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Episode 1: Gundam Fight Begins!
The Gundam That Fell to Earth

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 23, 2000

 

Summary

 

The year is Future Century (FC) 60, and it is the eve of a new Gundam Fight. Several Gundams fall to the Earth and head to their home countries. One, however, heads for Neo Italy. The Gundam crashes in the middle of a street and encases itself in a protective barrier. Michelo Chariot, the Gundam Fighter for Neo Italy, orders his lackeys to find and kill the pilot to begin the next Gundam Fight. A police inspector named Belcino examines the casing around the Gundam and vows to find the Fighter. In a bar, the bartender calls Michelo and tells him that there is a stranger in his bar. The stranger is a mysterious young man named Domon Kasshu who asks the bartender if he's seen a man in an old picture he has. Michelo's thugs arrive and grab a child named Sophia that was talking to Domon. Domon attacks them and starts beating them all up. When he takes the fight to the street, he finds the police waiting for him. Domon is arrested by the police, and Belcino asks him if he is a Gundam Fighter. Belcino offers Domon a pizza if he confesses that he is a Gundam Fighter. Domon says nothing, so Belcino shoves his head into the pizza. Domon is bailed out by his partner, Rain Mikamura, who shows Belcino Domon's passport, which states that he's a tourist from Neo Japan. Rain scolds Domon for his brash actions, and he responds by ripping his passport to pieces. As they walk along the street the children from the bar bring Domon food to thank him. They all decide to spend an evening in an abandoned hotel. They tell him that Michelo is Neo Italy's Gundam Fighter, but he's also a Mafia boss and commits many crimes. They wonder how a man like that can represent their country. Just then, Michelo comes crashing in with his Neros Gundam and attacks them.

 

Michelo says that he heard how Domon beat up his men. He kidnaps Sophia and tells Domon to come after him, but without his Gundam. He then begins firing his vulcans on them, but Rain pulls out a device that creates a protective bubble around them. Rain wants to complain to the Gundam Fight Committee, but Domon says it won't help. He says that Sophia doesn't concern him, and he will fight Michelo on his own terms. Belcino shows up and arrests Domon again. Belcino and the children go to the Colosseum to rescue Sophia, and Belcino tells the children that Gundam Fighters are all scum. Domon escapes from the police and shows up to rescue Sophia. The rope holding her up is cut, and he catches her. Michelo's men shoot at Domon, but he is uninjured. A tattoo on his hand identifies him as the King of Hearts, the master martial artist of the space colonies. Michelo attacks Domon with the Neros Gundam, and Domon calls on the Shining Gundam for battle. In space, beam ropes surround the Earth to signal the beginning of the 13th Gundam Fight. The Mobile Trace System places a fighting suit on Domon, which will allow the Shining Gundam to correspond to his own movements. Domon drops a smoke grenade and hides from Michelo's attacks. Belcino recalls long ago when people abandoned Earth and went to live in the colonies. The point of the Gundam Fight is to prevent war and decide who will rule the universe, but he thinks no one cares about Earth. Michelo continues attacking, and Domon rushes him. He uses his final blow, the Shining Finger, to end the match. By destroying the Neros Gundam's head, Michelo is disqualified from the Gundam Fight. Domon asks him if he has seen the man in the picture, but Michelo says he knows nothing. Afterwards, Michelo is arrested by the police, and Belcino gives Domon a pizza, thinking to himself about how long and horrible the next year will be.

 

Commentary

 

This series definitely fulfills its purpose as the first alternate universe series. It is quite unlike any Gundam series to air before it or since. While traditional series are war stories focusing on Earth vs the colonies, this is quite different. Here, the colonies oppress the Earth, and a 'civilized war' is held every four years with the Gundam Fight. However, these fights seem to have turned the Earth into a wasteland. Many people like the police detective resent the Gundam Fight and any attached to it. In this episode we're introduced to our main characters, Domon and Rain. What is the mystery of the man in the picture that Domon seeks? Personally, it takes time to get used to the series. Though the series breaks away from old Gundam clichés, it unfortunately follows quite a few super robot clichés. Domon's easy victory at the end with the Shining Finger is an example of this.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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