Them’s some expensive designer sunglasses. Equally funny is how not one, but two pairs of these were destroyed over the course of a day. You know that whole guitar-smashing at the end of a concert thing that The Who started? Imagine Bono crushing his expensive wraparound sunglasses after every concert (and fundrasing event speech or whatever it is he does), and that’s a fair idea of the amount of valuable material destroyed in this episode.
The prevaling theme of the episode, though, in contrast to the Nyamo-centric screenshot up there (I swear, I really can’t help these cute-girl-centric screencaps. It is one of my many “failings”), actually involved her brother, Souta. Souta, of course, is a hard-line, no-nonsense kind of person, and also wants to learn every martial art in the world (for some ungodly reason). Of course, no matter how good he is (and we saw this in episode 4), he still can’t beat Holon, everyone’s favorite Kawasumi Ayako-voiced android. They pressed this point fairly hard early in the episode, before cutting to Nyamo antics revolving around the horrifying debut of the Iron Schwarz (for the record, the better anime name involving the word “Schwarz” is Schwarz Bruder from G Gundam, but it’s hard to top German ninjas). It was with some relish I noted that the Iron Schwarz, despite being an android and all that, obliterated everyone who got in his path, until Nyamo showed up and started dodging his grasps. Effortlessly. “Hah,” I thought, “outwitted by a girl! Take that, hardcore Metal superstar man!”
Of course, this confounds the programming of the Iron Schwarz android, and it chases her all over town until she bumps into her brother and Holon at a Metal fight club cafe, at which point it becomes a do or die showdown between Souta and Iron Schwarz. I also relished the “coincindental” way the announcer for the Metal fight just happened to coincide with the actual brawl going on in the club. Yes, that’s a age-old technique and it’s probably cliche by now, but it still amuses me to no end when things like that happen. At any rate, Holon is quickly dispatched by the rampaging Iron Schwarz, leaving Souta to fend for himself, which he does relatively well.
Except that, in the end, he still owes his victory to Holon, which technically means that he was still unable to best an android in combat unassisted. Holon was simply following her programming, presumably (pretty complicated programming, if you ask me), This raises an intriguing question, namely: in an age of machines, is it truly impossible to survive without their assistance? Souta uses Holon to train/spar, and is deeply resentful of her computerized brain with perfect recall (and perfect calculation), and however nicely her programming phrases her criticisms of Souta’s fighting ability, it still seems to gouge him deeply. Although he did defeat the Iron Schwarz android, he did not do so on his own, and only though Holon turning off the lights (disabling the android’s sensors) was he able to claim victory. Had it been Minamo pressing the light switch, it wouldn’t be quite the same. Since Holon pressed it, Souta’s victory over machine is due in large part to…another machine. People in modern society can’t live without their computers without suffering through a period of psychological withdrawl (I know that I couldn’t live without a computer with an Internet connection at this point), and, in fact, not having or being able to use a computer is a serious detriment to functioning in modern society.
In a society with complex machinery, is it possible to continue life as it was prior to the introduction of the machines? Real Drive doesn’t seem to think so, through this episode, although, now that I think about it, previous episodes as well touched on this a bit. I don’t think it’s necessarily a statement that we should scrap all machines and live as we did before the Industrial Revolution, but it’s an observation of the modern state: when you have machines, you are reliant upon them, and, resentful though you may be of it, they become almost essential to the running of ordinary and extraordinary life. Which isn’t good or bad, it just…is.
I hope that all made some kind of sense. I’m too busy trying to figure out what Holon’s face looked like when she looked miserable for Nyamo. The world may never know.
(P.S.–Listening to the JUDY AND MARY album “Magical Diving” while writing this post. Strangely fitting, if in name only)