After landing at an airport, Martha, Alberto and Ronan take a car ride to North America’s Cheyenne base with two Ankshas as escorts. In the base’s command center, Martha receives a status report on the position of the Nahel Argama, the General Revil and the Neo Zeon fleet. She says there’s no doubt that Laplace’s Box lies within Industrial 7’s Magallanica, and they have to destroy the Box regardless of which group reaches it first. Ronan comments that while the Box will be destroyed, covering up what they’re about to do will become the new Box. On the Ra Cailum, Kai calls Bright and informs him that the Federation and Foundation plan to fire the repaired Gryps 2 at Industrial 7. He mentions that the control center is in Cheyenne, so Bright orders immediate atmospheric re-entry. Banagher’s Full Armor Unicorn Gundam crosses beam sabers with Riddhe’s Banshee Norn. Riddhe wonders why the NT-D won’t activate, and Banagher pleads with him to get out of the dangerous machine. The Nahel Argama‘s mobile suit team prepares to intercept the enemy, with Conroy’s Jegan using a Mega Bazooka Launcher mounted on the ship. A Jagd Doga leads a force of Gaza-Ds, and a Bawoo destroys a ReZEL. The Bawoo splits apart and opens fire on the Nahel Argama, but it’s destroyed by a Geara Zulu using a Skiure. Banagher tells Riddhe they don’t have time to fight, but Riddhe blames him for everything. Banagher states that he can’t hold the Unicorn Gundam back any longer, which upsets Riddhe even more and activates the NT-D on both suits. Everyone on the Nahel Argama hears the voices of Banagher and Riddhe. A new team consisting of a Gigan, Gaza-Ds and Ga-Zowmn arrive, led by Angelo’s Rozen Zulu. Angelo vows to get rid of everyone because only Full Frontal is worthy of opening the Box. He destroys a Stark Jegan, and Conroy takes down a ReGelgu. Conroy opens fire on Angelo, who retaliates and destroys the Mega Bazooka Launcher. Marida calls the bridge to launch in the Kshatriya Repaired, and Liam states that she’s in no condition to fight. Zinnerman thinks they should let Marida distract Riddhe while Banagher moves ahead to deal with Neo Zeon. Otto objects, but Zinnerman notes that they’ll die anyway if they do nothing. Zinnerman wants to use Banagher to find the fleet and sink the Rewloola and its escorts, and Otto asks him to serve as combat advisor. Riddhe continues to attack Banagher and calls Newtypes the curse of Laplace’s Box. Riddhe thinks the Marcenas and Vist families are to blame, so if he and Banagher disappear, it’ll erase the bad karma of the last century. Banagher doesn’t understand, and Riddhe says it was supposed to be a prayer, not a curse. The Banshee Norn’s NT-D emits more power, and Banagher warns Riddhe against being swallowed by the machine. Riddhe vows to eliminate all Newtypes, but Banagher tells him he’s a Newtype himself. Marida arrives and opens fire on Riddhe, and she tells Banagher to leave. Banagher reluctantly complies as Riddhe attacks Marida. A Schuzrum-Galluss lands on the Nahel Argama‘s catapult and is attacked by a Jegan and Geara Zulu. A Zssa lands on the other catapult and is destroyed by Conroy. The Schuzrum-Galluss moves in close, but it’s knocked away by one of Banagher’s propellant tanks.
A Zaku III destroys a Jegan, and Banagher ejects his other tank and shoots it in the middle of several enemies. Banagher disables several mobile suits, which in turn are destroyed by Angelo. Banagher doesn’t understand, and Angelo claims that they’re warmongers and a blight to society. Angelo deploys bits that surround the Unicorn Gundam and block the psycommu, which deactivates the NT-D. Angelo proclaims that he’s hated Banagher since the moment they met and opens fire. Mineva reaches out to Riddhe and tells him to trust his heart. Marida keeps attacking and knocks away his beam magnum. She fires a barrage of missiles that destroys part of the Banshee Norn’s right leg. Riddhe hears the voices of Mineva, Marida, Mihiro, Micott and Takuya, but he thinks they’re just an illusion. Riddhe reaches out for Mineva, but the beam magnum bumps into him, and he’s overwhelmed by voices that he believes are saying he’s wrong. Riddhe blames Mineva for leaving him and fires the beam magnum, which destroys the Kshatriya. Banagher cries out in pain at Marida’s death, and the psycho-waves cause the Unicorn Gundam to turn green. Marida’s ghost tells Riddhe to calm down and look at the world around him. He can’t believe what he’s done, and Marida’s voice tells everyone that they’re being targeted. She appears to Zinnerman and tells him he was the light that gave her a second life. She calls him father and vanishes before appearing to Mineva. She asks Mineva to watch over Banagher and hold on to him. With the light of the green psychoframe, Banagher uses his shields to destroy Angelo’s bits. The shield Gatlings move independently, and Banagher seizes control of his weapons. Angelo sees the image of Full Frontal’s back and wonders why he needs someone who doesn’t even want him. The Rozen Zulu’s claw smashes through the cockpit, and Banagher leaves. Elsewhere, Alberto falls to his knees and cries over Marida’s death. An EWAC Jegan clings to an asteroid and feeds targeting data to the Nahel Argama‘s hyper mega particle cannon, which destroys an Endra and Musaka. The bridge crew relaxes for a moment, and Otto comments that what he heard was no hallucination. Riddhe vomits in his cockpit as he’s overwhelmed by Newtype resonance. He begs Banagher to shoot him, but the NT-D deactivates. Martha wants to fire Gryps 2, but Ronan thinks it’s too soon and notes that the Box has no meaning by itself. The Ra Cailum appears and launches the Black Tri-Stars’ Jestas, which disable a Gustav Karl and Zeta plus A1 outside the base. Banagher returns to the ship for resupply and picks up Mineva and a sled. As the team heads into Industrial 7’s Magallanica, Conroy reminds Banagher that he’s not alone. Banagher tells Mineva that she didn’t have to come, but she answers that she’s got a duty and a right to see it through. With so many already dead, Banagher hopes that whatever’s inside the Box is worth it. Mineva asks Banagher to promise that he’ll return when everything is over.
Otto is informed that there’s no activity inside Magallanica, so he considers taking the ship inside for shelter. Zinnerman objects and notes that they still have to deal with the Rewloola and Full Frontal, plus the reason for the General Revil not yet appearing. Otto mentions Marida’s warning, and Zinnerman wants to protect Banagher. Magallanica’s rotation stops as Banagher and Mineva return to the Vist mansion. They enter the tapestry room and are lowered into the room where Syam is. He notes that his offspring and a Zeon princess are fitting choices to entrust the Box to. Bright enters the Cheyenne command center. On the Rewloola, Full Frontal prepares to launch in the Neo Zeong, a massive mobile armor with the Sinanju at its core. Banagher and Mineva float through a chamber with visual displays of the evolution of life on Earth. Syam mentions that Newtypes are an expansion of cognitive ability that triggers the reformation of an individual’s consciousness. They see videos of the final night of the AD calendar and the beginning of the Universal Century on the Laplace colony. They also see the Universal Century Charter, and Mineva immediately notices it has an extra article that reads: “In the future, should the emergence of a new space-adapted human race be confirmed, the Earth Federation shall give priority to involving them in the administration of the government.” Banagher and Mineva see the original charter monument from the colony, which is Laplace’s Box, according to Syam. He explains that this is the curse that has lasted a century, but it’s also a prayer. Otto and Mihiro call Riddhe and ask him to come back to the ship. Riddhe states that there were countless other paths he could’ve taken, and he asks Otto if he’s wondered why the Federation is so scared of Zeon and tries to prove them wrong. He says that Operation British was the result of the problem, not the cause, which is Newtypes. He then recites the extra charter article, which his father revealed to him. He says that prayer became a curse once Zeon Deikun proposed his Newtype theory. He adds that his ancestor, Ricardo Marcenas, became a martyr for the old political order, and so the Charter was rewritten. However, the original Charter fell into the hands of Syam, who used it to blackmail the Federation and build the Vist Foundation. Gael tells Banagher that Syam is his great grandfather and creator of the Vist Foundation. Mineva asks Syam why he wants to give up the Box now, and Syam notes that the Republic of Zeon will lose its autonomy in UC 0100. The words “Zeon” and “Newtype” will fade away, and Syam wants to face the God of possibility again. Mineva fears the outbreak of war and notes that the original Charter would be the perfect weapon for an anti-Federation group. Syam states that he’s entrusting the matter to Newtypes like them. Gael explains that the La+ program seeks out true Newtypes, who unlike Cyber Newtypes have psycho-waves beyond measurement. That makes the Unicorn Gundam the key to the Box, as planned by Cardeas. Otto can’t believe that the truth of the Box is so trivial, and Riddhe notes that even while blackmailing the Federation, Syam did thinks like fostering the development of Anaheim Electronics. Otto says that the contents of the Box are irrelevant because it represents the current world order. Riddhe states that the secret of the Box was kept to prevent war, but despite that, the One Year War happened. Because of the war, the secret was maintained for fear of another war. Riddhe heard Marida’s voice and says people can understand each other, but he lost his way.
Magallanica is hit from outside, and Zinnerman warns Riddhe that it might be Full Frontal. Syam states that he thinks Newtypes could reclaim the future that was meant to be with the help of technology like the psychoframe. Syam asks Banagher what he wishes for, and Banagher says that if Newtypes are real, he doesn’t think current humans could identify them. He’s not sure if he and Mineva have the qualities Syam is looking for, but he wants to believe in what lies ahead with the possibility humanity possesses. Syam tells them he’s set it up so that they can broadcast to the entire Earth Sphere, but their time is limited. They’re interrupted by Full Frontal, who believes the Box should be used as leverage to keep blackmailing the Federation and lead Spacenoids to prosperity. Nearby, Riddhe spots the Neo Zeong, which uses its weapons to seize control of Jegans and make them fire on each other. Mineva tells Full Frontal that he’s just a man made in the image of Char Aznable, and she questions if the Side Co-Prosperity Sphere is part of his programming. Full Frontal counters that he wasn’t the one who came to see the Box’s contents. He wants to know whose thoughts lie within the artificial vessel that he is. He asks Syam to give him the Box and states that he’s not negotiating. Although it might be better to retain the current order, Syam thinks the Box doesn’t belong to men like him and Full Frontal who only see it as a bargaining chip. He thinks their time is over, and that it’s time to leave things to their children. Full Frontal pulls out a gun and decides to take the Charter by force, but Syam activates lasers that force him to escape. Gael reports on the Neo Zeong, so Syam orders him to defend the communication module. Banagher floats up and promises to return to Mineva. Riddhe dodges the Neo Zeong’s fingers, and a controlled Jegan attacks Conroy. Riddhe tells Conroy to fall back, and Full Frontal enters the Neo Zeong’s cockpit. He blasts his way through the colony and pushes Riddhe into space. Gael launches in a Silver Bullet and catches Banagher as the Neo Zeong smashes into the habitat. Gael fires missiles and deploys wire-controlled beam sabers, but he’s quickly disabled by Full Frontal. Gael tells Banagher that Cardeas had a dream of a future for humanity where the Box had been opened. The Silver Bullet crashes into the mansion, and Gael tells Banagher that he came of his own free will, not a curse. Banagher calls out to the Unicorn Gundam, and its shields open fire on Full Frontal before he can kill Gael. Banagher gets into the cockpit and activates NT-D, using the shields to protect himself. Full Frontal blasts the ground around them, sucking them both into space. Riddhe joins Banagher and opens fire on Full Frontal. The Banshee Norn’s NT-D activates, and Riddhe says this light isn’t coming from just them, but everyone.
Syam wonders what kind of future this will bring and notes that nothing could change because people interpret laws according to their own interests. He thinks there might be some commotion about enforcing the lost article, but the question still remains as to whether Newtypes really exist. Mineva says that Banagher will do what’s right, as the representatives of Earth did when they signed the Charter. Syam wants the world to hear the truth of the Box from Mineva. Banagher and Riddhe fire their beam magnums at the Neo Zeong, which absorbs the blasts. They destroy its propellant tanks, and Full Frontal proclaims that he’s a vessel containing the will of the people. The Neo Zeong deploys a gold ring that destroys all the weapons of both Gundams. Banagher moves in close and is grabbed by the Neo Zeong’s hands. Riddhe attacks from behind and is grabbed by four sub-arms. Banagher breaks free and smashes the Sinanju’s arms and the Neo Zeong’s front arms. The back arms move over and grab the Unicorn Gundam. The Neo Zeong glows, and Full Frontal states that the miracle is repeating and nothing will change. Banagher sees visions across time, including the Axis Shock, the Battle of A Baoa Qu, the Battle of Solomon and the destruction of the Laplace colony. Full Frontal shows Banagher a vision of the end of time where the universe is dark and lifeless. Because the universe will eventually end, possibility is just an illusion. The Unicorn Gundam’s psychoframe turns green, but Full Frontal says that warm light will change nothing. The ghost of Lalah Sune tells Full Frontal that the heat from that light warms the universe, and Char’s ghost tells him it’s time. Lalah says that Char has left them enough of his thoughts from the time when he was himself. After everything returns to normal, the Neo Zeong and Sinanju crumble away, leaving only the cockpit pod. Full Frontal tells Banagher that it’s in his hands now to to as he believes he must. Riddhe appears, and Banagher tells him that Magallanica is being targeted. The voice of Amuro Ray asks the others if they’re sure, and Char says to leave it to them. Bright asks Martha if she really intends to fire Gryps 2 with the Nahel Argama in the line of fire, and she notes that sometimes a few must be sacrificed so that many more might live. Alberto disagrees and says that Martha is protecting the Foundation’s interests, not the Federation’s. Alberto grabs her by her collar, so several guards pull him off her. Bright tells Ronan that he’ll become an enemy of the Federation if Ronan proceeds, but Ronan calls his bluff and notes that he’s a family man. He asks if Bright wants to drag his children into this, and Bright responds that he wants to be a father his children won’t be ashamed of. Ronan inserts his card and initiates the firing sequence, and Alberto reveals that Riddhe is piloting the Banshee Norn. Ronan is shocked and wonders why Riddhe is out there. Banagher tells Otto to withdraw while he puts up a psycho-field to protect Magallanica. He asks Audrey to take Syam to Industrial 7, but she refuses to evacuate. Zinnerman, Takuya and Micott tell Banagher he has to come back, and Riddhe wants to help. Riddhe comments that space immigration began with a prayer, so it’s up to them to decide if it turns into a curse.
Bright wants to abort firing, but the base commander explains that the laser is at critical levels, so trying to cut it off would put the 1,000 people on Gryps 2 at risk. With seconds left on the countdown, Ronan thinks of Riddhe as a boy and calls out his name. Gryps 2 fires and destroys the Rewloola and a Musaka. Banagher and Riddhe deploy three psycho-fields to absorb the blast of Gryps 2. The beam is diffused as it passes through each field, leaving a small beam that misses Magallanica. The Unicorn Gundam’s psychoframe suddenly grows out many crystals, and Marida’s voice tells Banagher that she can see things no one else can. She says that no matter how deep the despair, hope is always born out of it. She tells him he can use sadness as fuel to light the way. She believes humanity is standing on a threshold and might cross it while still in their physical bodies to the path that lies over the rainbow. Mineva addresses the entire Earth Sphere from Magallanica and says her lineage is irrelevant to the news she has. She reveals that the original Charter monument was thought to be lost when Laplace was destroyed, but it was preserved. She shows the real Charter on camera and notes the extra article that has been kept hidden. As Magallanica separates from Industrial 7, Otto asks Zinnerman and his men to take control of it. Zinnerman accepts, and Otto says they should get a drink later. Mihiro calls Riddhe and asks him to return because the Federation is moving to intercept Magallanica and stop the broadcast. Mineva notes that the original Charter was intended to be a prayer, but it transformed into a curse. An object of fear that could topple the Federation government. On Earth, Kai calls Beltorchika Irma on the phone. Alberto sees that the transmission is actually being relayed by the Unicorn Gundam through psycho-waves. Martha wants them stopped and says civilians won’t understand the context of the Box. Bright cuts Martha off and says the military will handle things, but she won’t have any say in it. Alberto wants a fresh start, and Bright takes Martha in for questioning. Ronan tells Bright that the choice is theirs to make, and they have no choice but to accept it because that’s what fathers do. The General Revil launches mobile suit teams to stop the broadcast. Angelo wakes up and gets out of his cockpit, where he finds Full Frontal’s pod floating nearby. Riddhe tells Banagher to get some rest, but the Unicorn Gundam takes off and flies away. Riddhe wonders if he’s a perfected Newtype, but he thinks the possibility of that is more than enough. Riddhe activates NT-D and chases after Banagher, saying that he’ll steal Mineva away if Banagher doesn’t return. The Unicorn Gundam waves its hand and knocks aside the incoming mobile suits. Mineva asks humanity to usher in the next century with goodwill in their hearts and to believe in the God called “possibility” that lies within everyone. As Banagher wakes up, the Unicorn Gundam returns to normal and flies back to the colony with the Banshee Norn.
After four years and one extra episode, Gundam Unicorn finally comes to an end. And that end is a mixed bag that is sometimes satisfying, but oftentimes frustrating. Even with the benefit of a 90-minute runtime, there are important details left unexplained. Full Frontal has spent the entire series dancing around the issue of whether or not he was Char Aznable, and he constantly repeated the mantra of being an artificial vessel filled with the wishes of the people, which is meaningless nonsense. We gather from Mineva’s dialog that he’s an artificial creation, but who created him, and to what purpose? Is there some power out there just trying to whip up anti-Federation sentiment by giving them a poor man’s Char to unite behind? What did Full Frontal actually hope to accomplish? His Side Co-Prosperity Sphere seems to have just been window dressing for what was ultimately supreme nihilism. He basically just gave up and faded away because the universe will eventually die. Marida’s death was unsatisfying, telegraphed as it was, since she just basically stood there and did nothing. It’s a Gundam trope for dead girls to impart wisdom upon pilots, but it was annoying how Riddhe killed her and was quickly forgiven for it when he decided to team up with Banagher. Riddhe himself is also a mess, with his development as a character going downhill from an ally to a creepy and obsessed freak, before coming full circle again. Laplace’s Box has been the MacGuffin driving this entire series, and its ultimate revelation is one of the most ridiculous plot devices I’ve ever seen. Is anyone really supposed to seriously believe that there’s just ONE copy of the original UC Charter, and that Syam Vist could use it to blackmail the Federation for a century? There would be many copies of a government document like that, and many people who would be aware of it. They could’ve easily just ignored Syam or had him assassinated.
The Box poses no actual threat because the One Year War already happened, and contrary to what the characters believe, no Neo Zeon faction has the power to bring down the Federation. Also, the series has a bad habit of just constantly repeating dialog as though that repetition deepens its meaning. In this episode alone, characters keep prattling on about possibility and the Box being a prayer/curse to tiresome levels. If you’re a fan of UC Gundam, you have to expect a certain amount of Newtype magic, but this episode pushes it to its limit with psycho-fields, weird crystals and Banagher somehow becoming the “perfect Newtype.” Despite these problems, there were some positive elements to the episode, such as the animation, the long opening battle, Kai’s cameo and the recreation of key One Year War events (matched perfectly by an orchestrated version of “Beginning”). Supporting characters like Zinnerman and Otto had some good moments, and it was good to see Bright being proactive. The inclusion of Gryps 2 brings back a dangling thread from Zeta Gundam, but I wonder what the Federation was doing with it all this time and what happens to it afterward. In the end, I think that Unicorn‘s biggest issue was its sense of scale. From the beginning, it hyped Laplace’s Box as a major thing that would change the scope of UC history. Even without knowing the contents of the Box, you simply know this is impossible just from the existence of F91 and Victory. In other words, the series promised something it knew it could never deliver. In closing, I think Unicorn can best be described as an enjoyable ride with great animation, music and mobile suit battles, but not without some serious flaws.