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Episode 17: Chaos

 

Review by Brian Shea

February 23, 2011

 

Summary

 

Now in the Kansai 'Asian veins' (slums) of Japan, Yushiro buys Miharu a drink but she is completely non-responsive. Yushiro moves Miharu aside as a motorcycle crashes into the store front he just exited. The owner of the store comes out and complains. Yushiro pulls him out of the way as a large truck crashes into the store front as well. A group of armed men jump out of the back of the truck and fire as the store owner and his wife flee down an adjacent alley. Yushiro and Miharu hide behind a barrel. Another armed man, Won, fires upon the truck and holds one of the men at gunpoint. The man is shot to death by several other people seconds later. Yushiro and Miharu head down the alley and are shown the way to go by Won when they come upon a fork. Yushiro is silent when Won asks him his name. Won tells Yushiro that he witnessed the Ryuka, a mafia group from the mainland and that there is a turf war occurring here. Won tells Yushiro he is helping him because he helped the store owner, Lee, who is on his side. Won brings Yushiro and Miharu into a small warehouse and says they can stay here. Won's allies question why he is letting Yushiro and Miharu stay here. When Won tells them of the help he provided to Lee, their group's leader, Elder Fan permits them to stay. The news reports on the violence that happened in the veins. Kiyoharu arrives at the Gowa estate where Misuzu waits for him. She wants to ask him about Yushiro, her father and Kazukiyo. Kiyoharu apologizes and leaves, saying nothing else. Inside, Kazukiyo watches reports on the grain markets, commenting that things are occurring as Nishida predicted. Kiyoharu comes in and say s that America is considering suspending grain exports on a temporary basis. Kiyoharu is surprised to hear about Nishida being able to predict it. They talk about Yushiro, who has now been missing for two weeks. In the warehouse, Lee and his wife thank Yushiro for saving him. Yushiro says he'll work 2 people's worth to make up for Miharu. Won tells Lee to help Yushiro get work in a kitchen. Won stares at Miharu, convinced that they are not brother and sister. A helicopter flies over the woods near the veins. Within the woods, a Fake awaits. It heads into the veins and uses smoke to hide itself. Another Fake fires at the Helicopter. The pilot's heart rate and blood pressure quickly accelerate. The Fake successfully shoots down the helicopter. The pilot, getting out, is surprised to hear that Symbol had a woman piloting a Fake in Belgistan.

 

Yushiro works in the kitchen as a dishwasher. Miharu sits alone in their room. Yushiro walking home that night finds a lily bell flower similar to the one he had given Miharu in their past life. He thinks of the old man in Kyoto, who told him that the real Yushiro died at the stone stage 8 years ago but Daizaburo made Sorachi's grandson a substitute and supplanted his memories with that of the real Yushiro's. He says the Kai are seen by the Gowa as a mere means to an end. Yushiro also thinks of Misuzu and Miharu. He gets up the next day and puts his coat on the still and silent Miharu. A group of tanks drive towards the veins. Hirokawa tells Kazukiyo that the violence in the veins is connected with the grain output levels. Hirokawa tells Nishida that things occurred largely as he predicted. Hirokawa says that if America announces a suspension of grain exports, two things might occur. Frustrated civilians will riot and there will be havoc wreaked on the economy. To counter this, Hirokawa plans to put their forces in the metropolitan Tokyo region and the Kansai region. The units will include the SSDF mobile units, air units and infantry battalions. He tells Kazukiyo that within 12 hours 70% of the units will be stationed where planned. Kazukiyo asks whether the JSSDF's TA Company has been persuaded to assist. Hirokawa says there has been little headway there. Kazukiyo says that the US plans to utilize the TA units used by Symbol and that the TA experimentation company's expertise will be necessary. Nishida says he will convince them. In the elevator, Kazukiyo says they will have to eliminate Hayakawa if Nishida is unsuccessful at convincing him since he'll learn of their plans. Kazukiyo says Yushiro had headed towards Kyoto. Hirokawa says he'll have some of his forces head there to look for him. Meanwhile, 12 TAs are delivered to Yonetani. The JSSDF TA Company is stationed there. Murai reports to Ataka that additional TAs have been sent there, upsetting her. An officer reports to Hirokawa on their tests. Hirokawa asks the TA Company to be sent back to him as soon as possible. In the veins, Yushiro says hello to Won as he hangs some clothes out the window to dry. A man hiding in the alley spots him and reports to Kazukiyo on his location. At the airport, a Symbol agent reports to Meth that while they have no local handlers, there is a former member of their intelligence department in the area. Won, the man whom they speak of, is asked by the agent to apprehend two people for Symbol, in exchange for information about the mafia group he is against. Won is sent the pictures of the two people he is to apprehend, Yushiro and Miharu. The Symbol agent tells him that grain production is down due to a global heat wave and that America's Commerce Department will within the next few days release a report stating that it is far worse than predicted. The mafia plans to use the veins to blame for the chaos that will come. Won heads to the home where Yushiro and Miharu are held, finding only Miharu there. The agent reports to Meth on the fact that they have Won under surveillance. Yushiro is chased down an alley and apprehended by four men. He is saved by Won, who blows up their jeep and chases them away. Won reveals to Yushiro that he knows his name.

 

Commentary

 

The flashback episodes over, the show moves in a new direction, as Yushiro and Miharu find themselves in the Asian veins. After a few episodes that are mostly dedicated to telling the back-story of the show, the plot starts moving forward again in several ways. Kazukiyo, Nishida and Hirokawa appear to be moving forward with their plans and Symbol leadership appears for the first time in quite a while. This would normally make this quite the episode, but there are two notable flaws. First off, after all the episodes it took for Yushiro and Miharu to reach Kyoto, including 2 full episodes that simply featured them walking through the woods, they are suddenly back in urban Japan again with no explanation whatsoever. It’s as if we missed an episode and suddenly came back right in the middle of things. My other big gripe is that Miharu has become completely mute and practically comatose, which will last for several episodes. The show's biggest flaw in the first place is likely the fact that the main characters are poorly developed and to have the female lead suddenly turn into this was mind boggling. It was as if they had no idea what to do with her and figured this would be the best way to get her out of the way.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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Gasaraki Episode 17 Gasaraki Episode 17

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