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Episode 1: In the Skies of Jaburo, I Saw the Sea

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 6, 2006

 

Summary

 

In Earth orbit in UC 0079, the Jotunheim's sister ship Muspelheim launches the experimental Ze'Gok, which is equipped with a mobile diver system. Just as the launch completes, the Muspelheim comes under fire from a Salamis and is destroyed. On December 3rd, the Ze'Gok is loaded onto the Jotunheim. While watching a video of the Muspelheim's destruction, Captain Martin Prochnow mentions that the captain was a friend of his. In the hangar, Oliver May explains the mobile diver system to another officer. The mobile diver can hold several types of weapons and is designed for atmospheric re-entry. Its purpose is to attack the Federation ships launching from the Jaburo headquarters in South America. After completing its operation, the Ze'Gok can dump the mobile diver. Elsewhere, Prochnow says his friend was lucky to go down with his ship. He looks out into space and imagines for a second that the Muspelheim is passing by them. On the bridge, Ze'Gok pilot Werner Holbein reports for duty and asks Monique Cadillac where Prochnow is, and she tells him that Prochnow went out for a while. When Werner doesn't pay attention, Monique yells at him and tells him she's his superior officer. He asks again where Prochnow is, and Kruger steps in to end the argument. He notices that Werner is wearing a rusted harpoon tip around his neck, and Werner explains that his grandfather made a living on Earth by hunting sharks, but only the sharks survived. Hideto Washiya asks if he died, and Werner says he's still out at sea. The ship receives a message that a Salamis is launching, and the Ze'Gok is prepared for launch. Oliver thinks the mission is impossible because of the limited time allowed to intercept and attack the Salamis, but Monique comments that Werner said he could do it. The Ze'Gok is dropped, and Werner happily shouts during atmospheric re-entry. The Ze'Gok approaches Jaburo as the Salamis launches from the underground base. Werner ignores a computer warning to fire the missiles and recites a saying of his grandfather that it's best to get close to your prey before they notice you. Werner then fires the four missiles, but they all miss the Salamis. Oliver reports the loss of the target and self-detonation of the missiles, and a furious Monique says there was no reason to get a seaman when there wasn't a sea at all. Werner ejects the container pod and is picked up by a Gaw aircraft. Later, the crew listen to the audio recording of the mission, and Monique says it's clear what went wrong. Oliver says that the system and Werner aren't perfect, so he suggests having an engineering officer go on the next mission. Washiya arrives on the bridge late, and Monique looks at him with a devious smile. Later, the Ze'Gok is prepared for a night attack, and Washiya sits in a passenger seat behind Werner. The Ze'Gok launches, and Prochnow orders a retreat when a Federation ship enters the area. The Ze'Gok appears over Jaburo as several Salamises launch. Just as he is about to fire his missiles, Werner makes a hard turn to avoid a volley of missiles from Jaburo. Washiya is amazed he noticed that and says they can still fire. Werner fires the missiles, but their altitude is too low now and the missiles fall short of the ships.

 

The Ze'Gok is once again returned to the Jotunheim. Oliver runs into Monique in a corridor, and she tells him to get some rest because there's another mission tomorrow. She asks Oliver if he wants to get a drink with her after she finishes a report for Prochnow, but Oliver declines. In a computer room, Oliver examines the ship's internal video cameras and finds Werner inside the Ze'Gok's cockpit. Oliver calls Werner on the radio and tells him that his piloting abilities have been confirmed by Washiya. Oliver then says he doesn't think their experiment is about practicality anymore. He says the Federation is countering them in new ways now, so they could all be wiped out tomorrow. Oliver says that many rushed projects have been created, but he thinks they should focus on how to survive rather than on collecting data. He then mentions that Monique is a hothead, so he understands how Werner feels. Oliver then says he's going to call headquarters tomorrow and request the mission be canceled. Werner calls Oliver back and tells him that seamen have always been at the front lines. He tells Oliver one of his grandfather's sayings, which states that if you don't have any feeling for the ocean, you'll never catch your prey. He tells Oliver that it's the same for engineers like him because sometimes things fail and don't go their way. Oliver tells Werner that they should make tomorrow their last attempt. The next day, several ships prepare to launch from Jaburo. Monique gives a briefing on the mission. This time, the Ze'Gok's mobile diver has been equipped with the Kuhblume scattering beam cannon. The mission this time is to drop straight down and turn to attack the Federation ships as they ascend. Monique warns Werner that the Kuhblume was hastily connected to the Ze'Gok and may explode after more than five seconds of continuous fire. Washiya and another pilot launch in the Zudahs to patrol the area and pick up two Federation ships. The ships fire their beam cannons at the Jotunheim and barely miss. Werner asks Prochnow not to worry about him and drop the Ze'Gok. Monique says they could end up like the Muspelheim, and Prochnow reminds her that he's in charge. The Jotunheim positions itself vertically in Earth orbit and drops the Ze'Gok into the atmosphere. As the Ze'Gok descends, four Salamises and a Magellan launch from Jaburo. Oliver tells Werner to fire immediately because he'll hit the ground in 50 seconds. Werner has a vision of sinking in the ocean and fires. The scattering beams hit all five ships and destroy them. Werner then dumps the Kuhblume and flies toward the Gaw. He senses something, and the Gaw is suddenly destroyed by missiles from Core Booster II fighters. The Core Booster IIs then chase Werner and fire their vulcan guns at the Ze'Gok. The vulcan fire penetrates the cockpit and severely injures Werner. The Ze'Gok then turns and crashes into the ocean. On the Jotunheim, Kruger reports that Werner destroyed five ships, but they couldn't find his escape pod. Washiya says that Werner died in the ocean like his grandfather, and Monique reports that he actually died in a hospital at Side 3. Oliver says that to Werner, he died in the ocean, so that's all that matters. Later, Oliver writes his report and states that although the Ze'Gok performed well, the battlefield has shifted to space. He hopes that the data from their drop operations will help others in the future since Werner couldn't return.

 

Commentary

 

The MS IGLOO series enters a new chapter with this second half, labeled Apocalypse 0079. Although the title and the opening theme have changed, the story is pretty much the same as in The Hidden One Year War. Oliver's unit is assigned some strange new thing to test. Guest pilot comes aboard and has a touching moment of humanity. Guest pilot successfully uses strange new thing to destroy some Federation targets, but is tragically killed. Oliver writes his report and is sad. The formula is getting a bit old the fourth time around, but it's still entertaining nonetheless. Also, there's some very nice work in this episode with the computer animation and the dream-like imagery seen in some scenes. Here, we see Oliver getting further from the green officer he was as the war enters its final phase. Werner is also an interesting guest character, and he's a bit different from the previous doomed guest characters. He's not a drug addict, and he's not out to wage a propaganda war. He loves the sea, which is very closely connected to his grandfather, who actually didn't die in the sea. Also, there is a possibility that he's a Newtype, which is something we haven't seen so far in this series. He sensed the missiles during the second attack just before they hit, and he also sensed danger just before the Gaw was attacked. There's also a nice character moment here for Prochnow, who's usually limited to just his commanding duties. There's only two episodes left of this series, and we know from history that things will only continue to get worse for the Zeon.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam MS IGLOO Apocalypse 0079 Episode 1 Gundam MS IGLOO Apocalypse 0079 Episode 1

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