Episode 2: Win...Or Lose
Review

After introducing most everyone to the series, this episode jumps right into the first lap of the
race between Team Satomi and Team Sledge Mama, where the first episode left off. It becomes
very obvious from the beginning that the race won't go well, as Takeshi and Liz fight over
racing in formation. Meanwhile, Miss Satomi is concerned about the mechs holding up today.
She then remembers Andre sitting, quietly watching the race. She tells him that he should
give some input on what the team members should do. Of course, he wants them to figure it
out, deeming it too early to give advice. His subtle nature is interesting for a coach, and
probably doesn't wholly satisfy Miss Satomi at the time. She just wants her team to win.
Back on the track, Team Sledge Mama finally unleashes a full force attack. It's way too much
for any of them to handle. Things start to get very intense, but suddenly a light beeps in
everyone's mech. This is the signal for a pit stop. It was very creative for the pit stop to not
really be a stop. Rather, a machine slides into the race and picks up the mechs needing to be
repaired. Team Satomi has Mark as the repairman, and he is diligent in his job to quickly
repair the mechs.
Everyone must wait at a slow constant speed until the yellow Caution sign disappears. Takeshi
is first to break forward, after just having been repaired. Yamma takes advantage of this and
takes Takeshi down. The screen fades out, and right into Liz yelling at Takeshi for the loss. I
love his response; "I'm getting really sick of this". He doesn't want to feel like it's his fault,
and Liz shows no mercy for him not taking the blame. That leads to Takeshi leaving the room.
Liz then suggests that there was no plan, and of course Andre thinks otherwise. He was right,
though; it was certainly a valuable learning experience.
Takeshi is now sitting outside bored and frustrated from the loss. He reverts to playing his
video game, Watch World. A few scenes of the team talking appear, and Liz is once again
looking for an appropriate person to quote. Liz's attitude wouldn't suggest that she would even
think of looking up quotes to help the situation, but it is very admirable of her to look for
some answer to what happened. The quote she finds doesn't really help-"The only absolute
truth is in the end that actually there is no absolute truth". True, many things are not for
certain. Does that mean they can say they will win? Of course not, but that also means they
can't say they will lose, either.
Looking at Takeshi, the episode also cuts back to the end of the race, which we didn't see. We
find out that it is a tie. Many wonder how that could be. We see Takeshi in his broken mech,
and Benjamin Bright announcing how the race ended in a tie. This scene is rather
interesting-the first time I saw it, I was curious on how it was a tie. However, the second time,
I didn't even notice Benjamin talking in the background. I was focused on Takeshi's look of
defeat. This is how shows need to execute a flashback, and is even better than the flashbacks
in this own show's episode 12.
Takeshi even thinks back to Yamma making fun of him after the race. Just when it seems
he's at his low, a girl approaches and talks to him. She is Fantine Valjean of Team Skylark.
She encourages him, give him a small kiss and leaves. Takeshi was probably as weirded out as
I was at her carefree attitude, but is a cool introduction of her character. Something then gives
Takeshi confidence in their next race. He informs the team that they can win, and Liz
apologizes for her yelling...only to lead to more yelling after Takeshi says she's not happy
unless she is yelling.
That night, Takeshi acts out his dream of winning a race, when his sister Yuri comes in. I love
how Yuri always comes in at the right time, and provides a little comic relief. The next
morning, everyone is ready to take on their next opponent Black Egg. As we see everyone
prepare, we get a glimpse of the work Mark Ramsey and Jessie do for the team. Jessie and
Mark compliment each other on how hard they both work. Mark then makes a very true
statement; that anything you learn in school will never be effective unless you apply it to real
life. Mark is excited to work for the team, but also finds comfort in knowing that each time
the team wins, he feels a little better about helping out.
Meanwhile, the team is preparing for the next race in the conference room. Miss Satomi tells
everyone that it will be hard to win, and says that the chances are low. Everyone thinks so, and
she says that's why they'll win-because everyone else underestimates them. And those who are
loyal to the team are out there to see their confidence in each other, and not a losing face.
Takeshi agrees that they have to have fun to win, and that just being where they are is fine by
him.
I'm glad Takeshi feels this way. A lot of times, we take where we are in life for granted, like it
just came to us. Takeshi realizes that their hard work will pay off, and yet can still be fun at
the same time. Of course nothing is for certain, but even if they will lose, they can have a
great time doing it, and work well together. I liked this episode a lot, likely because it speaks
truths about life, but also provides more character development and some intense action at the
same time. The episode also had a better pacing than the first one. The ending works to serve
as a good closure for the first two episodes, and certainly keeps one hyped to see what happens
in next week's race. They may lose, but then again, the race has yet to be decided!
As Team Sledge Mama
rounds the corner, the
race heats up.
Team Sledge Mama's
Yamma confronts Takeshi
after the race.
Fantine introduces herself
to Takeshi, and invites
him to chat sometime.
Additional Pictures
USA original air date: November 5th, 2005
Japan original air date: October 12th, 2005
Original Japanese Title:
Win... or Lose
Summary

The race is on between Team Satomi and Team Sledge Mama.
Sledge Mama is going to be a tough opponent, but Team Satomi
may have a chance-if they can just get on track with their
teamwork. But Team Sledge Mama is known for not going easy on
opponents. Will Team Satomi's inexperience and lack of teamwork
cost them the race, or can they pull off a victory right out of the
gate? This episode introduces Team Satomi and Team Sledge
Mama's first IG-1 race for this season.
OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10
Toonami Version Differences

-After Luca states that the IGPX would be better if it
were run by cats, Takeshi and Liz say one more line
to each other in their argument, and Amy and Luca
sigh. This is only a few seconds, but is all cut out of
the Toonami version.

-After Mark tells Miss Satomi that the machines will
be fine toward the beginning, Miss Satomi looks up
and then realizes that Andrei is in the room. In the
Toonami version, this bit of animation, and words that
Miss Satomi says are cut out. It simply cuts to Andrei
in the Toonami version.

-Right before the commercial break, Liz's last line
(which is philosophical) ends with her saying, "Great."
The Toonami version creates a longer pause between
the quote she reads and that word, "great". This was
likely to make it flow more naturally for an American
viewer-the original Japanese version doesn't have this
pause, but sounds natural regardless.

-After Yuri meets Takeshi in his room, a line is cut
out, where Takeshi sarcastically remarks that he was
glad to provide her a laugh.
Additional Information