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Episode 4: Eve of Destiny

 

Review by Chris Guanche

January 22, 2017

 

Summary

 

In UC 0077, Amuro and Tem arrive at Side 7, which is still under heavy construction. Following the Dawn Rebellion, Zeon holds a parade to salute Garma and the cadets on their victory. At a meeting between Zeon and the EFF, a Federation officer demands that the ringleader be turned over, which Gihren reveals was Garma. Degwin arrives and offers his condolences to Revil on the Federation's loses. He expresses a desire to improve their relationship, but only after seizing the EFF's assets at the Guardian Colony. After the meeting, Degwin berates Dozle since he was put in charge of the academy to keep Garma safe. Garma walks in on the argument and wonders if he did the wrong thing. Degwin speaks with him privately and notes that Garma is the only one of his children to have a gentle disposition and should've been a scholar instead. Degwin feels that he's done Garma a disservice by having a child when he was so old. Dozle meets with Char and says he knows that Char talked Garma into starting the rebellion. Char is being dismissed from the academy for his actions, but he plans to visit Earth. Before leaving, he asks if he can be a mobile suit pilot if he's ever called back to service. Dozle sees that Garma opened his mouth about mobile suits and agrees to keep Char in mind. Dozle meets with Zenna after Char leaves tells her that he's being forced to resign because of the incident. His severe nature intimidates Zenna, but he surprises her by asking her to marry him. Char leaves Side 3 behind and travels to Manaus, Brazil. There, a gambler and his minion Agha jump out of a building with young Lalah Sune in tow. Char gets a construction job using a Mobile Worker on a project to construct the EFF's new headquarters, Jaburo. Char and his coworkers visit a casino in the city, where one of them does very poorly. Agha tells them to stand aside for the gambler, who uses Lalah's prediction ability to cheat at roulette. The gambler starts to lose after the dealer changes due to bad info from Lalah.

 

The next day, Char finds Lalah on a pier and asks why she started losing so suddenly. She answers honestly and tells him it's dangerous to be around her. She shows him a beaten up photo of her family in Mumbai, which she sends her money to. He tells her the photo can be re-scanned, and he steps in when the gambler tries to slap her. A gunboat then appears on the river and destroys the gambler's boat, so Char and Lalah run away and return to the construction site. The gambler tags along and complains about mobsters from Manaus. Agha shows up and reveals that he's betraying the gambler for more money. He then tosses a chakram at the gambler and beheads him. Char grabs a shovel to stop Agha from taking Lalah away. Agha tosses his chakram again, but Char is able to dodge it. Another toss comes, and Char smacks the chakram with the shovel. He then uses the long wooden shaft of the shovel to stab Agha, and the man is killed when the chakram hits his head. Mobsters show up and demand that the construction workers hand over Lalah. Char and Lalah run away and get into the Mobile Worker. The mob's minions approach the building, but Char uses the Mobile Worker's large plow to take them out. Char wonders how he was able to sense the chakram and asks Lalah if she warned him. He tells Lalah that she can come with him to space if she doesn't want to go home. Tem attends a meeting of high-ranking EFF officers in Brasilia and is asked by Admiral Gopp about the status of the RX-78 Project. Gopp notes that Tem was Minovsky's star pupil and shows him a video leaked to them by Minovsky of Zeon's Bugu suit. Tem is shocked by the video and declares that Zeon's mobile suits are completely different from a Mobile Worker. In the video, the Bugu flies around A Baoa Qu and destroys an Arcana class freighter on its own. The EFF brass aren't impressed and think their new MBT, the Guncannon First Type, can handle the job. Gopp informs Tem privately that Minovsky is leaving Zeonic Company to join Anaheim Electronics, so he wants Tem to go to the Moon. The plan is for Minovsky to escape from Zeonic's factory at Granada and travel to Von Braun, and Gopp wants Tem to help.

 

Tem returns home to Side 7 and meets Fraw Bow as she leaves his house. They chat briefly about Amuro, and she mentions that she feels bad about him being alone. Tem goes inside and is disgusted by how filthy the house is. He tells Amuro that he's got another trip coming up to the Moon and will be busier from now on. In UC 0078, Minovsky takes a passenger shuttle to Granada, and Kycilia follows in disguise as "Catherine" with Major Bergmann posing as her partner. On the far side of the Moon, a mobile suit team including Gaia, Mash, Ortega and Ramba walks across the surface to intercept Minovsky in Mare Smythii. Char will join them at the rendezvous point, and the Black Tri-Stars express their dislike of him. Minovsky's car leaves Von Braun, which Bergmann reports to Kycilia as they leave their hotel. Tem visits Anaheim and argues with an executive about the RCX-76 Project, so the exec shows him the production line. The exec boasts about how he knows that the RX-78 is behind schedule, and he dismisses any current need for it. Tem looks at the Guncannon and concludes that it isn't what Minovsky would consider a mobile suit. Minovsky's car leaves Granada, and his men kill the driver and take over before diverting to a different route. The EFF picks up Ramba's team, so an officer orders the Guncannons of the Iron Cavalry Squadron to launch. Tem asks for permission to join them so he can see the Guncannons fight. Kycilia dances at a club and is informed that the EFF is sending mobile suits to meet Minovsky. Ramba's team meets up with Char, but Ortega is upset that Char isn't where he was supposed to be. Ramba picks up Minovsky's car and takes off in his Bugu, followed by the Tri-Stars' Zaku Is. An EFF transport ship changes course to intercept. Ramba calls Minovsky and offers to guarantee his safety if he gives up now, but Gaia opens fire prematurely. A recon plane picks up Char's Zaku I and is destroyed. The Iron Cavalry Squadron deploys under Lt. Erdush and opens fire on the Zeon. The Zeon suits are undamaged and get close enough to start taking out Guncannons. Ramba shoots out one of the car's tires and causes it to roll over. Char attacks the EFF ship and destroys it singlehandedly. Tem watches the disastrous battle from a nearby craft and sees Minovsky trying to escape on foot in a normal suit. Gaia takes out a Guncannon, which then falls on Minovsky and crushes him to death.

 

Kycilia meets with Granada Mayor Smokey Wilson, who refuses to work with Zeon. She receives a call about the battle and passes the info along to intimidate Wilson. He leaves in a hurry, and Kycilia has Bergmann killed for revealing to Wilson that Zeon intends to use Granada as a staging ground for their upcoming war against the EFF. On his way back home, Wilson is killed by a large truck that crashes into his car in a wrong way accident. At an Anaheim meeting, Tem tells the executives that the Guncannons weren't good enough to fight the Zeon. In response, he wants their full backing on the RX Project. He impresses everyone by showing them the specs of the Gundam. Amuro wakes up and finds that Tem didn't lock his office before leaving. He has a look inside the room and sees the specs for the Gundam. On October 24, the Republic of Zeon changes into a Principality and declares its independence from the Federation. In Brasilia, Gopp tells Revil that they should probably relocate the headquarters now to Jaburo. Amuro falls asleep in history class and is laughed at by the class. He takes a scooter home with Fraw, and she comments that he looks tired. Kai Shiden and some punks drive by in a car and tease Fraw for being a hallway monitor. Amuro remembers that he has something to do, and Fraw offers to make him a Christmas cake. Amuro looks at the RX-78 specs and wonders what Tem is up to. On January 3, UC 0079, Zeon declares war on the Federation and destroys a patrol fleet, followed by the occupation of Granada and Von Braun. Fraw runs over to Amuro's house and yells at him for being at his computer and ignoring the news of the war. She starts crying, so he apologizes and says he'll eat the lasagna she brought over. He tells her that he's scared about the war, but there's nothing he can do about it. Using a custom Zaku I, Char fights in the battle and talks to Lalah over the radio. He tells her to wait for him until he finishes his work.

 

Commentary

 

The OVA adaptation of The Origin was originally announced as four episodes, and now that we've reached this point, there is still more story to tell. This episode takes us from the aftermath of the Dawn Rebellion to the start of the One Year War, setting the stage for the Battle of Loum that will be depicted in the two extra episodes added to the series. The Dawn Rebellion has a major impact on the political situation and puts Zeon and the Federation on the path to war, so you can essentially argue that Char contributed to the One Year War's start all in the name of his plan for revenge. He has his fateful first encounter with Lalah Sune, who is being used and abused by a two-bit gambler in Brazil. This is probably Char's first exposure to Newtype abilities, and he has a Newtype moment himself when fighting Agha. Some of the events adapted for this episode have divided fans due to the Battle of Mare Smythii now being retconned as the first mobile suit battle in history, rather than Amuro versus Gene and Denim. I'm not bothered by it because there's little that's been said in official animation about UC history, and animation is placed about model kit manuals, reference guides, manga, etc. We also get more of Amuro this episode and see that his whole life on Side 7 was as an introverted latchkey kid with no parental figure present regularly. It makes more sense that Amuro secretly gained access to the Gundam specs and has been studying them. That's better than reading the manual for a minute and then just jumping into the cockpit. Overall, this is another solid episode, and while it will be a long wait until episode 5, hopefully it will be worth it.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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