Brief Summary: The final matchup between Kogarasumaru and Behemoth continues as Ikki and Agito face off with Bandou Mitsuru and Udou Akira. The story behind Akira’s rise to power is revealed, including his prior relationship with Agito and the arrival of the girl named Ren. Akira is beat into the ground by Ikki’s sky, but retaliates by revealing his Fang Regalia. A battle ensues until both sides stake the results on the last clash.
Detailed Summary: The battle continues on with Mitsuru going berserk with anger as a result of Ikki’s underestimation of Behemoth. Right when he throws a punch, Akira cooly stops it with one hand, lecturing that those who lose their tempers first, die first.
Ikki and Akira then converse and Akira states that he has heard of Ikki from Simca before. The two shake hands, but Akira purposely gives a deathgrip to Ikki. He then slams Ikki into the concrete floor rapidly. Eventually he realizes that he is slamming nothing but a piece of rubble into the ground. Ikki had used a substitution technique and kept his body from harms way.
Mitsuru, angered that Ikki would continue to belittle Akira, charges and throws a strong punch. Ikki quickly headbutts Udou’s fist, stopping the punch and neutralizing any damage taken with just his head. Akira finally gets serious and emits his killer aura, represented as a shadow of some giant blade-bearing monstrosity.
Ringo and Simca continue their discussion of the battle, in which Simca begins to tell of her first meeting with Akira prior to him becoming the Fang King. Akira is seen sitting on a motorbike with Ren amidst a flock of white doves. The doves are shedding their feathers, resulting in a rain of white feathers and blood. Akira states that he’s fine with keeping AT-riders striving to surpass D-class in check, and that he hates birds.
The scene changes back to the battlefield, where Akira has finally begin to fight aggressively. Despite all of his efforts, Ikki and Agito are able to evade and land hits due to his weakness to the sky. Akira has long since foresaken his ability to fly in the sky by trading his wings in for his fangs. As a result, he is exceptional strong near the ground, but loses his capabilities when high in the air.
After recieving several severe blows, Akira kneels on the ground in pain. Mitsuru, unable to take the spectacle any longer, comes to Akira’s aid and punches Akira back to his sense.
Regaining his sense, Akira finally reveals his trump card: his Fang Regalia. Upon its initial use, Agito and Ikki are thrown back by its force. The Fang Regalia makes effective use of speed and braking, thus creating shockwave-like forces as weapons. As a result, other parts were sacrificed, resulting in a limit of its effectiveness to the ground.
Ikki and Agito begin to struggle against the reawakened “super beast.”
Another flashback is then given though the dialogue of the other present kings Nue and Spitfire. It turns out that initially, Akira and Akito were both part of the AT wind police force responsible for punishing those who were abusing ATs. During one mission to capture smugglers, Akira has knocked out Ren’s brother, who was trying to smuggle a small chick as her birthday gift. We learn that Ren has a prosthetic leg, and thus cannot move very well.
Akira, feeling guilty for his actions, continues to interact with her. Little does he know that he is essentially being used. The truth is revealed once Ren challenges Akito in a battle for Akito’s Fang Regalia. Ren’s brother was in fact, an undergound AT parts dealer on the black market. His initial mission was to steal Akito’s fang regalia, however now the responsibility lies on Ren’s shoulders. Ren was in fact getting close to Akira in order to discover Akito’s weaknesses.
Akira declares that he will sacrifice his wings to stay with her so she won’t be alone and offers to take Ren’s place in the battle against Akito. Although the result is not shown, it is obvious that Akito lost, thus resulting in Akira’s present possession of the Fang Regalia. As a result, he not only sacrificed his own wings, but also his only best friend (Akito). Over time, he gradually turned his feelings into hatred for those who have wings.
The story reverts back to the battle, where smoke clears with all four participants still standing. Mitsuru marvels at Akira’s power, but then notices the wear and tear on Akira’s legs. It turns out that the use of the Fang Regalia’s high speed and sudden braking puts enormous strain on the legs. As a result, both sides silently stake the results of the battle on the next move. The episode then ends with Ikki and Agito charging in for the last clash against Akira and Mitsuru.
Evaluation: I had some mixed feelings about this episode. It is great that there was a continuation in the action of the battle. It was nice to get some background on the story surrounding Akira. Regarding the actual story though, I’m still wondering what exactly caused Akira to betray Akito. I’m personally assuming that he eventually fell in love with Ren, as witnessed from his sacrifice to stay with her.
Despite this, we get little interaction from Ren in the present tense of the story. There are numerous cuts of her standing on the upper floors viewing the ongoing battle from above. If the anime continues to follow the manga religiously as it has been doing so far, hopefully we’ll get some interaction from her.
The action itself was relatively watered down. Initially, the episode contained plenty, but then the action took a backseat to the flashbacks, and thus became very watered down. I’m sensing the beginning of episode 20 to be a big bang to the conclusion of the battle… and then we will continue to see what happens (for people who have not seen the manga raws yet). XD
The story is about to get more and more interesting as the plot begins to deepen. I personally wonder if the anime will be able to cover the entire manga in the remaining 5-7 episodes. It certainly seems possibly, so hopefully the anime will do the manga justice.
Episode Rating: B