The Swan in the Ruins
Directed by: Shozo Tamura
Our three wanders find themselves once again in the midst of an attack by the Shiranui Clan. Do you suspect that this will be the pattern of this show? Yeah, probably. Hit the jump to find out what happens in this episode!
Gentaro, Goro and Yukiko seem to be taking a break out in the middle of a field from their journey to….actually, I have no clue where they are headed. I guess they’re just following the destruction left behind by the Clan. Well, they weren’t too far off because they notice something flying towards the next town. Goro immediately runs in that direction, leaving Gentaro and Yukiko behind. Gentaro eventually reaches the town and sees a different giant robot. This one is called Gyro-gesu and can shoot its arm at any object and slice it clean through with sheer speed. Iron King appears out of nowhere and battles the robot, but to no avail. Gentaro tries to help but is just flung around like a doll (more literal than you think). Iron King saves Gentaro but is running low on water so he has to retreat.
Gentaro finds Yukiko and Goro, who is once again extremely thirsty for no reason that either of them can figure out. He stops a car and asks desparately for water, but is met by a the confused expression of the mayor of the town that was just attacked. Gentaro warns him to steer clear but the mayor insists that he must stay and protect his city at all costs. He drives off and the gang head into the city to find some water. But, they are met by the Shiranui Clan and have to fend them off. After a quick scuffle, a mysterious officer claiming to have been sent by the World Security Organization to bring them in.
They arrive at the office and instantly realize that it is a trap. But, being dropped in a small well won’t stop Gentaro. He finds a way out and starts to escape, but is captured by the officer from before, who seems to also have the mayor in his custody. Gentaro, always ready for action, sets himself as well as the mayor free and heads outside. And of course, Gyro-gesu is once again rampaging in the town. Goro transforms into Iron King in secret and deals with the monster. Gentaro, despite his size, still manages to help out by flinging big rocks at the robot.
During the battle though, he finds out that the mayor was actually a part of the Clan and confronts him in order to retrieve the device that controls Gyro-gesu. Once he gets a hold of the device, he presses a button which stops Gyro from wailing on Iron King to find and pick up the member of the Shiranui Clan that was controlling it right before it blows up to a billion pieces. We then get a brief seen of the Clan training further and one of the members asks the Chief about their tenth member and where they were. He replies that the tenth member is already working in secret. Then it suspiciously cuts to Yukiko calling out to Gentaro and Goro, which makes me suspect that she may be the tenth member sent to infiltrate Gentaro’s operation. Which would make a bit of sense since she is the one person who feels like an outsider in this show so far.
So, this episode wasn’t too bad of an episode. I wouldn’t say it was as fun to watch as the first episode, but there was still a lot to get from this. The character interactions are pretty great. Gentaro is still pretty aloof about it all even when he’s fighting. But there are times where he seems a bit cold-hearted, but he does it in a kind of playful manner that just makes Goro and Yukiko take him less seriously. Goro is probably my favorite part of the show. He’s so random and yet so primitive in his motives. He just wants some water. Will someone PLEASE give this man some friggin’ water? I loved how for the first half of the episode, all he could talk about was how parched he felt and that he absolutely needed water. But, as soon as they are trapped in a water well and Gentaro asks him to start drinking the water, his excuse is that he will start to burp. It’s almost like he’s being useless on purpose, just to throw off suspicion that he is, in fact, Iron King.
Like I mentioned before, I feel like Yukiko has a lot more to her than she lets on. She met Gentaro after he saved her, and stuck around for no good reason. She seems to want to get Gentaro’s attention no matter what, but doesn’t really do much else to help with the battles. And well, you can’t blame her for that. She doesn’t have any powers or fighting experience as far as we know. So, of course she would run and hide. But, if she does turn out to be a spy for the Shiranui Clan, it would add a cool twist to the show and give her something to actually do aside from fetching Goro water every episode.
There are two things that I didn’t really understand though. One is pretty minor but why is Gentaro so strong? Twice we’ve seen him try to take on a giant robot, which is courageous no doubt. But he gets flung around so much and at one point, he started flinging boulders at the robot using his Iron Belt. I know he’s supposed to be a skilled fighter as well as pretty damn agile, but this super strength he unleashes from time to time kind of bugs me. Maybe it’s just to show that he is more capable than most? Or maybe there is more to him than just being an agent. That’s one thing I will keep my eye on.
The other point I wanted to bring up is how the giant robots actually work. The members of the Shiranui Clan each have a small deviced shaped like a flame that activates the robot. In the first episode, Gentaro just threw the device at the robot and it exploded. This time, he pressed the device (or rather massaged it, because that’s what it looks like they’re doing when they activate it) and that stops the robot right in its tracks. But, it doesn’t just blow up, it finds its “master” and picks him up before it explodes. So, I’m just a bit puzzled as to how these things actually work. Is there a button that makes the giant self-destruct? Can it also be used to change the actions of the robot? Does being in close proximity of the robot cause some kind of chain reaction that makes it explode? I hope we get a clearer sense of how this works. It does add some mystery to the show, but it also makes you feel like you’ve missed something.
Overall, still a pretty interesting show two episodes in. The characters and the actors playing them definitely carry the show more than the giants that do battle throughout. And, with the plot twist of a possible Shiranui spy out in the field, this show peaking my interest.