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Episode 2: The Boy from Shangri-La

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 20, 2000

 

Summary

 

In early UC 0088, the AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) is devastated in its final battle against the fascist Titans. The Gryps War ends with the annihilation of the Titans and the loss of most of the AEUG's forces. Fourteen-year-old Judau Ashta locates a Hambrabi cockpit escape pod in space and salvages it with his Petite mobile suit. He then spots the battered AEUG flagship Argama nearby as it heads towards Side 1's Shangri-La colony. On the Argama, Captain Bright Noa attempts to dock the ship in the colony so it can be repaired, but the port officials resist his requests and tell him that low paying jobs are given the lowest priority. In the infirmary, Fa Yuiry watches over comatose Zeta Gundam pilot Kamille Bidan, who was seriously injured in a battle with the late Paptimus Scirocco, leader of the Titans. The children Shinta and Qum ask if Kamille will recover, and Fa says they have to get him to a hospital. Nearby, Iino Abbav helps Judau haul the pod into the colony. Judau wants to go back outside and salvage a damaged Hizack, but Iino thinks that would be too big for them. He recommends calling Beecha Oleg for help, but Judau doesn't want to do that because it would mean splitting money with Beecha when he's doing all the work. When Judau opens the pod, he discovers it isn't empty, and inside is one of the last surviving Titan pilots, Yazan Gable. Beecha and Mondo Agake then show up and load the pod onto a trailer truck. Yazan wakes up and grabs Beecha by the throat and asks where he is and who they are. Judau tells Yazan he should be more grateful since they found him, but Yazan just laughs maniacally. Later, Judau gets some of his father's clothes from home and tells his sister Leina not to worry, because he'll earn enough money to send her to a nice school. He catches up with Beecha's trailer on the road and gives Yazan the clothes and some food. Judau doesn't think they'll be able to get into the port because he saw the Argama docking there earlier. Spotting a new truck up ahead, Yazan uses the Petite to jump onto the truck and throw the driver out, which makes Judau wince. At the port, Fa places Kamille in an ambulance and is about to leave when Judau and Yazan take her hostage. Shinta and Qum hide under the ambulance, and Judau searches the back and finds the vegetative Kamille. Kamille looks at him and holds out his hand, so Judau touches him and shares a strange Newtype experience with the comatose pilot. As they head for the Argama's dock, Yazan tells Judau they should have no trouble with the Argama's diminished crew. Fa asks Judau why he lied about Kamille being in the back, and he explains he didn't want to take a patient hostage. She then asks why he isn't in school, and he explains he has to make money because his parents had to leave the colony to get jobs and send money to him and Leina.

 

As the repairs begin on the Argama, the damaged Zeta Gundam is loaded onto the deck. Bright and chief mechanic Astonaige Medoz aren't happy that the colony officials don't place the Argama high on their priority list for repairs. Shinta and Qum attempt to warn Bright about Fa, but he ignores them. Beecha makes a clumsy announcement and demands that the AEUG give them a mobile suit since they have Fa as a hostage. Yazan then bursts out of the truck in the Petite and begins attacking crew members in Petites. Hiding behind the Zeta Gundam, Bright shoots at Yazan and tells him he won't hand over the suit. Judau and the others begin throwing oranges and cabbages from the truck, and when he spots the Zeta Gundam on the deck he has a vision of Kamille. Shinta and Qum shoot at Yazan with a machine gun, and Torres uses a Petite to rescue them. Judau jumps down to the deck and kicks Bright away to get inside the Zeta Gundam's cockpit. Bright gets into the cockpit and asks Judau what he will do with a broken mobile suit, and Judau answers that he can still name his own price before he knocks Bright away. Saegusa holds Beecha and Mondo at gunpoint, and Torres struggles with Yazan. Torres is knock away, and Yazan rushes toward the truck and kills Saegusa. Judau can't believe that Yazan killed a person and activates the Zeta Gundam. Yazan sees that Judau is in the Zeta Gundam and declares that he wants the suit for himself. He attacks Judau, and Judau messes around with the controls to stand up. He engages the thrusters, and both he and Yazan head into the colony. The Zeta Gundam doesn't respond properly and flies out of control, smashing a hole through the port wall. Judau chases Yazan into the colony, and they fly over a civilian area before reaching the industrial area and a junkyard. Yazan abandons the Petite and gets into a Middle mobile suit. Judau pulls out his beam saber, but he drops it and loses it to Yazan. Judau manages to hold back Yazan's attack, but he feels the heat from the beam saber. Judau manages to close the cockpit while Yazan slices into the Zeta Gundam. He then fires the forearm grenades and destroys the Middle. Bright shows up and jumps into the Petite, which he uses to wrap wires around the Zeta Gundam and trip it. Beecha and the others detonate explosives nearby, and Judau and Yazan escape during the distraction. In space, the Neo Zeon ship Endra sends a briefcase over to Shangri-La.

 

Commentary

 

Well, now the series actually begins. There isn't really a point even to episode 1, so you could almost call this episode 51 of Zeta Gundam. Although this series continues directly after Zeta Gundam, there are some differences. The cast of this show is much younger, and this series has a decidedly lighter tone. Despite the lighter tone, there are some serious moments. Yazan is just as brutal as he was in the previous series, to the point that he kills Saegusa like nothing. How ironic that someone like Saegusa survives the bloodbath finale of Zeta Gundam just to die at the beginning of this series. It's a shame that Kamille is comatose, but Paptimus Scirocco really messed him up at the end of the last series with his dying Newtype attack. In turn, though, this triggers a strange meeting between Judau and Kamille. Also, the Neo Zeon (formerly Axis) are now the major threat in place of the Titans, and the battered AEUG will have their hands full. The fact that the Neo Zeon cruiser Endra is already on the scene is bound to cause trouble for the remaining crew of the Argama.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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