Akashi and Heito's venture into the Lightless Realm didn't exactly go swimmingly, and as two entered only one returns, with Akashi just about making it out before collapsing, with his colleague nowhere to be seen.
What's more Akashi now point-blank refuses to pilot the Argent again having learned at least some of its secrets as they pertain to his brother - the trouble is, the powers that be are having none of it while Heito, and more importantly his Sable, are still lost within the Lightless Realm. But can he be persuaded?
Perhaps the contents of the data recorder recovered by Akashi is the key, holding as it does video footage of what seems to be the final moments of his older brother as he succumbs to the effects of the Lightless Realm. This, however, is not the end of the story - Akashi's brother did return from the Lightless Realm, only to ultimately become the LIM that now resides within the Argent. It's a revelation that, coupled with further data of his time in the Lightless Realm, leads to Akashi changing his tune about about piloting the Reaper again.
As we move closer to its half-way stage, M3 the dark metal continues to be a series with a decent story that is increasingly let-down by its execution - whether its dialogue or the presentation of its characters, there's nothing that manages to make events within the series feel compelling. No series is going to come well out of Evangelion comparisons, and that certainly applies here, but even beyond that there's nothing satisfying about this show; a real shame as there remains clear potential within its core ideas.