9. Explosion! Knot Buster!

At the Takegami Heavy Artillery manufacturing facility, work has just been completed on Domeki’s latest weapon, and the young genius is delighted with the results. This latest weapon is just perfect.

In the PR Division 2 office, it is just another typical day. Akagi has turned in yet another unsatisfactory combat report, and Shirota has corrected it for him. As the pair talk, Ibuki and Aoyama realise that Shirota and Akagi have become a lot friendlier lately.

Meanwhile, Ishizuka is having some problems of his own- Tech Division have dumped the bill for Domeki’s weapon on them, and now Takegami has called to demand immediate payment. Given the size of the bill, it is no surprise that Ishizuka quickly tries to claim that it is not his division’s responsibility to pay.

Interrupting the proceedings, Oosugi decides it is time to remind the office about the policy on taking paid holiday. Akagi has yet to take a vacation, and Oosugi wants him to take a few days off- otherwise the chief will be in trouble with the union. Of course, anyone who wants to take a day off should remember to hand in a form three days in advance. Most people have been forgetting this, most notably, today’s absentees, Ijyuuin and Tanigawa.

Ijyuuin has taken the day off to visit the hot springs, and Nakahara can’t help wondering if Tanigawa went with him. The others immediately laugh- what could be more unlikely than Tanigawa and Ijyuuin on a date together?

In fact, that is exactly what they are doing, and even as the others laugh, the two co-workers enjoy a soak in the hot springs, at least until they spot a resonance in the sky- an indication that a dimensional quake has occurred. Tanigawa immediately wants to alert the office, but Ijyuuin protests- if she calls them then everyone will know they went on a date together. Even as they argue, however, it looks like Dai-Guard will have to come here whether Ijyuuin likes it or not- a Heterodyne has just descended from the sky.

The latest Heterodyne is shaped like a giant burger-shaped balloon, with two streamers trailing out behind. Its projected location is a hydraulic power plant, but if it reaches the plant and destroys the accompanying dam, the whole area will be flooded. To avoid that, Dai-Guard will be set up in the path of the Heterodyne in order to intercept it.

Dai-Guard is duly assembled in a location scouted out by Tanigawa, and after the initial shock of seeing her together with Ijyuuin, the pilots move out. Unfortunately, the grassy terrain proves to be slippery for the giant robot, and when Akagi goes to punch the Heterodyne, Dai-Guard falls over.

As the Heterodyne floats on over a ridge, Dai-Guard gets up and tries to follow, only to keep slipping down again. Realising that there is no way Dai-Guard can chase the Heterodyne, Chief Oosugi orders that the robot be disassembled and flown to a new intercept point, where it can be reassembled to try attacking again.

Dai-Guard is transported to the new location, and Akagi attempts another attack. Noting that the Heterodyne is just like a balloon, Ibuki tells Akagi to grab hold of it, and then pop the creature. Reaching forward, Akagi manages to catch the Heterodyne, but when he tries squeezing it, it slips out his hands, and Dai-Guard falls over once more, this time landing upside down with its legs in the air.

Watching the fiasco from his office, Shirota sighs in embarrassment at Dai-Guard’s antics, until he is distracted by a new e-mail. The bill for Domeki’s weapon is still outstanding, and now it has been forwarded to Shirota.

Hoping that ‘third time lucky’ will hold, Dai-Guard is flown to yet another intercept point, and the now rather scratched looking robot is reassembled yet again. Following Ibuki’s next suggestion, Akagi grabs hold of the Heterodyne’s two streamers, but they too slip right out of Dai-Guard’s hands. And when Akagi turns for another attempt, Dai-Guard falls over yet again.

Back at 21st Century Security, Yokozawa is supervising the transport of more components out to Dai-Guard, when he catches Ooyama and the others from the office trying to sneak along. Despite their claim that they are worried about the safety of their co-workers, Yokozawa suspects that all they are really concerned about is finding out how Tanigawa and Ijyuuin’s date went. Even as he tries to convince them to stay behind, however, Domeki’s latest weapon is finally delivered to the company- ready to be shipped out to Dai-Guard.

Meanwhile, Shirota has come to give Dai-Guard and the team a new plan of action. They will shut down the power plant and use electromagnetic waves to lure the Heterodyne to a new location where Dai-Guard can more easily face off against it. It is a plan that has worked in the past, but not this time. The EM waves have no effect on the Heterodyne, which continues on course for the power station.

Whilst taking a coffee break, the Dai-Guard team are given the bad news, as well as the army’s next plan. HQ wants them to give up on saving the dam, and try to ambush the Heterodyne in the basin beyond it. For Akagi, this is unacceptable- even if the army manage to evacuate the people from the potential flood area, their homes and possessions will still be destroyed. Listening to his argument, the chief has to agree, and convinces Shirota to let Dai-Guard have one more try at stopping the Heterodyne. Fortunately, that task should be a lot easier this time around, as Yokozawa has just arrived with the new weapon.

Setting up their final intercept point just 300 metres before the dam, Dai-Guard marches into battle for the fourth time. As the new weapon is dropped from Yokozawa’s transport helicopter, Akagi catches it, and fits it onto Dai-Guard’s arm. The new weapon is called the Knot Buster, but with no time to read the instruction manual, the only way to find out it works is to use it on the Heterodyne.

As the Heterodyne floats towards them, Akagi activates the Knot Buster. From the end of the weapon, a three-pronged claw reaches out and grabs the Heterodyne, allowing a sharp rod to punch out from the weapon’s barrel and burst the balloon. In a cloud of smoke, the troublesome Heterodyne finally explodes.

With the day saved, it is time for the team to get down to the important business of finding out how Tanigawa and Ijyuuin’s date went. As Ijyuuin seems about to boast about it, Tanigawa quickly sets everyone straight. The only reason she went out with Ijyuuin was because he wouldn’t stop bothering her for a date- and far from being romantic, the whole thing was nothing more than tedious and mediocre.

As the team dismiss the potential juicy office romance as another dud, Sumida arrives with bad news- the army are taking the Knot Buster away. Naturally, Akagi and the others run over to complain, but there is nothing they can do- when Shirota got the bill for the Knot Buster, he had the army pay for it with cash, so now they are the legal owners. Akagi asks why Shirota would bother confiscating a weapon that only Dai-Guard can use, but Shirota refuses to reply. It seems they will have to wait a little longer for an answer to that question…