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Episode 15: The Secret of the Circus

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

April 1, 2016

 

Summary

 

Farms in China are attacked by the armored beast insects, Caroline. Seiji has lunch and watches Misuzu reports the incidents and the speculation that it's related to the destruction of the local environments. Hikaru calls Seiji and tells him to quickly finish eating or the circus will start without them. Butcho scans the city for vehicles that might be the Brave Fighters in disguise and his computer displays the most likely suspects, including Da-Garn. Seiji and Hikaru watch Magical Pinky's act then visit her in her dressing room. They thank Pinky for her invitation and give her flowers, followed by Seiji asking for her autograph. Seiji tries to show off by balancing on a bouncing ball but ends up rolling uncontrollably out of the room and crashes into a pile of circus props. Seiji and Hikaru discover a door hidden behind the props which opens to a stairway leading down. A very angry ringmaster appears and tells Seiji to shut the door immediately. Seiji and Hikaru leave and Pinky apologizes for the ringmaster's behavior because that door is off-limits to everyone but him. The ringmaster goes through the door and down the stairs to another door, which leads to a dark room containing a doll on a rocking chair. The doll's eyes glow and it begins to speak to the ringmaster, telling him that he's late. The ringmaster explains that he ran into a bit of trouble but the doll silences him and demands to know why he hasn't realized what's going on yet. The doll displays an image of the Carolines and the ringmaster explains that he spread their eggs across the planet in order to discover planet energy reservoirs. He adds that the Carolines breed close to areas with high planet energy discharges, which means that a reservoir is nearby. The doll however chides the ringmaster for letting the Carolines multiply so uncontrollably that they attracted the attention of the media. The doll zaps the ringmaster with lightning, and he reverts to his true form as Butcho. Butcho angrily retorts that he was focused on discovering the Brave Fighters' identity and would have moved out personally if he had known the Carolines were on the move. Butcho goes to the synthesis lab and orders his computer to prepare the new armored beast Diane. The computer says that Diane needs more time to complete and that accelerating production will cause molecular deterioration, but Butcho decides to do it anyway. Butcho deploys in Diane and heads towards the reservoir site. At Tsukushi, Seiji and Hikaru recount what happened at the circus to Hikaru's parents. Lunch is interrupted by the Director beeping so Seiji excuses himself to use the bathroom. Shuttle Saber shows Seiji video footage of Diane and says that it's headed towards China. Seiji tells Shuttle Saber to continue monitoring it until he arrives. Seiji explains the situation to Da-Garn, but the latter says that he can't move because he feels he's being watched. Seiji says that he has an idea.

 

Seiji brings Tadashin lunch, and the latter immediately suspects that he's plotting something. Seiji however says that he just wanted to thank Tadashin for his hard work. On cue, Jet Saber lands nearby and starts taxiing through the streets. Seiji alerts Tadashin of this and tells him to chase the jet in his patrol car. Tadashin drives off after Jet Saber in Da-Garn. Butcho's computer reports Da-Garn's movement, but when it says that it's chasing a jet driving through the street Butcho immediately dismisses the report and orders the computer to watch another vehicle. Tadashin overtakes Jet Saber and steps out of Da-Garn. When he asks for a license and registration, Jet Saber takes off and Da-Garn leaves Tadashin behind. Seiji suits up out of sight and takes off to China with Da-Garn and the Sabers. Butcho arrives at the farm site where the Carolines are gathered and starts digging into the ground. The Brave Fighters arrive and Seiji quickly orders everyone to transform and attack. Jet Saber traps all the Carolines with Jet Typhoon and Shuttle Saber destroys them with Shuttle Blast. Da-Garn kicks Diane and deposits Seiji on the ground. Butcho shoots acid at the Brave Fighters but they all dodge and unload their attacks onto Diane. Diane however absorbs all their attacks and starts growing rapidly. It no longer responds to Butcho's controls and the growth traps him in the cockpit. Diane charges at the Brave Fighters and they attack it again. It absorbs their attacks and grows so large that it splits into four duplicates. Seiji has Da-Garn and the Sabers combine into Da-Garn X and Sky Saber. Butcho is ejected from Diane's body and he spots Seiji. He tells Seiji that he's been a thorn in his side for too long and starts chasing him. Sky Saber punches a Diane but it absorbs his energy and retaliates with an acid shot to his arm. Da-Garn X whisks Sky Saber away before Diane can hit him with its drill. Seiji demands to know who Butcho is and the latter deduces from his voice that he's a male. Seiji tries to change his voice while calling Butcho fat and the latter angrily blurts out his name. Butcho extends his arms around a tree to catch Seiji but the latter climbs up the tree to escape. Butcho then crushes the tree trunk with his hands and causes it to fall, but Seiji still manages to escape. Da-Garn X and Sky Saber are unable to damage the Dianes. Da-Garn X says they have only one option and has Sky Saber distract the Dianes while he uses his Breast Freezing Attack to freeze all of them solid. Sky Saber then destroys all the Dianes with Saber Wing Cutter. Butcho corners Seiji at a cliff, but Da-Garn X and Sky Saber come to his rescue and turn the tables on Butcho. Suddenly a pair of missiles hits the Brave Fighters and a flying mechanical bird swoops down. It transforms into a mechanical panther and grabs Butcho before transforming into a robot. Da-Garn X asks who the robot is and the latter says his name is Seven Changer. Seven Changer says that he'll be taking Butcho and that it's nothing personal. He transforms into a jet and flies away before the Brave Fighters can catch him. Seiji wonders if he's a new enemy.

 

Commentary

 

The mystery from the last episode is immediately revealed as we discover the ringmaster was Butcho all along, which explains all the weird animals and performers the circus has. Pinky is also probably in on the act but her role and true identity are still unclear. Not surprisingly, Seiji's first confrontation with Butcho by himself ended just as poorly as his first meeting with Redlone. The Brave Fighters repeated the same tactic they used the last episode to defeat the armored beast, but the neat thing is that they used different attacks to achieve it this time. This episode however ends with even more mysteries. Who was the doll that spoke to Butcho? I doubt Ohboss would stoop to possessing an object and changing his voice just to communicate with an underling. Seven Changer is a new player, but he looks and sounds rather suspiciously like the Brave Fighters than say one of Redlone's combat troopers. Seiji has his work cut out for him evading Butcho's surveillance network, but that's not to say he isn't being creative about it. Having Tadashin chasing a jet speeding down the highway was the highlight of this episode. Also, I haven't mentioned this yet but Butcho's banter with his often deadpan computer is always amusing as well.

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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