I love Gundam Unicorn! I mean it! I absolutely adore this series, and I don’t fear it not living up to expectations at all. It is a “oldfag”, Universal Century lover’s dream of a production. Even when episodes seem to run “cool” (have lots of exposition and downtime), they still are utterly compelling to me. Take this sixth installment in the latest series of OVA’s from the Gundam franchise. There is a lot more tension than combat, and that has kinda become the norm for this production. But when there is combat it is of a level many have only dreamed of, stuff us long-adoring, long-suffering fans have only seen in spurts. Couple that with some excellent set up for the final battle, and the almost surreal image of Mineva ZABI putting on that Zeon uniform; and you have a production that I think many anime fans and outsiders can enjoy to a certain degree, but can only be fully appreciated by those fans intimately immersed in this metaverse for so many years. Now then, Gundam Unicorn episode six. Let’s go.
Things have taken a turn for the… screwy almost as the Federation forces aboard the Nahel-Argama and the Neo Zeon forces are forced to work together in the face of the Vist Foundation and there “thug” of sorts, the General Revil. General Revil was a very big figure in the 0079 series, and though he was not a part of the main cast, he lead Federation forces in some big battles. So when you saw the ship in the previous episode, you knew the thing would be decked out. In modern terms, it would be like naming a battleship or aircraft carrier the Yamato, or the George W. Bush or something. The bigger the name, the more powerful the ship. This leads to a pretty impressive skirmish between Angelo and Full Frontal versus the General Revil and its mobile suits. And Full Frontal is actually able to force the General Revil to withdraw.
This is obviously my favorite part of the episode, because it shows off so many things about this show production-wise. The battle is simply, but cleverly planned and choreographed. Angelo defends, then Full Frontal uses his impressive beam rifle to pelt the General Revil with fire, forcing it perform countermeasures (just bear with my mecha fandom, I’ll move on in just a moment). It deploys a beam dispersal screen that makes Full Frontal’s long range rifle assaults in effective, but the screen works both ways and weakens the ship’s defenses and its mobile suit defenses as well. Frontal then switches out to plain old bazooka and hammers the General Revil hard, forcing them to withdraw. On top of that, the regular pilots are no slouches either. Though they are soundly defeated, they’re impressively competent pilots, using tactics aces have used in the past. It’s much better than the usual stand and fire, or strafe and fire techniques you usually see from grunts. And this kind of combat has been occurring all throughout the series. I just found it especially beautiful in this episode for some reason. I found the grunt’s abilities just as impressive at the end of the episode, too. But I’ll cross that bridge once I get to it.
Now that the Nahel-Argama and the Rewloola and their respective crews are stuck together in order to survive against the rest of the Federation forces that are out for them, tension really start to kick up. Pilots who have been killing each other’s friends in combat for so long are now stuck in the same hangar with soldiers and mechanics who have felt the same sting of rivalry, lost comrades and hatred. I might say some of it was over done, but given the ugly, almost genocidal history of these two opposing forces, I don’t think any reaction would be too extreme. Some Feddie soldiers make it more than abundantly clear that they won’t stand for the Neo-Zeon presence though. And they’ll become important later.
Tensions are temporarily cooled by command in the bridge, but it’s not as though the leadership of the opposing forces trust each other either. But at least, during all this our at times forgotten hero, Banagher and Mineva discover the final coordinates for Laplace’s Box. Mineva then uses this opportunity to confront Full Frontal on what his plans really are. So while the opening battle was my favorite part, this speech from Full Frontal is the most important. Boiling things down to their essential parts, Frontal wants to make a united economic alliance in space that locks the Earth out of power economically. Since the Earth is completely dependent on the Spacenoids (people living in colonies in space) to maintain their way of living, this will force the Earth government to no longer depend, and therefore oppress the Spacenoids. This will also help for the Earth government to attempt to learn to make Earth inhabitable again. It’s a much more logical, and war free solution than most any of the other final solutions I’ve heard from others, including Kill ‘Em All Char.
When Mineva hears this she takes Full Frontal’s words all in, and says it’s a good plan even. But she also argues that it will just lead to a reversal of fortunes oppressing the Earthnoids. And possibly leading to more ware.
Let me say this, IT’S STILL A BETTER SOLUTION! It still works! It involves NO WAR! And you Mineva Zabi are a moron for thinking that it should not be done because it basically hurts people’s feelings! I’m so tired of these Newtype and their broken philosophies. Newtypes are still human, and honestly have no special abilities that make them understand humanity’s direction better. Their slightly psychic, that’s it. With the exception of Amuro and Char’s death, and some weird psychoframe crap at the end of some TV series, that’s it! The whole series and other before it have b*tched about war, but when someone calls for a plan that doesn’t explicitly demand you drop an extinction level event on people, they find it “too cold”. She even (rightfully so) mentions that Full Frontal is in essence not like Char at all. And while Char may be one of the greatest anime characters of all time, he still tried to kill like two billion people before his death. So unfavorably comparing him to Char isn’t a bad thing at all. It makes him at least seem like a sane human being.
Afterwards, things finally break down when the Feddie soldiers attempt to push the Neo Zeon off the ship. Angelo catches them and tries to use them as hostages when the Federation forces find the Nahel-Argama again. I have to give the Nahel-Argama’s captain, Otto Mitas credit for a guy who has been in this OVA for a long time (and has just now gotten the respect of me remembering his name). When push came to shove, he was not going to be pushed around by Angelo’s punk ass (I kinda like Angelo to be honest). This turns out to be the unintentional cue for some very good special forces Feddies who’ve been keeping their cool this whole episode, just waiting to kick those Zeon butts off their ship. They save the hostages and push the Neo Zeon off in a storm of confusion and gunfire.
Before we move on to the conclusion of the episode, there are some other plot threads that I haven’t gotten to as of yet. One is the conversation between Martha Carbine-Vist and Bright Noa, she takes him to task for being outmaneuvered last episode by the Neo Zeon. But it seems pretty clear that the super veteran Bright, doesn’t give much of a sh*t at this point. After the Titans, and being in and out of the Federation for so long that he clearly knows that this is all a game being played by the Federation powerbrokers. And he doesn’t seem moved by anything Martha has to say. I have a feeling he’ll be coming to Banagher’s aid soon enough.
Also involving the Vists, we see another member of the Vist family (or is it the Carbine family?) talking to Riddhe before he departs for space. We’ll just call him Fat Vist because I already forgot his name, again. He gives the now very dark and disillusioned Riddhe the task of being the last line of defense for Laplace’s Box. And I gotta say, the refitted Banshee that Riddhe pilots looks just GORGEOUS! Maybe it’s the old Titan color scheme or whatever pack that is placed on the Unicorn-style frame, but I love it’s looks more and more. The ghost of Jerid Messa must be very jealous and salty right now.
And finally, there’s the not-so-bad sob story of Suberoa Zinnerman (and that may be the last time I write his entire name) and Puru-12. Puru-12 (I could call her Marida Cruz, but I’m not gonna) has taken on a lot of sadness and abuse, but after the last episode I believe her clone body is in its last days. Zinnerman who is still traumatized by the loss of his own daughter I gather sees her as a reincarnation of his daughter, or at least a way to play daddy. And with her a near invalid at points, he’s forced to face the reality she’s helped him cope with until now. The scene with him holding out his arms and seeing his daughter isn’t over done or overly long like I’ve seen done in so many anime that have “key” scenes (take that as a double entendre if you want, someone will get it). It really helps to establish what may be his final scenes with her.
Puru-12 isn’t completely done though. She has an interesting scene with Banagher that’s the tile pic for this post. I liked it and it showed that she still had the ability to do a little something.
Back to the end of the episode, as the Neo-Zeon attempt to flee the ship and get back to the Rewloola, we get some interesting moments. Full Frontal and Banagher clash as Banagher attempts to get in the Unicorn. Full Frontal tells him that he’s incapable of speaking for humanity because of some bullcrap about needing to be empty to accept their feelings – blah, blah, join me, blah, blah, blah Gundam philosophy stuff. I’m sure it’s important stuff, but I don’t think I’m capable of really understanding or empathizing until I know Full Frontal’s backstory, that is if we even get it. I just hope it’s not some disappointing bull crap like it was with… Rey Mysterio – NO! That wasn’t his name. Was it Raul Luga? No! Damn it! SEED Destiny was so horrible that I have trouble remembering villain’s names…
Rau la Creuset! I think. What a stupid name. Kinda cool for Gundam, but still a stupid name. Bloody moving on!
There’s a clash between Angelo and Mineva with Puru-12’s help. Zinnerman seems to take Full Frontal’s side as he tells Puru-12 to grab Mineva and leave the mobile suit they’re in. But Puru-12 for once makes a request of him and asks to be given a choice for once. Old man, big poppa Zinnerman can’t deny his abused and adoptive daughter this and tells her to follow her heart. Corny. But I loved it anyway. Angelo and Full Frontal escape back to the Rewloola with the coordinates for Laplace’s Box, turning this series into a sort of three-way race. The Rewloola jets off thinking they have the correct coordinates (somehow I doubt that). The Nahel-Argama takes off after it. And the episode concludes with the Banshee showing up at the scene as well. Giving us another impressive scene with the Feddie grunts doing impressive, clever stuff, only to be crushed by the Banshee. Riddhe finally gets what he really wants. The Unicorn shows up and we get the set up for one hell of a battle between the two peak mobile suits of the time.
As I said in the beginning, I could not be more impressed and immersed in this series. As far as Gundam goes, it’s everything you could ever want, reasonably. My complaints or worries probably boil down to Banagher almost being forgotten at times. Sure the show plugs him in conveniently to give his own opinion at times. And he did have a nice moment with Puru-12, but this episode really seemed to be all about Full Frontal with everyone else along for the ride. But at least we get to see Mineva not only coming out of her shell, but she’s learning to fly as well. She’s taking on strong responsibility as a part of Zabi royalty. Though I have no idea at the moment if this will lead to her happiness or death. Zabis have a way of biting the dust. HARD (LOL! Garma and Kycilia Zabi).
The series concludes with the nest episode. And there’s still a lot of ground to cover. And there are still plenty of chips on the table and bets to make. Will Mineva and/or Banagher die? If not, will they find happiness with each other? How will this conclude the era of bloodshed and what part does Laplace’s Box take in this? And for some watching, will this be their greatest Gundam ever made. It’s an OVA, so some may take that as a strike against that as many prefer series to OVA material. But I think that so long as the show avoids a crappy, jumbled or recycled ending, then it’s pretty safe to say that this is one of the best things to come out of Gundam.