Episode 5: Rise Up, Friends! Forbidden Motion

Hoo boy, this is a sickie. If anybody wants to jump ship now, I’ll understand, ’cause this episode doesn’t have a lot to redeem itself by. Annie, sick of trying to keep Techno’s antisocial behavior in check, decides the best thing to do for him is to kill him outright, and by the end of the episode you’ll agree.

She builds a big robot that prematurely gets sent out and starts rampaging. At the same time, Techno tricks Hitomi into going out with him, and to make sure everything goes right he puts little control pods on her wrists and ankles, allowing him to control her every move.

I understand the joke here, and it definitely fits with Techno’s character: He doesn’t really get that Hitomi is a real other person, so he has to take steps to insure that she stays in line with his fantasy. He has to maintain a control he never really has, and of course by the end of the episode his plans fall apart. But Hitomi remains the hapless victim of this, and Techno receives no real comeuppance. It makes the story feel unsatisfying and mean, and this isn’t even the most offensive episode.

Luckily, for entertainment’s sake, Yamakawa X tries to further his career as a rebel by getting a bass (aww, man, the bass player is the loser of the band!) which his brother mistook for a base. As in baseball. When X’s brother realizes his mistake, there’s nothing for it but to try and kill Yamakawa X again, with his poor mom in tow, saying “Aim for his head!”

And finally, Hitomi gives Techno the slap we’ve all been rooting for and tells him to go to hell. But the episode tries to end with us on Techno’s side, pulling the camera slowly away from the lil’ bastard, rain starting to pour and sad music forcing its way onto the soundtrack. But I can’t be on his side – he’s a jerk and he deserves what he gets. The series hasn’t tried to redeem Techno at all for us, so the episode is a little flat, ’cause he just doesn’t have our sympathy.
Rating :B-

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com