Metallic Rouge – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Carnival Dances With Lost Memories

Episode 5 of Metallic Rouge starts with Naomi examining Rion’s corpse. Then, a fellow from the bus expedition arrives and startles Naomi. The two discuss the scene at hand and then the gentleman brings up Rouge. He tells Naomi that he’s willing to take her to Rouge’s location. We cut to Rouge having a vision from the past. 

In this vision, she’s observing her brother Jean playing the piano while they’re in a sealed vegetational facility. Additionally, they’re joined by a strange masked gentleman. Then, we shift to the present but remain in the vegetational facility. Instead of Jean playing the piano, Rouge observes a woman playing it. 

Afterward, the masked man tries to catch Rouge’s attention, but Rouge spots a small version of herself inside some type of sealed container. Then, we learn this is yet another dream sequence, as a masked man reveals he’s holding her hostage inside some dream simulator container. This masked individual tells her to continue sleeping.

We continue observing Rouge’s experiences with this dream version of Jean and her father. She asks them several questions about nectar injections and has a harmonious chocolate-eating session with Jean. Then, we receive snippets from several different scenarios ranging from Rouge discussing things with her father to her chatting with Sara. 

Then, we return to the area where the masked man has Rouge held hostage inside the dream-inducing container. He rambles on about Rouge’s birthday and says she’s been stuck in this device since birth. Afterward, we shift to a discussion between Naomi and her new male ally at the carnival. 

The male tells Naomi Rouge is possibly inside the large airship that she spotted in a prior episode. The man helps Naomi get inside and they stumble upon a war machine. The man alludes to these Carny-like individuals having ties to the Usurpers (this show’s alien invaders) and Naomi reveals they tend to go by the “Junoids” alias.

Before the boy leaves to perform grave-robbing duties, he says his name is Eden Varock. Then, we cut to Rouge and Sara discussing a song that reminds her of the people she despises. Afterward, we shift to the moment when Rouge defeats Sara. Sara asks Rouge why she killed her. After receiving several scenes involving Rouge, Jean, their father, and other characters, we return to Sara’s incident.

During this time, Naomi argues Rouge is a Nean traitor since Neans shouldn’t be allowed to kill other Neans. Then, we see another woman continuously prattle on about Code Eve while a marionette jitters a bit. Rouge stares blankly at the woman while the skinny masked man from the first flashback approaches her from behind.

Afterward, Naomi uses MK II to spy on a female carny (Opera) as she approaches Afdal’s lifeless body. His body’s being stored inside some type of unsealed chamber. Opera places Afdal’s I.D. inside the chamber and leaves. Naomi plans to confront Opera. Then, we cut to a new flashback involving Rouge and Jean.

Jean shows Rouge an image of the Immortal Nine and tells her they’re responsible for murdering their father. Rouge plans to help Jean avenge their father’s death. Jean mentions Code Eve and we learn that this version of Jean is the masked man. The thin masked man tells Rouge Code Eve is inside her body and wants her to tell him where it’s specifically located.

Then, in the present, the larger masked man unlocks Rouge’s sleep chamber. He prattles on about Rouge’s father’s death and how it relates to the Immortal Nine. Next, he tells Rouge that Code Eve is important since it can help them “transform” the world. However, Rouge questions Jean about the idea of having to kill the Immortal Nine members due to her brief encounters with them.

Rouge snaps out of her trance and notices the large masked figure standing over her. She asks the man to state who he is, and the man says he’s the Puppetmaster. The Puppetmaster reveals his goals to Rouge. Essentially, he wants to help Rouge become fully free. The Puppetmaster tells Rouge he’s going to let her go.

He hopes she can truly find herself and not turn out like his other depressing puppets. We receive a strange vision scene involving the fictional Jean, Rouge, and the real Rouge. Afterward, we see Noami towering over Rouge and explaining that they’re still in the airship. Naomi reveals she swiped Afdal’s I.D. Before they escape, Opera spots the two attempting to flee with it and fights Naomi.

During this fight, the Puppetmaster thanks the audience for attending their carnival. Additionally, he informs them this will be their last performance. We cut to Ash and his companion discussing their HQ summons fiasco. Then, we return to observing the battle between Opera and Naomi. Rouge recalls the Puppetmaster’s advice and assists Naomi in the fight against Opera. 

Opera summons allies to the battlefield, enticing Rouge to transform into her red Gladiator form. Suddenly, another Gladiator arrives and provides our girls with assistance. Rouge uses this opportunity to battle Opera alone while the new Gladiator ally protects Naomi. The new Gladiator abandons Naomi.

Before she falls to her death, Rouge postpones her battle with Opera to save and escape with Naomi. Later, Opera apologizes to the Puppetmaster for letting them escape with Afdal’s I.D. The Puppetmaster says it’s okay since he already retrieved what he wanted from Rouge. We can assume he made a copy of Rouge when she was in that dream-like prison.

We return to Mars and Naomi hands Rouge a chocolate bar. The two discuss the idea of saving one another briefly and then Naomi brings up the black Gladiator that assisted them in the fight. We see this gladiator observing the girls from afar and learn that it’s Eden. The episode closes with Eden planning to depart the area via his aircraft. 

The Episode Review

If folks found the previous episodes confusing to follow, this one takes the icing on the cake. While some components were easier to decipher, Studio Bones’s staff could’ve made matters feel less trippy and more cohesive. This would allow audiences to get on board with the storytelling presented in episode 5. Nonetheless, we’re hopeful this structure won’t follow suit in the upcoming chapters. 

That aside, Metallic Rouge’s visuals and animation remain stellar. From the epic clash between Naomi/Rouge and Opera to the trippy scenarios inserted in those dream-like sequences, everything looked astonishing. On the other hand, while the story-writing could use work in places, the episode touches upon some interesting subjects worth pondering like free will. 

Additionally, it gives viewers a glimpse into Rouge’s backstory and shows her having conflicting feelings about her Immortal Nine-killing mission. While things could’ve been reworked to give viewers a better and more coherent experience, it’s great to receive more insight into Rouge and Jean’s past. Overall, this episode was okay at best. 

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