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Episode 1: The Black Gundam

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 11, 2000

 

Summary

 

In the years after the One Year War, the Earth Federation creates the elite Titans military division to seek out and eliminate Zeon rebels. In UC 0087, three AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) Rick Dias mobile suits piloted by Apolly, Roberto, and Quattro Bajeena (aka Char Aznable) fly towards a colony. In the colony Green Noa 1, a 17-year-old boy named Kamille Bidan cuts his martial arts class and is slapped by his captain. He is joined by his friend Fa Yuiry and takes a monorail out into space. She tells him he shouldn't skip his club activitiies. As they head for another part of the colony, Kamille has a strange Newtype reaction and sees lights flashing in space. Nearby, Char has a Newtype reaction and wonders if Amuro Ray or Lalah Sune are nearby. Kamille explains to Fa he wants to see the shuttle Temptation, which belongs to Captain Bright Noa. She asks if Bright is a Newtype, and Kamille says he thinks so because Bright commanded the White Base. He floats through the spaceport and spots several Titans officers. Fa calls his name, and a young Titan named Jerid Messa tells officer Kacricon Cacooler that Kamille is a girl's name. Kamille has a strong Newtype reaction and attacks Jerid and several other Titans. He is finally knocked down, and Jerid kicks him in the face. Elsewhere, Char infiltrates Green Noa 2 (a suspected Titan base) and leaves behind his Rick Dias. He flies through the corridors blowing open doors to reach the interior of the colony.

 

Char flies around the colony and takes some pictures. He is almost hit by the Gundam Mk-II, which chases him and fires vulcans. He knows that he is too small of a target for the Mk II and manages to return to the service corridor. The Mk II stumbles near the hatch and is unable to pursue. Several soldiers shoot at Char and hit him in the arm, but he manages to reach his Rick Dias. Out in space, Apolly take photos of another Mk II flying through Green Noa 1. Inside the colony, Kamille is interrogated by an officer named Matosh who asks if he's part of the AEUG rebel organization. Matosh finds it strange that Kamille builds junior mobile suits for contests and isn't a member of the AEUG. Kamille is set free and complains about how the Titans treat spacenoids. The guards provoke him and he attacks them again. They start beating him again, but the Mk II crashes into the building. The crash is blamed on Jerid's reckless flying, and he sees a written apology won't be enough to make up for his mistake. In the confusion, Kamille escapes and runs right by his mother Hilda without saying a word. Bright takes a jeep to the Mk II's crash site, and Kamille steals a jeep and escapes. He breaks through a Titans barricade and is shot at. He ditches the jeep in a forest and wonders what he will do. In space, Apolly tells Char about the Mk II flying around inside Green Noa 1. He sends a signal to the AEUG flagship Argama, which fires its mega particle gun at Green Noa 1.

 

Commentary

 

So there's the first episode to what is probably the best Gundam series ever produced. Seven years have passed since the One Year War, and now the tables have turned. Where the Federation was once the protagonist, it is now the antagonist with its fascist Titans division. Though Char was presumed dead at the end of the One Year War, he's alive and well here as the AEUG pilot Quattro Bajeena. His survey and escape from Green Noa 2 is very similar to what he did in the original series when he infiltrated Side 7 and was chased by Amuro and the original Gundam. Amuro is mentioned several times here, but the only other cameo so far is by Bright Noa. Kamille Bidan is introduced here as the main character of the series, and he's already thrown into the middle of the situation. He doesn't like the Titans very much, and his rivalry with pilot Jerid Messa begins here over a surprisingly small matter. Kamille must really hate his name if he was willing to attack the Titans over it.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Zeta Gundam Episode 1 Zeta Gundam Episode 1

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