Trixie and Troisienne* are in Hiver's office watching a message from the errant Un-ou and A-ou who finally make an appearance, albeit briefly and from a distance. They were to go on a mission together but can't make it. Trixie requests if they can take a couple of waitresses with them instead - presumably not to provide the in-flight though. And it's like we're finally back to the first episode of Kiddy Grade - a pinkish-red ship launching up an orbital shaft. No interruptions this time though. Ascoeur and Di-air are crowding round a window - hey, you can see our house from here - Q-fueille calls them childish but is soon gawping out the window herself to the amusement of the older couple.
Their ship, Rafale (French for "gust") is somewhat La-muse-ish - it has the same pink colouring as the Urania, but three wings. It has independant warp capability also. Ascoeur and Q-feuille reference the C-Square and Salyut, confirming that they were trained by Tweedledee/dum and Un/A-ou respectively as in the manga. From the rear their ship has a circular design somewhat reminiscent of some of the earliest design sketches for the La-Muse, and the redesigned C-Square has some similar "floating" elements at the rear. The front, top and sides of the bridge are coated with real-view screens giving a view you a panoramic outside view didn't get on the La-Muse outside of the dogfight bridge. Q-feuille did get to do that sleepover at Trois' place. Their mission is to intercept the sale of illegal warships.
They warp out at an asteroid base with lots of big cannons ranged around it. And lots of drone fighters. Rafale's shields can cope with beam weaponry so they start firing missiles instead. We don't get to see if the ship has an inertial drive as it shoots down the missiles and shoots back with a couple of MIRVs which take out all the drones in one shot. They blast a hole in the asteroid and charge through into the base with their shields on full in a move reminiscent of the Sol Bianca pirates. The Rafale has a male voice, as does their Guard Robot Triumph - which is voiced by Shiraishi and takes it's cues from Raising Heart - "yes, my master".
The hanger full of ships is so reminiscent of the tank scene in Tron I was expecting them to start moving. The buyers they are after are G-society, the terrorist organisation which send Rubis, Saphir and the old geezers. They have a lot of warships. They split up - Troisienne takes Ascoeur (which makes her happy) and Trixie takes Q-Feuille. Since Di-air is the odd-one-out they let her choose - and she chooses Q-feuille (which makes Ascoeur sad), so Troisienne takes Triumph. The bad guys launch the warships on autopilot, at which point Troiesienne enters to make her arrest, GOTT-style. Ascoeur trying to join in is amusing. Head bad guy shoots at then and Ascoeur, rather than teleporting or even just ducking just winces so it is just as well that Triumph was guarding them invisibly.
Trixie, meanwhile, is hacking her way into one of the ships (all three of them standing on the hull in open space ala Kiddy Grade) with her iPod when bishies Torch and Shade make their appearance. The outspoken with the brown hair is Kazuya Nakai while the quiet one with purplish hair is Nobuo Tobita (Sinistra from Kiddy Grade, although credited as 飛田展夫 which appears to be a simple typo. Note that Dextera's seiyuu, Hirotaka Suzuoki, hasn't done anything since 2005).
Dr.Moro eyecatches again.
They haven't met before although they have heard of them since they mistake Q-feuille for Troisienne. They call themselves "Shadow Workers", placing themselves explicitly on the opposite side to the ES ("Encounter of Shadow-work" for anyone who's forgot or is new to the franchise). Shade departs and Torch attacks the trio by calling down firebolts using a blue Sanskrit symbol on his hand (his eyes also glow blue). Q-feuille seems to think that shielding Di-air with her body is actually going to help, but Trixie seems to have a personal shield like Éclair's which is a lot more useful. She can also teleport, although Torch seems to have no problems tracking her, and can fling energy balls (white as opposed to Éclair's usual black). OK, they have met before - Torch's ability is to create illusions so he is physically somewhere else where he can't see them (clearly at least - he knew there was a child with them).
Ascoeur is making fun of all the bad guys locked up behind a window, and teaches Triumph to akanbe while Trois is remotely operating the ships to collect them as evidence. Shade appears, and has red sanskrit on both hands and glowing red eyes. He calls fire down from the surrounding ships through the hole they made with the Rafale. His shields will take it but they parked him in the reactor core.. he makes an emergency lift-off, trapping them on the disintegrating station. They pack the bad guys off on an escape pod and Ascoeur attacks Shade (panchira get!) - with her fist, which he dodges her with ease but her intention was to get behind him to fire her nanoneedles - which pass straight through him as he is another illusion. He recognises Ascoeur, presumably from his subordinate's report. They escape on Triumph, but a series of shutters close before them. The way Shade's illusion moves is by turning to mist (nanomist one presumes) - like the phantoms in the GOTT basement. He closes a series of shutters between them and the exit, Triumph forces himself through one but takes damage in the process and won't make it through all of them. Trois tells Ascoeur to get away using her telelport as she doesn't want to leave Triumph behind, but Ascoeur sees the door controls and has an idea..
Meanwhile, Trixie is still holding her ground against Torch - until her eyes go all wierd. This is Shade's doing. She can't teleport like this leaving them open to attack. A group of battleships uncloack - which is what has been attacking them all along under Torche's control. Q-feuille still thinks that being a human shield will protect Di-air from a fleet of warships ^^; Thankfully Rafale comes to the rescue and blows them all up. Except the one on a collision course towards them that is. Q-feuille's ability activates (cued by the music from the ep 1 prologue) and she calls to Di-air..
Ascoeur has been opening the security shutters one by one, by teleporting to the other side and opening them manually. She says she is OK but is clearly flagging and collapses a few doors later (this is my favourite bit of that music). Trois says she is no longer an apprentice. And just blasts through the remaining doors by waving at them. Q-feuille and the others escape on a transformed Tama. Meanwhile, everything else explodes. Torch and Shade get away with the last remaining warship. Shade seems to see something special in Ascoeur (isn't that always the way?). Sounds like we may be going on more of these training missions with the two T's in future also.
Next episode is G-Society (Gソサエティ G Sosaeti ) featuring Pauk and Letuchaia's anime début at a masked ball. This that come next week all the main cast will have made an appearance. Hopefully they'll start updating the database on the official site with the new characters. There's another new conteman in Yusuke Yamamoto (director of Night Wizard and NHK), the director is Hazuki Mizumoto (has directed single episodes of a few series) and the Sakkan is Maiko Okada, a familar face to the series as she not only did key animation on the original pilot but illustrated this poster for Newtype (2007-06).
As usual I'll be back with a re-read and fixup once I've watched this through again (with subs).
* According to her badge, トロワジェイン is actually "Troisienne", the feminine form of the French "troisième", or "third" (with help from Mori@Twitter).
A higher resolution shot of the badge makes it clearer (I first watched the episode on Nico Nico Douga), along with the other details:
Code name: Troisienne
DOB: SC0360 12 Oct
Blood type: A
The official site has announced a serious of handshaking sessions with Gouda, Uchida and Shiraishi at Animate stores throughout Japan in December. If you preorder a Blu-Ray or LE DVD you get a double-sided poster, a bag illustrated by Yukari Higa and a signed card (if you pre-order just the ED CDs you get less swag). If they're talking about KG-A discs then that means details must be forthcoming soon and that the series will have a simultaneous BD release.
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