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Phase 34: Nightmare

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 15, 2005

 

Summary

 

As Durandal makes his announcement revealing the existence of Logos, Yuna tells Unato that Durandal named many prominent Orb families. On the Archangel, Cagalli comments that nearly every country in the world is somehow connected to Logos. Durandal meets with the Supreme Council to explain the reasoning behind his broadcast. The Council debates the issue, and all the chairpersons decide to support Durandal. Kira tells Murrue that he thinks they should go back to Orb because he feels something is going to happen. The Archangel takes off and is spotted by an AWACS DINN, which relays the information to a land battleship commanded by a man named Willard. On the Minerva, Talia receives new orders that indicate they are to assist in Operation Angel Down. As the Archangel heads for the ocean, it comes under attack from several BuCUEs. In the air, the Freedom Gundam fights off several BABIs and disables them. Using data from the AWACS DINN, Willard's battleship fires its cannons at the Archangel. Amagi asks for permission to make direct hits or to at least use the Murasames, but Murrue refuses. She says it could be ZAFT's objective to trick them into a fight, and she has vowed to return every Murasame to Orb. The land battleship unleashes a barrage of missiles against the Archangel, but Kira fires all his weapons and destroys them. One of the ZAFT officers wants to attack with all their forces, but Willard cautions that haste isn't productive. Besides, he wants to hold back and let the Minerva do most of the fighting because they're ZAFT's aces. On the Minerva, Athrun argues with Talia about why they have to attack the Archangel. She tells him that ZAFT believes the Archangel is a menace because it brings confusion to the battlefield with an unknown purpose. Athrun objects, and Talia says she understands that he doesn't want to fight his former comrades. However, she says that people and situations change over time, and she asks him if he hasn't changed himself. She tells him to stop holding onto the past and re-examine the situation. Arthur calls down and informs Talia that they'll be arriving at the battle soon. Talia tells Athrun that if he doesn't want to watch the fight he should stay in his quarters. In the pilot's ready room, Rey reassures Shinn that he can defeat Kira. Athrun enters the room and addresses Shinn, but Shinn ignores him and heads to the hangar when the battle alert is announced.

 

The Minerva activates all its weapons and fires jamming warheads, which interfere with the Archangel's radar. Shinn launches in the Core Splendor and forms up to the Force Impulse. The Minerva appears in front of the Archangel and opens fire, but Neumann performs a quick emergency roll and flies over the Minerva. Shinn attacks Kira from above by firing his beam rifle. The Minerva turns around to follow the Archangel, and Talia sees that the Archangel is deliberately avoiding hitting them directly. Talia hails the Archangel and announces that if the ship and its mobile suits surrender, she will stop the attack and guarantee the crew's safety. Willard overhears the transmission and is furious because ZAFT's orders are to destroy the Archangel. Murrue hails the Minerva, and both Arthur and Talia recognize her from Orb. Murrue thanks Talia for the offer, but she refuses and says the Archangel still has things to do in a world divided between the Alliance and ZAFT. Willard orders his mobile suits to renew their attack on the Archangel. Talia asks him what he's doing, and he tells her that if she won't destroy the Archangel, he will. His landship begins moving and opens fire on the Archangel. Kira attempts to return to the Archangel, but Shinn presses the attack. Kira fires at the Force Impulse's head, but Shinn dodges. He then goes into SEED mode and dodges Kira's attacks on his arm and head. He tosses his shield at Kira and fires his beam rifle, and the blast bounces off the shield and damages the Freedom Gundam's left shoulder. Shinn recalls Rey's analysis that Kira always disables mobile suits and never attacks the cockpit. The two then attack each other with beam sabers, and Kira slices off the Force Impulse's head and left arm. Shinn calls the Minerva to send out a replacement Chest Flyer and Force Silhouette. He then separates and has the Chest Flyer and Force Silhouette slam into the Freedom Gundam. He fires his vulcans and destroys the top half. As Kira crashes into the ground, Shinn docks with the replacement parts. Shinn continues the attack and blames Kira for killing Stella. Kira slashes at the Impulse Gundam's torso, but Shinn ejects the Leg Flyer and swoops behind Kira, destroying the Freedom Gundam's left wing. He then recombines and fires his beam rifle, destroying Kira's rifle. Shinn calls the Minerva and requests the Sword Silhouette. As the Archangel approaches the ocean, Cagalli asks for permission to launch in the Aile Strike Rouge, but Murrue refuses. Shinn flies along the Sword Silhouette Flyer and tosses a beam boomerang at Kira, knocking him away. As the Archangel submerges in the water, the Minerva fires the Tannhauser and hits the water. Shinn grabs one of the Excalibur swords and slams it through the Freedom Gundam's shield and torso. The Freedom Gundam then explodes, and the shockwave from the Tannhauser blast rocks the Minerva. As the smoke clears, Shinn laughs over his victory. Athrun is shocked when he looks at the image on the monitor and sees the Freedom Gundam's remains in the water in front of Shinn.

 

Commentary

 

This episode featured the long-awaited confrontation between Shinn and Kira. It's been building up for quite a while, with Kira being indirectly responsible for Heine's death, along with being the direct cause of Stella's death. In SEED, most of the battles between Kira and Athrun weren't very exciting because neither of them wanted to fight each other. That only changed with the deaths of Nicol and Tolle. Here, Shinn is determined to kill Kira and has planned extensively. For all his rage, even Yzak couldn't do what Shinn did. Knowing that the Impulse Gundam is no match for the Freedom Gundam's power, Shinn took advantage of Kira's predictable tactics and made creative use of the Impulse Gundam's parts. His attacks are very much like the tactics used by Uso Evin in Victory Gundam. For his part, Kira lost because he fought too predictably and underestimated Shinn. The thrill and tension of this episode is somewhat lessened by the knowledge that Kira will survive and return to pilot the Strike Freedom Gundam. In SEED, Kira's miraculous survival was somewhat reasonably explained because he was rescued by ASTRAY star Lowe Guele. I wonder if it will be said this time that DESTINY ASTRAY star Jess Rabble just happened to be filming the battle and rescued Kira. Only time will tell how Kira will make the impossible possible.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 34 Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 34
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