With the discovery of an important fact in the last episode, the kids find themselves back in the same predicament but in a worse state. It is an inescapable truth, one truth that they cannot get out of. As long as the contract remains, the kids will be living their life until the point where they are chosen to be the pilot. I will be praying for a bittersweet ending, but with more details fleshed out by Dung Beetle, I cannot tell anymore.
Despite the pain that each pilot faces after realizing that they are next, they continued to have a short lived hope, a hope that gives them a glimpse of life. In this episode, that glimpse is love, and the number of pilots remaining diminishes as we speak. I am somewhat depressed by the lives that they are living right now, and I wish them luck. Bokurano is shaping up to be a decent series with the last few episodes.
Updated list of pilots after Episode 17: click here
The break in by the car led to Komoda’s house being burned down. Komoda’s father was then interviewed by the press. He said that no one was hurt and he did not know who the instigators were. When one reporter asked whether the incident was related to the fabrication of the Zearth report, Komoda asserted that the report was not fake. At home, Aiko’s father was telling her how the truth was often hard to accept, and the Zearth report was a good news point to gather ratings. The security guard that Komoda’s father hired was very apologetic, but the father said that it was not his fault at all. Komoda’s father said that the security guard worked for the family for a long time, and was guilty that he could not protect the place well.
Kawai, after some investigation, noted that it was a rough but well trained job. The culprit was giving the message that this was just a warning shot. Tanaka also stated that the army would be helping the security, as an underling told them that Jun came over. Tomo (Kawai’s friend perhaps?) asked Jun to bring some food for them in the form of Fish cake. Kawai then asked to walk around the estate to check on security, and asked Tanaka to bring Jun out. Tanaka asked Jun about the weather and winter clothes, as Jun said he was surprised how Tanaka was saying the same things as Kana, even though Kana herself was wearing little.
Jun then showed his caring side by asking Tanaka to buy some winter clothes for Kana, as he did not want Kana to get a cold in this weather. In the studio, Kanji and Komoda were interviewed about Zearth. Kanji was initially nervous but relaxed after Aiko’s assurance outside the studio platform. After the interview, Aiko asked Kanji whether it was nervous, and he said it was obvious that he was. They then saw a famous model hooking up with Aiko’s father as they went out for “work”. In the cockpit, Dung Beetle was talking to Machi, and it was surprised how Machi was sympathizing with them. The order was also set, with Komoda, Jun, Seki, Tanaka and Kanji would be wrapping up.
Machi asked if Kana might be forced to fight, but Dung Beetle said no, even though the thought would be really interesting. In the lab, the professor was actually Kanji’s mother as she continued to do experiments on Kanji. His mother also asked about him being with Aiko, as well as the possibility that there were huge repercussions in the future for Komoda’s father. Kanji said he thought that she only cared about research, but she said that the information was required for her to continue experimenting. The news flash of Aiko’s father having a night out with the famous model was broadcasted and he was taken off the news for this sex scandal.
Komoda’s father was angry that they were upstaged again, as the calls at Aiko’s house never ceased to end from the calls of the reporters. Aiko’s mother was drinking a lot after the incident, and grumbled how her husband could be tempted by such a woman. As Aiko wanted to go out for a while, the gate was surrounded by a lot of reporters. Kanji was also there as he shoved his way in front and brought Aiko away from the mass of reporters. One reporter noted cynically that the daughter’s actions were similar to her father.
When they were finally away. Kanji informed Aiko that Seki’s car was nearby. Aiko started to cry, as Kanji hugged her in an embrace, telling her that it was all right. The children gathered in Jun’s house, where Aiko complained how it was hideous that all the journalists were hounding her. It was unfair to bully them with numbers. Kawai said that Aiko’s father was an important celebrity wielding a lot of influence, but popularity also meant that he also had to hold responsibility. That responsibility would be to protect the people like his wife and Aiko herself. Aiko realized what Kawai meant as her father was simply running away as a coward, as she asked to meet her father.
When she met her father in Komoda’s house, her father apologized for his actions and said that he was tempted by the woman. He still loved his wife, as Aiko asked whether he would be returning home. Aiko’s father said that the house was surrounded by reporters and he wanted to give his wife some time to relax. Aiko said that her father had to protect and fight for his wife, and Aiko would fight for Earth. He finally gained the courage and returned home. In the battle, they were fighting against a machine with a lot of sharp, long arms. As Aiko tried to approach, one of the long arms penetrated Zearth easily, as they retreated.
Machi warned that unless they got close, it was impossible to win. Aiko decided to take a risk as she protected the cockpit with Zearth’s arms and rushed forward before getting close enough to defeat the enemy. Aiko finally collapsed, as Kanji held her in an embrace. Kanji also saw a vision of the people who controlled this game and said that they could not survive. Dung Beetle said he was surprised that the timid Aiko did not cry, while Kanji belittled Dung Beetle as merely a dog for them. Dung Beetle got very angry, and said that Kanji would be the next one who would be killed in this game. As the chairs revolved, it was Komoda as Dung Beetle said he guessed incorrectly with a smile.
Ok, this episode just throws me a huge question. Why did Aiko and Kanji ever had any hints to be together? I mean, I am perhaps the most unobservant viewer in anime, but I seriously do not see how the two got together. The story telling for this couple, if anything, is rather jerky for me. I mean, I did not even expect the two of them to be remotely in romance with each other, and there is hardly any strong hint for the observer that the two of them like each other.
However, the revelation that Dung Beetle has been speaking to Machi during the times that it is talking to a certain person in the cockpit is a major one. This is perhaps confirmation that Machi is truly its sister, and I do wonder why Machi led her friends into this fight. I somehow believe that there will be a case where Machi will be the last person to fight this battle, but I do not even know why she will be fighting. I believe that her guilt of bringing her friends (I believe she does treat the kids as her friends) will sacrifice herself somehow in order to bring the kids back.
That will be quite the short cut for most viewers, and I do not wish to be so. Nevertheless, I just have that premonition that Machi will be the last to fight, and not Kanji. Dung Beetle’s oblivious cruelty is also apparent in this episode, with his nonchalant attitude toward Kana. In a way, the two siblings show a very interesting contrast in this episode, and that is the reason why it led me to the conclusion of what might happen to Machi at the end.
Jun also gets some redemption in terms of the treatment of Kana in this episode. It is clear that he is simply a tsundere that does not know how to control his impulsive behavior. He does care for Kana, despite his often harsh words to her. That really gives him a plus point in respect now, even though I still cannot forgive him for some of the physical bashings that he has caused her for previous episodes. Nevertheless, with Komada now the next pilot, it will be interesting to see how the order revealed in this episode, will be stuck. Will it be changed, or not?