|This article is about a/an episode in Dengeki Sentai Changeman.|
Mai's 20-year-old First Love (麻衣20歳の初恋 Mai Hatachi no Hatsukoi) is the twenty-sixth episode of Dengeki Sentai Changeman.
Mai falls for an EDF doctor who may be the only hope for curing a space plague on another world.
Mai is jogging through the park, passing a man she thinks is looking at her. As she passes him, a woman passes her to join the man, joining hands and running off. Mai's eyes are locked on them and she says to herself a light envy, quickly turning around to continue jogging, unaware of a stone on the path. She trips, skinning her knees and cursing out the stone which she notes inexplicably lies in the path. From above, a white handkerchief nears her. She looks up to find a handsome young man asking her safety and offering his handkerchief. The nervous and lovestruck Mai hops up, enthusiastically declaring that it's nothing so as not to risk embarrassment. Ignoring her, he leans down and wraps the handkerchief around her wound, telling her it could become infected and to not make lightly of infection. She smiles at his kindness and thanks him. "Shall we run together," he asks. She happily takes him up on his offer without a moment's hesitation, hopping over the stone that caused this chance meeting.
The two continue their run, Mai looking over at the man with affection and in wonder of happenstance. They're jogging past the park when a ship suddenly crashes of over their heads, landing into the nearby field. They look on at the debris of the wreck from behind a tree, seeing a creature reveal itself from the hatch of the ship. The curious man begins to move toward it until Mai stops him, telling him that it needs to be investigated, for it could be dangerous. The creature lies in obvious pain, grasping onto what appears to be a disc, struggling to stand. He ignores her, urgently saying that he can tell it's injured and if it doesn't receive proper examination, it could die. Mai follows as he runs to the creature, gently picking it up. He asks its safety and it weakly chirps. He examines it and concludes, "This little guy seems to be an animal from the Pureadesu star system." He tells her that he's seen one like it before. Mai looks at the man questioningly, beginning to ask who he is just as Uchuujuushi Hooguru flies over them, scratching Mai on the forehead before landing. She warns the man and shields him as Hooguru makes a second attempt to fly past and attack. He lands, instructing them to return that creature of the Rindo Star. The man clutches onto the creature for protection, as Mai continues to guard the man as Hidora rise from the ground. Staying close, she tries to fight off the Hidora, who try to attack him and Mai now fights Hidora from every direction. The two become separated and a Hidora feasts on the man's arm, Mai finishing her battle and jumping to the man's rescue. With the Hidora finished, Hooguru fires at them, knocking them down, but Mai still crawls over to the man and creature to protect them. Overwhelmed, she stands and changes into Phoenix, the man surprised to find that she's a Changeman. She fights with Hooguru just as Dragon and the others arrive. Phoenix tells the man to get to somewhere safe, and join the others in preparation to battle Hooguru, who apparently doesn't want to waste time with them and retreats after firing towards them.
On the Gozmard, an angry Bazuu orders Guiluke to deal with the creature from Rindo Star. Guiluke responds that it's too late, for "the document which the animal brought from Rindo Star is already in man's hands. There's no point in attempting retrieval." An impatient Bazuu cuts him off, tells him that humans don't know of Rindo Star, that the animal is made to travel to seek help. He repeats his orders for Guiluke to tidy up the mess. Buuba and Shiima acknowledge the orders, while Guiluke's acknowledgement is delayed, to Buuba's surprise. Elsewhere, Ahames contacts Bazuu. "Guiluke has no intention in the capturing of the Rindo Star. I will certainly look after the creature and tidy this matter up." Ahames goes over Guiluke's head to take control of the mission.
Meanwhile, Tsurugi and the others attempt to find Hooguru with no success. They receive orders to return to base. Moments later, they've returned, awaiting instruction from Ibuki. Ibuki informs them that they've just transcribed and set up the message that the animal brought. Ibuki instructs Mai to go to the medical office and fetch Dr. (Masato)Togo. She repeats the name in question, unfamiliar with it. Hayate inquires, "Isn't he the one from America's Earth Defense Force famous for space medical sciences?"
Mai makes her way to the medical office, entering. The man has his back turned on her, focusing his attention on dressing the animal's wounds and talking to it cheerfully. She excuses herself, asking if he's Dr. Togo. He says he is, turning around, to Mai's unspeakable shock, to find a reunion of the joggers. Togo smiles, approaching her and grasping her hand, thanking her for earlier. Mai nervously stutters that she's there to retrieve him, for the message the creature brought has been readied. The man grabs the animal, saying they should then be on their way. Mai nods, as he leaves the room past her. She looks at him letting loose with the unspeakable joy, holding onto the hand he had just held. "So that's Dr. Togo..."
In time, everyone's joined the command room. The depressing message plays. A youthful alien is visible on the monitor. "My Rindo Star has been killed. Destroyed, by the epidemic caused by Uchuujuushi Hooguru of the Gozma. A strain of this disease has been placed with my pet, Gigi, and the message it brings. Please guide Gigi back to the Rindo Star. Please help! I beg you!" The child alien cries and the message finishes. Togo approaches Ibuki. "The Pureadesu star system faces its end due to this epidemic caused by Gozma." "This disease is actually the TA5-type space virus. In short, it is similar to Earth's mumps," he found from the vial the boy sent with Gigi. Tsurugi asks Togo if he has the medicine to cure the epidemic. Togo tells him he's already developing it. Tsurugi tells Ibuki, "Commander, the SOS from the boy of Rindo Star can't be left unanswered. I'll take the medicine to them and provide safety." Togo quickly steps in, "No, I shall go to the Rindo Star. Commander, please send me instead." Togo's sudden volunteering shocks Mai. Tsurugi responds, "But, doctor, Gozma will surely attack. It's dangerous." Togo tells him that, as a doctor, his colleagues are disease. As a doctor, he should go, whereas if Tsurugi or one of the others left, the Earth would be placed in a dangerous state by Gozma, that they are each colleagues dependent on each other. Tsurugi is stunned at his courage. "It's all right, I'm also one of the Earth Defense Force." Togo tells Ibuki that he's ready to go to the lab and prepare the medicine. Ibuki nods, leaving it to Togo. Mai's watched these events in a flash of emotion, sorrowful.
Togo is driving to the laboratory when he spots Mai following on her motorcycle in his rearview mirror. Shortly, they're at the exterior of the building, talking. "Please take me to the Rindo Star, as well." Togo's startled as she pleads. "But you're with Changeman, you're not to be away from Earth," he tells her. She again warns him of the danger of the mission and insists that he bring her along. "Of course it's dangerous," he tells her. "If there's a possibility to help the people of Rindo Star survive, then I'll go. It's my duty as a doctor. As there's those whose wish is for peace in the universe, it's their mission. The Earth needs you as much as Rindo Star needs me. Can't you understand?" Mai, clearly unable to talk him out of it, is able to do nothing but nod. Suddenly, despite knowing he should be safe at the base, Gigi flies past the couple's feet. It soars above, the worried and confused duo following it as it flies into what appears to be an abandoned warehouse. They enter the warehouse, the two nearing where Gigi has landed. Togo approaches to pick it up and Gigi vanishes. A laugh cuts through Togo and Mai's confusion and Ahames reveals herself. It was merely a holograph of Gigi to lure the two into a trap. Ahames calls for Hooguru, who descends, bringing with him Hidora. Guarding Togo, Mai tries to fight them off, attempting to flee until Buuba traps them and fires at them. They collapse as Hidora surround, Mai standing to fight them, instructing Togo to escape. Just then, Hooguru fires several feathers into Mai, and she falls to her knees in pain. Togo nears her and she collapses in his arms, then removing one of the feathers and examining it. "In this feather, is a narcotic...the disease of Rindo Star was most likely spread with this feather," Togo concludes. Buuba approaches with threats, as Togo tries to guard Mai. With a harsh hit of the Buttobassu, he knocks Togo out of his way and grabs Mai by the throat. He's making no hesitation of murdering her until Ahames orders him to stop, telling him that she's bait to get the Rindo creature back.
At the Dengeki Base, the others furiously watch Ahames' threats on the monitor. She's ordering them to arrive at the ruined warehouse in Musashino with the creature in exchange for the two. They briefly see that Mai's strung up, tied at her hands and ankles. As Yuuma wonders why Mai's with Togo, Ibuki refuses to hand over Gigi and orders their rescue.
Mai, who hangs, tied, from the ceiling, calls out desperately to the unconscious Togo, who lies on the floor feet away from her. Refusing to feel helpless, she begins swinging her body toward the door of the room they're held captive, with absolute plans on saving him. The remaining Changeman arrive at the meeting place, greeted by Buuba, who demands if they brought the creature. Dragon doesn't answer, asking for Togo and Mai. Mermaid holds onto a large case. Unwilling to play games, Hooguru flies by in attack. Dragon grounds Hooguru by shooting him, Hooguru firing towards the door where the two are held captive, setting afire the room. Buuba threatens that if they don't stand down, Mai won't live. The Changeman halt. Mai nervously calling for Togo, while flames begin to rise to her face and quickly make their way around the room. Togo finally awakens and assures he's all right. However, Togo realizes that he's also tied up and neither one can move. Hooguru is fixed on the door, ready to provide the final blast unless the deal is made. Mermaid clutches the case and whisper's Mai's name. With no time to spare, Mai flips herself upside down, nearing her bound wrists to flames in an attempt to burn the restraints, grunting in pain. With their minds on their partner, Buuba knocks the Changeman away and takes the case from Mermaid. He breaks it open to find -- as expected -- nothing inside and curses them. Meanwhile, a sweat covered Mai finally burns through her restraints and breaks free, nearing to untie Togo. Buuba warns that he's finishing Mai off and takes aim to the door, as the Changeman cry out. As the room bursts into flames, the fiery symbol of the phoenix emerges. The phoenix's symbol dies down to reveal Mai, who runs, supporting the wounded Togo. The Changeman are relieved, Dragon happy to see Mai safe. Mai sees Togo off to safety, while Buuba again curses the Changeman while Ahames, watching from space, curses Buuba for his incompetence. Mai returns with the others and changing into Phoenix. Phoenix fights Hooguru, eventually defeating him on a small and large scale.
Time has come for Dr. Togo to depart for Rindo Star. The Dengeki Sentai and Senshi Dan line the halls, bidding their farewells. Togo, holding Gigi, is bid best wishes by Tsurugi. He then makes his way past each of the Changeman, eventually getting to Mai. She asks him to please take care of himself. He says he'll do so, and tells Mai thanks for a variety of reasons. They gaze at each other for a brief moment, before Togo turns to Ibuki and says he's off, everyone saluting Togo. Mai solemnly, yet proudly, watches as he turns the corner of the hall, wishing for him to have luck, while she promises to continue protecting Earth. The Shuttlebase is in space, and Togo's rocket launches off of it. Mai watches the departing rocket from the Shuttlebase. She tears up, thinking of him, their short, yet special time together. Tears roll down her cheek as Sayaka approaches, assuring Mai that Togo will be all right and once he helps Rindo, he'll return. Mai looks over to her friend and breaks down, leaning onto Sayaka's shoulder. Sayaka asks Mai if he was her first love and she confirms. "Good for you...it's a good thing. Your first love will live, eternally, out in the starry sky," Sayaka consoles her friend. Mai looks up at her through tears, smiling, to Sayaka's words, looking out into space as the Shuttlebase flies back to Earth.
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Dengeki Sentai Changeman Volume 3 features episodes 23-33.