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Episode 26: Rising on Earth

 

Review by Chris Guanche

March 30, 2015

 

Summary

 

The G-Self descends into the atmosphere over the Guiana Highlands, and Bellri spots Luin's Kabakali and Manny's G-Rach nearby. Klim's Dahack and Mick's Trinity also complete re-entry and are targeted by Kun's Mazraster and Chickara's Gastima. Aida launches from the Megafauna in the G-Arcane and joins up with Raraiya and Noredo's G-Lucifer. Aida is surprised to see that another Amerian fleet is in the area, including several Crocodile ships and a second Rattle-Python. Jugan's Doubey ejects its ballutes and flies ahead of the Bruzin, which has also entered the atmosphere. Manny attacks Bellri with the G-Rach's close-range centipede, but he dodges and picks up the Garanden on his sensors. The ship comes under fire from the Amerian fleet, so the captain decides to retreat. Wilmit guides the glider through the battle, and Luin tells Manny to help the Garanden. Bellri decides to try and stop the fleets from fighting, but Luin yells that he'll become a dictator someday and attacks with his beam rings. Bellri counterattacks with omnidirectional lasers, which allows him to break free and destroy the Kabakali's knee shields. Mick deploys her funnels and carelessly loses an arm and leg to Kun and Chickara. The Bruzin launches Wuxias and Langebains with orders to assist the Garanden by attacking the Amerian fleet and its Jahannams. Raraiya holds Aida back and flies over to where the Amerian fleet is. Wilmit brings the glider in for a rough landing above one of the flat top mountains so that Cumpa can watch the battle's progress. Kun and Chickara destroy a Crocodile before turning their attention back to Klim and Mick. Raraiya tells Noredo that the adults on the Rattle-Python are acting like they're using a toy, so she fires her weapons and destroys the ship. Bellri lands on the ground and moves into the jungle to hide from Luin, who vows to kill Bellri for the sake of his Kuntala pride. The G-Self's shield drops, and Luin figures that Bellri is out of power.

 

Bellri manages to deploy a track fin to attack as he retreats into a hole in the ground caused by a cave-in. Kun uses her beam whips to grab onto the Trinity, but Klim's quadruple beam sabers are able to cut her free. He then uses his beam shields as a barrier and blasts the Gastima, killing Chickara. Mick slices off one of the Mazraster's arms, but Klim stops her from giving chase due to the damage the Trinity has suffered. Wilmit uses binoculars to desperately search for Bellri and wonders if he's dead. Bellri activates his photon searcher so that he can find high power reading sources and disable those ships, thus ending the battle. Bellri jumps through the jungle and comes under fire from Manny, who forces him into a tight cave that she can't follow in. She cries about not being able to help Luin, but he proceeds on his own. Luin spots two ancient Zeon Z'Goks and finds himself in the underground ruins of Jaburo. Luin opens fire in multiple spots to flush Bellri out, and Bellri loses a binder before flying out of a waterfall. Ringo's Moran destroys Jugan's Doubey, and Bellri lands near Wilmit. Kun moves in to attack and crashes into the glider, pushing it and Cumpa over the cliff to his death. Bellri uses his tractor beam to freeze Kun in place and says he won't attack anymore. He asks if she understands what that means, and she does. Luin flies out of the hole and attacks again, so Bellri deploys his other track fin. Bellri and Luin damage each other's units before Bellri ejects in the Core Fighter. Aida addresses the Amerian ships and orders them to pick up all the survivors. Wilmit runs over to see Bellri when he lands the Core Fighter. Later, at the Capital Tower, Flaminia runs on the open ground without her body suit and speaks with Aida. Bellri uses a Grimoire to give Aida, Flaminia and Noredo a lift to the Megafauna and Crescent Ship, which now has Steer as a pilot. The Crescent Ship takes off for a trip around the world, and Luin camps with Manny. In Ameria, Zucchini gives a public speech where he claims that Klim died for his country. Klim wants to crush his father, so Steer flies low enough to smash the stage. Later, Mick says goodbye to Kun, who is visibly pregnant and wants to name her son Kia Mbeki Jr. Noredo runs around in a panic while looking for Bellri and is told he got off in Japan and left her in charge of Chuchumy. Bellri rides a Shank and follows a trail to the top of Mt. Fuji. He decides that he'll cross the sea to the mainland as he travels around the world.

 

Commentary

 

Reconguista ends with a battle that started in space and moved to Earth, much like Victory Gundam. It takes place over the Guiana Highlands, which was a featured location in G Gundam. And the discovery of Z'Goks and the ruins of Jaburo is a callback to the original series. However, this episode (and the series itself) are populated with issues. This episode tosses in several deaths, including Jugan, Cumpa and Chickara, although Mick seemed for a moment like she would join them. A second Amerian fleet appears out of nowhere and doesn't do much, considering they would've been more help in space. Jugan flew around in a Doubey doing nothing other than being perfectly positioned to die. There's a lot of hide-and-seek between Bellri and Luin, with the end result being that Bellri wins without killing his rival. And then the two of them become backpackers. There's a lot left unexplained by this finale, and some of it is pretty critical information. With major figures like Jugan, Cumpa and Dorette dead, what happens to the world and how do all these states interact? Why did Zucchini blatantly lie about Klim when he wasn't dead? What was the end goal of the Dorette Fleet's Reconguista? Was it the simple subjugation and colonization of Earth, or did they plan genocide like Spacenoids have done in the past? I feel like this series suffered from pacing problems early on that caused events in the later half to develop too quickly. Tomino approached a 26 episode series with the pacing of a 50 episode one, which is why the first 10 episodes spent so much time fighting the Capital Army and leaving other factions (specifically Towasanga) underdeveloped.

 

I also never quite bought Luin as Bellri's rival, since there's no visible incident that turns him against his friend. He simply turns up as Mask one day and starts ranting about his Kuntala pride and Bellri becoming a dictator. Similarly, as mentioned before, I don't buy Manny's turn against her friends simply out of love for Luin. Sure, it's a dumb teenage thing to do, but it still comes out of nowhere. In the end, you have to wonder what the point of this war was. I didn't come to the series expecting it to tie together the UC era and Turn A Gundam, but I was hoping for a bit more insight into the world and its history. Instead we get some half-baked factions and a lot of interesting background details that don't get enough focus. This whole situation was engineered by Cumpa, but we never learn what his endgame is or see him take any steps toward it. As for the characters, Bellri doesn't seem to particularly change much from beginning to end, although Aida certainly matured from the impulsive and irrational person she was at the start. In the end, I think Reconguista served up a bunch of episodes that were entertaining when taken individually, but they don't form a cohesive whole. There are a lot of missed opportunities here in terms of story and character, but at least it excelled in visual and mobile suit design. If this series is Tomino's final entry in Gundam, I would've rather he'd gone out with Turn A Gundam instead.

 

Overall Rating

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Reconguista Episode 26 Gundam Reconguista Episode 26

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