GE 999 036-037: Incidents and Accidents
This is a great episode. It’s not dazzling at all, visually it’s completely plain, but there’s a lot of food for thought here. Dr. Cicropros built the perfect colony but made a small mistake. A screw was missing, the oxygen escaped and all of the Earth colonists died. Since then he’s been trying to regain people’s trust in him.
At first I was a bit disappointed that they explained the “incident” that had caused the doctor’s downfall. I was hoping that it would be left unstated. But I’m happy that the incident is told because of how it relates to trust. Notice how Tetsuro so innocently says he’s learned a valuable lesson about keeping people’s trust, and how Maetel just looks at him. What else can she do? Ouch. And to top it off, the accident was caused by a screw, which carries on this motif of the importance of a single screw from before. This is huge and it’s so nicely set up I’m really impressed
Another interesting thing that the episode made me reflect on was the issue of languages in this era. I have noticed for the longest time how planets have English names (or English nicknames) and how Tetsuro is able to decipher them rather easily. This is not just a “let’s use English because it’s cool” situation; the fact that English and Japanese are different languages is acknowledged. Clearly, Tetsuro is quite good at English though Japanese is his mother tongue.
Cicropros’ diary is written in English [though it's in Japanese in the manga]. Not only the cover page is in English but the few words I can read are English (“good”, “first major” etc). Now, since Tetsuro was raised in poor surroundings and he can’t have had an elite education, the only conclusion can be that both languages are linguae francae in this era. Neat.
This is not an episode one comments on, being a tribute to Leiji Matsumoto’s deceased cat. It was pretty and sad and I guess depending on each viewer’s past experiences it will have a more or less powerful impact. I loved seen a Tori here too!