A new season is expected to have new things. New concepts. New ideas. New characters. But
one thing you may not expect a new season to have is style. This episode really brings out that
unique style that makes the second season different than the first, but still maintaining the
core values of the show. What I am referring to is the opening. We don’t see the race right
away; instead we see Liz training at her home. We find out that she is determined to win when
she says “Defeat is not an option”. Then we segue back into the race, where the creators begin
to implement new concepts.
Team Edge Raid still has something new up their sleeve, and almost instantly, Takeshi is
exposed to it. The new weapons are rings that are shot out via string (the team’s trademark)
and used to control the opponent like a puppet. And another new idea is introduced-cheaters.
As Takeshi struggles to get away from the team, Luca and the others notice something funny.
Takeshi thinks he has escaped when he is in mid-air of the big jump, but his mech suddenly
Panic ensues, and one thing really caught my attention-Miss Satomi becoming speechless. This
shows that she really has no idea how to react to the situation. Fortunately, Luca is able to
start a program that repairs Takeshi’s mech. During Luca’s repair, Bjorn from team Edge
Raid uses his string to loop under the track, and we see a well-made 3D sequence. Now, Amy
and the team is ready to on their opponent. Amy uses a really cool attack to crash into Bjorn,
who is acting a little cocky due to Team Satomi getting off track.
The rest of the race is gold for Team Satomi. Takeshi drafts behind Amy, and Liz is caught in
the rear. Liz struggles to maintain balance as she is caught in a ring, but ends up placing third
anyway, behind Takeshi and Amy who have also crashed into the starting line. They may have
won, but it’s not the best way to end up. There’s a reason why Team Edge Raid seems happy
about the loss. The emotional aspect to the win was costly, not to mention literally costly.
The series continues to demonstrate its attention to detail, even during races. I love how
earlier, Andrei instantly infers the mechanical problem with Takeshi to be the hydraulics.
Benjamin Bright believes the same thing. But we as an audience will notice a reference to
Team White Snow, and it’s obvious that they are doing something to mess with Team Satomi.
Liz invites Takeshi to dinner, and he refuses. He may have had plans with Fantine, but Liz
wants to talk about the race. Takeshi is obviously in a bad mood because he walks right
through the crowd of reporters just looking for a word. He doesn’t want to talk to anyone. This
becomes indicative of his attitude that stays during the next few episodes. Takeshi still regards
the win with Fantine as a win.
Meanwhile, Liz and Amy are eating out in a Chinese restaurant. Liz orders a ton of food that
Amy can’t eat, and Liz is still hungry after eating so much. Amy can’t understand because it
has to do with Liz’s childhood. Amy asks about the orphanage that Liz lived in, and Liz acts
like everything is okay. It then cuts back to Liz’s room, where she is looking at a postcard
beside a “Business Closed” letter. Amy comments that she must be strong having gone
through the experience of being around many others.
We can tell about Amy’s concern. It is genuine. That is why Amy is still staring at Liz
speechless after their conversation. Amy knows that there is something there, but can’t quite
figure it out. It also reminds me of Takeshi, but in a negative way. Takeshi knows something
is wrong, but can’t quite figure it out. In situations where one is required to react, it is either a
fight or flight scenario. Takeshi doesn't want to run away from the problem, but he also
doesn't want to fight it. Fantine even notices that Takeshi isn't at his best right now. She tries
to get through to him by saying “Give it your all”. But talk is cheap when Liz comes around.
Liz finds Takeshi later that night by himself in the training room. Liz challenges Takeshi.
He is used to using his sword, while Liz is catered to her own body. Although, at first Takeshi
plays defense, he draws his sword and things get intense. Both are already tired from the fast
pace. Then when they go to attack each other, Takeshi draws his sword right next to Liz’s
neck. Liz says she understands winning at all costs, but this is too desperate. She then asks
Takeshi as he proceeds to walk out if this is about the previous race. Takeshi refuses to
answer. Liz just wants to know what’s going with him. Takeshi yells to her to get off his back.
Liz replies that she is trying to help and Takeshi replies that she should stop acting like she
has all the answers. Then it is left at that.
Now basically everyone knows about Takeshi having a problem. But who doesn't know that he
has a problem? Himself. He continues to act like there is nothing wrong. It can be admirable
in one sense that he can stand up to his peers thinking he is right. At the same time, it is
bringing down the team. At the end of the episode, Andrei is talking to Mark saying he knows
the symptoms that Takeshi is going through and suggests that Liz could be forward.
This episode marks a lot for the series. While still providing really good character
development, this episode caters to a lot of people. It hits a lot of points that we never saw
coming, and some points I couldn't wait to get back to later in the series. This episode does a
great job of setting the rest of the season, basically. We can choose to like the tone of the
episode or not. But what one can certainly get out of it is that we don’t know exactly where the
season is headed at this point. But we can know that there will certainly be a lot to look
forward to. If all this episode does was set up the rest of the series, it wouldn't be so amazing.
But the fact is that it stands alone as a great episode because of everything it explores.
|Team Satomi is trying
their best against Team
Edge Raid at their first
race of the new season.
|Liz isn't too happy about
after the race.
|Takeshi and Fantine meet
up again, after the race.
|USA original air date: May 27th, 2006
|Japan original air date: February 1st, 2006
|Original Japanese Title:
Team Satomi is fighting to keep the lead against team Edge
Raid, and Team Edge Raid still has a few tricks up their
sleeves. Team Edge Raid whips out more surprises than last
time. But Team Satomi is starting to experience some
mechanical problems with the mechs. Can Takeshi and Team
Satomi overcome these obstacles and win their first race? This
episode features an aerial look at the Team Satomi machine
facility and a bigger look inside the IGPX City.
|OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10
|Toonami Version Differences
-A small amount of footage of Liz in her apartment
training before the race was cut (less than 10 seconds).
-A very small amount of footage was cut from the
fight between Liz and Takeshi, including one small
line from Liz. All of the cuts in this scene add up to no
more than 10 seconds.
|Episode 15: Feeling Lost