ReviewsZambot 3

Zambot 3 Ep. 12: Birthday Death Match

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Summary

In space, the Bandock releases a series of fireworks that display Killer the Butcher. Inside, the soldiers dance around, celebrating Butcher’s birthday, which he soon joins in on. Meanwhile on Earth, Kappei works on his math while Uchuta plays with a toy. Keiko comes in, dressed in a kimono and asks Kappei to take her picture so she can show it to her mom, who isn’t on the ship. Kappei refuses, saying he doesn’t want to even look at her in such clothing. Kappei continues to argue with Keiko, asking her if she misses her mother’s milk. Keiko lunges at him and accidentally tears her kimono. Uchuta and Kappei laugh at her and she starts crying. She calls them idiots and runs off, saying she is going to return to her mother. Keiko soon takes off on the Zambase. She is upset at them, but ready to return if the ship is in danger. Heizaemon contacts her and tells her the boys probably made her mad on purpose to let her go visit her mother. Kappei and Uchuta contact her, wishing her a happy birthday and to not worry about things. Keiko approaches, worrying about her family. She flashes back to a year earlier when she raced on horses with some of her friends and relatives. With the arrival of the Gaizock however, all her friends’ parents were killed. Meanwhile Butcher calls Gizarr to assemble the Mecha Boost Mogundar, as he wants to see some destruction on his birthday. The elephant-like Mogundar takes off from the Bandock. Keiko descends towards the 3rd Beal ship where her family is. There, Keiko’s mother is writing a letter to Keiko and her little sister draws a picture of her. Keiko’s father asks her mother about when Keiko’s picture will arrive. Above the city, Keiko can see a large group of refugees evacuating as they have lost their homes due to the Gaizock. Keiko thinks of the destruction that the Gaizock’s attack has occurred. Heizaemon tells Keiko that a Mecha Boost is attacking Matsumoto and to head there; Kappei and Uchuta will head out to join her. Kappei heads into the Zambird with Chiyonshiki and takes off. In Matsumoto, an alarm sounds, scaring the refugees who quickly flee. The Mogundar approaches from the woods nearby. Missiles fired at it do no good and it destroys the military base. Keiko’s friends watch, blaming her and the Jin family for the destruction caused by the Gaizock. The Mogundar steps on a home and causes more destruction. Sensing that a nearby castle is in danger, Keiko fires at the Mogundar. Butcher orders the Zambase to be destroyed. Keiko finds that the base laser doesn’t work and tries the base fire attack, which doesn’t work either. She ascends, up away from the Mogundar, which launches a missile at her and misses, destroying a nearby home instead. Keiko’s friend Hiromi trips and her other friends Yoshio and Shinichi see the Zambase in the air, recognizing it as belonging to the Jin family. He yells at Keiko to go away. Keiko narrowly misses the Mogundar and narrowly hits the roof of a nearby building. Keiko’s parents worry for her. Ichitaro tells Heizaemon that Kappei and Uchuta will arrive in a minute. The Mogundar launches a missile at the Zambase, but the Zambo Ace arrives and knocks it out of the way. Keiko thanks Kappei for helping and they combine their crafts into the Zambot 3.

The Zambot 3 lands on the ground behind the Mogundar and attacks it with its sai weapons. Its attacks fail to damage the Mogundar’s hide, but by using the Zambot Cutter, the Zambot is able to slice through the Mogundar and destroy it. Butcher’s chief mecha designer Zubutar says the Mogundar is designed to join back together after some time. Butcher gives him a medal which is too heavy for him. Kappei says they fought a weak mecha boost and the Zambot separates. Keiko notices her friends fleeing on the ground and heads towards them. Keiko gets out of the Zambase, worried for her friend Hiromi. Hiromi slaps Keiko when she approaches, saying they don’t want anything to do with her. Keiko’s friends blame the Jin family for the arrival of the Gaizock and the death of their family. Kappei argues with them, saying that the Gaizock would attack them regardless and Uchuta supports him. Hiromi says they’ll never defeat the Gaizock and calls Keiko a murderer. Keiko starts crying and runs off, taking off in the Zambase. She says she is not a killer and thinks of her mother and what she should do. She lands the Zambase near a lake and walks to the shore and calls out for her mother, saying she is not a murderer. She sees a small bit of the Mogundar nearby and walks in the water towards it. A craft carrying Keiko’s sister Kimiko approaches. She says her mother leaves the message that she doesn’t want to see her daughter be a coward. Keiko’s mother Yumiko talks with her father on the show, saying she sent her daughter away as a soldier and that she has to go through this pain by herself. Heizaemon contacts the ship and says that the Mecha Boost is recombining. He tells Kappei and the others to return to protect the city. Keiko asks Kimiko to bring back the torn kimono and apologize to her mother for it. She returns to the Zambase and takes off. Meanwhile, the parts of the Mogundar combine, forming a new Mecha Boost, the Harindar. People flee as the Harindar makes its way through the city and attacks them, launching various spikes from its body. The three Zambot crafts fly around it. Kappei wants to combine, but Keiko says she has a plan to move them into a cave and let her rescue the civilians first. She sends Kappei the Zambo Magnum and he transforms the Zambird into the Zambot Ace. The Zambo Ace fires at the Harindar, which approaches and shoots its spikes at it. Keiko gets out of the Zambase and spots her friends. Spikes from the Harindar approach and she pushes them out of the way. A rock strikes Keiko, injuring her, but she is still able to leave Hiromi in the cave. Uchuta runs in the cave, telling Keiko to join them and that Kappei needs help. Keiko’s friends wish her good luck. The Harindar knocks back the Zambo Ace, but the Zambull and Zambase arrive and they combine, forming the Zambot 3. The Zambot uses the Zambot cutter to throw down the Harindar, which then starts spinning and launching spikes at it. The Zambot uses the Moon Attack, which destroys the Harindar. Keiko’s friends watch the explosion from the cave and are confident that Keiko is okay. Keiko departs on the Zambase, saying that she won’t be able to see her mother for a while. On the 3rd Beal ship, Keiko’s father tells her mother that she needs some rest. Her mother is working on sewing up the hole in Keiko’s kimono.

Commentary

Another enjoyable episode. It was good to finally get some character development for Keiko, who despite being one of the Zambot pilots has been woefully underdeveloped to this point. It was a far better episode than when Uchuta’s extremely annoying mother got some development and screen time a few episodes back. The theme of our hero’s friends blaming them for the Gaizock attack continues, although we at least get a bit of a happy ending here with her friends supporting her at the end. The mecha boost battle in this episode seems a bit of an afterthought (even with us getting two Mecha Boosts), and is rather lackluster, with the Zambot Cutter having easy success and the Zambot finishing it off with its Moon Attack yet again.

Overall Rating
4/5
Zambot 3 Info


Director:
Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer(s):
Fuyunori Gobu
Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Soji Yoshikawa
Yoshihisa Araki
Katsuhiko Taguchi

Mechanical Designer(s):
Kunio Okawara
Ryoji Fujiwara

Character Designer:
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Musical Composer(s):
Takeo Watanabe
Yushi Matsuyama

Airdates:
Japan 10.08.1977 – 03.25.1978

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