Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Geobreeders, vol. 09

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(Tokarev Masa, Blue Shooting Star and Maki)

Geobreeders, vol. 09, by Akihiro Itou - Grade: A
On the third day, Maya has infiltrated the mansion again and reports back to Taba. Masa calls someone and relays the details of the drop to him, adding that Ootsu hasn't caught on to him yet. In the prison cell, Maki and Yu try to do the "my stomach hurts" and "hey, big boy" tricks at the same time, and the guard just shoots up the door at them. So they disassemble the bed and debate whether they're doing a "MacGyver" or an "A-Team" maneuver (Maki votes for "A-Team"). Maki pulls a 12 gauge shotgun shell out of somewhere and they blow the door open and overpower the guard. After driving into the garage door, then waiting for it to open on its own, Maki blows up the mansion, because escapes like this one require "big backdrop scenes" (Yu asks her to stop doing that because the explosion hurts her ears). As they drive off, Maki calls Marui Toys to lay out the plan. All of the roleplay gamers show up with toy guns, but they're just there for show. The main payoff is they can keep any real guns they find that they like. Plus, they'll be there just for a chance to watch Maki in action.

(The song is "150 tons of dynamite", but they're in a hurry and forced to travel light.)

Yuka and Eiko get captured at the drop zone at the docks along the river. Taba and Takami reluctantly rescue them, and Maki quietly blows up their ex-captors with one of Takami's grenades for revenge. Everyone else arrives at the docks and then the backstabbing starts. The suitcases with the diamonds and the cash are empty - having been switched by the drivers (who are two of the Silver Nambu triplets in disguise). Masa turns out to be an undercover detective and his men on the police force surround Chan's men. Marui surrounds everyone else. The dirty cop, Mizushima, reappears in the presence of one of the Silver Nambu women and one of the cases. Masa says that he knew the cop was a fake because there's no record of a "Mizushima" on the force.

Blue Shooting Star's turn comes up and she walks to the center of the dock and throws her gun in the air. While everyone is watching it, she yells out "riot mode" and her car whips out a machine gun and starts blasting away. Eiko tells her side to go into action as well, and Maya steps in front of the second driver and simply takes his case from him. The driver removes her disguise to reveal the second of the Silvers. There's much shooting and yelling and holding of poses as Masa, Mizushima, Blue and Silver take out the surrounding forces. Maya discovers that things like a case full of cash can't flow through steels walls like she can and the case falls onto the street. Maki takes this moment to show up, closely followed by a big, brightly decorated semi-trailer. The old hippie driving the semi triggers the support legs, knocks down the trailer walls and yells out that he's "Long Tom Minamoto"; Long Tom is the name of the cannon inside the trailer.

(Long Tom.)

Minamoto loads one shell and blows up the Bugatti. The next shell takes out some of the police and the yakuza. As Ootsu stands slack-jawed, Maya grabs her case again and Chan orders his men to chase after her. Maki goes toe to toe with the fake cop and outdraws him. She asks "why did you come back, Ryuu?" She'd only just now realized who he is. Ryuu removes his disguise and tells Maki that she should get out of Kagura Co. as quickly as possible. Three snipers on a nearby shipping container take aim on Ryuu, but their shots are blocked by the diamonds case by one of the Silvers, and two of the Silvers and Maki simultaneously shoot all three snipers - one each.


Maya hands off her case to Takami, who also barely manages to stay ahead of the pursuers. She gets into the Kagura pickup, and Eiko grabs the case and tells Takami to give her the bag from the convenience store. They pull up next to Yu and offer to buy her services. Initially, Yu's not interested, then Eiko opens the case to reveal that it's now filled with extra large cartons of Lucky Strike Ultra Milds. Yu drools, agreeing to the deal. With the emptied case in her possession, Yu zips all over the docks, with a flight attendant's cap on her head. Cars behind her smash into each other, into walls and into the water. While Eiko happily hugs her new friends. Ryuu tells the two Silvers to escape, throwing off his overcoat to distract the others. It's now the four of them - Ryuu, Maki, Masa and Blue - in a square-off with the other case in the middle of them. Ryuu announces that this is how they're going to determine who the number 1 gunslinger is, with the case as the prize.

Yu flies off some shipping containers and throws her empty case out the window. It lands in Maya's lap, and she tosses it on top of the sleeping Yuka. Yuka angrily yanks it out of the truck to settle in the middle of the stand-off next to the first case. All of the other police and gang members that had been after Yu now converge on the main four. Ryuu, Masa, Maki and Blue dislike the interruption and proceed to completely destroy the survivors. One of the approaching cars stops at Masa's feet - it's Chan, and he gets arrested. Maki and Blue are out of ammo, so Blue yells "smoke" and the crippled car shoots a smoke grenade. Ryuu tells Maki to remember what he said about leaving Kagura, and throws a key to her just as the third Silver arrives in a helicopter. Ryuu grabs the filled case and gets on the rescue ladder. Maki grabs a gun and shoots the copter's fuel line. The copter still manages to make it's way from the docks, but slower and lower. Yu returns with the Subaru and Maki gets on the hood. Yu hits a ramp and slings Maki up into the air to grab the rescue ladder. The Subaru continues into the river and Yu thanks it for doing such a good job for her.

Maki and Ryuu stare at each other. Then Maki drops her machine gun and Ryuu drops the case in order to take each other's free hand. However, Blue has a score to settle, and she takes a sniper rifle and shoots the ladder, causing it to break and Maki to fall. Silver asks if everything is ok, and after a brief pause, Ryuu says "yes", and they leave the docks. The case lands on Yuka, and she's about to throw it away in frustration but Eiko screams at her to stop. There's a fuel storage plant next to the docks, and the Marui crew smell gas as they busily collect all of the free weapons they can find. Maki lands on some sandbags.

(Showdown: Crimson vs Blue Shooting Stars.)

Blue tosses one of her Browning pistols on the sandbags and asks if Maki wants to finish their duel to see who's the true Shooting Star. Blue had taken two compatible rounds from the rifle and she places them on the ground and walks away. Maki and Blue face each other, then run forward, grab a bullet each, load their Brownings and fire just as the main fuel tank blows, throwing both of them into the bay. The Marui crowd tries to outrun the fireball, and Kagura drives away in the pickup. Yu jumps in the remaining limousine, which contains a confused Ootsu.

(Ryuu: "I was born cool.")

A little later, up in the sky, Ryuu is in the back of a transport plane with one of the Silvers (the other two are flying it) when there's an incoming radio call. It's Yuma. She's sitting in the library of a nice little house out in the woods. She tells Ryuu that he'd made a promise to never contact Maki again. He broke that promise and now she wants his head. She issues an order and a rocket is fired from a launcher truck. Ryuu snarls at her just before the plane blows up and everyone inside is killed. Maki has a memory of Ryuu stepping out of her bedroom saying he'll be back, and her remembering the line that whenever anyone says that, they never return. The scene switches to the gyudon restaurant again. Masa is eating next to two very beat-up women. Blue needs a crutch to walk and Maki's left arm is in a sling. It was a tie. But they're out of the diamonds and the cash, they have no weapons left and no ammo. If Masa wanted, he could become #1 right now very easily. But he says that he's getting out of that line of business for the moment. Blue replies that she's off - she has new work, which is the nature of the Shooting Star. She leaves, followed by Masa. Maki tries leaving when the clerk tells her that she owes an extra $10 for the meal. She pauses, then breaks into a run. At the street, she tries to flag down a taxi, but the driver has a picture of her on his visor saying "danger" and he decides to not stop. Maki muses to herself - "I'll wait; I'll always wait."

(Blue Shooting Star's Bugatti in "riot mode", with Ootsu watching on in awe.)

There's a short epilogue at the end. Yuka, Takami and Eiko are in the public bath again. Eiko is very happy, being rich again. They've ordered repairs on the office and the vehicles, and those will be ready soon. She even plucked her eyebrows and looks normal now. As she walks into the bath, she's holding the key to their safety deposit box. They mention that Maki and Yu are still out, and they realize that Maya's also missing. They assume that the were-cat is bathing with Taba again, and throw their wash basins over the wall to the men's side, yelling "pervert girl, come back over to this side!" and just end up hitting Taba. A few minutes later, Taba leaves the baths and is about to berate Maya, but she's looking very miserable. She'd been talking to a very dirty, hungry-looking boy were-cat who says that she shouldn't have come back to Ayagawa - someone's going to kill her now. Meanwhile, Narusawa is at Hound, sitting at a table and morosely thinking about the fun she had talking to Taba.

(Gunshop owner with Ootsu.)

And finally, the gunshop owner is looking at the strange car that Yu left in the lot, with a note apologizing for not returning the Subaru. The shop owner has a gun pulled and is looking inside and saying "who are you?" In the back, Ootsu is neatly trussed up.

(Eiko makes new friends easily.)


p.150: Yu's further attempt to give herself a name:
Yu: "They call me Stewardess Yu!"
Maki: "Actually, they're called flight attendants now."
Yu: "No way!"

p. 176: Yuma is reading "Summer Night, first half". Probably referring to the horror story "Summer of Night" by Dan Simmons.

(Definitive proof that Itou is god.)

Summary: Lots of fan service this time, plus some foreshadowing, and a demonstration that you do NOT want to mess with any of these people, Yuma especially. Highly recommended.

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