|Episode 19: Moving On
Takeshi is obviously having some problems. Up until now, I have been waiting for the series to
address how he deals with his problems. This was obviously going to be episode that did that,
but, unfortunately, not in the way the creators should have. It begins with Fantine staring at a
ring; a gift from Takeshi back in Episode 11. The scene doesn't have much significance other
than to open the episode, and as I have been saying from previous reviews, pretty much every
episode from the second season has cool opening scenes.
They then go shopping at a clothes store. Takeshi states that he has nothing to do today,
though he knows that his team is expecting him to be available for training. It's rather
peculiar that he is not showing up, but it is even more peculiar that he is hiding it from
Fantine. Though, I guess that makes sense-she would likely not date him had she known he
was skipping out on meetings for her.
Fantine doesn't play the typical teenage girl that you come to expect as a stereotype in many
other shows. She would be thinking about Takeshi and caring about the things that should be
important to him, like his team. She wouldn't blow it off because she's a girlfriend along for
the ride. She's more pure than that. That's why I really like what this episode brings out in
After ignoring cell phone calls, and even ignoring the situation completely, Fantine is
concerned-and she has every right to be. What is interesting is that of all the people, Liz
seems the most concerned. She visits the hospital that Amy is in just to look for Takeshi. It's
obvious that Takeshi doesn't feel right. As Fantine leaves to get some ice cream, Takeshi
looks a little depressed, maybe confused.
Liz finds him by himself, and confronts him. He's making excuses as to why he's not with the
team. The problem is that he doesn't feel connected. That's why he is out with Fantine. When
he is with her, he feels connected. He feels better about himself, at least that is his mindset
currently. He should feel open to everything about his team, but as evident from the last
episode, he is down on himself.
Andrei being in the races seems to be psyching Takeshi. That's kind of the way I see it,
although that aspect is a bit vague. Going back a little, Takeshi does have a lot on his mind.
Amy not being there might have some subconscious effect on him. From Episode 17, he did
feel very bad about what happened to Amy. It seems now that he does feel right when he's
around Fantine. It's also evident from last episode that he can let her go.
That's what this episode revolves around. But then tides turn a little. When Fantine sees Liz
with Takeshi, she leaves them to the ice cream (that Fantine bought). Takeshi then walks
away alone, even without Liz. Takeshi spends the rest of the night without talking to anyone.
It seems he is as disconnected as ever. He doesn't even call Fantine, and Fantine talks a bit
with Jessica, although we don't hear any more than the beginning of that conversation.
The next day, Takeshi doesn't show up again. Miss Satomi has already informed him that he
can't miss this meeting or he's out the next race. She makes that decision final, and Andrei
agrees that it is not appropriate of Takeshi. The door then opens with Takeshi nearly
breathless. Takeshi walks in and apologizes, asking for another chance. He also says that the
team is important to him; he just wants to prove it. Miss Satomi reiterates that she's made her
decision. Then she says she was kidding, and that this is Takeshi's 'real' last chance.
This is why I don't particularly like this episode. Yes, I have a right to not like an episode (or,
contrastly, love an episode) because of one scene. True, the rest of the episode is great, which
is why the score isn't any lower. It's a solid episode at 7 out of 10. It's just that the season was
really building up to one of these moments where Takeshi was going to change. Unfortunately,
it feels rushed. Takeshi went back to normal in a matter of seconds it seemed.
Don't get me wrong-I wanted Takeshi to get better from his 'symptoms', but there were so
many better ways to do it. The night before or even the morning of, there could have been a
scene of, perhaps, his little sister noticing that he is down, and pointing out something that
would actually spurt a growth in character. Heck, this would have been an excellent
opportunity to introduce something about Takeshi's parents, perhaps a flashback, or anything.
We get these kinds of character building for Amy and Liz, so why not Takeshi? That's why I
was a little upset.
With that behind him, he can race normally against Fantine...or can he? As the pilots pass
each other on the way to the track, Fantine stops Takeshi. Jessica looks back at her as she
continues walking away. Jessica seems to have said something to her the other day, I think.
Fantine then reveals that she no longer wants to date Takeshi. The series takes another plot
twist. This, however, also seems kind of sudden. Fantine notices that Liz seems to want to be
Takeshi remembers that he hesitated last time. Before Fantine breaks up, Takeshi is still
prepared to let her go. But is he? He wants to hang onto her as she tries to break up with him.
The inconsistency is not indicative negatively on the episode, but rather on the confused
nature of Takeshi's feelings. It's almost like Takeshi was asking to be dumped, but then when
it actually happens, he doesn't know how to react or defend himself.
This episode does what Episode 12 did-go back and forth between two different plot points. I'm
still not thrilled about that. This time, however, I am not concerned about the race, I am
concerned about the issue with Fantine and Takeshi. So, a lot of the things that happen before
the major battle scene I kind of disregard, subconsciously. Fantine points out, when we finally
get back to the issue, that she's not wrong in feeling that Liz and Takeshi are for each other.
Takeshi never called back. So this episode does prove, in contrast to Miss Satomi letting
Takeshi in so easily, that when given the same situation, to somebody else, it isn't going to fly.
What I am saying is that Takeshi being 'out of line' was okay with Miss Satomi. Frankly, she
kind of needed him. That doesn't work with Fantine. He's out of line, and to teach a lesson, if
anything, Fantine is breaking up with him.
Now, back at the race, Liz is given about the same treatment that she dished out last year.
Elisa grabs her legs and throws her mech. As she is swinging her in the air, a crucial part of
the mech falls off, and she is out of the race. Team Skylark is being as protective as ever, as
Takeshi and Andrei approach Fantine. Takeshi breaks through, followed by Andrei for a blow
that puts Elissa out.
Takeshi doesn't understand why Fantine is breaking up. He sees it cut and dry-that they
haven't even had an argument. But what he doesn't understand is that they haven't felt right.
Fantine knows there is some disconnection between them. She can't feel it until they fight.
She feels Takeshi more as a challenger than as someone to love. But in a final bout, Takeshi is
able to prove one thing-he can let her go. That's what he's been proving throughout this
episode. As he deals damaging blows to Fantine, she is found legless. Takeshi holds her for a
second, but is able to let her go when she pushes back. Team Satomi takes the win. Fantine
realizes after, when Jessica asks, that she has discovered her feeling about Takeshi. She is
very grateful that Takeshi lets her go. She at least concedes being friends with him. That
makes the ending satisfying.
Fortunately, the episode works pretty well with the series. The plot can now focus on other
dealings, like Liz and Takeshi. Because they wrapped up this relationship, we can see how Liz
and Takeshi feel. But it is that reason that this episode doesn't succeed completely, when
looked at in a vacuum. Sure, it is a complete episode in terms of generalities, but there were
just a few things they could have done to make this episode gold. I still saw room for
improvement in the area of Takeshi's sudden growth. The great thing to realize is that the
episode still provides that character development, and is a great ending that allows a transition
to more promising episodes in this fantastic series. As the original Japanese title says,
Takeshi, and we, can go forward.
|Takeshi and Fantine take
some time off to go
|Miss Satomi isn't pleased
with Takeshi missing team
|Fantine informs Takeshi
of her intentions with him.
|USA original air date: June 24th, 2006
|Japan original air date: March 1st, 2006
|Original Japanese Title:
Takeshi, Go Forward
Fantine remembers the meaning of her relationship with
Takeshi, and decides to go out with Takeshi for the day. The
thing is that Takeshi is still having an attitude problem, which is
affecting everyone around him. Miss Satomi has to decide how
she will deal with him. Will Fantine be able to keep her cool in
the next race against Team Satomi, and will Takeshi be able to
get over his problems? This episode features the first look into
the Team Skylark facility.
|OVERALL SCORE: 7 out of 10
|Toonami Version Differences
No changes/cuts are made.