Last time, we explored the collateral damage caused by Dolem attacks.  We also got to know Kim Hotal and had a chance to see Ayato deal with the decision to pilot the RahXephon.

We know there’s been war between humans and the Mu.  We know Ayato and the RahXephon are both important to the outcome of that battle.  We can guess that TERRA is after something other than simply defeating the Mu.  And Ayato, thanks to living in Tokyo Jupiter, is out of touch by twelve years.Futagami loves that he’s going to Nirai-Kanai.  Kunugi regrets it, but Watari says they have to do it to keep the Federation at bay.  Things are going to get more intense now that they have the RahXephon and they’re going to need the Federation’s support.

Seventh Movement: Day of Assembly

TERRA has a new toy.  The emblem in their command deck is actually a teleportation pad Ayato can use to immediately enter the Nerya Shrine and the RahXephon.  Everyone is impressed–especially Itsuki, who is alone in the Shrine.  Ayato comments that “she’s not here.”

Elvy calls up her old flight crew, a group that hasn’t been together in two years.  They–Alpha Squadron–salute the arriving dignitaries and officials, Watari, Kunugi, Isshiki and Futagami.  Isshiki comments on how Elvy is the only survivor from Operation Overlord’s attack force.  “Lady Luck or the Grim Reaper?”  Futagami starts asking about Tokyo Tower being blue, but Kunugi orders her to other duties.  Once Alpha Squadron has left, Futagami tells Isshiki that he bets on Elvy being Lady Luck.

Watari starts handing out souvenirs with Sou.  After recruiting Sou to show Futagami around, Watari charges off to joyously deliver gifts.

Istuki and Nanamori talk about how cooperative Ayato is during their tests.  Nanamori comes into Ayato’s dressing room and Ayato asks what Haruka might want for Christmas.  Yes, there is a Christmas episode, but it’s not this one.

Haruka reports to Kunugi, having transferred to the tactical division.  Kunugi asks how Ayato is adapting, then learns from Sou that Futagami has taken off on his own.

Isshiki and Itsuki share a boat ride in a cavernous ruin, discussing the reporter that has come, as well as how they once came to a place like this as children.  Make note of this because there is an episode that is the boyhood adventures of Itsuki Kisuragi and Makoto Isshiki.  No, really, I’m not making that up.  Ayato isn’t in that episode at all, nor is the RahXephon.  These two are friends, old friends, and it’s a driving part of how they both think and act.

Futagami tries to enjoy ramune, but Ayato, who is drawing nearby, educates him.  Ayato says he’s a pizza delivery boy.  Called away on his latest job, Ayato kindly tells Futagami that taking the empty ramune bottle back will get him a refund on the cost of the bottle.  Futagami smiles and says “Bishonen”–“nice young man.”

The RahXephon and Alpha Squadron launch into action, ready to take on the Mu as a united fighting force.  Watari looks on, saying, “Awesome…” though he does say this in a very subdued manner.  The new Dolem is approaching and Megumi gives a solid, military briefing, one Haruka intrudes in once she realizes Ayato doesn’t know military time.  The Dolem in question has a pair of legs, which is the only part they have seen.

Futagami continues exploring the island, finding Uncle Rikudo’s house and the assortment of nameplates on the door.  Rikudo appears and Futagami asks if they could play a board game.

Alpha Squadron attacks one of the legs, destroying it.  Instead of falling, the Dolem releases Dotem, miniature Dolems that swarm to attack since they can be killed easily.

As Buchi does his part to fight a bra and remain the show’s mascot, Futagami and Rikudo play their game.  Futagami asks about the names on the door and if Rikudo has a wife (he doesn’t).

In the battle, the RahXephon develops an energy shield, surprising Ayato–and Quon, who is lying on her bed.  Elvy sees another swarm of Dotem coming, and climbs into the clouds, searching for the source.

Futagami mentions the Nationwide Elementary School Art Contest, that in 2009 has a participant named Kamina Ayato.  He was in fifth grade then, though, if he were alive he would be 29 years old.  The Ayato that lives with Rikudo is 17.  Of course this is our Ayato, especially with his artistic tendencies, but there’s something else to point out with this exchange: Ayato should be twenty-nine years old, but isn’t. This should be innocuous and seems that way, but it isn’t.  This statement is, in fact one of the BIG CLUES.

Of course, Uncle Rikudo tells Futagami that these Ayatos must be different people, but the smiles on both of their faces tell another story.  Futagami knows Rikudo is lying and Rikudo knows what Futagami has learned.  Too bad for Futagami that he can’t write a story about hunches; he has to produce solid facts.

Elvy finds the Dolem and it is HUGE.  It’s song is loud and Elvy becomes entrenched in mid-air, trapped by the aria.  Ayato flies to Elvy’s aid, singing a song to counter the aria.  Ice forms out of a cloud, gripping the RahXephon.  Elvy, Itsuki, TERRA, and Quon look on as the RahXephon stops and Ayato shuts down.  Haruka calls out to Ayato.  When he responds, he sees Tokyo Jupiter in the distance and becomes angry.

The RahXephon reaches out and Ayato imagines his mother (and her blue blood) and Reika, with her quiet smile.  From the palm of the RahXephon’s hand, a beam of light emerges, blasting the Dolem.  Ayato keeps shooting, willing the shots to “Get through!”  When they do, a spike shoots out of the Dolem, piercing the RahXephon.  The Dolem screams, bleeds, and dies, shattering the sea of ice that had been floating around it.  Ayato looks at Tokyo Jupiter once more.  Quon speaks a riddle to herself about time being the guiding timbre, not the fire of war–“you’re wrong, Ollin.”

Futagami is beaten in his game, and Rikudo offers to play again.  Futagami says he’d like to, then addresses his host as “Professor Rikudo.”

Haruka chews Elvy out about her flying tactics.  Kunugi  quizzes Elvy about her reason for flying up.  Elvy says it was instinct.  Kunugi applauds her, but still says she broke formation and regulation, grounding her for two days.  In the back, you’ll see Kunugi has a birdcage with a little blue bird in it.  (This is the same bird from the end credits.)  Kunugi says, “There you have it Mr. Observer.”  Isshiki stands up in his Federation uniform, looking quite smug.

Elvy later remarks that it’s pitiful to make a child they’ve kidnapped fight for them, which is why, when it’s their turn, they have to fight.  This is a perfect demonstration of who Elvy is.  Haruka thanks Elvy for her protection, since she can’t go on the battlefield.

Ayato goes to the shore to draw in the sunset, again finding Futagami.  The reporter sees Ayato’s name on the sketchbook, then asks, “Why do you work?”  Ayato doesn’t really answer, saying he just wants to feel connected.  “Is that so?”

What have we learned? A fair amount regarding Elvy, Haruka’s best friend and Ayato’s comrade-in-arms.  It was hidden in a veil of action and Futagami’s investigations.  It’s clear that Futagami knows more than we do at this point and there’s something joyful and sinister about his appearances.  He encounters Ayato twice and visits where he lives in between.  Rikudo is more than just some kindly uncle, being a professor of something and an expert in who knows what.  But it’s enough to get Futagami’s attention.

What about that BIG CLUE?  Yutaka Izubuchi hides this first clue in a simple statement spoken by a tertiary character.  Yet, I know this is a big clue.  This has been a present notion since the fourth episode when Haruka explains the differences in Normal and Tokyo time.  Keep this fact in mind as we continue forward, especially into the next episode when Christmas finally arrives in Nirai-Kanai.  Gifts await many of our cast members, especially the lovely Nanamori.

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