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Episode 1: Lacroan Hero

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 8, 2006

 

Summary

 

In the sky, a strange force separates into two balls of light that go off in different directions. In the Kingdom of Lacroa, Princess Fraw is attacked by Zeon monsters while walking through the forest. Luckily, she's rescued by the knightly Gundam, who defeats the Zeon monsters. Gundam tells Fraw that he doesn't remember anything except his name, so Fraw tells him he should stay with her since he saved her life. Fraw and Gundam return to town and find that there has been a large battle. Knight Amuro explains to Fraw that all over the kingdom, Zeon monsters under the command of Demon King Satan Gundam have been attacking people. Gundam is shocked to hear the name and wonders if he's somehow related to Satan Gundam. Fraw returns to the castle and introduces Gundam to her father, King Revil. Revil says there's a prophecy that Gundam will save Lacroa from evil, so there's no way for there to be two Gundams. Gundam vows he will fight to return peace to the kingdom, so Revil bestows the title of Knight Gundam onto him. Priest Guntank enters the room and moves Revil's throne, revealing a broken stone tablet. Revil says the tablet contains an ancient spell, but unfortunately a piece is missing. Knight Gundam, Amuro, Guntank and Warrior Guncannon set out on a quest to find the tablet piece and fight Satan Gundam. In the forest, Knight Char appears and steals the tablet. As the party chases Char, they come under attack from Zeon monsters. Guntank fights off a Dom while Knight Gundam and Guncannon fight aquatic monsters and Amuro attacks a Baund-Doc. In the forest, Elf GM Sniper Custom jumps out of the trees and fires his crossbow at the Dom to help Guntank. Amuro defeats the Baund-Doc, and Knight Gundam and Guncannon defeat the aquatic monsters. Elf GM asks to join their party and says he knows of a dungeon where a tablet piece is said to be stored. The party proceeds and finds the dungeon, which is filled with slime creatures. The slimes overwhelm the party and carry them off, separating them. Heading down one tunnel, Guncannon and Elf GM are attacked by a crazed Geara Doga. In the other tunnel, a slime holding a tablet fragment guides Amuro to the exit. As Amuro climbs out, a Gyan grabs the slime and knocks Amuro back into the tunnel. Knight Gundam and Guntank emerge from the tunnel and are attacked from behind by a Gouf. In the tunnel, Elf GM fires an arrow tied to a rope so they can escape, and Guncannon slices the Geara Doga to pieces with his axe. On the surface, Char attacks the Gyan from behind with his horse and grabs the tablet piece. The Gyan and Gouf escape, and Char declares that he'll defeat Satan Gundam and become ruler of the world. Knight Gundam counters that those beliefs are wrong and attacks Char, but Char threatens to kill the slime. Suddenly, Amuro emerges from the tunnel with a horde of slimes, and the slime takes back the tablet piece from Char. Amuro calls for his flying Pegasus, which carries everyone to safety.

 

The party thank the slime for getting the tablet piece back, but they tell it not to follow them because it's dangerous. They head forth to Satan Gundam's castle, but the slime follows them anyway. At the castle, an image of Sorceress Lalah appears and tells the party they might as well leave because they'll never win. They burst through the gates and are attacked by a Zeon knight, but Elf GM takes him on. At the top of a flight of stairs a Zeong attacks, but Amuro rams into it with the Pegasus. Another enemy appears, but Guncannon stays behind to fight it. Knight Gundam and Guntank race to one of the castle's towers and are greeted by Satan Gundam. Satan Gundam tells them that they can't ever beat him and that the weak are destined to be killed by the mighty. He zaps Guntank with magic and blasts him through one of the tower's walls. Knight Gundam says he won't forgive Satan Gundam for dishonoring the Gundam name and attacks. As they struggle, the slime appears and bites Satan Gundam. Outside, Guntank climbs out of the rubble and is confronted by Lalah. As she is about to cast a spell, Char rides by on his horse. She wonders if he's looking for his sister, but he says it's none of her business. Char rides up to the tower, where Knight Gundam is under attack from Satan Gundam's magic. He sees the tablet piece and combines it with his own, but it burns his hands. The tablet begins to float in the air, and Char realizes that Knight Gundam is the chosen hero. Knight Gundam reads the spell on the tablet, which upgrades his sword and shield. A blast of energy from his sword destroys the roof, and another blast of energy comes down from the sky and hits Knight Gundam, which upgrades his armor. Knight Gundam then stabs the crest in Satan Gundam's v-fin, killing him. Suddenly, the slime magically transforms into Char's sister, Sayla. She says that they need to help everyone else, but Knight Gundam can't move because the three heavenly relics only appear when needed. Sayla and Char return to the castle and rescue Guntank, followed by Amuro. They knock the Zeong down the stairs, and Char kills it. He's about to kill the Zeon attacking Elf GM, but Amuro tells him their fight is over. Everyone returns to the tower and congratulates Knight Gundam, but Satan Gundam suddenly rises and powers up. Sayla tells Knight Gundam his body can't handle the relics again, but he casts the spell and powers up. As Satan Gundam casts his magic, the castle crumbles and everyone is tossed outside. Satan Gundam pummels Knight Gundam with magic, but Knight Gundam gathers his power and stabs Satan Gundam. They fall down near a pit of lava and Satan Gundam explodes, unleashing a river of lava. Char thinks his ambition to become a hero is over, so he rides off. Knight Gundam emerges from the lava pit, and the party heads home. In Lacroa, Revil is shocked when he sees a dark shadow approaching.

 

Commentary

 

The world of SD Gundam takes another crazy turn with this OVA series. Basically, it's a play on the standard fantasy story. Here we have the mysterious hero, who is prophesied to fight evil and save the fair kingdom. Of course, he's accompanied by a party of adventurers, and they'll face many trials on their quest. You can draw parallels to this and SD Gundam Mk II, which featured a fantasy parody. However, that parody focused more on comedy and specifically targeted RPGs of the day like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. There's not as many laughs in this series, but it's an enjoyable diversion nonetheless.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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SD Gundam Gaiden Episode 1 SD Gundam Gaiden Episode 1
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