10. Wages That Correspond to Justice

It’s a new day at the office, and Tanigawa has some fresh gossip; apparently the army has built their own version of Dai-Guard- a giant robot named Kokubogar. No one really believes the gossip (after all, who would give a robot a name like that?), but when the press shows up to interview Akagi about his reaction to the new Kokubogar robot, it is time for a round of “I told you so” from Tanigawa.

The whole idea of Kokubogar was first proposed by Shirota- not only is that why he took the Knot Buster, but his assignment as Dai-Guard’s tactical advisor allowed him to gather data for Kokubogar in the first place. Now, Shirota’s service to the army has netted him a promotion, as well as the responsibility of attending the press conference to mark Kokubogar’s unveiling.

Akagi tries to call Aoyama to ask him about Kokubogar, but Aoyama is unreachable- he is riding an ambulance to the hospital with his sick mother. Also at the hospital is Ibuki- she has just found her father’s book in the trash, and has come to ask her stepfather why he threw it out. When her mother also arrives, Ibuki storms out, not realising that it was actually her mother who threw the book away, in the hopes that getting rid of it would help Ibuki start getting over her father’s death.

Having seen his mother safely onto a ward, Aoyama leaves, only to catch sight of Ibuki; meeting outside, Ibuki explains that she came to see her father, whilst Aoyama is a little more evasive about his purpose, allowing Ibuki to think he is just visiting a girlfriend. They continue to talk, only to be interrupted by a phone call; Akagi wants to know what Ibuki thinks of Kokubogar, but right now she isn’t interested- in fact, she is going to take the rest of the day off.

With the giant green robot Kokubogar now unveiled, the press conference begins, and PR Division 2 tunes in from the office. The team begin to wonder what a potential future without Dai-Guard will mean for them, only to be distracted when they see that Akagi is there too. As Akagi attempts to confront Shirota, the army representatives decide to call an end to the conference. Akagi cannot bear the idea that Shirota was there just to spy on them, but Shirota seems unconcerned- his actions were serving the greater good.

Fired up by the discussion, the press demands that the army proves that Kokubogar is as good as they claim- after all, Dai-Guard has been successful in the battle against the Heterodyne thus far. Deciding to offer concrete proof of Kokubogar’s superiority, the army contacts 21st Century Security, challenging Dai-Guard to a contest, giant robot versus giant robot. Realising that they could rake in massive profits if they win, 21st Century Security agrees to the contest. Cunning as ever, Director Nishijima realises that losing could also be beneficial- to him, that is. If Dai-Guard fails miserably, Ookuchi will take the rap, and Nishijima himself might get a shot at taking over the company.

Down in Tech Division, Domeki has other problems; according to her data, a quake has occurred, and given its magnitude it seems as if a Heterodyne should been created- although no one has reported seeing one. Curious, Domeki begins an investigation.

The next day, it is time for the Dai-Guard versus Kokubogar contest. Unfortunately, Akagi is not feeling at his best, thanks to a nasty cold that has only been getting worse since the previous day. Still, when he finds out that Kokubogar’s main pilot is Iizuka, his old professor from university, Akagi becomes determined to prove that he has moved beyond his old university nickname “D-minus”.

Unfortunately, it becomes clear from the outset that none of Dai-Guard’s pilots can give it their best today. Whilst Akagi is ill, the other two are still distracted by their respective family problems. Their short tempers, coupled with the far from state-of-the-art condition of their robot mean that Dai-Guard will be going into the competition with a severe disadvantage.

The first section of the competition involves taking raw eggs from a pyramid and stacking them up again on an adjacent table- a test of precision and manipulation. Whilst Kokubogar swiftly handles the eggs, Dai-Guard manages to crack most of them, and by the end Akagi and the others are over 100 eggs behind. It isn’t a good start, and the team’s attitude is only worsened by Iizuka taunting Akagi and telling him to give up.

Back down in Tech Division, Domeki suddenly has an epiphany about how the latest Heterodyne could have been created. Before she can follow through on her theory, however, she suddenly remembers that it is time to watch television.

Dai-Guard has faced off against Kokubogar in five more competitions (including the thousand metre dash), and so far it hasn’t won a single one. The next competition is no different- whilst Kokubogar effortlessly walks along a metal girder, Dai-Guard falls off halfway.

Iizuka insists that both teams take a break, and Akagi is glad for some time out of the cockpit. Seeing how ill Akagi is, Iizuka wonders why a mere office worker would put such effort into this contest instead of staying home and calling in sick. The sceptical Iizuka wonders if Akagi is motivated by money, but Akagi argues that this is not the case- he may be an office drone, but he still wants to protect his country.

As the two talk, the so-far undetected Heterodyne finally makes its appearance, rising up out of the nearby canal in the form of a giant rosette flower made of seawater (which is why it was undetectable when underwater). Akagi insists that he and Iizuka work together to fight this new Heterodyne, but Iizuka refuses to mobilise until he receives orders to do so- that is the essence of being a soldier. Not constrained by the same protocols, Akagi rushes off to return to Dai-Guard and launch into battle straightaway.

Recalling how they destroyed a previous Heterodyne with acid, Akagi plans to repeat the trick with this one. Using a giant hose, Dai-Guard squirts acid at the Heterodyne, but although it initially seems to work, the effect is only tempoary- the Heterodyne’s seawater body is easily able to dilute it. Annoyed, Akagi blames Ibuki for not aiming the hose in the right place, but when they try to adjust it, the acid sprays everywhere, and ends up corroding Dai-Guard instead.

With the acid running out, there is only one thing left for Dai-Guard to do- jump onto the Heterodyne and dive through its watery outer body to reach the fractal knot. Unfortunately, this plan is also a spectacular disaster- instead of gracefully landing on the Heterodyne, Dai-Guard plunges straight off the pier and into the water.

This is the moment Shirota and the army have been waiting for. Determined to put on a good performance, army planes fly over and break down the top of the ‘flower’ body with missiles. To top off the show, Kokubogar is dropped down into the now open flower, where it uses the Knot Buster to skilfully smash the fractal knot.

Having saved the day, Kokubogar carries out one last task- rescuing Dai-Guard from underwater. Iizuka compliments Akagi on his performance- not bad for someone suffering from a bad cold. But it seems that Akagi has finally reached his limit thanks to the stress of the day, for as Iizuka finishes speaking, he collapses.

Even though Dai-Guard messed up both the battle and the competition, the army decides that, at least for now, 21st Century Security can still use it to battle the Heterodyne- after all, it wouldn’t hurt Kokubogar to have some back up.

Thanks to his success with Kokubogar, Shirota receives a plethora of flowers and gift baskets, but he seems unimpressed with them. On his orders, the flowers are sent to the hospital, where an ill Akagi rests fitfully in bed under the watchful eye of his cousin Kamimura (Ookuchi’s secretary). Dai-Guard may have been given permission to carry on fighting, but it doesn’t look like the main pilot will be up to it any time soon…

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