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Episode 2: We've Got the Xabungle

 

Review by Brian Shea

March 5, 2019

 

Summary

 

A bound Jiron lies on the floor and Elchi comes in to see him, taunting him for not having better manners. Kid Horla is provided a list from Carrying Cargo about machines to get back from a man named Zyler before three days are up. Elchi, along with Fatman brings food to Jiron, telling him she's letting him out. She pulls out a knife when he tries to attack her. The three of them head out to the bazaar and come across Zyler. Zyler plans to bring some blue stones, a form of currency, with him to buy a Walker Machine in the future. Elchi asks him if he'll hire Jiron. Jiron says he is the son of a Rockman who went by "Arms of Steel," which Zyler has heard of. Zyler says every Breaker knew him. Jiron departs with Zyler's group of vehicles and crafts. Nearby, Horla leads an attack on another Breaker, Madam Millay, and has his men salvage what is left. Zyler knows Carrying ordered it and this style of business is what enabled him to buy the Iron Gear landship from the Innocent. The Iron Gear practices an ascent into its humanoid form, but is unable to go all the way. Carrying has an engineer, Kotsett, working on the Iron Gear and they try again. Meanwhile outside the town Horla's forces lead an attack on Zyler's. Jiron is knocked off his vehicle and digs up a nearby gun to defend himself. He successfully lands a hit on a nearby Walker Machine that almost falls on him. Horla's Promeus continuously fires on Jiron as he flees. Jiron is eventually knocked out by a stone that falls on his head. A Xabungle flies through the area shortly afterwards.

 

Elchi, piloting the Xabungle, compliments its handling and lands near Jiron. She claims she wasn't part of the attack on Zyler, that it was all her father. Jiron is still upset, thinking she handed him to Zyler because of his attempted theft of the Xabungle. She tells him she is still impressed with the fact that he survived and gets mad at him. Jiron proclaims again that he'll steal the Xabungle and she takes off, leaving him there. The Sand Rats approach the Iron Gear. Dyke says the bazaar is just about over and laughs about Medic, spotting his truck driving off. The Sand Rats comment on the power of the Iron Gear and its ability to turn into a Walker Machine. They also mention the Innocent that created it. Jiron makes his way towards the wreckage of Zyler's crafts and is able to untie a motorcycle from one. He has trouble driving it. Rag leads a group of Hovergys that approach the Iron Gear. They talk about whether they can steal two Xabungles. Blume thinks their honor depends on it, but doesn't want to steal one for Jiron. Carrying tells Kotsett to transform the Iron Gear, but Kotsett says they can't do it right now based on the repairs being done, including on the two Xabungles on the deck. The Sand Rats' Hovergys make their way onto the Iron Gear. Jiron notices the forces Horla was leading are coming back. Jiron makes his way up to the deck of the Iron Gear where Kotsett and another man are exchanging fire with them. Kotsett hands Jiron a gun, mistakenly thinking he'll help them. Jiron rushes to a Xabungle where Rag is trying to hot wire it. Elchi makes her way there just as Jiron and Rag take off in it. Rag heads atop the Xabungle to release its rifle and the Xabungle transforms into its humanoid form. Horla arrives in his Promeus and wants to duel. Horla plans to just crush the cockpit as they need the Xabungle intact, but Jiron is able to dodge his attack. Rag tells Jiron to shoot even if its recklessly. Jiron is able to find a scope that enables him to aim better and he blows off an arm from the Promeus. Horla calls for reinforcements to take out the Xabungle's legs. The Xabungle shoots another Walker Machine and then using its Rocket Nozzles jumps and smashes its way through another one. Jiron and Rag argue with each other as they pilot the Xabungle away from everything.

 

Commentary

 

After a fairly strong opening episode, this one is a bit of a letdown, although Jiron is able to successfully steal the Xabungle by episode's end. Now he's got to keep it long enough for the three days to be up. Elchi's motivations for letting Jiron go aren't that clear; she led him to a Breaker that she knew would be attacked by Kid Horla, but does go out looking for him later. The slapstick comedy style continues, with Jiron getting hit in the head by a rock and later having a hard time riding a motorcycle. It is also kind of funny to see how much the Xabungle is like a car, with it being operated by a steering wheel and Rag trying to hot wire it since she doesn't have the keys to it. We see that the Iron Gear landship can also transform into a massive humanoid Walker Machine. This may be one of the earliest instances in mecha anime of a ship being able to transform into a giant mecha, and predates even Macross, which famously did it. We also get our first reference to the Innocent, who created the Iron Gear, but not much else is known about them at this point.

 

Overall Rating

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2 out of 5 stars
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Xabungle Episode 2 Xabungle Episode 2

 

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