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Episode 2: Gundams in the Jungle

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 22, 2000

 

Summary

 

Shiro, Michel, Sanders, Karen and Eledore ride in a jeep to the base. As they arrive they watch the Gundams of the 06th M.S. Team moving out for combat. Shiro reports in to the base commander, Kojima. Kojima tells Shiro and the rest of the team that the Zeon have built a factory somewhere in the area. They don't know where it is, so it is their job to make a move and locate it. Kojima tells Shiro that his team will be backing up the 06th M.S. Team later on. Soldiers nearby gossip about Shiro's adventure and how he now has the God of Death in his unit. Eledore makes a bet with Jidan that a newbie like Shiro will only last a few weeks as unit commander. As the mobile suits are prepared for combat, Shiro examines his Gundam and tells Karen it is in perfect condition. Michel asks where his Gundam is, and Eledore tells him that he'll be an assistant driver on the Hover Truck. Elsewhere, a Dora transport craft carrying Aina lands at the Zeon Asian base. She gets out of the Dora and hugs her brother Ginias. As night approaches, Shiro gives the team a pep talk. He tells them that heroics will get them killed, so he wants them to work as a team. The team moves out with Shiro on point, and Karen wonders if he will be able to prove himself in battle. As the team marches through the jungle, Eledore spots a nearby battle and stops the Hover Truck. Using sonar he is able to determine that two Zakus are nearby fighting the 06th M.S. Team. Shiro moves in to investigate, and a Zaku shoots at him when it spots his light. As he is about to shoot back at the Zaku, Karen rushes in and knocks him down. He asks what she is doing, and she tells him he has no skills as a pilot. He answers that he is insulted, but she doesn't care. He intends to show her what he is made of and decides to go after the Zakus himself. He gets up and rushes after the Zakus into the darkness.

 

Sanders grabs some weapons from the weapons container and hides in the foliage. As Shiro explores the area, Sanders spots the second Zaku moving in behind Shiro. He fires and then rushes the Zaku. Sanders pulls out his beam saber and drives it through the Zaku's cockpit. After it explodes, he is amazed by the power of the Gundam. Shiro spots the other Zaku and blows its left arm off. The Zaku throws a cracker at Shiro and runs off. Against Sanders' warning, Shiro pursues it and vanishes. Eledore and Michel return to base and are surprised to see that Shiro didn't come back with Karen and Sanders. Karen tells Michel to hurry up and find Shiro, and Michel asks if they should send out a rescue party. Eledore says if they did that on Shiro's first mission that the entire base would ridicule him. Shiro examines a map because his navigation system isn't working. As morning approaches, Shiro explores the ground on foot and detests the heat. He falls into a puddle of mud and freaks out when leeches begin to crawl over him. After exploring the area he finds a waterfall and sits down to cool off. He sees a cute naked girl swimming in the water and decides to watch her. At the Zeon base, Ginias regrets the loss of the test data from Aina's Zaku, but he says that won't matter when the Apsaras is finished. As Shiro watches the naked girl, Aina's watch rings and gives him away. The naked girl starts shooting at Shiro, and he runs away. He sees a Zaku wandering around in the jungle and notices it is the same one he was fighting the night before. Sanders wants to wait for Shiro, but Karen doesn't. Sanders says he owes a debt to Shiro, and Karen thinks it has to do with his reputation as the God of Death. Shiro gets inside his Gundam and waits for the Zaku to enter his line of fire. He fires off several rounds, but the Zaku pulls out a heat hawk and presses on. Shiro continues to fire and destroys the Zaku. On the base, everyone is shocked to see Shiro come out of the jungle with his Gundam.

 

Commentary

 

This is where the story really begins. The 08th M.S. Team goes into action for the first time, and things don't seem to be going so smoothly. Shiro tells everyone not to try any heroics during the battle, but that's the first thing he does when the Zakus attack. Here we also see something interesting in terms of character conflict. Shiro and Karen don't get along too well here. In most series, the main character is an underling like Amuro who doesn't get along with his commander. This is the other side of that since the main character is a commander who doesn't get along with his underling. We also meet two new characters here, the naked girl and Aina's brother Ginias Sahalin. The Apsaras is also mentioned in this episode, and we'll be hearing a lot more about it in the near future.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam 08th MS Team Episode 2 Gundam 08th MS Team Episode 2

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Buy the collection (eps 1-12, movie, short) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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