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Episode 31: A Decoy in Space

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 1, 2001

 

Summary

 

Bright and Mirai meet with the brass and are given their orders. While the Tianem Fleet heads for the Zeon space fortress Solomon, the White Base will fly there in the opposite direction as a decoy. One of the old men mentions finding Mirai a husband, but he then remembers that she's engaged. As they drive back to the ship, Mirai explains to Bright that it was an arranged marriage and her fiance ran off to Side 6 to avoid the war. A brash lieutenant named Sleggar Law reports to the ship with his transfer orders. He starts hitting on Sayla and Mirai, but they avoid him. The hatch opens and the White Base launches from Jaburo. At the same time, Char boards the Zanzibar and heads for space. The White Base breaks out of Earth's atmosphere and spots the Zanzibar behind it. An officer named Tokwan wants to use the mobile armor Bigro to attack the White Base, and he launches with it and two space modified Rick Doms. Sayla thinks Char is on the ship, and Bright orders her and Amuro to launch in the G-Sky and G-Bull Easy. Sayla is attacked by the extremely maneuverable Bigro and is grappled by it. She is about to fire, but she hesitates because she thinks Char might be inside it. She gets away, but she loses control of the G-Bull Easy and enters free fall. Amuro flies around and attacks the Rick Doms. Bright orders Sleggar to use the main cannon, but Sleggar wants Bright to turn the ship around. Bright reminds Sleggar that even though his rank is lower, he's the commander of the ship. Sleggar asks Bright to trust him and do as he says.

 

The Zanzibar continues to attack, and Char hopes Sayla isn't on the ship. Sleggar says he can't fire until Bright turns the ship around, but Bright says he won't do that yet. He reminds Sleggar that though he may be older, he isn't in command. After some delays, Kai finally launches in the Guncannon and says to himself that he can't be depressed about Miharu forever. Amuro fires missiles at the Bigro, but Tokwan manages to avoid most of them. Kai shoots at the Bigro, which provides a distraction for Amuro. He contacts Sayla and says they will dock so that he can use the Gundam to attack. Since the G-Bull Easy is floundering towards the atmosphere, Amuro shoots at it to push Sayla back up into space. They have to dock quickly because one of the Rick Doms is approaching. Sayla asks Amuro who he thinks is in the Bigro, but she quickly drops the subject. Amuro converts to the Gundam, leaving Sayla with the G-Fighter. Char decides to press his attack and orders his men to go to ramming speed because he figures the White Base won't be able to attack at a close range. Bright turns the ship around, and Sleggar goes to the ship's main cannon. As the Zanzibar passes by, missiles are fired and Sleggar scores a direct hit. Sayla dodges the attack of a Rick Dom and then destroys it. Nearby, the Bigro grapples Amuro and subjects the Gundam to high G-forces. Tokwan is sure that Amuro passed out, but Amuro fires his beam rifle through the Bigro's cockpit and destroys it. After the battle, Amuro asks Sayla why she asked about the pilot of the Bigro, but she makes up an excuse. Bright congratulates Sleggar for getting a hit on the enemy. Sleggar tells Sayla that she's beautiful and is a skilled pilot, and she tries to play it down. He then asks Mirai to join him in the showers, but she declines. He instead goes with Amuro, Kai and Hayato.

 

Commentary

 

The beginning of this episode served as the end of movie 2, but the rest of the episode, including the battle with the Bigro and Rick Doms was cut. Here we're introduced to one of my least favorite characters, the hotshot pilot Sleggar Law. He's a walking stereotype of a cocky, arrogant macho guy, but luckily he doesn't stick around too long. Though Sayla's skills have increased, she performs pretty poorly here because she keeps thinking about Char. Amuro has improved to the point that new enemies like the Grublo, Zock and Bigro are minor obstacles to him. Now that the series has returned to space, the most exciting and action packed part begins. One thing that bothers me is Sleggar's bath. He can't take a bath with Mirai, so he settles for Amuro and the others. You win some, you lose some, apparently?

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Episode 31 Gundam Episode 31
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Buy the collection (eps 23-43) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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