Space Symphony Maetel 09: A Bug in the Happy Ending
Maetel’s monologue is the same we heard in episode 06:
“I am Maetel. The cogwheels of what is called destiny are beginning to move strongly. My destiny is a voyage without end, circling the rings of time.”
The episode is split into three clearly defined parts: 1) An update on the status of New LaMetal, 2) Maetel’s work on the planet as Nazca is in space with the Arcadia and 3) Nazca’s return as all hell breaks loose on the new planet.
New LaMetal is rushing along toward its destination: orbiting the planet Heavy Melder in the Euphrates System. The reason for the choice has to do with the large size of the system and its proven livability. I suppose the decision to have LaMetal become a moon of a planet rather than a planet itself might be due to the small size of what remains of LaMetal. It might be too small to maintain its own orbit around Euphrates. Thus this arrangement promises both space and stability for the new LaMetalian home.
I wonder how much can we as viewers make of the Arcadia’s debate on where to head next. Yattaran is hell-bent on going to Antares to eat that system’s famous crabs. Call it gluttony. Tochiro is obsessed with the revisiting the golden planet. Call that greed. And Harlock is…absolutely not saying where, if anywhere, he would like to go. Hm…
Next. Maetel decides to stay behind with Arina while Nazca goes on a “training trip” with the Arcadia. The trip, we are led to understand, ends up taking months. Maetel’s remark: “He’ll probably be all mature by the time he returns” is very ambiguous to me: is she happy at this prospect or is she sad? I lean toward the latter interpretation… Arina, for her part, is growing more confident by the minute and has managed to get herself a very nice living unit instead for her help with the energy control center.
What we see in the next scene is another remnant of the old LaMetalian technology. The light-emitting spheres are alive, they feed off of energy, amplify it and release it in higher quantities. Thus, the spheres require some basic energy fodder to begin with, and Maetel tells us in this case it’s LaRela. There’s irony here, because back in the days when LaRela was Queen, it was prisoners who were fed to the energy spheres as a form of productive death penalty!
The question of the source of Maetel’s funds (when purchasing fuel and defense-related materials from Heavy Melder) becomes easy if we know that that Heavy Melder is the greatest commercial hub in the known universe. It’s almost a certainty that banking there is extremely well developed, and if LaMetalian royalty were ever to store some of its riches outside the planet, I bet you this would be as good a place as any to put them in..
The “rogue” purchases of fuel land Maetel in prison. Now, clearly she could bust herself out of prison in a second if she wanted to, but she’s doing her best to obey the laws and be as “normal” as possible. The fact is that despite the LaMetalians’ attempts to convince themselves of the contrary, times are not normal at all and a capable figure like Maetel should be at the highest echelon of power if not at the helm itself. Maetel’s meekness here ends up backfiring for everyone, as a droid mosquito (obviously sent by Promethium) infiltrates the energy control room and sabotages it, while Maetel sits confined and Leopard and co. have not even a suspicion that such an attack may be looming.
The incident costs Arina her life, Tochiro determines that the mosquito was responsible, and the Arcadia and Maetel are on the same page: Promethium is most definitely alive (but does the provisional government of LaMetal know it too?? I sure hope so).
As to the final scene, well, you’ll have to see it to believe it. I myself think they’re handling this relationship extremely well. Maetel is looking for something in Nazca that the boy simply does not have. He is fond of her, and maybe even slightly obsessed with her, but he’s not ready for romance and isn’t looking for it. They’re most definitely not on the same page, these two.