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IGPX Episode 18: Puzzled

Original Japanese title: Puzzle Rings

Accepting Andrei as a member of the team, Team Satomi how has to fight a hard opponent - Team Velshtein. Andrei has experience, but also has wrinkles. Can he pull a few tricks from his sleeve to win this race? Or will the old timer crash and burn out on the track? Meanwhile, Takeshi has a lot to think about this season. A lot has happened in a small time. Can he overcome his problems and help team Satomi this season? This episode features the first race with Andrei Rublev. It also features another player in Takeshi's game, Watch World.

Spoilers Below

Don't scroll down any further if you want to avoid spoilers! The action reports, music credits and screenshots contain some spoilers from the episode!

Report #1

Rocket G Crashes onto the Scene

What was the result of mixing old heroes with modern dreamers?

Rocket George, the famous pilot who has never left the top 10 All-Time Best IGPX Pilots Ranking (compiled via popularity polls), has made a comeback to the racing scene.

This time around, he piloted Team Satomi's Midfielder mech. He is the substitute for Amy Stapleton, who is recovering from injuries from the previous race. Rocket G had been working as Team Satomi's coach, but because there is no provision against a coach or a team's owner from piloting a mech, this change of team order was approved. To older fans of Rocket G, there was disappointment that he was registered in this year's IGPX under his real name of Andrei Rublev. But, don't be mistaken that many fans who have been following the IGPX since its beginnings did, in fact, turn up in the audience to support him. This was especially because the debut race with Andrei in this year's IGPX is coupled with Team Satomi's race against Team Velshtein. The connection is that Team Velshtein's leader is Sir Hamgra, who has had many ties with Andrei in IGPX's history. This has helped pump both teams up before this race.

In the early parts of the battling, both teams showed seemingly equal levels of offense. All Takeshi could do was defend against Cunnningham, whose stunning attacks in this race closely resembled the indelible attacks seen during last year's finals match. On the other hand, Andrei took on Jan (playing Midfield for Team Velshtein), showering him with so many punches as to leave Jan feeling like he had almost no room to breathe. In the latter half of the second lap, Takeshi and Jan's mechs were both involved in separate crashes. The Running Skeletons were called out for both teams.

However, after the caution signs disappeared, the situation changed dramatically. Team Satomi slipped past Team Velshtein on their sides and behaved as if they were trying to get away from Velshtein. Velshtein was a little late changing into Speed Mode, but they were able to reclaim the distance between them and Team Satomi at the Chicane part of the course (this is the narrow part of Course Route 02). Team Satomi's strategy of lining their mechs up with Team Velshtein was a remarkable move. It made it nearly impossible for Velshtein to overtake them, even during the spiral.

But, as they all reached the final corner, the person in the lead was Cunningham. Theoretically, there was no way for Team Satomi to win. At that moment, Andrei gave up control of his mech and spun around violently. He struck Jan and Dew and a huge crash occurred. The checkered flag went to Cunningham, Liz and Takeshi, in that order. Jan and Dew were declared as 'retired'. 40 seconds later, Andrei's mech slid into the goal line, at a speed so slow that it seemed like it could have just stopped moving at any time. Team Satomi succeeded in matching Team Velshtein's points, making the race a tie.

Music Credits

Toonami Version

"15 Levels of Magnification"
By Neotropic
Album: 15 Levels of Magnification
Heard: At the beginning of the race

"Laundry Pt 3"
By Neotropic
Album: 15 Levels of Magnification
Heard: As Sir Hamgra and Cunningham talks to Jan

"Sunday Seance (Loka Remix)"
By Blockhead
Album: Expiration Date
Heard: During the final part of the race

"Beyond Thought"
By DJ Vadim
Album: U.S.S.R. Resurrection
Heard: When Takeshi bumps into Team Velshtein after the
race

"The Honesty of Constant Human Error"
By Sixtoo
Album: Chewing on Glass & Other Miracle Cures
Heard: When Takeshi plays Watch World

"The Dusk"
By DJ Food
Album: A Recipe for Disaster
Heard: When Takeshi and Andrei "spar" for a bit

"Deo"
By Amon Tobin
Album: Supermodified
Heard: When Takeshi and Fantine are at a restaurant

"Summer's Gonna Hurt You"
By Diplo
Album: Florida
Heard: When Takeshi and River talk at nighttime

"Florida"
By Diplo
Album: Florida
Heard: When Takeshi and Mark talk; and then when the
team talks together without Takeshi

"Proper Hoodidge"
By Amon Tobin
Album: Out from Out Where
Heard: When a new opponent appears in Watch World

Production I.G Version

"Vacetious Blooms"
By Neotropic
Album: Mr. Brubaker's Strawberry Alarm Clock
Heard: The BGM for Watch World

"The Great Drive By"
By Funki Porcini
Album: Fast Asleep
Heard: When Takeshi and Andrei "spar" for a bit

"Good Day for Hippos"
By Fink
Album: Fresh Produce
Heard: When Takeshi and Fantine are at a restaurant

Additional Information

US original broadcast date: June 17, 2006
Japan original broadcast date: February 22, 2006

Toonami Version Differences

- Andrei's off-screen burping after the race was removed; the animation remains the same in both versions.

- About 10 seconds was cut from the scene at the restaurant with Takeshi, Fantine and later Zanak.

- About 15 seconds was cut from the conversation between Takeshi and River; mostly lines spoken by River.

Screenshot Gallery

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