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Episode 16: The Side Co-Prosperity Sphere

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 1, 2017

 

Summary

 

Flaste finds Zinnerman sitting with Marida in the infirmary and reports that the Garencieres has been destroyed. He laments the ship's loss and notes that Marida fit into the ship too and had become like family to them. Zinnerman sees his daughter in Marida's place for a second and thinks of his dead family. He says to himself that he had planned to take control of the ship, but that doesn't matter as long as Marida is safe. In the hangar deck, Neo Zeon and Federation have tense interactions. Takuya, Mineva and Banagher watch as Neo Zeon mechanics conduct hasty repairs to the renamed Kshatriya Besserung. Takuya mentions that he has several ideas for improving the Unicorn Gundam, but Banagher isn't listening. Mineva asks where Micott is, so Takuya explains that she's running errands for Jonah Gibney in the engine room, but she's been on edge the whole time. Banagher asks Takuya how he's doing, and Takuya tells Banagher that he can't keep the coordinates secret forever. An announcement comes in on the speakers about an emergency situation in the engine room. Old man Sydow Omoki sits in front of the door and tells Liam that he refuses to work with the Neo Zeon, so two Neo Zeon soldiers pull out their machine guns. Gibney and an officer step in to support Sydow, and Liam notes that cooperating with Neo Zeon was their only choice when the General Revil was trying to destroy them. Tensions rise when Gibney demands that the Neo Zeon leave the ship. Conroy and his ECOAS underlings show up, and Angelo asks what the crew will do if the Neo Zeon refuse to leave. Micott shouts that they'll throw them out if they have to, and she says that under the pretext of defending them they downed lots of Federation suits. Angelo explains that they were defending the key to the Box and that he couldn't care less about what happens to the Nahel Argama. Mihiro steps in and thanks Angelo for saving them, but adds that she can't welcome the Neo Zeon with open arms since they killed so many of their comrades. Mineva arrives and tells Angelo that she won't accept any rude behavior. Micott angrily asks Mineva what she did on Earth and says the situation is now worse. Otto addresses the entire ship and explains that while they've found themselves in a weird situation, they haven't surrendered and the Neo Zeon aren't occupying the ship. He says that they have to work together for the time being to survive, so he expects both sides to show restraint.

 

Full Frontal thanks Otto for his help, but Otto responds that he won't side with Neo Zeon, even if it means being fired at by his own forces. He vows that he won't let them get the Box and plunge the Earth Sphere back into chaos. Full Frontal counters that Otto has no choice because the Ra Cailum was lured out to Luna II by the Garencieres and won't be able to help before they reach the coordinates. Those coordinates are in the shoal zone created by the Battle of Loum, so Full Frontal thinks the coordinates are designed to make them retrace mankind's mistakes. Otto says they probably have the coordinates already since they've been intercepting data from the Unicorn Gundam, but Full Frontal explains that they only know the general area and nothing more. Liam asks why that is, and Full Frontal answers that the Unicorn Gundam won't let them and is displaying new abilities now that Banagher is its pilot. Otto demands to know what Full Frontal's intentions are, as does Mineva, who has changed into a Neo Zeon uniform. Full Frontal takes off his mask, and Mineva activates the shipwide speakers. Full Frontal states that Spacenoids want independence, but the Federation won't grant it because it depends on space for resources. He states that space can easily sever its ties with Earth, which Zeon Deikun failed to take advantage of. Because military conflicts haven't worked for the Zeon, Full Frontal intends to create a Side Co-Prosperity Zone that economically ignores Earth. He says only the Republic of Zeon can administer it due to its autonomy, which it will relinquish to the Federation in UC 0100. Full Frontal suspects that Cardeas acted because he wanted to prevent the Federation's power from becoming more entrenched. Mineva sees that Full Frontal intends to buy time by threatening the Federation with the Box so that he can establish his economic zone. Mineva says that Full Frontal's plan is far removed from both Zeon Deikun's ideas about reforming humanity and Char's mad passion to decimate Earth and force humanity into space. She says that Full Frontal's plan will just cause a generation of Earthnoids to grow up hating Spacenoids and perpetuate the cycle of conflict. Full Frontal counters that as a vessel he has no will of his own and just acts in accord with the collective will he's been filled with. Banagher comments that Full Frontal speaks in a cold and detached manner as if the future doesn't affect him. He says that the light that enveloped the Unicorn Gundam felt warm, as though it contained the feelings of everyone he knew. Full Frontal responds that he's seen that light before, during the Axis Shock three years earlier, but even that light of possibility didn't cause people to change. He adds that Banagher's "possibility" is a poison that has caused wars, and Mineva says that the Char she knew is really dead. She then announces that the Colony Builder at Industrial 7 is the final set of coordinates. Full Frontal decides to return to the Rewloola and leaves Angelo in charge. The shuttle reaches space and deploys the Banshee Norn. Riddhe recalls Alberto telling him that the Box must be destroyed rather than allowing the Neo Zeon to have it. He mentioned that the Unicorn Gundam was designed for Cyber Newtypes, but Riddhe said that if Banagher could master it, so could he. Alberto also asked him to recover Ple Twelve and added that if he failed to destroy or recover the Unicorn Gundam, the Foundation would be forced to use its final option. Riddhe asked Alberto if he was ok with killing his half brother, but Alberto said his family has traveled a bloody road. He explained that his aunt Martha wants revenge against a world ruled by men.

 

Commentary

 

This episode continues the adaptation of OVA 6 and has a better flow with the editing. Tensions run high with the forced cooperation between Londo Bell and the Neo Zeon, which to some crew members looks more like an occupation. Full Frontal reveals his grand plan, which is to have Spacenoids just entirely ignore Earth and allow its economy and political power to wither and die. I can see why he'd come to that conclusion after Zeon's past failures, but the idea has its downfalls, as noted by Mineva. Meanwhile, Riddhe has become completely twisted up inside his own thoughts, with jealousy for Banagher mixed in. Now he's becoming Alberto's servant and heading down a (literal) dark path.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 16 Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 16
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