Natsuiri tells the kids that they are indeed constructing a second mecha, and as a result, one of them will get to pilot it. For some damn reason, Akashi is like, “It’s fine! I’ll pilot it too!” Dude, quit hogging all the mechas. It’s a stupid suggestion anyway, since as Natsuiri points out, Akashi is already synced to the Reaper. Even if Akashi is uncomfortable piloting his current mecha, it’s not as if he exists within a sane world with sane people. When you’ve got maniacs like Natsuiri running the show, and a murderer like Heito being allowed to work alongside these kids, there’s no way Akashi would ever be get to do anything but pilot the mecha that makes him sick. Speaking of Heito, you know he’s the next candidate. You can tell, because all of the other characters are boring and useless by comparison. That’s not to say Heito isn’t boring and useless too. He’s pretty underdeveloped as a character; he’s just not as underdeveloped as the rest of them.
Having said that, Raika still tries to nominate herself to be the next person to get his or her own fancy mecha. She’s trying so desperately hard to become an important character within the story, but it’s futile. Unless you’re a damsel-in-distress, you just won’t have a very significant role in the narrative. I mean, just look at how the other “heroines” have fared. Emiru is literally dead, Mahmu is a quivering pile of neuroses, and Sasame has done more as a mute apparition riding around on a Corpse than her real self. It’s just a sad state of affairs for the female cast members. Raika is relatively unremarkable compared to the rest of her colleagues, but that just means she won’t be able to do anything but stand on the sidelines. No, no, it’s much better than we give this mecha to the crazy dude who rambles on and on about his terror. After all, it’s important for the pilot and the pilot’s mecha to be in-sync, and of course, we’ve built a mecha that specifically syncs with just the murderer and the murderer alone.
Nevertheless, Natsuiri gives Raika a shot even though he knows she’ll fail anyway. And sure enough, she does. Natsuiri and Kasane then argue about the results of the latest test. The latter starts flipping out when Kasane has her doubts about the LIM theory, whatever that is. Again, we get clear signs that Natsuiri’s deranged — perhaps as deranged as Heito — but eh, no one’s going to do jack shit about it. I mean, just look at the screenshot above. This is not a well-adjusted individual. Nevertheless, the guy can even throw his cup of hot coffee around a bunch of expensive equipment, and no one will bat an eyelash. Such is the way in the world of M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane.
Elsewhere, Akashi and Sasame confide in each other that they’ve been having dreams of the Corpse. And of course, we just have to see what those dreams are like, i.e. “Dokooooooooooo?” It goes even further for Akashi, however, as he feels as though he’s always been in search of Sasame in his dreams. Gosh, what could this possibly mean? For some reason, this revelation makes the girl burst into tears. She then runs off, leaving the guy to stand there with a dumb look on his face. He doesn’t even seem all that concerned about her sudden change in behavior. Well, that was fruitful. I don’t even know what the characters are thinking. We’re working together on a team. Not only that, our job is to investigate this strange realm that assaults our minds. But y’know, I think I’ll keep all my thoughts and concerns to myself.
Sasame then runs into the equally enigmatic Minashi, who can only be distinguished by the fact that he always seems to be smiling whenever he appears onscreen. This time, all he does is ask, “It’s tough, isn’t it?” Sasame then replies, “So crumpled….” What? What? She then says, “I don’t want them to know,” but of course, what she doesn’t want them — and thus us as well — to know is a complete mystery! Minashi leans in to whisper something into Sasame’s ear, but again, what he has tells her is a complete mystery as well! The problem with this show is that everyone knows more than they let on, but they won’t tell anyone anything. Not even the audience is privy to any of the information. There are some exceptions, of course. We kind of know what plagues Akashi’s mind… kind of. He’s hung up about his brother or something, but at least it’s a start. Likewise, we knew Emiru’s story, but then they just had to go and kill her off. With the rest of the characters, however, it’s a complete and utter haze when it comes to their inner thoughts and motivations. The worst part is, information isn’t even being withheld because it would somehow be meaningful. No, information is simply being withheld to give us the impression that the story is oh-so-mysterious.
Someone then arranges a meeting between Akashi and Heito at an abandoned children’s playground. When Heito grabs Akashi’s phone, it would suggest that Kasane had sent the latter a message that would lure him all the way out here, but I doubt the lady would ever do something like this. We find out later that Natsuiri is orchestrating the entire thing. Of course. Not that anyone would ever do anything to stop Natsuiri, however. Not until the final few episodes, anyway. Then and only then, Kasane will weep about how she should’ve done something earlier. Nevertheless, Akashi and Heito start to have a conversation about Emiru, and it’s clear that while Heito had abused the girl every chance he got, Akashi wasn’t exactly a saint with her either. Of course, let’s not draw false equivalencies here. Akashi might be an asshole, but he isn’t a murderer nor a potential rapist either. After all, we still don’t exactly know what had transpired between Emiru and Heito that night on the tropical island. Anyway, the two characters eventually come to blows.
By the way, Natsuiri managed to get Heito to come all the way out here by claiming that the latter would find Emiru. While chasing Akashi, Heito conveniently comes across the second mecha. He then mutters to himself, “Are you here?” Watching from the sidelines — with all the surveillance cameras they have installed everywhere, of course — Natsuiri cheers, “That’s right. Hop on! What you seek lies inside it.” Great, now you’re going to tell me that Emiru’s essence has been built into the second mecha somehow. This thus makes you wonder what the Reaper is haunted by. My current guess? Maybe Akashi’s long lost brother. In any case, Heito is predictably 100% compatible with the second mecha, and as you’ll recall, he had the highest compatibility with Emiru when she was alive as well. Not only that, Heito says this as he is acclimating himself to his new digs: “I felt her. I felt her rejecting me just now.” Great, he forces himself upon her in real life, and he still forces himself upon her now. I’m not even joking. It is kind of fucked up how poorly the story treats Emiru.
Eventually, Heito turns his attention back to Akashi, and attacks our hero with his newfound mecha. I’m sure Natsuiri is confident that Akashi won’t die even though a giant fucking mecha is chasing the guy. And I’m sure that as horrific as this all might look to Kasane, oh!.. — there’s just nothing she can do to stop any of it from happening! The mecha refuses to kill Akashi, however, because it’s Emiru after all. But somehow, by refusing to kill Akashi, the LIM whatever thing boots up, and I guess that means the mecha has fully awakened. Nevertheless, Emiru is back… as a robot. And Heito still continues to molest her. Sweet story you’ve got there, Okada!
— I finally learn this week that the evil researcher dude’s name is Natsuiri. I just kept calling him “evil researcher dude” because I had no idea who he was. Oh well, it’s not like it really matters what his name is.
— The suits are angry. The suits want answers now. Quick, send a single person to investigate this Lightless Realm all by himself! Surely, this can’t go wrong! After all, he’ll also be piloting our very unique and likely very expensive mecha. He’ll be fine!
— Through some rather stilted dialogue, Kasane reveals that there had been a prototype mecha before the Reaper, but it had failed to protect its pilot from the ill effects of the Lightless Realm. Who wants to bet that this pilot’s identity is none other than Akashi’s former brother?
— Natsuiri continues to sound like a deranged maniac around his colleagues. His colleagues continue to ignore it. Okada continues to be a hack.
— The lady from the government — I still haven’t learned all of their names — goes, “In order to prevent further Gargouille casualties, we need to be careful. Is that what I am to assume?” What else are you supposed to assume? What kind of idiotic question is that?