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 27 – “Across the Atlantic” – For the Children

Across the Atlantic

“Across the Atlantic” continues Miharu and Kai’s story as well as Boone who is serving under Char at the Mad Angler. It has great action and character moments partially for these reasons and drives the story forward.

The episode was directed by Osamu Sekita and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Masaru Yamamoto.

The story picks up with Miharu on board being hidden by Kai, but Amuro sees her but doesn’t say anything as Boone attacks out of vengeance for his men killed in the last battle. He first gets information that The Trojan Horse is headed to South America when he goes undercover as an injured fisherman. It is from here that Miharu is questioning her allegiance as she sees that the Trojan Horse is caring for orphans as well on their vessel. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Boon – You see why he swears vengeance and he gets an awesome vehicle to fight in, The Grabro, a mini-sub/Gundam. It is a powerful Gundam that manages to injured the Trojan Horse before Amuro finally destroys it along with Boon.

Miharu – Miharu is the main focus of the episode as she realizes her mistake and tries to White Base 7 by joining Kai on his jet and when the lever is caught, releasing it which costs her, her life. This isn’t before she gets her message to Kai of wanting to end the war in conversation they had earlier…so future generations will grow up with peace.

Sayla and Amuro – This team is great and does a good job fighting the two Z’Goks and Amuro is able to take out the Grabro once the Grabro twists off his Gundam’s leg, and Sayla takes out a Z’Gok while Kai and Miharu take out the other.

Okay: Kai – Kai is pretty good in this episode, still pretty stupid for sheltering a spy and from that pretty selfish in regards to the safety of the crew, but I did feel bad for him when Miharu died. I don’t know if I’ll ever like this character…but he can be okay.

This was a great action episode and one that advanced the plot further. Also two deaths of significance though Miharu’s was bigger since we got to know her more than Boone. “Mobile Suit Gundam” has a pretty big named character body count…which is good, it doesn’t try to white wash war.  Can’t wait to see where the series goes and loving how White Base 7 is working so well as a team!

Final Score: 9 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 24 – “The Battle of Odessa” – Any Cost to Win

The Battle of Odessa

“Battle of Odessa” is the episode that completes the M’Quve’s Mine Base arc as well as the first time that things will truly start to change after in not being desperate in regards to the crew of the Trojan Horse. It’s an episode with some of the best action that shows just how far some members of Zeon are willing to go to defeat the Federation.

The episode was directed by Shinya Sadamitsu and written by Yoshihisa Araki.

The story picks up where the last one left off with the Trojan Horse assaulting M’Quve’s main base from behind as the surviving Black Tri-Star members do a revenge attack against the Trojan Horse. Everything comes to a head as the Battle of Odessa rages around and Amuro discovers a Zeon mole in the Federation army.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Black Tri-Stars – Out to avenge their comrade, these guys nearly beat Amuro and cause some pain for the Trojan Horse, they also fight with honor unlike M’Quve. Going to miss these two and wish they’d gotten backstory.

The Federation – We have a captain who is a mole, Revil finally aiding the Trojan Horse and the Federation fighting with honor. Got to say this showed the complexity of the faction we’re supposed to sympathize with which I really loved.

Sayla – Is once again good support and takes time to learn how to fly the new jet before her and Amuro discover the mole leaving M’Quve’s base and realize the reason Zeon has always known where they are. She does a lot of good during the fights.

Amuro – Discovers and chastises the mole before he is court martialed for revealing his plans to Amuro, manages to take out the Black Tri-Stars and has his most successful battle thus far that leads to General Revil personally congratulating him after the battle. He also stops a nuke.

The Trojan Horse – The crew all work together to win the day and not a crew member is wasted in the fight.

Con: M’Quve – Really don’t like this guy after the episode. He was willing to nuke Earth to defeat the Federation when the Treaty had made using nukes illegal. I’m surprised he wasn’t smart enough to realize how that would alienate the survivors to continuously resist Zeon rule afterword. Lost all respect for him for actually going through with the attempted Nuking of Federation forces. He escapes too and we learn that his mines have given Zeon enough resources to fight for 10 more years.

The Mole – We don’t get the Captain’s motivations for betraying and he isn’t smart in how he reveals his plans to Amuro.

This was a great episode that I hope more comes of it afterword, such as how the populace views Zeon after the attempt to use nukes. This episode is Amuro and the crew of the Trojan Horse at their best and a great action episode. So definitely gets a recommend.

Final Score: 9 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 23 – “Black Tri-Star” – Kycilia’s Elite

Black Tri-Star

“The Black Tri-Star” brings us back to Kycilia as well as the recovering of the Trojan Horse from M’Quve’s trap. It’s a good episode that gives us some character development and introduces some great foes.

The episode was directed by Osamu Sekita and Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Masaru Yamamoto.

The story picks up with Kycilia wanting to protect the mines of M’Quve and keep the Trojan Horse from the front, so she sends her elite soldiers…the Black Tri-Stars. From here the story unfolds as Amuro gets to know Matilda before the assault by the Black Tri-Stars.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Kycilia – She sees the big picture and is willing to take risks to keep the Trojan Horse and Amuro’s Gundam away from the front and destroying Zeon’s supplies they need for the war effort. You definitely see in this episode why she is the Rear Admiral of Zeon.

The Black Tri-Stars – These guys are southern working class soldiers, the polar opposite of the officers which make things interesting as they love battle and care deeply for one another. You see why they are her elites. They manage to make a major kill too in the course of their assault on the Trojan Horse. They manage to take out Lt. Matilda and her ship showing just how dangerous they are.

Amuro – Amuro manages to take out one of the Black Tri-Stars but is unable to save Matilda. He also helps train Sayla more as she is his support during the battle. He has some great lines with Matilda before and you can see how much he respects her and the reason she fights.

Sayla – Feels guilt over being unable to save Matilda but does a pretty good job in the battle given she was using the prototype for the first time. I hope she can work through the guilt, I really like her character.

Matilda – Matilda went into supplies because she want to build things and so much of war is destruction. She is a creator and healer with supplies and also super professional and kind. Her death is felt, even if it doesn’t have the same affect as Ryu and Ramba’s death had.

Okay: Matilda’s funeral – We didn’t get to know her very well the way we did Ramba, Hamon or Ryu but it was still a decent honoring of her, given she was the one keeping White Base 7 alive so often when they ran low on supplies and suffered assaults from Zeon.

This episode is well worth a watch. Matilda and Kycilia get explored more and we see the Trojan Horse back in action while still recovering. It also continues the theme of loss during war and how easy it is to lose someone you care about in war and battle.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 22 – “Matilda’s Rescue” – No Longer Alone

Matilda's Rescue

“Matilda’s Rescue” directly follows from “The Trap of M’Quve” and has the crew beginning to find it’s bearings once more as aid is being sent from Federation forces.

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

The Trojan Horse is still broken and lacking supplies but the secret message to General Revil gets sent out leading to Lt. Matilda being sent with supplies and some more experimental Gundam material for the crew. From here the story unfolds as M’Quve attacks the supply caravan leading Amuro to mount a rescue.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: General Revil – General Revil represents HQ’s desperation to win the war and the fact that he cares about the crew to a degree, even though they are his guinea pigs. He sends Matilda with supplies and upgrades for the Trojan Horse as he hopes for them to reach the Odessa Offensive to change the stalemate of the war. Interested in seeing more of this guy.

Mirai – Mirai rises up to be the leader Mr. Bright hoped her to be. We see her successfully save Lt. Matilda and the supplies and support the crew. She also connects with Sayla who is proud of her for rising to the challenge.

Lt. Matilda – Keeps calm in the attack and gets Amuro the new technology. She once again shows she’s a fascinating character and stays with the crew to make sure they re-stock and are prepared for the Odessa offensive.

Sayla – Supports Miria and helps during the battle. We see how she’s matured and is at the point of multi-tasking like most of the core crew so that whatever battle situation is at hand, she can take the most needed role.

Amuro – We see Amuro lead the attack to save her and some of his best work as a pilot and in the Gundam as he manages to save some of the ships and take out M’Quve’s Goufs. We also see his attraction to Matilda more too.

Okay: Kai – Isn’t helping with repairs until Mirai arrives but helps during the battle. This character still really annoys me though.

This was an episode that gave us a little bit of hope for the crew of the Trojan Horse as we get closer to the big battle and changing the outcome of the war. It was great seeing something good happen and the crew rise to the challenge once more.

Final Score: 9 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 20 – “Sorrow and Hatred” – The Character of Ryu

Sorrow and Hatred

“Mobile Suit Gundam” doesn’t pull any punches (both literally and figuratively). This episode follows right after the powerful loss of Ramba Ral and ups it and the stakes as we move forward.

“The Sorrow and the Hatred” was written by Yoshihisa Araki and directed by Sussumu Gyoda and Yoshiyuki Tomino, the directors who did the last episode. Putting them in charge was the right move since this episode deals directly with the consequences from the last one.

The episode begins with an injured Ryu being treated for his injury during the last battle, but moving about trying to put things in motion for people to heal. He wants the crew to work together, since they are all they have. While this is going on Crowly Hamon is planning a suicide mission with her last men to avenge Garma and her lover Ramba Ral. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Consequences from Ramba’s Assault – The crew is low on ammo, repairing the 2nd bridge, injured and tired and suffering from the loss of those killed in the last battle. From the beginning of the episode stakes are high.

Mr. Bright – We see the dilemma he faces with Amuro as Amuro continually circumvents his orders and doesn’t know if Amuro gets that he’s part of a crew yet. We again see him use everyone when they’re put into action and him fully feel the loss of an important crewmember.

Amuro – Continues with learning from last episode and listens to Mr. Bright unless the orders put the crew at risk. He talks to Hamon briefly too as they both have a respect for each other at the end as he admired her and she respects him as a person and soldier.

 

HamonCrowley Hamon – Another interesting and wonderful Zeon character is killed. This time by Ryu though. We see how loyal she is to the cause in this and her love for Zeon and Ramba when she does the suicide mission to take out the Trojan Horse. She nearly succeeds too and would have if Ryu hadn’t gone suicidal on her with the Core Jet, given that she was defeating Amuro in his Gundam.

Ryu – This show, like  re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” has a high body count, which I think lends to the stakes and why ending the war is so important. Ryu, Hamon and Ramba are just a few of the people who’ve died so far and for Ryu the crew weeps. He is the character who in the end shows who sensitive he can be and builds everyone up around him before risking his life to save the Trojan Horse and Amuro. His death means something.

Con: How the Crew experiences Ryu’s Death – Every character is crying, this is one thing I would have changed as different people experience loss differently and it isn’t always as open, sometimes it’s quite or simply internal. I wish that had been shown rather than the crews reaction being universal, regardless of character.

This was a powerful episode that sums up what Amuro hopes to do, he wants to end the war so no more people can die. It’s a powerful statement and at this time a far dream as the Zabi family is showing no sign of letting up the fight. I highly recommend this episode though, it is solidly great. R.I.P. Hamon and Ryu.

Final Score: 9 / 10

 

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 19 – “Hand-to-Hand Combat” – Amuro Learns and the Honor of Ramba Ral

Hand-to-Hand Combat

“Hand-to-Hand Combat” is a great episode. It gives us a greater exploration of Ramba Ral and it looks like Amuro is finally learning! I’ll get into more details in the assessment.

“Hand-to-Hand Combat” was written by Masaru Yamamoto and directed by Ryoji Fujihara and Yoshiyuki Tomino. It is the 19th episode of the first season in the English dub.

The story of the episode involves the crew fracturing as Hayato, Kai and another run away as they are jealous of Mr. Bright’s attention to Amuro, along this time Ryu confronts Amuro only for Amuro to mock him. He later runs after Kai and the group to bring them back as Ramba Ral attacks on a boarding mission to capture the Trojan Horse as M’Quve has left him with no resources in order to hide what he’s doing at his main secret base. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Hayato – It’s nice seeing this kid have some personality finally. He’s jealous and feels forgotten, even as he’s been following orders the whole time. He does come back once Ramba attacks though and brings the rest of the group with him.

Ryu – Ryu is shown to be a leader in this one as he calls Amuro out on his selfishness and also the ones who ran away. He punches Amuro and Kai in this one, which honestly at this point most folks who are watching have been wanting to do, and is called out on it by Hyato…cause in the end his anger doesn’t solve anything. The action of circumstances and reason do, which I think he finally gets.

Mr. Bright – Mr. Bright uses and risks all assets to fight off Ramba’s attack, including destroying the Second Bridge. We see how deeply he cares for the crew and his own insecurities as leader and how Mirai is his base. We see him use every person well in the crisis.

Ramba Ral

Ramba Ral – Finds out something important in his boarding of the Trojan Horse, the Princess Artesia is alive and she is Sayla Maas. It is a powerful scene as he and his family cared for her when she was younger. They don’t have time to connect since Ryu attacks and the attack costs Ramba his life. He does go out with honor though saluting the crew and respecting the fact that soldiers half his age beat him. R.I.P. Ramba Ral, you will be missed and were one of my favorite characters.

Clamp – When he first boards he has one of the younger children get away from the explosion. He is surprised about the children in White Base, his surprise leads to him getting shot and killed though. It was nice seeing kindness during duty though before the end. He was an underutilized character.

Crowley Hamon – Swears revenge and manages to escape the fight. We see the tenderness she feels for Ramba and also her leadership abilities on the main ship as she manages to save the bridge crew from a direct assault by Amuro’s Gundam.

Sayla Mass – Is a princess and connected to Ramba Ral! The scene they have together is one of the best in the series and I can’t wait to learn more about her past and her connection to Char. She does a good job in the Gundam too when Amuro gives her advice. She manages to destroy one of the Zeon Mobile Suits in the fight before Zeon forces board White Base.

Amuro – Finally gets that he is part of a crew. When Bright orders him to guns, he goes to guns and fights and he does all he can to protect others. It looks like he finally understands why he was thrown in the brig and will work to be a part of the group. It is powerful too seeing him morn Ramba Ral’s death.

This is another episode showing the human cost of war and one I highly recommend. It shows us the good people fighting on both sides. Ramba Ral is one of the best characters in “Mobile Suit Gundam” and cares about his men and not harming innocents or anyone on the crew if he can. His love for Crowley is pretty deep too. This was his episode and he gets a good death as it fully captures how great a character he is and his relationship to Sayla which reveals to us potential plot arcs for the future.

The Final Score is: 10 / 10. The perfect episode.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 16 – “Amuro Deserts” – The Consequences of Amuro’s Recklessness

Amuro Deserts

“Amuro Deserts” picks up where “Sayla’s Agony” left off, with Sayla and Cozun in the brig and Amuro taking greater and greater risks. The episode was written by Kenichi Matsuzaki and directed by Ryoji Fujihara and Yoshiyuki Tomino.

The story involves Amuro circumventing Mr. Bright and trying to avoid going into the Gundam when they attack the Zeon base as he and Hayato attack in Guntank. Around this time Cozun is making his escape so Sayla is released to capture him. Ramba Ral also takes this time to attack when he gets the distress signal from the Zeon base.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Ramba Ral and Co. – Ramba Ral and co. depart in a Fat Uncle (giant airplane) after getting resupplied and plan to trap and destroy the Trojan Horse. Their attack would have succeeded if the base they were helping had had more ground troops, since the battle ends when Amuro finally gets into his Gundam to face Ramba in his Gouf (Blue Gundam). We see how much Crowley cares about him too and how much he cares for his men as he tells her to save Cozun if she gets the chance.

Sayla – Sayla proves her loyalty by helping isolate Cozun which later leads to him getting killed when they try to recapture him. She also communicates with Amuro during the battle to help in their fight against the base and Ramba.

Amuro – Amuro has grown super reckless as we see him go around Mr. Bright and command Hayato in the Guntank, which leads to the Trojan Horse almost getting destroyed as Gundam was not in the field when Ramba attacked. He later hears Mr. Bright and Mirai talking about dismissing him for a while so he can get more training and grow which leads to him taking Gundam and running to end the episode.

Mirai and Mr. Bright – These two are the parents of the crew and we see how Mr. Bright and Mirai both see the big picture in their own ways. From Amuro needing rest and someone taking over to a while, to knowing that they still need him and he is an asset. You understand why they are leaders in this episode.

Okay: The Base – We don’t really get to know anyone on the Zeon base, which is a shame as it is completely destroyed. We don’t get any of the humanity.

Cozun – Resists being questioned and makes a run for it, and even asks if Sayla wants to join too. He isn’t a bad character, but we don’t fully get his motivations, which is why he’s in the okay section.

This was a good episode that I recommend. We see more of the character dynamics and how much Amuro has grown to overestimate his abilities. It is a good episode that shows where Sayla’s loyalties are and just how outgunned in many way White Base 7 still is, even with all the super weapons. Also, it’s always great to see Ramba Ral in action, love him and his crew.

Final Score: 9 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 15 – “Sayla’s Agony” – To Capture a Zeon Soldier

Sayla's Agony

 

We continue the “Mobile Suit Gundam” reviews with episode 15 (in the English dubbed version) “Sayla’s Agony,” there was another episode 15 that Tomino the creator didn’t like so he cut it out of the English dub. I’m planning to go back and review the episode at some point. The name of it is “Cucuruz Doan’s Island.” So that will be a special review later.

“Sayla’s Agony” is a Sayla centered episode but also shows us more of Zeon politics and how the siblings of the Zabi family are trying to outdo each other. I’ll get into the details in the assessment.  The episode was directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and written by Masaru Yamamoto.

The story involves the return of Ramba Ral as he attacks White Base 7 when he’s ordered by one of Kycilia’s underlings M’Quve who is hoping to get him killed off in the process. Sayla also takes things into her own hands and hijacks the Gundam as she wants to find out from one of the Zeon soldiers if Char is still alive by capturing one of them. From here the story unfolds.

The Pros: Ramba Ral – I really like this guy, he would have won this battle if not for the arrival of Guntank and Guncannon and his soldiers trying to capture the Gundam. He does all he can to protect them too but can’t save one of his soldiers from their own stupidity. Regardless, we see once again that he is a great commander.

Amuro – Amuro is shown to be a talented pilot as he uses the Guncannon to rescue Sayla when she’s realized that reality is different from the simulations. He protects her and helps capture Cozun, one of the Zeon soldiers under Ramba.

Mr. Bright – Sends Sayla to the brig and actually acts like a leader. He also finds salt for the cook since they are running low on supplies.

Okay: Sayla – We don’t get her motivations until after Cozun is captured and he tells her that Char has been sent home for not protecting Garma. We see how much she cares for her brother, but her recklessness in this instance isn’t a pro as she probably could have found at least one ally and thought things through more.

M’Quve – He’s arrogant and wants Ramba Ral out of the way as he’s doing a secret experiment in regards to mines. He collects things but there wasn’t enough in this episode to respect him for his brains or as an antagonist, so he was okay.

Con: Episode layout – We don’t know Sayla’s motivation till the end, the battle is kind of chaotic so when Ramba is commanding his soldiers it is hard to tell where they are…so it is a bit of a mess.

This episode was alright. I would recommend it largely just to see Ramba Ral being amazing again. It is one of the more chaotic episodes structurally.

Final Score: 7.5 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Season 1, Episode 14 – “Time, Be Still” – Defending the Gundam

Time, Be Still Ep 14

“Time, Be Still” is an episode that shows smart thinking on the part of a rag tag group of Zeon soldiers and also further exploring the breakdown of Amuro’s psyche. The episode was written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and also directed by Shinya Sadamitsu.

The story involves Zeon bases attack and laying of bombs on the Gundam. From there the story involves Amuro racing against the clock to get all the bombs off before they destroy him and his Gundam as he was lured into the trap when he saves Lt. Matilda from the attack from Zeon forces.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Zeon Base – The soldiers in this are smart and we get to see them use their limited supplies to almost win against Amuro and his Gundam, as they lure him into the forest and manage to lay the mines all over him. They also mange to injure Lt. Matilda’s supply ship too. They later come dressed as civilians when moving the base to see who was the pilot and crew who outsmarted them.

Lt. Matilda – We see that she might have feeling for Amuro but is professional and reminds him and the crew of their duty. She also gives the possibly bad news of the Federation eventually sending an officer to command over Mr. Bright, since he is just an ensign. The Federation isn’t the best of allies.

Amuro – We see his obsession of duty almost lead to his own death when he decides he alone will take off the bombs since it is his Gundam. The crew comes through for him in the end, but I don’t think he realizes all the support that is around him and the folks in the same boat.

Con: Fraw Bow – She’s jealous of Matilda, this is getting kind of annoying. She hasn’t had any romantic moments with Amuro or showed she’s interested. She needs to do something or layoff Amuro’s interest in Matilda.

This was a good episode, it isn’t quite as tied to the overall arc the way others are since it is more travel and random Zeon enemies…but there is more moments with Matilda and Amuro and we see the further destruction of Amuro’s psyche.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10