Last week's episode was phenomenal, and I wasn't sure if the next episode could follow it up.
For the most part, this episode doesn't feel as good as some of the others. The episode starts
with a brief opening speech by Benjamin Bright, who is as excited as ever to announce what
will happen in the race. Typical. Then it segues to Team Velshtein who is getting some
last-minute 'motivation' from Sir Hamgra. This 'scene' only serves to make Velshtein seem
the only way they can even face him again is to win this match.
Then we cut to Miss Satomi talking seriously to her team.  Then Miss Satomi makes a joke
not to even worry about winning. That came off rather weird. Of course they want to win. Then
she lets it out. I'm talking about her saying "Let's kick their a**". I was shocked to hear it,
and it basically threw me off for the entire conversation that occurred after that, which was
between the guys from Team Velshtein.
I can understand where she was coming from though. She has been taking all the stress of
managing a team and getting them this far. She really wanted to win, so that was
understandable. It kept with her character at this point, but wasn't absolutely necessary.
Then, Team Velshtein discuss why Sir Hamgra was talking to them the way he was. Even that
didn't seem to shake them, which made them all the more ready for the match. It's obvious
that there still may be some tension between how the team members feel about the race and
how Sir Hamgra feels about it.
Waiting for the race to begin, Miss Satomi informs Andrei that she is really grateful for his
support as a coach. Andrei only replies with his tough attitude, but tells her he really
appreciates what she said. He makes a comment to Miss Satomi not be thrown off by his
attitude-that he sincerely thanks her for choosing him. I like that they put that line in. Not
that it needs to be said, but Jesse says that Team Satomi is really getting the hang of working
together. They'll be proving that in the race.
Of course the ten-second countdown takes forever, playing the stereotype of anticipation. It
gets old fast. That really slowed things down, and I thought that was unnecessary. Then as they
are racing they don't really show the race. The show cuts to Mark elucidating to the team
about a new thruster that will help them dodge a powerful attack called the Indoraga Mono.
Then it cuts to Andrei prepping the team over a strategy. The strategy was something that
Amy could not grasp, and she gets upset about the race. Amy is one to be sensitive, and it was
nice of Liz to help comfort her. Liz sees through Amy hiding her emotions, which shows that
Liz has a heart. This all leads up to the halfway point.
What bothered me is that once back from the commercial, they still go back to the scene with
Liz and Amy. We already know how the feel. It seemed pointless to keep on going back. The
creators tried to play it as flashbacks, but it was awkward to see flashbacks of something we
did not see, yet. Yes I know, this technique is often used in movies, but it doesn't work here. I
want to know what's going on in the race, rather than going back.
The major complaint I have is that they really should have put all of these scenes of
preparation before the race started. That would have made the race flow a lot smoother. I hate
being in the middle of something intense and then having to go back and forth between it. I
wanted to watch the battle, not the conversations. However, don't get me wrong. It worked for
the Team Skylark race back in Episode 8. That race had continuity and they cut to flashbacks
at appropriate times. This is the final race. I want to see this intense match as one, not as
several parts.
I still didn't think that any of the parts were superfluous, except maybe the slow countdown.
Liz was talking truth to Amy, and it was interesting. Then they played it off as Amy thinking
back before the major attack that Team Velshtein is unleashing. That also makes the
situation a little more justifiable, but they still could have done all of this before the race.
Then Team Velshtein attacks with the Indoraga Mono. Amy still isn't quite prepared for it and
has to rely on Takeshi to save her. That was the only intense part of the race. It was creative
to see how they would escape from the disaster. Then for some reason, both teams stop on the
track. Sir Hamgra informs Team Velshtein that they've got more up their sleeve, if not their
'ace' attack.
Andrei watches the footage slowly, and loves what he sees. He gives a very long laughter; that
Takeshi could even pull off such a thing! The laughter is so long, it is almost overdone. Then
he informs Takeshi that he will introduce him to the Rocket if he wins the race. Obviously,
Takeshi would do anything to meet his idol that nobody's seen in a long time.
With so much opposition, it would seem improbable that Team Satomi could win. However,
they've dodged the Indoraga Mono. The episode ends with us guessing who will win. To leave
some action for the Season finale, of course, they end the episode abruptly. The same
technique was used for the recent race against team Sledge Mama. I was disappointed by this
episode because it failed to deliver any real push for the character development, and just didn't
seem to be put together extremely well. This episodes tries to accomplish more than it can
handle, and before you know it, it's over.
If it accomplished one thing it's that I have some anticipation as to who will win, how Andrei
knows the Rocket and how the Season will end. TV shows don't have to provide anything
extreme in on episode. Although last episode did, it would be unfair to hold this episode down
harshly because of it. It got us from A to B, and with some continuity. Leaving us open for the
next episode is all this had to do, and this episode did that.
Team Velshtein's mechs
right before they enter the
race track.
Liz comforts Amy before
the big matchup.
Team Satomi attempts to
dodge an attack from
Team Velshtein.
Additional Pictures
USA original air date: January 28th, 2006
Japan original air date: January 11th, 2006
Original Japanese Title:
The Final Battle

Team Satomi has made it all the way to the IG-1 League
Championship. Beating Team Velshtein won't be easy, but Takeshi
is not giving up without a fight. Unleashing everything they have,
both teams will be formidable for each other. But can a rookie team
best a team who hasn't lost a race in two years? This episode
features the first IGPX race taking place at night and the second
race against Team Velshtein and Team Satomi.
OVERALL SCORE: 6 out of 10
Toonami Version Differences

-A bit of the conversation between Cunningham and his
teammates pre-race (just before the walk out to the
track) is cut off; just a few lines.
Episode 12: The Final Battle
Additional Information