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Chapter 21 Title Card

Manga

Manga[]

Overview[]

"Roger..." is the final chapter of Volume 6 and the last chapter of the Big O manga chronologically, with Lost Memories being published afterwards and taking place between Volumes 5 and 6. In this chapter, Roger makes the difficult decision to go in for the kill and have Big O attack Big Fau, despite the fact Dorothy’s core memory is stored inside. However, it’s not enough to win the battle and the android's memories are destroyed, and all seems lost. However, the true fate of Dorothy would be something Roger could never of suspected as the final battle draws to a close.

Synopsis[]

We start with a flashback Roger has of Dorothy, who says that because she’s an android she’ll never forget him. Roger questions Dorothy, asking if she really would want to be a megadeus’ “brainstem”, as we then see Big O deliver a blow to Big Fau’s chest with triple impact, only for that arm to then explode.

Angel notes that it seemed like Big O’s armor couldn’t take the pressure, as both Roger and Norman see that the armor of Big Fau’s chest was broken open, destroying Dorothy’s memory and exposing the archetype-like technology underneath, but ultimately failing to stop the white megadeus. Angel explains that Dorothy’s memory only acts as a startup unit, and now that Big Fau is active, it’s no longer needed.

She acknowledges this must’ve been a difficult decision for the negotiator and apologizes that it was all for nothing. Roger looks on speechlessly as his cockpit floods with water, Norman now beginning to cut out as he apologizes for failing to anticipate this scenario. Norman states that the Prairie Dog could be used to provide replacement parts, but the subway systems are flooded.

Norman then points out the new arms can’t handle the stress, and the other arm is filled with so many stress fractures that it may only have one more blow, though this likely won’t be enough. Big Fau then kicks Big O back down into the depths of the ocean one final time, with Angel bidding farewell to Roger:

“Goodbye Roger Smith, maybe we’ll meet again in another life.”

We then cut to the meeting room of Paradigm HQ where various senators and corporate officials contemplate the disastrous implications of all this, stunned to find that Angel was a spy, wondering how much information she stole, and asking Alex how he plans on rectifying this situation.

Alex simply smiles smugly, saying this merely confirms his theory that civilization does exist beyond Paradigm City, and it was time to abandon the idea that this city is the last remnants of humanity. Alex smirks and thinks to himself that memories won’t be “manipulated so easily”, and vows that Angel will get what she deserves some day.

We then see someone walking the city streets with a black umbrella, then cut to the chair Dorothy was sitting in which is still broken, turned over, and now empty, and a series of hourglasses nearby having just been reset. Big Fau ascends through the water as Angel gives a report on the situation to The Union, stating she took lots of damages but managed to “shake off” Big O of Paradigm City, noting the sheer losses they sustained just to obtain Big Fau.

The Union Agent communicating with her on Big Fau’s terminal states that they lost 3 megadeuses to get here, but Angel shrugs this off, rhetorically asking if their main priority wasn't to get Big Fau. The man declares that their work in Paradigm City is over, which Angel is happy to hear, citing she really needs a new change of clothes. Then, a voice emerges from the darkness and calls her name.

Angel asks who said that, as Big Fau’s com link goes down and Angel loses contact with the Union. The voice calls for angel again. This continues as Big Fau continues cruising through the ocean, its’ eyes lighting up and Angel begins panicking, asking who’s there. Everything goes quiet, and Angel asks if that’s Big Fau whose calling her name, only to then be approached from behind by the apparition of Beck, who confronts her over the Gigadeus.

Angel is speechless as Beck continues on, rhetorically asking if the whole fiasco with the angel scam and everything that came afterwards was all part of her plan, smirking sinisterly. Angel asks him what he’s talking about, asking how he even managed to get here, only for Beck to stroke her chin and ask her not to “stonewall” him, stating he went along with everything she told him to do despite knowing she planned on betraying him somehow in the end.

Everything goes to black as he then states none of that matters now, as she’s “crossed over” and now suggests they be friends, as Angel grows wings amidst a blinding light. Angel angrily states she refuses to join Beck, as we then cut to Roger and Big O continuing to sink underwater. Roger sees an apparition of his own, that being Schwarzwald, asking him tauntingly if he got what he was looking for.

Roger is quiet for a moment, and then simply states he destroyed Dorothy’s memory disk, which the deceased reporter scoffs at. Roger explains that he destroyed Dorothy’s memories, the essence of who she is, meaning she’ll never be the same again. This amuses Schwarzwald, who recalls Roger stating once that the future was more important than the past, before then mockingly asking him if he’ll now go on to search for it forever like he himself has.

Roger isn’t amused, smiling sadly whilst asking Schwarzwald what he wants and if he’s here to lecture him. Schwartzwald denies this, saying both he and Roger act on their own, but then asks if he feels that there’s a presence beyond their understanding. He asks the negotiator if he knows what that power is, as Big O’s eyes light up.

Suddenly, the water in Roger’s cockpit begins to empty out as Big O moves on its’ own, much to the negotiator’s shock, asking the black megadeus where it’s going. We then cut to Paradigm City, which is now flooded to the point that the Military Police need to use their patrol boats to navigate the submerged city streets.

Johnny asks Dastun if this is what happened 40 years ago, citing how part of the city sank beneath the harbor. Dastun merely tells the officer to focus on the rescue efforts rather than think about such things, stating that the people outside the domes need their help. Johnny acknowledges this, before then seeing something in the distance. It’s an enormous bridge, next to which are both Big O and Big Fau standing above the water.

Big Faus' eyes light up and it lashes out at Big O, striking the black megadeus with such force that the military police need to maneuver their patrol boats away from the waves. Roger is in Big O’s cockpit, which now is completely drained of water. He asks his megadeus if it’s telling him to keep fighting, stating there doesn’t seem to be any reason left to do so.

However, he then sees a figure atop the bridge, the person with the black umbrella we saw earlier. The wind blows away the umbrella and reveals to Roger’s shock who it is: Dorothy. She looks on at Roger and Big O, the former than understanding this is what Big O wants, and has the Black megadeus ready it’s remaining arm for triple impact one final time.

Big O then lands one final blow against Big Fau’s chest, blowing apart the entire upper body of the white Megadeus and defeating it, destroying Big O’s remaining arm in the process. Amidst the exploding debris of the destroyed Big Fau, Roger is puzzled to see its’ exposed cockpit is now completely empty, with Angel nowhere to be found and only a few feathers in her place. Big O stands victorious as Roger heads to the top of the bridge to see Dorothy, who looks at him for a brief moment before then collapsing, seemingly shutting back down. Roger holds her as he goes on his final epilogue:

“This is Paradigm City, a city without a past. Forty years ago, something happened and the sun stopped shining. But maybe if we have faith, the sun will rise again.”

We catch a glimpse of Gordon Rosewater rocking in his chair, smiling whilst stating the children have “grown up splendidly, before we then cut to Dove, T-Bone, and Yamu working a construction job as Roger finishes the epilogue:

“People can still go on no matter what’s in the past, that’s what I’d always thought…but maybe I was fooling myself with those words. What’s the future without hope? People find their way to where they should be.”

We return to the Smith Mansion, where Roger explains how he saw Dorothy there, still unable to believe it that she walked on her own. Norman has no explanation, stating he hadn’t even given her a new memory disk. Instro continues playing music as one of them notes that the technology of 40 years ago still has many secrets.

Dastun looks on as Roger resets an hourglass, citing that one time Dorothy said she would never forget Roger because she’s an android, and states that because she’s an android, she could never lie, looking on as the android lays dormant in a chair again. When the hourglass empties out, a voice calls our Roger’s name, before everything fades to black. Finally, a blinding light can be seen through the windows of the guest hall of Roger’s house.

The End.

Similarities To The Anime[]

  • Many similarities emerge between this chapter and ”The Show Must Go On” of the anime. Firstly, Big O is left to sink to the bottom of the ocean by Big Fau as Roger’s cockpit floods with water.
  • Secondly, some kind of intervention occurs as Big O acts on its’ own, followed by it finding some way to rise to the surface and finish off Big Fau
  • Similar to ”The Big Fight” of the anime, the ghost of Schwartzwald appears and actually ends up helping Roger in his fight against another Big, causing one of them to act on their own as he discusses the nature of these machines.
  • Despite having lost her memories, Dorothy emerges from her dormancy and returns to Roger, acting as the final push he needs to finish off Big Fau
  • Big O and Dorothy seemed to have a connection of some kind during this battle, as Big O is shown to be seemingly aware that Dorothy was still functional in this chapter, and during episode 26 of the anime Dorothy seemed to be aware of what was happening to Roger and Big O during the anime version of their fight with Big Fau.
  • Beck has a similar role in the manga’s version of the final battle as the anime, initially being part of what Big Fau was restored and able to rise in power, only to then later double-cross the white megadeus and it’s pilot upon realizing he himself was being used, and ended up helping Roger and Big O win in some form despite hating them.
  • Roger has a character arc by the end of the story, with his original notion of the past never being as important as the present and future not being entirely correct and acknowledging the value of memories.

Trivia[]

  • Megadeus: Big O, Big Fau
  • The flashback Roger has of Dorothy stating she’ll never forget him turned out to be true, as she seemingly re-awoke and returned to him during his time of need. Whether or not she knew this would happen in the manga is unknown, but it’s possible she may have been aware of this in the anime, as she didn’t fight back at all when captured, seemingly aware of what would come next.
  • It’s revealed by Angel that the core memory of Dorothy was only being used as a “startup unit” for Big Fau, which in turn implies the same for Dorothy-1. This further complicates the fact Big Fau was already operating in ”The Third Big” of the anime without Dorothy’s memory core, which was theorized by Alex to be due to the fact Big Fau was fully restored all along by then. It also begs the question of why it was needed for Big Fau to continue operating in the first place.
  • Angel alludes to the fact she and Roger were destined to meet again after their final encounter in this chapter, as if though she knew Paradigm City would undergo another cycle.
  • The finalization of the fact Angel is the final villain of the manga instead of Alex is made clear when Paradigm’s top executives have a conference with Alex regarding the woman’s betrayal of the corporation. Since this was released prior to the second season of the anime that showed Alex as the main villain, it’s possible the manga timeline served as a fake-out to the ending of the anime, which was planned ahead of time.
  • Alex’s interests in the manga are also fairly different here than in the anime, with his only priority seeming to be that he wanted to prove civilization does indeed exist beyond Paradigm City and he wants to claim it for himself, not even seeming to possess the same Messianic Complex that drove him to take Big Fau in the anime.
  • Alex only seemed to have theorized the existence of foreign people in the manga, whereas in the anime he seems to have more awareness of them in the form of The Union.
  • We see a recurring visual motif of hourglasses in this episode, similar to Dorothy’s memory core and the overall symbolism of Paradigm City being a self-resetting cycle. It’s even implied Dorothy reset multiple hourglasses shortly before heading out to see Roger, similar to a scene in the anime.
  • This chapter was the first to reveal that Beck, in some form at least, survived the gigadeus fight he had with Roger in chapter 16, becoming an apparition or phantom of some kind similar to Schwartzwald, albeit to a significantly higher to degree, seemingly capable of activating Angel’s wings by force and causing her to vanish from Big Fau’s cockpit.
  • Further details on what powers Phantom Beck has upon ascension were further elaborated on in the prequel to Volume 6, the Lost Memories manga. The first volume of Lost Memories was dedicated to Beck’s spirit showing a large variety of supernatural abilities he used to slowly break down Roger’s sanity, reducing him to a nearly-catatonic husk for an entire chapter.
  • Beck also reveals he knew all along that Angel was using him, but chose to roll with it anyway. This was presumably due to the fact he not only has been shown to lust for her, but the plan she set out for him in chapter 14 made him the richest man in Paradigm City. Combined with the introduction of the addictive memories of Gigadeus, and it’s likely Beck would’ve been too complacent to care he was being used.
  • It appears that Angels’ plan of using Beck involved using his vices for power and wealth to manipulate him, earning his trust by getting him money with the Big Duo Angel Scam, and then introducing him to the powerful machine known as Gigadeus that he would later use to pose a major threat to Roger and Big O. During this time, he used his money to commission Reiderman to build the giant submarine that would ultimately be used to pull Big Fau’s remains from the ocean and be used for it’s restoration.
  • It appears Beck dragged Angel into the same black void he trapped Roger’s consciousness in during the first volume of Lost Memories. Considering this was followed by Angels’ wings coming out, and it’s possible that this is actually Basement 666 from episode 26 of the anime, and what appeared to be a black void was actually the basement in a dormant state. This is a detail Gigadeus is implied to have access to since one of it’s final visions was of an angel. Beck most likely learned how to forcefully activate Angel’s wings in this way, and in turn would probably have access to Basement 666 in the process in order for this to be possible in the first place.
  • Another possible detail regarding the Event is mentioned in this chapter, with Johnny asking if the catastrophic flood happening is how a portion of the city sank beneath the harbor.
  • It’s unknown if the bridge that Big O and Big Fau has their final confrontation by is actually real or just a memory of some kind, similar to the bizarre events that happened in the anime during it’s version of Big O and Big Fau’s fight, such as Dastun meeting his past child self who was watching a movie depicting the fate of Paradigm City.
  • Speaking of which, if this bridge truly was real, then this would make the manga version of Big O vs Big Fau a far more stable and logical depiction of their fight in the simulation of Paradigm City, whereas in the anime everything seemed to be breaking down for unknown reasons.
  • This chapter shows two instances of Bigs acting on their own, with Big O responding to Schwartzwald by heading over to the bridge to fight Big Fau, seemingly wanting Roger to continue the battle. Secondly, it’s possible that at that point in time Angel was no longer piloting Big Fau and the white megadeus was acting entirely on its’ own by the bridge.
  • It’s likely that when Gordon Rosewater said that “the children grew up splendidly”, he was referring to the artificial cultivation experiments during this cycle of Paradigm City’s algorithm.
  • It’s unknown who said Roger’s name at the end of this chapter.
  • It’s possible the blinding bright light that appeared through the windows of the entrance of the Smith Mansion after the ending was signaling the arrival of Big Venus, ready to reset the algorithm due to Beck’s tampering. This is supported by the fact that in the anime, Big Venus’ arrival was also preceded by a bright light rising to the sky. This light also may be connected to the light seen in Gigadeus’ final moments followed by what may have been the creation of the scars on Angel’s back, or some form of allegory to it.

Gallery[]

Citations[]

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