Episode 3: Black Egg

The morning of the race, Miss Satomi finds herself confronted with another problem besides
running the team. She has to save it. I thought this meant a great problem for a few episodes.
I was wrong. This problem only happens in this episode. And that's where this episode starts
off wrong. I'm not saying that the first two minutes with the board of directors and Miss
Satomi driving back was wasted.
In fact, if one thought that was a waste of time, then one probably wouldn't like this entire
episode. Miss Satomi is constantly focused on getting a sponsor. It's what she has to do-that's
understandable. But the writers didn't need to have her do this. In fact, because this entire
problem is started and solved in one episode, it really just seemed unnecessary.
Now here's why I don't think the entire episode is wasted. The writers actually make good use
of the situation. The same goes with the voice actors. Since much of the episode is focused on
Miss Satomi, I'm glad Kari Wahlgren did a good job at giving her a subtly depressing
personality for this episode. Then again, it seems that she's always like that. Those who
believe that are wrong.
Miss Satomi has her problems, but who doesn't. It's only now that we really see her frustrated.
She does come back by the end to her normal self. To see her behave like this sparked a
conversation from Mark Ramsey. But maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Andrei is the
one who initially gets frustrated. During the race, he begins to notice that Miss Satomi is not
acting appropriately for the race, or not in the competitive frame of mind.
Andrei who thinks he gives his all to the team has had enough of Miss Satomi slipping up
around the team, and he confronts her. She gets upset and walks away, and that's when Mark
finds her. Even Mark notices during the race that something was not quite right with her, and
that is why he steps out of the race for a second to chat.
Mark is still happy to work with his machines, but is dedicated to this team. He would certainly
hope to stay with them to the end. He says they can win, and asks if Miss Satomi thinks he is
wrong. She doesn't directly respond to that question. She is more afraid of what would happen
if they lose, and isn't even certain if they will continue. Perhaps this is why Andrei is mad with
her. Perhaps Andrei saw through her and saw that she doesn't care enough for the team.
However, she does. She is trying to hold the team together. Andrei is trying to hold the team
accountable; understandable for a coach. The few minutes away from each other help them to
realize their roles.
Meanwhile, Takeshi is screaming like there's no tomorrow. Literally. It gets rather annoying
to hear nothing out of him the entire race but screaming. That also irritated me. Thankfully,
Andrei finally says, "Why don't you stop screaming and just hit him?" I'm glad I wasn't the
only one that noticed.
He's screaming because Black Egg is using rather defensive moves and is becoming impossible
to exploit. Finally Andrei realizes that he can step in. He tells them to find the weak point and
crack it. Seems kind of weird to me and to the team. Somehow the team figures out that that
actually means something. It doesn't occur to me how they couldn't figure that out
themselves, especially Amy who is supposed to be smart.
But it works, and Team Black Egg takes a beating. This is the first time we see the sword
metaphor being used for Takeshi's battles, and it's kind of cool to set that into people's minds
at this point in the series. That immediately gives the team members the chance to finish first,
and they do. Fantine gives one final look out at Takeshi. It's becoming more clear of her
intentions with their relationship. Takeshi then looks out as his fans, and cheers. "Look at
Mr. Humble", says Liz to Amy, as Amy is about to join his excitement as well. Liz who can't
hold back on the fun, says "Well, if you can't beat em...". She can never stop quoting people,
which is why I love her character.
We segue right back into Miss Satomi again. We get another glimpse and beautiful animation
as it goes from sunset to night. Team Satomi is still celebrating when she comes in. She's the
only one who really knows everything. She reveals what transpired that morning. The outlook
is grim. But she reveals, in a sudden turn of events, that a company liked the race so much
that they will sponsor the team. All is back to normal.
It just seems so pointless to introduce and solve a major problem in a matter of minutes.
Although they didn't mess up the episode, I wished they could have focused on something else.
At least they wrapped it up now, so it wouldn't linger to any other episodes. Then again, they
could have developed it a little more, too.
Either way, we got some character development for Miss Satomi and Andrei. But who are we
forgetting? River. It starts becoming more noticeable that he's feeling left out. As they win,
River looks away in disappointment. He feels that he could help the team, but can't do much
until he's a pilot. This is an aspect of him that does linger into other episodes, and we'll see the
repercussions of this later in the series.
I'm glad that they didn't completely mess up this episode, but there are many other ways to
approach the idea of losing a last bit of hope. That's what Miss Satomi had. She wanted to hang
on to her grandfather's last ideal. Team Satomi was for him. At least she could stand up for it.
So this wasn't my favorite episode, but it also wasn't a wasted effort. After it was over, I could
finally think about how next episode may be better.
Miss Satomi doesn't sit
back quietly as she hears
the board of directors tell
her that Team Satomi will
no longer be funded.
Team Satomi and Team
Black Egg go
head-to-head, side-by-side.
A devastating blow comes
as a metaphor of
Takeshi's swordsmanship.
Additional Pictures
USA original air date: November 12th, 2005
Japan original air date: October 19th, 2005
Original Japanese Title:
Black Egg

Team Satomi is ready to take on Team Black Egg, but Team Black
Egg has tricky defensive maneuvers that could cost Team Satomi
big time. Meanwhile, Miss Satomi fights to find a sponsor.
Otherwise, the Team will no longer be funded and will have to be
sold. Will Team Satomi win their second big race? And will a win be
enough for a sponsor to support the team? This episode features
the first and only look at the Black Egg team members, and Team
Satomi's board of directors.
OVERALL SCORE: 6 out of 10
Toonami Version Differences

-A line in the boardroom meeting is cut, where one of
the members tells Miss Satomi not to make it harder
on them.

-A portion the scene where Mark finds Miss Satomi
frustrated is cut in the Toonami version. Miss Satomi
asks Mark what he would do if he moved teams. The
Toonami version cuts right to the end result of this
meeting which is Miss Satomi talking about
potentially losing the team, cutting about 30 seconds
Additional Information