image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 1: Take Out That angel of death!

 

Review by Chris Guanche

February 22, 2009

 

Summary

 

On March 3, UC 0079, battleships from the Earth Federation Forces and Principality of Zeon trade fire in Earth orbit as Zeon's terrestrial invasion begins. On the ground, Zeon soldiers are joined by Zaku II mobile suits, giving them a considerable advantage over the Federation forces. Kycilia Zabi addresses her troops and outlines how Zeon will conquer the Earth. In subsequent operations, more Zeon troops descend to the surface and conquer more of the Earth. On April 26, two Dopp fighters fly patrol at night and come under fire from Federation anti-air missiles. One of the Dopps is destroyed by a missile, creating an angel of death. In Southern Europe, Ben Barberry thinks about a previous battle and scream out in anger. Papa Sydney Lewis, one of Barberry's men, informs him that he's being called by a superior officer. Barberry absentmindedly crosses the dirt road and is nearly run over by a Type 61 tank. After yelling at the tank driver, he meets with Michele Colematta. Colematta tells Barberry that they'll be falling back 200 kilometers to get supplies from Matilda Ajan and build a stronger defense line. He wants Barberry to advance forward 50 kilometers with a new anti-mobile suit platoon and cover the battalion as it retreats. Barberry asks where his recruits are and isn't impressed by the men Colematta points out. Barberry says he lost most of his men in the last battle and asks if Colematta is doubting his command ability. Colematta says he's counting on Barberry's skills, and Barberry comments that people call him an angel of death who soaks up the blood of his own men. He pulls out the collection of dog tags from his fallen men, and Colematta points out that the real Angels of Death are the Zakus that come from the sky. Barberry wants to know why they can't use the Type 61s, and Colematta tells him his Zaku Hunters have a job to complete. As night falls, Barberry grumbles to himself about his orders and thinks about how badly things have gone since the Zakus appeared. As Lewis drives the jeep, Barberry thinks to himself that the anti-mobile suit missile "Regina" is just an anti-tank missile scaled up for mobile suits. Lewis asks what their orders are, and Barberry tells him they have to fight three Zakus. Lewis says he'd like for Zakus to disappear and notices that Barberry has fallen asleep. The angel of death finds Barberry and appears in his dream. Barberry thinks that he's in hell, and the angel of death tells him he keeps fighting in a hellish place despite losing all his men. Barberry thinks that he has to defeat the Zakus for the sake of his lost men. He then wakes up and is blinded by the sunlight.

 

Barberry's jeeps drive through the ruins of a town and stop because there's a large hole in the middle of the road from a collapsed quarry. After reaching the battlefield, the men unload the Reginas and begin setting them up behind rock emplacements. Barberry can't see the Zakus with binoculars, and Lewis gets intel over the radio that two have been spotted. Surveying the area, Barberry sees some of his men climbing a platform and yells at them to come down. When one of them complains about how long it took them to climb, Barberry asks Lewis how much training they've had and is shocked that the answer is two weeks. He asks them how they'll regroup if their shot misses, but he's interrupted when a soldier tells him a Zaku has been spotted. Barberry grabs his binoculars and sees a Federation cargo truck being chased by a Zaku. The other Zeon soldiers tell Zaku pilot Boehmer to not bother with such a small target, but he says the Federation is their enemy and shoots at the truck. Barberry signals all squads to target the Zaku and fire at his command. He wants the Zaku to get closer, and he's surprised when he sees a Federation soldier emerge from the blasted truck. The soldier runs toward them and is chased by the Zaku. The men ask for orders, but Barberry says the Zaku isn't close enough. Barberry tells them to hold fire, and the soldier trips and is stepped on by the Zaku. Boehmer cries and laments how pathetic he has become. He fires a flare, and another soldier tells him to hold out until they catch up. Barberry orders his squads to take aim at different parts of the Zaku, including the legs and backpack. The men on the platform fire early, giving Boehmer enough time to dodge. The rest of the shots hit his machine gun and legs. Barberry orders the third and fourth squads to switch and fire again. Another Zaku appears and begins firing to give Boehmer cover. The third squad is destroyed, and the Zaku throws a truck at Barberry's men. Another missile hits the head of Boehmer's Zaku and causes it to fall down again. The other Zaku opens fire at their defensive line and destroys the second squad. Barberry ducks for cover and sees that several of his men are dead. He gets a call from the men on the platform, who get killed with a heat hawk. Lewis jumps into a jeep to attack the Zaku over Barberry's objections. The jeep circles around the Zaku, which fires an anti-personnel mine that kills Lewis and the driver. Left alone, Barberry grabs a Regina and says the Earth belongs to them. As he takes aim, the angel of death tells him that's the spirit she's looking for. The Zaku fires leg missiles and begins to run toward Barberry, but it falls into a sinkhole. Barberry fires the Regina, and the missile takes out the Zaku. Barberry laments that he's the only survivor again and says he only sees Angels of Death everywhere. The ground shakes as the third Zaku emerges from its cover in a nearby hole. Barberry pulls out his gun and screams as he shoots at the Zaku. Later, the battle report records that Barberry was killed in action with a total of 13 MS kills.

 

Commentary

 

Although MS IGLOO 2 switches its focus from the Zeon to the Federation, it shares some similarities with its predecessor. For one, the ground combat in this episode features more realistic weapons that wouldn't look out of place in a World War II movie. In fact, IGLOO 2 has that same World War II documentary feel that the original had. Although the Federation soldiers depicted in this episode aren't testing experimental equipment, they are using weapons that have been hastily assembled, similar to their IGLOO counterparts. Thankfully, the pro-Zeon, Nazi-evoking propaganda feel isn't present in this episode, although there are some strange things in its place. I'm not sure if this angel of death is supposed to be part of some Newtype phenomenon, or if it's actually a ghost seeking battle-hardened men like Barberry. Attentive viewers will notice a reference to the original Gundam series when Colematta mentions Matilda and her supply team. Given that so much of Gundam focuses on mobile suits fighting each other, it's nice to see ground soldiers fight on their own, without even the benefit of a tank. Unfortunately, they all die to a man, including Barberry, which continues one of the cliches from the original IGLOO. Since Barberry has been killed, I presume subsequent episodes will feature guest protagonists who will also die. It's kind of a shame because Barberry, a man haunted by what he's experienced in war, was a welcome change from Gundam's typical youthful accidental soldier.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

 

Gundam MS IGLOO 2 Episode 1 Gundam MS IGLOO 2 Episode 1

image

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

image

image

image

image

imageimage

image
image
image
imageimage