At the beginning of Episode 18, Tanegashima communicates with the Tenakidou, and the Governor is surprised to hear Akari call Hana a friend. Later, Akari’s mother talks with Hana privately to thank Hana for being Akari’s friend, since Akari didn’t have friends when she was growing up. There’s a very touching scene that takes place here.

Both Daichi and Teppei help to test out their mecha to find out how many gigjoules they can discharge from their weapons. They’re both on the low end, and the Governor is a little concerned about the fact that their level hasn’t stabilized. Later, Daichi runs into Professor Canis, someone who had worked on Kivotos. The professor shakes Daichi’s hand and says that is the chosen hero’s hand. Daichi, however, doesn’t think of himself as a hero. We later learn the professor is actually part of the Ark Faction and wants to make sure Daichi is out of the way.

When Daichi, Teppei, and Hana head back to Earth in the Flugel, the deceleration thrusters stopped two seconds earlier than expected, which causes a recalculation for the landing point. They end up crash-landing in a desert area in Australia. The remainder of the episode sees them being pursued and attacked by the Ark Faction.

This episode allows the audience to truly see that there’s more to the Governor than the hard exterior that she projects most of the time. She admits her failings as a mother to Hana, but Hana reassures her that she thinks she’s a good mother to Akari. By the end of that scene, I was really left with the impression that the Governor was starting to view Hana as a kind of daughter as well.

And we see the Ark Faction making a bold move by sabotaging the Flugel‘s return to Earth, and then surrounding Daichi, Hana, and Teppei with tanks. Hana is left alone, since she’s the one the Ark Faction wants. However, the tanks go after Teppei and damage his mecha quite a bit. Fortunately, there is a base nearby that Daichi and Hana can get Teppei and his mecha to. Unfortunately, it’s hinted at the end of the episode that the Ark Faction may intercept them there. The Ark Faction is definitely getting desperate now.

This episode only provides a brief glimpse of Puck, Malkin, and Amarok. But from what we see, it appears Puck is having way too much fun possessing Kube’s body, and he also takes offense to something that Malkin says to him. This scene also has a brief “info dump” as to why the Planetary Gears are unable to use Livlasters.

So for now, the series has shifted the main antagonists from the engineered children to the Ark Faction. It’ll be interesting to see how long it’ll be until the Planetary Gears play a bigger role in the story again.

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