EDIT on July 4, 2010: Okay, I think I was a bit too emotional when writing this, because whatever used to bother me about this episode no longer do. I still love it to pieces, though. :)
(As always, thanks to fushigichan
for the translation of the episode.)
This episode gets to me every time I watch it. On one hand, I just love it to pieces. On the other hand, I can't help being annoyed by Ryuu and co.
Now, a little background. I'm a really weird person. That part where Mirai runs after Ryuu and co.? I always pause it, even though I know exactly what is coming. I just can't bear to see Mirai's impassioned plea fall on deaf ears. Mirai is so unselfish, but the one thing he asks? No one cares. Mirai is trying to state his case, the only way he knows how, and get trampled upon by his teammates' indifference, and in Ryuu's case, downright callousness.
The saddest thing of all this is Ryuu is right. Mebius does not understand humans, and, however much he tries (which he does) would never be able to do so completely. (If he does, he would realize why they were angry without being told. He certainly would not confront them that way and make the matter worse.) Yeah, I know the episode makes things all right at the end, but I'm sure ongoing conflicts between humans and Mebius are not something kids signed on to see. Besides, what kind of message would the heroes fighting among themselves send to impressionable children?
I can see where Ryuu and co. are coming from, and I actually agree with them, to an extent. But they have no need to be cruel to Mirai. What they are doing to him is like kicking an innocent puppy, for goodness's sake! I would probably have an easier time if this happens very early on in the series, where they don't know him yet, where they are not familiar with his charming eccentricity, his naivete. And I just trapped myself with that sentence. A counter argument could be made too that since he has known his teammates for a while, Mirai should have known better than to leave them out of the decision making, to take things into his own hands. (And Mirai? Can't you ever decide whether you are alone or not? I think you keep saying on and off for a while that you are not alone.)
In case the above few paragraphs are clear as mud, Mebius, upon seeing Ohshima Comet II (see episode 16 for Ohshima Comet I), apparently decides he is the only person who can destroy it (since Hikari has left earth at the end of episode 17), so he sets out doing exactly just that, unknowingly displacing Ryuu and George, who plan to shoot the comet themselves. Mirai excitingly coming back to announce that fact doesn't improve their mood. Ryuu says despite everything (presumably that Mebius has fought along side GUYS in the past), at the end of the day, Mebius is an alien, who doesn't know anything about humans and seems to dismiss their feelings/concerns. That kind of (insensitive/superior/or fill in another disparaging adjective here) person is not GUYS' comrade, according to Ryuu. Marina and George try to calm Ryuu down, and the three of them leave for the cafeteria.
To say those verbal blows from Ryuu unsettle Mirai is probably an understatement. He must be very hurt that he's revealing things about himself (albeit in third person) he hasn't before. (Not that those things were secret to the viewers, but I don't imagine an alien like Mebius is exactly letting humans getting close to him. Doing so is just not very conducive to keeping his secret. His differences are bound to come out if he is not careful.) Oh, yes, Mirai is essentially saying he (Mebius) is risking his life fighting along side GUYS. So Ryuu better takes back that accusation about Mebius not being their comrade. Ryuu shots back that Mirai is annoying (for pressing him with the unpleasant subject, I suppose), and that he cannot forgive Mebius for that (not really imagined) slight of looking down on humans.
(You know something, Ryuu? I like that Mebius takes care of the comet fragment. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't believe the fact that Mebius does something serves to undermine your ability to do the same thing in any way. In fact, I think you're lucky. After all, free labor is usually hard to find. And would you rather keep your pride and lose everyone you care about, or loosen up and accept help when given? Not everyone has a hidden agenda, you know.)
I'm rather amused that Teppei reacts exactly as I've always imagined him in this sort of situation. Teppei seems pretty much like a follower of rules, and that probably include unwritten rules about seniority and such. He seems torn in the hallway scene, like he wants to comfort Mirai, but dares not go against Ryuu, George, and Marina.
So the thoroughly dejected Mirai returns to the control room, where the mismatched (non)comic relief twin are trying to find a way to cheer him up, but not having divine power to know the not!funny duo's impending plan, (or perhaps he does
know), Sakomizu steps in and talks to Mirai. He explains to the bewildered alien that trust is fragile. It could easily be destroyed, but difficult to earn. As usual, I enjoy hearing the captain's pearl of wisdom, even though I don't think Mirai gets the message the captain is trying to tell him yet (mostly because he looks so confused, but also because we are not even halfway through the episode at that point). Anyway, Sakomizu apparently realizes he has been too oblique, so a demonstration is in order. Which is how Mirai and Konomi (who was having (hopefully) delicious cakes when the captain told her to accompany Mirai) end up at the pre-school in which Konomi was working before joining GUYS.
I admit, I enjoy seeing Mirai interact with little kids. He has the same, non-hardened attitude/outlook as most of the kids, so I kind of think he would be a natural, since he is essentially one of them. And this is something I didn't pick up in previous viewings, but Mirai's well-intentioned interference in helping that little boy trying to dance/clap sort of backfires because, according to Konomi, Mirai is putting pressure, albeit unintentionally, on the little boy to learn. Since his...er...deficiency (I couldn't find a better word, sorry) is pointed out, now the little boy is worried that he has to catch up with his classmates, so he panics, causing his learning to not progress as it should had Mirai left him alone. Konomi goes on to observe that Mebius is probably in the same situation as that little boy. She believes perhaps there is some great pressure on Mebius, so he panics, and apparently forget that he has GUYS on his side too. (I would say Konomi is braver than Teppei in daring to take the opposite side from Ryuu and co., but she doesn't take sides when/where they can see her, so I don't know.)
(Mirai remarking about the two little kids making up easily after a quarrel reminds me of the previous occasion in episode 15, where he seems perplexed as to why Ryuu and Araiso still has their squabble at the end of the episode. Which leads me to wonder if the Ultras never have a good-natured fight or otherwise not serious fight among friends/comrades? Or is this something only Mebius, among other Ultras who have come to earth, has no clue about?)
Oh, Bemstar shows up. It originally comes on the dust tail of the now non-existent comet fragment. I agree with Ryuu, this monster is kind of cute. However, it's not so cute when it catches and attempts to eat the GunLoader, with Marina stuck inside. Mebius saves her, of course.
(Personally, I've never thought of Marina as being reckless, so I suppose that scene was put in purely to have her, Ryuu and George back in charity with Mebius again. It works, so I'm not complaining, but the scene would probably be more powerful if Ryuu were the one who was caught by Bemstar, though I think I know the reason they couldn't use him or George.)
I love the introduction of Mebius Brave form. The form apparently impresses GUYS, too. Teppei lamenting that he's failed again never fails to make me laugh. (Teppei amuses me far too much, I think.) Ryuu pretending to not know anything about "disowning" Mebius put me back in charity with him again.
In short, this episode is just so awesome, although I fear I may be the only person to think so. (My preferences usually differ from others' ^^;;) I also didn't intend for this review to be long, although, as it is, I'm quite sure I still have left something out...