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Episode 16: The Sorrowful Battle

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: January 29, 2001
New Review: March 31, 2010

 

Summary

 

Noin's SST arrives at the OZ Barclay Base in Antarctica. Noin assumes that Acht's forces will regroup before attacking again. After landing, Zechs walks over and introduces himself to Heero and Trowa. Zechs asks Heero if that's his real name, and Heero throws the question back at him. Zechs takes them to the hangar and Heero is surprised to see the Wing Gundam completely rebuilt. Meiser reports that repairs are done, and Zechs decides they should start tomorrow. Noin asks Heero if he has anything to say to Zechs, and Heero responds that he'll thank Zechs in his own way by killing him. He then offers his hand and tells Zechs he's never shaken hands with anyone before. Noin thinks to herself that she can't let either of them die. At the Lake Victoria Base a soldier tries unconvincingly to tell Relena that the Wing Gundam was destroyed and that Zechs is gone. Relena asks to speak to Noin instead, and Pagan gets a call that prompts Relena to leave. The solder immediately calls Noin to inform her that Relena is heading to Antarctica. Noin realizes that if even Relena knows, it means other people will come to take on Zechs, hoping to gain power in the Romefeller Foundation. She wonders if Zechs is about to take the wrong path, and he overhears and tells her that fighters have a spirit that can be acknowledged even by enemies. He thinks that he's too weak in comparison to the Gundam pilots and has no right to defend anything. He says the fight will probably take a while, so he'd like Noin to make sure there are no interruptions. Meiser comments that Heero doesn't trust him, and Trowa says that Heero just doesn't want anyone touching his suit. Heero comes down and announces that he's going to use the Gundam Heavyarms after all because Zech's generosity is blurring his focus on fighting. Meiser reports the news to Zechs, who says his feelings haven't changed. An engineer named Jim asks if they should remove the arm parts from the Wing Gundam and restore them to the Tallgeese, but Zechs says no. He says that this is a continuation of the fight in Siberia where the Tallgeese's left arm was damaged, so it's a valid handicap. Heero works through the night on adjusting the Gundam Heavyarms until Trowa offers to take over and let him rest. Trowa removes the Gundam Heavyarms' left hand because he knows the weight will be too much for Heero. The next morning Heero and Trowa meet on an ice field and begin fighting. Heero fires his Gatling gun and missiles at Zechs, who easily dodges them. Zechs looks for Heero in the fog and is nearly hit. Heero then begins shooting into the ice to create snow clouds and mask his heat signature. However, Zechs is still able to track Heero and corner him. When the smoke clears, Heero stands up to face Zechs.

 

Three hours pass, and Trowa comments that it's a long time for a meaningless battle. Noin asks what that means, and Trowa answers that OZ is after them, so why would two sides with a mutual enemy fight each other? Noin says that the battle will go on until Heero and Zechs realize the battle is meaningless. Trowa says that they've lost sight of how to protect the colonies and can't be wasting time. He decides to go out and stop the OZ search party from interrupting. Heero runs out of Gatling ammo and recalls Trowa telling him to press a switch when that happens. Heero does so and the Gatling gun is dropped, revealing that the forearm has been replaced with a beam saber. Heero rushes forward and engages Zechs in a melee fight. Relena reads Mrs. Noventa's letter again as her jet approaches Antarctica. Several OZ Aries order them to land, but Relena tells Pagan to ignore them and head for the Barclay Base. They begin to give chase, but Trowa shoots them down in the Wing Gundam. Relena tells Trowa she wants to stop the fight, so he tells her where to go. Heero presses his beam saber attack and notices that the Tallgeese's left arm is damaged. Heero says that Zechs is being too kind by handicapping himself, and Zechs says he just wants to rid himself of his pride. Zechs knocks Heero down and moves in for the killing blow, but he stops just as Relena's jet flies between them. Heero tells Relena to get lost, but she refuses to leave and says she has a letter that will tell him how to live his life. Zechs asks her to leave, but she orders him as a Peacecraft to stop the battle. Zechs thinks to himself that she's become strong, but he ignores her and continues to attack Heero. Noin calls, and Relena accuses her of being insincere. She says that Heero and Zechs aren't fighting, but just killing each other. Noin says she won't interfere, so Relena calls out to Heero and tells him to kill Zechs. Noin tells Relena that no matter what has happened, she shouldn't wish for the death of her own brother. Noin explains that ever since the fall of the Sanc Kingdom Zechs has been obsessed with revenge. He joined OZ as a way to get close to the Alliance. OZ's rebellion brought chaos to the world, and she thinks Zechs lost his purpose and can only find it while fighting the Gundams. Noin says that she'll stay by Zechs' side no matter what and admits that she loves him. Just then, the OZ search party arrives with 30 transport planes and drops an enormous number of Aries. Zechs takes off to distract the Aries and tells Heero he hopes they can meet again. Trowa transforms the Wing Gundam, and Heero grabs one of its claws to hitch a ride. Zechs tells Noin that once everyone escapes he'll surrender to OZ. As she flies away, Relena is glad the battle is over.

 

Commentary

 

The long-awaited rematch between Heero and Zechs finally arrives, but its interrupted twice by Relena and OZ. Although Zechs put all this time into having the Wing Gundam repaired, Heero decides to use the Gundam Heavyarms. He's still not fully recovered from his wounds, so Trowa packs a surprise by removing a forearm and slipping in a beam saber. Despite Heero's condition, he puts up a good fight against Zechs. Zechs manages to get the upper hand and nearly kills Heero, if not for Relena's intervention. Relena finally learns that Zechs is her brother, and it's revealed that Noin loves Zechs (as if that wasn't obvious already). Although Acht is dead, the forces he left behind move in and interrupt the battle in a quest to take Zechs down for personal gain. It's a bit odd that Relena expresses relief over the battle ending between Heero and Zechs, even though Zechs has gone off to fight nearly 100 Aries. It's not as though he's in any less danger.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Wing Episode 16 Gundam Wing Episode 16

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