Welcome to Deca-Dence episode 4: Transmission.
Transmission begins with Natsume and Kaburagi getting caught up in the Gadoll attack from the last episode. Natsume is frantically searching for Pipe when she suddenly gets called over by Kaburagi. Worried, Kaburagi orders Natsume to get back into the Deca-Dence. But Natsume refuses, declaring that she can fight too. However, Kaburagi states that Natsume is not ready for real combat yet and leaves to find Pipe. Dejected, Natsume turns and spots some gear equipment in a nearby vehicle. Giggling, she swipes it and puts it on.
Running into the battlefield, Natsume gets caught up in a battle against a Toripias, a pterodactyl-like Gadoll. Watching it kill the other gears in horror, Natsume flees the gravity sphere and ducks behind a pillar. Breathing, Natsume recalls Kaburagi’s teachings and calms down. Heading back into the sphere, Natsume easily overwhelms and crushes the Toripias. Meanwhile, Kurenai and her companions spot Natsume and become amazed by her moves. In another part of the battlefield, Kaburagi spots Pipe and rushes to save him from a Megaloin. As Pipe is about to be eaten by the gadoll, Natsume arrives and topples the Megaloin as Kaburagi grabs him. Spotting Pipe, Natsume runs up and hugs him declaring that she is relieved that Pipe is alright.
Suddenly, a Dal Mamos (armadillo Gadoll) rolls into the cavern and starts rolling towards Deca-Dence. Ordering a team to chase after it, a group of fighters attack the gadoll and get crushed by it. Chasing after it, Natsume spots a flash of light and Kurenai appears from within it. Wielding her needle, Kurenai orders her comrades to attack it and the team pins it down. Charging up her lance, Kurenai impales it and finishes it off. Cheering, the gear fighters celebrate their victory as Natsume looks on at Kurenai with amazement.
After the battle, Kurenai approaches Natsume and asks her what unit she is in. Embarrassed, Natsume shyly admits that she isn’t on a team because she is a bug according to her boss. Asking what she means by that, Kurenai invites Natsume to join The Power. Welcoming her to the team, Kurenai watches Natsume celebrate and call out to Kaburagi. Spotting Kaburagi, Kurenai starts estaticallly fangirling over him. A short while later, Deca-Dence starts heading towards the Gadoll’s nest. As the ad plays in Chimney Town, the cyborgs get riled up for the next event.
The next day, Natsume attends a briefing regarding the next battle. As Kurenai explains the basic strategy, Kaburagi meets with Minato at his Chimney Town residence. Minato informs Kaburagi that he has been transferred to the Warrior department. Depressed, Kaburagi asks what he can do and Minato privately explains that the next event is impossible to clear even for S-class gears. However, Minato continues that the scenario the company is going for is to have legendary rankers appear at the height of despair and defeat the boss. Confused, Kaburagi asks what that means and Minato explains that all A-class gears and under will be decimated including the Tanker units. Minato then leaves telling Kaburagi to lay low for now.
After the briefing, Kurenai introduces Natsume to Unit 6 and informs her that she will assigned to them. Mindy cautions Natsume that solitary action will not be allowed and welcomes her to the team. However, before Mindy can give Natsume a handshake, Natsume’s arm goes into weapon mode scaring her. Insulted, Mindy yells at Natsume for not learning to control her weapon and storms off. Her brother and sister, Mundy and Mendy chasing after her.
A little while later, Natsume meets up with Fei. Still upset from their previous fight, Fei declares that they cannot be friends anymore and leaves. That night, Natsume is cleaning her gear in her home when Kaburagi knocks on the door. Letting him in, Natsume starts declaring her excitement at joining the next battle. Complimenting her, Kaburagi sadly tells Natsume not to participate in the next battle. Upset, Natsume asks why and Kaburagi explains that her dream of achieving world peace will never be achieved. The pair then start to argue.
During the argument, Kaburagi almost blurts out the real secret of the world. But stops himself from fully spilling it. Upset, Natsume declares that she won’t give up and refuses to withdraw from the battle. Growing angry, Kaburagi tries to explain that he doesn’t want to see Natsume get killed. However, Natsume shouts that she will choose how she will live. Furious, Kaburagi destroys Natsume’s tank and leaves the house. As he leaves, Natsume breaks down and cries.
At the pre-battle breakfast, Natsume goes up to Kurenai and requests that she’d be removed from the mission. Asking if Natsume decided it by herself, Kurenai advises Natsume to think about the reason why she fights. Recalling her memories with her father, Natsume comes back to Kurenai and explains that she fights because she hates herself and wants to change. Natsume then declares that she will participate in the next battle. Two hours later, Natsume leaves on the transport with the other gears. Watching the scene from Chimney Town, Kaburagi stands up in shock.
So this was a really powerful episode. Naturally, the star for this episode is Kurenai. Up till this point, Kurenai was this powerful yet enigmatic figure. At the start of the series, we didn’t really know Kurenai’s relationship with Natsume other than she admired her. But now we can see why. Kurenai is courageous and brave. She is the strongest Tanker, but she also comes off as this cool older sister figure.Though she acts carefree, she does worry about the battles and even sometimes get scared. I think her reason for fighting is really relatable and her fangirling over Kaburagi was really hilarious. I really like her character and the fact that she is voiced by Eri Kitamura.
We also got to meet Natsume’s new teammates, Mindy, Mundy and Mendy. I don’t really get a sense of the siblings just yet, but they seem interesting. I particularly like Mindy’s design and how she is the butch older sister. Her siblings on the other hand are more level-headed. Mindy also doesn’t like surprises and takes battles very seriously. So she might have a bit of a tsundere side to her. It is also really apparent that Kaburagi has grown fond of Natsume. It is obvious that he cares and worries about her. But whether his love fore is platonic or not is still unclear.
On the other hand, Natsume’s friendship with Fei seriously gives off this Hibiki – Miku vibe from Symphogear. Like Hibiki and Miku, the two of them are as close as sisters. But they both worry about each other and get into fights like normal friends do. The Hibiki and Miku vibe is especially apparent when they break off their friendship due to a fight, which also happened in Symphogear season one. The last thing I will say is that the action sequences were incredibly awesome. It is clear how much Natsume has improved since she first started out. Kurenai has also proven that she can kick butt too and I can’t wait to watch the next episode.