image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 2: Howls Stained in Dusk

 

Review by Chris Guanche

February 17, 2006

 

Summary

 

On April 29, a Zaku II piloted by Federico Czariano arrives at Zeon's 128th Supply Point in Arizona for ammunition. A soldier points out that Czariano's Zaku is covered in battle scars, and Czariano pulls out his gun. In space the Jotunheim and a fleet of Papua class ships enter Earth orbit for a supply drop to Zeon-occupied territories. Monique argues with technicians about following regulations for the supply drop, and Prochnow comments that Monique reminds him of his mother. The fleet then begins to drop its supply capsules. At headquarters, Schacht meets with Oliver and shows him the specs of the experimental battle tank Hildolfr. Schacht assigns Oliver to evaluating the Hildolfr on Earth, but Oliver notes that the Hildolfr was evaluated and rejected two years ago. Schacht then tells him to abandon the Hildolfr after the test is over. Oliver asks why they would do that, and Schacht says that the Earth invasion isn't going as well as it has been advertised to the public. Later, a Musai rendezvous with the Jotunheim to deliver the Hildolfr. Oliver looks at the Hildolfr and thinks to himself that the Zeon is deploying anything to the battlefield now, regardless of it being useful or not. Demeziere Sonnen, the assigned pilot for the Hildolfr, introduces himself to Oliver. He suddenly begins to tremble and pops pills from a small container. Sonnen goes over to the Hildolfr and says that eventually it will be mass produced for the complete dominance of Earth. Oliver says that the mission is just disguised as a test, but Sonnen counters that if the Hildolfr does well, headquarters should change its mind about the bad evaluation. Nearby, Washiya bugs Monique about piloting a Zaku, but she tells him he can't have it. Sonnen and Monique make eye contact and recognize each other before turning away. On the bridge, Monique outlines the plan: a Komusai will drop the Hildolfr on Earth at the 67th Supply Point in Arizona. Sonnen interrupts and says the Hildolfr will do well because engineers don't know anything about real battles. Monique says that Oliver will be monitoring the test while she's commanding, and Sonnen asks why it has to be her. Prochnow mentions that the 128th Supply Point was destroyed 10 days earlier. Sonnen figures it's just tanks that could make good test subjects, but Monique says there's no point having an evaluation if he's fighting weak enemies. On the Komusai, Oliver asks Monique if she knows Sonnen, but she tells him his powers of observation are weak. She says if a captain degrades he's still a captain, but if a soldier degrades he's worthless. During re-entry, she tells him that she admired Sonnen when he was an artillery training instructor. She says he didn't perform well on a mobile suit piloting test and has dwelled on that failure since then, becoming more like a living corpse.

 

At the 67th Supply Point, Czariano asks a Zaku I pilot if they have ammunition he can use. The Komusai is attacked during re-entry and Czariano, a Federation pilot, destroys the Zaku. Suddenly an entire squad of captured Zakus and Type 61 battle tanks emerge from the desert and surround the 67th Supply Point. Sonnen guesses that they must be the ones who are destroying Zeon's supply bases. He asks Monique to drop him and the Hildolfr, but she refuses. He says the damaged Komusai has to lose some weight, and Oliver agrees. The Hildolfr is dropped from the Komusai and parachutes to the ground. The Komusai makes an emergency landing, and Sonnen surveys the area and spots six stolen Zakus. Oliver tells Sonnen to avoid enemy contact, but Sonnen says he'll be discovered soon and has to make the first strike. He quickly fires a shell and destroys one Zaku, while his next shot disables another. Oliver tells Sonnen that for the rest of the Zakus he'll have to adjust the firing program manually based on his own experience. The Federation pilots wonder what's going on, and Czariano tells them the enemy can only hit stationary targets. Based on the second shot, he thinks the firing adjustments haven't been completed, and he plans an ambush. The Zakus fire missiles at the Hildolfr and then rush toward it. Sonnen hits a Zaku with an explosive heat shell, and when it stops moving, he destroys it with a second shot. Czariano jumps in the air and opens fire, but he notices that the Hildolfr moves very quickly for such a big tank. He tells his men to destroy the Hildolfr's tracks, which they do. The Zakus move in for the kill, but Sonnen launches several smoke dispensers to camouflage himself. The upper part of the Hildolfr opens to reveal a mobile suit torso, and Sonnen attacks and destroys another Zaku. Sonnen destroys another Zaku with his machine gun and picks up its machine gun to attack a Type 61 tank. Another Zaku moves in and opens fire, but the Hildolfr is stuck on a Zaku arm and can't move. Sonnen fires his cannon at the ground and uses the recoil to break free. The Zaku continues its approach, but Sonnen fires a shot at point blank range and destroys it. Czariano then smacks the Hildolfr with his machine gun and tells Sonnen he was just lucky. Sonnen uses his stabilizing arms to knock Czariano away, but Czariano slams his rifle through the Hildolfr's head and fires a single round. The Hildolfr stops moving, and Czariano limps his damaged Zaku toward the Komusai to finish it off. Although mortally wounded, Sonnen fires one last shot and blows Czariano to pieces. Sonnen wonders if he can still fight and dies. Oliver says that even if soldiers degrade, they're not wild dogs, and Monique asks if they're any better than wild dogs when they die. Several days later, Oliver writes his report about the Hildolfr on the Jotunheim. He reports that Sonnen successfully destroyed six Zakus, and that the data obtained should overturn the previous rejection of the Hildolfr two years earlier.

 

Commentary

 

With this episode MS IGLOO gives us another look at events from the One Year War that occurred before the original series. Last time we saw the famous Battle of Loum, but this time it's a small Earth-based desert battle reminiscent of The 08th M.S. Team. At this point in the war, it's still a few months before the introduction of the GM, so it's not surprising that Federation pilots like Czariano are using stolen Zakus. Also, his tactic of infiltrating Zeon supply bases and destroying them works very well. Oliver doesn't get to do much in this episode, but being caught up in the battle probably puts him closer to the fighting than he's ever been. A lot of the focus here is on Sonnen, a pill popping disgraced soldier. You can see that he's staking his whole future on the Hildolfr's testing, and though he's successful, it comes at the cost of his own life. Even though he did beat the Zakus, his victory doesn't count for much. As Oliver notes, the Zeon are desperate and are sending everything to battle regardless of its abilities. In the end, the Hildolfr just joins the long line of failed mobile armors and weird mobile suits.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
Spacer

 

Gundam MS IGLOO Episode 2 Gundam MS IGLOO Episode 2

image

Buy the collection (all IGLOO series) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
image

image

image

image

image

imageimage

image
image
image
imageimage