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Episode 26: Masai's Heart

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 13, 2002

 

Summary

 

A woman named Masai N'gava vows to the helmet of a dead man named Taka that she has finished her training. She watches as Judau flies by in his Neo Core Fighter. Judau is searching for water and spots a runaway camel, which he thinks has water. He chases the camel, but he crashes into a sand dune and starts running after it. He meets Masai, and she tells him camels have no water. He tells her that he is traveling across the desert with his friends in mobile suits and that they need water. Masai offers to take him to a nearby village, and he gets onto the camel with her. Elsewhere, Elle argues with Roux because she is using a map from before the One Year War. They stop arguing when Ple takes the last of the water and pours it over herself to freshen up. Elle and Roux grab her and decide whether they will bury her in the sand or strap her to the Mk II and let her burn. Ple notices that Judau is gone and runs away. She sees him approaching on the camel with Masai. Masai tells Judau she is busy and points to the direction of the town. Everyone else takes off in their mobile suits to head for the town while Judau and Ple go to retrieve the Neo Core Fighter. Elle flies over the desert in the Zeta Gundam and spots the town. She sees an odd building, which Roux says is a mosque. Ple spots Masai, and she and Judau watch as Masai gets into an old Gelgoog. Judau asks her what she is doing, and she says she has to replace Taka to show the villagers who he is. At the village, several men tell the Gundam Team that they won't give water to mobile suit pilots and that they should just use their suits to fly through the desert. Elle says a woman sent them, and an old man realizes she means Masai.

 

Elle and the others decide to leave the village, and Roux said someone must have died there, causing their hatred of mobile suits. Masai flies by with her Gelgoog, and the Gundam Team follows. Roux attacks first, but Masai shoots her down and knocks her to the ground. Beecha attacks next, and she knocks him down too. She tries to shoot at Mondo with her beam rifle, but it runs out of energy. After everyone recovers, Masai uses the large rocks in the area as cover to evade their attacks. She moves to an area where he has set up a large hose that shoots out sand. She shoots out the sand at Roux and Beecha to blind them and prevent them from shooting. Mondo moves in with the Mk II and slices the hose apart with his beam saber. Masai escapes, and as Mondo looks for her, she surprises him and knocks him down into a pit of quicksand. Judau and Ple find the Neo Core Fighter and take off to find the rest of the Gundam Team. Roux rides the Mega Rider and flies in low to rescue Mondo, but she is forced to let him go when Masai attacks again. She knocks Roux aside and is about to slice up Iino and the Mega Rider, but Judau fires missiles at her. Roux rescues Mondo, and Elle docks the Core Top and Core Base with Judau's Neo Core Fighter. After forming the ZZ Gundam, Judau attacks Masai with his hyper beam saber. Judau shoots at Masai and then slices off the Gelgoog's arm and head. He tells her to escape, but she says she can't lose or the villagers will look down on her like they did Taka. She wants to prove that Taka was a powerful man, and Judau pulls her out of the cockpit before the Gelgoog explodes. Later, Ple cries and says that Masai is a lonely person and will continue to be so. Several villagers wonder how she will do, and an old man says her heart was buried with the Gelgoog and she will never be the same. Masai sits alone in a dark house and asks Taka what she will do.

 

Commentary

 

We see here that the scars of the One Year War still affect Africa. In this case we have Masai, who is hopelessly devoted to a dead Zeon pilot named Taka. This hopeless devotion causes her to make the same mistake as Rommel: attacking the Gundam Team with outdated mobile suits. This time she at least had the powerful Gelgoog, whereas Rommel had Desert Zakus as his main force. Still, one has to wonder why exactly the villagers hated Taka and what it had to do with him being a pilot. In any case, the encounter has left Masai nothing but a sad and pathetic shell of a person.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam ZZ Episode 26 Gundam ZZ Episode 26

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Buy the collection (eps 23-47) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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