The Big O Wiki
Advertisement
Chapter 12 Title Card

Manga

Manga[]

Overview[]

Roger is set out on search from a client named Albert to find an old bar, but the only evidence available of it’s existence is a single picture. This picture begins awakening memories within Roger of a woman he once knew when he was younger, and appears to be connected to the bar. Eventually, Roger finds out that Albert sent him on this search with ulterior motives, and with a little assistance from Beck.

Synopsis[]

We start of with Roger at a bar having a drink and looking at an old picture. He monologues the following:

“Old pictures turn the color of amber…the same color as the liquids people drink when they get nostalgic, but you can’t recapture lost memories by diluting the ones you have, it’s better to take them straight.”

We cut to Roger driving the Griffon across the city streets, complaining to himself that he’s hit every bar in Paradigm City, comparing his current objective to finding a needle in a haystack. His monologue then continues:

“This is Paradigm City, the city that lost its memory. In most cities, people drink to forget, to drown their sorrows, but these people want to drown themselves in memories, for me, the past is past, I live for the present and future, but people still try to get back the things they’ve lost if they get the chance. This client is probably of that variety.”

As he says this, he finds a beautiful woman at one of the bars and is about to ask her out, only for her to walk over to the man she arrived at the place with, much to the negotiator’s dismay. We then cut to a flashback of said client, Albert, who said his father Dylano used to be a mafia boss, but when he lost his memories 40 years ago, he also lost his power. Afterwards, he scrounged to make a living managing various bars around town as everything slipped through his fingers.

Albert says his father won’t be around much longer, states he has money, and wants Roger to help him buy back the bar holding all his memories, before handing Roger a picture. He admits he doesn’t know where or when this picture was taken, but knows it’s the only clue they have. Roger heads back out, noting he’s not only seeking out the bar, but negotiating it’s price for purchase, theorizing the client wants to save money by having Roger do both.

Although Roger wasn't very fond of Albert, he couldn't help but feel sympathetic over Dylano and thus he took the job. While Roger keeps asking people at various bars about the picture, he starts remembering the same woman from before, who’s pleased to see him as she thought he had forgotten about her. Finally, Roger arrives at the Speakeasy to consult Big Ear. Big Ear notes that the picture is quite old, and over the 40 year period that the domes were built, hundreds of buildings were destroyed, possibly even including the one the picture was taken in.

Roger acknowledges this, but still suspects it exists, and asks for Big Ear to humor him. Deep down, Roger knew it was still around, but didn’t know why. He arrives to another bar and is greeted by a smoker, leading Roger to another flashback of the mysterious woman. According to Roger, the cigarettes this mystery woman smoked weren’t typical synthetic ones, but the real tobacco kind. We see Roger when he was younger, talking with the woman.

She says she was worried he wasn’t going to come anymore, and figures he didn’t forget about her after all. Roger notes the rarity of the cigarettes and how they were special, before noting their relationship might have been too, as we see the young Roger share a smoke with her. Albert is now getting impatient, and angrily yells at Beck who promised Roger was the best, the impatient client believing the negotiator to be dragging his feet.

Beck disagrees, saying he’ll vouch for Roger’s abilities. Albert states that all that matters is finding his father’s bar. Beck then calls for the client to pay him up, to which he then receives a briefcase of cash. He states it’s a pleasure doing business with him and tells Albert he can call anytime, only to then be told to leave.

Roger arrives at another bar, and ends up reuniting with an old friend of his. They have a drink for the sake of old times. Roger notes the man hasn’t changed, but the friend says otherwise, retorting that he’s getting old and joking about his receding hairline. The man then describes strange things occurring around him. Every day when he heads home from work, he notices things in places he didn’t remember previously putting there. He questions if this is how memory loss starts, being genuinely troubled by the thought.

Roger reassures him that he simply misplaced those things, stating he’s drinking too much, to which the old friend agrees to the possibility in amusement. Roger notes that the whole city lost it’s memory 40 years ago, and ever since then people having taken concepts like forgetfulness very seriously, even though it’s natural to forget things in general. Roger shows his friend the old photo, who recognizes where it came from. Roger asks him if he knows where it is, only to be told he’s the one whose likely drank too much, as this was a bar that Roger had recommended him to in the past.

We then cut to Roger who drives over to the location, and sees that it’s been abandoned for years. Albert is on the phone, pleased to hear from Roger of his success, and says he’ll arrive soon, wanting to see it with his own eyes. When Roger enters the building, he has another flashback of the woman, who once again says she thought he forgot about her. Roger has more and more flashbacks, which he ties to the building itself. He recalls a conversation he had with this woman, talking about what would happen if they were separated.

The woman says she fears losing these happy memories, promising if Roger forgets, she’ll help him remember them, but the younger Roger outright states he could never forget these moments. Meanwhile, a megadeus named Don Juan then walks down the street, causing civilians to panic and Roger to snap out of his flashbacks. Piloting the megadeus is Albert, who recalls a conversation he had with his dying father about something he built at that bar that not even a bomb could break into.

Albert laments his father for dying before he could give the address, but is happy nonetheless to have Dylano’s legacy. Roger drives the Griffon over to a rendezvous point Albert picked, but Roger can’t see him. However, he then realizes the approaching giant robot is being piloted by his client. Roger deduces that Albert hired him to find the bar so that nobody else could link him to the giant robot he was now planning to use to steal his father’s legacy, contained within that building.

Albert tauntingly proclaims a fictitious headline of Paradigm City’s top negotiator being killed by a mysterious giant robot, before then joking he’ll send Roger’s payment to the afterlife. Don Juan chases The Griffon down the street, only for the car to then use a smokescreen, followed shortly afterwards by the arrival of Big O. Roger, behind the controls of Big O, says Albert’s plan has failed, before then having the black megadeus throw a punch at Don Juan, knocking off the cloak covering it’s hunchback.

The megadeus unfolds three finger-like appendages from it’s hunchback, giving it the appearance of a giant hand. Roger has another flashback of the mysterious woman, his younger self asking her why she looks so lonesome. The woman retorts it’s not her, and that Roger’s the one who looks lonesome, simply seeing his reflection in her eyes and thinking that was lonesome. He then asks what she sees in his eyes, but from that point onward Roger doesn’t remember the rest of the conversation. This missing memory bothers Roger as Big O punches a hole in the armor of Don Juan.

The apparition of Schwarzwald then comes back, now taunting Roger over wanting to remember what he’s lost, and stating he’s the same way. Roger rejects this notion out loud, as Albert notes his dire situation and resolves to get his inheritance. He has Don Juan pulverize the building and uncovers a giant safe. Albert recognizes his inheritance, and opts to have his hand-shaped megadeus grab it and run away, only for Big O to deliver a final blow to the damaged machine.

As he had Big O deliver the final punch, a single tear ran down Roger’s cheek, and the bar he met the mysterious woman in was turned to rubble. The Military Police soon arrive, with Dastun deducing Albert was after the enormous house-sized safe. He jokes that Roger gets himself into a lot of incidents, but the unamused Roger brushes this off and says if questioning is over, he’s going home, confusing Dastun with his dour demeanor.

Later, Dastun informs Roger on the phone that within that safe, behind it’s massive locks, were just piles of letters a woman wrote to Albert’s father. Dastn admits he feels a little bad for Albert who was probably expecting cash. Roger deduces they must’ve been considered precious memories by Dylano. Roger gets off the phone and reflects for a moment.

“The destruction of the bar left me feeling empty, this isn’t like me. The past is past. What matters are the present and the future. It’s like being thirsty for something, and it isn’t soda pop. But what do I need to quench my thirst?”

Roger continues contemplating this while at the rooftop next to Dorothy, who notes that even Roger can get lonesome, but cites that at least he’s able to forget due to being human. Roger replies that sometimes humans can’t help but remember, something an android wouldn’t understand. Dorothy acknowledges this is true, which means she’ll never forget him. Roger thinks to himself one last time, that memories should never be diluted.

Similarities To The Anime[]

  • Similar to “R.D.“, Roger comes across an object containing memories that begins awakening intrusive memories of his past for the first time ever, which then interfere with his ability to work and continue investigating said object. However, instead of the memories being of what happened 40 years ago, they’re memories from a time when Roger was younger.

Trivia[]

  • Megadeus: Big O, Don Juan
  • The working title for this chapter was “Remember Me”, as can still be seen in Paradigm Gallery.
  • We see another instance of the running gag where Roger keeps failing to pick up women at the bar.
  • This chapter is the first story in the manga to address the gaps Roger has in his own memories and the knowledge he has of his own past, which becomes a recurring theme and struggle in the second season of the anime. Since this was released prior to season 2 of the anime, this chapter gives us the first ever instance of Roger’s own struggles with his memories of the past.
  • Although Roger is implied to have a disdain for smokers when discussing Beck from “Chapter 1, Memory Thieves“, he didn’t seem to have this stigma when he was younger, as he shared a cigarette with the mystery woman.
  • Don Juan and Dylano’s names are revealed in Paradigm Gallery. Don Juan shares it's name with a fictional Spanish Libertine named Don Giovanni who devotes his life to seducing women, and Dylano's name is a variant of the name Dylan, which means "son of the sea".
  • Don Juan is revealed in Paradigm Gallery to have been sold to Albert by Beck, was built from “excavations and memories” and is different from other megadeuses. The same line of text also reveals that Albert has already been arrested before for the murder of a man.
  • Being a robot associated with Beck, earlier drafts in Paradigm Gallery of Don Juan’s design featured Beck’s insignia on the pelvic area, but this would be removed in the final draft we see in the manga.
  • When the woman in Roger’s memories is described in Paradigm Gallery, her name isn’t revealed, and it’s said to not be certain whether or not she even existed in the first place.
  • Strangely, despite being revealed to be a lawyer Roger met during his military police days, Roger’s old friend never had his name revealed in Paradigm Gallery, even though his concept art is still shown. It’s also stated in the background of his concept art that he seems to have not met someone named Mari. No context is given as to who Mari is, but it’s possible that may be the name of the mysterious woman.
  • The only other character in the series who has a name like Mari is the deceased wife of Mr.Wise from Episode 9 of the anime, Francis Wise’s mother Mary, a woman who looks a just like Angel, and somewhat resembles the mystery woman. Although likely not the exact same woman, it’s possible Gordon Rosewater’s Artificial Cultivation project from the anime could explain this connection if it’s true, as it was also the explanation for why there was a Roger Smith in both of those eras of Paradigm's history.

Citations[]

Advertisement