“That’s…a massive crystal of dualium!”
Tsubasa sends both the successors and the kenkyuusei out to collect data on the leafy planet, and Orine runs into a member of a native species, the Funghi whom she names Mofufu. When Mofufu gets captured, she heads out with Nagisa, Chieri and Yuuka to rescue him, only to come across a Zodiac mining group abducting the adult Mofufu in order to access vast quantities of dualium.
“We’re back at the rainbow mushrooms again…”
What a planet! Aside from being covered by what seems to be a holed surface layer, the habitable areas of the planet are full with leafy forests, natural lakes and just generally a green environment. Also, the rainbow mushrooms – everyone should try some of those after what it did to Suzuko xD Anyway, it’s a stark contrast to what we’ve had on the show so far – all colonized planets have been overrun with technology in some way or another, like Akibastar’s (former) vast underground city to the manufacturing industry that makes up Nagisa’s home town Lancastar. It’s definitely unusual, and even more so to hear that the planet’s atmosphere is comprised of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 0.04% carbon dioxide. That sounds strangely familiar, doesn’t it? Though I did consider the possibility of this being former Earth, it’s unlikely that a whole new species can evolve in the time humans abandoned Earth for interstellar colonization, as I doubt it’s been anywhere near long enough.
The species first encountered by Orine, the Funghi, turned out to have more significance than I’d initially thought. Aside from invoking untapped maternal instincts in Orine (awwww~) the “space monsters” that turned up to abduct Orine’s Mofufu turned out to be the adult versions of the Funghi species – and what a drastic change there is between an adolescent like Mofufu and the lumbering, beast-like adults. Despite their vicious appearance, it’s no excuse for Zodiac to ignore the welfare of an entire species native to just that planet and casually mow them down to advance their search for dualium – and in fact, the Funghi only turned violent in the first place after being attacked, with their children abducted in order to lure out the more dangerous parents. Zodiac seem to be everywhere, with the chief antagonist very clearly being Chieri’s father, who has control over both the Zodiac Group and some of the DES forces. To think that they’d go this far to bring ruin to a habitat full of nature…well, it’s not like they were good people to begin with.
Even thought they did mention “vast dualium quantities”, I didn’t expect to see such a high concentration of dualium in one area, with a massive dualium crystal on a pedestal to boot. In fact, the whole lakeside forest area the Funghi use to heal their wounds looks oddly similar to the underground Kirara cave back on Akibastar, which also features an abundance of dualium. over a huge lake in the middle of a cave. With this being AKB, there’s nothing like a song to befriend the Funghi when they can’t get their feelings through with words – and the dualium crystal responded to the idols in combat similar to what it did for Yuuko right before she disappeared, creating a barrier that repelled and destroyed the Zodiac machines. Tsubasa thinks that with training to resonate with dualium, it may be possible to take back Akibastar with those protective barriers – and with such a high concentration of it around I’m not going to rule out the possibility that it might have an effect on the gate to the other world when it next gets opened by a Center Nova, prolonging the length its open for maybe? After all, the dualium did react with the Kirara Drive, which uses the same principle.
I don’t think any good can come out of Chieri trying to meet with her father and talking him out of his quest for world domination. Chieri’s father is completely different from Nagisa’s father in so many respects – I’m glad that Nagisa is being a good friend to Chieri and trying to convince her of her father’s inherent goodness, but after all he’s done, I can’t believe that Chieri would think a confrontation will make him repent and change his mind. To top it all off, they’re both aspiring Center Novae walking straight into the headquarters of a company seeking to harness the power of the Center Novae for their own twisted purposes…and they have no way out.
This is going to end SO well, isn’t it.