Iori Steels Herself For Combat
Summary: The episode begins with Iori in space preparing to destroy an asteroid. Feeling she has what it takes she goes ahead and uses Nebula to punch it. However the results aren’t what she imagined they would be.
The meteor is split in two from Iori’s attack and the operators send Haruka into battle to help her since she can’t possibly reach the other meteor in time. Iori protests and so does Haruka because she doesn’t know how to destroy the meteors. Iori is ordered to retreat, but because of pride she returns to the area where Imber is to assist in the destruction of the newly formed (as a result of Iori’s miscalculation) drop Beta.
Haruka is feeling just a teensy bit overwhelmed but Imber kicks into action action and destroys the meteor easily, much to everyone (including Haruka’s surprise). Back on earth Yukiho is impressed with Haruka, but Haruka says it was all Imber’s doing. Iori moves to confront Haruka for upstaging her when the two are suddenly called to debriefing. Iori is being moved off the team and she is peeved. When Chihaya asks why Iori made a beginner’s mistake though she is humbled, but blames Haruka. The two catfight briefly before being dismissed.
Outside the debriefing room Makoto says Iori was thinking to hard and that’s why she botched her mission and Iori tells her to keep her thoughts to herself. In the maintance wing Haruka is talking to Ritsuko and Ritsuko says she Iori knows it was her mistake. They decide to have a party afterward to celebrate Haruka’s “Idol Debut” and Haruka is thinking up people to invite.
Peter Griffins New Foe
Meanwhile Yayoi is chilling outside of the dorm talking to Yukiho while Iori works out upstairs. The other girls want Iori to go to the party, but Iori just insults Haruka making her puff up her cheeks. Ritsuko blackmails her into going to the party by threatening to reveal an embarassing picture of Iori if she refuses. Iori grudgingly accepts, but not without making some interesting faces and using infamous quotes from long lost Gundam Heroes.
Not Heero Yuy
At the party everybody is keeping mostly to themselves. Yayoi is making dumplings, Iori is grimacing, Ritsuko is chopping lettuce and Yukiho is sleeping. Haruka wants to get everybody together, but it just isn’t working. Iori insults everybody (Everybody’s a Baka man Rie Kugimiya would have been perfect for this scene) without once moving her lower jaw and Haruka and Yayoi are upset by this stubborn girl. Everybody comes up with nicknames for each other at this point. Iori is Sunshine Forehead, Haruka is Ribbon Girl and Yayoi is Cosplay Actor. All hell breaks loose as Yayoi unleashes her “Raging Gatling Gun Peck That You Can’t Dodge”. Iori knocks her out with one headbutt though. Ritsuko then trips over the felled Yayoi and her prepared dish goes everywhere and so ends the night. Later on Yayoi was helped home and Haruka takes a shower.
She’s referring to the food not the other thing.
Iori goes to underdress when she enters the bathroom (Simmer down she stops short, I’m not denying anybody anything), but Haruka spooks her by mentioning the root of Iori’s current troubles. Iori still won’t confront the problem however. The next day in the hangar it turns out that Nebula took substantial damage in a mission that morning when Makoto was piloting it, and Iori is dismayed at how banged up it looks. She runs off and Haruka doesn’t fail to notice. Iori confronts Makoto and asks if she can’t feel Nebula’s suffering. Makoto says Iori is foolish because Nebula is a machine and cannot feel anything. Iori says that Nebula has a heart, but Makoto says she can keep on believing that and making mistakes just like the other day. Haruka heard the whole thing and as Makoto walks outside she admits that she too feels that iDOL’s have feelings. Makoto just scoffs and walks away.
Not as ditzy as she looks
Haruka goes to look up Iori’s combat data from the other day to see if she can uncover anything. It turns out that Iori was focusing on protecting Nebula from debris, and that is the reason for her mistake the other day (i.e she won’t go all the way and refuses to let it take damage). Haruka finds Iori polishing Nebula and says she finally understands. Iori is still doubtful of her inability to balance the mission with protecting Nebula however. Haruka offers to help Iori polish Nebula up. When Iori reminds her that she pilots Imber she chooses to polish Imber instead.
Well I Sure Hope So After Shower #43
At long last we have our decent shower scene, but Yukiho runs in (while bouncing) to tell Haruka to come quick. Haruka gets dressed impossibly quick and they head to the simulator. Iori is locked in combat with Makoto as the two enter the simulator room. However, they are too late, Makoto has already won. Haruka wants to try now as well as she feels sorry for Iori who she is starting to feel a common bond with. We don’t see the battle, but apparently Haruka lasts a good 5 minutes and 43 seconds against Makoto, which the chief and Chihaya say is amazing for a newcomer.
This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship
Afterward Haruka and Iori talk a little. Haruka feels bummed out after losing to Makoto, but Iori comforts her by saying that Makoto has been training since she was a kid and for Haruka to have lost is nothing to be ashamed of. Iori unintentionally offers Haruka what looks like a corndog and Haruka says it delicious and chows down.
This Picture Mostly Speaks For Itself
Haruka thanks Iori and for the first time Iori cracks up laugin at Haruka’s ridiculous face (So she thought it was awesome too). Haruka is overjoyed and as Yukiho runs up she asks her to snap a picture of Iori’s laughing face if she has a camera.
Thoughts: This episode made me laugh and held me for the whole ride thanks in no small part to the incredible productions values the series has kept up remarkably well. The show is literally an orgy for the eyes and ears and I think that is really what it want to be instead of something exceptionally deep and meaningful. The character development in this episode is nice too with Iori showing her DereDere side, Yayoi continuing her bizarre trend of cosplaying as animals (and her literal henpecking of Iori) and Makoto showing herself to be, at least now, cold as ice. It looks like Iori is slowly starting to accept the newcomer Haruka and I am too. A lot of people seem to dislike Haruka, but I find her character and her voice to be hilarious (especially at the end scene with her squealing over how delicious the corndog is). We learn a bit about the iDOLS and actually get to see them in action a bit too, but the focus of this episode (and most likely the series) is on the characters. Overall, I’m impressed with just how much effort Sunrise is putting into the presentation of this series, but hopefull the mecha side of the equation can be explored a little more in upcoming episodes.
Rating: Nine Out Of Ten