This episode follows suit in the “character arc for all” motif by featuring The Big Chief Funasaka and robots! Wait a minute…wait a MINUTE! Guys, this was funny in Concrete Revolutio but seriously…what is with me and the robots?! You guys are orchestrating this nonsense!
Chief Funasaka takes Asami to see two giant robots, Morgan and Drew. These massive mecha are remnanats of a time when Japan was looking into using giant robots for industrial purposes. Unfortunately the robots are too costly and the program is shut down, taking the jobs of passionate scientists and engineers. Funasaka’s secret dream was to be a Giant Robot pilot (specifically for Drew) and when Morgan is taken by a former employee under the influence of Logos, he might just get his chance.
Kidding aside, this episode features a lot more heart than the previous ones. The Chief takes Asami to a giant robot display that he claims represents Japan back in its hay-day. Two giant robots “Morgan” and “Drew” were created back when Japan saw a great industrial and commercial need for giant robots. The creation of these robots brought scientists and engineers together to create and inspire the nation. Unfortunately…these robots were unwieldy and required a massive amount of fuel to use so they were discontinued and the teams involved were dissolved.
As a child, Funasaka wanted to become a giant robot pilot. Specifically, he wanted to Pilot Drew, as he was inspired by the harsh but supporting words of Dr. Kasumigaseki. When Logos aides a former robot pilot in stealing Morgan, Funasaka gets the chance he has been waiting for all his life.
What’s cool about this episode is that it has a “Pacific Rim” + “Yugioh: The Abridged Series” approach of Screw the rules, I have GIANT ROBOTS. Funasaka has the pride of Japan in him as he talks about a time “back in the day” when giant robots united science. He also lets it slip that Willwear of all things was one of the main factors in killing off the giant robot projects. I took this whole sequence to heart because it reflects the way we learn to interact with technology today. The allegory I thought of was cameras. Very few people besides professionals and aficionados own a film camera. Back when you only had so much film you were desperate to make your shots count because each roll of film was pricey and you didn’t want to have to carry around a ton of film canisters. Today, the digital camera allows people to take the crappiest selfies on the planet and are super affordable. Even more to the effect, the modern smart phone is blowing past the digital camera because people just want to take a picture without giving much thought to its quality. I know it’s not exactly the same since a camera is not “the pride of our nation”, but all this was just to say that we live in a time where some of the things that held value to us are disappearing for cheaper, more easy to “consume” items and products. In lieu of this, I liked the idea behind this episode and what it represented for Funasaka as a character.
In the end it was just plain fun to watch an old guy fight some other old guy in a giant robot with the power of “Back in my day”. Add this to the fact that other old guys with the power of “science long forgotten” show up to help and you have yourself an episode where I couldn’t help but smile. The show really needs more of this if it wants to win me over. This episode wasn’t flawless however. Most of the other characters do nothing, and Funasaka barely “fights” after he gets into Drew so the payoff of the battle is kind of a letdown. There also wasn’t any inclination of what the heck Logos is after so I hope the second half of the series starts getting into that more
As always…thank goodness for THIS GIRL! I think it’s about time we came up with some theories. I’m gonna say that she is a secret member of Team 8 and that Kuroki (the red guy) gave her instructions to help them out in the background after “letting her go” (aka the show forgot about her and she just…wandered off). I’ll come up with something more nonsensical and wild as the show skis to its finale