Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 34 – “The Glory of Solomon” – The Federation’s Strength

The Glory of Solomon

 

The Trojan Horse is finally properly in the war! This is great as it shows us just how powerful the Federation is and gives us a chance to explore another of the Zabi’s…Dozle Zabi. I’ll get into what I mean more in the assessment.

The episode was directed by Hiroshi Hisano and written by Kenichi Matsuzaki.

The story involves the Trojan Horse joining the Federation assault on Solomon Base, the headquarters of Dozle Zabi. From here the story unfolds as we get glimpses into the man of Dozle Zabi and the crew of White Base 7 as they take place in their first full scale battle and military operation. The story unfolds from there.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: White Base 7 – Seeing the crew in action here is awesome as we get to see them cooperating with a larger force and being the ones to break through to board Solomon with the Federation Gundams. Sayla, Kai and Mr. Bright get special mentions.

The Federation – The Federation isn’t completely decedent on Gundams to win the day the way Zeon is. We see them use a special weapon made of mirrors to break down Solomon’s defenses which make Amuro boarding the base possible.

Amuro – We see him in top action here working with Sayla and Kai to get close and board the base.

Hayato – Finally some characterization! He feels inadequate because he’s in competition with Amuro and when he has to leave the battle due to getting injured he is dwelling in his self pity that no one can pull him out of.

Dozle Zabi – Dozle is a fascinating character. We see him caring for his wife and child before he has them leave when the Federation forces board Solomon. It is than he gets in to his own Gundam and has his forces to do the same for the final standoff. He is an interesting character in that he keeps comforting his wife that all is okay even as things are not looking okay. The Zabi problem of pride is very apparent in this character since he doesn’t send for help until the Federation has already boarded the base.

This was a great episode! We finally get to see and explore another member of the Zabi family and we see the Trojan Horse in action in a large scale battle with lots of other Federation ships and Gundams. I definitely recommend it.

Final Score: 9.2 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 5 – “Re-Entry Into Earth” – Char’s Trap

Gundam Ep. 5 Re-Entry Into Earth

“Re-Entry Into Earth” is an episode that establishes Char as a pretty amazing threat and that even when he loses he can sometimes find a way to win. The Episode was written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama and directed by Ryoji Fujihara and Yoshiyuki Tomino.

The story involves White Base 7’s arrival at Earth and attempt to safely enter the atmosphere while being pursued by Char who has been give 3 more Mobile Suits for the fight. The tensions are high as these are some of the best Zeon pilots. From here the story unfolds as Amuro has a limited amount of time to defend the ship and safely re-enter it to not get burned up in the atmosphere.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Amuro – Amuro once again knows he’s out of his league and that it is only the Gundam’s natural adaptibiliy that continues to save him. He does figure out how to adapt the Gundam for protection from the Earth’s Atmosphere though which shows he’s getting better at thinking on his feat.

Mr. Bright – Shows why he is the one leading them all as he uses all the members of White Base 7 to their full abilities as he predicts that Char will try and attack them on their re-entry into Earth. The only thing he doesn’t predict is that Char forced them to enter Zeon space upon Earth.

Char – Loses 8 Mobile Suits but manages to push the Gundam and White Base 7 forces into Zeon territory. He then calls upon Captain Garma who is involved with operations on Earth to take them out. This episode shows that even when he loses, he oftentimes finds a way to win.

Garma – Garma is introduced at the end and he has confidence and arrogance that make him intriguing. He has a grudging respect and history with Char it looks like too which adds to him helping and the stakes that are already there.

Sayla Mass – Is Amuro’s support during the battle and keeps communication between him and the ship.

Okay: The Rest of the Crew – Whether it is Ryu and his fighter or the countless others, they don’t get a chance to really be developed much in this episode. They are mostly folks experiencing the re-entry and attack from Char.

The Civilians – We see Amuro fix a toy robotic car for a child who has been adopted by a kind old man who shares his story of growing coffee on Earth before he left to the colony. It is a decent human moment, but more could have been done. Amuro just listens and doesn’t really share a perspective.

This is a good episode. Not great as a lot of it simply acting and reacting to the actions of Char and Amuro, but still manages to stay really interesting and have some good character moments as well.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 4 – “Escape from Luna II” – When the Government is the Enemy

Escape from Luna II

 

This was a fascinating episode and does more to cover the complexity of war, which “Mobile Suit Gundam” is quite adept at. The episode was written by Masaru Yamamoto and directed by Shinya Sadamitsu.

The story involves White Base 7 arrival at Luna Base II. It is here that the man in charge Wakkein has all conscripted personal from White Base arrested for seeing the secret Trojan Horse Cruiser and the Gundam. From here the story unfolds as Char leads a successful assault upon the base leading to dire consequences later.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The theme – The government during war time can help as much as hinder you as seen by Wekkein who arrests them because of military protocol. Protocol that the crew of White Base 7 has been ignoring because they’ve needed all people and weapons just to survive assaults on Zeon. This soon comes to a head as Wakkein must make a choice after Captain Paolo explains the situation.

Wakkein – This man is a soldier confined by the rules and the rules almost cost him the base, he understands this and makes the choice to support them all in the end in the final assault, even when it means destroying his cruiser The Magellan. He also holds off on alerting Earth as he’s learned empathy from the experience.

Amuro – Shows why he is the protagonist again as it is he and Bright who are plotting the escape and how to rescue all the refugees on the base during Char’s attack. He also holds his own against Char’s Red Comet and another Zeon Mobile Suit. He does a good job and at the end after Captain Paolo dies he wonders where his father is…showing the loss of war.

Mr. Bright – Bright is the one who convinces Wakkein to destroy his own ship and to help them in the fight against Char and Zeon forces. He proves himself as a leader once more and you can see why Captain Paolo put him in charge while he was sick and injured.

Fraw Bow – Looks over the refugees and brings them to the ship for the escape. She is pretty much functioning as the civilian leader at this point.

Char – Does anymore need to be said? He does a sneak attack on Luna Base II leading to the weapons and army of Luna Base II being incapacitated, the only reason he doesn’t win is the destruction of the Magellan destroys one of his mobile suits in the fight and the fact that Amuro’s mobile suit adapts and learns on it’s own. By default he is the underdog fighting an enemy that can adapt to any of his attacks. He still manages to reek havoc on the Base though before his retreat.

The Death of Captain Paolo – With Captain Paolo’s death the colony lost an advocate who could fight for them against Federation bureaucracy, they are the rag tag team of survivors and are fully on their own. His death is powerful and means something. I didn’t write about his character before because Bright took over his role, but what he means we learn in this episode…and he means a lot. R.I.P. Captain Paolo.

This was a solid episode that shows how those who mean to help and also the rules can hinder. Wakkein is a victim of circumstances who doesn’t learn how to bend the rules until he has too and until he experiences first hand what the refugees know for real. This is powerful and definitely one of my favorite episodes. Good guest character, consequences at the end of the battle (Paolo’s death) and the journey continues to the Federation’s headquarters at the Earth.

Final Score: 10 / 10. It accomplishes all it set out to do.