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Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: April 1, 2000
New Review: August 4, 2020

 

Summary

 

M’Quve, commander of Zeon’s European mining operations, is informed by his subordinate Uragang that one of Revil’s divisions has crossed the Strait of Dover. M’Quve is then informed that the White Base has changed course, so he orders Uragang to give this info to Ramba in the hopes that Ramba can destroy the White Base and keep M’Quve from having to split his own forces. Since M’Quve is under Kycilia’s command, he feels no obligation to help Ramba, who reports to Dozle. After Uragang leaves, M’Quve receives a briefing on the EFF’s advances through Europe. Hamon asks Ramba what M’Quve is up to, and Ramba tells her that M’Quve wants to be rid of them since they’re in Kycilia’s jurisdiction. Hamon asks why Ramba took this mission, which she didn’t agree with, and he explains that he’ll get a two-rank promotion if he succeeds, and the prospects of his soldiers are tied to his own success. He says that he’s also doing it for Hamon so they can live closer together. Aboard a Big Tray land battleship, Revil receives an update from Gen. Elran that Matilda’s unit has rendezvoused with the White Base. Elran notes that the White Base is the only ship for the rear assault and asks Revil if he really thinks they’re all Newtypes. Although Elran has seen the Gundam’s combat data, he thinks it’s risky to assume the entire ship is full of Newtypes based on only two weeks of data. Revil mentions rumors that Char is a Newtype, and he cites Zeon Zum Deikun’s theory that Newtypes are the next evolution of humanity. Elran thinks Char is a fluke, and Revil then points to the case of Amuro, who piloted the Gundam with no training. Elsewhere, Matilda supervises the transfer of supplies to the White Base and runs into Amuro. He offers to show her a shortcut to the bridge and rides the elevator with her. Fraw runs into them and asks him about fixing her air conditioner, but he ditches her to follow Matilda. While working on a gun turret, Kai tells Oscar that Matilda is exactly the kind of woman he’d want as a girlfriend, and he feels greatly embarrassed when she walks by. Owning his embarrassment, he asks if they can take a picture together, but a bunch of other male crewmembers insist on getting in the photo. Amuro leaves Matilda at Bright’s quarters, and he tells her that they plan to travel the Black Sea to get to the Caspian Sea. As the White Base travels through the desert, Marker picks up something but is unable to identify it due to Minovsky interference. Sayla tries to spot the bogey visually through a telescope and wonders if a Zeon soldier would know anything about her brother, Casval. Amuro and Ryu report to the bridge, and Bright orders all the mobile suits to go on launch standby. Ramba’s Gallop land battleship approaches the White Base, and Clamp explains to Hamon that they’ll attack the White Base from the front while the Gouf and Zakus attack it from the rear. Amuro heads down the hangar just as the Gundam launches, and Job John tells him Sayla said she had special orders. Sayla experiences a rough launch from the G-forces and crashes into the sand. The Gallop opens fire on the White Base, which immediately returns fire. A Zaku opens fire on Sayla’s left, and she’s then attacked on the right by Ramba’s Gouf. Before Ramba can attack again, Amuro fires at him in the Guncannon. Sayla stands up, but Ramba emerges from the cover of sand and uses his heat rod to slice off the Gundam’s right foot. Amuro keeps firing at Ramba, and Cozun tries to get in close to take on the Gundam. Cozun grapples onto the Gundam and damages its main camera, and Ryu and Hayato launch in the Guntank. Ramba feels that his forces are spread too thin and asks Acous to support Cozun, but just then Amuro blasts Acous and kills him. Cozun then breaks off from the Gundam, but Amuro knocks around his Zaku and captures it. Ramba retreats to the Gallop, and Amuro drags the captured Zaku back to the White Base.

 

Cozun asks Bright if he plans to honor the Antarctic Treaty’s provisions on prisoners of war and says that as an officer he wants three meals daily. As the damaged Gundam is hauled back to the ship on the back of the Guntank, Bright calls Sayla and orders her to report to the bridge. Sayla justifies her actions with the excuse that she wanted to prove a woman could fight as well as a man, and Bright can’t believe someone as smart as her would do such a thing. Mirai tells Sayla that they have to make an example out of her, so her punishment is three days of solitary confinement. Ryu escorts Sayla to the brig, where Fraw and Job are about to deliver food to Cozun. Ryu comments that two people aren’t enough for that job, so Sayla volunteers to give Cozun his food. Sayla enters the cell and asks who the Red Comet really is, and Cozun answers that his name is Char Aznable. He mentions rumors of Char being a drifter from Earth and adds that he lost his position for failing to protect Garma. Other rumors suggest he has a bone to pick with the Zabis, but he was picked up again by Kycilia. Ryu takes Sayla to her cell, and she tells herself that Char has to be her brother, which makes her cry in relief. She then remembers being a child when Casval left her and disappeared. At night, Amuro works on the bridge and examines the combat capabilities of the Zaku that they captured. Kai asks about simulating the Gouf, and Amuro explains that he upped the Zaku’s performance by 20 percent. Kai takes over the helm for Mirai, and she heads to the interrogation room, where Bright mentions that Cozun doesn’t believe he’s actually in command of the ship. Bright asks where the Gallop is based and about M’Quve’s mining operations, but Cozun refuses to speak. Elsewhere, a Fat Uncle transport plane delivers an overhauled Zaku to resupply Ramba’s forces. Amuro nearly slips in the hallway, and Kikka runs out of Mirai’s quarters to ask him to fix a faucet. Mirai hides since she isn’t wearing clothes, and Amuro fixes the faucet handle and stops the leak. Cozun is taken back to his cell and comments that his captors are such amateurs that they didn’t even conduct a body search. He removes a false tooth and strings it around the door handle with a wire, setting off a small explosion that breaks the handle. He then asks Sayla if she’s Zeon and says she can come with him, but she tells him he’s wrong and screams for help. The White Base launches missiles to intercept incoming missiles, and Bright wonders if M’Quve has a mine out here. Bright orders Amuro to launch in the Gundam and attack, but Amuro ignores orders and launches in the Guntank with Hayato. Ryu calls Bright and reports that Cozun has escaped from his cell. Ryu wants Sayla to help him with the search, and Bright orders Ryu to find Cozun and kill him if necessary. Cozun breaks into a communications room and uses a computer to send a message to Ramba. He reports on the White Base’s mobile suits, and Oscar picks up his transmission and ends it. Sayla runs into Cozun and struggles with him, grabbing his gun as he runs away. Amuro and Hayato attack the Zeon pillboxes, and Ramba’s Gallop moves in to provide backup. Kikka, Katz and Letz deploy Haro to trip Cozun, but he escapes from Sayla again. Kai launches on the Guncannon just as Ramba’s Gouf and two Zakus reach the battlefield. Ramba notices the Gundam’s absence and moves in to attack, which forces the Guntank to fall back to the ship. Sayla tries to get into a room that Cozun has locked himself into, and crewman Omar Fang offers to help. Cozun straps on a jetpack and prepares to exit via hatch, but Omar blasts the door with a bazooka, killing Cozun. Kai is grappled by the Gouf’s heat rod and loses an arm, but Amuro provides cover fire from the Gundam. Kai then falls back to the ship, allowing it to retreat. Later, Amuro examines the combat data and sees that the Gouf moves too differently from the Zaku for his combat estimate to work. He then nods off before Bright and Mirai walk into the mobile suit hangar. Bright asks Mirai if she thinks Amuro is a Newtype, and she says there’s no other explanation for his performance since Side 7. Amuro starts to wake up just as Bright tells Mirai he wants to take him off the Gundam. Bright is worried that condoning Amuro’s actions will go to his head and cause him to develop an attitude, and Mirai notices Amuro standing off to the side. Amuro cries and runs away, but Bright is fine with the situation because they don’t have to explain themselves now. Amuro changes out of his uniform, packs a bag and tells Mirai he’s leaving the ship because Bright and Mirai think he’s useless. Amuro then steals the Gundam and disappears into the night.

 

The next day, Amuro buries the Gundam in the sand and marches alone through the desert until he finds an old man in a tent. He asks for water, but the old man tells him to go to the nearby town of Sodon. Amuro reaches the town and asks a bartender if he has food. As Ryu conducts repairs to the ship’s exterior he tells Bright that he thinks Amuro might be a Newtype, but Bright responds that even so, he can’t overlook violations of military regulations. Amuro eats bread in the bar when two Zeon Samson trucks pull up and Zeon soldiers enter the bar, followed by Hamon and Ramba. He tells them this will be their last meal before the operation, and Sodon orders meals for 14 people - including Amuro. Fraw drives through the desert in a buggy to look for Amuro and spots Sodon in the distance. Amuro thanks Hamon for her goodwill but says he has no reason to accept a handout. She asks if liking him is reason enough to buy him a meal, and Amuro answers that he’s no beggar. Ramba is impressed with Amuro and insists that the meal is on him now. A soldier reports that they’ve found a potential spy and drags Fraw into the bar. Amuro calls out her name, and Hamon asks if she’s a friend of his. Ramba thinks she’s just a child, but the soldier notes she’s wearing an EFF uniform. Ramba walks over to Amuro and pulls back his cloak, revealing that he’s holding a gun. Ramba comments that it won’t be the same when they meet in the battlefield and lets them go. After they leave, Ramba orders a soldier named Zeygan to follow them and try to find the White Base. Amuro tells Fraw that he wants to be left alone, and she counters that people aren’t always going to depend on him. He then drives Fraw out of the town in her buggy, and she comments that he’s becoming more distant from her. Amuro stops outside of town and gets off to go in his own direction. Fraw continues to the White Base and is followed by Zeygan on motorcycle. Fraw reports on the town, and Kai laughs that Amuro probably sold them out. The Gouf and a Zaku launch from Sodon and jump in the air over Amuro on their way to the White Base. Amuro runs over to the buried Gundam and starts digging out the cockpit hatch. Ramba’s Gouf and Stetch’s Zaku open fire on the White Base and are met with return fire from the Guntank. Stretch fires a missile that takes out one of the Guntank’s caterpillar treads, and Hayato ejects the Guntank’s upper half to act as a gun emplacement while Ryu uses the Core Fighter to find Amuro. As the White Base takes off, Stetch is killed by standing too close to the engines and being blasted by their heat. Ramba lands on the hull and starts whipping it with his heat rod, and Mirai tells everyone to hold on so she can perform a flip to knock him off. Ryu flies through the desert and spots the Gundam engaged in combat against the Gallop. Ryu joins the attack and tells Amuro to go help the White Base. Kai panics when Ramba approaches and accidentally trips him. Ramba grabs onto the Guncannon with his heat rod, but Amuro fires his beam rifle and severs the connection. Amuro and Ramba fight at close range with beam saber and heat sword and slice each other’s cockpits open. Ramba moves in to attack again, but Amuro dodges and slices off both the Gouf’s forearms. Each is shocked to see that the other is a pilot, and Ramba can’t believe he’s been fighting a kid. Ramba then tries to knock the Gundam down, so Amuro stabs the Gouf’s backpack. Ramba fires a grappling line onto the Gundam and swings out of the Gouf, stating that Amuro won because of the Gundam’s abilities, not his own. As the Gouf explodes, Ramba is knocked away and decides to hide until nightfall before meeting up with Hamon.

 

Bright locks Amuro in the brig and removes him as the Gundam’s pilot. Amuro attempts to plead with Bright and says he has an excuse, but Bright responds that he doesn’t need to listen to it. Amuro then says that Bright will need him when Ramba attacks again, but Ryu tells Amuro that he and Sayla can both handle the Gundam now. Amuro screams out for anyone to listen to him and declares that he can use the Gundam better than anyone. He then cries and thinks about Ramba and how he wants to defeat him. Uragang flies a Commu plane out to Ramba’s position and reports that M’Quve won’t be able to provide any support because he’s busy dealing with Revil’s forces. He still wants the White Base captured - undamaged if possible - and Ramba vows to complete his mission bare-handed, if necessary. Ramba tells Hamon and Clamp that with their forces depleted, they’ll carry out guerilla tactics. On the Big Tray, Revil discusses the battle map and wants to use the White Base to support the right rear flank, but Elran thinks they’re relying too heavily on the ship. Revil tasks Matilda with repairing the White Base’s engines, but he also wants her to deliver a new fighter called the Core Booster. Ace pilots Gaia, Mash and Ortega, collectively known as the Black Tri-Stars, arrive on Earth with new Dom mobile suits and report to M’Quve. Gaia thinks the White Base shouldn’t be underestimated, but M’Quve doesn’t believe in the existence of Newtypes. As the Gallop speeds through the desert, Ghien launches in their last Zaku, followed by ground soldiers on two Cui transports. The White Base goes on battle alert as the Gallop approaches, and Sayla launches in the Gundam. Bright cancels the rest of the mobile suit launch and orders everyone to prepare for hand-to-hand combat when the Cuis approach. He also has Fraw release Amuro so that he can man a machine gun turret. Sayla jumps and fires her beam rifle, destroying the Zaku’s head. As the Cuis approach, Ramba and his men take off with jetpacks and land on the ship. Clamp lands on the bridge to breach it and is shocked to see Kikka there. Mirai pulls her away before Clamp blows one of the windows open. He then tries to enter the ship through a nearby hatch and is killed by machine gun fire. Sayla returns to the ship and realizes that the soldiers are too small to target with the Gundam’s weapons. Amuro struggles against a Zeon soldier until Bright shoots the soldier in the head. He then orders Amuro to get the Gundam from Sayla and take out the enemies holed up in the secondary bridge. One of the Zeon soldiers thinks it’s odd that there are so many kids on the ship, but Ramba chalks it up to manpower shortages. Ramba and his men rush the secondary bridge to reroute control from the main bridge. Sayla runs out of a room next to Ramba, and he recognizes her as Artesia. He reminds her that his father Jimba was a revolutionary who supported Zeon Deikun, and she asks why he’s pointing a gun at her if he knows she’s Artesia. Ryu rushes in and shoots Ramba multiple times, and Ramba does the same to Ryu in return. He then locks himself inside the secondary bridge, and Bright orders Amuro to destroy it. Ramba tells his men that the mission is a failure, and he calls Hamon and asks her to use the Gallop to destroy the White Base. Amuro blasts the hull open from the outside, knocking Ramba down. As Bright and Sayla rush in, Ramba tells them to witness what it means to be defeated in battle. He then pulls out a grenade and jumps off the ship, exploding in the Gundam’s hand. The Gallop opens fire, and Amuro shouts out to Hamon that Ramba is dead. He then fires a beam rifle shot to destroy the Gallop, but Hamon escapes in the ejectable bridge module. Matilda’s Medeas come under fire from several Dopps on their way to the White Base. Elsewhere in Europe, the EFF initiates Operation Odessa to drive the Zeon off Earth. Matilda’s group reaches the White Base, and she informs Sayla that they want her to pilot the Core Booster. Bright asks Matilda if she thinks Amuro and Sayla are Newtypes, and she answers that’ll be determined at Jaburo. Sayla doesn’t like the idea of being a guinea pig, and Matilda’s assistant Seki notes that Zeon Deikun believed mankind would evolve to be able to live in space. Sayla asks if increased perception is linked to increased piloting ability, but he notes that’s what these tests are for. Matilda speaks briefly to Amuro about the Core Booster and leaves to work on the engines. As night falls, the Black Tri-Stars launch in their Doms and set off the White Base’s proximity sensors planted in the surrounding forest. Ryu watches the bridge feed from the infirmary and struggles to get out of bed. Hayato launches in the Guntank, which has been modified so that he can pilot it alone, and he’s followed by Kai in the Guncannon. Sayla prepares to launch in the Core Booster and asks Matilda if she really thinks she can do this, and Matilda answers that if this isn’t a Newtype experiment, Sayla will be in big trouble to commandeering the Gundam earlier.

 

Amuro launches in the Gundam, and Mirai tells Matilda that the ship can’t launch because engine output isn’t rising. Hayato and Kai have trouble targeting the fast-moving Doms, and one manages to destroy a Medea. Amuro opens fire on the Doms and lands behind trees as cover. Amuro engages Gaia at close range with his beam saber, and one of the other Doms attacks the White Base directly. Matilda’s Medea takes off to get out of the White Base’s way, and Gaia tells Ortega and Mash to perform a Jet Stream Attack on the Gundam. The three Doms approach the Gundam in single file, and the first attacks with its heat saber while the second fires its bazooka. Amuro dodges the saber and then slices the bazooka apart. Gaia wants to try again, and Matilda’s Medea opens fire. The Black Tri-Stars attack once more, but Amuro jumps on Gaia to use him as a springboard and attack Mash, while Ortega is knocked against the Medea. Ortega then smashes the Medea’s cockpit, causing the plane to crash and explode. Enraged by Matilda’s death, Amuro slices Mash’s Dom apart. Hayato and Kai arrive to provide support, and Sayla launches in the Core Booster. Sayla fires her beam cannons from above and destroys Ortega’s Dom, while Amuro stabs Gaia and kills him. Elsewhere in Europe, Zeon forced are pushed into retreat by the overwhelming power of the EFF advance. At the same time, Hamon launches an attack on the White Base with her limited forces, which include the Gallop’s support module, a Samson and the tops of Magella Attack tanks. Hamon vows that she’ll destroy the White Base to avenge both Ramba and Garma. The White Base conducts an emergency landing due to falling engine output, and Bright orders Amuro to scout ahead. Bright shouts out multiple orders to the crew, and Mirai tells him he’s overdoing it. Amuro is distracted by thoughts of Matilda as the enemy closes in. Hayato tries to climb a hill with the Guntank, but its engine gives out. Amuro watches the battle and wonders what he’s fighting for and what Matilda fought for. Ryu watches the bridge feed and manages to get onto a buggy to leave the ship. Amuro snaps out of his daze and goes after Tachi’s Zaku that is attacking the ship. The explosive-laden Gallop support module slams into Amuro, and he stops it from crashing into the White Base. Hamon orders Tachi to take out Amuro, so he uses his heat hawk to cut into the Gundam’s waist. A Magella Attack top fires from above, and Amuro manages to flip Tachi’s Zaku over him so that it takes the shot. Tachi’s Zaku then flies through the air and crashes into the Magella Attack top, causing both to explode. Hamon positions her Magella Attack top directly behind Amuro because she assumes the Gundam’s armor won’t withstand such a shot at close range. Hamon regrets the situation because she liked Amuro, but she fires and blows up the Gundam’s shield. Just then, Ryu appears out of nowhere with a Core Fighter and performs a suicide attack by slamming into Hamon,. The last Magella Attack top attacks, and Amuro kicks away the Gallop support module before blasting it with several shots to destroy it. Elsewhere, Operation Odessa ends in victory for the EFF as Zeon forces evacuate Earth. M’Quve takes off in the Zanzibar and tells Uragang that the resources he’s sent to Kycilia will allow the Zeon to keep fighting for another decade. Amuro punches Hayato for not stopping Ryu, and Hayato explains that Ryu ejected the Guntank’s top half from the outside to get to the Core Fighter. The two knock each other to the ground, and Fraw shouts at them to stop because this fighting accomplishes nothing. After the White Base takes off, the crew gathers on deck to salute all the recent losses to Operation Odessa. Sayla cries and apologizes to Matilda for not doing better. 

 

In Belfast, a young woman named Miharu Ratokie feels her house shaking when the White Base flies overhead, and she rushes to take pictures and write up an intelligence report to send to the Zeon. She sends out the report on a balloon that is eventually intercepted by a Mad Angler submarine commanded by Char. Miharu’s photo is too fuzzy to be conclusive, so Char has the Mad Angler surface so he can launch in a Sealance craft. A subordinate named Mulligan tells Char that they could leave verification to Flanagan Boone’s unit, but Char wants to see for himself if it’s the White Base. Char can’t believe his luck at coming across the White Base right after being assigned to the Mad Angler. A Dish plane transporting Revil lands at the EFF base in Belfast, where the White Base is undergoing repairs. Kai exits the base on shore leave and is immediately set upon by Miharu, who wants him to buy goods from her basket. Amuro doesn’t want to buy anything either, and Fraw chases after the children and runs across Revil disembarking from the Dish. Later, the assembled crew meets with Revil, who thanks them for everything they’ve done since Side 7. He announces that they’re next being sent to Jaburo to undergo Newtype testing, and Amuro asks for an explanation of what a Newtype is. Revil answers that he believes Newtypes have excellent intuition and insight, but he’s not sure what the rest of the military thinks. He adds that even if human perception expands due to a change in environment, there’s no way to tell how stable an ability it will develop into. Kai tells Bright he feels ill and asks to be excused. Fraw asks Revil about the children, and he tells her that Jaburo has facilities to take care of them. Kai feels annoyed that everyone seems to want to spend their lives on the White Base. Elsewhere, Boone’s Jukon subs launch Gogg amphibious mobile suits. Kai packs up his belongings to leave the ship and runs into Amuro and Bright. Amuro says that even though he doesn’t like everything about Kai, he thought they were comrades who stuck together. Bright tells Amuro to leave the situation alone because he’s authorized it under the pretext of Kai keeping watch from ashore. Char’s Sealance docks with Boone’s Jukon, and the Goggs deploy freeziard material to protect themselves from the EFF’s underwater mines. Kai wanders through the war-torn city and runs into Miharu again, who offers to let him stay at her place if he’s been kicked out of the EFF. At Miharu’s house, Kai sits down for bread with her younger siblings, Milly and Gil. Miharu asks how long the White Base will be in port and tells Kai she’s interested in ships. Everyone leaves the room, and Kai rummages through Miharu’s basket and finds a gun in it. She returns with a blanket for Kai to sleep on the couch, and he casually mentions that the White Base is leaving tonight, even though the right engine is still causing trouble. The Goggs transmit their recon photos back to Boone and Char that confirm the White Base is in port. Boone reports that Miharu is in contact with a White Base crewmember, and Char wants her to infiltrate the ship and learn its destination. Char tells Boone that the Gundam is rumored to be piloted by a Newtype, and the course of the war could change depending on whether its sent to Jaburo or North Africa. Boone’s Jukon launches missiles toward Belfast to provide cover for the Goggs, and the EFF returns fire with its own missiles. Bright orders Sayla to launch in the Core Booster, and Amuro is annoyed that the Gundam isn’t ready for launch. Kai asks Milly and Gil where Miharu went, and they lie that she went shopping. Miharu bicycles to a remote area and meets with Zeon soldier Connolly, who gives her gold payment and an EFF uniform and fake papers to use for her infiltration mission. One of the Goggs opens fire on Sayla, so she fires missiles into the water. Miharu returns home and finds that Kai is gone, and she tells her siblings that she has a job to do and will be gone for a while. She vows that when she’s done, they’ll go to a place where there’s no fighting. A Z’Gok surfaces from the water and attacks the White Base. Hayato prepares to launch in the Guncannon, and Kai watches the battle and wonders why he cares about the ship. Sayla attacks one of the Jukon subs, and Kai commandeers a motorcycle to get back to the EFF base. Kai finds the Guntank ready to launch, so he takes it out and opens fire on the Z’Gok attacking Hayato. The Gundam then arrives to provide backup and is pulled into the water by the Z’Gok. Amidst the confusion of the battle, Miharu sneaks onto the White Base. Sayla sinks one of the Jukons, and Kai shoots the Z’Gok before Amuro slices into it. 

 

After the White Base departs, Miharu sneaks into Bright’s quarters and hides under the desk when Kai walks in. He notices her presence when her shirt tears and is surprised she’s on the ship. Amuro catches Kai trying to sneak Miharu back to his quarters, and Kai asks him not to say anything because he’s dropping her off at Jaburo. A camouflaged fishing union plane approaches the White Base and requests to dock for repairs. Boone comments that they’re probably the first Zeon to sneak onto the ship, but he tells his copilot Carioca to keep his mouth shut because his Zeon accent is too strong. Boone exits the plane and tells Bright a story that they were looking for schools of fish until being attacked by Zeon planes. Bright offers to repair and refuel the plane and tells Boone everything is off limits except for one waiting room. Boone asks Job where the bathroom is, and he uses his wrist communicator to contact Miharu. She reports that the ship is heading to Jaburo, but she’s working on the other items. Kai walks in and thinks it’s odd that Miharu was able to make contact so far from land, but then he remembers that there’s a civilian plane aboard. Boone returns to the Mad Angler and reports to Char that the White Base is on course for Jaburo. Char decides to pull forces from the California Base and Africa to attack Jaburo, and Boone asks to use the mobile armor Grublo to attack the White Base. Char approves, and Boone launches in the Grublo with two Z’Goks in two. As the White Base comes under fire, Miharu is surprised to see the children on board. One of the mobile suit decks is damaged by a direct hit just as Sayla launches in the Core Booster. Miharu asks Kai to help him because she feels guilty for revealing the ship’s destination. Hayato launches in a Core Fighter, and a Z’Gok damages the mobile suit launch deck. Bright orders Kai to launch in the Gunperry, and Sayla destroys a Z’Gok. Boone fires missiles in response and hits the Core Fighter. A Z’Gok fires more missiles at the White Base, and Miharu again asks Kai to let her help, saying she can’t let the children die for the sake of her brother and sister. Kai agrees to let her come along as his gunner. Sayla conducts an emergency landing on the water, and Hayato falls back after running out of ammo. The Gunperry is damaged by the Z’Gok, which prevents Miharu from firing missiles. Kai says that they can also fire them from a lever by the catapult, so Miharu heads down there. Miharu fires all three missiles, but the force generated by their launch sends her flying out the side of the Gunperry. The missiles destroy the Z’Gok, and Kai returns to the ship unaware that Miharu is dead. As Kai cries over her death, Bright asks everyone who she is until Amuro mentions she was a stowaway. Kai imagines a conversation with Miharu and says that nothing good ever comes of dying. Later, the White Base finally reaches Jaburo in Brazil and is followed by Char’s Mad Angler and a Jukon. Katz says that he can’t see anything, and Letz points to a piece of the forest opening to reveal a secret dock entrance. The White Base flies underground and disappears from Zeon sensors, and Char orders the California Base to send its forces. Woody Malden orders his crew to begin inspection of the White Base, and Bright introduces himself. Woody asks for Amuro and is surprised to see he’s just a boy. Woody asks if Amuro pilots the Gundam and says that Matilda mentioned him. Later, the crew reports to a facility for Newtype testing. Hayato wonders if Amuro is a Newtype, but Amuro states that the EFF has never believed in the Newtype theory.

 

A Zock traveling through the river fires missiles. Amuro asks Woody how he knew Matilda, and Woody explains that they were engaged to be married after Operation Odessa. He adds that Matilda wanted the White Base crew to attend the ceremony since they’d be at Jaburo. Amuro imagines Matilda in a wedding dress, but is then reminded of her death. He apologizes to Woody and says things might’ve been different if he were a better pilot, but Woody thinks it’s arrogant for Amuro to assume one mobile suit could save Matilda or end the war. Woody thinks a pilot should give everything he has so that there’s no regrets later. As the Zock travels through the river, pilot Boraskyniv spots Jaburo’s entrance due to its metallic signature. Gaws conduct their regular bombing of Jaburo’s south block, and an observation station is destroyed by an Acguy. Char’s Z’Gok jumps into the water, followed by his Acguy squad. As an alert siren sounds, an EFF officer tells the assembled White Base crew that they’re being reorganized as the 13th Autonomous Corps under the Tianem Fleet. The crew are all assigned official ranks, and Fraw chases the runaway children into the room. A woman named Kolin mentions that children are her speciality, so she can take care of them. The officer then announces that Ryu is receiving a posthumous promotion, and Amuro asks if the dead can be written off with a promotion. Amuro says that the EFF didn’t do anything for them when they were fighting, but now they’re handing out promotions. The officer tries to slap Amuro and is annoyed when Amuro dodges, so he makes a second attempt. Later, Fraw tells Amuro that he runs his mouth too much, and he asks about the kids. She wonders what will become of them, and he says they have to stay behind because kids shouldn’t watch people kill each other. Bright and Mirai meet with senior leadership, and Gen. Gopp comments that if Mirai’s father were still alive, the war might be over soon. Gopp mentions that the White Base will return to space to make a show of force and take a different path around the Moon from the fleet departing Luna II to capture the space fortress Solomon. Gopp talks about the end of the war and mentions that Mirai has a fiance. As they drive back to the ship, Mirai explains to Bright that the fiance stuff was decided by their parents, and he ran off to Side 6 to avoid the war. Char’s team infiltrates Jaburo via underground caverns. Bright tells the crew that they’re returning to space, and a new pilot named Sleggar Law introduces himself. Bright doesn’t know anything about it, but Mirai searches through documents and finds the transfer orders. Sleggar introduces himself to Sayla and comments that she looks like she’s having trouble with a man. Kikka, Katz and Letz run away from Kolin and hide in the caves. Without noticing, they walk right over an Acguy’s head to cross over a gap in the rocks. Char and his men discover a factory filled with the EFF’s new mass production mobile suit, the GM. The kids sneak into the factory and see the GMs, along with the Zeon soldiers planting explosives on them. Fraw and Mirai drive around looking for the kids and run into Kolin, who also hasn’t seen them. The Zeon soldiers tie up the kids and leave them in the GM factory, but Letz chews through Katz’s ropes to free him. Bright asks Sayla and Mirai to go out and look for the kids. The kids remove all the bombs from the GMs and load them onto a jeep. Jaburo goes on level one battle alert as a large force of Gaws approach. Hayato, Amuro and Kai drive around Jaburo and spot the kids in a jeep with the bombs. Hayato pulls up next to them so that Amuro can jump over and drive. The kids jump over to the other car, and Amuro steers the jeep toward a cliff before jumping off of it. The bombs explode after the jeep tumbles off the side of the cliff.

 

The Gaws begin bombarding the surface above Jaburo, and Char and his men come under fire. Char calls ahead and tells two Acguys to escape, and the EFF deploys Fly Manta fighters to engage the Dopps and Gaws. Char stops running when he hears Sayla’s voice and calls out to her as Artesia. Sayla says she can’t believe that Casval would join the Zeon forces, and Char asks her to resign from the EFF. Mirai spots Char and starts shooting at him, but Sayla pretends that she didn’t see him. Char returns to this Z’Gok, and Acguy pilot Akahana is killed by a Type 61 Tank. On the surface, Gaws drop Zakus, Doms and Goufs to attack the ground. Hayato launches in the Guntank, followed by Kai in the Guncannon and Amuro in the Gundam. Zeon forces blast their way into the space dock, so Woody orders his workers to take up defensive positions. A Gogg attacks Kai, but he opens fire and destroys it. Woody takes off in a Fanfan hovercraft and attacks the Zeon, but Amuro tells him to fall back. Amuro spots the red Z’Gok and wonders if Char is the pilot. A GM attacks Char, but he rams a claw through it and destroys it. Amuro is sure that Char is the pilot and fires at him. Char dodges and gets in close, and he comments that the Gundam’s skills have improved. Woody opens fire from behind, but Char smashes the Fanfan’s cockpit. He then attacks Amuro again and loses his right arm to the Gundam’s beam saber. Char then falls back and feels intense pressure coming from Amuro. He reaches an underground passage and fires on the ceiling to cause a cave in and block Amuro’s path. Kolin tries to explain to the crew that the kids are better off in Jaburo, but Kai states that they’ve seen things even adults wouldn’t understand. He asks the kids if they want to stay on the White Base, and they answer that they do. Kolin relents and agrees to fill out the paperwork to allow it. Bright meets with senior EFF leaders and realizes that the White Base is meant to act as a decoy for the Zeon. Later, the White Base takes off from the space dock and heads for space. At a Zeon base, Char boards a Zanzibar equipped with a space booster. Amuro tells Bright that he thinks he fought Char at Jaburo, and Sayla thinks about her brother.

 

Commentary

 

This second movie covers episodes 16-31 of the TV series, and it definitely lives up to its subtitle, Soldiers of Sorrow. Compared to the first movie, this portion of the story has undergone much more extensive changes. Amuro's time away from the White Base is shortened, and fights against M'Quve's forces are omitted. Hamon's revenge attack is moved further away from Ramba's death, causing the White Base to miss Operation Odessa, which they did participate in on TV. The Black Tri-Stars are reduced to a single appearance, and a battle at Belfast is omitted. Another big change is the introduction of the Core Booster, a fighter plane that replaces the extremely gimmicky and toyetic G-Fighter from the TV series. The G-Fighter and its convoluted configurations were annoying, so its replacement here is a welcome change. The reorganized flow of the story works well here, as it demonstrates how the White Base crew is being pushed to their limits. It also puts the spotlight on characters other than Amuro, which shows shared perspectives on their mutual struggle. One problem with this movie in particular is the editing, as many scenes have fast and rough transitions between them. The quick transitions between scenes sometimes creates a feeling of whiplash, but overall, even this flaw can't detract from the movie's strengths.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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