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Phase 23: The Shadows of War

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 27, 2005

 

Summary

 

The Minerva makes an emergency landing on the water following the destruction of the Tannhauser by Kira. As the Archangel pulls in behind Kira, Cagalli launches in the Aile Strike Rouge. She hails the Orb fleet and demands that they cease all hostilities and retreat from the battlefield. Cagalli recalls being on the Archangel's bridge when the news came in about the Orb fleet. Kira mentioned that Cagalli was the one who agreed to have Orb become an Alliance ally, but she didn't think it would turn out this way. Murrue commented that maybe the current situation wouldn't have happened if Cagalli were in Orb, but Kira believed it would've turned out the same. He didn't think Cagalli as she was then could've handled the Alliance. Cagalli asked Kira to launch because she didn't want Orb or anyone else to participate in those kinds of battles. With everyone on the battlefield confused, Neo calls Yuna and demands an explanation. Cagalli repeats her demand for the Orb fleet to retreat, and Yuna stumbles over an explanation before finally declaring Cagalli to be an impostor. Todaka asks him how he could do something like that, and Yuna explains that if he doesn't do something they'll be attacked by the Alliance fleet at their rear. He says he came all this way for Orb's sake and can't suddenly just back down. The Orb fleet fires missiles at the Aile Strike Rouge, but Kira jumps in front of Cagalli and destroys all the missiles. The Orb fleet opens fire on the Archangel as well, and Neo gives the signal for all his forces to launch. Shinn takes on the Jet Windams attacking the Minerva while Athrun engages Sting's Chaos Gundam. Talia orders the three remaining mobile suits to launch. Heine takes off in his GOUF Ignited, while Lunamaria and Rey position themselves in their ZAKUs on the Minerva's deck to fend off any attackers.

 

Yuna yells at Todaka and tells him to destroy the Minerva and Archangel before Neo bothers them. He says they have to destroy the Archangel because it is has always been the cause of chaos in Orb. As the fighting continues, Kira tells Cagalli that they can't do anything else about it. The Orb pilots are told that Cagalli is an impostor and that they will be joining with the Alliance mobile suits in the assault. Shinn attacks several Windams while Heine destroys a few Murasames. Stella shoots at Athrun from the deck of the John Paul Jones while Shinn dodges attacks from Auel in the water and Sting in the air. Kira calls Andy and asks him to protect Cagalli and the Archangel. Andy leaves the bridge and launches in his gold-colored Murasame. He tells Cagalli that if she isn't going to fight she should pull back. He asks her what will happen to Orb if she gets shot down. Heine whips a Windam with his heat rod and destroys it. He then whips the Gaia Gundam and destroys Stella's beam rifle. Cagalli floats in the air and thinks about a speech Uzumi made to the people of Orb before the Alliance invasion in C.E. 71. As she thinks about him talking of Orb's ideals she begins to cry. Several Windams approach the Minerva, but the Archangel fires and blocks their path. Talia wonders if the Archangel is trying something ridiculous like ending the battle. Kira flies around and fires the Freedom Gundam's weapons to disable the attacking Windams, Murasames and M1 Astrays. Andy destroys Murasames because he says he isn't as good as Kira. Shinn fires his beam rifle at Kira, but Kira cuts off the Force Impulse's right arm. Stella attacks Kira, but he cuts off her hands and knocks the Gaia Gundam away. Heine thinks Kira is a fool for engaging anyone in front of him. He fires his beam gun, and Kira cuts off his right arm. Athrun attempts to call Kira but can't break through the interference. Stella jumps into the air to attack Kira from behind with her beam sabers, but at the last second Heine gets in the way because he wants to attack Kira. Stella slices the GOUF Ignited in half and kills Heine, and Kira kicks her away. The Orb fleet fires a retreat signal, and Kira and the Archangel leave the battlefield.

 

Commentary

 

The battle continues with the odds stacked against the Minerva thanks to Kira's foolish intervention. The Strike Rouge returns to the battlefield, but Cagalli does nothing but float in the air and cry. Given the situation that Orb is in, did she honestly believe that Yuna wouldn't fire at her? If she wanted to oppose the Alliance's policies, she should've done it before allowing Yuna to sign a treaty with him. Now, simply stopping a battle is a naive idea that obviously didn't work. In terms of the actual fighting, it's all over the place. Shinn and Athrun don't do much, and it's nice to see Andy return to mobile suit combat. Heine shows that he is a skilled pilot, but it seems like he suddenly loses all combat ability when Kira arrives. Shinn does too, and it appears that everyone in this episode just foolishly freezes in fear of the Freedom Gundam. Heine's death was a waste because he was an interesting character and a good pilot. It would've been nice to see a new character develop, especially an ace who isn't using a Gundam. Heine did well in space against the Alliance, but I guess his luck ran out when Gundams entered the picture. Finally, I know I've mentioned this before, but really, I'm quite annoyed with seeing Uzumi AGAIN. How many times do we need to see this dead guy and hear his nonsense about Orb and its ideals?

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 23 Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 23
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