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Episode 15: Covered in Mud and Desperation

 

Review by Brian Shea

April 1, 2019

 

Summary

 

The Iron Gear travels on, blasting some boulders that fall towards them from a nearby cliff. Kotsett complains to Blume about wasting bullets. Rag spots a Double Scale landship nearby which starts firing at them. Meanwhile, Jiron is still sick in bed, being tended to by Chill and asks what is happening. The Iron Gear and Double Scale exchange fire. Jiron gets in his pilot's uniform and in the hall Lovely Rose blames them being pursued on his actions. The Iron Gear manages to get away. Jiron heads up to the bridge where Rag complains to him about the predicament they are in. Elchi says with the Innocent angry at them they won't be able to continue as transporters. Jiron says the Innocent have to abide by the 3 day rule too and they just have to stay on the run for that long. He thinks the Innocent desire new conflicts and want to keep them fighting each other. Elchi tells him to leave. Elchi takes out her anger by slapping Fatman. Meanwhile on a nearby cliff, Geraba Geraba spots the Iron Gear and tells Kid Horla, who wants the Hanawan to stand by. Aboard the deck of the Iron Gear, the Sand Rats talk about Jiron leaving and they may be in more danger without him. Rag wants to stay aboard the Iron Gear, especially so they can steal it at some point. Jiron comes out and says goodbye, saying sorry for the trouble he's caused. Elchi regretfully watches from the bridge as Kotsett tells her they are approaching the mud sea. Suddenly a large blast hits Jiron, knocking him onto the deck of the Iron Gear. It is Horla's group of Walker Machines approaching. Jiron heads to the Xabungle and heads out, realizing he's fighting Horla and Geraba. Horla tells Jiron he is going to settle the score with him. Jiron asks when he became the rival and Horla says he is going to be the main character from now on. He claims his Walker Machine Galabagos has plot armor as it is undamaged when the Xabungle hits it head on. The Iron Gear soon approaches though, forcing Horla's retreat. Jiron returns to the deck and tells Rag about Horla. The Iron Gear approaches the mud sea, and Elchi wants to cross it given the enemy pursuit. The Iron Gear heads over it. Horla and Geraba talk about this being a trap and that the Hanawan will get them. The Sand Rats spot some pink fish jumping on the surface of the mud. Explosions suddenly start hitting the Iron Gear, causing them to realize they are explosives. Mud starts pouring into the Iron Gear. Jiron is wondering how Horla is pulling this off and blasts a device floating in the mud, which is controlled by a couple of Hanawan below the surface. Elchi mentions to the others how she heard there were people living in the mud and she will go look up information about them. Several crafts piloted by the Hanawan appear on the surface.

 

Elchi looks inside a book about the Hanawan, a race living in the mud sea. Suddenly a number of the Hanawan come aboard the deck and start firing at everyone. Jiron and the others try to avoid them and fight back. Elchi spots a picture of a female Hanawan in her book, who looks nothing like the monstrous red colored, scaled Hanawan attacking them. Elchi wonders if they are not the Hanawan, and says they can't stand the sunlight. Elchi reads up on how the Hanawan's eyes have regressed and they need to wear a special uniform on the surface. Kotsett realizes the Hanawan are wearing their uniforms and yells out to those on the deck to take them off. Jiron does so to a Hanawan attacking him. The Hanawan can't take the sunlight and quickly jump off the deck once their masks are removed. Meanwhile the enemy landship behind them fires off cables that hook into the Iron Gear. Aboard the bridge are Horla and Geraba. Geraba wants to sink the Iron Gear, but Horla says they were hired by the Innocent just to go after Jiron. Horla's landship starts pulling in the Iron Gear and Elchi orders everyone to blast it, which it does. Horla has his landship go in reverse. Jiron tells them to have Jiron do something since this is all his fault. Jiron brings some explosives to the Xabungle then jumps in the mud, hanging onto the wires. He starts using the explosives to sever them. Geraba asks why they haven't blasted the Iron Gear and Horla says it's because his fiancé is on board, Elchi. Several Hanawan attack the Xabungle as it blasts the last wire forcing Jiron to fight them off. Jiron slips out the cockpit while battling one. Horla punches Geraba when he tries to shoot at the Iron Gear. Elchi asks about Jiron and is told the Hanawan captured him and the Xabungle. Elchi has them continue forward and says they'll search for Jiron's body later. Dyke, Chill and Rag head out on the other Xabungle and fire at the enemy landship. Horla heads out on the Galabagos and quickly reaches the Iron Gear's deck. Horla tells Elchi that she is as spoiled as ever and her life is in his hands. He says he could kill her if he wanted and asks her to become his wife, which she declines. Elchi sees someone swimming in the mud sea and thinks it is Jiron. She relents to Horla asking him his conditions. He tells her some basic things, but also claims he wants Jiron's life, which she feigns agreement to. Jiron makes his way back to the Xabungle and kicks the Galabagos, knocking it and Horla off the ship. Horla says he'll get them next time. Jiron is told about Horla and thinks he has a big sponsor behind him. Rag jokes about them giving Elchi to Horla as a present and stealing the Iron Gear, causing another argument between the two. Jiron says Horla has really changed since the last time they encountered him. They wonder if the Innocent are involved with him and the attack by the Hanawan.

 

Commentary

 

The story moves in a new direction with the storyline about relay point P being over. Kid Horla makes his first appearance since episode 5 and now seems to be acting as an agent for the Innocent, kind of similar to Timp's role. Despite being alive, Timp seems to be avoiding the Iron Gear for now. In a common occurrence for this show, the fourth wall is broken repeatedly as Horla tries to make the claim that he should be the main character and that his Walker Machine has plot armor. Horla is still obsessed with Elchi, so it seems like he really was in love with her and not just trying to get her transporter license back in episode 5. Jiron is getting some push back from his crew members, which he should, after all the trouble he caused last time, although they were mighty quick to welcome him back as soon as they fell under attack. This episode introduces the Hanawan, which while not as inhuman looking as they initially appear while in costume, have an odd appearance, with their bald heads and completely black eyes. It seems like they will continue to factor into the story as the Iron Gear continues across the mud sea.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Xabungle Episode 15 Xabungle Episode 15

 

Buy the collection (eps 1-50, Movie) on Blu-ray from Amazon
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