badger11’s take on anime

Pumpkin Scissors Ep 2

The second episode of Pumpkin Scissors opens with three men chained together while running from an aristocrat hunting them in a tank. As he and his tank driver are hunting the men, the aristocrat is waxing poetic about how good it is to be part of the nobility and other justifications for his actions. We then see the Pumpkin Scissors’ office in the Army Intelligence HQ. Lt. Alice Malvin is angry and getting angrier because Oland, the giant, former Anti-tank Trooper with the blue lantern is late on his first day in Pumpkin Scissors. Malvin is so angry that she’s swinging her dagger around in the air. Oland is outside trying to get in, but his disheveled appearance is causing him trouble until he shows the guard his papers. Stekkin is glad that she’ll finally outrank someone until Capt. Hunks, leader of the entire unit, asks where Mercury, the messenger dog is. The dog (who bit the head of a senior officer in the last episode) is barreling through the hallways, chased by Stekkin. Back in the office, an angry Lt. Malvin is lecturing the rest of her team when Stekkin and Oland with Mercury biting his head show up.
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As Oreld and Machs issue Oland his uniform and equipment, Oreld is describing Lt. Malvin as straight forward and stubborn. He also explains that Pumpkins Scissors is regarded as a joke with no potential for advancement. They’ve also been called “the peaceful and easy going Imperial Unit III. All they do is fill out reports and do inspections. Surprising the other two guys, Orlad likes the idea of a peaceful and easy-going outfit. As the team heads out to Viscount Wolkin’s lands, the nobleman from the beginning, to investigate a report about a disturbance, Capt. Hunks is thinking about Oland. He’s thinking about the fact that Oland doesn’t seem like a solider due to his mild, withdrawn manner, but that his combat skills are “abnormal”.

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Once the team gets to the Viscount Wolkin’s lands, they see a funeral procession which causes Oreld no concern until Malvin points out that as bad as things are, its unusual for three people to die at the same time. They hear from local townsfolk about “The Game”. Wolkins and his tank driver, Hosslow, are having dinner in front of Wolkins’ starving maids. He throws his food onto the floor making a passing reference about forgetting to feed his pets. He tells them they can eat the food. The Pumpklin Scissors team storms into the dining room where Malvin accuses Wolkins of being a war profiteer. Wolkins retorts that the Pumpkin Scissors unit and its “war relief” efforts as nothing but a sham used by the military as means to have more access to the nations budget. The unit places him under arrest. Wolkins has his maids draw weapons on the team.

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With Malvin sitting on a balcony with the Maids pointing their handguns at her, Wolkins and Hosslow are sitting in the tank, giving a chained Oland and the others a five minute head start to run away. As Oreld picks the locks on their chains, Malvin figures out that the maids were the ones to report Wolkin’s hunting games. She asks why they don’t point their handguns at him. One of the maids responds that they can’t because he’s part of the aristocracy. Malvin then tells them that she’s part of the Malvin family, one of the 13 appointed families of the country. She then cheerfully tells the maids that as commoners, they’re pointing a gun at a noble.

As this is going on, Hosslow is telling Wolkins about a story he heard from other tank soldiers. The story goes that if you see a foot solider with a blue steel lantern, don’t consider them as allies. But don’t turn them into enemies either. Wolkin dismisses the story as a fairy tale. He then starts to react to loud noises coming from outside the tank. He sees that the maids and Lt. Malvin are shooting at him. He starts shooting at Oland, Machs and Oreld who are now free from the chains. Machs and Oreld run away, but Oland stands still, is talking to himself about commoners, nobles and the sham that Wolkin claims Pumpkin Scissors is. As a shell explodes nearby, he decides that it isn’t important at what class you’re born to, its important about how you live your life. Flicking on the blue lantern at his belt, he becomes the glowing tank killer that we saw in the first episode. Surviving shell after shell shot at him and getting wounded in the process, Oland attacks the tank. Lt. Malvin and the team race up in the jeep. The tank tips over throwing Orland off. Malvin jumps out to catch him. Wolkin crawls out of the tank and asks that if stopping him will change things.

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Back at the Army Intelligence HQ, Oreld is reciting a list of Oland’s injuries who says he doesn’t mind getting injured in combat but doesn’t feel things will change. Alice, hearing this, basically asks that if he’s so tall, can he see the future. She then compares him to Wolkin. Once in the office, she reads a letter from the maids out loud. The maids thank them and say that they’re heading home. While they don’t know what the future will hold, they’re happier for the change. Malvin tells Oland to not worry about the future so much, but pay attention to the change in front of him.

Not a bad episode of the show. Malvin is certainly a dynamic character, as opposed to Oland whose basically Dr. Jekyll and them Mr. Hyde when the lantern is turned on. I hope, as the series progresses, we see Oland doing other things than attacking tanks. I’m also curious about the class distinction between Alice and Oland as hinted in the show’s opening. I agree with Garten over at Memento that the show needs more complex bad guys. The one thing about the episode that bothered me was Captain Hunks’ reaction to Oland. It seems that he’s not too familiar with Oland’s background. While I’m sure that some parts of Oland’s records would be classified, I get the feeling that the show will portray Hunks as a crafty intelligence officer. And if he is the crafty, knows-all type, then he really shouldn’t be unfamiliar with Oland as a secret weapon. I plan on watching the show and hope that they’ll show more interesting bad guys and deal with the class distinction in a smart way.

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