Metallic Rouge Episode 10 recap “Family Portrait” (⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Director: Takanori Yano, Ikuro Sato
Writer: Kimiko Ueno
Storyboard Artists: Akira Nishimori

One of the strengths of Metallic Rouge is the sisterly relationship between Rouge and Naomi Orthmann. As the show starts barreling towards its finale, Metallic Rouge takes a moment to catch its breath.

“Family Portrait” gives up the action of the previous two episodes to allow Rouge and Naomi figure time with Cyan. The Immortal Nine spend the episode on Venus having, no joke, a family dinner reminiscing on happier times. As Naomi says in this episode early, no going back now.

🎵Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Wherever I go, you’re gonna go!🎵

Naomi looks down to see Cyan sleeping inside a crate.

Naomi, Rouge, Investigator Ash, and a beleaguered Eden are on their way to Venus. Everyone on the ship wonders how they’re going to beat the combined powers of the Immortal Nine. Naomi feeling very confident brags about the weapon she didn’t get to use last episode.

The crew get informed Cyan escaped and take it as a warning. Naomi goes to show off her toy and opens her crate to find Cyan sleeping inside comfortably. It looks like Naomi will still not get to use her huge gun.

The Cyan that wakes up is a completely different individual than the one who we saw the last two episodes. They’re a childlike individual. She only wants to play with her big sister Rouge. The 180 throws everyone off. 

Naomi looks at Cyan disagreeably.

Naomi deduces a couple of things about Cyan from her interactions with Rouge. This isn’t a Nean created by Dr. Eve Cristella like her “sister” or the other Alters in The Immortal Nine. She’s a duplicate created by The Puppermaster during Rouge’s time with him.

There’s also the possibility that Cyan might be a sleeper agent under the Puppetmaster. Episode writer Kimiko Ueno does a good job writing Cyan as a total unknown.

At one point, Cyan talks about hearing a voice in her head. This voice, most likely the Usurpers, commanded her to attack and kill Rouge. Given that Rouge’s memories were more than likely tampered with by him, how much power could the Usurpers have over Neans once they get rid of the Asimov Code? 

Cyan, surrounded by Rouge and Naomi, childishly draws herself, Rouge, and The Puppetmaster.

Cyan might be more childlike than when she went after Rouge but that offers its own set of conflicts. If Cyan doesn’t get want she wants, and that is a very frequent occurrence, she threatens to deform into her Gladiator mode.

This kind of becomes a running gag but it’s also terrifying. Here’s an entity with immense power and a mercurial nature. Who knows when or if it could destroy them on the way to Venus?

Cyan violently starts to deform into her gladiator mode.

Metallic Rouge best moments have come from the relationship between Rouge and Naomi. Thanks to their voice actresses Monica Flatley/Yume Miyamoto and Cassie Uluwu/Tomoyo Kurosawa, the sisterly interactions add a genuine human element to show that needs it. The moments from this show that hit the hardest are always between these two characters.

Naomi, listening in on a conversation between Rouge and Cyan, smiles.

Unsurprisingly, this episode’s best moments come from the friction and tension of adding Cyan into that relationship. There’s genuine jealously from Naomi who admits to Investigator Ash that unlike Rouge who has Gene and now Cyan, she has no family. When she overhears Rouge admits that Naomi is her best stranger (which is a great way to put it), the animators give her a genuine smile.

It’s all about family

Graufon, Hell Gallion, and Aes/Alice

The other half of this episode is about the Immortal Nine. They meet up with The Puppetmaster on Venus. The Puppetmaster admits they’re a patron of the Usurpers to Gene. Gene deduces that he’s definitely human. 

So the question becomes who is The Puppetmaster? Is it possible Roy Junghardt faked his death? Was Gene trying to kill the Immortal Nine so that Roy couldn’t use them for Code Eve? A lot of questions surround this character and none get answered here.

The Puppetmaster converses with the Immortal Nine on Venus.

Jill and the Immortal Nine bring Gene to eat “dinner” in a replica of the home they all shared when he was younger. This scene further explores idea of family and the complex, messy relationships of that word in this episode.

Gene is responsible for directing the deaths of four members of the Immortal Nine. The Immortal Nine clearly have animosity for him and other humans for their enslavement.

But the conversation at this dinner centers on an afternoon that took place years ago. The various members of the Immortal Nine think back on this afternoon talking about boat rides, swimming, and the personalities of the members who are no longer with them. It’s a lovely moment and reminder family isn’t necessarily blood relations but the people you surround yourself with.

Eden, and Jill look on as Sarah Fitzgerald sings on a peer. It's a beautiful summer day.

Brought up at dinner is what exactly an Id is for a Nean, sort of. After Eden got his ripped out last episode, the others ponder how he’s doing. Aes/Alice think he’s dead.

Gallion, once again proving he’s the worst, suspects he’s still alive but not for much longer. Without his Id, his memories will slowly fade away as he dies. Jill is not happy with this bleak turn in the conversation.

Eden starts to lose his memories

Ids basically contain all of the data that Neans possess. This finally explains why they were so important. We also see how it actually would have been possible for Rouge would have been able to provide her portion of Code Eve.

But since we know the Puppetmaster already has it (and likely used it to create Cyan), it’s likely they never needed Rouge in the first place.

Final Verdict

“Family Portrait” is another strong episode of Metallic Rouge. The strength of this episode lies in its exploration of messy family dynamics. It’s an exploration of found family.

The image of breaking the chocolate bar and sharing it takes on new meaning here. Also the question of what Ids are and why they’re so important is made clear so good job. 

Naomi charts a course to Venus

Metallic Rouge is currently streaming on Crunchyroll. New episodes air every Wednesday.

Catch up on The Beat’s Metallic Rouge reviews by clicking here.