Qualidea Code – Episode 10 [Compound Note Folklore]
The opening scene of this episode is one of the most impactful of the entire series. Up until this point whenever we’ve seen an attack by the Unknown against Ichiya and the others, they’ve appeared in swarms. First they were smaller, but as the series progressed they got larger and larger. As Ichiya looks out through the helicopter window at the military ships and helicopters surrounding them, it finally hits home. Every time the kids killed an “Unknown”, they were actually striking down unmanned aircraft which were sent to save them. How many thousands of drones were destroyed, how many ships?
As I suspected, some of the more powerful Unknown were really fighters like Maihime and Hotaru, which is why Asuha was never harmed and only the chip on her neck was destroyed.
It turns out the leader of the army fighting the real Unknown is Asuha and Kasumi’s mother Johannes, and holy cow she’s a piece of work. Johannes is the undisputed leader of the army, and she doesn’t hesitate to throw her authority around when it’s needed. Yet she alternates being between being immature and responsible, much to Kasumi’s annoyance. He spends most of the episode embarrassed by her antics, while Asuha (who was too little to remember much of their parents) doesn’t know how to adapt to suddenly having a maternal figure in her life.
Inside the safety of their ship, Johannes finally lays everything out on the table for Maihime, Kasumi and the others (save Canaria and Ichiya, who are resting elsewhere on the ship). Thirty years prior to the present, during events hinted at during the opening of the very first episode, the Unknown attacked Japan and secured the South Kanto region (Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa). They killed any adults who resisted their invasion, and once there was no one left to fight them, they awoke the children from cold sleep, implanted them with the chips on their neck and a false history in their minds, and had them fight the “Unknown”. So Asuha and the others were raised by aliens.
But the adults had their own difficulties to deal with. Those who did make it to the mainland had their views cloaked in shadows, so they couldn’t tell friend or foe apart.
Back on the mainland, Airi and Gutoku touch base regarding the few remaining children still brainwashed under their code. It’s actually a rather touching scene, with the two showing for the first time that they have genuine feelings for each other, and neither is happy about this war they’ve been fighting. Airi in particular has bonded with Ichiya and the others, and she feels their absence acutely.
Ichiya meanwhile just cannot wrap his head around that his actions were truly meaningless. Ichiya has always wanted to be a hero, be the best at fighting the Unknown. But after Canaria “died” his actions became counterproductive – instead of being helpful by defeating Unknown, he was destroying the forces of the people who were trying to save him, like Canaria had been saved. To add insult to injury Ichiya is embarrassed that Kasumi figured out the truth first.
Poor Aoi is having a hard time adjusting to her new reality. While it’s easy for Johannes to say that the Unknown are evil demons because they stole the children and prevented families from being together, it’s harder for Aoi to adjust. After all, Airi and Gutoku pretty much raised them all in some capacity. Aoi’s feelings, along with Airi’s and Gutoku’s, show that the situation is not as cut and dry as Johannes might think.
At a briefing, Johannes reveals that by decoding some of the information that Kasumi recovered, the Unknown have been passing through to Earth via some kind of dimensional hole. Johannes wants Ichiya and the others to just rest and not worry about fighting, but obviously for some like Ichiya and Kasumi, that’s just not going to happen.
Sitting out on a cannon, Asuha gets the first look at the oncoming attack by the true Unknown. Alarms ring as shields are raised, and everyone hops into action. Everyone except for Aoi, who is hiding alone in a dark corner. Kasumi, Asuha, Hotaru, Maihime and Ichiya waste no time getting in on the action. Kasumi is nearly killed by an Unknown, but Ichiya saves his life and says that his debt to Kasumi is now repaid.
My thoughts: Two episodes left, and it looks like next one is going to focus on the concept of family. Likely Asuha and Kasumi’s family, since Johannes has been introduced, but I’m guessing Airi and Gutoku might feature prominently as well. Good, a nice bittersweet episode to tug on the heartstrings a little.
I’m still curious about where the Unknown came from and why they chose to attack Earth. Will the humans be able to close up these dimensional holes once and for all?