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Episode 3: Odessa, Storm of Steel!

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 25, 2009

 

Summary

 

As the Federation continues its pushback against the Zeon in Europe with Operation Odessa, Lt. Aline Nazon is released from prison. On November 8, Federation ground forces and GM Ground Type mobile suits engage in fierce fighting with the Zeon as they move toward M'quve at Odessa. The Federation ground forces are hit hard by a Zeon Dabude land battleship. After the battle, Colematta curses the Dabude and vows that it will be destroyed in the next day's battle. He then turns his attention to three arrive prototype Ground Assault Type Guntanks piloted by Aline, Milos Karppi and Drogba Khuzwayo. Colematta tells Aline and her men that he would've sent them back to prison if they were late. Colematta informs her that tomorrow they'll be launching an all-out attack on the Zeon to break the deadlock. Colematta is dismissive of the Guntanks, and Khuzwayo yells back that they've been busy fighting across Europe. Colematta mocks the Guntank and wonders if it can even be called a mobile suit. Later, Aline looks at the Moon from the top of the Guntank and recalls that its development was stopped after its specs were stolen. Inside the cockpit, she looks at a picture of herself and former partner Clyde Bettany. The Guntank's monitors are then filled with pictures of Bettany, and the angel of death emerges. She asks Aline why she burns with the flame of revenge, and Aline answers that it's all she has left. The angel of death says that she sees everything and tells Aline that she'll eventually die. Aline then wakes up and finds that it's already morning. GMs and Type 61 tanks move forward into the battle, with the Guntanks in the rear. Khuzwayo wonders how it was that they were able to find the enemy's position so accurately, and Karppi comments that the Zeon must have a traitor in their ranks. He then apologizes to Aline for saying that, but she tells him she doesn't care. Big Tray and Heavy Fork land battleships begin bombarding the Zeon lines, and Colematta orders his forces to advance. GMs run into a cloud of smoke generated from the Federation bombardment and immediately come under fire from Zaku IIs. Several fall into a pit filled with explosives that is detonated. One GM survives and is downed by explosives from Wappa hover bikes. Karppi wonders how they're supposed to provide backup, and Khuzwayo points out that they're usually in the lead. The Guntanks then move forward, and Aline spins around a Zaku to destroy it from the rear. She then uses her arm cannons to destroy several Magella Attack tanks. A Gouf Custom attacks from the side and is taken down the by the Guntanks and GMs. Aline gives Colematta the coordinates to the Zeon gun emplacements, and they're destroyed by an attack from the Big Tray.

 

Watching from a hover truck, Colematta is impressed by how the Guntanks are performing. The area near him is hit by artillery fire, and Aline realizes it's the Dabude. She then recalls how she was court-martialed for providing information to the Zeon and sentenced to life in prison. A Federation officer later told Aline that he had information on where Bettany had run off to after betraying them to the Zeon. Aline is convinced that Bettany is on the Dabude and blames him for taking away the Guntank and her future. The three Guntanks then fire missiles at the Dabude, which destroy several Zakus. The Guntanks storm past Zeon defenses, and Aline uses a flamethrower to take them out. A Zaku chases after Khuzwayo, but he drops several land mines and destroys it. He gets distracted by scoring a kill and is shot up by a Zaku I from the front. Khuzwayo then activates his self destruct and blows up along with the Zaku. Aline and Karppi then continue their assault on the Dabude, but Karppi is hit and loses an arm. Aline stops to destroy three attacking Zakus, and Karppi performs a kamikaze attack on the Dabude. Aline is almost hit by additional artillery fire and realizes it's not coming from the damaged Dabude. She speeds up a hill and spots another Dabude in the distance, but Colematta gives her orders to ignore the new Dabude. She asks why, and he tells her it's a direct order from headquarters. The Guntank loses power, and Aline wonders what she'll do if she stops now since she's been living for this. The angel of death appears and tells Aline to go, so she charges in. Colematta asks Aline for a situation report, but she ignores him. She fires missiles at several Magella Attacks and dodges fire from the Dabude and Zakus. Two Doms fire their bazookas and destroy one of the Guntank's treads. Aline destroys one at a distance and the second when it closes in for a melee attack. She then charges the Dabude again and is hit, crashing in front of it. The Dabude then comes to a stop and tries to pull back so that she can't kamikaze them. As Aline is about to pull the trigger, the angel of death stops her and asks if she really wants to do that. Bettany calls Aline, and she accuses him of using her and selling out to the Zeon. Bettany tries to explain things, but she thinks he's just pleading for his life. He can't believe she's alive, and she tells him she's been living for this day. Bettany tells Aline he didn't try to deceive her, and she activates the self destruct sequence. The Guntank then explodes, destroying the Dabude with it. Later, Aline's spirit wakes up outside the Guntank, and she wonders if she's alive. The angel of death then appears and asks Aline if she can hear the voice of the man who became a Zeon traitor and passed info back to the Federation. Aline then remembers Colematta's last order, and the angel of death reveals that Bettany was a double agent for the Federation. As Aline cries, the area is bombarded by artillery fire from the Big Tray and Heavy Fork.

 

Commentary

 

The Earth-based MS IGLOO 2 naturally comes to a close with the last significant Earth battle, Operation Odessa. By now, everyone knows the basic story of Odessa: the Federation starts to rally its forces against Zeon and eventually kicks them off Earth. In the original series, this was done with conventional weaponry, but The 08th M.S. Team retconned things by throwing GM Ground Types into the mix. Because this is the accepted account now, MS IGLOO 2 continues the retcon. This time, our doomed Federation soldier is Aline Nazon, who was sold out and left to rot in jail. She's filled with anger and bloodlust on the battlefield, which brings her to the attention of the angel of death. Like the other episodes, the only linking element here is the slimy commander, Colematta. Not surprisingly, Nazon's two cannon fodder underlings are both killed during the battle, and she ultimately sacrifices herself for nothing. It's somewhat reminiscent of an episode of Victory Gundam where two Zanscare pilots who are lovers end up killing each other over a misunderstanding. Overall, MS IGLOO 2 was a bit odd with its angel of death motif and the repetitious nature of one-episode protagonists, but it was still an entertaining series. Ground battles were all well done, especially in this episode. With the focus on the Federation, it's nice to see the Zeon again in their original portrayal, rather than the glorified Nazification from the first IGLOO series. The first IGLOO received an expansion after its original 3 episodes, and the ending of MS IGLOO 2 means its own expansion is a possibility.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam MS IGLOO 2 Episode 3 Gundam MS IGLOO 2 Episode 3

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