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Episode 3: They Called it Gundam

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 18, 2016

 

Summary

 

A ReZEL opens fire at the Kshatriya from the ground, so Bancroft tells everyone to evacuate. Marida slashes another ReZEL and grabs its beam saber. She then has her funnels destroy the ReZEL on the ground, but the explosion sets off its Minovsky reactor. A massive explosion blows a hole in the colony wall and vaporizes Bancroft as he seals people into an emergency shelter. Takuya watches the explosion with his binoculars and says it’s the beginning of a war. Banagher thinks of Audrey and runs off. The Lotos enter the colony and deploys troops under the command of Daguza Mackle. Cardeas thinks it’s a shame to break a 100-year-old alliance, even though the Foundation tried to break it first. In space, Nahel Argama captain Otto Mitas has the ship fire its cannons at the colony to create an entry path. Several ReZELs launch from the ship, including one piloted by Riddhe Marcenas. Banagher tries unsuccessfully to open one of the doors, and a beam blast vaporizes all the students standing next to him, Takuya and Micott. A ReZEL blasts its way into the colony and attacks Marida. Micott begins to cry because everyone is dead, and Banagher asks Takuya to take care of her. Banagher asks about the suit that came in, and Takuya says it was a Zeta-type from the Federation. Banagher tells them to get to safety on the Federation ship, but Micott doesn’t want him to leave her. Zinnerman, Flaste Schole and another man trade fire with the ECOAS soldiers, while Cardeas and Gael run through another corridor and also come under fire from ECOAS. Gael kills several ECOAS soldiers and tells Cardeas to go ahead. One of the Sleeves men dies inside the elevator, and Marida takes out another ReZEL. Cardeas rides another elevator and is confronted by Alberto Vist, an employee and an ECOAS soldier. Banagher runs into Zinnerman and Flaste at the elevator, but they ignore him and move on. Cardeas asks Alberto if Martha put him up to this and says Alberto may think he’s using the military, but he’s really the one being used. Cardeas then snaps the ECOAS soldier’s neck and uses his body as a shield from the gunfire of the Foundation employee. He then kills the employee with a machine gun, but Alberto shoots him. Marida searches for Audrey and comes under attack from a Loto. Audrey then runs into Haro, Takuya and Micott. Daguza exits the Loto and fires a bazooka shot to blind Marida. He jumps away from the Loto just before Marida destroys it with her funnels. The exploding wreckage falls toward Takuya and the others, but Riddhe shields them from the debris. Takuya asks Riddhe for help, and the area around the crashed Kshatriya explodes. Banagher floats through a dark corridor and finds himself inside the Unicorn Gundam’s hangar. He finds Cardeas inside the cockpit, who is surprised to see Banagher. Riddhe evacuates Takuya, Audrey and Micott in his ReZEL’s hand while Marida takes off. Banagher asks where Audrey is, and Cardeas comments that she’ll survive because she’s cheated death before. Banagher thinks Cardeas wants to escape by himself in the mobile suit, but Cardeas answers that even if he did escape, he wouldn’t last long. Banagher thinks that Cardeas acts superior but wasn’t able to do anything. He says that all the people killed had plans for the future and shouldn’t have died that way.

 

Cardeas says that people needlessly kill each other and devoured the Earth’s resources, causing them to move to space. Cardeas says that humanity must regain its dignity and revive the hope of 100 years ago. He tells Banagher that Audrey carries an immense burden and he’ll have to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders if he wants to be with her. He asks Banagher if he can do that, and Banagher says all he knows is that he wants Audrey to need him. Cardeas grabs Banagher’s hand and imprints it onto the Unicorn Gundam’s biometric authentication system. He tells Banagher that if he’s a suitable pilot, the Unicorn Gundam will give him immense power and show him the path to Laplace’s Box. Banagher asks what the Box is, and Cardeas tells him it has cursed the Vist family for 100 years, but if properly used it can bring light to the Universal Century. He says that Anna didn’t want Banagher to fall to the curse and took him away. Cardeas asks Banagher to forgive him and says his wish has finally come true. He floats out of the cockpit and is engulfed in the fires from an explosion. Banagher realizes that Cardeas was his father and suddenly remembers being with him as a child and leaving the mansion with his mother. Banagher then activates the Unicorn Gundam and takes off. Marida continues to search for Audrey and releases funnels when she spots Banagher. He slams into her and pushes her toward the space harbor door, but the funnels blast a hole for her. Marida sends more funnels after Banagher in space, but the Unicorn Gundam activates the NT-D program and deflects the shots. The cockpit transforms around Banagher, and the suit’s exterior also transforms, revealing a traditional Gundam head. It then uses its beam saber to slice apart one of the Kshatriya’s binders, and Marida realizes that it has psycoframe technology throughout its whole body. Micott doesn’t know what a Gundam is, so Takuya explains that it’s the name of the first mobile suit developed by the Federation. Otto is surprised to hear that the horned suit is a Gundam. Marida pulls out her beam saber and begins fighting at melee range. The Unicorn Gundam slices into the Kshatriya’s already damaged binder, and Marida sees a signal from Zinnerman on a nearby Geara Zulu to fall back. She unleashes a beam barrage to cover her retreat, and Banagher passes out as the Unicorn Gundam transforms back into its normal mode. After returning to the Garencieres, Zinnerman is berated over video call by Angelo Sauper for failing to retrieve both Laplace’s Box and the princess. Zinnerman explains that they couldn’t have predicted these events and will have to wait to hear from the princess. Full Frontal steps in and comments that he’s intrigued by the appearance of the Gundam and might have to check things out personally. He tells Zinnerman to track the Nahel Argama, and Zinnerman vows to make up for his mistakes. Banagher has a memory of being a child in the Vist mansion and being strapped in to a mobile suit simulator.

 

Commentary

 

The first arc (so to speak) of Unicorn RE:0096 ends with the completion of OVA 1. However, it isn't enough footage to fill out the episode, even with the OP/ED sequences and a 90-second recap. As a result, the first few minutes from OVA 2 are used to fill out the episode, bringing with it some horribly lazy editing. The first OVA ended with the Unicorn Gundam transforming to NT-D mode and charging forward toward the screen. But rather than make the proper jump cut to OVA 2, it simply starts at the beginning and repeats the transformation sequence and everyone's reaction, mere seconds later. This whole part is so poorly done that it makes it look like Sunrise is putting zero effort into this TV adaptation. It makes me wonder if we'll see anything new at all, or just these OVAs chopped up into three episodes. All this aside, what's used from the two OVAs makes for a decent episode, but it ends on the rather odd note of Banagher remembering using a mobile suit simulator as a kid. That's a pretty weird spot to end the episode, and I think it would've been better suited somewhere in episode 4. The sloppy editing decreases my interest in this TV re-edit a bit, so I hope future episodes can do a better job.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 3 Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 3
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