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IGPX Episode 24: Winner's Circle

Original Japanese title: Winner's Circle

Team Velshtein and Team Satomi continue their battle against each other. The winner moves on to battle Team White Snow. Both teams are great, but who is really going to pull off the victory? Meanwhile, many mysteries surround Andrei and Sir Hamgra. Will they finally be able to get along despite one of them losing the race? This episode features a surprise look at two new characters appearing for the first time in the series.

Spoilers Below

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

Report #1

Team Satomi Vs. Team Velshtein

The fierce fighting seen one year ago returns!

The 2049 season's second playoffs match pits Team Velshtein against Team Satomi. Fans were excited to see these two teams pit against each other, reminiscent of last year's championship game. The 1st Audience (the people who came to watch live) screamed and cheered loudly, drowning out the sound of the heavy rain that poured on the two teams during the race.

IGPX's official bookmaker placed the odds of either team winning at about the same level. Audiences saw Team Satomi take on Team Velshtein's formation from the previous year's finals race, which gave some credence to the idea that Satomi and Velshtein are at about the same level. Entering the second lap, Takeshi appears in the front of the pack. From the get-go, Cunningham faced Takeshi head on for a one-on-one battle. At the pace with which things picked up for this race, there seemed to be no room for the pilots to second guess any of their decisions. Reaching the halfway point of the second lap, there were so few chances where the pilots could have taken a breath in this struggle to survive. Amy and Liz  sent Jan flying forward in a nicely-coordinated move. With their built-up confidence, they went for Dew and caused his mech to crash. It was excellent timing, as Dew was focused on his teammate, Jan, being vaulted just moments earlier. A pit signal is called for Dew.

The race then enters the second half, and the match turns into an all-out war. In the fury of attacks, no pilot was able to deliver a fatal blow to an opposing team's pilot, but no pilot was able to shake off attacks made by an opposing pilot perfectly either. Through the innumerable attacks, every mech was decorated with scratches. Eventually, the protective layers of metal on the mechs peeled off and the layers slowly lost their integrity throughout the race.

The fighting was so intense that it ushered the pilots quickly into the second half of the third lap, where still no pilot had changed into Speed Mode and the pilots were all crowded together in one spot as they proceeded into the home stretch. All pilots then proceeded past the finish line with a big splash from the rain water that trailed along with them.  For the first time this season, judges had to yield to a replay video to make the call as to who finished first.

The two pilots in the front were Cunningham and Takeshi, who continued attacking and blocking while circling around each other's mechs for a big chunk of the race. In the end, confirming the result with all available angles captured, it was Takeshi's mech who barely passed the finish line first to win the match for Team Satomi. The standing ovation that was already occurring in the stands for the six pilots who all passed the finish line in their respective mechs became more fervent, needless to say. The lengthy applause and the cheering that continued afterwards was certainly for both teams: Team Satomi, who have now qualified to the finals for two years in a row, and Team Velshtein, who nonetheless showed an incredible display of power during the race.

With the result of this race, Team Satomi and Team White Snow are the two teams facing off in the finals. This is the second year that a 1st-year rookie team is facing off against the previous year's league champion. Will Team Satomi proceed to become champion again for a second year in a row? Or will Team White Snow be able to pull off a win, making it so that a rookie team will have won the championship two years in a row? The finals race is in two days, and it will have the whole world watching to see the results!

Music Credits

Toonami Version

"Triple Science"
By Amon Tobin
Album: Out from Out Where
Heard: At the beginning of the episode

"Chomp Samba"
By Amon Tobin
Album: Bricolage
Heard: During the final portion of the race

"Chicken Spit"
By Pest
Album: Necessary Measures
Heard: As the results of the race are announced

"The Lighthouse"
By Amon Tobin
Album: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Soundtrack
Heard: When Team White Snow members talk with each
other after the end of the race

"For All You Happy People"
By Jaga Jazzist
Album: What We Must
Heard: When Andrei and Sir Hamgra talk

By Mr. Scruff
Album: Trouser Jazz
Heard: When Takeshi and Yuri talk

"Count Your Blessings"
By Hint
Album: Portakabin Fever
Heard: When Team Satomi debrief the day after the race

"Air to Sky"
By Hint
Album: Portakabin Fever
Heard: When Andrei introduces two people to Takeshi

"Money Power Respect"
By Diplo
Album: Florida
Heard: The last song of the episode

Production I.G Version

"Three Strikes"

By Jim Dooley

Album: WWII in HD (Music from the Original History Channel Series)

Heard: At the end of the race


"Air to Sky"
By Hint
Album: Portakab
in Fever
Heard: When Andrei and Sir Hamgra talk

"Country Folk"

Licensed Track (not commercially available)

Album: Drama Simple

Heard: When Andrei introduces two people to Takeshi


Licensed Track (not commercially available)

Album: Ethereal Journeys 5

Heard: When Takeshi is outdoors

"Vacetious Blooms"
By Neotropic
Album: Mr. Brubaker's Strawberry Alarm Clock
Heard: When Takeshi plays Watch World

Additional Information

US original broadcast date: August 12, 2006
Japan original broadcast date: March 29, 2006

Toonami Version Differences

- A small portion of the end of the dojo scene was cut. No dialogue was cut.

Screenshot Gallery

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