While her team are out looking for Dr Miami, Koko dines with Mr Chang with Ugo to watch over her, and it would seem that they’re not alone either as Scarecrow accompanied by his subordinate Schokolade are trying to eavesdrop on them.
At this point, taken aback by her fighting style Valmet has confronted Karen and elsewhere Dr Miami reveals to her assistant why she doesn’t like working in weapons developers, disgusted with seeing her research for a toy go towards a missile and simply being used, however while she notes that Chang treats her to good food she’s cut off before she can reveal what interests her about Koko.
Back at the restaurant Ugo’s attempts to stop Koko from drinking have failed and they start to talk business, and when she slips away to the restroom Scarecrow sends Schokolade after her, however Koko had done this intending to meet up with her and put together a way to leave the restaurant alive. On Valmet’s side of things, Jonah and the others pick off Karen’s team with Jonah proposing that they just play dead and take them all out when they drop their guard, while Valmet fights it out with Karen. Revealing that the man in her flashback had taken out her entire squad as she overpowers her with ease, but as she beats her down she finds herself seeing too much of herself in Karen. Lehm however snaps her out of it by telling her that their job is done and that’s that, Karen revealing her name and swearing to kill her.
When he learns of Koko’s proposition, Scarecrow is a bit hesitant but when Schokolade presses that he won’t make a cent if she dies he agrees, and so while Mr Chang snaps his cane in frustration with snipers waiting outside, Koko and Ugo simply walk out and meet Scarecrow and Schokolade before taking off in a helicopter. Elsewhere Dr Miami has found the vale she was looking for and while Jonah and the others would catch up with her, Dr Miami would head off on another trip before she and Koko could have a chance to meet in person.
Following this Koko and her team head to England in the next episode, where because Lutz was grazed in their last mission he has to undergo some paintball training with Jonah. Who’s incentive for such is the Koko’s promise of a luxurious dinner if he hits him so many times, and of course he ends up running circles around the caught in thought Lutz who after the incident with Orchestra wonders if he could pull the trigger against a kid like Jonah. After this Koko heads to a conference on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs and meets a rival arms dealer from EAE, Amalia Tolokhovsky, a former actress, and as part of her latest ploy to sell UAV’s for HLCI she meets Schokolade again.
However as she goes about contacting her clients she finds that Tolokhovsky has beaten her to the punch and has been spreading rumours along the way as well, having figured out her plan to sell them to one country and thus lead the Americans to sell them to the opposing country. To counter this Koko holes herself away in her hotel room with Valmet sending emails knowing all too well that Tolokhovsky is intercepting them, and giving the impression that HCLI has lost this one. Tolokhovsky noting to herself the similarities between her old job and her new, but just as it seems like she’s won, Schokolade comes through for Koko and fulfills her side of it.
As a result of this and the EAE starting to be bought up, Tolokhovsky decides to meet with Koko in person and while she has snipers set up, Koko also has Lutz set up to counter them as she goes on to confront Tolokhovsky on whether she has any idea of what she’s dealing in and what it does to a person. Tolokhovsky however goes on to admit that the EAE is pulling out and asks that she take care of their stocks, and as they haggle over the price Koko’s team move in and completely disarm Tolokhovsky’s own and settle the matter.
Once again I got a bit behind but even so these two episodes were still fairly fun. The first managed to close the arc rather open endedly with some insights to Valmet’s past and the antagonists still not entirely out of the way to say the least, while the second felt a lot more one-off as another example of showing how Koko does things.
To start with it was great to see some development for Valmet in the first episode where other than telling us what had happened in her past it also managed to have a particularly ironic twist to it all. In how as she brutally took out her frustrations on Karen she ended up putting her in the exact same position as she herself had been, leaving her humiliated and powerless as her entire squad was wiped out around her. Alongside that it also adds another layer to her character as well, beneath the team’s older sister figure Valmet feels both guilt and a thirst for revenge to the point that she nearly lost herself when faced with an illusion of such. Secondary to this it was also nice to see a bit of development for Lutz as well, slowly but surely it seems that all the members of Koko’s team are being detailed better.
Across these two episodes it was great to meet Scarecrow’s carefree and lax, sometimes subordinate, Schokolade voiced by Ami Koshimizu, another fun addition to the cast. Her laid back attitude is kind of cute and in contrast to her apparent superior’s strictness, Schokolade seems more interested in the foods in the places she gets to visit opposed to tracking and taking down wanted arms dealers, and at the same time she seems to have an already acquainted and friendly relationship with Koko. Giving the impression that she’s already ran into them a few times and that it might not be the first time that she’s let herself be manipulated by her either. Either way her character is a nice addition to the show.
As another one-off sort of the episode the second one was kind of fun as well even if, even if some of the gags are kind of tiring the slice of life angle to the series in what Koko and her team get up to in their off time is pretty fun. As I’ve said before they almost feel like a family in how close they all are, and in this episode it was pretty fun to see it kick off with Jonah showing Lutz up in paintball. Following all that the actual plot wasn’t that bad either, while it was a bit contrived it better presented the aspects to Koko’s job that aren’t related to shooting things up and meeting with her customers, in how she underwent something of an information battle against Tolokhovsky and was forced to plan accordingly, and that as she herself said she’s just one part of HLCI. Behind her there’s also the actual financial side to it as well.