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Zone of the Enders: 2167 Idolo

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

April 1, 2005

 

Summary

 

The year is 2167. On the planet Mars, several Phantoma LEVs are preparing to attack a cannon installation on a cliff. The cannon crews detect the Phantomas before they can approach, and destroy one in the first blast. More Phantomas fall as fire is exchanged, as the LEVs under Red Team and Green Team engage the cannon from the west. Before they can approach, a twin-barreled beam cannon activates and destroys the members of Green Team. It then destroys Red Team’s squad leader, forcing the remaining Red Team members to retreat. BAHRAM Second Lt Radium Lavans, the leader of White Team, takes cover behind a slope and continues attacking the cannon while griping about Red and Green’s attempts to push forward. Radium has his team members check in while pressing the attack, but during this, fighter drones launch from the cliff. The fighters scourge over the Phantomas and immediately disperse the members of Blue Team, leaving White Team the only Phantoma squad on the western side. Radium shoots down one of the fighters, ejects a clip from his machinegun then reloads a fresh one. He continues to gripe about the fighter swarm, while his wing mate Will reports. Will explains they can’t get any air support, and says he wants to fight the tactician who made the attack. Radium concurs, only to get berated by Instructor Edgar for not attacking. Radium and Will both continue the attack, with Radium’s Phantom taking flight, but he finds his propulsion is to low to hold it. He begins ledge hopping up the Cliff, with Will following. Unfortunately, Will gets intercepted by a fighter and is shot down, while Edgar berates both he and Radium to not needlessly damage their LEVs. Radium tries to shoot down the fighter that got Will, but he’s attacked from behind by three additional fighters. He dashes to the right with his thrusters and crashes into a hill. Before the fighters can close in, machine gun fire rains from the side, and a new Phantoma enters the battlefield, being piloted by Sergeant Viola Gyunee. Viola calls out to Radium to check in, and when he does, she fires a smoke grenade from her LEV’s shoulder launcher to cover Radium, and the two continue the flight up the cliff. One of the LEV team commanders asks why Radium is the farthest behind, which is unusual do to Radium’s daredevil piloting, and Radium demands who filled the booster tanks to half capacity. When the team commander asks to clarify, Radium explains it was nothing, and orders Viola to cover him. They continue to ascend the hill, with Radium shooting down a fighter drone on the way, then observing the layout of the cliff. There are five beam cannon batteries covering the larger cannon turret, so Radium decides to attack from the left side of the cliff, where it is least covered. Viola says it’s crazy, to which Radium tells her to complain later. Viola reminds him if he dies, she won’t be able to complain, and Radium tells her to just shut up and cover him. His Phantoma starts hopping up the cliff face while Viola silences one of the beam batteries. As well, Radium slams into another battery and rips a metal plate off the turret’s power generator. Using the plate as a shield from the beam fire, he gains altitude above the cliff, but his thrusters begin to cut out. Fortunately, he ends up in front of the sun as he’s free-falling, thus blinding the turret gunners as he lays down a machine gun burst. Even as he’s forced to give up his shield, he continues the burst until the cannon turret is destroyed. Radium slams into the ground after this. Viola calls out, and Radium laughs at his success, leaving her to only smile. Edgar, of course, berates him and tells Radium if the attack wasn’t for practice, he really would have died. Meanwhile, a shuttle containing a UNSF covert ops team departs from Deimos Station and enters Mars’ atmosphere.

Back at Beruseba Air Base, a group of UNSF soldiers under the command of Colonel Borrows walk down a corridor, much to the dismay of the BAHRAM soldiers. Viola watches them in disgust, but Radium enters and tells her to not worry about them. Viola agrees, and Radium then observes that Will is late. Just as he says this, Will calls out to them, using his good arm (his right arm is in a sling). However, he is in front of the UNSF troops, so he salutes Borrows and tries to slip out of the way. Borrows accidentally bumps into Will’s arm, causing him pain. Will apologizes, but the officer punches him the face anyway. Radium, Viola and several other BAHRAM troops rush to Will’s side, and the UNSF troops gloat that due to the stronger gravity on Earth, they have a stronger bone structure than any of the Martians, so a small tap could be like a metal fist. This is evidenced by Will’s face being mangled with just one punch. Viola gets aggravated, but Radium is the one that delivers the counter punch to one of the soldiers. Still, physics remains constant here, and his punch doesn’t so much as force the soldier to turn his head. Thus, Radium is promptly slammed against the wall and the UNSF troops continue to taunt him. Radium starts to reach for his sidearm, but he’s stopped by Edgar. Will is carried off to the medical ward, and Edgar demands what Borrows was thinking. Borrows continues to be the wise guy, and explains it’s hard to know one’s limits in such low gravity. Edgar tells him he will report the incident, but Borrows just shrugs and says he and his men are under a different jurisdiction. Adding further insult to injury, he suggests that Radium take more calcium, and that having a short temper is not good for a Martian. Radium is about to renew his attack, but Edgar stops him again. Radium vents at Edgar, forcing the instructor to slam Radium against the wall, where he informs him that both he and Viola have been summoned by the Chief Secretary. In the Secretary’s office, Radium explains that he and Viola are only LEV pilots and that since the Nokuteisu base is a relay station, he says he and Viola are not needed. He then smarts off and asks if this is what a demotion is like. The Secretary simply replies that it’s from Edgar’s recommendation, and that they’re going whether they like it or not. In a hangar bay, scientist Dolores Hayes is observing a Phantoma having a jetpack attached. She orders one of her subordinates to send the data to Dr. Rachel Links, to which he complies. After the subordinate leaves, another scientist named Melissa gossips to Dolores about one of the pilots getting into a fight with UNSF troops, to which Dolores reprimands her for wasting time. She stops in sentence when she realizes its her boyfriend, Radium. Later in the evening in the city, drunken Radium is walking on a steel beam in a construction area. Since he’s three stories off the ground, Viola tries to get him off, but Radium just tells her to go home. He continues to tell Viola to just give up on him, all he does is get his men in trouble. After stumbling around, he gets across and leans against a vertical beam, taking another swig of his drink. He observes the city and the surrounding spheres for a moment, just as a car honks from below. He sees it’s Dolores and calms down. Dolores tells him to get down, and explains she heard about the fight, but Radium denies it, saying he’d be dead since all Earthlings are like Hercules. He then explains Will’s face will take three months to recover, just because of one punch. He gripes about Earthlings acting superior just because of better physical constitution, and Dolores explains there will come a time when it’s not like that. This only causes Radium to sob, demanding when that time will come, since even BAHRAM is incapable of doing anything. He continues to whine about the desolate scenery.

After a while, he comes down and gets in the car. Dolores offers to take Viola home as well, but she declines. Viola watches the two drive off, obviously depressed over Radium’s relationship with Dolores, but keeping her words to herself. Back at their apartment, Dolores takes a glass of alcohol away from Radium, explaining it isn’t good for him. Radium explains he’s being transferred to Nokuteisu base, because Edgar wants to get rid of the troublemakers in his command. Dolores giggles at this, and Radium wonders why she’s doing it, since they won’t be able to see each other again. He then realizes that she knows something, and so he tackles her onto their bed, but Dolores playfully denies it. Amused, Radium tickles her, but Dolores holds her own, and the night continues. The next day, Radium and Viola are being transported to Nokuteisu, with their truck driving through an artificial rain storm. Viola remembers the day she first met Radium, where she tried to kill him with a knife. However, Radium pulls a CQC technique which disarms Viola of her knife and trips her onto the ground. He then points his gun at her, and asks why she hates Earth so much, that she would be in a rush to die. He then says if she wants it that bad, he’ll give her a place to die, and offers her to join BAHRAM. He finishes by telling her to use her life for the planet, and then die. Back in the present, Radium notices her frustration, and asks what’s wrong. She asks if it’s unpleasant for them to be sent to a place like Nokuteisu, but Radium says it’s not bad. Viola replies as long as she gets to work with Radium, then she’s fine with it too. Radium just smirks at that, and tells Viola she says the cutest things. After arriving at Nokuteisu, the base commander explains that Radium and Viola are to join the Orbital Frame Project as test runners. When Viola asks what an orbital frame is, a female scientist explains to them that it’s a new type of weapon. The base commander introduces the scientist as Dr. Rachel Links, and Rachel comments on Radium’s hotheadedness, which her assistant informed her of. Radium grins at that, knowing what she’s talking about, and as Viola wonders, she sees Dolores and Rachel standing at the back of the room. Dolores then proceeds to show them around the base, eventually leading to the hangar that contains a large white mecha. Rachel explains the mecha is the prototype Orbital Frame Idolo, which Radium and Viola marvel at. Rachel then continues to explain that Idolo is composed of Metatron, a rare mineral composite that makes up the frame’s armor, generator and other systems, and because of this, it is much more powerful than a Phantoma. She finishes her introduction by saying when Idolo is completed, it will free Mars from the Earth’s grip. Later, Radium begins to activate Idolo for a test run. After the thrusters have engaged and the lock holding the orbital frame is opened, Idolo takes off down the launch tunnel. Radium grinds his teeth as he’s hit by G-forces, and accidentally careens Idolo on the sides of the tunnel walls. Rachel orders him to suppress the thruster output, but Radium struggles. After emerging from the tunnel, Idolo goes into a drop, but Radium activates the wing binder thrusters in time, before it can impact on the ground. Still, even as he’s flying, his heart rate and blood pressure increase, and Rachel tells him if he treats Idolo like a Phantoma, he’ll die. Idolo enters the test area, where it flies down a river uncontrollably, then through a forest. Radium calls the frame a tomboy as he struggles to control it. He continues to fly up a cliff face before suffering a strike at the head, causing him to black out. With Idolo inactive, it falls into the river, and the observation drone deploys smoke grenades to cover it from the UNSF’s surveillance satellites.

After getting his head bandaged, Radium demands to know what the strange output he felt on the frame was. Rachel explains to him in front of a schematic of Idolo that in order to know, he has to experience it, or he’ll continue flying the orbital frame like a LEV. Still, she says he did well for his first time, which further angers Radium. Before he can make an outburst, Rachel hands him Idolo’s Operation Manual (version 5.1) and tells him it’s time to understand with his brain. Radium has until the next morning, since Nokuteisu can only stay out of the UNSF’s surveillance for an hour, so time is precious. At Mars’ midnight (which is 24 hours and 38 minutes in Earth time), Radium is still in Idolo’s cockpit reading over the manual. Dolores comes up to him and asks what he’s doing in the hangar, which Radium explains he prefers it there, since he can concentrate more. Dolores comments that he’s a pilot to the core, while taking a seat along Idolo’s cockpit edge. Radium simply explains his amazement over Metatron, even likening it to magic the way Idolo uses it. Dolores agrees with him, since Metatron had been discovered a long time ago, but it wasn’t fully explained even after such time. She then says if Metatron is the magic that will guide Mars, then Radium is the chosen magician. As time goes by, Radium continues to grow more and more accustomed to Idolo’s performance, as well as gaining more knowledge on Metatron in general. As well, through such time, Idolo seems to react to Radium’s presence more and more, evidenced by the Metatron lines pulsating faster and brighter. During an underwater test, Radium is faced on both sides by swarms of torpedoes, to which he counters by grabbing a pair of large beam cannons from Idolo’s vector trap and firing into the swarms. Seeing his success, Radium smiles and looks up to see a sunbeam shine through the river’s surface. Back at the base, Melissa confirms Idolo’s development of a vector trap, and that the test is successful. Rachel admits that she never thought Radium could grow acquainted with Idolo in such short time, especially with his Martian constitution in effect. With the test complete, Radium launches upward into outer space, where he looks over Mars. As he is breathing, Idolo emits a strange sound, which could be likened to a ghost-like rasping. When it comes time for Viola’s test run, Radium explains to her that it’s best if she didn’t run Idolo. He claims that Idolo will only accept him now, and that it was destiny that they met. This leaves Viola to worry, but she goes on the test run anyway. As Radium watches, Idolo starts to go out of control. Its eyes flare from behind the visor, and an electrical surge through the metatron lines forces Viola’s hands off the control orbs. Radium grins as Idolo goes into an uncontrolled barrel roll, eventually crashing into a mesa. After Viola’s arm is repaired, Rachel debriefs her, asking her why the control panel resisted her. Viola explains it wasn’t a problem with the machinery, so Rachel decides to check it over again. Rachel then explains to Viola about her case of Space Radiation Sickness. Since there’s no cure for it, Viola’s military career will be cut short, and she doesn’t have much time to live. Viola flashes back to an Earthling terrorist attack against a Martian independence movement thirteen years ago, where the Earthling’s put a hole in her home sphere’s blackout shielding. As a result, Viola was exposed to radiation from the sun, and when she joined the military, she changed the data around to cover for it. She explains to Rachel that there is something important to her in the army, and she doesn’t want to be discharged. Rachel smiles and tells her to keep Viola physical test data, which has no check marks regarding physical ailments. Rachel says Viola’s condition won’t affect her piloting, so Rachel doesn’t need it. Viola takes the data and cries over it.

Nearby, a UNSF special forces unit begins to observe Nokuteisu from a nearby cliff in Idolo’s test area. The team commander orders his subordinate to report it and have the LEVs put on standby, before scoffing at the Martians making a base on a cliff face. In a different part of the area, Radium is walking through a forest where he comes across a snake slithering through some flowers. He picks up the snake and crushes its throat, laughing wildly as he kills it. As he looks at his hands, he hallucinates due to the Metatron overexposure and sees them as Idolo’s, claiming it to be his strength. From the corner of his eye, he catches a camera flash from outside the sphere, and grins wickedly. In yet another part of the base, Rachel and Dolores are looking over Radium’s brainwaves, to which Rachel explains have risen abnormally in Alpha wave content. There also is a lack of tension as the waves move, even at the peeks. Dolores wonders if Radium is actually enjoying the test, and Rachel continues. She compares Radium’s brainwaves to Idolo’s energy pattern, and sees that the two are similar. She says that Idolo’s waves have actually stabilized or adapted to Radium’s, and Idolo might have developed ‘muscle memory’ in regards to Radium. Dolores wonders if it’s even possible for Metatron to react to human will, and that since Radium piloted it first, could it actually reject another person. Rachel says it’s too convenient, recalling a case when orbital frame development first began, a vein of Metatron was discovered in Europa, as if to push development along. She wonders if humans are being tested by Metatron, and that if it was the best idea to use the ore on the orbital frame. Sometime later, the first public trial of Idolo begins. Several figures from the Vascilia’s Parliament and BAHRAMs high command, including Instructor Edgar, assemble in the control room to watch Idolo in action. Dolores radios Radium to begin the test, but he doesn’t respond. The test begins with several fighter drones firing missiles and beam cannons at Idolo, which Radium responds to by putting Idolo’s energy shield up. He charges through the fighter formation and shoots them down with Idolo’s energy shots and arm blade. As the test continues, Radium gets more and more intoxicated from combat, which concerns Viola and Dolores. Idolo completes the tests by launching homing lasers at the remaining fighter drones, exterminating them in swarms. The BAHRAM officials are taken by Idolo’s performance, to the surprise of Dolores, Rachel and Viola. However, Idolo detects the UNSF special forces unit observing the test from a nearby forest, and Radium decides to go after it, even when Rachel orders him back. Idolo impales the camouflaged Phantoma, slices it in half, and the fires a burst shot at the second Phantoma. The control room crew watch the burst shot destroy the LEV, which appears like a small nuclear explosion, and Rachel exclaims she didn’t expect Idolo to do something like that. The forest is burned down due to the burst shot, but Idolo continues to hover there. Dolores tries urgently to contact Radium, but he ignores her and picks up one of the UNSF soldiers with Idolo’s hand. Back at the base, Radium proceeds to beating up the soldier, bantering on about how Earthlings are supposed to be physically stronger than Martians. Rachel makes her way through the crowd of spectators and orders Radium to stop, and is shocked to see the insane look on Radium’s face. She finally gets him to stop when she asks if Radium wants to kill him and grabs his arm. Immediately, Radium’s blood-craze ends when he sees the mangled face of the UNSF soldier, but he still finds it funny to look at. When Rachel asks him what caused him to do it, Radium tells her to ask Idolo. Later, she analyzes Idolo and Radium’s wave patterns, but finds no stellar results. In another part of the base, Dolores awakens to find Radium sitting in their living room, thinking about all he did at the test. She asks what he’s thinking about, to which Radium says nothing but Dolores doesn’t believe him. She tells Radium he has changed and asks him to talk to her. Radium explains that whenever he ran Idolo, all the rage that had built up inside of him over the years breaks free, and says it’s probably because he thinks Idolo’s strength is his own. Dolores tells him to use that strength for the right things, but Radium doesn’t know what those are. He says he wanted to protect Mars before, but after running Idolo, he never had that will to protect to begin with, that all he has is anger and hate toward the Earth. Dolores comforts him and says it’s alright, since he understands that, and the two embrace.

The next day, Radium and Viola are looking over Idolo’s data. Viola asks him if the tests are almost over, but Radium says they still have the mass production type orbital frames to test. He then tells her from now on, she’ll be the lead runner for the project, since he’ll be leaving BAHRAM after the test with Idolo is over and marry Dolores. This shocks Viola, but Radium doesn’t see it. Later, Melissa reports to Rachel that the analysis is finished, but Rachel just shrugs her off. She enters the base commander’s office just as they’re having conference about the UNSF soldier that Radium captured. They believe, since Nokuteisu’s location hasn’t been detected by the UNSF surveillance satellite that there may be a spy in the base. Rachel interrupts them and asks to resign from the Orbital Frame Project. At first, the commanders think she’s joking, but she explains that they need to rethink the program due to Idolo’s recent performance. The commander asks why, and Rachel says Metatron is too unpredictable to be utilized as a weapon. The commander counters with unpredictably has always been counted on, ever since the experimentation of nuclear energy centuries ago. Rachel asks is the commander wants to follow the same path, and the commander says it will open Mars’ future. Rachel complains he will pay for it someday, but the other officer tells her she knows too many of BAHRAM’s secrets, and has her arrested. In her cell, Rachel looks over a picture of her husband James, and her grown up children Leon and Noel, regretting her decision of leaving them. Meanwhile, a UNSF infiltration unit under the command of Colonel Borrows enters the base and kills most of the project staff. They disguise themselves as staff members while Melissa, who turns out to be the UNSF spy, briefs them. They open Rachel’s cell, and Melissa tells her they’ve come for her. Melissa then asks if she wants to see her family on Earth again, not that it matters, because she’s holding Rachel at gunpoint. Melissa later kills the captured UNSF soldier due to his failure. As they’re about to leave, Dolores and two other staff members accidentally walk out in front of the UNSF force. The two staff members are gunned down, and Melissa stops the soldiers, then knocks out Dolores and takes her prisoner. In the hangar, the UNSF troops try to capture Idolo, but they are noticed. Radium demands who they are, and they gun down the maintenance crew and then fire at Radium. Radium ducks behind a supply box and wonders if they’re trying to capture Idolo. Colonel Borrows’ group run through the base, killing off any soldiers that get in their way. Viola produces her side arm and is about to fire at them, but when she sees one of the soldiers holding the unconscious Dolores, she hesitates and lowers her gun. The force then gets on their transport shuttle and flies off to Deimos. Back in the hangar, one of the soldiers manages to activate Idolo when Radium guns them down. Before Radium can gun down the last soldier, he closes the cockpit and has Idolo lift off. The system doesn’t respond to his command and Idolo flies out of control, ricocheting off the launch tunnel walls before crashing. Radium opens the cockpit and sees the soldier was killed in the crash.

Viola forces her way into the hangar to see Radium dragging the corpse out of Idolo. Radium asks her about the situation, and Viola reports that Rachel and Dolores were captured. Radium immediately runs back to Idolo, and when Viola asks what he’s about to do, he replies he’s going to rescue Dolores, and that if they’re going back to Earth, they have to use the Deimos Catapult. He attempts to climb into the cockpit, but Viola shoots a bullet past him. She tells him Idolo is top secret, and tells Radium that they weren’t ordered to use it. Radium tells her he knows that, and Viola threatens that if he goes out, she’ll have to pursue him. Radium ignores her, and Viola shoots a bullet that cuts his cheek. She reminds him that he was willing to die for Mars at one point, and demands to know if that was a lie. Radium continues to climb into Idolo, expecting Viola to shoot him in the back, but instead she embraces him. Viola admits to him that he’s all she has left. Radium turns to her and places his hands on her shoulders. He smiles and tells her that now he knows the true use for Metatron. Not soon after, Idolo takes off, leaving Viola to watch. Radium blasts his way out of Nokuteisu and heads to Deimos. Edgar orders him to return from the control room, but Radium tells him he learned an important thing at Nokuteisu, that power is not for the sake of acting on hatred, but to protect loved ones. He thanks Edgar for everything, and signs off. The base commander reports throughout Vascilia that Radium has stolen Idolo, and that all BAHRAM units are to use any means to capture or destroy it. Anti-air missiles launch from a nearby basin, and Phantomas are loaded into transport craft. Radium destroys the missiles with homing lasers and continues to ascend toward Deimos. He silently prays for Dolores to wait a little longer, while Earth fighter drones are deployed to intercept Idolo. He sees that the shuttle has already entered Deimos, so he forces his way through the drones with Idolo’s shield. Radium fires a burst shot and pierces a hole through Deimos Station, and the blast is powerful enough to wipe out most of the guard Phantomas and fighter drones. He ascends through Deimos, destroying more drones as he passes, until he makes a way up to a docking bay for UNSF battleships. He remembers that the landing shuttle is too small to be fired from the catapult, so he begins looking around for a specific cruiser. He notices one such ship that’s guarded by a couple Phantomas and has the UNSF logo on its hull. The Phantomas open fire, and he destroys them with his arm blade. Another Phantoma comes after him with a laser blade, and Radium recognizes that the unit is piloted by Colonel Borrows. Borrows as well recognizes Radium from the day his troops landed, and Radium yells at him to get out of the way. Meanwhile, Deimos control closes down its Urenbach Catapult suspends the flight of all craft because of Idolo’s forced entry, which includes the UNSF cruiser. Melissa sees Idolo fighting Borrows’ LEV, then produces a handgun and floats to the cruiser’s brig. Rachel and Dolores, now dressed in flight suits, hear the fighting from outside, and Dolores wonders if BAHRAM has come to get Rachel back, but Rachel thinks they would have killed her first. Idolo destroys another LEV, and the explosion knocks out the cruiser’s power supply, which opens Dolores and Rachel’s cell. As they’re about to escape, another explosion occurs near them, and they see Idolo still fighting Borrows through the hole that was made. As well, Radium sees Dolores, and Idolo’s eyes flare. The orbital frame then back flips away from the Borrows’ Phantoma and follows up by slicing it in half, killing Borrows. Radium has Idolo reach out for Dolores and Rachel, but Melissa fires and gunshot and stops them.

Melissa demands that Rachel come to Earth and research Metatron for the UNSF, but Rachel ignores her and continues to float toward Idolo. When Melissa is about to shoot her in the back, Dolores dives and intercepts the bullet. Radium watches wordlessly as Melissa fires another bullet into Dolores, then cries out her name, and reaches out to her with his own arm. Idolo mimics Radium’s movement and grabs Dolores’ body. It then free-floats while cradling Dolores, while Radium opens the cockpit. Despite not wearing a space suit, he is unaffected from the vacuum in the bay, and takes Dolores into the cockpit with him. Idolo slams into the side of the cruiser and one of the peeling shards of metal crushes Melissa. In Idolo’s cockpit, Radium is crying for Dolores to hold on. She opens her eyes and recognizes Radium, and Radium tells her he’s going to get her to a hospital right away. However, she reaches over to his face and tells him that she wanted to be with him forever, and then falls limp, with her hand falling over one of Idolo’s control orbs. Metatron lines begin to pulsate energy, as Radium cries Dolores’ name more. Outside, UNSF Phantomas start firing at Idolo, but Radium doesn’t care about it. He’s to busy crying for Dolores not to die, telling her that they were going to be together forever. Radium cries her name out one last time, and Idolo responds to his anguish, mimicking his movement again. Around Radium, the Metatron lines pulsate, generating energy while the cockpit monitor glows. He hears Dolores voice, and sees her hand reach out to touch his face. He then sees an image of Dolores float beside him, though without her space suit, and Radium becomes overjoyed. Idolo’s eyes flare, fully powered and it dives into the Phantomas, crushing them with its energy shield while forcing its way out of Deimos. BAHRAM Phantomas begin to close in, having been ordered to cooperate with the UNSF to destroy Idolo. Among them, Viola watches as Idolo massacres the UNSF force, thinking about Radium. As Idolo continues to fly at the BAHRAM LEVs, Radium hallucinates and sees he and Dolores in a chapel, getting married. He slips her wedding ring on and kisses her, then hears cheers despite there being no one else in the chapel. All the while, Idolo leaps out and kicks one of the Phantomas, then slices up several others. It then fires energy shots through one of the Phantomas and destroys another LEV. After splitting in half one last Phantoma, it ascends and launches its homing lasers, eliminating more and more LEVs. A beam cannon shot destroys its wing binders and forces it onto the side of Deimos while the BAHRAM Phantomas close in. More shots are fired into it, and it loses its left arm. In the chapel, Radium sees Viola in a frame runner suit at the entrance and thinks she’s there to wish him and Dolores off. Viola tells him that Dolores is dead, that she can only detect one life sign in Idolo, and Radium remembers that Dolores was shot by Melissa while the Dolores image looks at Viola uncaringly. The Idolo reaches out to launch a burst shot, and with it the image of Dolores reaches out to Viola, while Radium demands who she really is. He claims that the voice of Dolores is guiding him, as the burst shot powers up. Viola cries for him to stop, but Idolo prepares to throw the blast, and the Phantomas open fire. As Idolo is mutilated by the energy blasts, Viola sees Radium’s image falling to the ground dead, with Dolores’ body in his arms. She cries in her cockpit as the blasts continue. As Radium is falling, he recalls his memories of Dolores and the times they had together, until he and Idolo are both down, both in the chapel and on Deimos. In the real world, the Phantomas gather over Idolo’s form to begin salvaging it.

The whole event of Idolo’s attack would later become known as the Deimos Incident. History records this event as the point where BAHRAM’s secret weapon, the Orbital Frame, becomes public knowledge, and that the Incident is only the first page in more events regarding Metatron and the OF. It is also noted that the official outcome of the event, such as the salvaging of Idolo and Radium Lavans’s corpse, have been sealed away from public records. Five years later, Viola recalls Radiums’ words, and thinks Metatron will take her out of this world, while her orbital frame Neith flies through space, toward the Jupiter space colony Antilia…

 

Commentary

 

I only have one word to describe my opinion of this movie: wow. It’s quite an epic, and if it weren’t a ZOE OVA, I would have expected a storyline like this to be in a Gundam series. At first, it’s pretty cut and dry background, with humanity has reached out to the stars due to all energy reserves on Earth becoming exhausted. As a result of this, distant bodies like Mars are terraformed and colonized, with the colonial states being referred to as counties, and the cities as spheres or nests. As expected, racism has developed between the inhabitants of Earth and Mars, but unlike other mecha series, there’s detail put into this, like the Earth born humans being stronger than humans born on Mars, due to Earth’s stronger gravity. Combined with a larger military force, Earth has a large edge over Mars, which leads to organizations like BAHRAM being formed. As far as characterization is concerned, again, the majority are cut and dry, but the main characters are very detailed. Radium starts off as the average soldier that wants to defend his planet, but as he’s slowly poisoned by Metatron’s effects on his psyche, he finds that he isn’t the hero he thought he was, and that he’s fighting only to protect the woman he loves, Dolores. It’s kind of funny that he’s named after the radioactive material that killed Marie Curie in 1934. We also get the cameo of Viola, who later becomes the main villain in the Zone of the Enders PS2 game. In Idolo, we see that she wasn’t always the suicidal lunatic that she was in the game, and that she was once a regular human being. However, the way Radium saw Dolores as his guiding light, she saw Radium as her’s, and his death really left her with nothing to live for, which would explain her behavior in the game. As far as mecha goes, Idolo is one of the most powerful weapons in anime. It can destroy entire legions of conventional weapons just by raising its hand, not to mention fly from Mars to Deimos without any need for fuel and still be able to fight the UNSF and BAHRAM. It could be considered Super Robo, but the way Idolo is executed and Metatron is described makes it all the more convincing. As for the Phantoma, while it is a cannon fodder mecha, I can at least say it’s a lot more powerful and realistic than others. The only real disappointments in this movie are the the crappy dubbing and the overall length. More than once, I’ve heard orbital frame being referred to as orbital flame, and BAHRAM as Bufram. Course, it’s to be expected, since even the larger franchises can suffer from crappy dub-overs (cough Gundam cough). As for the second issue, Idolo is an OVA, and yet its overall time length is approximately 55 minutes, including credits. That’s almost less than two regular TV episodes put side by side, and it’s quite a let down that a story this good didn’t get to be shown over a 4-5 episode span like other OVAs. All in all, many have seen this movie, some have loved it, others have hated it. I myself believe, despite its shortcomings, that this is a beautiful feature and a great way to introduce viewers to the world of ZOE.

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Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Idolo Idolo

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