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Mobile Suit Victory Gundam Side Story

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 7, 2020

 

Summary

 

In UC 0153, the paramilitary group League Militaire fights against the space-based Zanscare Empire, which intends to conquer Earth. A squad of Zoloats from Zanscare’s BESPA (Ballistic Equipment Space Patrol Armory) conducts reconnaissance in Side 6 and discovers a giant space colony created by fusing two colonies together. Their findings are reported back to a BESPA special operations unit, whose commander presumes that it’s a colony laser similar to the one used decades ago by the Principality of Zeon in the One Year War. Believing that this weapon will make Zanscare invincible, he orders his forces to seize the colony. Elsewhere, the patchwork mobile suit Gump launches from the interplanetary transport ship Heinlein. A Badi worker suit spots two damaged mobile suits nearby: Uso Ewin’s Victory Dash Gundam and a Zoloat. Later, Uso wakes up from a dream about fighting the Zanscare mobile suit Zong and seeing multiple copies of it, but being unable to determine which was real. The last thing he recalls is a Zoloat attacking him but being shot from behind by the Zong. Uso wonders where he is, and an old man calling himself both “Grandpa Jupiter” and “Grey Stoke” tells Uso he’s on the transport ship Heinlein. Uso, who separated from his group for scouting, declares that he has to get back immediately. Grey Stoke tells him that’s not possible right now and that he’s disturbing the young girl sleeping next to him. The girl wakes up, which sets off a round of panicked reactions from everyone. Uso asks what’s going on, and Grey Stoke explains that she was piloting a Zoloat that they picked up at the same time as Uso. Grey Stoke says that the girl was shot in the back by an ally, so she’s quite frightened. Uso looks at her and is reminded of his friend Shahkti Kareen. After dressing, they follow Grey Stoke through a corridor and the girl introduces herself as Kamui Gian. Uso asks about the ship, and Grey Stoke explains that they collect hydrogen from Jupiter and ferry it back to the Earth Sphere, where it gets turned into fuel for ships and mobile suits. Space travel would be impossible without them, so even the Zanscare leave them alone. Uso comments that the trips to Jupiter must take a long time, and Grey Stoke mentions that he’s been doing this work for 60 years. On the bridge, Grey Stoke shows them the large colony, Dandelion, which he states is the base of their Jupiter operations. Uso sees the Badis and is impressed by how they’re smaller and possibly faster than the Victory Gundam. A group of children greet Grey Stoke, and he’s informed that Zanscare ships are approaching. Grey Stoke tells Uso and Kamui to enjoy the colony since they’re both shipwrecked at the moment.

 

Inside the colony, Uso is amazed to see its interior covered with trees, which reminds him of Kasarelia on Earth. Grey Stoke comments that he figured seeing something like his hometown would calm Uso down, and Uso asks how Grey Stoke knows about Kasarelia. Uso sits down to eat and comments that he likes the colony, but there are some oddities about it. He asks why no other people are around, and Grey Stoke answers that they’re all busy right now. Grey Stoke tells Uso that he can stay if he wants, but Uso answers that he has friends waiting for him. Grey Stoke says he was just starting to like Uso, but Uso notes that they just met. Grey Stoke states that there are ways to know a person without words, and he admits that he peeked into Uso’s dreams. Grey Stoke then leaves, and Uso wonders if he’s a Newtype. Grey Stoke returns to the bridge and asks for a status report on the Zanscare, and he’s informed that they’re demanding to inspect the colony. A bridge operator asks what they’re going to do, and Grey Stoke answers that he’s not going to let anyone interfere after he’s worked on his plan for 60 years. He tells his crew to initiate the plan and is informed that they’re nearly ready. Uso and Kamui sleep in a cabin, and they talk about how strange the place is, and the fact that Grey Stoke is the real name of Tarzan from the old movie. Uso doesn’t want to question the man that saved him, and he also wonders about the Zong, which confounded him with illusory copies. Kamui starts crying and hugs Uso. She explains that just as the League Militaire revived the concept of the Gundam, Zanscare took the old Zeon mobile suit Zeong and modernized its design as the Zong. She adds that they’re all part of Zanscare’s Newtype unit, but that Zong pilot Scale Sarpris has the power to project false images into people’s minds. He uses that ability to confuse enemies and attack without them being able to spot the “real” Zong. She mentions that he cares only about himself and toys with people, like when he told her that he loved her, read her thoughts that she was scared of him, and then said she should just die. The colony is rocked by explosions when the Zong and several Zoloats blast through the port. Uso and Kamui get into a car with the kids, who drive them to a building full of people in cold sleep capsules. Uso asks what’s going on, and Scale appears with a gun drawn and says he’d like to know too. He then spots Kamui and asks why she’s still alive after he shot her in the back. He realizes that she expressed the thought of dying to deceive him, and when Uso tells him to stop, Scale pistol whips him. He then knocks Uso to the floor and fires a round next to Uso’s face. Scale demands to know everything about the colony laser, but all the kids laugh at him. Grey Stoke launches in his Gump and uses a claw arm to grapple a Zoloat and crush it. Uso uses the distraction to head butt Scale while the kids attack the other Zanscare soldiers. Scale returns to the Zong and attacks the Gump, but Grey Stoke dodges and fires a shot from his peg leg cannon.

 

Scale is informed that a new route to the colony has been located, so he orders his men to fall back. Uso is amazed by the patchwork Gump, and one of the kids comments that they don’t know what it originally was. Grey Stoke thinks it might be the end for the Gump, even though they’ve been together for 60 years. He’s informed that the Zong has moved to the rear block and that the Badis are losing ground. Uso realizes that nearly everyone in the colony is a Newtype, and Grey Stoke explains that it was built by and for Newtypes, but it’s a spaceship. Scale flies through the rear block and doesn’t understand why he sees a bunch of engines rather than powerplants. Grey Stoke carries Uso and Kamui in the Gump’s hand and explains that they intend to travel to the Proxima Centauri star system that is 40 trillion kilometers away from Earth. He says it would take them nearly 500 years to reach the star system, and Uso asks why they’re doing this. Grey Stoke explains that they’re leaving the Earth Sphere and its long history of war from the Zeon, Titans, Neo Zeon, Crossbone Vanguard and now Zanscare. He says nothing ever changes, so they plan to build a new world without war. Kamui asks if there are any habitable planets in Proxima Centauri, and Grey Stoke answers that they’ll just mine space for resources and build more colonies. Uso says that means eventually there will be generations born in colonies who will never have experienced being on Earth and won’t be human anymore. Grey Stoke says that Earth was like a mother to humanity, but they can’t be spoiled forever by their mother and have to survive on their own. Grey Stoke is informed that Scale is randomly attacking the colony, which will impact their launch. Grey Stoke tells Uso and Kamui that the Dandelion’s engines have already been activated and that in 50 minutes they’ll be leaving Earth behind. Grey Stoke takes them to a hangar full of mobile suits they’ve acquired through various means, including undocked components to form a V-Dash Gundam and Victory 2 Gundam. Grey Stoke tells them this isn’t their fight and they should escape, but Uso and Kamui insist on helping. Kamui gets into the V2’s Core Fighter and says she wants to repay Grey Stoke by fighting her comrades who are attacking. Uso and Kamui take off in their Core Fighters and dock with their components to form mobile suits. A Zoloat pilot asks Scale if he intends to destroy the colony and how he’ll report it, and Scale answers that he’ll report it as a colony laser so that he can be hailed as a hero. Uso and Kamui reach space and open fire on Scale.

 

Grey Stoke heads into space in the Gump, but Uso tells him such an old suit won’t do any good. Grey Stoke counters that he’s been through countless battles with the Gump and it’s not done yet. Scale splits the Zong apart to conduct an all-range attack against Uso and Kamui. Uso tries to attack the head with his beam saber and discovers it was just an illusion. Kamui pleads with Scale to leave the colony and its people alone, but Scale dismisses her as a traitor who should be sent to the guillotine. Uso is frustrated by Scale’s illusions, and Scale boasts that Uso should be afraid of him. Grey Stoke then charges in and grapples onto the real core unit of the Zong, telling Scale that this isn’t how he should use his powers. Grey Stoke says that lying only brings chaos to humanity, so Scale should come with them to learn sympathy. Scale tells Grey Stoke to shut up and fires a beam cannon at the Gump’s leg. He thinks that Grey Stoke is lying and just trying to use him like everyone else does because they fear his powers. He says people would throw him away the second he ceased being useful, so he vows to do whatever he wants with his power and use people in return. Grey Stoke counters that Scale was unfortunately born too early. Even though the Gump is heavily damaged, Grey Stoke intends to fire his high mega cannon. He blasts away the Gump’s head covering, revealing the head of the ZZ Gundam. Scale deploys multiple illusory Zongs, but Grey Stoke fires the high mega cannon, and the light from the blast shows Uso the real Zong casting a shadow on the colony’s surface. Uso and Kamui charge in and attack the real Zong. Uso asks Grey Stoke why humans evolve and why they lie even after becoming Newtypes. He wonders if humans can really build a new world without war. Uso and Kamui stab the Zong and destroy it. Grey Stoke tells them that even in their new colonies, people’s opinions will differ and lead to conflict. They might travel from star to star and meet other people and start more wars, but if they never take the first steps, they won’t reach their destination. Uso cries and says that space is too big. After the battle, Kamui decides to leave with Grey Stoke, and Uso declines another offer to join them. Grey Stoke thinks humans can’t create a better world as long as they’re connected to Earth, but Uso disagrees. Kamui kisses Uso goodbye, and he takes off in the V-Dash Gundam as the Dandelion departs. In UC 0653, the Dandelion reaches Proxima Centauri and begins colonizing the system.

 

Commentary

 

This one shot Victory Gundam manga was written and illustrated by Yuichi Hasegawa, who is most well known for multiple iterations of Crossbone Gundam manga. It features some new (and old) characters in a story that finds Uso separated from the rest of the League Militaire. One of the surprises here is the involvement of "Grey Stoke," who despite never being named is clearly an elder Judau Ashta, star of Gundam ZZ. The plan to gather up Newtypes to leave the conflict-riddled Earth Sphere and start all over is essentially a scaled up version of how Judau left for Jupiter at the end of ZZ as a rejection of the Earth Federation and Neo Zeon. Interestingly, old Judau shares the sentiment of Crossbone's Crux Dogatie that humanity doesn't need Earth, but he goes in the opposite direction of deciding to leave it behind rather than destroying it. Scale's Newtype power is interesting, but as a character he's totally one-dimensional. Kamui is also rather flat as a character, and it's kind of weird that Uso keeps accidentally almost calling her Shahkti. Another downside here is Hasegawa's art style, which I am decidedly not a fan of. His character design style makes everyone look like a child, unless they're explicitly quite old, and his mobile suit designs are just an odd fit for the Universal Century. Speaking of mobile suits, how did Judau manage to acquire a complete V2 Gundam at a time when Uso is still using the original Victory Gundam? Overall, this is a decent one-shot story that you'll enjoy if you like Victory Gundam, but even then the entire cast is absent except for Uso.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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