Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Geobreeders vol. 07

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Geobreeders, vol. 07, by Akihiro Itou - Grade: A
At Hound HQ, a VTOL battleship - the Barracuda - lands and the tech and Narusawa both board along with the Jinguuji ("Zinguzi" in romaji) Heavy Industries engineering rep. At the scene of the actual fight, the trailer containing the nuke warhead gets closer to the waiting Hounds and were-cats, with the Cobra tight beside firing on it. Inside the trailer, one of the were-cats is trying to program the box to blow in 60 seconds. Both the waiting Hounds and the waiting were-cats start shooting and no one can see anything through the smoke. The Cobra is destroying everything in sight, including the vending machine that dispensed Yu's cigarettes. In a rage, Yu grabs a crossbow and shoots a bolt into the turret of the Cobra's vulcan gun. Taba's too far away from the trailer for the IR link to connect, so he runs in closer, almost getting decapitated by the Cobra's tail prop. The protect seals blow, taking out half of the trailer and most of the one were-cat. A second were-cat runs in and finishes programming the timer on the bomb. There's lots more shooting and things blowing up, with the Cobra finally being grounded. The pilot runs away from the wreckage, and Mihara performs various stunt moves on her scooter in order to save Taba. The second were-cat yells out the order for the others to retreat over cell phones, but he's finally deleted by Taba.

The Hounds rush to the trailer and discover that the second were-cat hadn't realized that the first one had entered 6 seconds before being deleted, and the timer was actually set to 660 seconds. Both the Kagura members in the pickup truck, and the Hounds turn tail and run away. Leaving Taba looking confused and Mihara grabbing him by the back of the shirt and dragging him to the safety of a subway entrance. The bomb goes off, but it's just another pack of plain high explosives. Irie realizes that both trailers were decoys and he orders his command staff to connect the H-System (his Hound database) to the N-System (probably the nation-wide police network) to backtrack and determine what they overlooked.

(Narusawa is good at shooting at delivery trucks, not so good when trucks or cars blow up on her.)

At Kagura's HQ, Maya runs down from the roof to grab Eiko and drags her upstairs. The two of them rush back down to the TV and watch the news about the current conflagration in the city. Eiko says that they have two choices - run out to save their friends, or pretend that they didn't see anything and keep drinking beer. Maya votes for the first option, Maki and Eiko for the second. Maya shouts out "please save Taba", and the other two are stunned at hearing her speak for the first time. Doesn't provoke them into action, though.

The two female were-cats that had last been seen vanishing into the cellphone at Shin-Nihon Avionics in volume 5 are now driving an ambulance to the drop off point outside the doushinshii comic fair. A patrol car spots the vehicle that had been reported missing by a hospital from the first warehouse blast, and Hound is notified. Takami is in the parking lot outside of the comic fair building, looking for the shipping truck that would have her group's new doujinshii in it. The truck ("Aka Kuma" ("red bear", and possibly "devil"), a play on "Kuro Neko" (the "black cat" shipping company)) is back-to-back with the ambulance, with the nuclear warhead being transferred in a regular cardboard box. Takami sees her package and runs forward just as Hound and the U.S. Marines show up and surround the truck. Yuka's phone rings and she shouts at it thinking it's Eiko, slow on returning her call, but it's actually Irie to tell her that the job's not done yet and they still have to get the bomb back. The Barracuda arrives with Yashima flying, the Zinguzi rep manning the guns, and Narusawa riding in back. Narusawa rappels down (barely) and sets up her sniper rifle as the Kagura group shows up in time to save Takami from a bullet from the female Aka Kuma were-cats. Takami gets into the back of the Kagura pickup truck in order to rescue her manga, then asks who the new girl is (Yu says "Taba's pet, apparently", sending Takami into a panic).

(Yu dislikes seeing perfectly good cigarette machines being shot up.)

There's another stand-off, as the American forces tell Hound to stand down and let them take over. (The Hounds try to find someone that understands English, and several of them comment on having had some lessons in JR high, but not remembering any of it. Yuka yells the only English she knows - "Give me chocolate!" and Mihara starts with "You mo" but Taba stops her.) Irie's on the phone to an American counterpart, and he decides that he really doesn't like being ordered around. He tells the Hounds to stand their ground. 4 Russian Hind helicopters fly up controlled by were-cats, and one of the choppers opens fire on a marine chopper, triggering another barrage of bullets. Yashima throws the switch in the Barracuda, activating DAX-1a. DAX's were-cat suppression field works, keeping them from healing from bullet wounds or from fighting well, but the massive battery in the back of the plane only has a 15 second lifespan. Narusawa succeeds at blowing out the Aka Kuma truck's front tire, and Takami tries to climb into the truck to get her manga. But the were-cats have put ropes around the vehicle and one of the Hind choppers lifts it into the air. Taba and Mihara follow Takami onto the truck, with Takami not liking how well the other two are getting along. Inside the cab, one of the female were-cats exits via a cell phone, but the other, the blond, sees Mihara's leg hanging over the side in the rear view mirror, and she climbs up to kill them.

Irie orders his assistant to buy him a coffee from the vending machine with extra sugar and cream, giving her the 120 yen this time. Yashima ejects the battery from the back of the VTOL and then chases the other three Hinds to shoot them down. Takami gets knocked off the truck, and has to skate across the side of a skyscraper before Taba can save her. The driver had been knocked off as well, and she hits the ground, then grabs someone's cell and dials herself back into the cab on her own phone. During the lull, Taba prepares to climb the rope up to the chopper, since it's his job as the sole salaryman to do all of the falling. But Mihara volunteers to do it for him, causing Taba to praise her and Takami to remain in panic mode. Yashima arrives in the Barracuda, trying to shoot at the chopper carrying the bomb, and it smashes into a billboard, setting the van into a heavy spin. Mihara uses her one protect seal to stave off the attack from the were-cat flying the chopper. Taba yells at her to stop the spinning, and she goes through a list of video games (Red Dawn, Afghan Breakdown, Rambo: First Blood and Deathline) before slamming the van back into a building, which does the trick.

Taba tries to get to the warhead, but Takami's more concerned about her manga. They both get knocked out of the van (Takami lands on her feet; Taba on his back on the roof of a car). The box with the manga falls safely onto the street, but gets burned to a crisp when a neighboring car catches fire and blows up. The driver were-cat tries to kill Mihara, but the cable holding up the van snaps, sending the driver into the blades of the chopper and killing her. Yashima had been following the van out to sea, and he watches as it falls into the water and a great big shadow rises underneath it. The shadow turns into a nuclear submarine and the van settles on its nose. In the sub is Vashuka and an assistant. On a building, watching, is the black-haired female were-cat that had been in the Aka Kuma truck, a black-haired male were-cat, and Taki. Taki's group lists off all of the losses they've suffered in this fiasco (including the explosives, the Hinds and now the warhead). In the control room, Irie is getting a status report of all of the Hounds losses, and Yashima calls in for a pick up - the Barracuda has finally failed and crash-landed outside of the building.

Yuka, Yu and Takami retreat to a public bath again, and they decide to run away to someplace where Eiko can't find them and yell at them for not completing the job. Yuka intends to ditch Taba as being a hindrance, and Takami as well for raising an objection. However, Maya comes into the baths to get milk to drink, and Yuka wants to know how she'd found them. Naturally, Eiko is waiting outside, pissed. Yu asks Maki how they'd slipped up, and Umizaki answers that they'd just gone out for more beer and found the pickup by accident. Taba, meanwhile, is at the docks, shouting for Mihara to come back. Of course, having a waitress that can survive a Kagura mission on her first day is a bit too good to be true, and she is. Descartes had been on an aircraft carrier directing the marines, and he meets Mihara, Private First Class, when she arrives on the flight deck. Her job for the CIA had been to infiltrate Kagura Company and bring back a protect seal to analyze, and had failed at that.


At Moto Kasadera station, on the Ayatetsu line (which is a parody of an existing station of the same pronunciation but different kanji on the Meitetsu line, near Nagoya) Narusawa is trying to meet a friend while Taba is out shopping for food with Maya. Narusawa gets stood up and goes to a nearby shrine to brood. A strange man sees her there and comments on the area looking like a graveyard, then the guy shambles off, telling her that it'd be better if she leaves quickly. Taba tells Maya to return ahead of him and then goes to the shrine where Maya had been found, and runs into Narusawa. The two of them go to a cafe in a sky rise near the station and talk, sharing stories regarding fighting were-cats. Meanwhile, the strange man, "Marvin" (who had been seen in the File.XX - Breakthrough OAV), goes to the hideout to see Kuro-Neko. There's been a growing impatience with the way Kuro-Neko has been running them and Marvin is one of the were-cats that has had enough. He blasts his way through the guards and sets a pack of explosives on Kuro-Neko's desk. KN was expecting this and he has a cell phone ready. The bomb goes off, killing Marvin but missing KN. The blast is across the street from the coffee shop, and Taba saves Narusawa from the flying glass from the windows. Both of them get calls to get to work and they promise to meet up again. In another building, the anti-KN group is trying to figure out where KN is sending himself, and Taki tells them that they're wasting their time. While in the Kagura offices, as the others are complaining that Taba bought the wrong meals for them, Maya is looking out the window at the plume of smoke, thinking that something's going wrong with the city.


In the epilogue, Maki has returned to her gun supplier during the Christmas season to get some more guns to protect herself from some gang members that have decided to take her out. The owner shows her a pair of Lugers as a "Christmas present", but she repeats her motto of "war is firepower" (that is, "victory through superior firepower") and asks for an RPG. The owner tells her to shut up and just take the stupid guns. Outside, the gang has set up attack points in front of the parking lot. Maki wins, despite the inferior firepower, but while admonishing the bad guys, saying that even with one hundred people they couldn't win against her, gets hit by a car. Lying in the street, she says "wow, the wind's gotten really strong suddenly" (refusing to admit that it was the car that hit her).

(Marvin and his trench coat shotguns.)


("Victory through superior firepower!")

Maki likes Lucky Strike (super milds).

At the doujinshii comic fair, when Takami is trying to get her manga from the Aka Kuma van, her two co-artists get distracted by cosplayers dressed up as Iruparattso and Alcard.

Takami's manga is named "Nuru Nuru Sentinel" (Slimy Sentinel).

Narusawa and Taba visit Miharu Coffee Bar, "in business since 1959".

Summary: You know the routine now. Great action, great artwork, hard to follow plotlines. Highly recommended.


James said...

The Cat's chopper are not from Hound, they are Russian/Soviet Mi-24 attack helicopters (NATO code: Hind, which sounds like Hound I guess). The cat's bought these choppers along with their guns and the nuke. I guess everything is for sell in Russia...XD

TSOTE said...

James, thanks for the corrections. I'll update the summary.