Space Symphony Maetel 03
Maetel completes the coronation ceremony, though apparently the throne is not hers still. She walks forward in a state of complete undress (with two of her subjects and an enemy of the state watching) and proclaims her sovereignty. I could almost chalk this indifference to the matriarchal nature of LaMetal. It would be just like Pericles wrestling nude in patriarchal Athens. The most powerful man in the city would boast of his nudity, not hide it.
Nazca has one of the best lines yet. “What are you thinking?” “All sorts of things.” A response to remember!
Maetel asks this “Promethium” to take her to the real one. She obviously agrees with Nazca: the Promethium before her now is not the Promethium who stood before the meteor attack. And so if this is a second Promethium pretending to be the first one, there is likely a third (the real one) pulling the strings in the dark somewhere.
The deal with Yui City is very ironic. The Mechanoids mock the harsh conditions in that area, populated by flesh-and-blood refugees, and conclude it’s not “a place where Mechanoids could live.” But of course, the Mechanoids were born of a need to protect LaMetalians from the bitter cold and so, at least in theory, its is the Mechanoids who should be making a living in Yui City, with the natural humans taking advantage of the better regulated Miyu City, not the other way around. The scene shows us how the entire project of Queen Promethium has been derailed and perverted.
The three-way conversation between Leopard, Maetel and “Promethium” (more like a debate, really) is very, very subtle. Maetel has already made it clear to this “Promethium” that she knows the real queen is elsewhere. Leopard insists that he will only follow the Queen’s orders. The presumed “queen” is however silent throughout most of it. When she actually speaks, Leopard seems to acquiesce but he doesn’t really answer Maetel’s question as he claimed he would if the real queen asked it. We are left with the impression that everyone here knows that the real Promethium is elsewhere. Maetel is being tested, definitely, but the true tester is nowhere in sight.
Next, Nazca meets two kids (Oliver, Tess) in Yui who are working for Leopard in trying to defeat Maetel. Nazca is mighty confused. Why aim for Maetel and not Promethium? (the very first scene in episode one already poses this question). But the kids’ counter-demand is just as strong: Why aim for Promethium and leave Maetel out of it? It would seem that Nazca’s will, as focused as it is on vengeance, is still clouded by affection toward his fellow traveler on the 999.
Maetel foils the Space Panzers’ assassination plot with one of the oldest tricks in the book: putting herself in the escort vessel instead of the main ship. After this failure, Leopard and Burnbarrel still somehow dare pretend their hands are clean, but Oliver and Tess are having none of it and they try to kill Maetel. The way the latter responds, pleading for the girl in her old voice, is proof enough that the effects of the coronation ceremony were not nearly as thorough as we were led to believe!!
And then the climax comes: Leopard executes Oliver (with the latter’s blessing) before Maetel, before the soldiers, before the refugees of Yui. The deadly theater continues…
FANBOYING: Every single script line in this episode is pregnant with meaning. It really pays to listen to what the characters say a few times~