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  • Nadesico: Prince Of Darkness
    By Ito Nobutoshi

    The movie sets in three years after the end of the TV series. So let me explain what has happened during this period.

         The TV series ended when they sent the Remains on Mars away on Nadesico (March 2198). After that her crew were      detained in Sasebo in Japan for six months. During this period, Akito went back to the restaurant he used to work as an apprentice. Also the relationship between him and Yurika got much closer. In May, young liberal officers led by Akiyama      Genpachirou, take the control of Jupiter Union by coup detat [Genpachirou is the captain of Kan'nazuki, which were      beaten by Nadesico by Yurika's "fishing" in a TV episode.] This new government soon reached a ceasefire with United Earth (UE) in September. This meant the end of the detention of the Nadesico crew, which in turn created a problem;      who would take care of Ruri? Everyone wanted to, especially Minato and Yurika. In the end, under the judgment of      Prospector, Yurika took her to her home. Akito started to run a noodle stall [one like Prospector used when he came      back to Nadesico from Nergal's library] and Yurika remained in UE Spacy (UES) but helped him when she was off duty.      Yurika's father did not like their relationship, which made his relation with her very bad. In the end, furious Yurika left      home with Ruri to live together with Akito. Although not wealthy and very busy, the three enjoyed this life as a "family"      very much. In February 2199, Akito finally proposed to Yurika. (Around this time, anti-Nergal companies, led by Crimson      Group, pulled the string to create new UE and Jooint Force (JF) from old UE's Army, Navy and Air Force. UES,      however, remained unchanged. Nergal lost a lot of its power in this move.) He also managed to prove himself as a cook      to Kouichirou and they got married in June. But on their honeymoon trip, the shuttle they were on exploded to kill them.      Soon after that, Ihnes was also killed in a airplane accident. Ruri lived with Minato for a while but eventually went back      to UES and became the captain of Nadesico B. 

    Admiral Misumaru Kouichirou is at a graveyard. He has come here to report his departure to his daughter, late Misumaru Yurika. 

    Colony Shirahime is under attack from unknown enemy. In the midst of chaos, a group of researchers are killed by assassins of their own side; "To keep the secret." The leader of the assassins, Hokushin, notices the attacker is coming but defiantly smiles, "You're too late." 

    In the UES battleship Amaryllis, the operators are desperately trying to contact Shirahime. Her captain, Aoi Jun, orders to save the survivors at any cost. Then suddenly something comes out of a Boson jump. Although it is unclear, it looks like a robot. 

    *Title* 

    The rumor of the "ghost robot" spreads quickly among the public. Meanwhile, the leaders of UE are busy discussing measures against the attack. Shirahime was the fourth colony of Hisago Plan that has been attacked and destroyed. No one knows who is responsible and everyone seems to suspect each other. UE is far from united. 

    Jun is reporting to the committee to investigate the attack. He is sure it was a boson jump but the committee members are skeptic. Neither Earth or Jupiter has technology to build an 8-meter robot that can do boson jump. 

    Jun is furious about their attitude. UES is excluded from the investigation; the committee and JF will do the job. An experienced staff officer, General Munetake [father of Admiral Munetake in the TV series], knows better than the young officer. UES has already ordered Nadesico to investigate the attack. 

    Lt Commander Hoshino Ruri is now the captain of UES experimental battleship Nadesico B. At her bridge Takasugi Saburouta [Saburouta was a vice-captain of Kan'nazuki. He has changed a lot ^_^;;] is enjoying mails from his girl friends... to disgust of his colleague, Makibi Hari (aka Harry). Their quarrel is interrupted by an operator's voice, telling they have reached a terminal colony Takiri. Nadesico creates the distortion field at the full power and goes into a Chulip-like gate [It is not "Tulip" I always wondered why "Tulip Crystal" becomes "CC" ^_^;; Please note the both words are pronouced identically in Japanese.]. The ship is going to boson-jump to Colony Amateras via two other colonies, Sayori and Tatsugi. The jump is successful and Nadesico is welcomed by a colony operator. Saburouta knows their real business starts now. 

    The head of Amateras, Lt General Azuma, is in no mood to welcome Nadesico. He thinks UES has no business with Amateras, the centre of Hisago Plan. Ruri explains her flawless cause; Shirahime's case is serious enough for UES to invoke its right to inspect any colony. Dr Yamasaki of Amateras soothes the situation. He suggests Ruri should be allowed to inspect... with child visitors ^_^;; 

    Amateras has a visitor course for children. They are guided by a young lady and a robot Hisagon to see Hisago Plan and have a special guest as well!! "The youngest captain in the UES history, Lt Commander Hoshino Ruri." Azuma is very pleased with the idea but still hates the fact UES has meddled in their business. 

    On Nadesico, Harry is cracking the system of Amateras and surprised to death when Saburouta abruptly gets into his window ball. It is obvious Saburouta is having a great fun in teasing Harry. Harry is not sure if he is right to crack the system and is also sorry for Ruri. Saburouta takes more positive look of it. It is Harry's duty to collect as much information as possible while she is playing an idiot. 

    Ruri is still listening to explanation about Hisago Plan with the children. In short, Hisago Plan is a project in which Chulip-like gates located across the solar system enable spaceships to boson-jump. There is, however, a problem; an ordinary person cannot survive the jump. The guide hesitates to explain further because of Ruri, who does not mind at all. Urged by her the girl tells the children that at the moment one has to be genetically manipulated to survive the jump. Ruri adds one thing; anyone can jump if he is protected by a high-power distortion field as on a battleship. 

    Harry finally reaches the secret of Amateras. There are blocks which are not on the official plan. Besides he finds a list of people who were used for (and killed in) unofficial human experiments of the boson jump. Then Omoikane issues a warning. "Have they found us!?" 

    Suddenly windows with words "OTIKA" appears around Harry... and everywhere in Amateras. It seems her control system is out of control.

    Whole the colony is now in panic... maybe not ^_^;; The children with Ruri are enjoying what is happening around them. Ruri calls Harry, "Have you made a mess of it?" Harry denies it. "It's a fighting between the computers of Amateras." There are two separate systems on Amateras and it seems as if the unofficial one is asserting itself or just having a fun. Ruri realises "ATIKO" is "AKITO" in a reverse order and dashes off back to Nadesico. Her intuition tells the enemy is coming. 

    She was right. Amateras is now under attack from the black robot. 

    Ruri is hurrying back to Nadesico on a cart with the children driven by the girl [her line here really reminded me of Misato ^_^]. 

    Azuma decides to take a risk. He allows his soldiers to attack the enemy around and within the colony. His decision pleases one pilot, Subaru Ryouko ^_^;; [She is now the leader of Lion's Sickle, a Aestivalis team of JF] 

    Ruri is now back on Nadesico. She orders the ship to stay away from the battle and save the refugees from the colony. Of course, Azuma does not need any help from UES. JF is now strong enough to beat any enemy. Ruri is not interested in what he has to tell. Instead, she tells Harry to crack into Amateras's system again... with a keyword, "Akito". 

    Blacksarena has retreated to the second defensive line of Amateras. Azuma boasts the strength of JF. There is no need for UES any more! But his jubilance is short lived. A battleship, Yewchallis [sp? a type of flower], jumps out to unleash its gravity blast. 

    Dr Yamasaki is not surprised with this sudden appearance of a battleship. "Now a jumping battleship? Is this by Nergal?" He orders the research staff to withdraw within five minutes. 

    On Nadesico, Ruri explains the situation and her plan to the refugees. She intends to leave Amateras. 

    Azuma tells his force to attack Yewchallis, on which a young girl, Lapis Lazuli, operates the ship ["lapis lazuri" is 'ruri' in Japanese, symbolising the same background of the two girls.]. 

    Ruri analyses the tactics of the attackers. Blacksarena took Amateras by surprise, followed by an ambush by the battleship which enables the robot to attack again from a different direction. Saburouta is impressed but Ruri is also impressed with Ryouko, who saw through their tactics. Ruri orders him to wait a little more to find out the enemy's real purpose. 

    Blacksarena easily fends off the chase of Ryouko and her men. It dives into the colony where a bunch of robots are waiting to shoot it down... along with Ryouko. Ryouko and Azuma insist their own priority when Ruri tells them one of Amateras's gates is open. Gate 13... Azuma has never heard of it but Commander Shinjou has. He quietly declares, "The farce is over." 

    Ryouko chases Blacksarena and comes deep into the core of Amateras. Ruri contacts and guides her to Blacksarena. Amateras is now under completely control of Shinjou. Azuma asks what he really is. His answer is simple. "We are Martian Successors!" 

    Ryouko catches up with Blacksarena in front of a big gate and forms a link between it and Ruri. Ruri asks the pilot of Blacksarena who he is but he ignores her completely, "Lapis, analyse the password." She finds out the password and Blacksarena opens the gate. He tells Ryouko and Ruri, "There's no time to lose. You're free to have a look." Ryouko loses herself at what she sees inside. Ruri tries to calm her down without success. It is the Remains of Mars, for which Earth and Jupiter fought three years ago. This is what Hisago Plan is all about. Ryouko feels desperate, "Ruri..., now they can't rest in peace. Why is it here!?" The answer comes from an unexpected person. "For the sake of future of the mankind!" An image of Lt General Kusakabe suddenly appears before Ryouko. The pilot of Blacksarena tells Ryouko to escape, "Ryouko-chan, get out of here!" But the warning is a little too late. 

    Martian Successors (MS) are now in action. Its members take over Amateras and Shinjou declares they are going to destroy it. 

    Ruri contacts Ryouko, whose Aestivalis is badly damaged. Blacksarena covers Ryouko's Aestivalis while she is trying to escape. Then a robot, Yatenkou, comes into the scene. Its pilot, Hokushin, provokes the pilot of Blacksarena, "Are you willing to die before your lady?" With this, the Remains reveals its core as if petals of a flower peels themselves off. The core... Yurika. Now Ryouko realises the pilot of Blacksarena is Akito but it was a little too late. Saburouta comes to rescue and snatches her away. Despite Ryouko's plea to save Akito and Yurika, Ruri orders the ship to leave the area as soon as possible. 

    Back on Earth, Ruri reports the case to the leaders of UES. It seems anti-Nergal companies led by Crimson Group have been in contact with Kusakabe since the middle of Great War. Their aim is the boson jump and to control politics and economy. Asked by Admiral Misumaru what kind of person Kusakabe is, Genpachirou describes him as "A man of justice, who is happy to die for his cause. The problem is he firmly believes his cause is everyone else's too." 

    In the end, UES orders Ruri, Harry and Saburouta to regain the Remains secretly with Nadesico C, which is being built at a Nergal base on Moon. "Secretly" means they can't mobilise the UES officers. They have to recruit outsiders. But how? "Don't worry. Leave it to me." It is Prospector. He suggests them to call back the former Nadesico crew and Ruri looks happy to hear it. 

    But Harry has a different opinion. He doesn't think they need any help from the former crew. The first person they visit is Hikaru, now a professional manga artist. She agrees to join on the condition that the three will help her to finish the manga manuscript which is due that night ^_^;; 

    In the mean time, Prospector comes to gay quarters to see Ryouko, who is now an owner of a bar. Although her life is very much changed, the counter of her bar is full of photos from her days on Nadesico. 

    Ruri recalls *her* days on Nadesico in her dream. But it ends with an unpleasant scene; both Yurika in the core and Akito in Blacksarena perish! She wakes up... in Hikaru's studio. She, and the others, have been asleep after a hard night ^_^;; 

    Yukina is hurrying her way back home. She's got a wonderful news; she's been selected for Inter-Highschool Games. But what welcomes her is a message from Minato, who has gone out for some reason. Yukina senses something fishy in her message. 

    At the headquarter of UES, the leaders are discussion the situation over a bite of watermelon ^_^;; MS has occupied the Remains around the north pole of Mars and those who sympathises Kusakabe are gathering one after another. The number of the sympathisers has reached 30% of JF. A secretary puts a call to Jun. It is Yukina; she wants to know where Minato is. She first threats and then seduces Jun ^_^;; "If you tell me where she is, I'll be yours!" Jun abashes with her very misleading words. But the admirals know better, "He shouldn't let a highschool girl lead him by the nose." 

    Ruri and the others are now at Seiya's house. His pregnant wife tells them he is away to attend a neighbours' meeting. Ruri does not tell the reason why they have come. 

    The three is having lunch at a small restaurant; Hibi-Heion [which means "Every day is peaceful"] which is run by Houmei. Harry seems to be pleased to see another of the former Nadesico crew has refused to come back. Saburouta reproaches his sarcastic attitude but he insists that they alone are enough to carry out the mission, without any help of the former crew. Saburouta gets more annoyed but Ruri is completely indifferent. Ignored by her, Harry runs out of the restaurant in tears. Houmei gently tells Ruri that he is jealous of Ruri's old friends... or old Nadesico. 

    Harry is walking down the street in tears. He speaks ill of Ruri but knows he hasn't behaved correctly. Looking down, he walks into Minato's breasts ^_^;; She teases him that he has been crying, "I wanted to ask the direction, but it is no use, isn't it?" His pride picks him up for a while until he finds out the place she wants to visit is Hibi-Heion. Harry bursts into tears again. 

    In a park, Minato has successfully consoled the boy. She now realises he must be Harry; Ruri told a lot about him in her letters to Minato. "I've now got a younger brother. He's got the same background as mine but, unlike me, is a very cheerful good boy." She tells Harry to expose his feeling to Ruri, who has come to see him. 

    That night, Minato comes to Izumi's bar with Houmei. She tells her that she came here only to see Ruri but actually seeing her made her decide to join Nadesico C. Houmei agrees Ruri is stretching herself. Minato remembers a cpatain with a totally different character. "Only if she can behave silly at a time like this..." 

    Ruri, Saburouta and Harry are on a train on their way back to the barrack. Harry is asleep, leaning against her shoulder. Looking at him, Ruri seems to find some peace of mind but then finds the pilot of Blacksarena on the train running parallel to theirs, with a young girl. She is now sure it is Akito. 

    At the lab of MS, the scientists are having a hard time to control Yurika. But the two chief scientists seems not particularly worried. 

    A JF fleet is trying to recapture Sakuya. Another has already recaptured Kushinada. The commander of the fleet is confident about their victory but their ships come under surprise attack. 

    Dr Yamasaki is pleased to report to General Kusakabe the success of the experiments; human boson jump without a gate. He tells the key to success was a shoujo manga, Ururun. 

    Ruri looks pensive in the big bath of the barrack. She is now sure the pilot is Akito. She invites Harry to her room, where they enjoy fruit milk ^_^;; Then she, Lt Commander Hoshino, gives him a command. "This is a special mission." He is going to the Nergal factory on the moon to do the final test of Nadesico C. He will boson-jump to avoid sabotage from MS. The jump will not be through the gates but be an individual jump with a navigation of a Class A jumper. 

    Ryouko and Hikaru are playing a fighting computer game. Hikaru is far better at it than Ryouko. Prospector has told them to play the game. He think it is the most effective method for Hikaru, who has been out of duty, to regain the sense of combat. Gort is impressed with her performance but Prospector thinks she is still only at 70% of her maximum ability. Izumi joins them in a very strange costume... and with a bad pun ^_^;; 

    Ruri is in her bed with Harry, peacefully sleeping. The image of the pilot lingers on her, "Black Prince, are you..." 

    At the headquarter of MS, the leaders are reading Ururun very very hard. Dr Yamasaki explains its effect. Yurika is used to relay the images of destination which jumpers have in their mind to the Remains. However, the images conflicts her own dream of Akito, which was the reason the system got out of control. So this time they gave the images a flavour of shoujo manga so that Yurika would accept them more readily. 

    In her dream, she asks "Where has Akito gone?" "In Chichibu Range." With this, Hokushin successfully boson-jumps into Chichibu Range. He tells his men that the D-Day is tomorrow and they will go back to their original mission; recapture the doll and sample. 

    On the elevator down to the UES's jump field, Saburouta teases Harry about "the night with Captain." Harry abashes but tells him all about it, which disappoints Saburouta pretty much. Harry walks into the centre of the jump field, where he meets his navigator, A-Class Jumper, Ihnes Fresange. They successfully jumps to the moon. At the same time, Yurika, linked to the Remains, moves a little. A cleaner who saw it wonders if someone has jumped somewhere in the universe. 

    Ruri has come to the graveyard with Minato. Minato thinks she should have seen Harry off but Ruri didn't like the idea. "I know it's not scientific at all but I don't want to have it for the third time." In front of Ihnes's grave, they see Akito. Ruri now understands what has been going. It wasn't only Akito, Yurika and Ihnes who disappeared around that time. A-Class jumpers, who can relay the image of the destination to the Remains, were kidnapped by MS. She doesn't ask what they have been doing but wants to know why he didn't tell her he was alive. "There was no need to." Ruri calmly receives his reply but Minato is furious! She slaps him in the cheek and demand to apologise to Ruri. He replies with a gun!? Hokushin and his men are there to recapture him. Hokushin also wants to capture Ruri, who is genetically manipulated like Lapis. Ruri realises they are those who actually carried out the kidnaps. 

    The help comes from an unexpected person, Tsukiomi Genichirou. After the coup, he disappeared and became a member of Nergal Secret Service. He urges Hokushin to give himself up but he escapes from the place by the boson jump. 

    Akito tells Ruri that Kusakabe's major offensive will be soon. "So I want to give you something now." 

    At a spaceport, a shuttle with former crew of Nadesico on is about to take off to moon. Minato asks Ruri what she received from Akito. It is the recipe of Tenkawa Raamen. Of course, she refused to receive it at first [Here she is uncharacteristically emotional.] Akito told her that Tenkawa Akito whom she knows had died and that he wanted her to keep the recipe as a testimony of his life. Experiments they did on Akito cause various neurological problem and his sense of taste is badly damaged. "I can cook raamen for you never again..." 

    Houmei and Prospector see the shuttle off. Then Megumi and the Houmei girls arrives. Prospector wants them to do something other than getting on Nadesico. 

    On the shuttle, Minato finds out Yukina is also aboard. She forced Jun to allow her to join ^_^;; Minato tells her to go back but she is adamant. Ruri calms down the situation. 

    The shuttle reaches the orbit safely. Minato comes to the cockpit to condemn Gort for letting Yukina join. He thinks Yukina, a sister of Jupiter's hero, can be a target of MS and will be safer here with them. 

    The shuttle meets the escorting fleet. Its commander Araragi greets Ruri, saying he is honoured to escort the Fairy. His soldiers call Ruri "Fairy of Electrons". Ruri doesn't seem to mind it. 

    A fleet of MS jumps out in front of them. Ruri tells Minato to break through the fleet at maximum speed. Minato manages to do the job but another bunch of ships jump out before the shuttle. 

    In the meantime, Kusakabe is agitating his soldiers. He admits what they are doing is threat to peace in terms of UE's constitution. But this is necessary for the future, the new order. A number of navigators jumps with soldiers with a help of Yurika. 

    Minato's steering technique has barely kept the shuttle alive but even she feels cornered when another big battleship jumps out before them. But it is Nadesico C steered by Harry. Its gravity blast is enough to bring the shuttle to safety. But it is not only Harry on Nadesico C but Seiya as well. He had secretly left Earth, against his wife ^_^;;, to join the effort to build Nadesico C. Ruri is not convinced; how could they boson-jump? The explanation comes from Auntie Explanation, Ihnes. 

    With the power of boson jump, MS gains the control of important buildings on Earth very easily. 

    Ruri wants to know why Ihnes, who were killed in the accident, is there. Akatsuki tells the story. When Yurika and Akito were kidnapped, to hide the fact and save Ihnes, they "killed" the three in a shuttle accident. Ruri has another question; "After all, are you a goody or baddy?" 

    Some MS troops rushes into the UE's Conference Hall, where its General Assembly is being held... or they thought so. But what they see is a concert by Megumi and others, including Akatsuki. The troops and robots are beaten by a new-type of Aestivalis, Alstromeria, of Genichirou. 

    Akito and Lapis are in a Nergal's dock for supply. Erina tells Ruri has got on Nadesico C. He thinks the game has been won now and Erina agrees. With Omoikane and Ruri, Nadesico is invincible. Akito and Lapis are going to leave the base. Erina does not want them to but do not stop, either. "For revenge? That was the least likely word to hear from you before." 

    The base of MS on Mars is confused. All the places they have gained are now lost again. Their soldiers are giving themselves up before UE's new weapon... and persuasion of Genichirou. 

    Then Nadesico jumps out directly above the base. Within seconds, Ruri and Omoikane crack into the system of the base and shut it down. Ruri tells Harry to take over the entire system of Nadesico as she is going to break all the systems on Mars. And she does it with ease. Ihnes, whose been resting after navigating whole the battleship, is impressed. Ruri tells Kusakabe that he is under arrest. After a few moments of silence, he gives himself up in exchange of the safety of his followers. 

    Alarm goes off in Nadesico as a few robots has jumped out near it. Ruri is not surprised at all and calmly tells the crew, "We'll leave it to him." "Him" is Akito. While he battles against Hokushin, Ruri calls Yewchallis to talk with her operator, Lapis. "I'm Ruri and this is my friend, Omoikane. What's your name?" "I'm Lapis Lazuli. I was born in a lab of Nergal. I'm Akito's eye, Akito's ear, Akito's hand..." 

    The battle between Akito and Hokushin continues while Ryouko, Izumi, Hikaru and Saburouta takes care of the other robots. The battle finally ends with Akito's win. Black oil leaks from the eyes of his damaged Blacksarena as if crying. 

    On the Remains, Ihnes and other Nadesico crew are gathering around Yurika. She opens her eyes and says, "Huh? You all look old..." Her ordinary silly comment relieves everyone. "I've been dreaming for a long time. Akito... where is Akito?" He has left with Lapis on Yewchallis.

     

    Ryouko worries over his future but Ruri is confident. "He'll come back. If not, we just chase him. Because he is... he is dear to us." [Here she doesn't say explicitly "to us" and she may mean "to me." I prefer the latter interpretation but don't think she would *say* so before others.]