Until this DVD, the story has been progressing down the predictable 'giant creatures from outer space' path. That's not a criticism, by the way - I'm a fan of that kind of story. Ryu's anger at Frank the composite creature kept growing, the aliens kept showing up stronger than ever, and the requisite government dishonesty was doing the normal, nasty things. The only piece that was missing, of course, was the 'big relationship,' but Ryu's fixation with Maki, whose death he blames on Frank was a satisfactory substitute. What I didn't expect was that director Kazuyoshi Katayama and his team fully intended on turning everything upside down.
The series starts out with Ryu's psyche beginning to falter as he becomes so focused on Maki's desertion and death that he can't seem to separate Hattie, the young girl who has befriended Frank, from his memories. In what turns out to be a parallel story arc, Frank's personality begins to develop as Hattie penetrates past its defenses and gets the giant creature to talk.
What happens then is one of the most outstanding plot twists of this year. Since it would give away way too much of the story, I'm not to do more than hint vaguely about it. The only thing I can say is that Katayama actually has hidden this turnabout right before our eyes. And that, even after we know everything, we are going to find that we really know very little. If you have been following this series as it has come out, you are about to reap the reward for your patience.
I have to give a hand to the dubbing actors, who do a credible job of capturing much of the emotional context of a team under the stresses of confusion and conflict. The reading isn't flatline, and it follows closely the sense of the Japanese script. The visuals, which move all over known space as well as Kansas are acceptable, but remain this series' weak point. But one or two more episodes like these and no one is going to care.