Gundam Ep. 15: Cucuruz Doan’s Island


The Gunperry takes off from the White Base with Ryu piloting it. The Gunperry prepares to release the Gundam modules so that they can dock with Amuro’s Core Fighter. Fraw informs Bright that they are receiving an automated distress signal from a nearby location. He orders Amuro to separate the Core Fighter from the Gundam and fly over to the location of the signal to investigate. The Gundam gets down on all fours, and Amuro ejects the Core Fighter and flies off. Ryu comes in with the Gunperry to pick up the modules because he doesn’t want to see the Gundam looking like a dog. As Amuro flies over the ocean, he approaches an island where the distress signal is coming from. He spots a downed EFF fighter and lands his Core Fighter nearby. He approaches the fighter and sees the two pilots are wounded and tied to their seats with ropes. He reports this to back to Bright, and Bright tells Mirai to prepare battle stations in case it’s a trap. Amuro unties the pilots and lays them down on the beach to examine their wounds. One of them dies, and when he goes to look at the other, he gets pelted with rocks. He grabs the pilot and takes him to the plane for shelter, but the pilot dies from his wounds. Amuro shoots his gun at where the rocks are coming from and runs up a hill. Flaming sticks are thrown at him, and he sees that three kids are responsible. They tell him to leave their island, so he runs back to the Core Fighter. A Zaku piloted by Cucuruz Doan appears, and he asks Amuro to surrender. Amuro says he can’t do that, and Doan declares he doesn’t want to fight. Amuro takes off and begins firing missiles at Doan. Doan dodges one of the missiles and throws a boulder at the other. The brightness and proximity of the blast blinds Amuro and causes him to crash the Core Fighter into the ocean. Later, Amuro wakes up in a log cabin and meets a young woman named Rollan Chuan. He falls to the floor, and she tells him he shouldn’t be moving so soon. Amuro finds Doan and asks for his Core Fighter, but Doan refuses. He says he knows the Zeon will come for him soon, and he has to protect the children. Amuro says he needs the Core Fighter to defend himself from the Zeon, but Doan thinks Amuro will attack him if he hands it over. The kids tell Amuro to leave, and he says he’ll find the Core Fighter on his own.

Amuro stands on top of a waterfall to survey the island. He doesn’t think that Doan could have moved the Core Fighter very far from its original position. After taking a swim, Amuro sits on the beach and is joined by Rollan. She tells him he can’t even appreciate how beautiful the sunset is, and he says nothing is beautiful in war. She tells him that Doan said he could be a good soldier if he cut out his childish behavior. He wonders why Doan is conning those kids to stay with him, and Rollan tells him he shouldn’t speak if he doesn’t know the situation. Ryu searches the islands in a Core Fighter and has no luck finding Amuro. Bright orders him to return to the ship for the night, and Fraw worries about Amuro. On the island, Doan sleeps and has a nightmare flashback. He remembers piloting his Zaku in battle and seeing the kids crying over the bodies of their parents. He wakes up and begins to search the radar for the Zeon. He tells Rollan that they aren’t safe on the island and will have to leave if they can’t change Amuro’s perspective. The next day, the White Base continues the search for Amuro. Fraw detects several objects moving toward the area Amuro went to, and Bright has Mirai change course to that direction. Amuro continues his search for the Core Fighter, and the kids start throwing rocks at him again and tell him to leave. He hears a noise and sees a Luggun approaching with a Zaku holding on to it. The Luggun shoots at the kids, and Amuro saves the girl from a fall. They run back to the log cabin, and Amuro asks Doan for the Core Fighter. The Zaku lands on the ground and destroys the cabin. Doan leads Amuro to a cave behind the waterfall where the Core Fighter and Zaku are hidden. Ryu approaches the island with his Core Fighter, and Amuro launches from behind the waterfall. Doan attacks the Zaku and falls under fire from the Luggun. Amuro asks Bright if he can do a midair conversion, and Bright tells him to return to the ship. Amuro converts the Core Fighter to Gundam and returns to fight. He destroys the Luggun, but Doan tells him to leave the Zaku alone. Doan attacks the Zaku and says he will fight as long as the kids live. Amuro doesn’t understand, and Doan explains he accidentally killed the kids’ parents. When he was ordered to kill them too, he took them and fled. Doan destroys the Zaku and knocks it into the ocean. Afterwards, he says they are no longer safe, and Amuro throws the Zaku into the ocean. The kids start yelling, and Doan tells them that what Amuro did was right.


So this is the infamous “lost episode” that will never be seen in America. Reportedly, Tomino felt it wasn’t up to the standard of the rest of the series and had it cut. Since this is a standalone, its deletion does not affect the main story of the series. However, I don’t think it was necessary to cut the episode. If anything should have been cut because it sucked, it should’ve been episode 14. That episode is far worse than this one. This episode also features horribly inconsistent animation, so that may have also been a factor in its deletion. What we have here is a story that again serves to humanize the Zeon. Much like Big John from episode 8, Cucuruz Doan is a nice guy who cares about other people, and he’s willing to die to atone for the sin of killing the parents of the kids. I must say, though, that these kids are incredibly annoying, so I imagine living with them must be a pain. On another note, I noticed that Doan’s island looks exactly like South Ataria Island from Macross. Since the staff from Macross were Gundam fans, I wonder if the design of that island was a nod to this episode. If you can find this episode somewhere, it’s worth at least one viewing since it will never air on TV or be available on DVD.

Overall Rating

Mobile Suit Gundam Info

Yoshiyuki Tomino
Ryoji Fujiwara (movie 1)

Yoshiyuki Tomino
Masaru Yamamoto
Kenichi Matsuzaki
Yoshihisa Araki
Hiroyuki Hoshiyama

Mechanical Designer(s):
Kunio Okawara
Yoshiyuki Tomino

Character Designer:
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Musical Composer(s):
Yuji Matsuyama
Takeo Watanabe

43 episodes; 3 compilation movies

Japan 04.07.1979 – 01.26.1980
U.S. 07.23.2001 – 09.12.2001

Theatrical Release:
Japan 03.14.1981 – 03.13.1982


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