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Episode 6: Battle Line in the Burning Sand

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 9, 2000

 

Summary

 

An informant tells Kiki that he saw a light flying through the desert a few days ago. Shiro and the rest of the 08th M.S. Team move out to see if they can find the testing range and the Apsaras. Performing double duty in the Hover Truck, Michel is distracted from his work because he keeps reading B.B.'s letters. As they march through the desert, the left foot of Shiro's Gundam breaks down, so he and Michel stay behind to fix it. Shiro opens the Gundam's foot, and the problem seems to be a filter clogged with sand. He goes inside the foot while Michel moves it in the cockpit. He starts reading more letters and doesn't notice when Shiro's shirt gets caught in a gear. Shiro cries out for help, and Kiki hits Michel for being distracted. Karen and Sanders arrive at the canyon and begin investigating the area. Karen sees that a beam weapon has melted the canyon wall into glass over a long distance. Shiro and Michel arrive later and the work begins to set up an ambush. Michel is angry that he has to do double duty while Eledore is gone. A practice battle begins with Michel piloting a remote-controlled drone plane. Karen deploys explosive balloons behind the plane and a net in front of it. As Shiro and Sanders are about to fire at the drown, Michel gets distracted by a letter and crashes the drone. Kiki decides to stay with everyone and tells the guerillas to go back home. She stares at Shiro and asks if she can fix his torn shirt. Michel asks Kiki if she has a crush on Shiro, and he sees her reading one of B.B.'s letters. He chases her into the night desert as she reads it aloud. In the letter, B.B. says that she feels more distant from Michel each day and fears that his next letter will be the last. She thinks it is better if they break up and forget about each other. Michel tells Kiki his feelings for B.B. haven't changed because of distance, but B.B. doesn't seem to understand that. Kiki says that sometimes you can be physically close to someone and still feel distant. She tells him the only thing he can do is keep sending B.B. his feelings. As Shiro rests in his cockpit, he wonders when the Apsaras will finally show up.

 

Five days pass, and the team eats beans made by Kiki. Michel asks Shiro how much longer they will wait, and Shiro doesn't know. He says all he wants is a nice shower and a cool beer. Michel starts yelling that he can't stand it anymore. He says he can't mail his letter from the desert, and he doesn't want B.B. to forget him. Kiki offers to mail the letter herself, and Shiro is angry that this whole mess is over a stupid letter. He tells Kiki not to butt into their business, and she runs off in tears. Michel yells at Shiro and says he should be nicer to Kiki because she has feeling for him. He asks Shiro if he's ever been and love and asks why he keeps a girl's watch. He says that when you love someone it is difficult to be apart from them and express their feelings. He says Shiro only cares for unrequited love, and Sanders grabs him and knocks him into the ground. Shiro and Sanders talk, and they decide that Sanders and Michel will switch places. Sanders tells Michel that if they trusted him with the Hover Truck in his condition that they would all die. Later, Kiki wonders why she acted like she did and tries to talk to Sanders. Shiro sits in his cockpit and realizes that Michel has him figured out. A song comes onto the radio, and Sanders tells everyone that it's Eledore's song. After the song ends, Shiro is surprised to hear that Eledore requested his own song from the hospital. The next day, the Apsaras II finally arrives. As it enters the canyon, Karen deploys the balloons behind it and the net in front of it. Michel targets the Apsaras II and damages it with his beam rifle. Aina calls out for help, and two Dopp fighters appear and begin attacking. The Apsaras II fires its cannon and knocks down Michel's Gundam. As it prepares to fire again, Shiro flies up and knocks it away. Aina flips the Apsaras II around and slams his Gundam against the canyon wall, destroying the right arm. Aina tells him to get off before he dies, and Shiro recognizes her voice. Kiki destroys one of the Dopps with the Hover Truck's gun turret, and Michel destroys the other with his beam rifle. The Apsaras II takes off and flies away with Shiro's Gundam still attached to it.

 

Commentary

 

Well, there's some interesting character development and conflict here. Most of the spotlight in this episode is placed on Michel. It seems he's having trouble accepting his duty without Eledore. He also is consumed with letters from his girlfriend B.B. The fact that he almost killed Shiro in the Gundam's foot is proof that he's way out of it. It's understandable that he's upset about the breakup, but he put lives at risk. It all culminated in a big argument, but at least they made up later. There's also some other developments, as it seems that Kiki has a crush on Shiro. The battle with Aina at the end is well done, with some fancy CGI balloons. What's more, the episode ends with a cliffhanger. What will happen to Shiro and Aina? Guess we'll find out next time.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam 08th MS Team Episode 6 Gundam 08th MS Team Episode 6

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