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∀ Gundam I: Earth Light

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 24, 2002

 

Summary

 

In CC 2343, several FLATs launch from the Moon and head to the Earth. One of the FLATs carries three Moonrace teenagers: Loran Cehack, Fran Doll and Keith Laijie. After landing on Earth and burying the FLAT, they split up and head off in different directions. Loran is attacked by a wolf, but he is saved by the sharpshooting skills of Guin Sard Rhineford, who is flying by in an airship. Loran then drowns in a river and is rescued by two sisters, Kihel and Sochie Heim. Afterwards, Loran and Sochie attend the Coming of Age Ceremony for Kihel and look at the ancient White Doll statue. Two years later, Loran meets with Fran and Keith, but Sochie is spying on him. Loran drives out to a field to dig up the FLAT, and Sochie follows him. A parade is to be held with Inglessa Militia out in full force. Loran goes into town with the Heims and meets with Keith again. During the parade, Sochie's friend Miashei Kune flies by in her father's Hip Heavy plane. Later that night, the Coming of Age Ceremony begins for Loran and Sochie. Kihel and her mother attend a party in the city of Nocis and Guin's Bostonia Castle. He shows her a wireless radio and explains that they have been negotiating with the Moonrace for two years. He says that the Moonrace want to come back to Earth and settle it. As the ceremony begins, Loran attaches leaches to Sochie's back. Suddenly, Moonrace Wodom suits descend from the sky and begin attacking Nocis and Vicinity. The White Doll statue crumbles, revealing the ancient mobile suit Turn A Gundam. Loran and Sochie get in, and the Turn A automatically fires its beam rifle at the Moonrace.

 

Afterwards, miner Sid Munzer and his assistant Joseph Yaht encounter the Turn A and wonder if it is related to the Dark History. Loran carries Sochie home on his back, and they are shocked to find that the house has been destroyed and that Sochie's father Diran is dead. Sochie is mad with grief, and Loran smacks her. After Diran is buried, Loran goes to a river to talk with Keith. Keith wants to stay out of the war and become a successful baker. Meanwhile, the Militia attacks the Moonrace and manages to disable several Wads. Loran walks through the forest and encounters Poe Aijee's Wodom. He identifies himself as Moonrace and is escorted back to the camp. He meets with Phil Ackman, Harry Ord and Commander Aji. Loran reports on what he has seen and faints. After he wakes up, he is taken to a meeting between the Moonrace and Guin. Aji demands that Guin hand over the Sunbelt Zone, and an old man named Enu assassinates Aji. Phil and Harry leave and vow that this will not be the end. Sid and Joseph excavate old mines and discover ancient Kapool mobile suits. Later, Loran and Kihel travel in an airship, and he tells Sochie and Miashei that it's pointless to fight with airplanes. Loran gets into the Turn A to prepare for the landing of Moonrace sovereign Dianna Soriel. Kihel rides in a train and is shocked to see that Sochie and Miashei are now Kapool pilots. At the airport, Dianna's flagship Soleil lands, and a ferry boat exits. Dianna steps out of it and introduces herself to Guin.

 

Dianna gets into a limo with her advisor Miran Rex and Guin. As they drive through Nocis, the Militia begins attacking. The limo is trapped, and Guin suggests they go to Bostonia Castle on foot. Loran searches the city and encounters Harry's SUMO. Before they can fight, Guin and Dianna show up. Dianna decides that she will have a party so that the Moonrace and people of Earth can interact and learn more about each other. Guin tells Loran that he wants him to dress up as a woman named Laura Rolla. Kihel instructs Loran how to be a proper lady. At the party, Loran is introduced to Dianna, and he asks her why battles are still being fought. She tells him she wants to end the battles. Keith brings in a cake, and to his surprise several Militia assassins jump out from the table and try to shoot Dianna. Loran chases them with the Turn A, but they are able to escape from him. Later, a Moonrace ship lands carrying insane criminal Corin Nander and his wingmen Bruno and Jacop. Dianna and Kihel change clothes and decides to switch their identities for fun. Sochie tells Guin that her mother is ill and that Kihel should see her. Guin says they are going to stop at Vicinity with the airship, and everyone boards it. Posing as Kihel, Dianna comforts delusional Mrs. Heim and cries in front of Diran's grave. Kihel cries and wonders what Dianna's intentions are.

 

After Dianna leaves, Guin tells Sochie and Loran that a spaceship has been discovered in the Kingsley Valley and that he wants them to help Sid with the excavation. Later, Militia officers Michael Gern and Yanny Oviess meet with Mallygan, an officer of the Luziana fiefdom's Militia. They agree to work together, and Mallygan introduces them to Gavane Goonny and his Suicide Squad, who pilot excavated Borjarnon mobile suits. Gavane introduces himself to Sochie and knows that she is the fearless Kapool pilot. Elsewhere, the Red Team, which is made up of Moonrace descendants like Cancer Kafka and Muron Muron joins the battle. Loran transports Dianna through a mountain and falls down when the Turn A is attacked. In Nocis, Keith tells Fran that he sold the FLAT so that he can make money for his bakery, and a battle suddenly begins. A massive force of Militia Hip Heavies and Bull Ones begins bombarding the Soleil. Harry launches in his SUMO to fight and is joined by the Red Team. Kihel orders the Soleil to take off, and it leaves the battle zone. Loran hides as Corin searches for him with his Eagail and Bruno and Jacop scout the surface with their Gozzos. Corin falls into a hole and finds Sid and his men working there. As Corin and Loran fight, Moonrace attacks devastate Nocis. Corin knocks Loran down to an underwater lava flow, and Dianna tells Corin to stop. Corin says he can't because he is fighting an evil Gundam. Loran knocks Corin down, and the Eagail falls into the lava and is destroyed. Afterwards, Guin tells Loran that the spaceship is to be named Willghem. He also says that they have been invited to a ceremony where the Moonrace will declare the founding of a nation. Later that night, Dianna wakes up Loran and reveals to him who she really is. Loran, Dianna, Sochie and Guin attend the ceremony, where he is joined by aristocratic Lily Borjarno. At a nearby town, Yanny disguises himself as a bartender to provide alcohol to the Moonrace, and he is joined by the beautiful assassin Teteth Halleh.

 

As preparations begin for the ceremony, Yanny and Teteth give the Moonrace wine that is 99% alcohol to get them drunk. Yanny sets alcohol on fire to create a smoke cloud and give Gavane the signal to attack. Gavane and his men Aims and John begin firing at the Soleil. Meanwhile, Teteth infiltrates the ship and tries to kill Kihel with a knife. Kihel thinks she has been sent by Agrippa Maintainer, who opposes the return to Earth and has taken over the Moon. Kihel dodges the attack, and Teteth escapes when Harry shows up. Loran and Dianna try to see Kihel, and she tells Harry to take them where Guin is. Kihel goes up to the stage and gives her speech. She says that during the Dark History the Earth became uninhabitable, so her ancestors went to the Moon. Now that two millennia have passed, she thinks it is time to rebuild the world. She says that the Moonrace and Earth people are the same and must coexist and that the Moonrace will not declare a nation and will instead continue negotiations. Harry addresses her by her real name and says she is naive. Dianna tells Loran that Kihel is doing a better job expressing her feelings than she herself could. Afterwards, Kihel discusses Agrippa with Miran, Phil and Harry. Phil tells Kihel that they can't allow the Militia to finish excavating the spaceship, so he wants to attack it and capture it. Guin and a Moonrace engineer named Horace give a Gallop hovercraft to Loran, and Bruno and Jacop come to work for him. Kihel orders Harry to go out to the excavation site and warn Dianna of the impending attack. Harry takes off in his SUMO, and Phil and Poe prepare to attack with several Wads and Wodoms. At the excavation site, the Turn A is hooked up to the Willghem to jump-start it. Harry tells Dianna that she must come with him, but she refuses.

 

Phil and Poe approach and begin firing the Wodom's beam cannons. As the Willghem prepares to takeoff, all of the Militia's mobile suits are deployed to protect the ship. Loran routes the Turn A's I-field to the shield to deflect the Wodom's beam cannons. As the battle rages, an airship crashes while delivering the Turn A's beam rifle. Loran grabs the beam rifle and begins shooting at Poe and the others. He then switches to his beam sabers and slices the legs off of Phil's Wodom, forcing him to retreat. The Willghem is able to takeoff safely and escape. Harry takes Dianna back to the Soleil, and she thanks Kihel for doing such a good job. On the Gallop, Gavane gives Sochie a wedding dress and asks her to marry him. Later, a Moonrace team led by Ralfa Zenoa explores a mountain and uncovers several Muttowoooo mobile armors. They also find something much more shocking: nuclear missiles. As Gavane and the Suicide Squad explore the same mountain, they run into Ralfa and his men. Ralfa tells them it is dangerous because of the nuclear missiles, but they don't believe him. At the same time, the Red Team discovers them and begins attacking. Sochie hears that Gavane is in trouble and wants to help him, so the Gallop takes off and heads for the barren mountain. Gavane and Aims enter an underground cave while John holds off the Moonrace on the surface. Ralfa warns them again about the nuclear missiles, and they grab several of them and leave. Gavane is attacked by Muron, and his Borjarnon falls into a hole. Muron attacks with the FLAT's hyper vibration, and Loran and Miashei approach the battlefield. Loran tells Gavane to escape, and he escapes with Miashei as the nuclear missiles explode. The force of the nuclear blast lights up the night sky and turns it into day. The crews of the Willghem and Soleil watch in shock.

 

Commentary

 

I have a few problems with this compilation movie, which covers episodes 1-27. When this project was announced, I was concerned with the fact that the original series ran less than Turn A and got three compilation movies, whereas Turn A got only two. My concern was realized at the beginning of this movie, which runs at a breakneck pace. While the original series movies features the complete first episode to set things up, the first episode here is compressed into less than six minutes! The first half hour of the movie plays out more like a disjointed series of clips rather than as a continuous narrative. Afterwards, the pacing improves dramatically. However, some of the things left in are rather questionable, such as the scenes with Laura Rolla. There are some interesting changes here, including several new scenes. In one new scene, Guin tells Loran about the discovery of the Willghem, because the character of Will Game has been cut from the movie. Also, the Red Team is introduced much earlier and participates in the battle at the Soleil, along with Gavane Goonny's Suicide Squad, which also wasn't there originally. Corin and Loran's battle in the mountain takes place alongside the attack on Nocis, which is kind of odd when you consider that in the TV series it was Corin performing those attacks on the city. Still, there are some great moments here, including the Willghem's takeoff battle and the last battle. In the end credits, other bits of footage are shown, such as Ralfa giving Loran the nuclear missiles and a powerful scene where Sochie mourns for Gavane. This really should have been a trilogy, and because of the breakneck speed I can't recommend it for anyone who hasn't seen the TV series first. Hopefully Moonlight Butterfly will have fewer problems.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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