ι · The War with Hagooda
We begin with what appears to be a commercial vessel returning home from Kalmanto, an uninhabited planet of the sort Nagano has told us (in the background material) is usually exploited for its mineral resources. All of a sudden, a large vessel approaches at high speed. The vessel won’t identify itself but soon enough the crew realizes who they are: the Boowray Mercenaries from Both.
We’re in the Western Solar System. Both is the second (and only inhabited) planet, and Kalmanto the fourth in the system. The infamous Boowrays are supposed to hover around Anthurino, the third planet but here we see them exiting the system to points unknown. The captain shrugs and wonders where. Surely it’s up to no good!
OK, let’s back up a bit. Obviously this next arc is going to cover the war between Colus and Hagooda in Jüno, and the Boowrays will somehow be involved. It’ll help loads to get a sense of what we’re actually dealing with here.
First off, a look at the Hagooda-Colus border:
Two things become instantly noticeable: 1) Colus (green) is huge compared to Hagooda (orange); 2) Colus is actually three countries in one. Its full name is Trio de Colus, and the three member states are Colus, Meistner and Ballanka. The King of Colus is always the overlord of the federation. In fact, there are three uses of the word “Colus”: the name of the most powerful nation on the planet Jüno (a.k.a. Trio de Colus), the leading member state of that nation or Colus Proper, and the royal name of every king in that dynasty: Colus III, Colus IV ,etc…
Match up all of this information with Amaterasu’s statement that Colus is one of the most powerful states in the Galaxy, and we immediately have a mystery: why is Hagooda doing this? And how? finding the answers to this question is what this arc is all about.
The initial strike occurs in February, 2989. Colus forces move in to the defend the two major cities near Hagooda: Shalsha in Meistner and Atork in Ballanka. So what does Hagooda do? This:
As you can see, rather than concentrating on one of the reinforced areas, they choose to go down the middle [area occupied by Hagooda in red]. The drive is contained by Colus, but the Trio cannot find a way to expel the Hagoodans from their small gains in Meistner and Ballanka. This is astonishing, and it’s a great source of shame for the chivalrous, honorable men of Colus.
Our introduction to the war is comes by way of a tragic outcome for one of Colus’ heroes: the headdliner Pauroth Randers, piloting a Berlin MH with his Fatima Elma, has just beaten six Maglows in a row (Maglow = standard Hagoodan MH). He had planned to take a rest and propose to his Fatima once the seventh was defeated but alas, the Berlin is crushed and Elma is killed. Although we don’t see it in the actual scene, we know from the manga blurbs that Pauroth dies as well and is buried together with Elma.
Is the gallant stand one of the motifs of FSS? Remember the prologue to the manga as a whole showed us the last Black Knight at the very end of a long struggle, its headdliner about to die. Incidentally, both the 6th Black Knight and Pauroth die in defense of Colus, albeit against totally different enemies…
Page 22 (in the U.S. version) has a poem of sorts at this point. An unknown speaker relates seeing the coming of Colus VI in what I would go all the way and call Messianic tones:
“One more ray of light sent from the heavens to
guide this pentagon of a constellation.”
The pentagon refers to five stars. The Joker Galaxy has four “stable” Solar Systems but it also has a travelling fifth system around a mysterious star called Stant. I haven’t really tried to see ahead to understand these words but I can immediately make two comments:
1) One more ray of light – This means, of course, that Colus VI is not the first ray. There is another. My guess: Amaterasu.
2) Colus VI – Back when Clotho met Colus III that first time in Betolca, Colus got the really strong impression that the Fatima was actually confusing him with his son or grandson when she called him “master”. Maybe it was really his great grandson and thus…the speaker is none other than Clotho.
The speaker goes on to mention the year 7777. This happens to be the last year in the FSS Chronology included in every volume. I’d rather not dwell on this point for the time being. Let’s save that for a better time!
[covered VOLUME 4: from the beginning of the volume to page 22]