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Chapter 2 Electric Butterfly Title Card

Manga

Manga[]

Overview[]

Electric Butterfly (also known as Chapter 2) is the manga-exclusive second story of the Big O manga, featured in Volume one. It’s the second and only other story to depict Roger’s life prior to meeting Dorothy, alongside Memory Thieves. This chapter follows Roger meeting a girl named Sheila, a school kid whose grandfather is a scientist named Dr.Miller. Miller recovered his memories, only to be taken advantage of by Beck who wants to use the scientist’s electric bug project to take revenge against Big O and defeat him once and for all.


Synopsis[]

Roger narrates that in order to expand a dome in Paradigm City, the Paradigm Corporation demands that an old school building outside that dome must be torn down. However, the school says their compensation money is insufficient, thus Roger must negotiate. The Paradigm representative is baffled by Roger’s request to increase the value of the compensation ten times over, but Roger insists this money is needed in order for a new building to be constructed as a replacement. The representative offers an alternative: having the children taught in one of the tower buildings, which makes Roger question if the representative even cares for the education of children, citing that children are the future. The representative retorts that the future belongs to the children inside the domes, not outside, before promptly leaving. Despite the negotiation failing, the head of the school appears to still be thankful.

Roger looks at a board covered in drawings, amused by some that depict Big O fighting. An ornate painting depicting a woman in a meadow catches his eye, only for a girl named Sheila to point out that it’s all lies. Roger asks Sheila to elaborate, to which she replies that the sky and flowers aren’t as colorful as depicted in the painting. Roger, recognizing this painting as a depiction of the world prior to 40 years ago, says that back then the sky and flowers were that colorful. Sheila ignores Roger’s statement and points out that insects don’t look the way a butterfly in the painting does, before then pointing to a drawing she made depicting a bunch of bright dragonfly-like insects. Suddenly, a group of kids come out and accuse Sheila of lying again, saying insects died out a long time ago. Sheila denies this, saying the insects she drew were real, and that she saw them herself. The bullies question where, before promptly teasing and bullying her more and more. As Sheila yells she’s not a liar the power suddenly goes out, scaring all the children and causing them to huddle around Roger. He acknowledges that people fear darkness, especially in Paradigm City, presumably because of the event 40 years ago. Sheila hears buzzing for a brief moment, before the power to the building goes back on. Roger reassures the children that it’s over, and one of them awkwardly thanks him.

Roger exits the school and looks at the nearby dome being expanded by heavy construction equipment, before heading to his car. Roger monologues that Paradigm City is split in half, with poor people living outside the domes in darkness and the wealthy living inside the domes in the light. Despite this, Roger states that both are the same in the fact they all fear losing their memory. He then makes an analogy, saying it’s possible to drive a car without knowing how it works, and that memories work the same way. The monologue is interrupted when the streetlights on the highway he’s driving on go out. Roger questions how it’s even possible for there to be two blackouts in one day, before returning to his train of thought and ending his monologue by stating that sometimes, there are people whose memories come back.

We cut to an old man, Dr.Miller, working in his messy lab, cluttered with various kinds of technology and equipment. Sheila looks on at the glowing orbs kept inside a glass cage, before Miller yells at her, demanding she get away from the container. Beck walks in and greets Sheila, asking if her grandfather is home. She points to Miller, who thanks Beck for enabling him to continue his research. Beck comments on the quality of the equipment he gave him, and asks Miller to let him know if he needs anything else, saying he’ll have everything, but notes he also wants to see results. Dr.Miller reassures him he’ll keep his word, followed by Beck reminding him to tell nobody, and tells Sheila she can’t say anything either, before promptly leaving. Beck laments the fact that he’s always used Soldano’s mechs to fight against Big O, who would always end up defeating them. However, he believes this time it will not only be different, but the black megadeus will practically be helpless.

Meanwhile at Roger’s estate, Norman notices that Roger appears to be worried as he’s eating. Roger replies that there were two power blackouts outside the domes, only for another blackout to happen at his house that exact moment. Roger hears a buzzing sound, and sees the glowing orbs that seem to be emitting it. He throws a kitchen knife at it which pins it to the wall just as the power goes back on. While norman applauds Roger on the knife throw, Roger notices that he skewered 3 large insects. Norman doesn’t see their kind in the registry, and Roger notes that insects haven’t been seen since 40 years ago. Roger asks where insects would be found, to which Norman replies they would gather around flowers and plants, but Roger says neither of those exist now. Norman asks what these new insects feed upon, to which Roger says he’ll find out as he enters his car.

Inside the domes, a bunch of these insects emerge, much to the public’s confusion. Dr.Miller chastises Sheila for letting them out. Sheila justifies that she felt pity for them, but when Miller retorts it was his life’s work, he begins to question whether or not Sheila is really his grand-daughter, not remembering who she is. Beck laments that the Miller’s memory is quite bad, and hopes he can still continue the research. When Miller asks Sheila if she’s actually a spy, she runs away crying.

Dastun tries calming down the crowds of people panicking at the sight of these insects, who ask what’s going on. As Dastun quietly admits to himself that he wish he knew, the projecting lights on the military vehicles go out. He calls for the emergency electricity to be activated, but his men state that those went out too, much to Dan’s frustration.

Roger sees that the streetlights on the highway he’s driving on go out, and deduces it’s because the insects are feeding off of their electricity, explaining all the blackouts. He then remembers the drawing Sheila made of those insects, realizing she would know what they are. Beck cackles maniacally and demands these insects conquer the city for him, using a control box to command their behavior. Roger watches as they all swarm and collect together whilst Dr.Miller begs beck to stop, saying the insects are still immature and are a major threat, but Beck cites their agreement and shoes him away. The insects collectively form a giant monster of swarming, flying bugs, which Beck proclaims will defeat Big O so that he will be unstoppable. The giant insect kaiju touches a city building, it’s lights go dark, and the monster grows even bigger, growing from the electricity it stole.

Roger calls upon Big O, and has Big O use a machine gun mounted underneath his megadeus’ arm shield to fire at the insect monster, but the amalgamation of swarming insects is unfazed, simply flying away, much to Roger’s confusion. The insects flee the dome, forcing Big O to punch through the walls being expanded by construction equipment. Roger initially struggles to find the monster, but then sees it’s signature electric glow emitting from Sheila’s school building. Big O’s sensors confirm that the highest energy concentrations in the area are coming from the building. Roger regrets having to do this, but has Big O smash the building to force the insect monster out of hiding, whilst Beck arrives to the scene on a motorcycle. Roger realizes the insects hid there because the electric lines for the domes was located under the school building. Beck whips out his control box and directs the insects’ attention to Big O, deducing the energy of the Black Megadeus is coming from electricity too. The insects swarm Big O and drain it’s power, causing all systems to shut down. Roger exits Big O’s cockpit, leading Beck to find out the black megadeus has a pilot. Regardless, Beck proclaims victory and states it’s time for revenge.

Sheila arrives to the scene and watches in horror as the insect monster beats up Big O, whose defeat baffles the Military Police. However, Beck sees that Big O is still standing. He assumes more energy is needed, so he has the monster drain more power from the city and terrifying the public, including the kids bullying Sheila, who were stunned to find that the insects were real all along. The power boost leaves the insect monster glowing white, and with this new strength it slams Big O to the ground, nearly killing Sheila via collateral damage. However, Roger swoops in and takes her to safety, asking if everything is ok.

Dr.Miller now realizes in horror just how far gone he went for the sake of his research, from being willing to make a deal with Beck to forgetting that Sheila was even his granddaughter, he laments all of this as his fault. Roger steps in with Sheila and asks for the professor to help them rather than simply whine. As Sheila tearfully apologizes for letting out the insects and begs for her grandfather’s help, Big O is being torn apart by the insect monster, starting with the loss of its left arm. Sheila states they need to find the monster’s weakness, which Roger can “tell megadeus”. Dr.Miller says that’s impossible, but Roger accepts the request, stating that compared to the other people he’s negotiated with, Big O is nothing. At this point, as Big O is knocked down again, Dr.Miller recognizes that this is the famous negotiator Roger Smith. Beck is underwhelmed by the easy victory over Big O but celebrates anyway, only for Big O to stand up again. Dr.Miller states the electric butterflies are simply electric generators capable of working anywhere in the city. However, they’re immature and still need electricity to grow, which in turn is hampered into a limited energy capacity, the spare energy being converted to light. Roger asks what this means, to which Miller responds the insects’ capacity needs to be exceeded. Unfortunately, that would equate to the energy needed to power the entire city for a month. However, this doesn’t bother Roger, who says he’ll speak with Big O, much to the scientist's shock.

Roger explains these events to Norman whilst inside of Big O. Norman replies that the Prairie Dog is on the move, but dreads the repair work he’ll have to do after this. Meanwhile, Beck is frustrated with Big O’s persistence in not staying down and constantly standing back up. Suddenly, something bursts from the ground next to him. Big O finds itself in a new configuration, it’s remaining arm discarded and both arms being replaced now with giant electricity generating arms, much to Beck’s bewilderment. Roger says it’s showtime as Big O powers up the Electric Shock Arms. Beck says he’s unimpressed, but is visibly getting nervous, as massive amounts of electricity are emitted from the new arms of Big O, which is then directed towards the electric butterflies, overloading them and causing them to explode, ending the battle.

Roger, Sheila and her grandfather are now in the crumbled remains of the school building. Dr.Miller sees that it’s over, but is thankful and bids farewell to his creations. Sheila digs out her picture of the electric butterflies from the debris and uses it to cheer up her grandfather, who embraces her and says he wants her to keep it. Thus, Sheila gives it to Roger, to pay him for the time being until the day comes that she can pay him fully. She then notices the painting from before, and laments the blue sky and colorful flowers will always just be a dream. Roger heavily disagrees, stating her grandfather’s experiments are proof that if people continue to work on their dreams, they’ll come true, and takes the drawing as a sufficient payment. Beck rides away on his motorcycle, vowing to find out Big O’s secret, and laments that he has to return to Soldano. Meanwhile, Norman says all the damaged parts of Big O are collected, and while it may take more time, the repairs can still be done. At dinner, Norman notices the drawing Sheila gave Roger, and compliments the picture. Roger replies that the picture is the realization of dreams.

The End.

Trivia[]

  • Megadeus: Big O, Electric Bugs
  • Paradigm City: Sheila's School
  • Paradigm Gallery reveals that the scientists name is Dr.Miller, and apparently Sheila's parents are missing.
  • Also according to Paradigm Gallery, the arm configuration Big O uses for this story is called the “Electric Shock Arms”. There’s no name reveal or even concept art for the arm-mounted machine gun however.
  • It’s revealed that all plant and insect species went extinct 40 years ago.
  • The domes undergo expansions which usually involve land buyouts and the destruction of property outside said domes, which Roger seems to deal with regularly.
  • Big O is revealed to have a machine gun attack similar to O-Thunder, but instead of the entire arm transforming, a small multi-barrelled machine gun comes out underneath the arm shields. It’s unknown if this was a preliminary form of the O-Thunder or a separate weapon altogether, as this chapter came out years prior to Season 2 of the anime.
  • It’s shown that even with it’s electrical systems down, Big O can still function at least to enough of a degree to stand back up after being knocked down. This likely was a hint towards the mysterious power of the core memory.
  • This is the first of multiple manga chapters to show Big O having weapons and configurations never seen before in the anime.
  • Doctor Miller is revealed to be one of the various scientists in this series to have regained their memories.

Citation[]

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