涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 – Episode 11
Before I review the first lot of R2 Haruhi DVDs (I have 1 and 2 now, with 3 and 4 on order), I thought I’d take a step back and do summaries for some of my favorite episodes from the series. In the spirit of the show, I’ll be doing them out of numerical order. First Cab off the Rank is Episode 11, probably the episode I’ve rewatched the most.
Still seething from their loss of a brand-spanking new PC to Haruhi’s SOS Brigade earlier in the season, the Computer Society turns up to issue a challenge. Haruhi is late, but only needs to hear the word "challenge" before she responds — by kicking the Computer Society’s President to the floor. After she is calmed down, they gather in the meeting room to hear the conditions of the challenge. The deal is this: is the SOS Brigade defeats the Computer Society at a network space-combat game they’ve written, they will receive 4 new laptops. Lose, and they must return the PC that Haruhi "appropriated".
Of course Haruhi accepts (she naturally assumes they’ll win) and training commences. Before this, Kyon takes the others aside and asks them to refrain from using supernatural powers to win. Before long, the fateful day arrives — unfortunately, the training doesn’t seem to have paid off for Mikuru, who has no idea, or for Haruhi, whose tactics consist solely of charging.
Thankfully, Kyon and Koizumi at least know what they’re doing and Yuki is warming to the task (after a few false starts). Despite their best efforts, however, the Computer Society are able to dominate the game, attacking and then fleeing before any counter-attack can be launched. Yuki’s newfound computer skills come in handy, as she discovers that the opposition are cheating. With same mad keyboard action, she evens out the playing field, and is then able to turn the game. She, Kyon and Koizumi take out the shocked Computer Society players with Haruhi joining in, happy to finally be blowing something up.
The match won, Haruhi takes possession of the four laptops and attempts to subjugate the members of the Computer Society. Before they leave, their President, impressed with her skills, asks Yuki to come by their club room whenever she feels like it. Haruhi tries to block such a move, but Kyon intervenes and Yuki decides she may drop by occasionally.
So, a very enjoyable episode, with all members of the SOS Brigade getting good screen time and Yuki picking up a new skill. The imaginary scenes with each cast member on the deck of their own spaceship are a really nice touch, and the combat scenes liven things up nicely.
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