image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: June 21, 2000
New Review: April 28, 2001

 

Summary

 

In UC 0093, several years have passed since the First Neo Zeon War. Since then, Char Aznable has taken command of the Neo Zeon and declares war on the Earth Federation. As Char prepares to drop the asteroid Fifth Luna on Earth, the Federation's Londo Bell task force mobilizes to stop him. Using the prototype Re-GZ, Amuro Ray attacks a Cyber Newtype named Gyunei Guss and his Jagd Doga. Char comes to his aid with his Sazabi and fights off Amuro so that Gyunei can escape. On Earth, a Federation politician named Adenauer Paraya boards the shuttle Tien Lu with his bratty daughter Quess. Since his wife doesn't want to go into space, he does Mirai Noa a favor and lets her son Hathaway grab a ride with them. Mirai and Cheimin plan to wait for a shuttle in Hong Kong. Hathaway and Quess become friends as their shuttle heads into space and passes dangerously close to Fifth Luna. Adenauer Paraya has to reach Side 1's Londenion colony for an unknown reason. Fifth Luna passes by the shuttle and slams into the Federation headquarters at Lhasa, Tibet, completely destroying the city.

 

Char and his forces retreat to their base at Sweetwater, but Londo Bell is unable to chase them. Char gives a speech to his troops congratulating them on their first battle. He then prepares to visit a colony with his lover Nanai Miguel. In the meantime, Amuro heads to Anaheim Electronics' lunar factory to get the Nu Gundam. The Nu Gundam is equipped with a psyco-frame that allows Amuro to control it with brain waves. He is aided by a young Londo Bell officer named Chan Agi who seems to be smitten with him. He also learns that as usual, Anaheim is providing mobile suits to the Neo Zeon as well. Londo Bell locates the Neo Zeon plotting a course between the Moon and Side 1. Amuro is informed of and prepares to take the incomplete Nu Gundam against Anaheim's wishes. He and Chan launch in the Nu Gundam with a booster bed and head for Bright Noa's Ra Cailum. The Neo Zeon Geara Doga squad led by Rezin Schnyder attacks the Ra Cailum. Pilot Kayra Su launches in the Re-GZ followed by squad of Jegans to repel the attack. Nearby, the civilian shuttle stops for repairs and comes dangerously close to the battlefield. As the battle intensifies, Kayra finds herself in a duel with Rezin. Their duel is interrupted by the arrival of Amuro and the Nu Gundam. Surprisingly, the Neo Zeon forces retreat.

 

The Earth shuttle passengers get off at the Ra Cailum, and Hathaway is reunited with his father. Adenauer uses his Federation authority and commands Bright to take the Ra Cailum to Side 1's Londenion colony. Amuro has a dream of Lalah Sune flying towards him, and he tells her that she has to choose between him and Char. He wakes up when Chan calls him to the mobile suit deck. Engineer Astonaige Medoz shows Quess and Hathaway the inside of a Jegan's cockpit. Bright sees that Quess shows natural piloting abilities, and her father is surprised by this. In the mess hall, Quess and Hathaway talk about Newtypes and Amuro's exploits during the One Year War. Char's shuttle arrives at Londenion and enters the colony. On the Ra Cailum, Quess tries to get a look at the Nu Gundam and is scolded by Chan. She yells at Chan and tells her to stop interfering with her study of Amuro. The Ra Cailum arrives at Londenion, and Bright tells Amuro that Char has to drop one more asteroid on Earth to start a nuclear winter. He thinks that Char has come to negotiate about that. Adenauer attends a meeting with top Federation officials, and former attorney Cameron Bloom is present as a financial officer. The meeting's purpose is to negotiate peace with the Neo Zeon, and everyone is surprised when Char himself shows up to negotiate. He agrees to stop his attacks if the Federation will give him the asteroid Axis. Elsewhere, Amuro gives Hathaway a new Haro toy. At the meeting, Char agrees to surrender his fleet at Luna II and have Axis moved towards Sweetwater.

 

The Federation quickly agrees, thinking this will give them quick and easy peace (apparently they didn't learn their lesson from Haman Karn). Amuro takes Quess and Hathaway for a ride through the forest, and he is reminded of Lalah Sune. Just then, they encounter Char on horseback, and Amuro chases him. He asks Char why he's dropping asteroids, and Char replies that people on Earth are selfish and their souls are held down by gravity. Amuro attacks Char, and the two begin beating each other. Amuro tries to shoot Char, but Quess grabs his gun and joins Char. Gyunei arrives in a Hobby Hizack, and Quess leaves with Char. Cameron meets with Bright and tells him about the meeting with Char. Bright then confronts Adenauer about selling Axis to Char, and Adenauer tells him that Char threatened to destroy the colonies. Adenauer leaves for Luna II to supervise the disarmament of Char's fleet, and Bright prepares to move Londo Bell. Elsewhere, Char has Quess train with Gyunei in the Hobby Hizack. Quess shows powerful Newtype abilities in her training with fin funnels. Char asks Quess if she is committed to the cause, and she says she is. Later, Char has a drink with Nanai, and she asks him if he staged the war to get back at Amuro. Char then has a flashback to the One Year War when Amuro accidentally killed Lalah. Char decides to go ahead to Axis, and Nanai is angry that he spends so much time with Quess.

 

Gyunei tells Quess that he is a Cyber Newtype, and he feels he will learn more by studying her. She asks him if he's jealous of the fact that she loves Char. The next day, Char gives a speech to his soldiers. He tells them how the pure ideas of his father Zeon Deikun were polluted by the Zabi family, and their actions led to the One Year War and subsequent creation of the corrupt Titans. He also blames the Federation for doing nothing when Haman Karn was building power and wrongfully claiming the rulership of the Zeon. Char's intentions are to create a nuclear winter on Earth and force everyone into space so that all of humanity can evolve into Newtypes and usher in a new era that is free of war. Char sends a decoy fleet made of dummy balloons to Luna II for disarmament while his real forces leave to seize Axis. Amuro and Bright realize that the fleet is a decoy, and Cameron uses his influence to give nuclear weapons to Bright. His reason for doing this is that he wants his ex-fiance Mirai to survive. Elsewhere, the Neo Zeon prepare to attack and mobilize the Jagd Dogas. Quess has an encounter with Rezin and tells Gyunei to stop talking to normal people like her. Char's flagship Rewloola leaves Sweetwater and receives delivery of the new mobile armor Alpha Azieru.

 

The fleet then begins a massive barrage of Luna II. Quess heads out with Gyunei for her first fight. She attacks a Federation Forces ship and destroys its bridge, where her father just happened to be! Her Jagd Doga is damaged, but Gyunei comes to her rescue. Elsewhere, the Ra Cailum leaves Londenion, and Hathaway sneaks aboard with a Med construction mobile suit. Amuro studies the images of the Neo Zeon fleet at Luna II and realizes they are dummies. He thinks that Char's real fleet must be near Axis. He is correct, as the fleet begins to attack the asteroid. On Earth, Mirai and Cheimin wait in Hong Kong for the shuttle as the violence escalates. The Londo Bell forces arrive at Luna II and witness the aftermath of the battle. Quess has a confrontation with Nanai and in anger leaves with her Jagd Doga. As the Londo Bell forces approach Axis, Bright slaps Hathaway for the stupid act of sneaking aboard. Hathaway wants to rescue Quess, but Amuro says that her abilities have been enhanced by Char, and she is his tool now. Bright fires nuclear missiles at Axis, and Char leads the Neo Zeon with the Sazabi. Astonaige says goodbye to his love Kayra as she launches in the Re-GZ to lead the Jegans. Char destroys many missiles with the funnels of the Sazabi, and the engines of Axis activate and begin to move the massive asteroid toward Earth.

 

Bright launches nuclear missiles at Axis and has dummy ships deployed. Nanai's ships launch their mobile suits and fire missiles at the dummy ships. Char realizes that Bright is mixing nuclear missiles with duds. Gyunei launches to find Quess because he doesn't want to hand her over to Char. Quess wanders onto the battlefield to find Char and the Sazabi. The Ra Cailum continues to launch mobile suits, including Amuro and the funnel equipped Nu Gundam. Bright fires a full nuclear barrage, but Gyunei destroys them with the funnels of his Jagd Doga. Quess finds the Sazabi and goes into the cockpit without a normal suit. She tells Char that Nanai was mean to her and should be punished. Gyunei finds Amuro and tries to ambush him near chunks of asteroid. Rezin attacks the Ra Cailum, but Chan mans one of the gun turrets and kills her. Kayra tries to move in towards Axis, but Gyunei attacks her and cripples the Re-GZ. Amuro shows up, Kayra ejects from the Re-GZ, and Gyunei grabs her. He tells Amuro that if he surrenders the Nu Gundam that Kayra will be freed. The Nu Gundam's funnels react and attack, and Gyunei crushes Kayra and tosses her aside. The funnels destroy Gyunei's Jagd Doga. Amuro brings Kayra's body back to the ship, and Astonaige breaks down in tears.

 

After the battle, Quess becomes obsessed with Char. Gyunei's ego is blown up from the last battle, and he no longer follows Char wholeheartedly. He tells Quess that Char views her only as a substitute for the long dead Lalah, whom he is obsessed with. Bright and Amuro manage to assemble a plan: attack Axis and plant explosives inside of it to break it apart and deflect them from Earth. As they head into battle, Amuro shares a romantic moment with Chan. In Hong Kong, Mirai and Cheimin leave the city and see Axis in the sky over the sun. Quess confronts Char about Lalah, and he assures her he has forgotten her. He also tells Gyunei that he has no interest in Quess and cares only for Nanai. He heads out into battle in the Nu Gundam and is attacked by Quess and Gyunei. Both Gyunei and Amuro deploy their funnels against each other. On the Ra Cailum, Chan goes out in the Re-GZ to find Amuro. Astonaige tries to stop her and is killed by the debris from an explosion. Hathaway steals a Jegan to locate Quess and make her come back. Amuro manages to kill Gyunei because of his funnels. Char heads out in the Sazabi and uses his funnels to destroy Bright's nuclear missiles. Bright directs the Ra Cailum to land on Axis.

 

Hathaway finds Quess and pleads with her to come with him. She doesn't want to go with him and tries to attack. Chan shows up and tells Hathaway to get away from Quess. She fires her missiles and kills Quess. Hathaway becomes enraged and kills Chan. On Earth, Mirai and Cheimin continue to look for a way to get into space. Meanwhile, Bright and his soldiers use Zuck petite mobile suits to plant the explosives in critical points on Axis. Char locates Amuro, and the two fight again. Bright and his soldiers plant the explosives and return to the Ra Cailum. Amuro lands the Nu Gundam inside Axis to plant some explosives, and Char chases him on foot. Amuro returns to the Nu Gundam, and the battle continues between the two. Char still can't forgive Amuro for killing Lalah, and Amuro doesn't think Char's plan is right. As they fight, the explosives detonate and split Axis in two pieces. Amuro severely damages the Sazabi, forcing Char to eject the cockpit pod. Amuro grabs the pod and takes it with him. However, while the front half is deflected, the rear heads toward Earth. Char planned things so they would end up that way. He also supplied Anaheim Electronics with the psyco-frame that was used in the Nu Gundam and the Sazabi. It all seems to be set up so that he and Amuro have one last duel.

 

Bright wants to use the Ra Cailum to push Axis away, but his men stop him. Amuro flies underneath the asteroid and slams Char's pod into the rock. He attempts to push it back with the Nu Gundam, and Axis begins to glow with the light of the psyco-frame. Char tells him it's ridiculous to do such a thing. As Amuro continues pushing on Axis, several GM IIIs appear to help Amuro. After a while, even the Zeon begin helping. Amuro pleads with them to stop because their suits can't handle atmospheric entry. Many of the suits are destroyed in the atmosphere, and they are forced to leave Amuro and Char alone. Amuro yells at Char for using Quess because she wanted a father figure. Char tells him that had he not killed Lalah, she would have been his mother figure. This causes a strange reaction in the Nu Gundam's psyco-frame, and it begins to overload. Axis is enveloped in a bright green glow as it heads for Earth. The light shines on until it is blinding, until enough force is created to deflect Axis from the Earth. The asteroid moves away, and both the Nu Gundam and Sazabi pod have vanished.

 

Commentary

 

This was one epic movie, to say the least. The Federation-Zeon conflict is finally brought to a close, as is the long running Amuro/Char feud. Considering Char was one of the good guys in Zeta Gundam, it might surprise some to see him 'villainous' in this movie. He's really not, though. As long as there are Oldtypes, there will always be discrimination against Newtypes and horrible groups such as the Titans will exist. However, Oldtypes cannot evolve into Newtypes unless they head into space. Char is simply trying to speed up the delayed evolution of humanity. It was good to see most of the original Gundam cast in this movie, but there are some surprising absences. Char's sister Sayla is nowhere to be seen in this movie, even though by all rights she should have been in the movie to at least try to stop him, as she did in the original series. Quess is also one weird character. She becomes increasingly weirder throughout the movie, and that's explained by the fact that her Newtype abilities have been artificially strengthened. Zeta Gundam fans know this causes people to become emotionally unstable (like Four Murasame). Kamille Bidan is nowhere to be seen either, and that's a shame because he's an interesting character, and it would have been good to see him team up with Amuro again. Aside from that, there's nothing at all wrong with this movie. I don't think Tomino could have found a better way to wrap up both the Federation/Zeon and Amuro/Char conflict at the same time.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

 

Gundam: Char's Counterattack Gundam: Char's Counterattack

image

Buy the movie on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
image

image

image

image

image

imageimage

image
image
image
imageimage