And Luke gets a rather rude awakening…of course, how anybody could be so CLUELESS is anybody’s guess. Poor Tear, she’s concerned for Luke, idiocy and all. I still have no sympathy for the guy, but all the RAAAGE I have right now is tempered by the knowledge that he at least grows up a little bit before…erm…the end.
Akzeriuth is already covered with the dark colored miasma, and most of the miners who earn their living there are already knocked unconscious. Natalia quickly begins using her healing artes as the group disperses to support those who can still move around. Luke holds back, not wanting to touch any of them for fear of getting sick; instead, the kid sneaks away and starts looking for Van. Meanwhile, Tear is called away to look at what could be a remnant of the Seventh Fonstone.
Soon, the group (sans Tear) joins Luke in the mining passage, where the miasma is ridiculously thick. Even guy pleads with Luke to help with the injured and sick, but Luke keeps his head above the entire thing, and looks even deeper into the mining tunnel. Only Ion notices Luke’s departure, and quickly follows suit. Outside, Tear finds the fonstone is a fake, and is ambushed by the same Oracle Knights that requested her assistance. She is saved by the arrival of Asch, who telepathically yells at Luke to not go any further.
Luke, headstrong as he is, continues to push into the center of the mining tunnel, where he finds Van waiting for him. Ion, who had been following Luke, dispells the Daathic seal, leading into a ‘passage ring’. Asch again tries to open Luke’s eyes to the fact that he’s being used, but Luke has none of it, and believes Van is right in everything he does. He begins concentrating on the core inside when Van uses the catchphrase ‘foolish replica Luke’, triggering a hyperresonance and sending the entire thing crashing to the ground, rendering Luke unconscious.
Asch and the rest of Luke’s party arrive too late – Asch is taken away by one of the griffins Van has with him, and Tear only has a moment to confront her brother and his failure to keep a promise to uphold the ‘Outer Lands’. Van simply responds that she will forget about the Outer Lands soon enough, and suggests she use her fonic hymns. Tear has no choice but to construct a barrier to protect the group as Azkeriuth is ripped apart around them.
When they awaken, the sky is tinged a bright purple, and the only familiar object is the damaged but still functional Tartarus. Tear explains that they are in a world called Qliphoth. Nearly 2000 years ago, Qliphoth was overrun with miasma, causing everybody to be moved to the Outer Lands, which are supported from Qliphoth by Sephiroth Trees. The only ones who know this are the higher ups in the Oracle of Lorelei, and those who are from Qliphoth (incidentally, Tear). Luke tries to pin it all on Van, but the others are disappointed in him the most, and leave him alone. Even Tear, who thought he had some good points, parts with him for the moment. The Tartarus shudders to live and begins its journey to Yulia City.
With Tear at navigation, the Tartarus arrives (in one piece) at Yulia City, and the group disembarks. Luke is the last to do so, and Asch appears to confront him. Luke is still showing concern for Van, which draws nothing but cynical laughter from Asch, who wonders how he could possibly worry about someone who betrayed him. Asch also reveals to Luke, in the bluntest way possible, that Luke is a replica of Asch, created seven years ago when Van captured him. Luke’s mind blanks and he retaliates, but his wild swings are easily parried, and Asch knocks him to the ground, prepared to give the final blow.
- Luke finally gets what he deserves. His high and mighty attitude during the rescue operations at Azkeriuth should have taken away all sympathy anybody might’ve still felt for the blithering idiot. For eight episodes we suffered, watching Luke basically be an overgrown baby. Now, we get to watch them rebuild the main hero in the story all over again. For the better, we hope.
- It took a direct approach to bang the fact that Luke is a replica into his thick skull. I hated the last sequence, I almost wish the sword came down. But that’d make for a short series, now wouldn’t it?
- Who saw Van’s betrayal coming? I mean, there’s tons of foreshadowing about it. Too bad Ion has no cajones to do anything about it. I suppose Ion is a little naive too, since he himself is a…whoops, never mind. But Van’s plan is pretty obvious – the Score says Luke would save Azkeriuth, and he instead blew it up. Van, then, is part of that little group of “screw the Score, I want freedom” believers. Boring villain, but a villain nonetheless.
- So technically…Asch is the real Luke, which means that Natalia’s engaged to…Asch? It leaves Luke to get back together with Tear, who went into tsundere mode again. No money for you, Anise! They’re minor points (and honestly I hate all the relationship issues people like to add in their TV shows, it screwed up Macross Frontier too) but it’ll probably garner some attention in later episodes.
- Luke reminds me so much of Hinamori (of Bleach fame, if you really don’t know). Blinded into idiocy and kneejerk reactions by their oh-so-friendly Captain / sensei. Speaking of which, the latest Bleach chapters have been decent. Good to see Hinamori return with more badassery than before.
- Humongous battleship falls x meters to the floor and is still in one piece. What the hell did they make that thing out of?! Jade says it’s damaged, but it doesn’t look it one bit!
- They probably ran out of purple doing this episode. My eyes saw green when I looked off screen for a few seconds.
- So…how’d Tear get to the Outer Lands from Qliphoth? Is there like a fonic elevator?
Baby Luke had some serious issues.