Well, you can only kill what they give you, that's the Schoolgirl in Black's motto.  Ranguren's motto is pretty simple: Houkoha!!!!!11!!1!!!eleventy!

HMMWV, NO!!!!  Ranguren, you bastard!  And thus begins The Epic Battle Sequence of Awesomeness.

Turns out Iwahata's Drills of Doom are a lot stronger than you'd think.  With them, he can hang with Ranguren, though not exactly easily.  Still, he's got fire support...

...cue Nabuu and Nabuu with their superguns!  Remember, these are revolver shotguns that fire six rounds at a time, and are magical to boot, and Nabuu (as opposed to Nabuu) is firing it with one hand.  Even the tertiary characters are covered with awesome in Ga-Rei Zero!

Except for Kazuki, of course.  He appears to have been cursed with suck.  It's so bad that when Kiri-chan tries to use his multi-barreled repeating briefcase, the Schoolgirl in Black just slices it in half and blows past her.  Her target?  The Boss.

Not the look you want to see on the face of a charging enemy with the power to butcher a hundred well-armed Grunts while it's bearing down on you.



*skreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeechhhh!*  "Um... what the hell?"

Just imagine the sound of a V-8 powered Corvette C6 ZR1 performing a burnout here.  Except it's a wheelchair.  And it's even more frickin' awesome!

Yes, that's right: The Boss has a gatling gun built into her right leg!  This has just become the greatest anime ever.  Whatever you do, though, do not even attempt to think about the ammo feed problems involved with a leg-mounted gatling gun.  Or the shell ejection port.

The Schoolgirl in Black is understandably surprised by this turn of events, and can barely defend against the whirling dervish that is The Boss and her Wheelchair of Awesome.

Even she can't withstand such an assault, marking something of an event: the first time the Schoolgirl in Black has her own blood on her skin!  But The Boss isn't done yet, oh no!

Brillat-Savarin once said "Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you what you are."  Well, the Schoolgirl in Black is about to eat a knuckle sandwich.

Mmm... barbeque sauce!  That's the second time she's gotten been punched on the left side of her face in this episode.  Just call her Glass Joe, I guess.

Beginning to think this isn't going to be such a pushover, Schoolgirl in Black, hmmmm?  Still, she's got a quick retort at hand: "I didn't think you could fight anymore."

"Now that's rude, don't you think?"  Yep, no question about it, The Boss has just joined Chuck Norris and Zombie Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of Tough Guys.

None of the tricks, though, can really keep the Schoolgirl in Black from making mincemeat out of The Boss.  The element of surprise is all she had going for her, and now it's gone.  It doesn't look good.

"Ahem.  Forget about me?"  While The Boss was Unleashing Teh Awesum, Kiri-chan was using her wire-guided kunai to set a trap.  With a flip of the wrist, the knives cut through multiple pipes, releasing a trap involving the one thing the Schoolgirl in Black has been proven to be vunerable to:

...gas.  Blinded and disoriented, she tries to escape...

...but The Boss begins to pour zillions of rounds into the gas cloud!  Now THAT'S what I call thinking on your feet.  Foot.  Gunbarrel.  Whatever.

Back at the OTHER fight, it seems to be heading towards a draw.  Nabuu and Nabuu bring the heavy artillery at Ranguren... who just shrugs it off.

Meanwhile Ranguren brings the heavy artillery at Iwahata, who doesn't exactly shrug it off, but the Drills of Doom keep it off his flesh.  Something's gotta give eventually; the question is what?

Yup, he's still amongst the living, and father and daughter seem to have made peace with each other.  Awwwwwww.  Things seem to be looking up!

Back to generic atmospheric industrial complex.

The Boss' fusillade finally runs down.  I'd just like to point out at this moment that she's got twintails.  "Kiri-chan, report: did we get her?"  "I think so, Boss."



*splerch*  Oh, shi--!

Back at the other fight, Ranguren gets the bright idea that, hey, since he's like 10 times bigger than everybody else combined, he'll just out-muscle Iwahata.  Bingo, right across the eyes with the claws.  Suddenly, things aren't so much "looking up" as "looking really, really down."  Like Ninth Circle of Hell down.

Then Skewer-chan has her Crowning Moment of Awesome.  She holds onto Shishiou so the Schoolgirl in Black can't remove it, then walks up the blade and...

...flips a wire-guided kunai around her neck, passing the other end to...

...The Boss, who then attaches it to her wheelchair and, pressing a button, says "I'll see you in Valhalla, Yomi."

FWOOOOOOOOSH!  In case you can't tell, the Wheelchair of Awesome has just been upgraded... to Rocket-powered Wheelchair of Awesome.  Ga-Rei Zero just keeps on topping itself.

Not that the Schoolgirl in Black, being dragged behind, would agree.  Bye bye, Yomi.

Back at the other fight, Iwahata is down and Nabuu jumps in to protect him.  For a few seconds, he holds his own against the second-most-powerful Spirit Beast.

But only for a few seconds... then he becomes Beast Chow.  His arm and most of the left torso gets chomped by the fangs of fury.

Nabuu goes all Terminator on Ranguren's furry @ss, pumping round after round into its side at a pace we've not seen before.  Revolvers have overdrive?

And it works!  Down goes Ranguren!  Down goes Ranguren!  *poof*, he dematerializes, leaving the battlefield to the Disposal Team.  A winner is you them!

KDad gives a word of advice.  "Do you feel love?  Pain?  Hate?  Just forget all of it.  That's what most of us in this business do.  That's the easiest way to deal with it.  But if you want to be truly strong, then bear all of it.  If you want to protect humans and remain human, you shouldn't throw away your feelings."  Then he coughs, the magic circle reappears, flickers, and fades.  "Looks like the time has come.  I've lived long enough."

Back at the generic atmospheric industrial complex, a toll of the fallen:

KDad plucks the fragment of Death Stone from his hand and passes it to the Schoolgirl in White... and dies.

...lets move on.

But Kiri-chan still lives!  "Boss... Yomi?" 

"You called?"

Oh.  Shi--...

Kagura takes the mantle of Byakuei's master from her fallen father, implanting the Death Stone in her earlobe.  At this point, the biggest plot hole in the entire show opens up.  Remember, KDad had to leave for an extended period of time and go through numerous rituals and ceremonies to become the wielder of Byakuei.  Now, without so much as a "Byakuei, I choose you!", the Schoolgirl in White takes command?  How in the world does that work?  Still, as plot holes go, it's not that big of a deal.

The Schoolgirl in Black, triumphant.

The Schoolgirl in White, reluctant.

OH GOD MY EYES!!!  MY BLOODY EYES!!!  Master Michael has returned, bringing with him a new sword for Kagura to replace Michael XII, left down in the tunnels below Tokyo.  The new one, Michael XIII, uses bullets to improve the strength of the swing, instead of the compressed air in XII.  She buckles it on, closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.  Then...

Cut to black, roll credits.

Well now... we're all set up for the one-on-one battle we've expected since Episode 02.  The Schoolgirl in Black vs The Schoolgirl in White.  Will anybody win?  Did any members of the Disposal Team survive?  Will Master Michael find pants?

There's one episode left, and it's gonna have to go a long way to match the awesomeness that's been the last two.  Can it do it?  Find out next time!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:07 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 3047 words, total size 28 kb.

1 I can't believe how utterly stupid this is.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 11, 2010 01:19 AM (+rSRq)

2 ...says the person who who watches Aika Zero.

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 11, 2010 07:29 AM (mfPs/)


Aika Zero compensates with lots of panty shots...  er, lots of really cute girls who are drawn well. This hasn't even got that going for it.

Oh, and Aika Zero was only 3 episodes. They knew when they'd outlived their welcome.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 11, 2010 12:31 PM (+rSRq)

4 Okay, Mr Dragonball Z.

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 11, 2010 06:10 PM (mfPs/)


I've always said that both of those series were stupid, too.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 11, 2010 07:37 PM (+rSRq)

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