Archive for the 'Pumpkin Scissors' Category
This episode shows a little about how hard life is for most of the citizens in the Empire. Despite the fact that its been a few years since the end of war, life is still hard. Alice is angry. Again. Because Oland is late. Again. And so is Oreld. For the sixth time that month. Oreld finally comes in from the date that he was on. Oland is outside with the gate guards because he found a basket with an infant child in it. Oland comes running into the office carrying the baby. Captain Hunks reads a note out loud from the mother. She can’t raise the baby so hopes that the Army can and turn the baby, Dieter, into a solider. Alice is angry at the fact that a mother could abandon a child. The baby wakes up and starts to cry, everyone in the office unsuccessfully try to pacify the baby until Oreld suggests that it needs to have diapers changed. He gets nominated to change the diapers. Turns out the Dieter has good aim and can shoot for distance. No matter what the team tries to do, the baby only stops crying when Oland is holding him. Alice wants to go search the city for Dieter’s mother. Despite Oreld’s objections, Captain Hunks agrees, claiming that reuniting the mother with Dieter falls under the “war relief” category. Alice, Oreld, and Machs follow a lead that the mother might be in the black market section of the city.
Down in the black market, Alice marches from stand to stand asking about Dieter’s mother. Oreld keeps suggesting that Alice be more discrete because there is no real law in the area and being soldiers won’t guarantee their safety. Since their search is going no where, Oreld leads them to somebody he knows who might be able to help. The meet an older man whom Oreld refers to as “Pops” (they don’t really make it clear whether this is just someone Oreld knows and worked for or is his father). The man is surprised to see Oreld, he didn’t believe the rumors that Orled had joined the Army. Pops doesn’t care about the baby or the teams mission to find the mother. When Alice tries to appeal to him, he scoffs at the fact that she’s a Lieutenant and is Orled’s commanding office. He goes onto mock the teams overall mission of “war relief”. How does finding the mother of an abandoned child offer relief when there are parentless children out on the street.
Alice finds that Oland has taken the child out into a nearby park. Alice is depressed because of what Pops said. She knows that helping find the mother of Dieter won’t help all of the other children that Pops mentioned. But she still will try. Oland notices a lady watching them from nearby and realizes that she’s Dieter’s mother. She starts to run away but Alice manages to stop her. The mother explains that she decided to leave Dieter outside the gates of the Army H.Q. as the only way that Dieter would survive. In the end, Captain Hunks gives the baby back to her.
So here we get a hint of how life is for people who are on the bottom rung of the empire’s class structure. Alice’s idealism won’t let her believe that black markets exist without any legal laws and that smuggling is rampant. Oreld tries to explain to her that people who buy things through the black market are breaking laws in order to survive. We’ve seen a little of how Alice lives and we know that Alice wants to level the playing field between the nobility and commoners, but her idealism causes her to be blind to how the other half really live. And we’re starting learn a little more about the other members of the unit. We know that Oland is homeless, sleeping under a bridge and that Oreld comes from the streets. And it looks like next week’s episode is an Alice’s home life episode. So we get to learn more about her story.No comments
As the show opens, Alice is chewing Oland out for sneaking out of the hospital to find the cats from the bridge where he normally sleeps. Because he snuck out of the hospital, his wounds became infected so he has to stay in longer. Alice is so furious that she swears never to come back and see him. After she leaves, Oreld tells Oland that she was pretty concerned for him. A nurse, Rosetta, storms in and also reprimands Oland. She asks Oland’s roommate to ring a bell if he tried to sneak out again. When she finds out that Oreld and Machs are Oland’s friends, she asks them to take a urine sample from him. Embarrassed, they make up an excuse and leave. The nurse then attempts to take one herself and here we come to the running joke throughout the episode. Since Oland is so big, everything is proportionally big also. Eeevvvverything. Oland starts talking to his roommate, Wantz, who’s envious that Oland has friends to visit him. Wantz works in a briefcase factory and has been in the hospital for a week due to stomach problems. None of his coworkers have visited him. Seeing that Rosetta is having trouble taking a sample herself, Oland takes the sample bottle and leaves the room to do it himself. As he leaves, he sees someone enter the room. Hearing the stranger talk to Wantz, Oland realizes that it’s somebody who works with Wantz. Despite his wounds, Oland limps off to the bathroom.
Back at the headquarters of Oland’s unit, Machs and Oreld are in the library. Machs is trying to find evidence about Oland’s old anti-tank unit, ATT-901, and the “Invisible 9″ that Captain Hunks told him about. Oreld is trying to find out why Machs is doing all this research on Oland and his old unit. Machs explains that he believes that Oland’s presence in the unit could threaten the unit’s work and existence. Oreld tries to get more information from Machs, but Machs refuses. Until Oreld starts to embarrass Machs based on a childhood incident (both have been friends since childhood). Oreld makes the point that just as Mach’s past isn’t of any concern to people in the library; Machs shouldn’t be concerned with Oland’s past. Machs fills Oreld in on the information that Captain Hunks told him about the Invisible 9. As they’re talking, a woman, named Mirelle, passes by them. Oreld had taken her out on a date. Oreld and Mirelle flirt with one another. AS she walks away, Oreld tells Machs that she works in the Personnel department. He gets the idea to pay Mirelle a visit and see if he can get gat access to Oland’s personnel files. Even if there isn’t any record of the 901 Anti-Tank Unit, there has to be records of Oland’s military service.
Oreld finds out that Oland’s assignment was strongly supported by the Imperial Science Laboratory, also known as the Kauplan Institute. Machs decides that he wants to talk to Oland about his past. Oreld agrees and as the two start to head towards the hospital they run into Alice. She’s still adamant about not visiting Oland. At the hospital, Oland’s gets calls the Rosetta because Wantz hasn’t been seen since earlier in the day. She notices a briefcase in the trash next to Wantz’s bed. Oreld and Machs run into the room, telling the Rosetta that someone’s on the roof. All four of them head to roof where they find Wantz preparing to jump. He tells them that the visitor he had was his boss who fired him from the factory. He has no where else to go. The briefcase was his severance package for working for 20 years at the factory. Oland manages to convince him not to jump by promising to make the country a better place for people like Wantz. Wantz starts to step away from the ledge when a strong wind starts to blow him over. Oland dives and manages to push him back from the edge only to go over it himself. He’s caught by Machs and Oreld but because his size and weight, he starts to pull them over. Wantz and Rosetta try to pull them back. Suddenly Alice appears next to Rosetta, helping her and Wantz pull everyone back from the edge. As they lay there, Rosetta starts to look around for Alice who has disappeared behind the door to the roof.
This wasn’t a bad episode except for the ending. I thought it was a weak story device. A strong wind. That’s what that they come up with?! Hell, in Welcome to the NHK, Satou damn near fell of a cliff edge when it collapsed on him, but a strong wind? I know, I know, they needed a convenient plot device to bring a climax to the show. And since there aren’t any tanks or boulders for Oland to shoot, they give us this. I can’t really fault them on it, but it’s just so…predictable. I would’ve been satisfied with Oreld and Machs smuggling in some beers into Oland’s room with Alice spying on them from outside the room. One saving grace was the orchestral background music. It worked with the intensity of the roof seen and reminded me a lot of some classical music I’ve heard before. I want to say it reminded me of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from “Peer Gynt” but it’s been awhile since I heard it. It was nice to see and ending that didn’t rely on Oland’s tank killing mode and to see Alice’s buried concern for him (even though it’s obvious to the viewers that she is concerned about him.)No comments
In the last episode, we learned a little about Alice and that despite being a noble, she’s interested in social justice and breaking down class distinctions. We finally get some more background on Randell Oland in episode 4. Granted, most of it is speculation. There are obvious opposite qualities in these two. Alice is rich and sleeps in a fine bed while Oland is poor and sleeps under a bridge. Alice is forward and enthusiastic where Oland is reserved to the point of being shy. But there are similarities, too. Both are interested in repairing the damage done by the war. Alice has spoken about helping people in pretty much every episode. Its how she got Oland to help fight the tank in the first episode of the show. And Oland was an ex-solider who rejoined the military specifically to join the Pumpkin Scissors unit. And both have their own switches to get them going. Alice basically has a short fuse, not even a tank firing its main cannon in front of her phased her. Out numbered, she wanted to take on experienced ex-soldiers with only a three man team not equipped for fighting. Oland literally flicks a lantern switch to take him from a meek shambling giant to a zombified one-man tank buster.
Oland is dreaming of tanks and a group of blue-lanterned soldiers, including himself, marching steadily towards the oncoming tanks with the words “Toten Sie” (roughly “Kill” in German) being shouted in the background and appearing on the screen. Just as he’s about to fire his gun, Alice appears in his dream, that its time to go and offer war relief. Oland wakes up under the bridge surrounded by hungry cats. After feeding them, Oland passes by a couple of other homeless men who ask him if he had another bad dream. He pauses and the image of Alice flashes by and answers that it was a good dream. The real-life Alice is sarcastically asking Oreld if he can only remember the names of women that he’s dating. Oreld is having trouble remembering the bad guy of episode two, Viscount Wolkins, who hunted them with his tank. An Army tank expert, Lt. Webner, is paying the team a visit. She tells them that the tank is an experimental one and that no one like Wolkins should have one. In fact, its still in development. She asks the unit to investigate. Orled suggests asking Wolkins himself. Captain Hunks tells them that Wolkins is in a sanatorium and incapable of telling them where he got it.
To find out where the tank came from, the team head out to visit the foremost tank expert, Doctor Colt, in the empire. On the way over, Machs is preoccupied with a conversation he had with Lt. Webner concerning Orland. She’s curious about how he’s been able to take on tanks in a fight and survive. Machs describes him as a nice guy.Nice guy or not, she wants to know how he could ten tons of or and know where to fire his gun and have the shell penetrate a tanks’ armor at blank range. The team meet with Dr. Colt and give him their information concerning the tank for his review. After reviewing it, he tells that there is the tank doesn’t exist. There’s an organization called the “Alliance of Western Nations Technological Conference” were such technological advancements are made and this tank hasn’t been mentioned in it either. Dr. Colt goes on to say that this tank is far more advanced than any tank currently in production in any country. He asks if the military has started to analyze the tank. Alice tells him that they’re about to start. She suddenly gets a feeling on the back of her neck and decides to leave. As Machs is gathering up the papers, he notices a gun mounted on a wall that looks like the one that Oland uses. He asks the doctor about it, Dr. Colt tells him that its a mock-up of a 13mm anti-tank gun. It was designed to give a foot solider a better weapon to fight tanks with. The only effecitve way to use the tank is to fire at at point-blank range. After Alice and her team leave his office, Dr. Colt makes a phone call concerning “that tank”. As the unit drives off, they’re followed back to a laboratory were the tank is being dismantled.
At the lab, Oreld notices a new armored car. Lt. Webner explains that it’ll be used by another military unit. Inside the armored car, the men who were following the team have snuck in. They start it up, and fire the main cannon, hitting the experimental tank. As the team try to recover, the armored car starts to move. The drivers intend to ram the tank with a front mounted spike. As the car speeds towards the tank, Alice notices that Machs is trapped it by fallen debris. As Machs is about to be run over, he’s picked up by Oland. Oland had turned on his blue lantern and is in the hypnotic like state that goes into when he is fighting a tank. The spikes of the armored car pierce Oland’s leg. He fires his gun, the same model as the one that Machs saw on Dr. Colt’s wall, at the same time that the main cannon fires, Injuring Orland on the side of the head. Back the head office of the team, Machs is reporting to Capt. Hunks, he tells him that all three of the masked men are dead and the tank is completely destroyed. He goes on report that Oland will be out of the hospital in a month. Machs asks the Captain about Oland’s old unit, the 901st Anti-tank unit. There is no such unit listed and by convention, no military unit has a numerical designation with the number nine in at as the previous emperor was killed on the battlefield on September 9th. Captain Hunks tells Machs that there are unlisted military units. And together they form a group of units called the “Invisible 9″. Stekkin suddenly runs in and tells them that Viscount Wolkins committed suicide. Captain Hunks states that Wolkins was killed in order to keep the secret about the tank. He goes on to say that there’s an organization out there that will kill to keep its secret. He asks if Machs is willing to risk his life in order to investigate the “Invisible 9″. Machs states that he is willing.No comments
The show starts with Oland waking up in a sleeping bag under a bridge where he apparently sleeps at night. It jumps to Alice waking up in a lush big bed. At breakfast, one of her sisters makes comments about Alice’s uniform being to manly for her. Alice points out that its a military uniform. Her father asks her how long does she intend to play her “army games”. Alice mentions that its family tradition to be in the military. Another sister points out that the war has been over with a for a few years. Alice states that the real struggle is to help the people recover and that its the job of her unit to help bring relief to everyone who needs it. Her father points out that while people are going hungry, she’s been eating well. At the office for her unit, Oreld gets there late, but realizes that Alice is also late. Machs points out the lipstick on his chest. Later, Alice still hasn’t shown up and Oreld points out that she’s rarely late. Stekkin makes a comment comparing Alice to the habitually late Oreld. Alice then enters, out of breath from running from her house to the office. Alice says that commoners don’t have carriages to take them back and forth like she does. When Stekkin offers her a glass of water, Alice hesitates, asking if commoners drink water. Machs and Oreld wonder if anything happened to her. After Alice apologizes to Captain Hunks for being late, he sends her and the team off to repair the Su-13 tunnel in the south.
Travelling by train, Oreld is complaing about rebuilding the tuneel. Machs explains that a rebuilt railroad will bring money back into the empire. Alice agrees and is enthusisatic about having her team work along side the commoners. Just then, her stops growls, causing her to become embarassed and Oland to ask if she’d eaten anything. When the train gets to the tunnel, Alice wants to use the tunneling train to bore directly into the rock that had collapsed into the tunnel. Oland thinks that the tunnel would collapse further if they did. They hear Oreld shouting and turn to see him holding onto a young boy who has stolen some food rations. The boy complains that the military gets to eat well. This hits a nerve with Alice who lets the boy keep the rations in return for taking her to his village. At the village, the boy’s father, the village leader, refuses to help Alice and her team. He explains that when the tunnel collapsed five years earlier, the military hired them to repair it. Instead of being payed for their work, the villagers recevied an exemption from serving in the military. With bad crop harvests and no money, people died. Alice asks him to trust her but he won’t help her repair the tunnel.
Alice decides to go ahead and start the work by herself and orders the rest of the team to help. Oland then comes out with lunch but Alice refuses, ignoring her growling stomach. Alice can’t eat, thinking about people all of the people going hungry while she grew up having food. The same boy, Peter, from before shows up, playing on the tunneling train. Alice explains that it isn’t a tank like he thinks it is. Its a shield train. It was sued to knock down barriers and fences in front of soliders during combat. It’s been modified for drilling the tunnel. Peter apologizes for his father, but Alice understands that he won’t help based on promises. Alice starts working in the tunnel by herself, but since she hasn’t eaten, she collapes and dreams about her grandfather. We see a young Alice asking her grandfather if he feels lonely living in a huge house by himself. He tells her that all nobles are somewhat alone. She wakes up, with Oland sitting next to him. Alice slaps him. When Oland asks why, she admits that she doesn’t know why. She then refuses the dinner that Oland brought. Talking to no one in particular, Oland mentions that the country is wretched, suffering from a disease that he calls “war damage”. Alice compares the people of the country to patients suffering from the disease. She goes on to say that their unit is the doctor, working to cure the country. Oland tells her that the paitents don’t want the doctor to be a friend or to share their suffering. They just want the suffering to end. Alice starts to understand that ignoring meals has no affect on helping the country to recover.
The next morning, Alice and Oland return to the village. Alice drives her dagger into the table causing everyone to think that she’s going to use the threat of violence to get them to help. Alice removes the handle from the dagger, revealing the Emporer’s crest. Alice explains that this isn’t a normal military sword. The crest indicates that she’s the next in line to succeed to the head of the Malvin family, one of the 13 Appointed Families of the empire. She then swears an oath that the villagers will receive the money owed to them for the work they did five years earlier. Orled runs in shouting that Peter drove the Shield train into the tunnel and that it collapsed. Alice and the village leader crawl into the tunnel and find Peter. The tunnel entrance becomes completely sealed, trapping the three of them inside. Alice tells them that her team will get them out. The village leader is amused by her faith in her team. He doesn’t understand why a “well-off” person like her would risk her life. Alice tells him that its because she’s well-off that she risks her life. He then tells her that the tunnel collapsed when the villagers were working on it and that the nobles in charge of the project left without helping. Alice gets a premonition and shoves Peter and his father out of the way as a boulder starts to move. Just when its about to hit Alice, it explodes. Alice then sees a blue light and realizes Oland shot destroyed the boulder with his anti-tank gun. Alice wins the trust of the vilalge leader and the villagers start helping the Pumpkin Scissors team to repair the tunnel along side of the team.
There really isn’t much to say about this episode. It was nice to get some background on Alice. We see that Alice’s father and sisters are typical nobles and that she’s the idealistin the family. We also learn that she will succeed her father as head of the Malvin family. Despite that, it was a predictable episode. And instead Oland shooting tanks, he shoots a boulder. I know this is only the third episode of the show. I don’t know how many episodes the show is scheduled to run for, but I hope a fair amount of them don’t end with Oland using his anti-tank gun and blue lantern to end things. Its not a bad show, but so far, it hasn’t become a great show to enjoy.No comments
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Pumpkin Scissors takes place in a country recovering from a major war. Three years after the end of the war, the recovery effort doesn’t seem to be going to well. The show starts off with a military ceremony where the cease-fire is announced and we catch a first glimpse of Lt. Alice Malvin. The story starts when we catch-up with Malvin and two other soliders spying on a group of renegade soliders holed up near a dam. Malvin and the others are part of a military intelligence outfit called Pumpkin Scissors.
Next we’re see Randel Oland, a huge, scarred-face man eating a salad in a restaurant. Malvin and the others enter the restaurant and when she passes by Oland, she gets a feeling on the back of her neck. When Malvin is about to talk to him, an explosion shakes the palce. The renegades have brought their tank into town to extort supplies. Malvin confronts them and they back off after firing a blank artillery round. Soon the villages fall sick and the team realizes that the blank round shot from the the tank was actually a chemical weapon.
Next we see the Military Intelligence HQ. The head of the Pumpkin Scissors, Capt. Hunks, gets ordered by his superior to pull out Malvin the her team. While this is happening, Malvin, Oland and the team come up with a plan to attack the renegades to get an antidote for the villagers. The two soliders under the command of Malvin act as decoys while Malvin and Oland sneak into the base. Here we start to see why the hairs on Malvin’s neck stood up when she’s around Oland.
He turns on a blue light attached to his built and his eyes start to glow. While Malvin searches for the antidote, Oland opens the floodgates on the dam, making it difficult for the tank to manuver.While the tank is trying to escape, Oland attacks it, taking out everyone except for the renedage’s leader, Graywolf. At the end of the fight, Graywolf taunts Oland into shooting him while he’s holding the antidote. Malvin jumps in and gets the antidote.
This show is put out by Gonzo and Geneon.It looks good. Better than Welcome to the NHK! that Gonzo is also involved with. But the, it could just be my monitor. There’s a bit of a spoiler about Oland in the show’s opening, so that has me interested in where they’re going to go with that. Is there going to be a morality tale somewhere at some point in the show?
Overall, its too early to decide if I’m going to like the show or not, but I’m leaning towards the like side of things.2 comments