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Episode 9: In the Wild Blooms a Flower Called Maria

 

Review by Brian Shea

April 1, 2019

 

Summary

 

A group of scoundrels fly around on blue Hovergys, into a town. They fly right through a vegetable stand run by a young woman named Maria Maria and some kids. Maria tells the kids not to fight back. Meanwhile, on the Iron Gear, Kotsett complains to Elchi about how much fuel the Iron Gear uses. He kicks a pipe in anger, causing it to hurt his foot. Meanwhile, Jiron sits on the deck with Rag and Chill. Jiron is still obsessed about getting revenge on Timp. He spots a few vehicles in the distance. It is Maria, driving a hover jeep while being harassed by one of the scoundrels. The Iron Gear nearly hits them, causing the hover jeep to go out of control. Jiron is able to stop it. One of the kids tells Jiron how the scoundrels are always going after Maria. Jiron nearly falls off the Iron Gear again. The scoundrels fly up and call Maria odd for raising kids that aren't hers and growing vegetables. This mystifies Jiron. The scoundrels attack Jiron and Rag and the other Sand Rats eventually join in on the fight. Maria is upset at everyone fighting, hoping people can live peacefully. The fight over, Elchi comes outside and joins everyone. Maria calls them all shameful. Meanwhile, Timp and Gavlet meet with the trader Bigman aboard his landship, Devarace Galan. Gavlet blames her recent failure on her two underlings. Bigman says Timp advises getting rid of them. Gavlet claims to have a new plan and gets upset when she is called madam. Meanwhile, Kotsett is upset at the locals declaring themselves independent after Cargo's death. Elchi thinks the locals are being threatened by Gavlet. Elchi is upset upon hearing the others are at Maria's home. Gavlet and Timp watch from the cliff nearby. Timp decides to leave it in her hands and almost trips walking away. At Maria's home, Rag says she can't imagine how Maria can live a hard life by herself, growing vegetables and taking care of orphans, but Maria enjoys it. Suddenly, several large Walker Machines come out of the woods and start destroying Maria's fields. Jiron gets in the Xabungle while the Sand Rats jump aboard their Hovergys and start attacking. Maria begs them to stop provoking the enemy and involving the child Chill in their actions. She doesn't want the kids to be taught that fighting is normal.

 

Jiron knocks over one of the red Walker Machines, piloted by Gavlet's underling but they continue to fight with each other. Maria flees with Plopopieff, Lovely Rose and the kids, but another Walker Machine piloted by Galonne stops them. He demands Jiron stop fighting back if he values the lives of the children. Blume says they're not going to give in. Jiron is spun around by a drill on the enemy Walker Machine and knocked to the ground. Meanwhile, Elchi, piloting the other Xabungle, argues with the local merchant who tells her Gavlet's going to destroy her ship. Elchi asks about the Purple Cat, which is seen in the distance, but doesn't look to be launching an attack. Elchi tries to step on the merchant. Jiron, Maria and the Sand Rats are led through the town tied up. The scoundrels watch and taunt them. Maria blames this on them fighting back and Jiron argues with her. They are dragged along the ground and Rag gets angry at how close Jiron and Maria are to each other. The Walker Machine stops and the scoundrel taunts Jiron with a knife which Jiron is able to seize from him. Maria wants them to run away and not involve the people in the town. Fatman spots the Xabungle near the Purple Cat, letting Elchi know about it. She realizes their friends are captured. Elchi order Kotsett to launch the Xabungle, transform the Iron Gear and fight. Kotsett jokes around with his answer, saying yes first, then saying they're not sure if the Iron Gear can make it through a fight. Elchi pressures him into saying yes as he's the ship's mechanic and this is what he's being paid for. Jiron and the others are brought to Gavlet, who is insulted by being previously beaten by these kids. Gavlet is about to have her forces fire upon them when the second Xabungle flies in, and with them having cut their bonds, everyone escapes. The Iron Gear transforms into its Walker Machine form and starts blasting the Purple Cat. Gavlet orders her forces to fight back. Jiron has the Xabungle take him back to his own Xabungle and he knocks out Gavlet's underling who was trying to pilot it. Jiron starts destroying the cannons on the Purple Cat. The massive Iron Gear and Jiron's fierce fighting start quickly taking down Gavlet's Walker Machines, making her upset. Gavlet comes across Maria and blames her bad standing with Bigman on her. Maria hits her with a rock, and is shocked that even she had to resort to violence. Jiron proclaims his latest attack the Special Xabungle Punch and destroys the last remaining Walker Machine. The Iron Gear reverts to its landship form. Maria apologizes to everyone, saying she put them in danger. Jiron says he could enjoy a peaceful life but both Rag and Elchi get mad at him. Maria cuts her hair as an apology to everyone. Later, Maria and the kids watch as the Iron Gear departs into the horizon.

 

Commentary

 

One of the better episodes we've had in a while. This episode introduces Maria Maria, whose extremely pacifistic ways reminds one of Relena Peacecraft from Gundam Wing. However she ends up resorting to violence by the end of the episode to defend herself as anyone else would. I would presume that as a result Gavlet has been taken captive, but we'll have to see if that is the case in the next episode. The cutting of Maria's hair as an apology is an action that the heroine Gaw Ha Leccee would also end up doing in Tomino's later show Heavy Metal L.Gaim. We also get our first appearance of Bigman, who has been mentioned by Gavlet and Timp several times previously. This episode really amps up the comedy and slapstick big time, including the multiple arguments between Elchi and Kotsett, Jiron nearly falling off the Iron Gear several times, Timp nearly tripping as he walks down a path and Jiron shouting out his special attack.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Xabungle Episode 9 Xabungle Episode 9

 

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