Following K’s death and J’s disappearance two years ago, the covert terrorist attack, Bloody Monday, comes to a screeching halt.
But it’s far from being over.
In the two years since Bloody Monday shattered Fujimaru’s life to pieces, much have changed.
Unlike Otoya, who is pursuing a degree in engineering (atomic engineering to be precise), Fujimaru had chosen not to attend college. He works half-time at a convenient store to support himself and his sick sister Haruka. To friends, Fujimaru has turned into a scarred craven who desperately wanted to return to normalcy. So much that he’s willing to throw away his gift. He doesn’t own a computer anymore and barely lets out the secret that he ever was, or still is, a computer genius.
But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Fujimaru hasn’t relaxed since Bloody Monday started. Aside from working to put food on the table, he devotes all his time monitoring the terrorist website (hence no room for college) and kept himself informed with all the details concerning national security.
For instance, he knows THIRD-i has a new team leader, a man called Hagiwara Taru, who specializes in internet crime. The old agents Kano Ikuma and Minami Kaoru have been transferred out of THIRD-i. Minami is working with the police as an inter-unit agent and Kano, after declining the promotion offer, faced a setback to the filing department.
All the information gathering took place in a remote computer lab Fujimaru has set up for himself. He operated in secrecy because he believes that the only way his friends will stay out of harm is for him to keep them in the dark.
But danger seems to have a will of its own.
Trouble starts to stir up on Otoya’s birthday. At the birthday dinner, Otoya’s Minister of Justice grandpa shows up to rebuild burnt bridges. As the grandson starts to warm up to his grandpa, out comes a bullet.
The first abrasive little projectile misses grandpa’s balding head by an inch and plants itself squarely on a nearby wall. The second, finds its way to the old man but it lodges in the minister’s chest instead of his head.
The shooter — an impassive woman with an impressive dragon tattooed on her chest — must be disappointed at her imprecision. But then again, what better way to assert a politician’s importance than an attempted assassination? (By the way, Bloody Monday REALLY likes its tattoos. We’ve got the butterfly tattoo man last season, we’re getting the dragon tattoo lady this season. Just keepin’ the trend going, no? Since we’re on the subject, I must say I was wrong to think only anime is ladened with oversexed women. I mean why else would you get a salient tattoo on your breasts if you aren’t offering them for men to ogle at?)
While the Minister of Justice is in the hospital, he gets a call from Orihara Maya reporting back from Russia. Of course, Otoya picks up the call and is dismayed at hearing her voice. She asks him to meet up with her as she has an item to deliver. Though reluctant, Otoya agrees. Aoi overhears the conversation and attempts to dissuade Otoya from throwing himself into Danger’s path. Otoya, much like Fujimaru, prefers to shoulder on responsibilities alone and asks Aoi to keep the information from Fujimaru.
After much deliberation, Aoi decides that the meeting is too dangerous and heads to Fujimaru’s house to ask for his help. There is a light moment as Fujimaru awakens to find that Aoi had written on his hand when nothing else seems to wake him up.
The mood soon sours when Aoi brings up Otoya’s rendez vous with Maya. Fujimaru refuses to get involved and heads to work.
When he arrives at the convenient store, the place is blocked off by the police. Befuddled, he receives a phone call from a fellow part-timer, urging him to run. A woman claiming to be Orihara Maya had stormed in, killing every living soul that came before her. Fujimaru’s co-worker, Mizusawa, was working in the back room at the time and escaped the raid.
Mizusawa then meets Fujimaru in a cybercafé where Falcon hacks into the convenient store’s security camera to see what happened.
He extracts the video and notes the hit-woman’s tattoo. She’s not Maya, he concludes. A second later, his computer receives an attack warning. Falcon is unable to stop the attacker and for the first time in Bloody Monday history, Falcon gets owned! The proud attacker leaves Falcon his/her signature marker to memorialize the moment — a vicious looking hornet cackling inauspiciously.
With the viral attack, Fujimaru’s location is compromised. He takes Mizusawa and run for their lives before the hit-woman can zero in on them. They stop to catch their breath at Fujimaru’s secret computer station, only to find the THIRD-i agents at the door. Guess the secret work room isn’t so secret after all.
At the rendez vous, Maya greets Otoya with a back hug, as though seeing a close old friend after a long time. She then leads him away to a private area where her attitude undergoes a drastic change. She points a gun in his face and orders him to turn around. Once he obeys, she leans in closer and runs her hands along his body — looking for the Minister’s cellphone. She finds it and inserts the memory card she had obtained in Russia. Stealthily, she slips the phone back into Otoya’s pocket and tells him to deliver it to her employer. Then, she gets hit.
THIRD-i had reasons to believe that a nuclear weapon associated with the Bloody Monday terrorist group will destroy Tokyo at 8 pm tonight and seeks Falcon’s help. Fujimaru, more determined than ever, agrees without further probe.
On the car ride to THIRD-i’s base, Fujimaru calls Aoi to have her take care of Haruka in his absence. “If Tokyo is still here tomorrow,” he suggests, “Let’s have breakfast together.” Looking down at his hand, he adds, “Thanks for waking me up today.”
After hanging up with Fujimaru, Aoi calls Haruka, urging her to come home. Haruka is out studying with a boy; still feeling annoyed at her brother’s over protective reaction towards her new crush, Haruka ignores the call.
The door bell rings moments later. Thinking it’s Haruka coming home, Aoi opens the door.
When she sees it’s a stranger, she instinctively snaps the door shut. But the man is faster. Before the door is closed all the way, his arm passes through the open crack. Aoi jams the door against the intruder’s arm, exerting her entire body’s strength to keep it from swinging open the door. But her struggle comes to a stifling halt as the protruding limb sags suddenly. Palpitating with fear, Aoi watches in paralyzing horror as the hand lowers. It clasps onto her wrists and forces the door open.
The echo of her scream bounces off the roof and attenuates into the neighborhood…
At the THIRD-i base, Falcon recounts his attack by Hornet and notes a passing observation that Hornet seemed to have used Falcon’s server to hack into a Russian airline. After further investigation, it is confirmed that the plane carries Kirishima Goro and J, who is returning to Japan from a Russian penitentiary.
The information is conveyed to Goro, who immediately launches a covert search of the plane. He finds the bomb and ascertains that the device was leaked from the Russian government. The device is GPS controlled so that once it reaches Tokyo sky, at exactly 8 pm, it will nuke the city.
With only 35 minutes left before detonation, the fastest way to disable the bomb is to obtain the password from the Russian government via Falcon’s crazy hacking skill and manually reset the device. Falcon gets to work but hits a brick wall when Hornet intercepts him and feeds him videos of Aoi in a torturing chamber.
She is tied up and hooked to numerous machines, obviously in pain.
The video shows a close up of the chemical KCl, intending to threaten Falcon to sidestep the endeavor with Aoi’s life. Each time Fujimaru tries to hack, a message would read “Hacking is illegal, KCl administering”. Then, he would see Aoi moan in pain. With Hide’s death still close to heart, Fujimaru collapses in despair. He can’t bear to lose another friend.
THIRD-i sends out agents to find and save anyone close to Fujimaru. As much as Fujimaru wants to help, the only thing he can do is wait.
The politicians headed by the Minister of Justice are aware of the terrorist threat. They are now meeting to discuss ways to reduce the damage. So far, the best one they can come out with is to change the course of the flight and opt for a crash in the ocean.
At length, word of Haruka’s safety reaches Falcon. Then Otoya’s. But Fujimaru is still waiting to hear about Aoi.
Suddenly, images of the torturing room goes static. And then, it disappears all together. Startled, Fujimaru stands up. Then comes agent Minami’s report that Aoi is found. “Is she okay? Is Aoi okay?” Fujimaru asks in earnest. After a beat of hesistation, Minami replies, “She’s fine. Don’t worry.” Rest assured, Fujimaru resumes work.
The device is eventually unlocked, thanks to Fujimaru’s password. However, a crazed terrorist (who probably brought the bomb on board) destroys the computer before all the data are fully loaded. With only 30 seconds to eight, most give up hopes of preventing the catastrophe.
But at a second to eight, the plane disappears from the radar. There is a profound silence, then relief.
When all else failed, Falcon had hacked into the satellite and located the GPS coordinates of the plane. Since the device is GPS controlled, he futzed around with the satellite and made it into believing that the plane hasn’t left Russia. Not out of Russia, no detonation.
There might’ve been relief, even a faint giddiness at having saved the city and passengers on the plane. But whatever positive emotion Fujimaru was feeling a minute ago is wiped clear at the morgue, in front of Aoi’s cold, dead body. Gazing down at Aoi, Fujimaru quietly absorbs the shock.
When Agent Hagiwara and Agent Minami join him momentarily, the simmering emotion comes to a violent boiling. “Didn’t you say she was safe?” he demands hatefully. “She was dead by the time we found her,” Hagiwara answers dryly, “If we had told you earlier, you would be useless.” In a fit of anger, Fujimaru charges at Minami. “Do what you want with me,” says a vapid Minami, ready to take a blow. Collecting himself, Fujimaru lowers his fist and lets the two go.
Outside the morgue, Kano stands motionlessly waiting. When he sees Minami, he says mournfully, “What did you do? He joined us because he trusted us.” “Is there any other way?” tears start to fill up Minami’s eyes, “He stopped the bomb. He saved Tokyo.” But the fact remains, she had abused Fujimaru’s trust.
“Who did this?” asks Otoya, still inside the morgue, “Who did this to her?” After a pregnant pause, Fujimaru replies, “I did.”
As he walks out the room, he opens his palm and sees the faded words Aoi had written earlier today. Giving in to grief, he allows himself to cry…
LONG episode. At times it dragged; but over all, a good premiere to set things in motion again.
The new season preserves its basic story structure, that is, genius hacker saving Tokyo in the last minute (oops, it has gotten down to the last second). Without offering anything new to the old story, it would not have aroused interest. Thankfully, this two-hour premiere shined light on a number of potentially interesting directions.
First and foremost, there is Hornet, who will most certainly make life more difficult for Falcon in the episodes to come. Then, we have a set of new characters (e.g. Mizusawa and Haruka’s little crush), who, while appear innocuous on the outset, carry an undertone of hinkiness. Maya and J’s slightly reversed roles (as the terrorist group had turned its back on them), on the other hand, interest me more than anything. It would be both amusing and intriguing to see a possible collaboration between these two slithery people and THIRD-i. Finally, the end of the first episode introduces a divide between Fujimaru and THIRD-i. I’m not exactly excited about this set up since the development tend to unfold predictably, but it’s still something to add to the pot of intensity.