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∀ Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly

 

Review by Chris Guanche

December 18, 2002

 

Summary

 

On the Aspite, Gym Ghingnham and his odd pilot Merrybell Gadget head for their bridge. He receives a call from Midgard and asks him why he brought people like Cancer and Muron back from Earth. Classical music is picked up on the radio, and an analysis indicates that it is coming from the agricultural asteroid Mistletoe. The Willghem also picks up the music, and Harry determines it is coming from Mistletoe. Cancer uses her FLAT to open one of Mistletoe's doors so that Dianna can fly the shuttle inside. Gym orders battle stations, and Sweatson Stero's Mahiroo squad launches and heads for Mistletoe. On the Willghem, Loran launches in the Turn A, followed by Sochie in her Kapool. They head for Mistletoe and are attacked by the Mahiroos. Harry knocks out Kihel and takes her with him on his SUMO. Inside Mistletoe, Dianna and Muron get into a FLAT while Cancer takes a Mahiroo. Kihel tells Harry that she likes him, and he tells her he wants her to be Dianna's shield. Miashei launches in her Wad and opens another one of Mistletoe's doors for the Willghem to enter. Kihel meets with Gym and tells him that she doesn't agree with the plan to take Earth back. The Mahiroos begin bombing the surface of Mistletoe and seal off all the exits. While exploring the interior, Loran and Sochie meet up with Dianna. They use all their weapons to blast their way through Mistletoe. The Willghem fires its beam cannons and blasts out of Mistletoe. Midgard calls Guin, and Guin tells him only barbarians would attack a peace envoy. Mistletoe begins to spin out of orbit and heads on a collision course for Von City. Gym launches in a Mahiroo with the Turn X top and is joined by Harry in his SUMO. The Turn A begins to react strangely to the Turn X top's presence, and Gym says they are brothers. Loran pull out the nuclear warheads and tosses them at Mistletoe. He then fires his beam rifle at them to set them off. Mistletoe is destroyed in a bright flash, and Sochie remembers how Gavane was killed in a nuclear explosion.

 

Loran lands on the Moon's surface and is joined by Sochie and Dianna. With the help of his friends Donna and Hamett Roroi they enter the Moon via the long river flowing over the city of Gaingnham. Donna and Hamett bring out a large group of whales to camouflage the Turn A and Kapool. The Willghem docks at a harbor in Gaingnham, and Michael has everyone steal supplies for the ship. Loran, Sochie and Dianna show up and join them. Lily tells Dianna that she arranged a meeting with Agrippa and wants her to come along. They drive over to Dianna's palace, and Dianna poses as Kihel when meeting with Agrippa. Sweatson's Mahiroos attack the Willghem while it is at the dock, so Michael has the ship take off and fly through Gaingnham to Dianna's palace. Harry and Kihel launch in the SUMO from the Aspite and discover the excavation of several Bandit mobile suits. Sweatson calls Loran and tells him that if he doesn't surrender that Guin, Lily and Dianna will die. As Dianna, Guin and Lily discuss what to do, Midgard comes into their room with a gun. On Earth, Lord Borjarno holds a feast for his soldiers as the Soleil and its fleet fly overhead. Harry and Kihel ride a mobile suit elevator that will bring them near to Dianna's palace. Loran decides he will surrender the Turn A until he receives a call from Agrippa. Agrippa tells Loran that if he defeats the Turn X on the Moon's surface that the hostages will be freed. Loran flies to one of the city's exits and is attacked by Sweatson. Merrybell assembles the Turn X and saps power out of Gaingnham to activate it. During the blackout, Loran slices the legs off of Sweatson's Mahiroo and heads into space. Dianna asks Agrippa why he wanted Dianna dead, and he says that because of her the fighting spirit is returning to the Moonrace. She asks why he would team up with Gym, and he says it was necessary to find out more about the Turn X. Harry breaks into the palace with his SUMO, and Agrippa takes the opportunity to escape.

 

Loran reaches the surface of the Moon and is chased by several Mahiroos. He stops when he encounters Gym's Turn X and Merrybell's remote-controlled Bandits. Merrybell attacks Loran with her various Bandits, and he fights back with his beam saber. Midgard escapes and drives towards the Winter Palace. Dianna, Harry and Sochie chase him as the Willghem takes off. Loran continues to dodge Merrybell's attacks and spins around his beam sabers to vanish. Agrippa arrives at the Winter Palace where over one million people of the Moonrace are resting in hibernation. He runs to the room where the information about the Dark History is kept, and the Militia catches up to him. He tells Dianna that Earthlings won't understand the Dark History, and she tells him that is his own personal bias. She activates a console which begins to display historical video such as the Principality of Zeon's Operation British and the Space Revolutionary Army's mass colony drop. Guin and the others are shocked, and he wonders if it is a movie. Another video shows the Turn A using its Moonlight Butterfly attack to destroy Earth's advanced civilization thousands of years ago. Dianna orders Agrippa to recall his spies from Earth, and he says they won't listen to him. Midgard kills Agrippa with his rifle and tries to shoot Dianna and Kihel. Kihel blinds him with a video while Lily knocks his gun out of hands. Midgard escapes as the Willghem arrives and is attacked by Sweatson's Mahiroos. Harry fights with Sweatson and tells him to stop fighting. Midgard returns with the Gendarme and starts shooting at Harry. Sochie attacks Sweatson with a Gundam Hammer, and Loran arrives to help. With the power of the Turn A, he pushes the Gendarme away from the Winter Palace. Midgard runs to an escape hatch and is smashed by Harry's SUMO. Afterwards, Guin approaches Gym and Merrybell to talk with them.

 

Guin calls Loran to the Willghem and introduces him to Merrybell. The ship begins to take off, and Guin tells him they are heading back to Earth. Loran kicks Merrybell aside and escapes with the Turn A. Guin says he is going back to Earth to restore its advanced civilization. Loran tells Guin to return to the Moon or he will force the ship back. He uses the Turn A to start pushing the Willghem back, but Gym attacks him with the Turn X. Loran attacks Gym with his beam saber and is surprised to see that the Turn X can split into several attacking parts. Gym is about to attack the cockpit, so Loran ejects the Core Fighter and flies away. The Willghem and a fleet of Aspite ships descends to Earth and begin attacking North Ameria. Sweatson's Mahiroos attack a town defended only by Borjarnons, and Keith's wife Belleen is injured after their truck explodes. Loran and everyone else leave the Moon in an Almaiya to chase Gym. Guin comes to Keith and Horace to ask for their help, and after he leaves Joseph and Mallygan show up in the FLAT. The Almaiya lands near them and sets up base. As Gym continues to fight, the leaders of North Ameria begin to unite against him. Merrybell uses the Turn A's Moonlight Butterfly to wreak havoc across the countryside. Corin sees this and decides to go where Dianna is. As Dianna plans her next move, Horace volunteers to be a spy and work for Guin to find out where his forces are located. Corin returns and tells Dianna about the Turn A, and she asks him to fight for her. Joseph wants to go get the Turn A back and launches in the FLAT, followed by Loran and Fran in the Core Fighter and Sochie's Kapool. Sweatson's Mahiroos approach the Soleil, and he demands that Phil surrender. Phil refuses, and the Mahiroos begin their attack. A shield is erected around the ship, and Poe directs the Wodoms in their defense of the ship.

 

Loran and the others come aboard the Willghem, and Guin asks if they have reconsidered. Joseph asks why he is in an alliance with someone like Gym, and Guin says he wants to mass produce the Turn A. Bruno and Jacop set a fire, and Loran and the others use the opportunity to escape. Joseph swings across the mobile suit hangar and steals the Turn A. After Loran, Fran and Sochie escape, Joseph attacks a Borjarnon and leaves the ship. The Soleil and its fleet take off and prepare for battle. Phil and Gym's ships meet in battle, and Phil uses Wodoms to shoot down Gym's Aspites. Sweatson and his Mahiroo squad attack the Wodoms and destroy them. Dianna and Corin fly in a Hip Heavy and land on the Soleil. She tells the crew that she made a mistake by allowing Gym to come to Earth, and she wants their help to stop him. Sweatson and Merrybell continue to attack Wodoms and destroy them. On the Soleil, Corin has a Kapool customized for his use. Joseph continues to fight with the Turn A and refuses to hand it over to Loran. He and Loran fight in the cockpit over it, and Joseph nearly kills Loran by throwing him out of the cockpit. Fran catches him with the FLAT, and Joseph asks Loran to protect Fran because she is pregnant. Sochie and Miashei watch as Corin skillfully fights Sweatson and disables his Mahiroo. Gym destroys a Wodom and is attacked by Joseph. Joseph attacks with the Turn A's chest cannon and thinks he has won, but he doesn't know about the Turn X's ability to separate. Sweatson cuts in to fight Joseph, and Gym kills him for interfering. The Turn X's parts latch on to the Turn A and begin sucking the life out of Joseph. Gym says that the Turn A is not needed in the world anymore. Harry and Poe attack with their SUMOs, and Gym shoots at them and accidentally hits the Willghem.

 

Harry and Poe try to contain Gym with their I-fields, but he overpowers them with the Moonlight Butterfly. Loran reattaches the Core Fighter to the Turn A and takes off to fight Gym. The crippled Willghem crashes as everyone heads to where Loran and Gym are. Merrybell attacks Loran and Gym, and Corin attacks Merrybell and damages her Bandit. He then attacks Gym and is killed. Loran and Gym drive their beam sabers into each other and cripple their suits. They then begin fighting with swords, and Gym is enveloped in the light of the Turn A and Turn X. A cocoon forms around Gym and the two suits. After the war ends, Loran returns to the Heim home with Sochie, Kihel, Dianna and Harry. Bruno and Jacop start a puppet theater featuring the Turn A and the Turn X fighting. Lily and the Militia work with Horace and the rest of the Moonrace to repair and refit the Willghem. Loran kisses a crying Sochie before leaving to live with Dianna. Lily and Sochie say goodbye to Kihel as she and Harry leave in the new Willghem. Kihel goes to the Moon and becomes Dianna to govern the Moonrace. Joseph and Fran live in the countryside and raise their baby. Sid takes on a new apprentice and explores the mountains of the Midwest. Keith and Belleen drive to the new Donkey Bakery with their baby and Anise. Kihel is welcomed back on the Moon and gives a speech. Miashei and Ladderum experiment with new planes. Sochie takes a bicycle down to the river and cries out loudly as she throws Loran's old toy into the water. Guin and Merrybell sail away in a boat to places unknown. Kihel and Harry watch the rest of the Dark History on the Moon. Loran and his wife Dianna live together in the countryside. On a cold winter night, Loran says goodnight to Dianna and tucks her into bed.

 

Commentary

 

While the events of Earth Light occurred at a blinding speed, thankfully this movie has much better pacing. Whereas the first movie covered episodes 1-27, this second movie focuses on episodes 38-50. The result is something more along the lines of the original Gundam movies. These set of episodes had an epic quality in the TV series, and that shines through in this movie. A lot of things happen in this movie, but it doesn't feel rushed as with the first. The epic feel to this movie is quite a lot like Gundam III: Encounters in Space. Though this movie is better than the first, I firmly believe Earth Light would have benefited from being two movies instead of one. As a trilogy, Turn A could have been as successful as the original series trilogy. Despite that, these movies provide a great opportunity to see these characters one last time if you enjoyed the TV show.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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