The IGPX is a sport, and like all sports, the goal is about winning. Or is it? When you've come
to know someone for a long time, you can easily figure out the peculiarities with which they
are composed. Team Satomi has had numerous situations where there teamwork is what
matters in winning or losing. And it has all come down to this race.
The previous episode felt a lot like it was simply leading up to this one, because unlike the
previous episode, this episode has focus. That's what the end of a season deserves-focus. I felt
that the creators of this episode knew what they wanted to accomplish, without superfluous
emphasis, like last episode. It starts out exactly where it left off, Takeshi and Cunningham
facing off for a victory in the championship race.
But it leads to something more genuine, something that the series has been longing for. True
teamwork leads to victory, and this episode has an awesome display of teamwork. What I
admire about this display is that it is real, and it has been building up to this moment, where
everything must pay off.
There is still some room. Maybe Takeshi going off on his own in this race wasn't such a great
thing. Liz and Amy took a lot of the moves together, but Takeshi and Cunningham go at each
other, rather than the rest of the team. Takeshi realizes what he's in for. When Andrei asks
him how it's going, Takeshi thinks he can't do it. Andrei tells him that he needs to open his
eyes and anticipate the moves, not just dodge them.
And that leads to one of the coolest battle scenes ever. Takeshi focuses very hard, and realizes
that this race is nothing more than a sword fight between him and Cunningham. Takeshi is
portrayed with his Iaito, and Cunningham with a fencing sword. Both reflect their native
countries, and the fight that transpires is amazing. Not only is it well animated, it is well
choreographed. And of course, Cunningham is as ready as Takeshi to fight.
Benjamin Bright, who is never a half-bad commentator, has a few words to say, and the screen
then segues to a montage of everyone who is watching the race. Seeing all of their reactions is
quite indicative of the characters themselves. But with all of the attention on Takeshi, many
forget about the girls of the team. They're holding off the boys of Team Velshtein. Liz and
Dew are taken out in a quick blow, and it's up to Amy and Jan to cover for their teams.
The line that comes from Sir Hamgra next is one of the best lines in the series, I think. He
gets Cunningham's attention and says "Stop playing with him". Naturally, that's all that needs
to be said. Cunningham wipes the smile off of his face, and gets back to business. He realizes
that it takes two to tango, and he was having fun as much as Takeshi was. Cunningham
attempts to go to speed mode, but not without a little opposition form Takeshi.
And so the race comes to a close, with both mechs neck and neck at the finish. The only thing
I don't like is that for how close the race was, how they were instantly able to determine the
winner. I think this goes against the continuity of the previous race, where the winner had to
be calculated. I also liked that moment of suspense last time around. But nevertheless, Team
Satomi comes out the victor. Andrei is now feeling a bit humble. Instead of hanging around for
the glory afterwards, we find him with the mechs just thankful.
Cunningham confronts Takeshi after the race. Liz and Amy are both surprised to see them
being so friendly. Takeshi speaks his mind, saying he only tried to do his best. Cunningham is
congratulating Takeshi on the race, and then reminds Takeshi of the incident in Episode 4,
when he never gave Takeshi a straight answer on why Cunningham goes down to the track
when nobody’s around. Even so, Cunningham doesn’t have a straight answer for himself. But
sometimes life is that way; you just don’t have all of the answers. Cunningham spilled some
advice for Team Satomi, which was more or less the truth about his team when they were at
the top. Team Veshtein does have a winning record, so nobody else but Cunningham would
know better about what’s up. He says not to think that you’re invincible and that today’s loss
was a wake-up call for the team. When Cunningham leaves saying that he won’t lose, Liz says
to Takeshi that he’s kind of a weird dude. Takeshi replies “kinda”. Why? Well, he knows that
Cunningham is a little more than weird. The relationship between them has really grown at
this point, and Takeshi knows it.
Of course, Takeshi now has something else in mind-meeting The Rocket. Andrei promised, so
tomorrow, he will finally meet his idol. That’s more of a plot thing, but I also love the next
part where Liz is crying. Of course, she tries to hide it, but she can’t. Neither can Amy. The
both decide that Luca’s the only one who is crying after Luca mews. It’s a tender, but heartfelt
moment, and I like what Liz decided about Luca’s the only one who is crying. It makes for a
genuine touch to this already amazingly developed series.
Understanding the importance of teamwork is a big thing for the series, and Takehsi shows
that understanding when he finally beats Watch World, his favorite video game. Of course, his
sister Yuri is still bugging him about playing. But then he throws the game to her and decides
that he doesn't need to be wasting his time on that. She then admits that she’ll always be his
biggest admirer, even though she is his little sister. She understands the role of being the little
sister. She also admits that if she didn't tell Takeshi about it, she really wouldn't care.
So Takeshi feels the same way. I also liked her character development at this point, too.
Takeshi is extremely excited the next morning, and rushes to the conference room where only
Andrei is waiting, without The Rocket. And here comes the confession. I think it was pretty
obvious since last episode, but the fact is that Andrei is The Rocket. Frankly, if he wasn't, I’d
be pretty upset. Takeshi feels a little down having not figured it out, but then realizes how
lucky he is to have been racing with The Rocket this whole time. Andrei then reveals that he
simply lived life and didn't mean for it to be a secret, but was waiting for a good reason to
reveal. This was definitely it, and I liked that aspect, too. We then cut to Sir Hamgra who feel
it was meant to be, as we see both a younger him and a younger Andrei suited up together,
suggesting they were on the same team. It leaves a little bit open for next season, at least.
And going back to the plot, we find out that Team Black Egg is eliminated with Team White
Snow coming for next season. Mark Ramsey is still with the mechs, but both Jesse and Miss
Satomi reaffirm him that it’s okay that he’s always down there with them. Miss Satomi even
thanks him, which may have been long overdue, as she also admits. Liz and Amy can’t stop
their training, even despite their supposed day off. Life never stops, though, so it’s
understandable why they both want to work out. Of course, they’re very close now, and both
agree on the same lines. Like when they find out that Luca is still sleeping, they both say
“Man, that cat’s got a sweet deal”. It’s very genuine, the relationship between them, now.
And that’s why this episode succeeds as a great closing episode, at least for the first season.
The relationships all work out-even Takeshi and that hot dog vendor we met in the first
episode. They seem friendly, too. But of course, we have the IGPX to thank for a lot of these
occurrences. Maybe that’s why it is appropriate that the last minute be used to show off the
track when nobody’s around…nobody but Takeshi. And there to join them are his teammates,
and we can all be proud about something. The IGPX has really taken the audience very far, as
much as the characters. I think little shows provide that sense of accomplishment. And the
best part? The series isn't over yet!
|The race gets really
intense as both Team
Satomi and Team
Velshtein battle it out.
|Takeshi is determined to
win, and that's going to
take his all.
|Cunningham talks to
Takeshi after the race.
|USA original air date: February 4th, 2006
|Japan original air date: January 18th, 2006
|Original Japanese Title:
The race is still on against Team Satomi and Team Velshtein.
Takeshi has a big will to win, since Andrei says he will introduce
"The Rocket" to Takeshi. Takeshi and Cunningham also are
similar in talent. But Team Velshtein isn't through. Dodging the
Indoraga Mano was only the first step. Will Takeshi and Team
Satomi pull off a victory to win the IG-1 Championship? This
episode features the introduction and revelation of the present-day
|OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10
|Toonami Version Differences
-During the post-race conversation between Takeshi
and Cunningham, a big segment of the conversation is
cut from the Toonami version. Cunningham talks to
Takeshi about their meeting from Episode 4. A few
lines from Takeshi are also cut. After Cunningham
walks away, Takeshi says "kinda" in response to Liz
saying "So he's kind of a weird dude..."; which is cut
from the Toonami version.
-The conversation between Jesse and Mark in the
room where the mech is staying is slightly cut from the
Toonami version, but the Toonami version also
slightly Benjamin Bright speaks is cut off by Mark
beginning to speak.
-Some of the pieces of animation that feature the
IGPX track are slightly cut for time.
|Episode 13: Into Tomorrow