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Episode 23: Moon Attack

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: May 21, 2001

New Review: August 30, 2021

 

Summary

 

As the Radish takes off from Granada, Katz asks Quattro if he can go to the Argama, commenting that it’s similar to the White Base, which was full of life. On the bridge, Henken argues with Wong over the phone, but Quattro takes over the call. Wong wants Quattro to serve as a bodyguard to Blex, and Quattro notes that just yesterday, Wong gave them permission to launch today. Wong answers that the situation has changed and that they can’t make any careless moves in front of the Federation’s General Assembly. Quattro notes that it’s been confirmed the Titans are targeting Von Braun, and Wong counters that the city isn’t under attack yet. Quattro thinks it’ll be too late once the city is attacked and says the outcome of war is decided by planning that occurs before and after battle. Wong hangs up, and Quattro comments to Henken that it would be helpful if the Titans intercepted that call because they’d assume the AEUG is split internally. Henken asks if the part about being Blex’s bodyguard is also a lie, and Quattro answers that he’ll go if time permits. On the Argama, Emma finds Kamille cleaning his quarters and comments that he should do that in spaceport since they’re heading into battle, but he counters that he could die and wants to leave a clean room. Emma says that putting his mattress in the corridor could block it off in the event of an emergency and asks if he's even prepped the Zeta Gundam for launch. Fa watches from around the corner as Emma helps Kamille haul the mattress back inside the room. Emma thinks that Kamille is going easy on himself as a victim who lost his parents, but he disagrees and says he thinks more now about the pilots he’s killed. Emma asks Kamille if he prays for his parents, but he says he isn’t religious. She comments that religion is meaningless to the dead, and he asks when the war will end. Emma tells him to ask Quattro when he returns to the ship. Kamille nearly bumps into Fa while running out of his room to catch up with Emma. He tells her he wants to give an item to Torres, and she takes it and says she’ll deliver it. Fa approaches Emma and says she wants to talk about some things she didn’t understand in the mobile suit manual, and Emma offers to help when she comes back. Fa then tells Kamille that Astonaige was upset and walks away. On the bridge, Caesar and Torres talk about how Von Braun was built near where Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon. Emma delivers Kamille’s item to Torres, and he jokes with Caesar that it’s a gift from Hong Kong. Bright scolds them for their chatter and tells Emma that they need pilots to help receive supplies from the Radish. On the Dogosse Giar, Scirocco conducts a briefing and announces that Mouar will lead their second unit and Jerid the first, with new pilot Holly replacing Siddeley. Scirocco asks Sarah to explain Operation Apollo, and she states that Von Braun is an ideal place to build a base for conquering both Earth and the far side of the Moon. Scirocco compliments Sarah and says she possesses good qualities, but she blames herself for letting Siddeley die. Scirocco disagrees and states that Siddeley died because she lacked ability, but Jerid steps in to say that she performed her duties excellently before he leaves the room. On the Alexandria, Gady asks Jamaican if he’s OK with Scirocco leading the attack, and Jamaican answers that Scirocco will serve as a shield to protect them. Kamille has a drink in the mobile suit hangar and runs into Emma, who explains that Reccoa is teaching Fa about piloting. Kamille thinks it’s abnormal for so many women to be out in the battlefield that belongs to men. The Argama rendezvous with the Radish, and both ships fly close to the lunar surface. Katz rides on a Space Launch headed for the Argama, and Henken tells Quattro that they’ll have to suspend the supply transfer because they’ve detected enemies. Henken is informed that they haven’t heard anything about reinforcements from Granada, so he concludes that the Titans didn’t fall for their deception. Quattro then launches in the Hyaku-Shiki, followed by several Nemos. The Titans initiate Operation Apollo, and Jamaican orders the fleet to fire warning shots at Von Braun before launching their mobile suits. He then announces that the Dogosse Giar will be leading the attack and that all ships are to follow their orders. The Titans fleet then fires beam cannons at missiles that impact on the lunar surface near the city. The Space Launch lands in the Argama’s hangar, and Anna Hanna tells the crew to standby until receiving further orders. Katz ignores Anna’s instructions and slips out of the Space Launch to head to the mobile suits. Katz argues with several crewmembers who are holding him back, and Kamille tells Katz that he doesn’t want to see a repeat of San Francisco. Fa prepares to launch in the Methuss and Katz tells Reccoa that he wants to help, but she points out that they don’t have any spare mobile suits. The Argama then deploys Emma’s Gundam Mk-II, Fa’s Methuss, Apolly’s Rick Dias team, and Kamille’s Zeta Gundam. Scirocco orders his ship to not deploy mobile suits until they capture the city, which makes Jerid impatient and causes Mouar to question if Scirocco is trying to claim credit for the best part of the attack. She thinks that Sarah might know what Scirocco’s objective is.

 

Quattro orders the Nemo team to ignore any enemy mobile suits that aren’t heading for Von Braun. Multiple Hi-Zacks join the battle from several Musais, and Quattro notices that the flagship Dogosse Giar isn’t launching its own suits. Apolly’s team moves to intercept the Hi-Zacks, and Kamille can’t believe that the Titans are keeping up an anti-air barrage after launching their own mobile suits. Fa feels intense fear from the incoming beams before getting a grip and telling herself to do better. Kamille destroys a Hi-Zack, but senses that Fa is in trouble attempting to fight a Hi-Zack on her own. He flies over to provide support and destroys the hand holding the Hi-Zack’s beam saber, allowing Fa to push off and blast the suit. Kamille makes physical contact to ask Fa if she’s OK, and she insists she would’ve been fine without his help. Quattro warns Apolly about a Hi-Zack attacking from the rear, and Apolly fires beam pistols to destroy it. When the Dogosse Giar gets close enough, Scirocco orders his mobile suit teams to launch. Jerid launches in his Gabthley and sees that Scirocco is leaving Jamaican to deal with the AEUG while he seizes Von Braun and takes the credit. Jerid’s team descends toward the city and destroys multiple AEUG GM IIs defending its airspace. Quattro attacks Jerid from behind, and Sarah moves to engage Kamille. Scirocco is informed of Jerid’s situation, but declines to launch Mouar’s team because he thinks the ship will provide sufficient backup by moving in closer. Scirocco presumes that once they’re inside Von Braun they’ll be safe from AEUG attack. Mouar is angry that Scirocco is using Jerid as a decoy and wants to launch on her own, but Scirocco allows it. Bright asks for word about reinforcements from Granada, but Caesar reports that they haven’t heard anything. Jamaican doesn’t want the Dogosse Giar to descend into Von Braun alone, and Gady comments that Scirocco is hogging the glory while the rest of them fight. Kamille and Quattro experience a Newtype sensation of unpleasantness as Scirocco and the Dogosse Giar pass by at close range. Jerid tries to take advantage of Kamille’s distraction to attack, but Quattro gives chase. However, Mouar arrives to provide backup and blasts off the Hyaku-Shiki’s right forearm. Quattro grapples onto Jerid’s Gabthley from behind and yells at Kamille to come to his senses. Kamille dodges Jerid’s shots, and Mouar gets in the way and stops him from shooting. The Hyaku-Shiki and Gabthley crash into the lunar surface, and Jerid yells at Mouar for stopping him from killing Kamille. She tries to explain that Jerid would’ve also been shot and tells him that Scirocco is using him as a decoy. She grapples onto the Hyaku-Shiki and lifts both it and Jerid’s Gabthley off the lunar surface. Mouar moves to attack Quattro, but as Kamille provides cover fire, Quattro ejects his back binders to escape. Mouar grabs onto Jerid, and Quattro tells Kamille that it’s too dangerous to stay. Jerid breaks loose from Mouar’s grip and keeps shooting at Kamille and Quattro. Scirocco announces over radio that he’s entered Von Braun and threatens to destroy the city unless the AEUG accepts a cease-fire. Bright sees that firing missiles from this range would damage the city, so the Titans succeeded in tricking them. Bright and Henken call for reinforcements, and Torres reports to Bright that Von Braun has opened its spaceport to the Titans. Bright orders their mobile suits to retreat, and Emma tells Fa to stop fighting because at this point it will only increase damage to their suits. The Dogosse Giar descends into Von Braun’s spaceport, followed by the Alexandria and a Salamis. Mouar runs over to the ambulance where Jerid is being carried to and asks if he’s upset at her. He answers that he doesn’t have time to be upset with her because Scirocco believes he’s skilled enough to just be a decoy. Jamaican boards the Dogosse Giar and slaps Scirocco upon entering the bridge. He acknowledges that the operation was successful but asks what Scirocco would’ve done if the AEUG hadn’t retreated. Scirocco answers that Jamaican is right and that he was being reckless. He asks Jamaican to handle the management of the city and says it’s too great a task for him. Jamaican accepts and leaves, and Scirocco comments that it’s not easy acting out the role he’s been given. Torres calls Kamille and thanks him for the delivery. Kamille finds Fa on the floor by the Methuss and tells her to get rest while she can. Fa asks why Kamille’s not hitting her for disobeying orders to retreat and says she doesn’t want kindness just for consolation. Kamille says that she did well in battle, but she accuses him of lying. Emma steps in and says she hopes this outburst will be enough to calm Fa down. Reccoa adds that Astonaige was impressed that Fa returned without any major injuries. Kamille asks Emma and Reccoa to look after Fa since she’s agitated from the intensity of the battle.

 

Commentary

 

The Titans initiate Operation Apollo and capture Von Braun in what is the largest space battle in the series up to this point.  I have to wonder about the AEUG’s strategic competence because between this battle and Jaburo, this is the second time that the Titans have outwitted the AEUG and gotten the better of them. Quattro was against the Jaburo attack pushed by Wong, and it seems that once again there’s a situation of financial sponsors playing armchair generals to the detriment of the cause. Also, given his skills, it’s surprising to see Quattro perform uncharacteristically inadequately against Mouar. Scirocco, ever the manipulator, uses Jerid as a decoy so that he can slip in to Von Braun, and he even manages to assuage Jamaican’s anger over his bold moves. As before, the only person who isn’t fooled by Scirocco’s schemes is Mouar, and even though she saves Jerid, he’s too blind to see what she did. Fa and Kamille continue to bicker, but at least this time she has a better showing in battle than before. Kamille’s comment about it being unusual for women to be on mens’ battlefield is some laughably outdated gender stuff that doesn’t sound very futuristic, but it’s also certainly not the last time we’ll hear this kind of talk in the series. On a lighter note, Kamille gives Torres a special gift from Hong Kong, which tracks with his non-denial in an earlier episode.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Zeta Gundam Episode 23 Zeta Gundam Episode 23

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