The scene in Armored Trooper Votoms where Chirico and Fyana are trapped on an abandoned spaceship, accompanied only by a broken recording of the Red Shoulders’ ruthless attacks on civilian towns on endless loop, is a huge moment in the series because it reveals so much so effortlessly about Chirico, his past, and how it affects him in the present.
We had learned before that Chirico was a Red Shoulder, which was an elite team of soldiers with a barbaric and bloody reputation. But the video recording shows us plainly and clearly the atrocities for which the “Bloodsucker” Red Shoulders were so infamous, accompanied by their Arrivano I Marines march.
Even more telling, we see the toll that Chirico’s past as a Red Shoulder has taken on him, that it even affects him to this day. Merely hearing the Red Shoulder march puts him in a sweat, and the effect of its repetition is ultimately so strong it makes him physically ill. He engages in all manner of destructive behavior to deal with the repeated trauma. Having never drunk a drop of alcohol before, he downs a full bottle of wine. He feverishly stumbles through the ship in an attempt to destroy the screen which plays the video – a screen which is also their ship’s main monitor and view of the outside world. He begins hearing the voices of all the people he’s ever killed, calling him to join them in their fate. Through his extreme negative reaction to this reminder of his past, we can see a little better just how much weight he carries on his shoulders, and gain some insight into why he is such a bitter and lifeless individual (for which we, of course, love him so much).
The entire Deadworld Sunsa arc is an excellent look at Chirico’s character, and those five echoing trumpet blasts were just the way to kick it off.