Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 18 – “Tallgeese Destroyed” – Of Treize and Zechs

msgw18

 

Treize continues to show us that he is more complicated than just the man pulling strings behind the scenes. This episode really shows just how deeply he cares for Zechs as well as what he values in an army and people. This episode also reveals how much Zechs has changed, he’s my favorite character on the show right now.

‘Tallgeese Destroyed” was directed by Yasunao Aoki and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Toshifumi Kawase.

The episode begins with Treize’s plans to give Zechs a noble death since Zechs is being court martialed by OZ. The plan is for Zechs to attack a large attack force of Alliance forces and to die leaving him the legacy of a hero of OZ. Around the same time the Romafeller Foundation is trying out more remote controlled weapons which Treize challenges himself against and Quatre is floating to the colonies and the scientists must find a way to rescue him as Lady Une attempts to force them to make the most powerful Gundam.

The Pros: Lady Une – Lady Une is smart. When she realizes that the Gundam Pilot Quatre is heading to Alliance space she sends a huge attack force after his shuttle which forces the scientists to give in and make her a Gundam. She knows they value the life of the pilots above their own.

The Alliance – The Alliance rescues the Gundam pilot Quatre and we see the good of in them as they are all soldiers just fighting for their belief in the Alliance. At this point the Colonies are becoming like the Alliance and are getting militarized like OZ, this is one thing that the scientists realize, which is why they are happy that the Alliance saves Quatre.

The Romafeller Foundation – Doesn’t care about people beyond using them as tools and Zechs was never their tool, which is why they tried to kill him. Treize holds one of their members hostage after he destroys their automated Gundams and tells them he will not follow anyone who doesn’t use soldiers since soldiers can learn and keep war from becoming a game. Whether the Romafeller Foundation understands remains to be seen.

Treize – Treize cares about people though he still using people for an unknown purpose and working with a questionable organization in the Romafeller Foundation. The  great thing is his relationship with Zechs though. Zechs lives and survives each battle because he is the best soldier with the best Gundam which is what Treize seems to value. What he wants in the end remains to be seen though.

Heero – Heero is undercover as Duo in the Colonies and makes a speech to his classmates for the soldiers and how the soldiers change things because they remember the price of war and that the automation of Gundams that the colonies are doing is just what OZ and the Alliance did and that is wrong and continuing the cycle. It was a great speech.

Zechs – Finds value in the fight against the Gundams and believes in the liberation of all colonies. He ends up surviging the last fight and his friendship with Treize ends there as he realizes he can no longer make sacrifices for him anymore. This is when Zechs becomes his own man and though it has Tallgeese collapsed at the end, it never shows that Zechs is dead. He went from the soldier seeking revenge and liberation of his Kingdom to the soldier fighting for the sake of fighting to the believer again who is some measure of whole.

This was the perfect “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” episode and I highly recommend it. Treize and Zechs episodes are great because they are are more complicated than the Gundam pilots and getting to know their motivations more is one thing I always liked about this show. How things unfold from there remains to be seen, but Lady Une is getting the Ultimate Gundam to face the remaining Gundams on the colonies.

Final Score: 10 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 3 – “Five Gundams Confirmed” – The Pilots Make Contact

GundamWep03g

“Five Gundams Confirmed” is the episode where the pilots outside of Duo and Heero begin meeting each other and we see what this means in relation to their relationships and the UESA and OZ react to these new threats. It’s a good character episode that does a great job showing rather than telling.

The episode was directed by Yumekichi Minatoya and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

The episode picks up with the pilots continuing their missions and Heero in an Alliance hospital. Relena goes to try and help break him out, but Duo is already on it. From here the story unfolds as Trowa attacks the base with Heavyarms where Zechs discovers Tallgeese and Quatre makes contact with Trowa in Sandrock and his forces. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Major Sally – Major Sally shows us that not all members of the Alliance are incompetent or manipulators as we see her resist using truth serum on Heero since he’s a kid. She’s ethical and driven to find the truth. I’m hoping she survives as she made a good first impression as a character.

The Specials – We learn in this episode the Specials are an elite military force that doesn’t need military oversight to act. Zechs is a member of the specials and Treize is their leader as he is nobility and is a the leader also of the mysterious Romafeller Foundation as well as the organization of OZ.

Zechs and Treize – Treize is good at using Zechs’s curiosity and passion to his advantage as they change tactics to see what the Gundams can do and to account for all of them. It’s a great scene and you can tell that Treize is almost like an older brother to Zechs in how he acts around him.

Zechs – Zechs is a special and always looking towards the future. This is what motivates the soldiers he talks to in their battle against Trowa and Heavyarms as they know that what is discovered during the battle will create better soldiers to defeat the Gundams later.

Heero and Duo – Duo is a cool guy who is really laid back compared to Heero’s seriousness. Duo also loves living and is having fun in the mission. He is undercover as a farmer too and clearly enjoys his undercover job. Heero is miserable and at one point almost kills himself and doesn’t pull his parachute. Whatever happened to him in the past mus have been pretty horrific.

Trowa and Quatre – Trowa is the overly serious guy who doesn’t want help, even though if Quatre hadn’t arrived with Sandrock he would have been killed by Alliance and OZ forces. He respects Quatre’s strength though and recognizes they are on the same side in the final scene between them.

Okay: Relena – Her dialogue is still stilted and it doesn’t feel like her character is fully formed. Her drive is entirely Heero at this point which is messed up given how he threatened and tried to kill her.

This is a great episode and shows that it really is the character dynamics that drive this show, since at this point there isn’t the political depth of “Mobile Suit Gundam,” that has yet to come. Still does a great job at letting us know all of the Pilots in different ways and seeing Zechs and Treize interact.

Final Score: 9 / 10. It was a solidly great episode.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 2 – “The Gundam Deathscythe” – Conflict Among Pilots

GundamWep02c

 

“Deatscythe” is one of my favorite looking Gundams, and his pilot Duo is actually a pretty good guy or at least isn’t as sociopathic as Heero. This episode gave him a bit of exploration when we see him out of his Gundam, though the focus at this point is still Heero and how much he doesn’t care about anything but the mission. I’ll get into more details in the assessment.

“The Gundam Deathscythe” was directed by Nana Harada and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa. The animated directors were Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya.

This episode picks up where the last one left off with Zechs seeking Heero’s Gundam and manipulating Earth forces to help find it, the Gundams settling down undercover or on mission and Relena’s party and her relationship to Heero. From here the episode unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Duo/Deathscythe – This is the Gundam that functions as an assassin. With it’s giant scythe and weapons that make it unseen we see just how deadly it is when it takes out an entire group of submarines and ships when Zechs is searching for Gundam Wing. Duo is a pretty great character too as he sticks up for Relena and is a kind guy which is contrasted with how he is in his Gundam where he sees himself as a living incarnation of Death. I am looking forward to his backstory.

Zechs – Zechs is fulfilling the Char role really well, as he is doesn’t take a risk unless he knows he can win and learns from the losses of his allies. He even takes his own mortality into account as he speaks of a rumor that whomever sees a Gundam will soon die. I can’t wait to see where this character goes.

The Other Pilots – Trowa joins a circus and tames a lion, Wufei gets explosives, and Quatre admires the Earth’s beauty. The other pilots are fascinating and I want to know them more.

Okay: Heero – Heero is great when he’s in action on the mission, but I can’t make him a pro because he isn’t attached to anyone and doesn’t care about anything. I want to know the reason why this is, or else I won’t be able to sympathize with him.

The Cons: Relena – Why does she like Heero? She sees that he’s a threat to her people but is drawn to him even though he’s attempted to kill her once now and has threatened to kill her prior. No person has that much disregard for their life…I do hope she grows as a character.

I enjoyed this episode but wish we’d gotten more time with Duo. We see his Gundam Deathscythe in action but don’t really get to know his character beyond his sticking up for Relena. It is only twenty minutes long so there is only so much that can be accomplished, though I’d choose time with Duo over time with Heero anyday. Heero is just dark, cruel and broken. Duo is a bit more complicated.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10. It was really good but not great.

Mobile Suit Gundam – An Anime That Truly Explores War

Mobile Suit Gundam

This has been article I’ve been meaning to write, now that I’ve finished reviewing all the episodes of “Mobile Suit Gundam.” The first in the “Gundam” series. Suffice to say, I understand how it sparked a franchise. This was an anime that covered the human cost of war and politics, the hard choices, from the civilians caught in the middle who in many cases are forced to take sides, from the good people on both sides of the conflict and how war can lead to regret when a person realizes how it has changed them and those around them. You get to know the characters, which is why these things and many times their dying actually matters.

The human cost of war is the most prevalent thing you feel in “Mobile Suit Gundam,” characters are introduced like Ramba Ral, Crowley, Matilda and others who we come to know right before they are torn from us, in many cases by other characters like the crew of the Trojan Horse who we have come to care for. We also see the human cost in how Amuro’s father is psychologically broken from the attack when he loses oxygen and he is no longer able to fully attach to his son or to use the great engineering mind he once had the designed Gundam.

Characters are also forced to make hard choices and take sides. At one point Amuro leaves, at another point Kai leaves…for Amuro it’s partially because he doesn’t want to give up Gundam, but it’s also him genuinely wanting to prove himself and help in the war, for Kai it’s because he’s tired of fighting in a conflict he never wanted to be a part of. He was a civilian who doesn’t adapt to war until he has a reason when he loses the woman he loves who was a spy who ends up betraying Zeon. She makes that hard choice too as she became a Zeon spy to care for orphan children and needed money. Sayla is also forced to make a choice when she learns her brother Char is serving under the Zeons in order to overthrow them since Char and Sayla are the true heirs before the Zabi family overthrew them. In these moments of hard choices, we get why characters do the things they do. It makes them human and the conflict they are a part of real.

Another aspect covered is how people change. Char goes from his personal vendetta against Amuro to remembering his original mission and destroying the Zabi line so that his new dream of having a world shaped by Newtypes like him and Amuro can become a reality. Degwin Zabi also changes when he sees the human cost of the war and how he has turned his son into a monster who believes in Zeon supreme and decimating the rest of the colonies for population control so Zeon can colonize them. To prevent his Nazi son from destroying his legacy and innocent lives he goes to meet General Revil for a peace talk only for Gehrin to destroy them with the Solar Ray. Amuro also goes from fighting for the sake of fighting to fighting for his family of White Base 7. The crew is his community and home and his last act before saving himself is to get them all to safely with his newtype powers.

Because of all these factors, the choices characters make and the cost that comes with it are accurately felt. In many cases during war there isn’t a right answer, there are only slightly worse or better answers. This moral quandary is part of what makes the characters memorable, they aren’t allowed to stay static because the war presents them with choices and their choices shape the conflict. The series doesn’t end on a completely idealistic note either. An armistice is signed between the Federation and Zeon but it is left open since the cost of the war so high…you know that both sides now carry hatred from what they just went through and for this reason even though there is peace it could very well be temporary as both sides have hurt each other so greatly.

This was an amazing anime and one I’d highly recommend. The animation is a little rough at first and the songs too hopeful but they both get better and better capture the price and cost of war. If you are looking for an anime with compelling characters, good action and choices that mean something, you will enjoy this one greatly. This series makes me look forward to reviewing other series in the “Gundam” franchise.

Final score: 9 / 10. Solidly great, just started out a little rough and the Trojan Horse being unstoppable for a time kept it from being perfect.

Mobile Suit Gundam Finale – Season 1, Episode 42 – “Escape” – Peace in Our Time?

Escape

“Escape,” is the episode that concludes “Mobile Suit Gundam” and leaves things open for the ways the story is continued in the story. How did it fair as a finale? I’ll go into that in the assessment, for now just know this does some great things with characters that even if they were a little predictable, worked and were appreciated.

The finale was written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama and directed by Osamu Sekita and Yoshiyuki Tomino.

The story continues were we left off with Kycilia leading Zeon forces, Amuro and Char in combat and the boarding of A Baoa Qu by Federation forces. From here the story unfolds as Char and Amuro destroy each other’s Gundams and Sayla seeks them out to stop them fighting as Kycilia plans her escape so that Zeon may fight on. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Battle – The action is once again the best it’s been as Gundams fight Gundams, Battleships face Battleships and A Baoa Qu fights on. We even have the Trojan Horse get mortally wounded and have to land on A Baoa Qu to continue the fight. The Guncannon and Guntank are also destroyed in the battle.

Char vs. Amuro – This is an amazing actions sequence that leads to them destroying one another’s Mobile Suits and eventually crossing swords as they fly around the base. We see them both fighting for Lalah while Amuro is angry Char got her involved in the war, while Char points out the war advanced her abilities and Amuro should have been aware of her. It is a great battle with Char asking him to join his side for the advancement of Newtypes. Amuro is rightfully disgusted and we get our Professor X and Magneto moment. Before Sayla arrives and reminds Char of where the root of his anger comes from…the Zabis. Amuro isn’t his enemy, the Zabi family is.

Kycilia Zabi- Sees the bigger picture, though we see that much like Gihren’s over depedence on super weapons…she’s over dependent on Newtypes and Gundams. This leads to her downfall as at the end Char her greatest Newtype, Captain and Gundam Pilot kills her for her family killing his Father. She was a great character nonetheless.

Sayla – Sayla reminds Char of their origins and that Amuro was never the enemy. In doing so she saves both their lives given they are so evenly matched they would have destroyed each other. As the base is destroyed Char saves her in turn and Amuro does too with his Newtype abilities. It is amazing and great seeing her play such a good role. I hope she appears in future Gundam series.

Char – We get some great glimpses into Amuro’s psyche as he realizes Char isn’t his enemy, the war machine of Zeon is and that is what he must stop if he wishes to make peace. Sayla helps him realize this as he destroys the last Zabi in command (Though Dozle’s child and wife still live). He is one of my favorite characters in this Universe and I can’t wait to see him when I review future Gundam Series and Movies.

Amuro – Is touched by Lalah who reminds him that Char is not his enemy and that he is fighting for peace. This is powerful as we see Lalah acting like Obi-Wan’s force ghost to guide him and will always be with him as he helps the crew of the Trojan Horse get to safety via communicating to them through his mind. Lalah reveals how he is connected to all and in doing so is able to save lives. He manages to survive too and reunite with the crew, who are his new family after.

The Ending – Amuro saves the day fully awakening his abilities and there is happy a reunion, Char gets revenge and we’re left wondering if he still lives, and an armistice is signed between the Federation and Zeon and questions if this peace will be lasting or not. The ending is a little cheezy in places, especially the reunion scene and Lalah’s reveal about everyone being connected, but it works and it leaves the question open which is nasered in the fact that Gundam as a Franchise has so much more after this including a direct sequel to this series “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam” and “Char’s Counterattack” the film. I can’t wait to review those at some point!

This was a great finale, even with the cheezy moments and gives the first Gundam series a great sendoff. Character arcs are resolved and we see the full cost of the war and know because of how many lives were lost, that peace may not be lasting. There is still too much hate on either side for that to be the case. This was a series that didn’t shy away from humanzing it’s antagonists and showing the complexity of war. It’s one I highly recommend and will probably do a retrospect of and Top 10 Episodes later. Until then, a great end to a great show.

Finale Score: 10 / 10. Does all it needs to do to bring arcs to a close.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 39 – “Lalah’s Dilemma” – The Evil of the Zabi’s of Zeon

Lalah's Dilemma

 

This is the episode that really shows just how bad Gihren Zabi is, if the Hitler analogies of “Hail Zeon,” he does weren’t already enough. This episode does show his Father sees the bigger picture though as he declared Independence and made a principality for reasons of stability. We also see how far Lalah’s abilities have advanced, her relationship with Char and how Kycilia sees them both.

The episode was directed by Osamu Sekita and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Yoshihasa Araki.

The story involves Gihren voices to Degwin his father that he admires Hitler and wants to create a society in which only the worthy live as well as decimating a large portion of the population and using the powerful Solar Ray as a defense against Federation forces. Degwin warns him against this dangerous philosophy. Around the same time Kycilia arrives and Char and Lalah must deal with her. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Degwin Zabi – Fascinating that the guy who killed Char and Sayla’s parents could grow so much as a character. He regrets the can of worms he opened with the war and how it has consumed his son where his son is taking the idea of a free Zeon to the extreme of genocide. This plays out later but for now we only see the regret on how his philosophy and actions shaped his son. Got to say, I like this character. He especially disproves of his son’s incompetency at evacuating an entire colony just to use a super weapon that could in the end, turn people against them and their family.

Gihren Zabi – I don’t like this guy but his he makes a good villain. He is driven to succeed by any means necessary and truly believes he is in the right. This makes for an interesting enemy especially since his family in many ways disagrees with him and his approach.

Lalah – We see Lalah’s love for Char as Char defends her and she defends Char from Amuro. Char is the reason she fights, and to end the war. We also see that her and Amuro are pretty evenly matched given they’ve both destroyed powerful vessels for their given factions. We see her love for Char too as they kiss after.

Kycilia – Disproves of Lalah’s dress but gives her and Char the support they need to continue the fight. She is cruel but on point and obsessed with her duty to Zeon. We see her appreciation for Lalah and Char’s fighting after the battle.

Char – Defends Lalah which helps her win and she saves his life from Amuro. We see how their bond has grown and that she has changed his view on life. This is powerful and shows Char’s growth as a character.

Amuro – Has his suit modified and it helps a lot as he is moving quicker and beginning to get premonitions predicting peoples’ next moves. We see him connect with Lalah too and her hatred at his attempt to kill Char.

This was a great episode for what it showed in regards to the Zabi family complexity. The battle sequences do a lot and we see how far Gihren is willing to go for his philosophy and to end the war, which is now contrasted by Char who sees much more.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 37 – “Char and Sayla” – The Reasons For Masks

Char and Sayla

“Char and Sayla” picks up where the last episode left off except that Sayla comes down to the planet to confront and stop Char. Around this time another fleet of Zeon’s attack as well. This episode is great at giving us a glimpse into Char and Sayla and the motivations they have in hiding their names.

The episode was directed by Ryoji Fujihara and written by Kenichi Matsuzaki.

The story involves Sayla’s arrival in the Texas territory as Amuro and Char continue to fight as Zeon attacks with another force in an attempt to stop White Base 7.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Amuro – We learn in this episode that Amuro is one of the newtypes which are basically mutants and that’s how he’s been so adaptable in battle. We also see his wondering about Lalah and curiosity on what’s going on with Sayla continues. He is powerless as he loses power even though he destroys Char’s latest Gundam.

Mr. Bright – Listens in on Sayla’s conversation but trusts her and lets her keep the gold that Char sent her when she admits it was Char who sent her it and the letter. You can tell he truly is a good guy through his actions.

Char – Char’s name is Casval and he Sayla are the children of the founder of Zeon, Zeon Zum Deikun but were taken in by Jim Rahl when their father was killed by Degwin Zabi (though most believed he was pointed to as the successor not knowing it was pointing out who killed him). Rimba gave them false identities which is the identity Char has adopted since all he has is vengeance so he can make a better world where the newtypes live as examples to all. We see how complicated he is now too as his end goal intentions are good his way of getting their is just not.

Sayla – Sayla’s name is Artesia (mentioned in earlier episodes) but she hides it too as she doesn’t want to become a political prisoner of the Federation and is scared her adopted family in the crew will leave her. Like Char she hides to protect herself from the consequences of her family name. We see she wants the Federation and Zeon to stop fighting too as she is connected to both sides. She received Char’s gold too and whether she goes to Earth as he wanted for her remains to be seen.

Okay: Confusion – The confession of identities is a little confusing as we are given a lot of backstory really fast. I wish this episode had given more time to explore this though since we get the motivations of two amazing characters. It isn’t bad, but it is a little confusing.

This was an amazing episode and a must watch so you get why Char fights and why he and Sayla have the names they do. Sayla is once again given a choice and we understand what drives Char to continue to fight more fully. It also introduces what everyone has been going on about “Special” in regards to Amuro. Newtype are X-Men basically and Amuro is a newtype.

Final Score: 9 / 10. Solidly great.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 36 – “The Duel in Texas” – The Pride of M’Quve

The Duel in Texas

“The Duel in Texas,” is very much a M’Quve episode as we find he has fallen into the trap most Zabi’s have of wanting to take Amuro on their own to show Char that they deserve respect. I was hoping M’Quve was above this, but what can you do. It is still an enjoyable episode.

The episode was directed by Shinya Sadamitsu and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Masaru Yamamoto.

We first learn that Gihrin has moved Zeon headquarters to A Baoa Qu as the final line of defense against Federation forces and also putting out a double rank advancement for whomever defeats the Gundam. The story involves M’Quve entering his own Gundam and luring Amuro into a trap in the Texas area that is a wasteland that Char is using to test Lalah’s abilities. The story lines meet when Amuro enters and Char decides to go and help M’Quve so Kycilia won’t be shamed. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Sayla – We see her take on and do lots of damage and destroy many of the Zeon ships before Kai joins the battle later to help take on the Gundams. She’s improved a lot and the Zeon Captain is surprised one ship can do so much damage.

Amuro – Amuro faces off against M’Quve and at one point Char in his new Gundam over the course of the traps set on Texas. He fights M’Quve and kills him even when Lalah begs for him to stop as he’s already one. In this we see Amuro has no sense of attacking to incapacitate, he is just like Char in he fights to kill.

M’Quve – We see his pride (the Zeon’s and their pride) at stake when he duels Amuro for Kycilia to show up Char and when he’s later rescued by Char he asks Char to stay out of it, leading to M’Quve’s death. He was a good character though, he was the planner and scheme and his Gyan is pretty great.

The Introduction – It is great seeing that Dozle’s death is having consequences, from Degwin, the leader expecting Dozle’s defeat and Gihrin’s actions to strengthen the war effort. The past episodes have consequences, which makes the series great.

Char – Char helps M’Quve but let M’Quve’s pride destroy himself in the end as he saw M’Quve’s pride and ivory tower approach a waste (and every hurt against the Zabi family is a win for Char). It was great seeing that side of him again, that he will help but he’ll also let others destroy themselves if it serves him. He also manages to put up a good fight against Amuro which continues next episode.

Okay: Lalah – She doesn’t like fighting but she’s serving Char and Zeon? What? She is a confusing character who I really don’t get at this point.

This was a great episode and good way for M’Quve to go. I was hoping he’d get to go out with a super weapon though rather than Gundam vs Gundam which seems to be the status quo for how Zeon’s get defeated. Still has some great Char and Amuro moments though and we get to know M’Quve better too.

Final Score: 9 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 28 – “Tragedy in Jubaro” – Invasion of Jubaro

Tragedy in Jaburo

This is the episode where we get to see Char back in action again, and also just how Powerful the Federation is. It is a pretty great action episode that has some good character moments too.

“Tragedy in Jubaro,” was directed by Shinya Sadamitsu and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Yoshihisa Araki.

The story involves the Trojan Horse arriving at the secret Federation Base at Jubaro where Matilda’s fiance Woody is the captain. It is here they are taken care of until Char attacks as he was able to follow them and joins the battle as a new Zeon Gundam is released into the field.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Battle – The assault on Jubaro is a fantastic battle! You see all the different types of Zeon Gundams in action including an upgraded Red Comet Gundam Char is using and the Zock, a large frog like Zeon Gundam. We also see the mass produced GM’s which are smaller versions of Amuro’s Gundam. The Federation puts up a good fight but Zeon is powerful and does a lot of damage including the killing of Woody before finally retreating.

Amuro – Amuro has empathy for Woody and realizes his crush was misplaced as he keeps imagining Woody and Matilda’s marriage, this comes to a head when Char in his mobile suit destroys Woody’s ship and Amuro in a rage charges him only to be stopped by the Zock who gives Char time to escape.

Char – He isn’t an idiot and always facing Amuro with backup as he knows Amuro’s Gundam is superior and doesn’t know all of it’s abilities yet. We see he is a good commander though and would have captured or destroyed the base of White Base 7 hadn’t risen to the occassion.

Sayla, Kai, Hayato – These three are great in combat this time and each destroy a Zeon Gundam. Sayla is working with Amuro, and Kai and Hayato work together to defend the other entrance to the base. Kai is all idealistic now which is kind of cool to see as he mentions fighting so there won’t be more orphans and desperate people.

Okay: Woody – He helps White Base 7 but is kind of a one note character. He is helping them and respects them because Matilda did, but we don’t see much personality beyond him being a professional soldier. So his death doesn’t have the same affect as prior ones.

This was a really good episode and worth watching since we haven’t seen Char commanding and in battle for some time. He really is the main threat outside of the Zabi family and he earned that role for a reason. This episode was good at showing that nowhere is really safe for the Trojan Horse.

Final Score: 9 / 10. Solidly great.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 26 – “A Spy on Board” – What Desperation Does

A Spy on Board

We continue our review of “Mobile Suit Gundam” with the first Kai centric episode. I wish these episodes made me more sympathetic towards him, this and the next one do a little at least. We also see reasons in this episode why a Federation citizen would help Zeon in the war.

“A Spy on Board” was directed by Hiroshi Hisano and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama.

The story of the episode involves Kai leaving and being taken in by a Zeon agent who is raising orphans from the war in her home. Her name is Miharu and she and Kai take a liking to one another. She eventually hears from Boon who is serving under Char in Mad Angler and is told to infiltrate the Trojan Horse to see where they are going. From here the story unfolds as Char sends a Z’Gok mobile suit to attack.

Here is an assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Zeon Forces of the Mad Angler – Zeon Mobile suits rock and the pilots have personality, even if they only live for a short period of time. They always put up a good fight, for example the Z’Gok’s attacking is what bring Kai back to White Base 7 to help the crew he was a part of.

The Trojan Horse – The crew lets Kai leave, even knowing they could get punished for it, and welcome him back when the battle commences. You see that most people don’t like him (myself included) but they respect him.

Miharu – She was the spy we saw sending information to Zeon when The Trojan Horse first arrived. She’s an interesting character as we learn she is living in an abandoned house and has devoted the money she gets from Zeon to caring for orphans. She’s a great character and succeeds on sneaking on after she’s given a uniform by a Zeon agent.

Amuro – We see him working with Sayla more in this episode and how much of a team they are becoming. Amuro also gives Kai his tools so he has money for getting started. He says he doesn’t like Kai but respects him, showing that Amuro is a good guy.

Sayla – Sayla is getting more confident in herself as a pilot as she takes out and helps take out Z’Goks. I really like her character and hope she continues to get confidence. Her and Amuro make a much better team than Amuro and Hayato or Amuro and Kai.

Okay: Kai – He’s not a complete ass this time and we see how many times the crew has smacked him and affected his ability to trust and want to be with them (understandably). I don’t know if he sees how his selfishness has affected them though. He is kind to Miharu and the orphans though.

This was a good episode, not great because Kai isn’t strong enough to carry an episode on his own, but it at least explores the motivation on why a Federation would work with a Zeon as an informant.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10