Wadachi and Women
[This post covers the second half of Vol. 2, except for the very last chapter. That will be for the final post]
Wadachi Yamamoto and Yukie (not “Mie” as I wrote earlier by mistake) Nozaki travel the waters by raft (Wadachi is trying to reach a continent he’s picked because it has the shape of his native island of Kyushu back on Earth). Nozaki is constantly in contact with a man aboard a satellite ship orbiting Great Earth. The man has a scar across his face, looks like a young Harlock and is named…Harlock! Harlock refers to Nozaki as Himiko and keeps promising that a huge fleet will come to help her out soon. Wadachi suspects nothing, the poor lad.
They reach their “New Kyushu” and find a great big wall surrounding the northern coast. The wall looks old, but there are empty instant ramen cups beside it. Wadachi decides to investigate and if he finds settlers already there he reckons he’ll try out for another land.
Suddenly Harlock and the fleet above Great Earth begin to get pulled by some gravity wave. Harlock suspects it’s some mechanism set up by Dr. Sado to prevent outsiders from reaching the planet. He says goodbye to Himiko/Nozaki and disappears (presumably the fleet has been destroyed). Nozaki is beside herself, she admits everything to Wadachi, including the fact that the she crash landed on the planet while observing it and has been reporting to the fleet ever since (the debris Wadachi saw earlier on was from her ship). Nozaki is Japanese originally, but is working for the foreigners (i.e. New United Nations).
Wadachi is very wary of women by this point, and he tells her he will go alone and leave her. Nozaki clings to him and refuses. Wadachi accepts but keeps his distance.
Eventually they run into a large group of women. The male settlers have abandoned all the thin and the fat women and kept only the sturdy ones that won’t slow them down as they head into the mountains. Now these hundreds of women want to rely on Wadachi. The women include Reiko, Asano and Moriki (all of who are thin Leijibabes). Nozaki asks Reiko how come he’s Sado’s daughter, since to her knowledge the doctor never married. Reiko says that her mother left them as soon as she gave birth. Wadachi reflects that this must be one of the reasons Sado hated beautiful women.
The women want to know about Nozaki. Wadachi does his best to protect her identity but as luck would have it one of the group used to work for a manufacturer of military wear, and she immediately recognizes Nozaki’s outfit as a high-grade American military spacesuit. The women try to strip Nozaki’s suit off but Wadachi yells at them and they stop. Moriki comments that Wadachi has become stronger than he used to be.
A horned whale is spotted on the coast, and Wadachi shoots it and passes out. When he comes to the whale is dead and everyone is eating. The woman are so happy to have a man that they put Wadachi in a cage so he won’t escape!! In the meantime, Nozaki has cornered Reiko on a cliff and is threatening to toss her over unless she yields up her father’s secrets on how to navigate into Great Earth!!!
Wadachi digs under the sand and escapes at night with bird and cat. Later on the women get killed by a great group of ants, which use their bodies to build up their walls. Nozaki, Reiko, Asano and Moriki join Wadachi on the raft (presumably having survived the ant-attack because they were being held hostage by Nozaki). Nozaki has managed to get plans of Great Earth’s gravity defense mechanism from Reiko and she tries to contact Harlock but there’s no response.
They embark on the raft and reach another island. Reiko makes a cryptic comment about the dangers that seawater can bring to Nozaki. We soon learn why. They land, the women (except for Nozaki) go skinny-dipping. Nozaki sees that Wadachi has got a cold and gives him her spacesuit. Her nude body displays ravaged skin and a mechanical body underneath. She and Harlock are both androids, made from the same batch of parts. Nozaki (more properly, Himiko) mourns for his robot soulmate.
A bunch of Red Indians arrive on six-footed horses. Wadachi fires at them and drives them away with a gun he received from Dr. Sado. Then a large caravan of people show up asking to be led by Wadachi. It seems for a second as if Wadachi will have a great harem, but he’s disappointed when many of the people in the group are men and Reiko and Asano quickly find new boyfriends. Another man tries to approach Moriki but she rejects him and Wadachi fights him off. Then the android Nozaki/Himiko collapses and tells Wadachi to use or discard all of her parts but keep her heart with him always.
I was happy that the big question/comment to my last post on Wadachi (What’s up with Reiko and Sado?) was answered in these chapters. If you think about it, a man that resents beautiful women because they stay away will probably hate them much less than a man who actually had one in his grasp, even if for a brief time, and then lost her…gaining a child to take care of in the process!
Himiko is an interesting choice for an android. It’s not usually a given name, rather, is very famous as that of an ancient (3rd century) Japanese queen known only from Chinese chronicles. It would be fitting for a Himiko to establish a new Japan on Great Earth. Pity that she gets all rusty.
Towards the end here we finally see a hope of light for Wadachi in his relations to women. Himiko, as much as she might have loved Harlock, decides to accept his death, and becomes very attached to Wadachi. Moriki is also drawn to him, to the extent that she feels jealous of the android’s little mechanical heart [I guess since the heart keeps saying "Wadachi, Wadachi" this makes sense. I don't think my wife would allow me to keep any mechanical item that played a recording of a woman saying my name over and over either!!!]
We’ll see what happens in the final chapter of the series…