“In other words, when people quit, they should clean up after themselves.” -Hinoki Yousuke
Summary: Koko and her team face off against the SR Unit, and after narrowly defeating them, track down Col. Hinoki to the Bahamas where some interesting facts about his squad are revealed.
Impression: This episode fell a little flat for me honestly. Don’t get me wrong, it was a solid episode, but when I compare it to the previous episodes, it seemed very “just alright”. Koko & Co. head off into the trap that they know is a trap. Jonah plays scout, and goes to check the situation, and hey! guess what? it really is a trap. Didn’t we know that already? Thus Jonah finds himself face to face with a man from SR who pulls the classic bad-guy-of-old move of shooting off bullets everywhere and yet still managing to miss his target (who is literally about 5 meters away from him.) Tojo (after making sure that Koko got away safely) comes to save Jonah, and again somehow manages to kill the other guy and only gets hit in the shoulder after being showered by a hail of bullets. An action-packed chase scene through a tunnel ensues, which was alright. It lacked a feeling of tension for me though, and I think that’s what ultimately gave me a sense that the show was just going through the motions. The SR Squad was obviously not going to do any damage to Koko’s team and there was really nothing at stake in that battle, so it felt a bit hollow.
With HCLI having crushed the SR Unit both in Japan and Jakarta, Koko, Tojo, and Jonah follow Hinoki to the Bahamas, in order to have a casual chat/fun times building a sandcastle. Tojo finally get’s a chance to talk to Hinoki face to face for the first time since the left the SR squad. The Colonel explains how he orchestrated this whole series of events as a win-win-win type situation. Koko and Kaspar get rid of a rival company, which is what Kaspar wanted in the first place, so HCLI can’t complain about the outcome (even if they did get attacked and one of their cars got mangled ) The SR Unit, which had changed and grown into something very different that it had started out as, wanted to have one more fight and so got to go out in a blaze of glory by throwing themselves against an enemy they couldn’t hope to win against.
Hinoki himself even gains from the situation, since not only did he give his unit a fitting end now that it had strayed so far from his original vision, but he’s also free to retire from that world and spend time with his family. So much of what Tojo had known about Hinoki turned out to be a lie, which just goes to show that he really deserved the title of Japan’s number one spy. You know you’re doing it right when even your own men think that your marriage is just for show like you claim it is. Not only that, but they don’t even know that you have a kid in the first place.
There’s not really much else to say about this episode, except maybe that once again we see just how attached Koko is to her team members. Hinoki tells/offers Tojo that he’ll be back to learn all of what Hinoki knows, and Koko reacts like a jealous lover, beating Tojo into promising that he’ll never stop working for her and her alone. Next weeks episode looks like it might be a self-contained episode, since it isn’t phase 1 of anything. I’m hoping so, since it will help break up the pattern of build-up episode, build-up episode, action episode that has been happening so far. One or two quick n’ dirty episodes might be good to throw into the mix.
Final Thought: Not only were there good Koko and Jonah faces, but they really did a nice job animating the ocean in this episode. They did an awesome job with the colors. I wanted to be on that beach too, and I don’t even really like beaches in the first place!