Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 27 – “The Locus of Victory and Defeat” – Relena and Heero’s Clip Show

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This episode was a clip show, and there is only so much you can do with a clip show, but we at least get what is going on in Heero’s mind and we get an update on how Relena has changed and grown and how the events have changed them all. That I did appreciate.

The directors were Kunihiro Mori, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

As stated above, this episode is recounting the last 26 episodes from the point of view of Relena and Heero and their views of those around them and the events that unfolded.

The Pros: Relena – I finally liked her character after this episode. We see that she was once selfish and now she is selfless as she is fighting for the greater good. She has compassion that Heero finally values.

Heero – For Heero it is learning that he has allies and that the mission is not everything. We see this when he first protects Relena and when he is able to get beyond the programming of Wing and surrenders himself to Quatre as they escape to Earth.

Okay: The Clips – They did a good job of summing everything up but we didn’t get much new information so that is my biggest issue.

This is an unnessasry episode, but I appreciated it since the show is good quality and we get to see some of the great events that have unfolded and made this show unforgettable. Check it out if you like the show.

Final Score: 7 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 20 – “The Lunar Base Infiltration” – What is Done for the Mission

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This was a great episode at showing just how costly sticking to a mission can be and not allowing oneself to change. We see this in the actions of Lady Une, in Trowa and in Heero as they are the main characters who we really get glimpses into this episode. I’ll get into more of what I mean later in the review.

The episode was directed by Kunihiro Mori and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

“The Lunar Base Infiltration,” begins with Trowa as one of Lady Une’s test pilots who is chosen to be the pilot for the Gundams the captured Colony Scientists are building. Lady Une speaks to him privately which gives him the chance to critique OZ which begins to break the illusion she’s been embracing as the diplomat and around the time Heero does his attack attempting to destroy the nearly finished Gundam.

The Pros: OZ’s Gundams – OZ has two new Gundams and they are awesome! There is the red Mercurius with an unstoppable shield and Vayaete a blue gundam with the largest beam cannon. Can’t wait to see these two in action against the 6 pilots.

Sally Po and the Magunacs – Both of them are trying to get to the Gundams, Sally to destroy it because she knows it is what Wufei would want and the Magunacs to repair since it is what Quatre would want. After a heated battle they reach an understanding and go their separate ways with respect for each other and the pilot’s whose ideologies they follow.

Trowa – Trowa is a great character in this as we see him subverting Lady Une by revealing OZ for what it is…an organization that values craftyness and guile over morality and because of this he would make a good pilot. He also does what he needs to do to remain undercover, from capturing Heero to destroying Deathscythe.

Deathscythe’s Destruction – Poor Duo screams when he sees it live. He just lost a huge part of his identity this episode.

Lady Une – Lady Une is torn with OZ’s military holding her to that role where she has no empathy, and the role Treize has put her in as the diplomat. She is torn because of this and it nearly breaks her when Trowa speaks truth about OZ.

Okay: The scientists – Again, they don’t have distinct identities, and it’s unknown how they are going to use the new Gundams against OZ.

Heero – He only appears at the end and attempts to destroy Mercurius and fails before Trowa captures him.

This was a good character episode and is beginning to show the tole of the war on a lot of the characters…from Trowa joining OZ, Heero willing to go to any lengths to succeed in the mission and Lady Une’s split personality…and we’re only 20 episodes in. Things are just going to keep unfolding.

Final Score: 8.6 / 10.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 17 – “Betrayed By Home, Far Away” – The Pilots Alone

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One of the things that makes “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” so great is that the factions aren’t entirely clear. It reminds me of “Game of Thrones” in many ways because of that. In this episode we see one of the leaders of the Colonies speak against the Gundam pilots and that the Colonies are against their actions. Unlike “Mobile Suit Gundam” sides aren’t always clear and in the end, even the pilots cannot really be called good.

“Betrayed by Home, Far Away” was directed by Tetsuya Watanabe, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

The story picks up with Duo and Quatre trying to get the attention of the other Gundams to show them that they need to get into space and back to the Colonies, since OZ has been doing a subtle conquest of the Colonies as they overthrow Alliance control. Lady Une is leading the conquest and as she captures each Colony is capturing the scientists who invented the Gundams to learn how to defeat them.

The Pros: Lady Une – Lady Une is shown to be a master of propaganda as she quickly wins over the young and eager Colonial leader of Area D. We see that she is still willing to go any length to defeat OZ’s enemies though as when Dr. J resists she is prepared to harm civilians to kill him, which leads to him surrendering.

The Gundam Pilots – We see a coming together of the Gundam pilots when Quatre and Duo force a call to action, which leads to the arrival of Wufei and Trowa. In the end Quatre sacrifices his Gundam so they can escape to the colonies setting everything in motion for the next arc of the story. He still remains on Earth though.

The Scientists – The scientists are acting alone and are the main threat against OZ as the Colonies are just happy to be no longer controlled by the Alliance. They put up a good fight and in the end cause interference that leads to the Gundams arriving safely back in the colonies.

Okay: The Colonies – The colonies still don’t have complete names or identities. These details would help the story a lot. So far the only separation between the Colonies is the fact that each scientist was creating a Gundam on their own.

This wasn’t the strongest of the episodes, as it was mostly action, but it is still worth checking out. How things are going to unfold on the Colonies remains to be seen but the fact that they aren’t sympathetic towards the Gundams overall could lead to some good drama, especially if OZ doesn’t mess up the goodwill they established in liberating the people from the Alliance.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 15 – “To the Battleground Antarctica” – Romafeller Betrayal

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      You can’t trust the Romafeller Organization, though that was true after last episode. At this point they have adopted the Zion role that Zion played in “Mobile Suit Gundam.” They are royalist fascists who care nothing for honor or ability which puts them at a stark contrast to Noin and Zechs who they turn against this episode.

     “To the Battleground Antarctica” was directed by Tsukasa Dokite, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Toshifumi Kawase.

     The episode picks up where the last one left off with Heero leaving the home of the last Noventa and being picked up by Noin who tells them that Zechs wants to meet them and promises them safe passage. Around this time Relena learns that Heero accidentally killed the Noventa leader during OZ’s coup and seeks out the wife of the leader who sends her a letter to give to Heero as she was seeking Heero too. Inspector Acht attacks them in transit and Trowa and Heero are forced to make a choice of either letting Noin die to remain undiscovered to to do the right thing and reveal the Gundams are near Zechs.

The Pros: Noin – She fights for her soldiers and is loyal to Zechs and his goals as well as very much being her own person. She holds the Gundam pilots responsible but also respects them and understands them as she is a pilot herself though she hasn’t been through the same level of trauma they have.

Zechs – He wants to meet the pilots even though it puts him at risk. My respect for this character continues to increase.

Trowa – Trowa is the focus as he decides against his judgement to save Noin and the soldier she is protecting from Romafeller forces. We see that he has regret though as we have no idea of Inspector Acht was able to get his message that the Gunams were in Antarctica out in time. Suffice to say he feels guilt though, which is what he’s been living with this entire time, much like Heero. Those two are similar.

Okay: Relena – She’s researching and being active but we aren’t seeing her play politics yet. After last episode this one felt very small in comparison.

Heero – Somewhat counsels Trowa but is mostly just standing ideally by morosely.

The Cons: Inspector Acht – Wants to defeat the Gundams to show he is the best but panics when Heavyarms appears. This character was just a waste, and he was supposed to be a person of power too.

     This episode has a lot of setups. We see the guilt the pilots live with and that they will do the right thing even when they put themselves and the colonies at risk, we see that Zechs is more complicated than he appears to be, as is Noin and that the war is slowly breaking everyone down.

Final Score: 8 / 10. Solidly good, but not great.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 7 – “Scenario for Bloodshed” – Treize’s Gambit

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      This is the episode that shows just how powerful OZ is, and how complicated things were within the Alliance. I’ll get into more of what I mean later but for now, this is an episode of consequences that pulls a lot of unexpected turns that show just how brutal war is.

     “Scenario for Bloodshed” was directed by Kunihiro Mori and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

      The story begins with some Alliance generals holding a meeting to talk peace with the colonies. Leading this is endeavor is Noventa, the Chief Commander of Alliance Forces who holds the meeting at New Edwards. The Gundam Pilots recieve word of the meeting and begin attacking around the same time that Treize reveals his hand and begins the revolution against the Alliance. From here the story unfolds as characters realize how they were played.

The Pros: Treize – This guy is the glorious bastard…he takes advantage of the Colonies in rebellion and the fact that they are using child soldiers to lure them into a trap where they take out their best bet for peace leaving him and OZ in charge and further militarization of Earth. I’m curious what his reasons are for doing this but he has people who are good (Noin and Zechs) who believe in him so at least some of it is not all it appears to be.

The Alliance – The Alliance leaders are finally complicated, and now they are dead. Noventa is an interesting guy as he knows that the Gundams on Earth are only going to reek more havoc unless peace can be found with the colonies. Septum is the annoying military man who wants war and declares war on the Colonies before Lady Une disposes of him now that he has served his purpose.

The Gundam Pilots – Wufei makes has them stop fighting each other as he points out how OZ used them all to get rid of the best chance for peace. This breaks them all in different ways but especially Heero who was beginning to make peace with the good in himself again. What this entails later remains to be seen with all the pilots, they are scarred even more now though.

Noin – Follows orders but questions if it is worth it with all the blood being shed. She shows just how deadly she is this time though as she kills multiple Alliance Gundams in the rebellion.

The Cons: Too Much Too Fast – So much happens that it is hard to gather what is going on fully a lot of the time. We still don’t know why Treize took over and the reasons the leader of the Alliance wanted peace wasn’t fully explored either. This episode really could have been a two parter.

     This was a really good episode. Not my favorite as it should have been two episodes, a lot happens here and the revolution almost happens too quickly. If they slowed it down we could have got more glimpses into the Pilots, the leadership of the Alliance, Noin and Treize. It still is a good episode, but doing so much hurt the story a little.

Final Score: 9.3 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 4 – “The Victoria Nightmare” – The Spark the Gundams Made

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    “The Victoria Nightmare” is a good episode for exploring Zechs’s character, how the UESA is making things worse, Wufei’s ideology and the connection between the other Gundam Pilots. This episode really gives us a glimpse of what is to come from the feel of it as well as giving us the chance to know two other fascinating characters.

    The episode was directed by Tetsuya Watanabe and Atsushi Shigeta and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

    The premise picks up where we left off with Zechs going to Victoria base since he heard a Gundam was going to attack there and meeting his colleague, friend and possible love Noin who has been training the new recruits. Shenlong Gundam attacks and the story unfolds from there. Around the same time Duo and Heero are repairing their Gundams and the UESA is holding a meeting on what to do about the rebel colonies since they know that is where the Gundams came from.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Noin and Zechs – These two have a great relationship. They both went to the academy together and their approaches balance out one another. Noin is about saving soldiers while Zechs is about defeating the enemy no matter the cost since those who survive learn. You can tell why each of them are specials because of this. We also learn that Noin is better but took the mentor role for Zechs so that he would be seen as the best of the group. Sadly we don’t see why this is the case but we haven’t truly seen them in action yet in my opinion.

Tallgeese – Tallgeese is the Gundam that Zechs gets at the base as it is as large as the Gundams being fought and is their best bet at fighting it. We see ones later being based off it so that OZ and UESA have a chance to fight back against the Colonies’ Gundams.

Heero and Duo – I like how these two interact. Duo is nice and carefree, while Heero is morose and bitter and doesn’t care about anyone. We see this when he steals equipment from Deathscythe so he can fulfill his mission of destroying a Gundaniam shipment. Heero is about the mission where Duo is trying to make a life as well as do the mission.

Trowa and Quatre – Quatre is a musician and he and Trowa play together. The music in this scene is beautiful and it’s a nice contrast to the war going on, especially as Quatre is such a tender personality.

Vice Foreign Minister Dorian and the UESA – Dorian wants them to not up the war with the colonies as Operation Meteor came about because of the UESA oppression. No one listened to him though, except Treize who maybe killing him as for now the war is profiting OZ.

Treize – We really see how cold and calculating he is and that he has no room for people who don’t serve his purpose as he tells Lady Une to take care of Dorian after he hears about what was said during the meeting.

Wufei’s Assault on Victoria – Wufei does a lot of damage but is nearly injured by Noin before he destroys one of the ships and takes the lazer that the base was holding. I don’t like Wufei at this point as he sees “Bleeding hearts and women” as unworthy of death because they are so weak. I did like the battle though and Shenlong Gundam is a pretty amazing Gundam.

The Con: Wufei – Wufei is sexist and obsessed with being the best. Right now I have no reason to like the character as he is the definition of arrogance.

Relena – She still has a death wish as the one scene we see her in is her screaming for Heero to come and kill her. Why are we supposed to like this character again?

     This was a really good episode where we got the chance to know Dorian and Noin, both are fascinating characters. Also it’s great seeing that the UESA is slowly becoming a threat again…mostly due to Zechs and Treize but it’s a good direction that the show is heading. I’m looking forward to see how the war unfolds and more about where the Gundam Pilots came from.

Final Score: 9.2 / 10. Solidly great.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 41 – “Space Fortress: A Baoa Qu” – To Destroy One’s Enemies

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The penultimate episode of the series really starts with a powerful beginning as we see General Revil and Degwin Zabi destroyed by the Solar Ray that his own son Gehrin Zabi fires. This really sets up the theme of everyone seeking to destroy the ones they consider their enemy.

The episode was written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama and directed by Ryoji Fujihara and Yoshiyuki Tomino.

As stated above it begins with the Solar Ray destroying Degwin and his peace envoy which puts Kycilia on edge and distrusting of Gihren as she meets up with him at A Baoa Qu. It is here he goes full on propaganda with promoting Zeon as the superior race who will crush all their enemies before them. At the same time the Trojan Horse is recovering from the destruction it witnessed as Amuro pulls them together for the final attack on the base with the remainder of the Federation fleet. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Battle – The Battle is amazing! We see the base holding it’s own against greater forces and also the battles on the smaller scale when we get the POV’s of Kai, Hayato and Sayla in Guncannon, Guntank and G-Fighter. This lends to how epic the scale really is as Mr. Bright and Kycilia are giving orders.

Gihren Zabi – Is a bastard and I was so happy when Kycilia killed him. She figured out that he murdered his own father and puts him down as she believes only the honorable should rule and those who respect the Zabi family which he clearly doesn’t. He won’t be missed.

Kycilia Zabi – Her blind spot is still Char though as she gives him a Newtype Gundam Zeong (given his budding Newtype abilities). We see her command her forces and firmly establish leadership after the coup against her brother as the base quickly falls into line. It says a lot about her power that her murder of her brother didn’t cause a Civil War among the troops. I guess they saw how reckless he had become too. Her other blindspot is she depends too much on Gundams to fight the battle and doesn’t call for reinforcements from Zeon. She was the one who realized Newtypes could change the war but it was realized too late.

Amuro – Amuro is getting better in his abilities but is now evenly matched with Char on the battlefield as when they face off neither knows how to defeat the other and they both experience fear because of it. They also know how much of a game changer each is as their gundams and their personal abilities are quite powerful.

Kai, Hayato, Sayla – All of them have great moments this battle, though Sayla is going to get a bigger sequence on why she’s a pro next episode. In this one she is taking out Zeon Gundams as Kai and Hayato manage to land on A Baoa Qu and help break through.

Char's Zeong

Char – Char gets an awesome new Gundam that forces him to use his Newtype abilities as he, at least initially is pretty balanced in the fight against Amuro. They fight to a standstill and lose each other in the battle and aren’t able to find each other again till the end. He decimates lots of Federation forces too and would have changed the battle towards Zeon victory if not for Amuro.

Enemies Meet – This episode is all about enemies meeting. From Kycilia killing her brother Gihren, from Gihren’s execution of his father with the Solar Ray for seeking peace and of course the main two of the series – Char and Amuro. We see the outcomes of all of this in the final episode.

This was a solid episode that doesn’t have any real cons. It has a limited time so we don’t have the minor characters get too much exploration, but we still get exploration of the leads and the Zabi family, which was all the episode needed to do.

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

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

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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 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 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