Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 12 – “The Threat of Zeon” – Garma’s Legacy

The Threat of Zeon

“The Threat of Zeon” is a good episode. It shows us more of the everyday soldiers of Zeon and the cost that the constant fighting is having on Amuro. The episode is the 12th episode the 1st Season and was written by Kenichi Matsuzaki and directed by Yuichi Yokoyama and Yoshiyuki Tomino.

The story picks up with the beginning of Garma’s memorial service as the Zabi family morns and begins to preach the strength of Zabi to the people as White Base 7 is attacked by the cruiser Zanzabar who is hoping to avenge Garma’s death. Amuro is in rough shape and keeps having panic attacks while getting ready to fight as the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Zeon – Zeon is shown to be allusions to the Nazis and that conquest and military are why they fight. They believe they deserve to rule because they know why they fight and even though they have a smaller military, they have the strongest military. All of this is expressed by Gihran Zabi in his speech to the populace of Zeon. There are many “Hail Zeon!” Making the inspiration behind the nazis complete. The Zeon are great antagonists.

The Zabi Family – We see Gihran take charge, Kycilia seek our Char for her own agenda and Sodo still in mourning. We also see that Dozle’s influence for revenge is pretty strong too as he ordered any ship that sees White Base 7 to attack and avenge Garma’s death.

The Crew of the Zanzabar – We see in these folks experienced soldiers driven by honor. They attack White Base 7 and when Amuro and the Gundams attack the leader Ramba Ral gets into his own personalized Blue Gundam and manages to incapacitate Amuro. We see his caring for his crew as he’s in a relationship with one of his crew named Crowley Hamon and he has both his officers retreat when White Base 7 is able to attack them again. For all intents and purposes they won the fight and hurt the moral of White Base 7, and they aren’t even a Zabi.

Amuro and Ryu – We see Ryu helping Amuro fight on and advocates for him against Mr. Bright since he sees how the fighting fatigue has taken a tole on Amuro’s mind. He saves him later at the end when Amuro is paralyzed again Ramba’s attack.

Okay: Char – We see him briefly mocking Gihran before he is approached by one of Kycilia’s honor guard. He looks bored while at home and it will be good to see him in action again.

This episode was good but not great. We didn’t have all that much time with Char and much of it was Amuro paralyzed in battle. It was great seeing Ramba and the Zanzabar be a good threat though. Ramba cares for his crew and knows when to have his men retreat showing he’s a good leader.

Final Score: 8 / 10. Solidly good.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 11 – “Icelena- Love’s Remains” – A Glimpse into the Zabi Family

Gundamep11h

The name of the episode is weird, but the content is at least fascinating. Though it does have some threads that could have gotten more exploration…like the Zabi sibling relationships and the final showdown. I’ll get into it more in the assessment.

“Icelena- Love’s Remains” is the 11th episode of the 1st Season and was directed by Shinya Sadamitsu and written by Yoshihisa Araki.

The story picks up where the last one left off with White Base 7 attempting to escape into Federation Space and the fallout of the death of Garma. We see Icelena visiting and later joining the attack against White Base 7 with 3 Gaws and the Zabi family meeting in regards to how Garma’s death should be dealt with.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Icelena – She goes after revenge but in the end cannot do it, whether this is because of how the ship was shaped and her hesitating or her giving up on killing a child (Amuro) is left up to debate. The fact that she went with the soldiers to fight though says a lot about her character and love for Garma.

The Zabi family – We see a little bit of the dynamic between the group as Degwin Sodo is the calm thinker, showing why he’s the leader of Zeon and his son Gihren sees the big picture of uniting Zeon since Garma was a hero to the populace (his sister Kycilia agrees) and Dozle, the one quick to anger wants prompt actions of retribution. In the end they decide to dismiss Char for failing to protect Garma and sending him elsewhere and planning for a nationwide funeral for Garma. You see how much his family loved him in the moments shared.

Zeon – Zeon want’s to conquer the Federation, this new information puts them purely as villains as before the narrator only spoke of Zeon wanting independence.

Okay: Amuro – Stays behind to fight the Gaw’s that Icelena is attacking on and is confused why Icelena wanted revenge against him. He’s pretty standard in this episode, not good or bad.

Char – Char is getting manipulative as of this episode, he helps and after retreats, but he also downs White Base 7 by destroying one of it’s engines for power. He runs away after making excuses. Not his best moment but he’s still okay. If this becomes a pattern though I’ll be putting him in the cons.

Federation – The Federation is manipulating White Base 7 and sending them to a random location. Kind of hard to respect them after this, at least Zeon is honest about it’s intentions. Not a con, cause I don’t know reasons yet.

This is a good episode, but not great. Char and Amuro are underutilized and Icelena and the Zabi family are not explored to their full potential in character relationships. Still worth checking out though. It is good.

Score for the episode is: 8 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 9 – “Fly, Gundam!” – Amuro’s Responsibility

Fly, Gundam!

“Fly, Gundam!” was directed by Hideyoshi Ojika and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Kenichi Matsuzaki. The episode isn’t the strongest, but it does have some good moments.

The premise of the episode is Amuro is tired of fighting so sits out as Garma attacks. From here the crew tries to stand without him as Mr. Bright and Fraw attempt to push him to action so that all won’t be lost. The story unfolds from there.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Mr. Bright – He lays things down to Amuro and hits him since Amuro continues to wine about not wanting to be responsible and to pilot and that he is tired of fighting. Considering that Mr. Bright was once an ensign he doesn’t have time for Amuro’s crap and leaves telling him he’s disappointed and believed that one day Amuro would have been better than the Red Comet. This disappointment is what changes Amuro.

Fraw Bow – Is the other person who forces Amuro to action. If not for her showing that everyone was stepping up, including Kai to do the best they could and he could not, than he wasn’t a man. This is the other thing that pulls him to action and responsibility. She is also jealous of Officer Matilda who Amuro clearly has a crush on.

Garma – Garma has a lot of respect for Amuro in this battle and nearly gets screwed over by Garma when Garma pulls the plug on communication between their ships. He distrusts Char afterwords for good reason. It’s nice to see he isn’t stupid.

Char – Char’s plan to screw over Garma isn’t bad since Garma asked them to just watch unless he asked for help. Char’s ambition is shown to be pretty great in this as well as his manipulations. It’s hard to tie him to the communication going down because no one saw it happen.

Okay: Amuro – His wining is really annoying, I get him being upset but it would have made more sense when White Base 7 was safer and not at the point of getting destroyed by Zeon forces. He realizes that in the end and also hits puberty as Officer Matilda who drops off supplies catches his interest.

Con: Execution – A lot of things here were to obvious, from Char’s betrayal, to Amuro’s stress and giving up. This was a problem with writing as the ideas weren’t bad, just poorly executed.

This episode was okay/good. Not great as it wasn’t very subtle, but still had good moments and clearly showed us that Char is not to be trusted by anyone. Curious to see how next episode goes since it is a Garma centric episode and he is a great character.

Final Score: 7 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 8 – “Winds of War” – Attack Behind Enemy Lines and the Human Side of War

Winds of War

This was a great episode and one of my favorites for sure. We once again get to see growth and character relationships explored, as well as the complexity of the people on both sides of the war.

“Winds of War” is the 8th episode of Season 1 and was directed by Shinya Sadamitsu and written by Kenichi Matsuzaki.

The story involves the tactics and outcome of a temporary ceasefire where civilians are dropped off who want to return to their ancestral homes, White Base 7 puts Amuro and his Gundam behind the lines for the inevitable attack from Garma. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Kai – Kai gets an awesome Gundam in this, a Guncannon which is a gundam with two cannons on it’s shoulders. He panics at first but comes through when Amuro fights for him. This is one of his moments of awesome for sure.

Amuro – Goes behind enemy lines and ends up attacking a plane when it discovers him behind the lines. Luckily he doesn’t kill the pilot as the pilot and one of the civilian woman connect as he’d dropped supplies for her. Amuro is fantastic in this one and shows the Gundam at it’s strongest.

Mirai – Does some great piloting that causes the Zeon pilots to accidentally hit their own tanks. This is the time we’ve seen her really shine in her role and she also stands up to the Lieutenant commanding White Base 7.

White Base 7 – We see everyone working together and Sayla motivating Kai to fight on and take risks for them. She also keeps communication up between Amuro in the base which helps them reach eventual victory over Garma’s forces.

Garma – We see his arrogance and learn that it his wealth that played a part in it, at least according to Char. He asks for Char to join him in the next battle and wants to reek vengeance on White Base 7 for his astounding defeat.

Char – We see him help even if he’s okay with Garma failing as he does look down on Garma for his wealth and privileged. Their relationship is complex and interesting as they seem to be almost frenemies.

Gundams! – So many Gundams this episode, Amuro’s Gundam, Guncannon and Guntank. The Zeon’s got to make some to counter since at this point the Red Comet is the only Gundam that is standing any chance against the Federation’s Gundams.

The Human Cost – The Zeon pilot and civilian woman and son connecting is one of the small beautiful moments that really made this episode strong. Especially when she reaches her ancestral home with them and the sadness she feels. She makes a good point to about no matter who wins there will be lives lost and families torn apart from the conflict.

For me this was a perfect “Mobile Suit Gundam” episode and one I can’t recommend enough. It shows the humanity on both sides as well as providing good character development and action. Matsuzaki did a great job writing this episode.

Final Score: 10 / 10. Perfect “Mobile Suit Gundam” episode.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 7 – “The Core Fighter’s Escape” – The Civilian Rebellion

The Core Fighters Escape

“The Core Fighter’s Escape,” is an interesting episode. It goes more into the cost the constant running and fighting is having on both the military and the civilians and the cost that comes out of it. We also learn more about Gundam too.

The episode was directed by Ryoji Fujihara and Kazuo Yamasaki and written by Yoshihisa Araki.

the story involves Amuro attempting to reach the atmosphere to send a distress signal to Federation forces. While this is going on the older civilians take the children hostage as they fear for their lives and want to walk on Earth again. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Amuro – We see how much this war is weighing on his psyche again as the plan fails and Char and Garma prevent him from getting outside Zeon space to send the distress signal. He also spends a lot of the episode running as he finds Zeon forces outgun him. When he returns he blows up at the old people telling them that they are fighting for them and their lack of support makes him want to quit.

Char – Char goes after Amuro and plays a huge part in making sure White Base 7’s plan to call for help doesn’t succeed. We see how powerless he feels too at the end when Garma reports that the Gundam has a few different forms, which angers Char that he doesn’t even fully know what he’s facing in that Gundam.

Garma – Ends the episode with a plan to take on the Gundam and figures out it has a lot of different forms that haven’t even been faced yet.

Mr. Bright – Stands up for Amuro to Kai by punching Kai and threatening to throw him off the ship if his attitude doesn’t change.

The Hostage Crisis – The old people taking the children hostage shows how selfish people can be when they are desperate. This is going on while the White Base 7’s crew is trying to help. Fraw even volunteers herself as a hostage to take care of the children. It is a powerful situation, showing just how bad things can get.

The Cons: Kai – Kai is a dick. He mocks Amuro, mocks the vessel he’s on and even after Mr. Bright punches him he doesn’t seem to get it. Would not mind this character dying at all.

This was another action episode, but it did have a good Mr. Bright moment, and we get to see more of Amuro and Char. It also explores what people do when they are desperate, as the older folks were. I’m curious to see what’s going to happen later as Amuro’s mind continues to deteriorate and the colonists grow more desperate as Char and Garma figure out how to fight the Gundam.

Final Score: 9 / 10. It was great.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 6 – “Garma Strikes” – The Manipulations of Char

Garma Strikes

“Garma Strikes,” is the 6th episode of Season 1 and was written by Masaru Yamamoto and directed by Hideyoshi Ojika.

The story involves the outcome of Char’s plan to push White Base 7 into Zeon space where Garma is waiting to attack. Garma attacks and the story goes forward from there as tensions are high on White Base 7 and everyone is exhausted. We also learn that Char had another reason for inviting Garma to get the glory of the attack on White Base 7.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Amuro – This episode shows the cost that constant fighting is having on Amuro’s psyche, since at one point when it looks like they are outgunned and going to lose, he goes berserk, killing all the Zeon occupational forces he comes in contact with in his Gundam. The episode ends with him curled up in his bed and you realize that he now a victim of the trauma of a war he never wanted to be a part of.

Garma – Garma is arrogant, but it’s well deserved. He is winning through most of the battle and only loses because he doesn’t predict the Special Gundam that Amuro is flying. He points this out to Char and asks for his help, not realizing that he is now a pawn in Char’s game as all Garma wants to do is impress his sister who is a superior officer above him.

Char – We learn in this one he wanted Garma to lose so that he wouldn’t lose face with Zeon and would still be trusted as the main force against the Federation. You see how deftly he uses Garma to when Garma asks for his help at the end and you find that Char had everything go exactly to plan. He got to hurt the Federation, have his friend and rival Garma lose face, and be the leader once again when Garma admitted defeat.

Okay: White Base 7 – We see ¬†cooperation again, but no one really stands out. It’s a bit to predictable, there is resistance between what should be done but in the end everyone listens to Mr. Bright and the forces engage the Zeon occupational force when they realize there isn’t a way out of the trap. Dialogue and actions were predictable. So not bad, just not good either.

This was a good episode, mostly because of Amuro and the Zeon side of things. If you want to see Garma and explore his character and Char, this is a great episode for it.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10. It is really good.

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