Kyōdai (兄妹 - fratello)
|Season One, Episode One|
|Air date||5 January 2007|
|(J) Air date||9 October 2003|
Orione → 02
Starting first with a panorama of an unnamed Italian coastal town, the silhouettes of a tall male and his younger sister edge into view from the right of the screen, almost totally devoid of colour or features, their appearance overpowered by the noonday sun. The male looks over his shoulder at his sibling, and then we see that she is clutching an Amati violin case. Thus begins a sombre voiceover from Jose Croce -- the male in question -- explaining plainly how the little girl with the violin is his sister, well, in a way. Also explained is the dynamic of a fratello - or set of "siblings" - in the context of the Social Welfare Agency, though this is only briefly touched upon.
Next, the highest ranking Fratellos are seen converging in the SWA's main meeting room, with both the Director and Ferro present; the topic at hand being discussed, is how the SWA is planning to capture or assassinate a key Padania member, though at this point in the series (for both the manga and anime iterations) the terrorist group is more commonly referred to as the Five Republics Faction, or simply the FRF. Apparantly, the SWA has information that suggests this individual will be in Napoli, hidden inside an impromptu FRF safehouse, which is heavily guarded. Director Lorenzo has plans to use at least two Fratellos, and intends to employ the newest twosome, being Jose and Henrietta, the "brother" and "sister" seen just after the opening sequence. Jean Croce, Jose's actual brother, voices his objections to Henrietta's light dose of Conditioning, and sets a tone for his character throughout the entire series; Marco, counters the claim by Jean that she isn't ready for active duty yet, and tells him tautly to "let it go."
The rest of the episode is a series of flashbacks, not set in perfect chronological order, which gives the installment of the story an almost Quentin Tarantino feel in presentation. The SWA operation begins in the safehouse, with Jose and Henrietta infiltrating the complex, Jose posing as a journalist for Libero Italia, doing door-to-door work, supposedly trying to find a whistleblower for a fictitious, "Costero Corporation." Jean and Rico wait on a nearby rooftop on sniper duty, while Ferro and Alessandro Ricci wait in the SWA's undercover van, doing communications and coordination work between the fratello.
Jean's concern over Henrietta's incomplete Conditioning is later proven correct, however, as Jose gets roughed up by an FRF operative guarding the safehouse, triggering Henrietta's protective instinct for her handler, at the expense of disregarding Jose's earlier order to remain quiet unless told to retaliate. She smashes the assailent in the face with her Amati violin case, and then opens fire on the occupants of the room with the Fabrique Nationale P90 it contained, blowing the cover off the covert mission. She sustains a minor bullet wound on her shoulder from the ensuing gunfight, but is successful in killing all of the gunmen in the room, less two who are taken by Dragunov SVD equipped Rico instead.
Not all is lost, however, as the misstep forces the mark (in the manga, an Albanian national supplying the FRF with weapons) to flee up to the roof, and hide in a ventilation duct. He is later uncovered and apprehended by SWA agents Giorgio and Amadeo, with Ferro in tow.
The episode concludes with Jean and Jose conferring with Lorenzo about the event, with Lorenzo still upholding Jose's wishes to keep Henrietta as lightly conditioned as possible, acknowledging that she remains one of the Agency's best assassins, and must be kept in top form as long as possible. Meanwhile, following a brief surgery to reattach the skin on her shoulder, Henrietta meets with Triela, who invites her to have tea with Claes, and discuss her future with the SWA.
As the pilot episode of the series, Fratello draws heavily from the first chapter of the first manga, called Observing the Heavens. The content seen in the episode, is so faithful to the first thirty pages of book that in some scenes, actual viewpoints in the manga have been recreated, and much of the dialogue is identical, word-for-word.
(none, as this is the first episode)
- This is the first time on television that viewers see Henrietta's favorite weapon of choice, the Fabrique Nationale FNP90 SMG. However, it looks smaller than the actual P90 in real life, which begs the question, has the SWA commissioned adolescent-sized variants of the weapons?
- The Menoto Pizza delivery van used by SWA is first seen in this episode, and will be later used in at least two other episodes. It also appears in the manga.
- The leader of the FRF operatives in the safehouse, who later is killed by Rico, bears an uncanny resemblance to the SWA's Director, Lorenzo.