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Episode 17: Ashuramaru: the Old Rival Returns

 

Review by Chris Guanche

February 17, 2004

 

Summary

 

In the Dark Axis dimension, Commander punishes Zapper, Grappler and Destroyer for their repeated failures. Commander tells them they are no match for the Gundams, but he has found someone who is. He introduces the musha Gundam Ashuramaru from Ark. Zapper is confused because Ashuramaru is a Gundam, and Ashuramaru explains he was sent by his master Kibaomaru to serve the Dark Axis. Grappler tells Zapper that he's heard about musha Gundams switching sides and becoming evil. Ashuramaru knocks a group of Zakos off the Magna Musai, and Grappler tells him he may be tough, but he doesn't know the Gundam Force like they do. Ashuramaru says he doesn't care about the Gundam Force because he's only interested in Bakunetsumaru. The Magna Musai takes off and is followed by another musha Gundam, Cobramaru. In Neotopia, Bakunetsumaru polishes his sword in Shute's workshop. Shute and Captain show Bakunetsumaru their work in learning Ark's written language. Bakunetsumaru accidentally grabs Fenn and uses him to clean the sword. Zero appears and knocks Bakunetsumaru away. The two begin to fight again, and a log falls out of the sky and lands between them. Bakunetsumaru examines the writing on the log and runs off. Captain examines the log and determines that it's in the Ark language. He reds the message and says that its a challenge to a deathmatch on a bridge. Bakunetsumaru heads for the bridge on Entengo, and Shute and the others decide to follow. On the bridge, Cobramaru tells Ashuramaru his intention is conquest, not revenge. Ashuramaru answers that his intention is both. Bakunetsumaru arrives and recognizes Ashuramaru as Kojakumaru. He sees the Dark Axis crest on his armor and realizes he's become a traitor. Ashuramaru attacks, despite Bakunetsumaru's protests. He jumps into the air, but Ashuramaru knocks him down. Ashuramaru calls him a coward, and Bakunetsumaru draws his swords to fight. Shute arrives and wants to intervene, but Bakunetsumaru refuses.

 

The two rush at each other, and Bakunetsumaru jumps over Ashuramaru and attacks him from behind. They continue to attack each other with their swords, and Shute again insists on intervening. Entengo blocks him, and Zero and Captain explain that it's a matter of honor. Fenn spots something in a tree, and Zero thinks it might be a trap. As Bakunetsumaru continues to fight, Ashuramaru reveals his new power: four extra arms filled with weapons. He attacks, and Bakunetsumaru is barely able to fend it off. Bakunetsumaru asks him why he has betrayed Ark, and he says it is because of Ark. He says that Ark is devastated and can no longer oppose the Dark Axis, so they must join with them. Bakunetsumaru says it is better for Ark to be free and ruined rather than safe and in the hands of Dark Axis. Shute hears Ashuramaru mention the Dark Axis, and he says it's no longer a personal feud. Captain agrees and calls for his re-equip ring. Ashuramaru says he has become what he is because of their last duel. As Kojakumaru, he lost a duel to the death but was spared. Then, Kibaomaru came to him and offered him more power and a new name. As they fight in the air, Ashuramaru knocks Bakunetsumaru into the ground. He tells Bakunetsumaru that he's a fool who should have killed him when he had a chance. Bakunetsumaru says he had no desire to fight then or now, but he will fight. Ashuramaru begins a spinning drill attack, and one of Bakunetsumaru's swords is destroyed while blocking. Ashuramaru attacks again, but Captain jumps in and takes the brunt of the attack. Ashuramaru moves in again, and Bakunetsumaru jumps into the air and slices into one of his legs. Shute tells them to stop, and Ashuramaru decides to withdraw and continue their fight another day. He jumps off the bridge, and two Gunperrys arrive to airlift Captain and Bakunetsumaru to the SDG base. Unbeknownst to them, Cobramaru is hitching a ride underneath one of the Gunperrys. On the Zako Zako Hour, the Zakos discuss what musha Gundams are. They talk about Kibaomaru, a musha Gundam leader who is allied with the Dark Axis.

 

Commentary

 

Well, it looks like Commander is fed up with the continued failures of his ace trio. But instead of introducing Goofy Gelgoog or Gluttonous Gyan, we instead get Ashuramaru, the traitorous musha Gundam. He has a score to settle with Bakunetsumaru, and he intends to do so with a fight to the death. Why they previously fought is unclear, but we do see that Bakunetsumaru once considered him a friend. However, Ashuramaru is now allied with Kibaomaru and serves the Dark Axis. He's also far more powerful and seems to be too much for Bakunetsumaru to handle. The episode ends with Captain and Bakunetsumaru seriously injured. Also, the mysterious Cobramaru is a stowaway on the trip back to the SDG base. What sort of trouble will he cause there?

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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SD Gundam Force Episode 17 SD Gundam Force Episode 17
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