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Volume 2

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: February 2, 2007

Updated Review: May 16, 2017

 

Summary

 

Three GMs move through the Odessa forest in a training exercise, and Matt takes out one of them with paint balls. The rookie pilot explains that the impact caused him to lose balance and fall onto another GM, which Matt says is an easy way to get killed in a real battle. Later, Larry and Anish are nearly run over by GMs, which are practicing under Matt's orders. Matt asks Anie about the repairs to his Gundam Ground Type, but she tells him it won't be easy because the Gundam is already using all the spare parts they have. Noel hands Matt a set of new orders from headquarters, and he immediately cancels the training exercises. He explains to the rookies that they'll be part of the 3rd MS Team's next mission. Matt expresses misgivings about the orders, but the rookies think they might be able to win. Matt says he trained them to survive the war, not to die like dogs. At the Zeon camp, Jake argues with May about a mission inside Federation-controlled territory. Ken thinks the mission is worth it because they need the firepower. He asks Douglas for his opinion, and Douglas answers that he knows Ken will go either way. As May runs off, Douglas asks Ken if he's thinking about the daughter he left in space, but he quickly apologizes. Yuuki complains about May being a civilian and asks Douglas why he let her join the unit. Douglas explains that May's family was part of the Zeon Zum Deikun faction, and he feels he can better protect her if she serves under him. Ken notes that Douglas could've escaped to space with M'quve, and Douglas says he believes they can win. At a former Zeon mining base, Noel sits in the Hover Truck with Anie and wonders why Matt pushes the rookies so hard. Anie explains that he's training them hard because they have to be good enough to survive without him. She picks up that Noel is attracted to Matt, and Noel is embarrassed. Matt calls from his Gundam and asks Noel if she's figured out what's inside the H.L.V., but she says she hasn't. Matt intends to let the intel department handle it, because the capsule could be a trap. Anish talks to Matt and complains that the rookies are too lax. Just then, a Zaku swoops down and beheads a rookie's GM with a heat hawk. Two more Zakus join the attack, and Anish throws his shield at one before attacking it. Matt realizes their target is the H.L.V., and Ken closes in with his Zaku. Ken slams the Gundam into the H.L.V. and swings out of the cockpit with May. The two enter the capsule and blast their way out a moment later in a new model Gelgoog. Ken fires at the GMs with his beam rifle and locks onto a GM, but at the same time Matt locks on to Ken's cockpit. Matt orders Ken to surrender, but Ken offers a deal: stop the fighting because they only came for the Gelgoog. Matt says Ken will use the Gelgoog to kill Federation soldiers, but Ken says he only wants the suit as a means of survival. Everyone urges Matt to fire, but he lowers his machine gun. Ken tells Matt that he's soft and that they're both miserable soldiers. Afterwards, Matt is imprisoned for three days as punishment for his actions. The rookies salute him just before they set off on their own.

 

Later, the 3rd MS Team is reassigned to the Federation's underground headquarters at Jaburo in South America. Gundam pilot Ford Romfellow wants to go into space, but Woody Malden explains that they don't have the space to service additional ships. Rachel arrives and speaks to Woody about his fiance Matilda. She doesn't know what to say, but Woody says that because she was Matilda's best friend, her feelings are enough. Above ground, Zeon planes carpet bomb the jungle and drop mobile suits. The 3rd MS Team is sent out to engage the enemy, with Anish using a GM Ground Type and Larry using a new GM Sniper II. With Matt and Anish on his flanks, Larry fires at a Gaw with his long-range beam rifle. As the Zeon suits continue to drop, the 3rd MS Team engages them directly. Noel calls Matt and tells him the Gelgoog probably isn't there because it headed east of Odessa. On the Kazak Plateau, a GM team is wiped out by Ken's Gelgoog. Ken and Garsky return to camp and find that it has been attacked. Ken finds Jake's Zaku and pulls him out of the cockpit because he's injured. Douglas is safe, but Yuuki has been mortally wounded while protecting May. Yuuki asks Ken to take May to space and tells him there's an H.L.V. on the Asian front. She then reaches her hand out to Ken and dies. May cries and blames herself, and Ken looks at his bloody hand and asks who will pay for Yuuki's blood. He wants his Gelgoog resupplied and declares that Yuuki's blood will cost the Federation every one of its soldiers. Back at Jaburo, the last Gaw carrier is destroyed, leaving the Federation mobile suits to mop up the remaining Zeon forces. Matt says the Zeon have nowhere to go, so he orders Larry and Anish to try to get them to surrender first. A Zaku attacks Matt from behind, but he blows off its arm and orders the pilot to surrender. The Zaku runs away, and Matt blows its head off and warns Larry that it's coming his way. Larry targets the Zaku with his sniper rifle, but Matt orders him to get the pilot to surrender instead. As the Zaku opens fire, Anish jumps out and stabs it through the back with his beam saber. Matt yells at Anish for disobeying orders, and Anish insists it would've been reckless to act otherwise. He asks Larry for his opinion, but there's no response. The Zaku's bullets had hit Larry's cockpit, killing him. Matt is too shocked to move, and Anish grabs him and tells him that if not for that order, Larry would be alive. Later, Kowen orders the 3rd MS Team to the Asian front to destroy the Gelgoog and any remaining Zeon forces. Kowen says the order may be rescinded due to Larry's death, but Anish says he will go and wipe out all the Zeon.

 

The 3rd MS Team prepares to take off in a Medea, but their launch is delayed while the Federation's fleet of Salamis and Magellan ships take off for space. Noel wonders if Anie transferred to one of those ships, but Matt explains that she's on a Pegasus class ship. Matt recalls when Anie broke the news. Noel complained about being lonely, and Anish commented that he had debts to settle for Larry. Anie asked Anish if he had a death wish and said people die in war. She said death was inconsequential to what people believe, and Larry believed in Matt's ideals until the end. Matt commented that when any commander loses men, he's suspect. Anie said she didn't want that kind of send off because she believed in Matt. She said if he fell apart, then Larry's death meant nothing. As the Medea flies, Matt thinks about how he wanted to find to end the war faster, not put his men's lives at risk. As Matt wonders if he's misguided, Noel shows him new information on Ken's Gelgoog. Matt isn't sure why, but he feels that at that moment, Ken understood him and for a brief moment and thought that battle was about more than just killing. Matt is spaced out, and Noel explains that the Gelgoog destroyed a Federation force and headed for the Baikonur spaceport. Ken has earned the nickname "Pitiless War God," and Matt wonders if Ken lied to him about his motivations. Noel tells Matt that he shouldn't take everything on his shoulders because everyone believes in him. She says she was moved by the thought that a soldier could think the way Matt does. In the cargo bay, Matt tells Anish that their mission is to destroy the Gelgoog, not fleeing enemies. In his cockpit, Anish asks Matt if he's going to order him not to shoot enemies like he did with Larry. Before Matt can answer, Anish says he will pull the trigger, no matter if the Zeon are wounded or not. At the Baikonur spaceport, Douglas tells May that she's going up to space with the wounded because everyone else has to stay behind. She calls Ken's Gelgoog and asks him if he's going to stay behind, and he tells her he must honor Yuuki's wishes. Ken fires at incoming GMs and tells May he can't let her die. Ken slices a GM apart with his naginata, and May declares she'll wait for Ken in space. As the Federation closes in on the launch pad, Ken moves to the front line, despite his low ammo. Matt tells Anish to not kill needlessly, and Anish asks Matt if he'd rather the Zeon live than them. Just then, Ken drops in and attacks with his naginata, which Matt deflects with his beam saber. Matt asks Ken why he's fighting the way he is, and Ken says because a friend of his was killed, he wants the Federation to pay with blood. Matt counters that he's in the same situation. Noel reports that the H.L.V.s are preparing to lift off, and Anish heads toward them. Anish grabs his sniper rifle, and the first H.L.V. takes off. Ken is shocked to see Matt jump in the way with the Gundam to block Anish's shot. Anish says he'll shoot Matt too, but after a moment he drops his rifle. He asks Matt why he won't let him avenge Larry, and Matt says hate only begets hate. Ken orders a retreat and tells Matt they'll meet again to collect the wages of blood. Noel asks Matt if he's letting them go, and Matt says they'll meet again. In space, May looks down at the Earth from inside the H.L.V.

 

Noel takes a shower for the first time in a while, and Matt walks into the Hover Tank to announce that they've found the Zeon encampment and the Gelgoog. Matt vows to stop the Zeon so that they don't claim the lives of any more Federation soldiers. Rain starts to fall over the Zeon camp, and Garsky notes to Ken that they'll probably have to settle things here since they're down to just a Zaku and Gelgoog. Ken thinks the Federation will wait for the rain to let up and attack them at down, if it's the commander they've been tangling with. Anish demands to know why they don't attack now and use the rain as cover, and Matt tries to explain that their mission is to capture the Gelgoog and force the Zeon to surrender. Anish vows that he'll get revenge for Larry and storms out of the tent. The next morning, Matt launches in his Gundam Ground Type, followed by Anish in his GM Ground Type. Noel cautions them that the abandoned city they're fighting in is still filled with anti-MS traps from prior battles. As they move through the streets, Matt broadcasts a demand that the Zeon surrender. Ken recognizes the voice and identifies himself, and he also asks for Matt's name. Ken rejects the surrender request because he vowed to return to space with his comrades. Anish thinks that talking to the enemy is pointless and opens fire on Ken. Garsky moves in and attacks Anish with a heat hawk, but Anish is able to block with his shield. Matt tells Ken that strength isn't just for fighting, and Ken counters that he doesn't want to hear lectures. Matt explains that he's fighting to end the war quickly, and Ken asks what a single soldier can possibly do. They trade shots, but Ken triggers a trap and causes a highway deck to fall onto the Gelgoog. Garsky exits his cockpit and surrenders, but Anish points a gun at him. Anish then points the gun away and sees that he's been infected by Matt's softness. Matt and Ken come at each other with beam saber and naginata, but they stop when Noel announces the news that the Federation and Zeon have signed a cease fire at Granada. Anish tells Noel that he couldn't get Matt's words about hatred begetting hatred out of his head, and she answers that it's because he knew Matt was right. Ken and Garsky return to Side 3 on a Papua, and Ken is excited to finally be reunited with his family. On Earth, Ken visits the Sydney crater and holds Duchamp's shark tooth fossil.

 

Commentary

 

The second and final volume of Lost War Chronicles picks up right after the first volume and Operation Odessa. Now, Matt is training rookie GM pilots, but things obviously don't work out so well. Matt sees the consequences of his naive beliefs when Larry dies as a result of them. It's really quite foolish, since Matt risked his own people's lives just to save an attacking enemy. That's certainly not the best mind set for any soldier, let alone a commander. The rivalry between Ken and Matt continues, and Ken upgrades to a shiny new Gelgoog. For some reason, TOKYOPOP's English release omitted the final chapter, leaving the story frustratingly incomplete. The final chapter offers a fitting conclusion - Matt and Ken's duel ends with both of them walking away, and Anish gives up his anger and the desire to avenge Larry. Matt and Ken are definitely kindred spirits in the types of soldiers that they are, and I have a feeling that they would be friends in different circumstances. I don't know why TOKYOPOP left off the last chapter from their release, but it certainly didn't do the story and favors.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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