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Episode 1: The White Mobile Suit

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 11, 2001

 

Summary

 

The year is UC 0153. Using a Shokew mobile suit, 13-year-old Uso Ewin is attacked by a Zolo mobile suit piloted by Lt. Cronicle Asher. Uso trips and pulls on a wire to fire a hidden beam rifle at Cronicle. Cronicle fires back, and Uso uses the Shokew's beam rotor as a shield. The Shokew is severely damaged, forcing Uso to eject from it. Cronicle fires at the pod, and when Uso ejects from it and falls through the trees, Cronicle assumes he is dead. He grabs the Shokew at takes off back to the base. Uso rests on the ground because of the pain received from his fall. At a League Militaire camp, a woman named Marbet Fingerhat wonders where Uso is and tells his friend Katejina Loos to leave with the Camion transport truck. Katejina gives instructions for Uso's friend Shahkti Kareen to take care of baby Karlmann Doukatous. Marbet launches in a Core Fighter to find Uso. The League Militaire returns to the ruins of Woowig (formerly Prague). Though the city has been destroyed, Katejina is glad that the homes of the elite have also been destroyed. She tells Odelo Henrik that she doesn't want Shahkti or young Suzy Relane to see the devastation. An old man named Oi Nyung finds the body of a man named Boysen, who was supposed to meet with them at the League Militaire's mobile suit factory. However, on Boysen's body they find a map to the factory. They see that he returned to Woowig to keep the Zanscare from finding the factory. Uso spots the Core Fighter flying overhead and tries to signal it. He ties his jacket to a tree and flings it into the air. The jacket hits the Core Fighter, and Marbet lands to pick up Uso. Elsewhere, at the Zanscare Empire's Largane base, Cronicle tells officer Fuala Glifon that he has brought back the Shokew and that pilot Lyole Sabat is dead. He is criticized by an officer named Gettle Dupre for losing the Shokew, and Fuala gives Cronicle permission to attack the League Militaire again. Oi Nyung and the others locate the mobile suit factory in Kolin, and they find many units of the mass produced Victory Gundam. Katejina asks Oi Nyung if Woowig was sacrificed to protect the mobile suits, and Oi Nyung answers that they have to keep moving in their effort to show the Federation the danger of Zanscare's BESPA (Ballistic Equipment Space Patrol Armory). As night falls, Uso pilots the Core Fighter in the place of injured Marbet and heads back to camp.

 

Later that night, Uso's Shahkti is woken by Haro's racket. She receives a signal from the Core Fighter and turns on the lights for the Core Fighter to land. Everyone is surprised that Uso can fly so well. Shahkti is glad to see Uso and hugs him, and Katejina wonders what kind of kid he is. At the Largane base, Cronicle puts on his mask and takes off in the top terminal of his Zolo, followed by the automatically controlled bottom terminal. Dupre is informed of Cronicle's takeoff, and he tells his men not to tell Fuala that Cronicle has left. As Marbet rests in her bed, she wonders if Uso is a Newtype. Suzy and Warren Trace watch the skies with binoculars and see Cronicle approaching. In broad daylight he is able to locate the League Militaire base and begins attacking it. Uso launches in the Core Fighter and attacks him with his vulcans until his ammunition runs out. Katejina fires a signal flare, and Marbet launches the Bottom Fighter of the Victory Gundam, followed by the Top Fighter. With the Zolo's bottom terminal under attack, Cronicle docks to form a mobile suit. Uso is able to link with the Top Fighter, but the Bottom is destroyed by Cronicle. Odelo, Warren and Suzy begin firing bazookas at the Zolo to distract Cronicle. Marbet sends another Bottom Fighter, and Uso links with it to form a completed Victory Gundam. Uso lands on the ground and begins attacking Cronicle with his beam rifle. The battle takes to the skies, and Cronicle slices Uso's beam rifle in half. Uso attacks with his beam saber and smashes the Zolo's face. With no sensors, Cronicle ejects the bottom terminal and escapes. Uso lands the Victory Gundam on the ground and is congratulated by everyone. Shahkti thinks about how just a few days ago they left their home in Kassarelia. She wonders if Uso knows and understands what he is doing by piloting a mobile suit.

 

Commentary

 

This a series I've been waiting a very long time to see, and I'm glad it's a good one. The only problem is, I don't know what's going on. For whatever reason, Tomino decided to start this series right in the middle of the action instead of introducing the characters and the story. This is technically the fourth episode, and the next few episodes show how everyone meets and what's actually going on. From what I see here, the Zanscare Empire appears to be taking over Earth, and the Federation isn't doing much about it (as is usually the case). The AEUG-like resistance group League Militaire is resisting them, and they have the mass produced Victory Gundam as their weapon of choice. Uso seems to already have a rival in the form of Cronicle Asher, who likes to wear a mask. What is it with Tomino making people wear masks? We've had Char Aznable, Kycilia Zabi and Karozzo Ronah. And what's with all these mobile suits that break into pieces and combine together? I haven't seen so much use of the Core Block System since the original series and Gundam ZZ.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Buy the collection (eps 1-26) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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