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Infinite Ryvius: 9 – 12

March 1, 2012

This post is late because I managed to get a last-minute cancellation to have steroid injections into my neck……..which seem to have made things worse instead of better.  Regardless I didn’t want to fall behind only 2 weeks into this project, so I’m writing anyway – pain be damned!

This batch of episodes saw the Vital Guarder in action and the full story behind how the kids ended up in this situation –  oh and a party, with some romantic tension fired in too!  Pretty eventful all round.

Seeing the Vital Guarder in action was pretty cool.  It’s not going to win any beauty awards, but it is an interesting looking mecha.  It acts as a marionette, controlled by strings that are in turn manipulated by some complex programming skills from a whole team of pilots.  Yuki of course shows himself to be in a different league to most of the other students as he effectively takes sole control a few times to get the best out of the robot.

It quickly becomes apparent that the Vital Guarder is effectively the powerhouse for the Ryvius as as soon as the control ship & the robot detach from the main ship, the gravity the students had taken for granted, disappears.  The Vital Guarder employs that same gravity field as a weapon with scary efficiency – compressing multiple missile attacks and knocking attacking ships off their flight paths.

Of course having such a powerful weapon in their hands breeds distrust and power struggles.  Gran & Son, who were in charge of the Vital Guarder team, decide they like having so much power at their fingertips – the Ryvius is practically defenseless without the Vital Guarder and they intended to use this fact as leverage in taking control of the ship.  It’s fascinating to see just how quickly power corrupts.

Meanwhile the students on the Bridge of the Ryvius are panicking somewhat as they’ve lost communications with the Vital Guarder and are still under attack (by a huge hula hoop in space that fires rocks! LOL).  Kouji can only get snippets of coms back, and unfortunately the conversation they overhear seems to suggest the Vital Guarder team are considering abandoning the Ryvius to save themselves.  Amazing how quickly the seeds of doubt take root, and the Bridge team looses all its cohesion.

Once again Kouji can’t seem to help himself and intervenes to attempt to calm things down before the hysteria spreads.  Kouji appears to thrive in situations that force him to make decisions – for a character that tries his best to stay in the background and avoid confrontations, he’s remarkably willing to stand up and take control when no one else seems willing to do so.

In an interesting parallel, just as Kouji proposes the Ryvius trusts the Vital Guarder team and stays on course, Yuki (supported by Izumi) appears to have done the same on the Vital Guarder when Gran & Son attempt their betrayal.  Again, even though the brothers don’t get on, they show a degree of almost unconscious trust in each other.  This trust is ratified when the Vital Guarder rescues the Ryvius in the nick of time (and inflicts a massive amount of damage on the surface of Mars).

So after narrowly avoiding death the logical thing to do now is have a huge party.  Well this is a ship entirely populated by teenagers – not like they really need an excuse to party, I’d say surviving a relentless assault is among the better reasons.  Kouji once again surprises by being the one to instigate and take responsibility for organising this event.  He’s seen running himself ragged getting people involved and working for a common goal.

It’s interesting to see how much more effective Kouji’s hands on approach to leadership is.  By contrast Lucson’s pompous blustering, Blue’s icy threats and Juli’s logical but meek manners all fail to garner the same degree of compliance as Kouji’s level-headed nice-guy routine.  Speaking of Lucson, it was brilliant to finally see him in a role he’s actually competent at – domestic chores.  I was getting extremely irritated as his antics on the Bridge, glad they’ve finally kicked him out and told him to make himself useful by watching Pat!

We even get some shipping going on – Kouji has always been interested in Faina, but it seems to be mutual as Faina gets a bit more vocal and even a touch antagonistic with Aoi.  Yuki seems to be militantly opposed to this pairing for some reason, chucking many temper tantrums whenever Kouji & Faina seem to get closer – probably because he ships Kouji & Aoi.  However Faina seems to see the truth of Kouji’s actions quite clearly when she tells him “you’re so afraid of being hurt that you’re nice to everyone”; something that does seem to be correct given Kouji’s love of the middle-ground in arguments.  For the time being Kouji x Faina seems to be ship with the least leaks (even if Faina does sometimes talk like she’s recruiting for a cult).

Of course everything goes arse up as the students learn they’ve been labeled terrorists and are unlikely to be rescued.   There is pandemonium and everyone who may be well-known as an authority figure on the ship flees to the Bridge to try to think of a way out of this worst case situation – so that’s Zwei, Blue’s gang, the Vital Guarder team and Kouji & Faina.

The three possible solutions the group comes up with are:

  1. Force a landing on Mars
  2. Go to another planet and try their luck there
  3. Surrender to the authorities and see what happens.

None of the options are attractive and all have a degree of risk.  The general consensus is to move on and try elsewhere, but to lie to the rest of the students about what exactly is going on – or “information control” as Izumi puts it.  Kouji is against this as if the truth comes out there will be utter mayhem, but he’s overruled by Izumi’s stronger personality.  Kouji later tearily confesses to Faina that he is utterly terrified of the possible consequences of these actions (although she seems completely calm).

Outside of the ship we also get a complete rundown of just what’s been going on in the military & media – the Ryvius has absolutely no chance of being rescued as there is a hardcore mass cover-up going on.  Even the transmissions of Juli & Kouji pleading for rescue are handwaved off as the terrorists having student hostages.

So things are getting progressively worse in Ryvius – I’m expecting the next few episodes to continue to show a decline in order as more groups with their own agenda form within the population.  Thus far Ryvius has been amazingly good at building up its cast with believable characters – they just need some more filling out now.  Looking forward to the next batch!

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