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Episode 49: Chum Huau

 

Review by Brian Shea

April 29, 2005

 

Summary

 

The remains of the Graon and Gea Gring continue to sink into the ocean. Shou and Chum realize that the Aura power that supported them is disappearing. Musiy heads towards the Will Wipps, telling them the Bubuly is damaged. Although Shot didn't say anything to her, Musiy believes that Shot wants Drake to die in this battle. The Bubuly lands aboard the deck of the Will Wipps. Ceila says to ignore the Graon and head towards the Will Wipps in a grand offensive. Drake believes that he'll be victorious and tells his soldiers to contact Shot and have him attack the Guran Galan from the rear. Musiy arrives and says she has a verbal message for Drake. She fires at him but misses. Drake asks her if this was Shot's orders, but Musiy says it was all on her own. An Aura Battler blasts through the bridge of the Guran Galan. Bel Al and El Fino want to return to Byston Well. Ceila says the Aura Power of Byston Well will compensate them as long as the war ends. They must end this with their own hands. She tells them to escape, but they don't want to go. Chum feels Bel and El Fino's fear. Shou decides to head towards the Spriggan. Shot contacts the Black Knight and says he still has a use for Drake and wants him to stop Musiy from killing him. The Galava takes off and Marvel arrives in the Dunbine to attack the Spriggan. She damages the bridge again but the Spriggan is defended by more Aura Battlers. Marvel hears Chum's voice, telling her they will arrive shortly. Aboard the Will Wipps Drake tells Musiy he'll have Shot bow before him by using her as bait. The Black Knight contacts Drake and tells him Musiy is going to try to kill him. Drake doesn't reveal to him that this already occurred. Drake doesn't think Shot commands much respect if even Bern will betray him. Nie and Keen make their way into the bridge of the Will Wipps, looking for Drake. Musiy is able to escape during the confusion. With Drake nowhere to be seen, Nie and Keen depart the Will Wipps. Musiy returns to the deck and gets back in the Bubuly. Finding Keen's Botune right in front of her as she exits, Musiy blows it up, killing Keen. Marvel's parents and Shou's father watch the battle on TV. El Fino and Bel ask Ceila again to leave the Guran Galan. Kawasse orders the remaining ships to head in front of the Guran Galan and protect it. Shou engages in battle with the Black Knight again and the Galava is able to grab onto the Billbine. Musiy arrives in the Bubuly however and fires upon him for ratting her out earlier. The Black Knight tells her he refuses to bow down to someone from Upper Earth like Shot. Shot refuses to head towards the Will Wipps and protect it, desiring for both the Guran Galan and the Will Wipps to be destroyed. The Dunbine and Billbine rush towards the Spriggan, which launches more Aura Battlers to defend itself. Shou, Marvel and Chum combine their Aura Power and head towards the Spriggan. Seeing this from afar, both Musiy and the Black Knight head there. Shot realizes Shou raised his power without going hyper. All five crafts collide. The Galava crushes the cockpit of the Dunbine. The Billbine breaks through the cockpit of the Bubuly, knocking Musiy out. She falls into Shot's arms, but both are vaporized as the Spriggan explodes. Marvel tells Shou they did it. The Dunbine heavily damaged, Marvel tells Shou nothing is wrong and he should head to the Will Wipps. Severely injured, Marvel is no match for the Black Knight, who blows up the Dunbine, killing her.

 

The Carl Vinson watches from a far distance and refuses to get involved. The Captain of the Carl Vinson wonders if those from Byston Well arrived to destroy their military power. Ceila orders the rest of her Aura Battlers to head out. All she requires is that the bridge of the Will Wipps is destroyed and Drake is killed. The Billbine attacks the Will Wipps. Drake wonders why the Will Wipps is weakening. He realizes their Aura power has weakened because so many have died. Ceila tells Kawasse to use the clouds as a shield and head towards the Will Wipps. Shou destroys the gun turrets of the Will Wipps while looking for Drake. The Galava arrives and blows off one of the Billbine's legs. Shou is able to escape however and continues to attack the Will Wipps. Drake's advisors tell him they can't find the Guran Galan, but Drake says Ceila desires to defeat him and won't flee. Ceila tells El Fino and Bel Al to leave. She tells Kawasse to charge the Will Wipps and self destruct the ship. Drake tells his advisors to have the Will Wipps face the Guran Galan and they flee the bridge. Shou realizes both Aura Battleships are launching suicide attacks on one another. Chum tells Shou she's heading to the Guran Galan and leaves the Billbine. The Black Knight throws off his helmet and advances his Galava towards the Billbine. Drake departs with his advisors to a Bull Beggar knowing that with America under his control he can still stage a comeback. Ceila realizes Drake is fleeing the Will Wipps and tells Shou and Nie. She tries to force the Guran Galan over the Will Wipps. Shou is distracted enough for Bern to blow one of the arms off the Billbine. Nie attacks the Bull Beggar and blows it up with ease, killing Drake. The Bull Beggar's fleet of Drumlos overwhelm him however and the Botune is blown up seconds later. Nie shouts out to Keen that he was able to kill Drake for her before he dies. Ceila thanks Nie and tells her people they shall return to Byston Well. The Guran Galan crashes into the Will Wipps and the two Aura Battleships burst into flames. Chum flies towards the Guran Galan but is knocked away by the force of the explosion into the ocean. Ceila's spirit calls out to Shou. The Galava blows the head off the Billbine and then tears a hole through its cockpit, exposing Shou. Shou rams the remains of the Billbine into the Galava and jumps out to attack Bern. Bern and Shou impale each other on their swords. Shou calls out to Ceila to purify them. Ceila's spirit appears above the remains of the Guran Galan and Will Wipps and disperses. A large explosion of Aura consumes all the remaining Aura Battlers until nothing remains. People across the world watch the battle end on TV. The next morning large groups of planes and helicopters fly around the area where the battle ended, sensing that they are being called by something. An unconscious Chum is found floating on the surface of the water. She is reported across the world as the sole remaining survivor from the battle. Chum Huau told the story of Byston Well to others while she was getting better. One night she disappeared, and was never seen again.

 

Commentary

 

Wow, what a depressing ending that was. In what is probably the most death filled episode in anime history a whopping 11 named characters die and all the remaining Aura Battlers and Aura Ships are destroyed. Chum Huau is the only one to survive and she disappears, never to be seen again. Marvel and Shou's relationship ends rather sadly with Shou not even realizing that she died. Our heroes die one by one although I guess we can be glad that the evil Drake, Shot and Bern died as well. Bern finally got his long awaited wish of destroying both the Dunbine and Billbine although he didn't live long enough to enjoy it. Was I surprised by the ending? Can't really say I was. After all, Dunbine came during the height of Tomino's "Kill 'Em All" period, premiering on TV only a year after the apocalyptic Ideon: Be Invoked where Tomino literally killed every single character. As for my overall feelings towards the show itself, I was somewhat pleased with it, but feel that the show didn't really live up to its potential. The first 32 episodes were, with few exceptions, extremely good. The very unique insect like mecha, likable heroes and medieval setting came together to form quite a show. Unfortunately things started falling part in the second half. New Aura Battlers ceased appearing entirely after the Zwarth made its initial appearance in episode 31. The Galava and Bubuly showed up, but I certainly would have liked to see some more Aura Battlers show up instead of simply changing their colors which happened even to the Billbine near the end (and I must say, I preferred the original red color). Rather than being spread out, the deaths were concentrated at the very end. The choice to change the setting to Upper Earth happened far too soon. In the end these deficiencies resulted in the show not really going anywhere for a good dozen or so episodes. It really wasn't until episode 44 that things started picking up again. If I was the creators I would have delayed the switch to Upper Earth until episode 40 or so at least. The show had a simply amazing ending however, one of the best I've seen, so that somewhat makes up for the show dragging for a while. Unfortunately the show ends with a few mysteries, like why everyone was able to understand each other on Upper Earth and what everyone meant by talking about returning to Byston Well, but overall I was happy to see pretty much all the plots and characters wrapped up nicely. I regret to say that Dunbine is the worst of Tomino's 80s shows that I'm familiar with (I've seen all but Xabungle and Gundam ZZ), but that's not because it's a bad show, only because it doesn't reach the high quality some of his other works like Gundam, Ideon and L.Gaim did. It was a blast summarizing this series and I would certainly recommend it to anyone.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Dunbine Episode 49 Dunbine Episode 49
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