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Episode 1: Gundamjack

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 22, 2000

 

Summary

 

On January 1, 0080, the battle between the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation at A Baoa Qu draws to a close. Fleet commander Aiguille Delaz is informed that Gihren Zabi has been killed by his sister Kycilia. Ace pilot Anavel Gato (aka The Nightmare of Solomon) returns from battle in his Gelgoog, and Delaz convinces him to quit the battle and plan the return of Zeon. Gato doesn't want to live on in shame, but he reluctantly agrees to go with Delaz. Three years later, Federation Forces Ensigns Kou Uraki and Chuck Keith are engaged in training exercises near Australia's Torrington base. Using old Zaku II F2 units, their target is a new experimental Powered GM piloted by Lt. Dick Allen. Keith gets stuck in some colony ruins, and Kou is unable to keep up with the Powered GM's improved backpack. Lt. South Burning orders the tests to continue to gather more data on the Powered GM's abilities. Nearby, the Pegasus class battle cruiser Albion flies over the Sydney crater, which is all that remains of the colony drop on Australia during the One Year War's Operation British. Anaheim Electronics systems engineer Nina Purpleton watches the ocean in awe because it is her first time on Earth. Nearby, a squad of Dom Tropens watches the Albion fly by and notifies Gato's heavy artillery Xamel mobile suit. Gato contacts the submarine U-801 and signals the start of Operation Stardust. At the Torrington base, Kou, Keith, Burning, Allen and Raban Karcs watch the Albion land. Kou wonders if the ship has any Gundams, so he and Keith drive over in a jeep to investigate. Synapse meets with General Marnery and asks for permission to open the nuclear weapons storage area. Keith hits on Nina and Kou looks at the Gundam GP01 Zephyranthes and Gundam GP02A Physalis with amazement. Keith ends up being hit on by a mannish woman named Mora Bascht. An Anaheim worker named Orville takes a break and drives off the base. In reality, Orville is a Zeon infiltrator and makes contact with Gato's forces.

 

Back at Torrington, Synapse and Marnery unlock the nuclear weapons storage locker, which has not been opened since the Antarctic Treaty was signed during the One Year War. Marnery hopes that after this he'll never have to open the locker again. In the desert, Orville meets with Gato's forces and gives Gato a Federation Forces uniform. At the cafeteria, Karcs and Allen tell Burning they want to pilot the new mobile suits because they're tired of using Zakus. Nina and Mora join them for lunch. Nina explains that they want a test pilot who will take the suits to their maximum potential, and she doubts they could do it if they're used to only piloting old Zakus. As she leaves, Kou asks her if the GP02A can hold nuclear weapons, which was forbidden by the Antarctic Treaty. Mora comments that he's pretty sharp to figure that out, and Nina wonders how sharp he is as a pilot. Later, Nina, Synapse, and Marnery supervise the loading of the nuclear warhead onto the GP02A. Orville returns to the base with Gato hiding in the back of the jeep under a blanket. Gato is amazed at how lax the base security is, and Orville explains it's like that all across the Federation. Gato wonders how they could have lost the One Year War to people like this. Kou and Keith go back to take a look at the Gundams, and Nina asks them to leave. As they are about to leave, Gato walks in and asks Kou if the GP02A has the nuclear warhead armed. He suddenly steals the GP02A in the name of Zeon and cuts his way out of the Albion's hangar with his beam saber. Missiles hit the base, and the Dom Tropen squad attacks. Kou gets into the GP01, and Nina tells him he can't use it. Allen, Keith, and Karcs quickly take their mobile suits out into the battle. Dom Tropen pilot Gaily sees Karcs' Zaku and destroys it because he can't stand to see a Zaku used by the Federation. As Gato is about to get away with the GP02A, Kou confronts him with the GP01 and pulls out his beam saber.

 

Commentary

 

This series has a tall task to fulfill by filling in the gaps between the original Gundam series and Zeta Gundam. So far, it seems to be doing well. Here we're introduced to our hero, rookie pilot Kou Uraki. He'll certainly have his hands full fighting Anavel Gato, who is an ace pilot nearly as famous as Char Aznable. Three years have passed since the One Year War, and it looks like whatever peace that existed is about to end. The Federation has been busy developing new mobile suits, especially with its secret Gundam Development Project. It's now in the hands of people who want to resurrect the Principality of Zeon, so that's not a good combination.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam 0083 Episode 1 Gundam 0083 Episode 1

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Buy the collection (eps 1-13, movie, shorts) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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