Monday, February 11, 2013
Anyway, i got ahead of myself and now i have to do episodes 27-36.
This chunk begins with the excellent two-parter, Leina's Blood. The Neo Zeon have invaded Dakar and its up to our intrepid heroes to crash the party, rescue Leina and free the city. Of course it's not as easy as all that when Puru childishly starts the attack early by firing the canons on the Mega Rider too soon. She is a rather mercurial one isn't she?
Judau does his best James Bond impression, complete with a showdown with a femme fatale. I like this bit of dialogue between them as the party more than shows the corruption of the Federation officials but Haman's methods probably won't help any either. Then she makes her mistake: shooting Leina. Oh and is Judau ever pissed. I wouldn't be surprised if at that moment he could have pulled a Darth Vader on her. It really does go to show how strong Judau's Newtype potential is when he Haman runs away from him almost screaming in terror. Even when Kamille started poking into her memories she didn't get this upset.
Oh and random cameo by Yazan. How in the name of Tomino did he survive that fall and end up back on Earth, invited to a swanky party of all things?
Anyway, the drama builds to a climax as the Gundam team battle the Neo Zeon through Dakar along with Karaba's GM III's. Hullo Hayato, haven't seen you since Zeta! Glemy engages in several duels with the Gundams and I really have to wonder why he is so attached to Leina. Is she the little sister he never had or something? Puru sneaks Leina off and tells her that she needs to leave Judau alone so she can fight. Leina interprets that as wanting to hurt Judau and CATFIGHT! I goes to show how screwed up Puru's upbringing was that she wants to have a big brother in Judau and thinks the onyl way to do that is to kill Leina and take her place. Fortunately, Judau arrives and calms everything down. It's not to last as Leina supposedly goes the way of Yuna Roma Seiran and has a MS fall on top of her. It's a great death scene with lots of powerful emotion, right down to Judau coldly refusing Puru's misguided kindness. There is one thing that's a little weird about it: Roux is strangely pretty tactless about the whole affair. Hmmm.
Of course I know that Leina isn't actually dead, which really sucks. Total cop-out. Why even bother with the scene and the subsequent fallout if she's not dead. So let's break this down. In order to believe that Leina's not dead, we have to accept that Sayla Mass, of all people, just happened to be wandering around in the jungles around Dakar, in the middle of a battle, and just so happened to arrive at the cabin Leina was in, decided to investigate the cabin out of the blue, found Leina and took her away, without telling anyone. IIRC, Leina was still conscious; did she really just go along with Sayla and not say, "Hey, not just yet, I need to tell the others."
It really doesn't make one ounce of sense when you think about it and once she was better.... why wouldn't she have contacted her brother and told him she's alright? Doesn't. Make. Sense.
We get a few more episodes of desert wandering. Roux is strangely very cold to Judau about Leina's "death" and it's really not endearing her to me. She even leaves the ship, which is doubly perplexing, going so far as to steal a Core Fighter. Man, if I were Bright, the second she set foot back on the ship, it'd be Correction Time.
We also get the first reveal of Glemy's Puru clones. This guy has to be some kind of Pedobear with his naked lolis on display in cold sleep.
The Argama then arrives in Ireland and the drama gets ratcheted up again. Bright meets with some Federation officials and things quickly go south. Any respect i had for the Feds is gone, AEUG/Londo Bell FTW. They try to keep Bright and Judau locked up but it's randomly Fa to the rescue. Which means... Kamille's back! He's not very coherent, but he's back!
Haman drops a colony at this point so it's up to our heroes in the AEUG to fix the Federation's mess. Lots of great battles here with the Gundam team going all out but you know what i would have preferred? Amuro to have shown up with Hayato and Kamille to be lucid so that Amuro could go out in the Mk. II, Kamille in the Zeta and Judau in the ZZ. Now that would have been EPIC.
We also have the death of Puru here against Puru Two in the Psyco Gundam Mk. II. and that was actually pretty sad. I was beginning to really like Puru.
I forgot to mention a great scene where Bright shows Hayato the room that Katz stayed in. Now I hated Katz as much as anyone else, but this was still a powerful, moving scene. Oh wait.... is that pineapple salad I smell? And a steak as well? Why yes, it is! Yes, because of this, Hayato is doomed to die, but at least he goes out in a manner worthy of a First Gundam character. RIP buddy, you dun good.
Episode 36 ends with a memorial service, a fitting why to end this cluster of episodes. Judau and the Junkyard Kids are heading back to space next time....... wait a minute.... wasn't there something about Tigerbaum....? Ah fudge-sticks.....
Anyway, episodes 22-26.
Hmm, things are actually getting pleasantly good. Judau's still reckless in trying to save Leina but lots of good drama comes from it. He meets Haman again and thus begins what i assume are many attempts on her part to seduce our hero. We also get introduced to Rakhan Dakharan. Now this is a Neo Zeon villain I can get behind! We also have another nice atmosphere batle, very reminiscient of the Jaburo Drop in Zeta. The Argama and the Gundam Team are on Earth now and because the Argama doesn't have a Minovsky Craft system, they send the Gundam team on ahead. At the same time, Neo Zeon has invaded the Federal capital of Dakar.
I gotta say, this happened all a little too neatly, smacking of Star Trek Syndrome. You know, Earth is the most important planet in the Federation, yet it's constantly defended and saved by just one ship, usually the Enterprise? Where was the Federation defense fleet? The Garrison? Are they really so incompetent by UC0088 that Neo Zeon, with just a few ships and their mobile suit complements can roflstomp them?
Also, Beecha and Mondo need to die, seriously. They are too easily forgiven especially after that stunt with the bombs. At least Shinta and Qum have faded into the background.
So the Gundam team treks across Africa and like we've seen in other shows such as 0083 and Unicorn, the scars of the OYW still linger. We got poor fool Rommel, who tries to take on modern (at the time) Gundams with Zakus. Bad idea dude. Somehow I don't think the real Desert Fox would have been so foolish. We also get this Masai woman who makes the same mistake. Even though her Gelgoog is still old, I bet if she had more training she might have been able to take out one or two of the Gundam team. But her obsession proves her downfall. Yet another casualty of the OYW. Also, in an earlier episode, we have a kid try to take on the Argama and its Gundams with a Kapool. Silly kid, don't you know that Kapool/Capule's only work in Turn A Gundam?
I'm given to understand that we'll get to Dakar in episode 25 and a certain chain of events will proceed with Leina. Dum-dum-duuuuuummmmmm.