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Episode 2: Artesia's Sorrow

 

Review by Chris Guanche

December 17, 2015

 

Summary

 

In UC 0071, Casval and Artesia live in Andalusia, Spain, with the wealthy Don Teabolo Mass, who has adopted them and given them the pseudonyms Edouard and Sayla. Sayla occupies her time by volunteering and helping refugees from North Africa. Teabolo speaks to the Federation High Commissioner for Refugees about his initial reluctance to take them in, but now he sees what it’s like to have a family. Artesia ignores a maid’s pleas to disinfect herself and changes into a swimsuit before jumping into a pool. Jimba lectures Edouard about Zeon and the Newtype theory, but Edouard is distracted and ignores the old man. Jimba rants about how Newtypes will achieve understanding as the evolution of humanity. Teabolo sees the commissioner off after agreeing to grant additional land to house refugees. Jimba moves on to ranting about how the Zabis want to rebrand Munzo to Zeon, even though they were the ones who murdered him. Sayla comes in from the pool and tells Edouard she doesn’t feel good, so he checks and finds she has a fever. A butler walks in and informs Jimba that his visitor has arrived. Later, Teabolo yells at Jimba for meeting with a man named Chelsea, an executive VP at Anaheim Electronics. Teabolo picks Jimba up and drags him to his office, where he demands to know what’s happening. He assumes that Jimba wants to organize armed resistance against Side 3, which he says won’t work, but Jimba counters that there’s no way to know until they try. Jimba notes that Anaheim has offered funding, weapons and lobbying of key Federation officials, plus they have the Deikun children on their side. Teabolo points out that he adopted the children as his own, which Jimba insists was a temporary arrangement. Teabolo tells him he can leave, and that if Jimba’s resolve is so strong he’ll renounce his parental rights and pretend the last three years never happened. Jimba relents and says that Teabolo is the only person they can rely on, and Teabolo tells him that Anaheim only cares about profit. Jimba cries and says he wanted to take the chance on defeating the Zabis. He says that’s his dream and asks if he’s to be denied even having his dreams.

 

Sayla writes a letter to Astraia on the occasion of the 43rd full moon since their parting. After she learned that there’s a month between each full moon, she thought her mother was cruel, but now she’s almost halfway to the 100 that Astraia promised would pass before their reunion. She continues to feel ill, so a doctor examines her and concludes that it appears to be a cold, but could also be Sahara Fever contracted from a refugee. Edouard vows to stay by her side until the morning, which the doctor thinks will help. Later, Edouard dozes off while reading and snaps back to attention when he notices that all the dogs have stopped barking. Outside, several gunmen storm the mansion and start killing Teabolo’s staff. Teabolo wakes up in his chair just before a man in a suit of armor charges into his room and attacks with a sword. Teabolo falls against a window, and his massive weight causes the window to break and sends him flying through it. Edouard takes Sayla up a stairwell, and they hide when the man in armor walks by. The man in armor stabs Jimba with the sword and kills him. He then smashes the door into Sayla’s room and finds it empty. Edouard grabs a sword on display and tries to climb another stairwell, but the man in armor attacks him. Edouard duels the man while trying to keep Sayla safe behind him. The fight moves onto a wooden platform, which the man in armor tries to break. In the confusion, Edouard stabs him through the slit in his visor and them pushes him  over the balcony, sending him to his death. Afterward, police inspectors speculate that the attack was too big for average thieves. They're surprised by the arrival of Shu Yashima, CEO of the Yashima Company.

 

Yashima visits the heavily injured Teabolo, who thinks the Zabis planned the attack due to Jimba having contacted Anaheim. Teabolo blames himself for letting his guard down and says he can no longer protect Edouard and Sayla. Yashima suggests that they go to Loum and live in the Texas Colony that he owns. It failed as a Texas-style theme park, so Yashima bought it and resumed construction. Yashima thinks it would be a sign of submission to the Zabis because Side 5 is so close to Side 3 and easily watched. Teabolo starts crying and thanks Yashima, so Yashima's young daughter Mirai wipes away his tears with a handkerchief. As the Yashimas leave, Mirai sees Edouard and Sayla in a window. On Side 3, Gihren asks Kycilia about Jimba's assassination and criticizes her efforts for not succeeding with Casval and Artesia. Degwin asks Garma to ride with him and notes Dozle's absence, which Gihren explains by saying something important came up. At Club Eden, Hamon sings for the crowd while Ramba watches and drinks. Her performance is interrupted when drunk Federation soldiers demand karaoke and one of them seizes her mic. Ral attacks and singlehandedly takes on six soldiers, beating them all up. The fight ends when Dozle arrives and asks Ramba for a favor. Ramba and Hamon accompany Dozle to a secret colony where they meet with Sgt. Gaia. Ramba watches a test for the experimental Mobile Worker Model 01 Early Type conducted by pilot Ortega. Ramba asks what it is, and Dozle explains that it'll help them crush the Federation. The test begins with Ortega building up speed and running towards an attacking Guntank. Ortega uses his shield to block the Guntank's weapons fire and gets in close enough to attack with his claw arm, destroying the target. Elsewhere, young Amuro Ray chases his new Haro toy at a spaceport and hurries to catch up with his father, Tem. Sayla watches with amusement as Edouard makes note of all the Zabi agents watching them board their shuttle. A sickly Astraia receives a visit from Hamon and is surprised to hear that Roselucia is dead. She doesn't know anything about the outside world, so Hamon tells her that Artesia and Casval were adopted by Teabolo Mass. Astraia thinks back to her time at Club Eden and how she met Zeon. She doesn't regret anything that's happened to her, but she wishes for one more night with her children. Ramba pilots a Mobile Worker Late Type in a duel against fellow pilot Mash. Ramba and Mash bash each other with their claws, but Ramba decapitates Mash's unit and wins. Dozle is impressed, but Ramba complains about the cockpit and manipulators, which Dozle promises to fix in the next prototype. Ramba limps over to the club and talks to Hamon about being Dozle's dog now. Hamon mentions visiting Astraia, which she assumes was made possible by Dozle. Hamon cries over Astraia's poor health and impending death.

 

Elsewhere, the Masses reach Texas Colony and arrive at a hotel run by Roger and Michelle Aznable. Edouard and Sayla go out for a horse ride and get separated. Sayla is impressed by Edouard's sudden show of skill, until she sees that it's not actually Edouard, but rather Char Aznable. Sayla is amazed by how Char and Edouard look completely identical aside from their eye color. Char gives Sayla tips on how to ride her horse correctly and make him trot and canter. Char points out the Center Village where he lives and introduces himself to Edouard. Later on, Sayla writes a letter to Astraia detailing her new life in Texas Colony. She mentions how Char has been showing her how to ride a horse, but she's interrupted when Edouard walks into the room with news that Astraia is dead. Sayla reads the letter from Hamon and cries. A nameless gravestone for Astraia is erected by the lake shore inside Texas Colony. Teabolo notices that Artesia is spending all her time by the grave now and tells the Aznables that he wishes he could put Astraia's name on it, but there's no telling who could see it. Later, Teabolo heads into Center Village for a meeting with the school headmaster and tells Edouard and Sayla to wait for him with the Aznables at their bar. The headmaster tells Teabolo that he's terrified of Edouard and wants him to move on to high school. He says that while Edouard has many great qualities, there's a coldness to him, which upsets Teabolo. At the bar, Char keeps his eye on a man who has been watching him. Teabolo complains to Roger about the situation and suggests that Edouard and Char go to school together, but Roger reveals that Char dropped out of school to take the entrance exam for Munzo's military academy. Edouard confronts the man and starts a fight by pouring beer on his head. Edouard kicks the man into the street, and Teabolo is reminded of the headmaster's words when he sees the look on Edouard's face. Edouard punches the man and is about to hit him with with a piece of wood with nails in it, but Sayla yells at him to stop. She says that this won't make mother happy and that she hates him when he's like this. Edouard apologizes and says he won't do it again. At night, Sayla notices that Lucifer is acting strangely and decides to take him to the vet in the morning. Char returns for dinner and is overly excited about being accepted to the Zeon academy. Char spouts Gihren's propaganda about Spacenoids until Roger tells him to stop. Sayla returns to her room and is shocked to find Lucifer dead. Lucifer is buried next to Astraia's grave, and she tells him to keep Astraia company. Edouard tells Sayla that they won't see each other for a while because he's leaving to go to Loum's main school. Sayla asks why everyone leaves her and cries as she runs after Edouard.

 

Commentary

 

The second episode of The Origin adapts the rest of volume five of the manga, save for the last chapter detailing how Edouard gets into Zeon and adopts his most famous of many aliases. This episode picks up three years after the first, with Casval and Artesia living a quiet life on Earth with new names as the children of Don Teabolo Mass. This explains where their pseudonyms came from, but it also gives us a glimpse of the best chance they had for a normal life. You can see that Teabolo genuinely loves them as though they were his own children, and that's one of the strongest aspects of the episode. Unfortunately, it's all ruined by the madness of Jimba and his insane plan to fight the Zabis with Anaheim's help. Teabolo, of course, is right that Anaheim doesn't care about Jimba's cause and is only out to make money. The very direct result of Jimba's indiscretion is the attack that leads to his death and injures Teabolo. However, the more subtle damage is the years he spent poisoning Edouard's mind and building the desire to get revenge on the Zabis. It's clear that Jimba doesn't care about the children and is only using them for his petty politics, which makes him an awful person. How differently might Edouard have turned out without Jimba's negative influence? I'm sure Teabolo wondered that after the fight on Texas Colony. This episode also features some minor cameos by Mirai and Amuro that are thankfully brief and not continuity-busting. Brining Texas Colony back into the story was a good move on Yas' part and adds to the drama of Char and Sayla's reunion there in the One Year War. We also get added context by seeing the flashback scene of Edouard's departure play out. Before, you knew Sayla was saddened by her brother's departure, but now it's compounded by the recent loss of her mother and cat. Outside of the Edouard/Sayla storyline, it's interesting to see Ramba return to the Zeon fold and have that tied to the early development of mobile suits, which at this point are so primitive compared to the combat units of UC 0079. I also like the link he and Hamon have to the children via Astraia, and Hamon's last visit to her old friend is well done. I'd suspect that Roselucia or the Zabis had her poisoned, because in a few years she went from being normal to on her deathbed. I'm sure Gihren and Kycilia think they're being clever with all their plotting, but the only thing they're really doing is adding fuel to the fire that becomes Char Aznable.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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