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Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: April 1, 2000
New Review: June 5, 2000

 

Summary

 

In Europe, a Zeon mine overseer named M'quve hears reports that the White Base is heading his way. He decides not to fight it and let Ramba do all the work for him. At a Federation Forces base, General Revil discusses plans with General Elran and wonders if the White Base is a ship of Newtypes. In the desert, Ramba and Hamon plan their next move against the White Base. Ramba attacks the White Base, and Sayla is convinced that Zeon soldiers would know about her brother, Casval. Sayla steals the Gundam in an attempt to make contact with the Zeon. However, Ramba appears in his Gouf and damages the Gundam by slicing one of its feet apart. Amuro launches in the Guncannon to provide backup for Sayla. Ramba is forced to fall back, but Amuro is able to capture a Zaku and its pilot, Cozun. For stealing the Gundam, Bright and Mirai put Sayla in solitary confinement. She asks Cozun about the Red Comet, and he tells her he's a drifter named Char Aznable. Sayla is convinced that Char is Casval. Amuro studies the Zaku to learn about its capabilities, and Bright unsuccessfully interrogates Cozun. Later, Cozun breaks out of his cell and contacts Ral. He tells him about the suits on the ship. A search begins for Cozun, and Sayla is set free to find him. She finds him attempting to escape through an airlock with a jetpack. A crewman shows up and uses a bazooka to blast the door open, but the force of the explosion knocks Cozun out of the airlock and sends him falling to his doom.

 

Later, the White Base attacks one of M'quve's mines. Ramba hears about the attack and decides to help. Against Bright's orders, Amuro launches in the Guntank with Hayato. When Ramba arrives, Amuro is forced to return to the ship to get the Gundam. Later, Amuro falls asleep while examining Zaku data. Bright and Mirai have a conversation nearby about whether or not Amuro is a Newtype. Bright doesn't want Amuro to pilot the Gundam anymore so he doesn't get cocky. Amuro hears them and runs away in tears. He tells Fraw he's leaving the ship and steals the Gundam. After escaping, Amuro buries the Gundam in the sand and wanders through the desert. He arrives at a town called Sodon and has a drink in a dingy bar. Things become awkward when Ramba and Hamon arrive with their troops to eat. They talk to Amuro and both agree that they like him. The White Base lands nearby, and Fraw takes a jeep out to find Amuro. She is captured by Zeon troops in Sodon. Amuro covers for her, and Ramba lets them go. He has a soldier follow them as they drive through the desert. Amuro leaves Fraw again, so she returns to the ship without him. Ramba launches in the Gouf to attack the ship and flies right over Amuro. Amuro quickly returns to the Gundam and heads back for the White Base. After reaching the ship, Amuro engages Ramba. Each slices the other's cockpit open, which allows them to see each other. Amuro slices off the Gouf's hands and stabs it, so Ramba fires a grappling hook onto the Gundam and swings away as the Gouf explodes. Ramba tells Amuro he won only because of the Gundam's abilities, not his own.

 

For stealing the Gundam, Bright throws Amuro in solitary confinement and assigns Sayla as the pilot of the Gundam. Soon after, Ramba and his remaining forces use Cui tanks and jetpacks to approach the ship. Sayla launches in the Gundam, and Amuro is set free to man the ship's gun turrets. Ramba approaches the ship from behind, and Bright realizes he intends to board the ship. He and his soldiers board the ship and begin attacking. Sayla lands the Gundam and lets Amuro take it. She finds Ramba, and he recognizes her as Artesia Deikun. His family helped her and Casval escape after their father Zeon was assassinated. Ryu shows up, and he and Ramba shoot each other. Ramba locks himself in the secondary bridge, and Bright tells Amuro to blow it up. Amuro blasts a hole in the hull, and Ramba takes his last stand. He declares that he'll show them a soldier's fate and jumps out of the ship with a live grenade, which explodes in the Gundam's hand and kills him.

 

The Federation Forces attack M'quve's mines as the first part of Operation Odessa, a massive assault with the purpose of driving the Zeon out of Europe. Matilda's Medea arrives to resupply the White Base and drop off a new Core Booster that Sayla will be test piloting. The famous Black Tri-Stars attack the ship with their powerful new Dom mobile suits. Amuro launches and attacks them. The assault on White Base continues, and Matilda takes off in her Medea supply plane to fight. Amuro is attacked by all three Doms and manages to escape their combined Jet Stream Attack, but one of them destroys Matilda's plane as she flies by. Filled with anger, he destroys the other Doms. Amuro can't believe that Matilda is dead. The ship launches, and a military funeral is held for Matilda and other recent casualties. Later, Hamon attacks the White Base with Ramba's remaining forces. She plans to ram a hovercraft filled with explosives into the White Base. Amuro tries to stop it, and Hamon moves in behind him to attack with her Magella Top. Out of nowhere, the injured Ryu slams a Core Fighter into Hamon's plane, and Amuro manages to destroy the hovercraft. Later, Amuro hits Hayato for not stopping Ryu. Ryu had ejected the top of the Guntank and stole the Core Fighter. Because of Hamon's attack, the White Base is not able to arrive in time to participate in Operation Odessa.

 

Operation Odessa is a success, and M'quve is forced to abandon his mining operations. The White Base docks in Belfast, Ireland, and a young Zeon spy named Miharu Ratokie reports this to her contacts. Her contact is the nearby Mad Angler submarine commanded by Char. After being kicked out of the space forces by Dozle, he was handpicked by Kycilia for her forces. Char wants to confirm that it is indeed the White Base at port. Revil visits the ship and gives everyone their new orders. They are to proceed to the Federation Forces Jaburo base in South America, where the crew will be tested as potential Newtypes. Before leaving, they are to have a week of shore leave in Belfast. Kai decides to leave the ship, and Amuro fails to stop him. However, Bright explains he let Kai leave. Kai meets Miharu, and she offers to let him stay at her house. She has two younger siblings named Gil and Milly and works as a Zeon spy to support them. Kai deliberately leaks information about the ship to her when he discovers a gun in her basket.

 

Char orders his forces to attack the White Base. A Zeon soldier contacts Miharu and gives her a Federation uniform and gold payment. Her mission is to infiltrate the White Base and find out its destination. Miharu tells her siblings to take care of themselves, and she leaves on her mission. Kai decides to return to the ship during the attack and fights in the Guntank against amphibious Z'Gok mobile suits. Later, Kai finds Miharu in Bright's quarters and sneaks her into his room. Amuro sees her, and Kai asks him to ignore her. The White Base leaves Belfast and heads over the ocean for Jaburo. A cargo plane lands in White Base for repairs. The pilots are actually Zeon and contact Miharu. She tells them the ship is heading for Jaburo. The Zeon forces then attack, and Kai and Miharu launch a Gunperry to defend the ship. The missiles are jammed, and Miharu goes to the catapult to manually launch the missiles. The force of the missile launch sends her flying out the side of the Gunperry. When Kai returns to the ship, he breaks down in tears over the uselessness of her death.

 

Later, the White Base arrives at Jaburo and lands in the underground fortress. Char has followed them from Ireland and plans his attack. The repairs to the ship are supervised by Lt. Woody Malden, who Amuro discovers was Matilda's fiancé. The crew undergoes Newtype testing. They are given their new orders, and Amuro is angry that they give Ryu a posthumous promotion to Lieutenant. Bright and Mirai are briefed and given new orders. The White Base is to return to space and act as a decoy to aid in the attack of the space fortress Solomon. Char's forces penetrate Jaburo through the underground caverns. His soldiers discover a factory lined with GMs, a line of mass produced mobile suits based on the Gundam. They plant bombs on each of the GMs to sabotage them. The children Kikka, Katz and Letz stumble into the factory and find all of the bombs. They place them in a jeep and drive away. A search begins for the children.

 

While Sayla searches she encounters Char. He asks her to quit the Federation Forces and is chased away when Mirai shoots at him. Sayla acts as if he hadn't even seen Char. Amuro, Hayato and Kai drive around in a jeep looking for the children and find them. Amuro takes control of their jeep and lets in drive over a cliff as the bombs explode. Char attacks as his backup attacks the surface of Jaburo. Amuro faces Char's red Z'Gok and is interrupted by Woody. Woody flies a Fanfan hovercraft toward Char to attack, but Char simply smashes the hovercraft. Amuro is enraged and attacks Char, severing the Z'Gok's arm. Char is forced to escape from Jaburo by shooting around and causing a cave in to from in front of Amuro. Following the battle, a hotshot pilot named Sleggar Law is transferred to the ship. The White Base leaves Jaburo and heads for space. Char boards the battleship Zanzibar and heads for space as well.

 

Commentary

 

Being the middle part of the trilogy, things certainly take a darker turn here. While Amuro's skills have improved from repeated battles, he lets it get to his head and thinks he knows better than Bright. Rather than admit a mistake, he childishly lashes out by stealing the Gundam. This leads him to a fateful meeting with Ramba and Crowley that puts faces on his enemies. To his surprise, they're not bad people. We see some Federation casualties here, including Ryu, Matilda and Woody. Although Odessa was mentioned a lot in this movie, in a change from the TV series, the White Base doesn't make it. Following some development for Kai, the movie ends with the battle-worn crew returning to space. While the content in this movie is definitely an improvement from the first, the same can't be said about the editing. The transitions throughout this entire movie are pretty rough, and in many instances a split second separates a character walking around from a battle starting, and vice versa. It can definitely be jarring at times, but it doesn't lessen the movie's impact.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
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