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Episode 18: What's Wrong With Running Away from Home?

 

Review by Brian Shea

December 31, 2019

 

Summary

 

The Iron Gear finishes making its way across the mud sea without incident. At night, the ship has stopped for repairs. Elchi looks around from the bridge, saying there should be a transporter who knew her father somewhere around here. Kotsett tries to get some supplies from the local townsfolk, who refuse him and the other members of the Iron Gear any service. Chill almost falls off the Iron Gear trying to grab a doll that Blume has kicked. Kotsett and the others make it back to the Iron Gear, which takes off, but stops shortly afterwards. Blume complains about Elchi being a bad captain. On the bridge, a discussion of why Horla is after them descends into Kotsett criticizing Elchi's worth as a woman. He and Jiron wonder how Horla got his hands on a landship and Walker Machines. Jiron wonders if Horla has gotten ahead of them. An annoyed Elchi says she feels insulted and to stay away from her. She slaps even Fatman and says she hates them all. Elchi grabs a suitcase and heads off the Iron Gear on a motorbike, despite Jiron's attempt to stop her. Elchi has a hard time with the motorbike after it goes flying into a tree, then spins off. Kotsett tells Jiron to go get Elchi as she has their transporter's license which is needed to deal with the Innocent. On his way out, Rag proposes to Jiron that they sell the Iron Gear and return to being Sand Rats. He declines, saying he can't betray those on the ship after he was taken in. She asks him to leave behind the Xabungle and that he's being too nice to Elchi but he doesn't listen and heads out on it. Elchi bangs her head on a fallen tree branch and crashes her bike. She wonders why she has to endure such a dark, miserable place. She gets back on the motorbike after bats and insects start flying around her and soon wolves pursue her as well. Jiron heads through the woods in the Xabungle. Elchi shoots one of the wolves but crashes when she approaches a cliff wall. She is forced to use a knife to defend herself. One of Horla's men, piloting a Walker Machine spots her fighting off the wolves and wonders how she got here, saying he has to tell Horla. Elchi flees from him but comes upon the wolves. Suddenly some shots ring out from another Walker Machine called Ottrich, scaring away the wolves. Horla's man fires at the Ottrich but is quickly defeated as his Walker Machine gets blown up. The Ottrich's pilot, a blonde haired man named El Condor comes out and tells Elchi everything will be alright.

 

Later, Elchi lays in a bed asleep in El Condor's cabin. She looks out the window and is amazed by the fancy record player in the room. Later, Elchi has gotten dressed and goes outside, in a seemingly abandoned group of buildings. She finds El Condor inside one of them, working on repairing the Ottrich. She asks him if he has a woman and if he left her alone as she slept given that he fireplace had been lit. He asks her to help him work on the Ottrich and climb up to the cockpit, which she does. Meanwhile, Jiron reports back to the Iron Gear, saying he is still looking for Elchi. Elchi and El Condor finish their meal and she gleefully talks about how good it was. She wonders why he has not questioned her about herself. She says she is amazed running into someone like him in the forest. Elchi realizes the Xabungle is nearby. Jiron comes out and she knocks him down, telling him to go home. Elchi tells Jiron she has no intensions of returning and heads back inside with El Condor. Jiron thinks Elchi is a sucker for a good looking man and that he's the better guy. Jiron returns to the Iron Gear, where he brings some dead animals for Blume and Rag to cook. Rag says they are going to attack the locals to get some fuel for the Iron Gear, and then will sell it off to Horla. Jiron says Horla would simply take back the money later and he won't go along with it. Jiron says he'll ask the villagers one more time for fuel. Meanwhile, Elchi rides with El Condor, who is surprised she didn't go back with Jiron. She says she likes it with him, and he has an aroma of culture about him. El Condor shows her an old abandoned temple. He says this land belongs to the Condor family and he fights to protect it, meaning he can never leave. Elchi spots the destroyed remains of an Innocent Dome nearby. El Condor says that is from when his father battled in the Innocent, and that the people in El Dorado mistrust the Condor family now as a result. He says he came from a fearsome lineage and is not that cultured. The two of them walk through El Dorado and get bad looks from the townsfolk. El Condor heads to a store to trade some goods. Meanwhile, Jiron battles some Walker Machines in the woods. Jiron panics as the Xabungle is running out of gas. Horla calls out to him, saying he has an arrangement with the villagers and he should call out to the Iron Gear. Elchi tells El Condor about Horla. El Condor doesn't want Horla using the oil tanks of the village as bait for the Iron Gear. Jiron has been taken hostage and is tied up on the bridge of Horla's landship. The two start screaming at each other. Horla plans to blow up the oil tanks when the Iron Gear approaches. The Iron Gear approaches, with Kotsett, Dyke and Rag not expecting the fate that awaits them. Suddenly, El Condor launches an attack on Horla's ship, causing those on the Iron Gear to spot it. During the battle, Elchi sneaks onto Horla's ship and frees Jiron. The two get into the Xabungle, but Jiron says his lack of gas prevents him from launching an attack on Horla. Elchi tells him to help El Condor and Jiron defeats the Walker Machine attacking him. Horla launches some missiles and kills his own men so the Iron Gear can't get a hold of his damaged Walker Machine. Elchi tells the others that she is staying with El Condor. Rag doesn't mind, especially now that they are resupplied, to Jiron's dismay. The Ottrich walks off. Jiron thinks it's amazing what a woman in love will do.

 

Commentary

 

It's good to see us done with the Hanawan storyline and moving on to a new locale; this time the town of El Dorado and the woods surrounding it. Elchi departing the Iron Gear seemed inevitable to occur at some point, given how much she clashed with the others. While El Condor isn't as "cultured" as she initially thinks him to be, he is a bit of a contrast with those aboard the Iron Gear and it is rather obvious that she would fall for him. This is unfortunate for Jiron, who has been a dependable person for her, but he simply can't compete with El Condor's looks or that he comes off as more cultured. As the episode concludes Elchi departs with El Condor, although I figure this won't be an elongated event. Also of interest in this episode are the Iron Gear and Xabungle running out of fuel, a bit better tact taken than the infamous storyline about the White Base running out of salt in Mobile Suit Gundam. It was also funny to see the narrator breaking the fourth wall at the start of the episode, thankfully glossing over the rest of our hero's journey over the mud sea and saying he'll see us again in the episode preview.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Xabungle Episode 18 Xabungle Episode 18

 

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