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Volume 1

 

Review by Chris Guanche

January 27, 2003

 

Summary

 

In AC 195, the Organization of Zodiac (OZ) fights against the United Earth Sphere Alliance on Earth and approaches the orbiting space colonies with diplomacy. At the remote asteroid colony MO-V, young pilot Odin Bernett participates in a field test with his mobile suit Geminass 01 (aka G-UNIT). He fires at a decoy and is snuck up on from behind by his older brother Odel and his Geminass 02. Odel destroys Odin's beam rifle, and he activates his PX system and is able to sneak up on Odin from behind and win the simulation. On a nearby shuttle, Odin's girlfriend Lucille Aisley scolds him and tells him he needs to improve. He says he could do better if he had the PX system like Odel, and Lucille thinks he's blaming her. Mobile suit designer Dr. Berg thinks they had a pretty good run, and the shuttle and the Geminass 02 head back to MO-V. Odin practices with the Geminass 01 in an asteroid field and spots an EWAC Leo in the distance. Odin realizes that there will be trouble if anyone learns of the secret development of the G-UNITs. Odin chases the EWAC Leo when it escapes and slices off one of its arms. He asks the pilot who he is, and the pilot mentions Prize before self-detonating. Odin realizes that if not for the Geminass 01's Gundanium armor he would have been destroyed too. He wonders if the pilot was able to send out a transmission before blowing himself up. Nearby, on the OZ ship Granshirio a pilot named Roche Nattono looks at the EWAC Leo's last transmission before it was destroyed. He sees the Geminass 01 and knows that he has found his target: a Gundam. As Odin returns to MO-V, he wonders if the colony's neutrality in the war has ended because of his mobile suit.

 

At another colony, Odel, his fiance Tricia Farrell and MO-V representative Roga Herman listen to a speech by Lady Une. She promises that OZ will create a new peaceful future for the colonies, and Roga decides that MO-V will cooperate with OZ. At MO-V, Odin becomes frustrated after failing in another simulation with the Geminass 01. He tells Lucille he wants live targets, and she tells him he still needs to improve. She tells him that even with all of his training, he still can't match Odel, whose reactions are three times faster. Odin says he could do better with the PX system, and Lucille says that even though she installed it he still isn't able to activate it. She and chief mechanic Dick Higasaki restart the simulator again. On the flight back, Roga explains to Odel that they will begin developing mobile suits for OZ, beginning with the G-UNITs. Odel is hesitant and says he doesn't trust OZ because it used to be a secret military organization that suddenly wants peace. Roga believes that attitudes change as the climate does, and Odel still doesn't like the idea of giving OZ the G-UNITs. Roga assures him that they will continue to develop the G-UNITs secretly until they are completed. Roga tells Odin about joining OZ, and Odin is excited about piloting his Geminass 01 to keep the peace. Dr. Berg believes that the modular capabilities of the G-UNITs will make them the most powerful mobile suits ever created, even more so than the five Gundams currently fighting OZ on Earth. At OZ's space fortress Barge, Lady Une leaves Captain Cage in charge of MO-V because she thinks it is a useless colony. An officer named Lon Serman hands Cage orders from the Romefeller Foundation stating that MO-V is now under the jurisdiction of the black ops OZ Prize unit. Cage orders Lon to secretly investigate MO-V and report to him why OZ Prize is involved. The Granshirio picks up the launch of Lon's shuttle, and Roche sends out pilot Broom Brooks and his custom Leo-N to destroy the shuttle. Lon sends out a distress call, and Odel goes out in a Leo to investigate. Broom destroys the shuttle and attacks Odel, so Odin goes out in the Geminass 01 to attack Broom. He slices off the Leo-N's right arm, and Broom tells him his Gundam was better than he thought. Roche and Kratz Silvy show up in their Leo-R and Leo-S and identify themselves as OZ Prize's Stardust Knights. Lon is taken in to MO-V for medical treatment, and OZ Prize begins to jam MO-V's communications.

 

Odin asks Odel if they are ready to fight OZ, and Odel says they have no choice since OZ declared war on them. Odin finds it hard to believe that the day before he wanted to be an OZ pilot. Odel says he is fighting for what he believes in and tells Odin he will have to decide for himself what to do. Tricia tells Roga that the colony is on yellow alert with all pilots on standby. Lucille brings in Lon, and Roga asks him what's going on. Lon says he doesn't know anything about who attacked him. Roga tells him it was OZ Prize, which has the authority to act independently of OZ and answer only to Duke Dermail of the Romefeller Foundation. Tricia suddenly picks up a signal emanating from MO-V, but it is gone as quickly as she has found it. On the Granshirio, Roche tells Broom and Kratz that their plan is proceeding perfectly. Their inside source has told them that the Geminass 02 will fight first, and Kratz says he wants to fight it. Kratz launches in his Leo-R, and Roche tells Broom that they should liven things up by setting a trap. An officer named Aretha tells Roche he's putting himself in danger, but he tells her he is fine. Roche and Broom launch in their Leos to join Kratz. Tricia picks up Kratz on sensors and tells Odel that Geminass 01 isn't ready for battle, so Odel launches in the Geminass 02 with a space unit attached. Lon is amazed by the G-UNITs and tells Lucille they are unlike any mobile suit he has ever seen before. She explains to him that unlike most mobile suits the G-UNITs are modular and can be equipped for many mission types and environments. He asks her who designed them, and she tells him it was the mysterious Dr. Berg. Odel approaches Kratz and is attacked by Kratz's beam lance, but he fights back with his beam saber. Lucille goes down to help Odin get Geminass 01 ready, and Lon asks if he can help. He says that although he works for OZ, his life is on the line and he doesn't want to die. Lon asks about Odin and says that he looks like he will become a good pilot. Lucille brings him down to where the Geminass 01 is, and he sees that it's a Gundam. She discovers that someone sabotaged the unit's data, and Odin asks what a Gundam is. Lon tells him about the Gundams on Earth and remembers when Wufei Chang's Shenlong Gundam attacked the Lake Victoria base. He says he thinks the Gundams are a symbol of peace, so Odin writes "Gundam" on the head of the Geminass 01. Odin launches and joins Odel in fighting the Leos. Roche leads him towards a mine field. Odel uses his PX system to knock Odin away from the mines, and his Geminass 02 hits one of the mines and explodes.

 

Later, Odin sits in the simulator and imagines Odel telling him that he is a bad pilot and will end up dying as well. Lucille tells him to snap out of it and turns off the PX system because Odin can't synchronize with it. Lucille asks him to analyze his combat data, and Odin says he doesn't care. He says he'll never be as good as Odel and thinks it's his fault that Odel died. Lucille tells him that he and Odel are the only ones capable of handling the PX system and that he shouldn't dishonor his brother's memory. Odin tells her to shut up and walks away. Lucille sees that it isn't right for someone as young as Odin to bear so much responsibility. Odin thinks to himself that Lucille is right, but he wonders what a screw-up like him can do. Tricia finds him and tells him it isn't easy to lose someone he loves. Odin tells her it's his fault Odel is dead, but Tricia cuts him off. She tells him that Odel used to talk about him all the time and used to tell her that he would eventually become the better pilot. Tricia tells Odin he isn't at that point yet, but she knows he will reach it because Odel was always right. She believes Odel is still alive, and she tells Odin he has to be strong and believe in himself. On the Granshirio, Aretha asks Roche if they can trust their insider on MO-V, and Roche says they have to because he was referred to them by Duke Dermail. He plans on ending the conflict soon and destroying the Gundam Geminass. Dr. Berg asks Lucille about how Odin is doing with the PX system, and she says he hasn't improved. She thinks it has to do with Odel's death, and Dr. Berg says he doesn't care about that. The MO-V informant calls Roche and says he wants to be picked up. Roche decides he will attack with his new Gundam Aesculapius, and Broom and Kratz tell him he can't handle it. MO-V's sensors pick up the Gundam Aesculapius, and Odin launches in the Gundam Geminass. Odin thinks that the Gundam Aesculapius has to be a G-UNIT, and Roche tells him it is a rebuilt version of the Gundam Geminass 02. Odin asks if Odel is alive, and Roche tells him that he will soon be dead like Odel. Odin attacks Roche with his beam saber, and Kratz and Broom approach MO-V with a Taurus squad. Roga sends out the Leo squad to fight, and Tricia asks Lucille to track down the source of the signals leaving the colony. Lucille tracks the signal to Dr. Berg's room and finds him wearing a spacesuit. He tells her to leave, and Broom shows up with his Leo-N and smashes the window. As Odin continues to fight Roche, he is finally able to activate the PX system. Lon asks what the PX system does, and Dick explains that it takes advantage of the pilot's increased neural activity and boosts the performance of the machine. Lucille returns from almost being sucked into space, and Dick tells Lon that the PX system has one flaw: it works for only 96 seconds, and going over that limit damages the pilot's brain and the unit. Roche, Broom and Kratz can't even touch Odin and are forced to retreat. On the Granshirio, Dr. Berg tells Roche that he can't handle the Gundam Aesculapius and is replacing him with a masked man named Silver Crown.

 

Commentary

 

As it stands, this is the first and only major side story written in the After Colony universe. The story here picks up roughly about 20 episodes into the TV series when OZ began focusing on taking over the space colonies. We get a brief cameo appearance by Lady Une, but aside from that the story belongs to original characters. OZ Prize pilot Roche Nattono and his crew remind me of Dilandau Albatou and his pretty boy Dragonslayers from Escaflowne. Also, for some reason Broom Brooks looks identical to G Gundam's Argo Gulskii. This volume ends with the introduction of the masked man Silver Crown, and it's pretty obvious that he's Odel. Since his Geminass was obviously recovered, was he brainwashed and turned into Silver Crown? Despite having a pretty serious story, there's a fair share of comic relief moments, mainly between Odin and Lucille. Speaking of comedy, since this series is drawn by Koichi Tokita it features new installments of his parody comic strips. Entitled Go For It, Domon! Gundam Party, these strips feature characters from G-UNIT, G Gundam, Gundam Wing and even Gundam X. Hopefully the next volume will feature more of these comedic strips too.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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