In a Pinch with the Hiei! (比叡でピンチ！ Romaji: "Hiei de pinchi!") is the eighth episode of Hai-Furi.
Episode Summary Edit
The Musashi? Edit
As the Harekaze sailed through a semi-dense fog, Noma spotted a battleship approaching at twelve o'clock. Based on the bridge's shape, she identified it as the Musashi. However, a closer look at the ship's forward twin main batteries correctly identified it as the Hiei (designation number Y-102), a Kongou-class battleship.
The Harekaze reported the Hiei's location to the school, which requested Blue Mermaids reinforcements. However, it would take them four hours to arrive, leaving the Harekaze to monitor the Hiei until that time.
As it turned out, the Harekaze didn't have time to wait that long. Kouko warned that the Hiei, at its current course and speed, would reach Chuuk Lagoon in three hours. It threatened to spread the infection to a bustling maritime hub of more than 10,000 residents and 1,000 ships. It would mean the start of the virus spreading on a massive scale, if not worldwide.
Akeno decided to lure the Hiei away from its course to delay, if not abandon, its arrival at Chuuk.
The Plague Revealed Edit
Meanwhile, Mashimo paid Principal Munetani a visit in her office, delivering a document regarding the virus.
Off the coast of the Nishinoshima New Islands, where this school year's maritime exercise was supposed to be held, a lab ship that had sunken to the seafloor was pushed to the surface by volcanic activity. With approval from Principal Munetani, a team went to the islands aboard the Sarushima. She approved the expedition for studying local marine life, but the team's true intentions were to recover the data from the submarine and sink it later.
Later identified as the Totalitarian Disease, not only does it induce aggression on the host, it also affects bioelectric currents, explaining the loss of communication from the infected ships. The school has received the vaccine developed by Minami, who Mashimo lauded as a young prodigy. Her findings stated that seawater would temporarily negate the virus's effects but the vaccine remained the primary cure.
Minami's report also pointed out that cats like Isoroku exhibited immunity from the virus, allowing them to round up the rodents safely.
Maze Runner Edit
Back in the battle, the Harekaze managed to lead the Hiei into an area of rocky islands, away from Chuuk. Mashiro suggested attacking the Hiei, even if it meant sinking her. Akeno disagreed, saying that their schoolmates would be in mortal danger. She was determined to stop the battleship without sinking it.
Upon seeing Isoroku get stuck on a pipe, Akeno got the idea of forcing the Hiei to run aground using the changing tides. They asked Principal Munetani to approve of their plan, which she did despite Mashimo's objections. However, the principal advised Akeno to gain the class's consensus on the plan, to which everyone agreed (Kuroki, on the other hand, simply yielded after Mashiro agreed to the plan).
The Harekaze began leading the Hiei in a specific course. Torpedo attacks and artillery fire on the Hiei's flanks made sure the ship didn't stray off course. But after making one pass without the battleship running aground, Mashiro advised retreating for the meantime. Akeno, however, insisted that they continue.
Her persistence paid off. Back at the starting point, the Hiei finally ran aground. Thanks to Kouko's intel on the tides, Akeno managed to analyze them and lure the Hiei at the exact moment.
Shot in the Arm (or Rear) Edit
A Blue Mermaids response team finally arrived that afternoon. Mashiro freaked out upon seeing a black Independence-class LCS, the Benten (designation number BPF-10), as she knew a certain Blue Mermaid on that ship: her energetic sister Mafuyu.
A curious Akeno asked to be "infused with confidence," to which Mafuyu agreed. The infusion turned out to be buttocks fondling, which Mashiro stopped before Akeno embarrassed herself. Mashiro told Mafuyu that such embarrassments should only stay with the family.
- The Hiei was used as a test bed for the prototype superstructure that would be used on the Yamato-class battleships. This explains Noma mistakenly identifying it as the Musashi earlier.