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Episode 3: Find the Brave Stones

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

April 1, 2015

 

Summary

 

Seiji wakes up on a couch inside his house and realizes he fell asleep after yesterday's battle. He pulls the Director out of his jacket and contacts Da-Garn. Hikaru knocks on Seiji's door and is puzzled when there is no response. Tadashin passes by and asks is she's on a date with her boyfriend. Hikaru replies that she's more like a babysitter to Seiji. As they pass Da-Garn, Seiji pokes his head out from the car and remarks that he and Da-Garn are unbeatable. Da-Garn warns him to not get overconfident because the invaders might return with bigger and stronger forces. Seiji asks how they can fight all of the invaders by themselves, and Da-Garn says that they have allies they can call upon. Da-Garn reveals that he is one of eight Brave Fighters who have protected Earth since ancient times, and the rest are sleeping in the form of Brave Stones scattered across the planet. Da-Garn says that Seiji's task is to find the Brave Stones and awaken them, but before the latter can protest he realizes he is late to school. Seiji arrives just as the bell rings and Hikaru demands to know where he's been. He shrugs her off and joins his friends who are discussing the battle from yesterday. Seiji tries to convince them that the blue robot is on Earth's side, but they retort that they don't even know the robot's name or where it came from. Seiji lets it slip that the robot's name is Da-Garn, but then quickly dodges suspicion by saying he only knew because his mom works at a TV station. Later, Hotaru catches Seiji holding the Director and asks what it is. Seiji says that it's just something he picked up and Hikaru says that something is calling and drawing closer. Seiji dismisses her and leaves. He spots a poster on the bulletin board announcing that Egyptian artifacts for a museum exhibit will be arriving today in a jumbo jet. Seiji looks at a photo of a pharaoh's sarcophagus and recognizes a Brave Stone embedded in it. He wonders if that was what Hotaru was referring to and quickly summons Da-Garn to take him to the airport. In space, Redlone is told by his robot assistant that they could not find where the Earth robot came from but they know that it could not have been built with Earth's current level of technology. Redlone says that he won't let his grand army be defeated by such an ugly robot and orders Adler to be sent out for an immediate counterattack. On the way to the airport, Seiji notices that people can see him and asks Da-Garn if there's a way to disguise his appearance. Da-Garn tells him to press a button on the Director which covers him a full body costume. The GDO detects a UFO and informs all police cars to prepare for emergency evacuations. Seiji reaches the airport and sends Da-Garn to defend the city while he finds the stone. Jet fighters attack Adler as he rampages through the city but their missiles have little effect and Adler retaliates with his own. Redlone watches the battle using a flying camera drone and gleefully urges the Earth robot to show up.

 

Seiji tries to sneak his way around the cargo block but there are too many people, so he creates a diversion by freeing a pack of dogs from their cages. He finds out that the Egyptian artifacts are inside the jumbo jet parked outside but is chased by a security guard before he can reach it. Adler destroys the jets just as Da-Garn arrives and transforms to robot mode. Adler then deploys his wings and overwhelms Da-Garn with his speed. Seiji evades the guards and calls to check up on Da-Garn, who says that the enemy is extremely strong and he can't combine without Seiji being there. Left with no other choice, Seiji runs past the guards and into the jumbo jet. He finds that everything is still packed inside boxes just as the guards catch him, so he frantically waves the Director around and orders the Brave Stone to awaken. A beam of light shoots out of the Director and hits the largest box, causing the Brave Stone to shoot out and merge with the jumbo jet. The jumbo jet immediately ejects everyone except Seiji outside and introduces itself as Jumbo Saber. Seiji says that they need to get to the city quickly to assist Da-Garn, so Jumbo Saber immediately taxies down the runway and takes off. Hikaru looks for Seiji and thinks he might have gone to the site of the battle when she doesn't find him home. Jumbo Saber transports Seiji to a special viewing compartment inside of him before transforming into robot mode. Adler dodges Da-Garn's magnum shots and rams him just as Hikaru arrives looking for Seiji. A stray missile from Adler hits the bridge Hikaru is standing on and leaves her hanging off the edge. Jumbo Saber arrives and drops off Seiji, who orders him to help Da-Garn before he notices Hikaru in danger. Jumbo Saber knocks Adler away with his Jumbo Tornado and engages him in the air. Seiji closes his helmet and helps Hikaru up but the seismic waves from the battle cause them to slip down to the ground and force Seiji to shield Hikaru from falling debris with his body. Seiji discovers to his surprise that his costume completely protected him from any harm as Hikaru asks if he's alright. Seiji tells Hikaru to stay away from dangerous places and quickly runs off before she can thank him. Seiji summons the Earth Liner and Earth Fighter and has Da-Garn combine into Da-Garn X. Adler fires his wings and a barrage of missiles at Da-Garn X but the latter dodges and punches off one of his shoulder thrusters. Adler then shoots his fists but Jumbo Saber destroys them. Da-Garn X rams his Da-Garn Blade into Adler, destroying him as a crowd of people cheer. Redlone seethes with rage and demands to know where the Earth robots came from. Tadashin sulks back to his koban to write his resignation but finds his car back in its parking spot. Seiji carries Hikaru back home after she sprained her ankle during the battle and apologizes for making her go look for him. Hikaru says that it's his fault and Morisawa is furious with him for skipping classes, then starts gushing about the mystery boy who saved her.

 

Commentary

 

In typical Brave show fashion, introductions to the supporting robots start to trickle in. Only this time there are a few twists. We're not given an entire team at once and Seiji has to actually find them on his own on top of having to now maintain a secret identity. At least this time they gave him an actual body protecting costume. While Katori managed to pull off the dorky Clark Kent routine in Fighbird, it was kind of silly to have Kenta running around with nothing but a helmet to cover his face. And of course what's a secret identity without the drama of having the girl fall head over heels for the hero's alter-ego. Also interesting is the internal spectator compartment gimmick, which is something I haven't seen in a mecha show since Astroganger. It'll definitely come in handy for keeping Seiji safe during big fights and not have the robots worry about having to eject him somewhere before transforming. On the other hand, Seiji managing to find another Brave Stone exactly one day after meeting Da-Garn is a little too convenient, and for some reason Hikaru's parents and Misuzu are completely absent from this episode. I'd also hate to be the person explaining to the shipping company how one of their jumbo jets just up and took off by itself.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Da-Garn Episode 3 Da-Garn Episode 3

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