How exciting. Even before the Edens Zero lands on Nero 66, we have Shiki and Shura facing off against each other. I don’t expect their fight to conclude at such a point but to have the two Gravity Ether users encounter each other so early on, it signifies a growing conflict developing between the two. Barring a repeat of what happened with Drakken and Shiki during the No. 29 timeline, we can expect a more even fight between Shura and Shiki. Based on Shiki’s performance in this chapter, it is clear that he does possess abilities that can work against Shura. And even if Shura does hold the edge in natural talent, the arrogance compelling Shura’s actions will create blind spots for Shiki to exploit. This battle will serve to introduce Shiki to Shura and in turn make Shiki aware of the type of person Shura is. Shiki may even notice the similarities in their past and possibly serve as an encounter to Shura that may change his perspective on the world.
Shura has been conditioned to looking down on his opponents and I believe he has yet to seriously fight an opponent who also wields the Gravity Ether. Shiki on the other hand has had two expert Gravity Ether users guide him. Before Ziggy’s descent into darkness, he taught Shiki how to wield the Gravity Ether and over the years they spent with each other, Ziggy guided Shiki on how to use those powers. Similarly, Xenolith also provided guidance to Shiki, albeit over only a week of training. Xenolith has also shown Shiki that it is possible to expand ones Gravity Ether to affect others over a large area surrounding you (Foresta). Seeing Shura stop one spaceship shouldn’t be all that impressive to Shiki in comparison. The knowledge and tutelage Shiki received isn’t insignificant. And it may end up being the determining factor in who reigns victorious at the end of this arc. Shura’s lack of knowledge of the possibilities of Gravity could lead to his reaction speeds being delayed when compared to Shiki.
Shura will either retreat or a third party will be introduced to stop the Shiki and Shura battle from concluding in that moment. I could see one of the Oceans switching places with Shura to take on Shiki. Or would that third party be one of Ziggy’s subordinates? Whatever happens, I am sure Shiki is prepared in his current state after being trained by Xenolith.
The ash present in the air across Nero 66 will come into play later when it begins affecting the characters from prolonged exposure. Pino noting that long-term activity outside the Dome not being recommended does suggest a future development where some characters will be affected by exposure to the ash. Could this lead to moment where human characters afflicted by the life-threatening chemicals of the ash have to rely on androids and machines for medical assistance in order to be saved? At this point, would the All-Link System be activated or will such a threat be destroyed by the Edens Zero crew? It would certainly be interesting to see the All-Link system activated but only if there were a way to reverse the effects of the system once active. But seeing as Shiki did promise to not let the All-Link system destroy the Androids, it seems likely that the All-Link system will be destroyed before being fully activated. Additionally, I do believe the dome surrounding the Nero 66 city will ultimately be destroyed during the conflict about to take place on the planet. The crew of Edens will likely need to lend their assistance to the people at this point in order to save them all. Androids helping people and people helping androids would be one way to convey a new path forward to the people within the Aoi Cosmos once the Nero Empire falls.
I particularly enjoyed the scene where everyone in the crew was concerned about the level of Shura’s gravity powers except for Shiki and Witch. It is understandable why Hermit argued against Shiki confronting Shura but I love how Shiki reacted and the support Witch gave to Shiki through the execution of Shiki’s request and her belief in him. After Shiki’s initial display against Shura, Hermit and Rebecca come to realise that Shiki himself has also leveled up beyond their expectations resulting in their concerns subsiding. In the Great Demon King they now trust.
Very curious to see which of the Edens Zero crew infiltrates the Nero 66 dome. Rebecca, Happy, Weisz, Pino and Homura will definitely be part of that force but will Laguna, Jinn and Kleene also join? I can see a reason for Laguna to be part of that group considering Ijuna is the “Princess” of Oasis. Laguna will need to meet Ijuna in order for her to lend her assistance to the Edens Zero crew. Rebecca, Weisz, Homura and Laguna will also match up nicely against the Oceans 6 members currently within the dome – Callum, Lyra, Nasseh and Milani. Laguna will likely be matched up against Nasseh. Homura against Callum. Weisz against Lyra. And Rebecca against Milani. With Jinn, Kleene, Witch, Sister and Hermit, I suspect another force will arrive on Nero 66 that will require their attention – be it the Interstellar Union Army, Ziggy and/or Poseidon Nero. Looking forward to the next chapter!