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Episode 14: Amuro Flies Again

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: June 18, 2000

New Review: August 11, 2021

 

Summary

 

The autonomous Republic of Zeon in Side 3 begins making moves of its own that go unnoticed by Earth Federation government officials who have little interest in space. On Earth, pilot Rosamia Badam launches from the water in the transformable Gaplant, followed by six Act Zakus in three Base Jabbers. Rosamia is given the Audhumla’s position, and she confirms contact in 50 minutes. As the Audhumla flies over the former United States, Quattro mentions to Hayato that he heard about a Titans base in the area. Quattro theorizes that if the troops who attacked them in Florida give chase in the Sudori, it won’t take them long to catch up, so he orders Kamille to have the Gundam Mk-II on standby. Kamille asks Quattro if he’s not at all bothered by Roberto’s death, and Quattro responds that the best they can do for Roberto is make it back to space. On the Sudori, Buran is informed that they’re receiving reinforcements led by Rosamia, whom Buran recognizes as being from the Augusta Newtype Lab. Buran knows they’ll win with her, but he says the game becomes less fun when the outcome is predictable. At an airport, Amuro apologizes to Fraw for not being able to do much for her, but he offers to help in the future. Katz angrily says that they won’t ever bother Amuro again and can manage on their own. Amuro wishes Fraw a healthy baby, and she says she’ll raise it to be strong. In a whisper, Amuro asks what else he’s expected to do since it wasn’t easy to get these tickets to Japan. Amuro says he knows he’s being watched even now and that he’d be captured before he could do anything. Fraw tells Amuro that he’s not going to gain anything by trying to become a child again, and Amuro looks at a transport plane on the runway. Amuro walks back inside from the balcony and drops trash on the floor as cover to ask Katz if he knows where Hayato is. Katz answers that he doesn’t know because Hayato went to Jaburo to help the AEUG. Amuro asks if they can get a clearer picture by going to Florida, but Katz notes that it could’ve been attacked by the EFF. Amuro asks Fraw if he can borrow Katz, and Kikka wants to come along too, but Amuro tells her that she and Letz have to protect Fraw and the baby. Katz agrees and says the rest of them should go to Japan, and then after the baby is born travel to New Hong Kong to catch a flight to space. Fraw asks Amuro what he’s going to do, and he tells her not to worry about it. He then kisses her on the cheek and says goodbye. He asks Katz if he needs to use the bathroom, and a man reading a magazine watches them from a nearby bench. Amuro and Katz escape via an emergency exit, and he tells Katz to make a dash for the military transport plane. After reaching the cockpit, Amuro pistol-whips the pilots and tosses them out of the plane. As Fraw’s plane prepares to take off, the spy walks into the bathroom and sees that Amuro and Katz are gone. Fraw’s plane stops due to a military plane making an emergency takeoff. Kikka asks Fraw if she’s worried, and Fraw answers only a little. Amuro rapidly accelerates and takes off without getting on the runway to avoid blocking Fraw’s plane. The passenger plane then takes off before the spy can prevent it from leaving. Rosamia spots what she first assumes is the Sudori but turns out to be the Audhumla. A crewmember reports seeing aircraft shadows to Hayato, and Hayato tells him to confirm it’s not civilian craft. An alarm sounds in the hangar, and Quattro tells everyone to get ready for battle. Rosamia orders her team to ignore enemy mobile suits and focus only on destroying the Audhumla. Quattro takes off in the Hyaku-Shiki riding a Dodai Custom, and Kamille wonders if Quattro actually loves war. Kamille boards a Dodai Custom, but a Nemo pilot reminds him that Quattro’s orders were to attack from inside the plan. Rosamia tells her team to deal with Quattro, and she ejects her booster to make a run on the Audhumla. Quattro fires at two pursuing Act Zakus and destroys their Base Jabber, taking them out of the fight. Rosamia flies by the Audhumla and destroys a Nemo, and Hayato yells at a crewmember that they won’t crash into a residential area below. The Audhumla hides in the clouds, and Kamille decides to launch on a Dodai Custom instead of standing around waiting to get shot. Kamille opens fire on Rosamia, but she dodges and boasts that a mobile suit on a sled is no match for the Gaplant. Rosamia then returns fire, and Kamille blocks with his shield. 

 

Kamille jumps off the Dodai Custom when Rosamia flies near and grapples onto the Gaplant. Quattro hears that Kamille has launched and wonders where he is. Rosamia transforms to mobile suit mode to knock Kamille off and opens fire on her. He dodges and takes more fire that causes him to lose his shield, so he looks for his Dodai Custom and returns to it. Kamille flies away, but Rosamia says that she has superior mobility and gives chase. Just before she can fire, Quattro appears and shoots at her, causing damage and forcing her to retreat. Rosamia realizes that she got carried away and returns to the Sudori for resupply. Quattro is impressed by the Gaplant’s transformation and wonders if Kamille got permission from Hayato to launch. In the hangar, Kamille asks Hayato if he’s going to get a “correction,” but Hayato responds that he doesn’t think hitting Kamille would improve his personality. Kamille then says he understands he was saved by Quattro, and Hayato is glad to hear he can at least admit that. Kamille also says he felt pulled in by the Gaplant, and Hayato angrily makes a fist and asks if he’s making excuses. Quattro steps in and verifies what Kamille says, noting that they encountered a similar mobile armor when they rescued Bright. Rosamia’s team boards the Sudori, and Buran comments that she clearly isn’t used to handling the Gaplant yet, but her attack helped them by delaying the Audhumla. Buran intends to launch a second wave because the enemy wouldn’t expect another attack to come so soon. Buran puts on an oxygen mask and asks if Rosamia has trouble breathing at this high altitude, but she explains that her lungs have been enhanced. Buran boards his Asshimar and wonders if Rosamia has successfully become a Cyber Newtype. He then launches, accompanied by six Hi-Zacks on three Base Jabbers. An alarm sounds on the Audhumla, and Quattro tells Kamille that they’ll attack from both sides. Buran’s team flies low to the ground before ascending to open fire on the Audhumla. Quattro tells Hayato that they need to ascend, and from nearby Amuro and Katz watch the battle unfold, with Katz hearing Hayato’s voice on the radio. Buran shoots at the Audhumla and declares that people from space should stay in space. Kamille and Quattro jump out of the Audhumla to attack Buran and then position themselves atop the massive plane. They both jump off the plane and shoot at Buran, but he dodges their attacks. Amuro puts on a parachute and tells Katz to escape on the Homo Avis because he intends to take down the Asshimar. Katz escapes in the glider while Amuro speeds toward the battlefield. Buran continues to dodge and takes only minor damage from the scatter shot rounds in Kamille’s bazooka. Quattro is distracted by Amuro’s plane, which allows Buran to get in close and punch him. Kamille realizes he can’t fire his bazooka at Buran because he’ll hit the Audhumla. He then sees Amuro’s plane speed by and wonders what’s going on. Quattro wonders what Amuro is doing, and Amuro calls him Char and tells him to stay back. Amuro rams the plane into the Asshimar, and the impact causes the cockpit to break off from the rest of the fuselage. The cockpit glass then shatters, and Amuro falls out of his seat and deploys his parachute. Buran breaks free of the plane and orders his team to retreat. Kamille flies over to Amuro’s location and catches him in the Gundam Mk-II’s hand. Katz looks at the Hyaku-Shiki and wonders if it’s one of the AEUG’s new models. Quattro zooms in his camera to look at Amuro, and Amuro realizes that he said “Char.” Kamille gets out of his cockpit to ask if Amuro’s OK, and Amuro thanks him. Quattro then opens his cockpit, and Amuro sees him and knows that he’s Char.

 

Commentary

 

The most dramatic moment of this episode is literally at the end, as Amuro and Char meet face-to-face for the first time in seven years. Of course, the last time they saw each other at the end of Mobile Suit Gundam, each was trying to kill the other. Amuro started off the episode in a funk, but he changed his mind and recruited Katz for a daring hijacking of a military plane. Meanwhile, after behaving for a couple of episodes, Kamille acts up again because he's still hung up on this notion of Quattro being insufficiently sad about Roberto's death in the previous episode. It seems like a weird thing to fixate on, but at least Kamille has matured enough that he can later admit a mistake without needing a "correction." This episode also introduces Rosamia Badam, the first of many Cyber Newtypes we'll see in the franchise. As a historical footnote, these people are referred to in the series as "strengthened humans" and a common phrase among Western fandom was "artificial Newtypes." However, when these series were localized for the West, Sunrise settled on Cyber Newtype, which doesn't sound very descriptive. The original term is quite literal, as we learn that Rosamia has had her lungs enhanced and isn't bothered by the lack of air like Buran. Although the episode ends with the dramatic reunion of Amuro and Char, that scene is preceded by an utterly ridiculous spectacle of crashing his plane into Buran and miraculously surviving by his cockpit breaking off from the rest of the plane. It's an utterly mad thing to do, but then again, Amuro has demonstrated in the past (and will again in the future) a penchant for jumping out of moving vehicles.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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