GA-REI -zero- – 02
So after getting the whole cast wasted in the first episode, where exactly does GA-REI -zero- head off to now?
Well we’re given the impression right off the bat that Tohru’s crew wasn’t exactly the last line of defense for the nation against supernatural threats. Instead, more reinforcements show up this time around wielding even crazier gadgets and powers. Instead of the familiar orange-clad Ministry of Defense regulars, the government’s very own Ministry of the Environment’s sent in their own disposal team to finish mopping up the mess.
Of particular note are Nori, another motorcycle rider keen on using weasel-like familiars that zap hostile spirits and—
—Kagura, a slick blade-wielding schoolgirl (as if there are any other kinds of schoolgirls in action shows), who deftly hands the big bad Category B spirit its doom courtesy of her quick-draw skills.
Thereafter the very same government committee that we saw convene with Kiriya in the first episode quickly recounts the events of the incident, including the complete annihilation of the Ministry of Defense’s elite squad. Apparently the council felt strongly about the Ministry of Defense’s project and are now taken aback at the prospects of having the Ministry of the Environment take over in supernatural disaster situations. Two members of the succeeding authority, Ayame Jinguji and her secretary Kiri Nikaido introduce themselves to the committee and take advantage of the situation by asserting themselves before the old men. Being the bureaucrats that they are, the old men adhere to the compartmentalized nature of the government by refusing to turn over intelligence on the recently concluded operation.
As a show of good faith, the Environmental agents decide to show off what they know and the news isn’t very pleasant. According to them, there are MULTIPLE category A’s operating all around the nation and given the Ministry of Defense’s hard-fought battle against the mere Category B just a few hours ago… The tables are turned, and the two ministries uneasily join forces.
Anyway back at the scene of the Category B’s defeat, Kagura shares a tender moment with Nori just as the bodies of the dead soldiers inside the ambulances decide to come back to life and munch on the medical crew. These zombies, or Mouryou, seem to be mere cannon fodder though as they’re relgated to Category D status before the two sides lock into combat.
Sure enough, the Environmental agents go to town mopping the streets of the Mouryou… yet they’re unaware of a GIANT pillar of light that descends elsewhere on the town that happens to awaken a midboss-type baddie…
Meanwhile, Ayame and Kiri take a look back at the footage that was rolling as Tohru’s team was massacred (in the last episode) and make a token breathtaking/startling discovery. And just on cue, the mysterious Category A spirit that wiped them out has returned to continue the job against random Environmental agents. Again the results are just as decisive and… gory.
The Category A spirit appears before Kagura and the rest of the agents and is immediately identified as Yomi Isayama. Apparently Yomi and Kagura have some history as they appear to recognize one another (and who seriously didn’t see that happening? sailor fuku and swords has to be an exclusive club). According to Ayame, Yomi’s apparently a former Environmental agent herself that went missing/rogue some time ago.
The order comes down from Kiri to eliminate Yomi, just as the latter summoons a Ranguren, an imposing mouthbeam-shooting beastie. Yomi makes a hasty withdrawal just as Mouryou stampede in. Nori and Kagura head off after Yomi as the rest of the team stays back to hold off the zombie advance.
Nori and Kagura eventually split off in the public underground system to cover more ground, with Kagura taking one of Nori’s familiars so that they can stay in contact. But it’s not long before Kagura’s little companion loses its head when the two run into Yomi herself. Apparently Yomi was Nori’s fiancee in the past, which would’ve made for an interesting wedding to say the least. Like the other main baddie seen in the previous episode, the messy-haired boy on the bridge, Yomi arrives in a cascade of blue butterflies before leaping in to cleave Kagura apart.
The two appear to be close in skill, though Kagura refuses to draw against her old friend. But in one deft move, Kagura eventually draws her own blade and captures Yomi’s sword in the empty sheath.
As per the usual go-around, Yomi gives Kagura the talk that all villains give heroes about their naivety and weakness which draws them in to a moment of vulnerability. The battle is rejoined with Yomi assuring Kagura that Nori won’t interfere given his history of cowardice.
The have a twenty-second standoff (yes, I counted) before the two leap at each other; Yomi misses, and Kagura decides to gash open a nearby gas pipe before escaping the tunnel. Nearby sparks from a freshly severed power line ignites the gas, engulfing Yomi in a fiery blast.
Kagura barely manages to arrive back at the surface before collapsing when Yomi walks up to her prostrate body. The Ranguren then shows up and roughs Kagura up pretty badly… Kagura’s on the ropes and tries to plead with Yomi, her sister…
Yomi flies into a rage at being addressed as such and lets her sword fly just as the staff roll ends in the episode.
Okay, so GA-REI -zero- decided to opt for a new main cast to crash the show instead of reviving Tohru and the gang or pulling a flashback arc… but I still haven’t really found anyone worth investing any emotion with besides Yomi, who ironically appears to be void of any emotion until the very last scene. Ugh, Nori’s really hadn’t had any exposition built into his character just yet even though it looks like he’ll be succeeding Tohru as the lead hero and Kagura’s well… an insecure schoolgirl prone to fits of short-lived badassery and long-winded attachment issues. Neither of them have my vote of confidence just yet, in fact, of all the “good guys” on the Ministry of the Environment’s crack field team I’d have to say I’m the biggest fan of the unnamed cocky team member that goes around bashing people’s skulls in with briefcase mallets/guns. That’s right. My favorite character (aside from Yomi) in this show is a guy who goes around serving people with luggage and comes off a bit douchey in the process. The Batou-ripoff with the mohawk and the drillarms? A distant second (only because of the DRILLARMS). How about the twins with the generic big guns? Off the radar.
Ministry of Defense mobile team = 1
Ministry of the Environment agency = 0
Oh wait, THEY KILLED THEM OFF ALREADY.
Ministry of Defense mobile team = 0
Ministry of the Environment agency = 0
Category A spirit bad guy force of evil disaster making = 1
Either way, this show is off the Captions! treatment and on a regular blogging format because of the potential RAGE I’m forecasting in this series.