Following the collapse of space-time, mecha known as Armors were discovered around the world. The use of Armors in war has led to the creation of two global powers: Rivilia and Zafrin. Two hundred years later, two men in diving suits work underwater to salvage a Armor. In the scow at the water’s surface, a boy named Lean takes his lunch break . An old man named Zante complains about the navy food and tells Lean they’ll have a real meal soon. Lean gets back to work in the crane and starts hauling up the Armor to the surface. A plane is heard above, so Lean is told to drop the Armor, but he can tell from the engine that it’s an allied plane. Lt. Manning of the Imperial Guards meets with Tiket, the boat’s commander. Lean watches as Manning’s subordinate, a blind seeker, is brought aboard. Lean and Zante look over the salvaged Armors, but they determine that they’re not usable. Manning wants to restore the best one and take it to Geran, so he’s brought along replacement parts. He adds that they’ll have to work quickly because a Zafrin battleship is heading their way. As repairs continue into night, Manning tells them to just repair it on the way. Lean asks about the rush and if it means that a war is coming. The next morning, Lean and Zante continue to work on the Armor on the airplane and get it in working order. Manning promises them bonus pay, and the airplane makes a hard turn when an incoming Armor is detected. The Armor fires its machine gun from below and kills most of the crew. Manning takes over the controls, but the Armor kills the last gunner and starts cutting into one of the engines with an ax. Manning opens the flaps and starts diving to knock the Armor off. Lean asks what they’re going to do, and Manning intends to take off in the Armor. Lean complains about Manning being the only one who will live, so he changes his mind and tells Lean to pilot the mecha. Lean takes off in the Armor and listens to Manning’s instructions on how to fight the Zafrin mecha. Zante asks Manning if Lean has a chance, and Manning answers not while they’re in the air. Manning is forced to land in a river and tells Lean to get to the ground if he wants to survive. Lean turns and slams into the Zafrin mecha, causing them both to crash in the forest. The Zafrin mecha tries to fire, but both its guns have been damaged. Lean sticks his Armor’s foot up against the enemy cockpit and uses the heat from his thrusters to kill the pilot. Manning and Zante call Lean, who explains that he’s safe and will head their way. Zante gets out of the plane to fire a signal flare, but he gets sniped by a Armor in the woods. Manning cautions Lean to make his way back to the plane and avoid the Armors that are tracking them. Zante grabs the radio and tells Lean to get to Geran, but Manning insists that he come for them. Multiple Armors close in on the plane, but Manning ties Zante to his back and times it so that he jumps into Lean’s hand when he flies back. Once they’re in the air, Manning checks Zante and realizes that he’s dead.
Later, Lean attends Zante’s funeral at a cemetery outside Geran. A man named Johnson from the National Bank shows up to speak with Zante’s widow Shil about his loan and asks if she can pay. The banker declares that he’ll take Zante’s possessions as payment, so Lean yells at him to show some respect at a funeral. Johnson tells Shil that they can take the bank to court, so Lean tries to punch him and instead gets beaten up by Johnson’s goons. Back at the house, Lean apologizes for his behavior, but Shil shares his feelings. Lean asks what she’s going to do, and she answers that the only choice is to give them the mortgage and lose the shop. She gives Lean a small bag of money for his back pay, but he says she needs it more. Shil insists that he take it because he’ll need a new job. Minister Kerachi addresses King Mendez and insists that they declare war on Zafrin over the attack on their border. Several higher ups agree with Kerachi, but Minister Akamasu warns that war will destroy their country. Mendez cuts them off and declares that they’ll prepare for war, but wait for the right time to strike. Kerachi is furious, and Mendez coughs heavily from his sickness. Lean meets with Manning and is upset with how much money is being paid in compensation for Zante. Manning explains that Zante was killed when they landed in a zone, so accidental death doesn’t pay out much. He adds that it would’ve been a different story if Zante had been a soldier, so he asks Lean to join the military. Manning tells Lean that he can clear up the family’s bank troubles and that Lean will get rich as a soldier. Later, Zante’s daughter Toria confronts Lean about joining the military and getting four years’ worth of pay in advance to help her family. She asks what he was thinking, but he counters that Rivilia isn’t even at war. She starts crying and tells him that everyone knows a war is coming. Outside, a marching band parades through the street in the rain. Manning has a beer in a bar, and the bartender complains about a new war coming. Manning is happy and says he loves death, destruction and easy money.
Just like Macross II, this OVA is a 6 episode series created in the early 1990s as a sequel to a Studio Nue anime, but without their involvement. However, unlike Macross II, it seems that Orguss 02 is held in much better regard by fans of the original. Aside from the opening text about the space-time collapse, you’d hardly know that this is supposed to be related to the original Orguss. However, the Armor that Lean pilots resembles the Orguss II created by the Emaan, while the Zafrin one has a Chiram appearance. The Armors appeared 200 years ago and are more advanced than the technology of this world, which resembles what we see later on in Turn A Gundam. We see that the kingdoms of Rivilia and Zafrin are marching towards war, and young Lean gets caught in the middle. Committing to four years in the military is no small sacrifice to help Zante’s family. King Mendez doesn’t look to be in good health, and a totally evil looking young queen is certainly suspicious. At this point, how this series connects to the original remains an open mystery.