With the demise of Moji, the “leader” of the children, the next pilot is Maki Ano, a girl who is adopted by her parents, where the father is in fact a mecha otaku. Despite her exuberance character for most of the series, the trigger of death impacts people in many ways. The near birth of her non blood related brother is to be soon as well, and she merely wants to see her whole family spending some time together. Will she get her wish before she pilots Zearth, or is her last wish unlikely to be fulfilled.
A whole new world is going to be presented to us in this episode, and the Earth that we know is no longer known.
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On a rain drenched night, Maki and Takami arrived at Tanaka’s house and the mark on Maki’s stomach showed that she was the next pilot. The next day, Maki was brought to a Chinese restaurant where she mentioned it was a place her family would never come. Maki said that she wished that she could be in time for the birth of her younger brother who was still unborn yet, and added that Zearth’s appearance changed her attitude in which she no longer felt jealous of this newborn brother. She was an adopted child, and the child that was to be born would be the family’s first true child.
Maki then said that she was friendly with Takami and Aiko, and mentioned about the visit to Kana’s house a few days ago. On the way there, Maki saw Kana who was bringing clothes home after going to the washing machine store, and Kana said that Jun was reading manga at home. An annoyed Maki and the other girls rushed over to Jun’s house and said that Jun was slacking when Kana was doing all the chores. Jun retorted and mentioned that Kana did it by her own accord, and Maki pointed out that Kana was also washing Jun’s underwear. Eventually, Jun’s temper got the better of him, and he kicked Kana. Maki immediately jumped on him, criticizing him for taking Kana for granted.
Maki then jested that she used to be hit on the buttocks, but that was a long time ago. She said that her father was generally very idyllic, but there were times where he was quite alert. She recited an incident where her father bought a model of Zearth done by a local company, and an article in the magazine rumored that Zearth (a name only known by the kids) was driven by children. Her father added that he would have given a better name like “Zapbaton (?)” for the robot, and the family laughed when he said that his name calling for the baby will be inspired.
Tanaka started to laugh, as it was Maki who gave the name for Zearth and both father and child were similar in behavior. Maki started to break down in tears, and she said she wished that she could just see her younger brother once and the family being together. When Maki returned home late, her father was extremely worried, telling her that her butt would be smacked! An official from the security department came to meet Tanaka, as she invited him into the house.
The official said that Tanaka and Seki had signed up as pilots for Zearth, and the two mentioned that they understood their fate as being part of the military. The official asked if Tanaka was overly concerned for the children, and she replied that they were only thirteen and required support from adults. Tanaka asked if he came just to say such stuff, and he informed that a report from a magazine had details of Zearth, as well as the pilots being children. He said that the truth would be extremely destabilizing for the society, but Tanaka said that it was merely the truth.
He told him that being overly caring of the children’s feeling might be dangerous and the country did things like separating them from society to protect them. However, Tanaka said that it was not written that way in the “Zearth report”. It was clear that the country did not want to reveal it and the military was withdrawn from use, which meant that the country was abandoning the children to their fate. The official said there was no choice, but Tanaka said that the government was more concerned about their own position rather than the safety of the citizens. Tanaka added that if the children were to lose the battle, everyone on Earth would die without knowing why they did. She understood that the government was worried that people might react like Kako, but the children themselves had accepted reality and fought on.
The official said that he would want to remove someone like Tanaka who was still as dangerous as she was before, but she was important to the children as an emotional support. On their way back from the market, Maki’s mother suffered labor pains, as Tanaka arrived to the scene and brought them over to the hospital. The doctor said that the child would come very soon by the next day. Maki’s father finally arrived to the scene and turned on the television for anime. Maki said he should be more concerned with the first child, but he said that the first child was Maki.
He continued that since it was their second child, her mother would be more used to it, with Maki touched. Maki then went to retrieve some towels from home, and told her parents thank you. When Maki left the room, her parents remarked that Maki was really growing up when she used to be really clingy. The battle was about to start as Maki was annoyed that the battle came so fast. An image of the hospital appeared, and Dung Beetle told her to be serious. As the scene of the battle appeared, a robot similar but not the enemy that Kokopelli defeated was in front of a very unfamiliar battleground. A plane whose model was never seen then attacked Zearth, and Dung Beetle said that they were on Earth, but not the Earth they know.
Wow, I cannot believe that my gut instincts actually came true. The new battle is now in another Earth, which means that they are also the enemy invaders of other Earths that are around in this universe. In this way, there is really a case of the universe’s version of Battle Royale. That also means that it’s likely that everyone in the universe have signed up for this war. It is a very dangerous and disturbing war, because it comes to the point of “Fight or be destroyed”.
Ironically, this is perhaps the most efficient way of reducing the load of the universe, by having merely just one fight and keeping the victors’ world after the battles have ended. However, it is really a huge wonder who the creator of such a vicious game is. Is it a spiritual being up there that has created such a game to eliminate planets? I do not know, but I doubt this is what Bokurano aims to reveal at all. It is not the story that they are keen.
On Maki, I am actually very fascinated at this family. The structure of the family is one that is loving, and definitely one of the most normal ones among all the children that we have seen. In a way, Maki is just like the average energetic child that we see on the streets, yet she has a vulnerable side that all children have as well. In other words,she is perhaps one of the most normal children that is involved in this game. The fact that she is adopted is actually not that strange, but the inferior complex that she suffers from is interesting.
Despite being well loved, she still suffers from an inferior complex of not being the birth child. It is apparent that her parents never really cared whether she is truly their blood daughter or not. In a way, this episode gives quite a bit of warmth to my heart as the pain that Maki felt as the adopted daughter was resolved before she left for the battle. Even though it is perhaps sad that she would not make it in time to see her younger brother be born in this world, she has at least resolved much of the problem within herself before the battle. In a way, the pain of her heart is resolved.
Tanaka’s conversation with the official also disturbed me quite a bit in terms of how the government is treating the matter. I can understand the issue about not revealing the truth to the public. I mean, if the world suddenly knows that their survival lies simply on the thread of these children who are fighting for them, it will be a total social catastrophe. Perhaps, it is me being cold blooded, but perhaps, it is better that the people never know. At least, they will be able to live their lives in ignorance.
What do you think though?