Zeta Gundam Ep. 50: Riders in the Skies


Kamille takes Emma inside the airlock of the destroyed Alexandria class cruiser and tells her that they’ll go back to the Argama when it calms down a little outside. Emma takes Kamille’s hand and asks him to absorb her life and win. She says that she saw how the Zeta Gundam has the ability to pull in other people’s will and turn it into its own strength. Kamille responds that he can’t do that, and she says that he can do it and end the war. She tells him that he’s not alone because he has many people watching over him. With her final words, she tells him there’s no reason to feel lonely, and he cries out in anguish. Fa’s Methuss destroys a Hi-Zack, and she becomes distracted when she hears Kamille’s voice. Another Hi-Zack attacks her and is destroyed by Botty’s Rick Dias. Fa heads for Gryps 2, and Samarn tells Bright that the enemy seems to be in disarray. Bright wants to lure more ships in so they can be destroyed by Gryps 2. Bright is informed that they can’t reach their people on Gryps 2 due to the Minovsky interference, so he orders the Argama to move in closer. Three mobile suits are detected approaching Gryps 2, and Bright orders Kamille to protect the colony laser. Quattro’s Hyaku-Shiki chases after Scirocco’s The-O and is in turn chased by Haman’s Qubeley. The three suits fly by the wrecked Alexandria cruiser, where Kamille sits silently next to Emma’s body. Scirocco reaches Gryps 2’s core and starts sabotaging it so that the AEUG can’t fire it. Quattro dodges Scirocco’s attacks but then is hit from above by Haman, who slices off his rifle arm. Quattro is then surrounded by Haman and Scirocco, who each boast about how this is the end for him. Scirocco says that a Newtype wannabe like Quattro is destined to be purged, and he blasts off one of Quattro’s legs. Kamille puts on his helmet and heads back to the Zeta Gundam. Haman and Scirocco chase after Quattro and see that he has entered the residential district on foot. The Argama continues to take fire, but Bright wants to keep acting as a decoy until they can fire the colony laser. Torres reports that the transformers have taken heavy damage so the output levels aren’t high enough yet. Quattro reaches the stage of an abandoned theater, and Haman turns on one of the stage lights and holds him at gunpoint. She tells Char he was quite the actor, but this will be where he dies if he’s not open to discussion. Quattro notes that they have to wait for the other actor, and when Scirocco arrives, Haman comments that this kind of theatricality is up Scirocco’s alley. Scirocco describes himself as a mere witness to history, but says he’s calmer than Char. Scirocco says that Char wants the world in his grasp, and Haman asks him to help her revive the Zabi family. She points her gun at Scirocco and tells Char they can think about the new world after killing Scirocco. Quattro responds that he doesn’t want to lead the world in the wrong direction, and she asks him what he’d do once the Zabis and Titans are gone. Quattro answers that even if he does nothing, humanity will change as people awaken into Newtypes. Haman shoots at Quattro when he reaches for his gun and says she’ll eliminate him if he doesn’t side with her. She declares that she’ll revive the Zabis and show people the way after Char is dead, and he tells her she’s just repeating the same mistake. Kamille steps onto the stage with a gun drawn and emits Newtype pressure that everyone feels. Kamille states that the people who need to be eliminated are the ones whose souls are pulled down by gravity, but even that cause isn’t worth so many lives. Haman thinks that’s a dumb statement, and Scirocco thinks Kamille’s words might move the common folk, but not them. Kamille asks what good there is in building a world that ignores people’s minds, and Scirocco counters that the common folk only way down the geniuses who run the world. Quattro tells Kamille to leave, but he refuses. Scirocco tells Kamille that petty sentiment will only direct the world on a path to destruction. Fa enters the room from the back and shoots at Scirocco, allowing Quattro and Kamille to escape. Quattro tells them to escape from Gryps 2, and Torres reports to Bright that output levels are at 30 percent. Quattro takes off in his damaged Hyaku-Shiki and is chased by Haman, who realizes that the colony laser is about to fire. Kamille opens fire on Haman as he and Fa escape, and Quattro tells him not to worry about that because they’ll die if the laser is fired right now. Scirocco opens fire on Quattro and is in turn attacked by Kamille, who declares that he’ll end things now. Torres reports that Gryps 2 is ready to fire, but he hesitates when he sees weapons fire from the mouth of the colony. Bright orders them to stay on standby, but Saegusa objects and notes that their targets are moving. Quattro tells Fa not to go back inside Gryps 2 and promises to bring Kamille back. Kamille asks Quattro why he came back, since he’d already said he’d deal with Haman and Scirocco. 

The Argama takes another hit from enemy fire, and Shinta and Qum tell Hasan that Manack is injured and needs help. Anna had told the kids to stay in their room, but they cry that they’re too scared. Torres and Saegusa argue again that they need to fire the laser now, but Bright wants to wait until Kamille and Quattro clear out of there. Scirocco hides behind the Alexandria cruiser as the colony laser’s energy builds up, and Haman uses her bits to damage Kamille’s shield. She boasts that Kamille’s luck has run out, but she then comes under fire from the Methuss. Quattro also fires and forces her to fall back, and he tells Kamille and Fa that they’ll escape together. Kamille tells Quattro that he still has something to do in this war, and the people who sacrificed their lives thought it was to save the world. Kamille believes in Quattro, and Quattro asks if he thinks the world will be saved by young people losing their lives. He comments that the old people won’t create the new world, and they all escape from Gryps 2. Haman and Scirocco also escape, and Bright gives the order to fire. The blast hits the Titans fleet and destroys many ships, including the Alexandria. Scirocco realizes they don’t have enough ships now to beat the AEUG, and Haman returns to Axis to reassure Mineva that she’s going to keep fighting their enemies. Mineva asks if they’re in danger, and Haman responds that their fight will continue on. Kamille chases after Scirocco, and they each fire beam shots that intersect and cancel out. Quattro sneak attacks Haman when she emerges from Axis; Haman deploys her bits, and Quattro lures her toward a wrecked Salamis. He then swoops in from behind and pins her against the wall of the mobile suit hangar, saying she can’t use her bits now. She has some of the deployed bits attack, blasting off the Hyaku-Shiki’s remaining arm and leg. Haman asks Char if he wants to end it here or continue, and he asks what right she has to decide that. Quattro spots an exposed active power cable behind Haman and fires at it with his vulcans, setting off an explosion that destroys the whole ship. Haman emerges from the wreckage and laments that Char didn’t choose to come with her. Kamille and Scirocco fight near the Jupitris, and Kamille accuses him of watching from the sidelines as people fight. Kamille vows that he can never forgive Scirocco, even if it means sacrificing his body. Kamille says that everyone must understand that someone like Scirocco can’t be allowed to live. Scirocco sneak attacks with a beam saber from his sub-arm, destroying Kamille’s beam rifle. Kamille pulls back and hears Emma’s voice saying he’s too hasty. Lila’s voice asks what he’ll do since their power levels are different, and Kamille answers that he’ll let everyone use his body. Katz says that people are so concerned about life and death in the physical world and focus on the wrong things. Sarah appears and stands before Scirocco, and Reccoa and Rosamia tell her to get out of the way because a child can’t understand. Four says that they have to leave things to Kamille now, and Kamille tells Sarah that Scirocco can’t live in these times. Sarah continues to object, and Katz tells her to see what Kamille is seeing, and he adds that even Scirocco can merge like they do. The Zeta Gundam starts to glow with power, and Scirocco wonders if it has a weapon he’s not aware of. Kamille answers that Scirocco wouldn’t understand because he only views war as a game. Scirocco rejects the idea that the power moving through Kamille’s body could defeat a mobile suit, and Four says that Kamille is in a machine that can use such power. Kamille transforms into Waverider mode and charges toward The-O, which stops responding to Scirocco’s inputs. Kamille crashes into The-O, with the tip of his shield impaling Scirocco. As he dies, Scirocco says that he’ll take Kamille’s soul with him and launches a Newtype attack. Kamille sees a light as The-O explodes near the Jupitris, setting off a chain reaction of explosions that destroy the ship. Fa takes Kamille to safety and asks him if he’s okay. Speaking like a child, Kamille says that a light is turning on and off and wonders if it’s a comet, but then says it can’t be because comets go swoosh. Kamille complains that it’s hot inside the cockpit and asks if there’s a way out. Fa is in shock and tries to tell Bright what happened to Kamille. Fa tows the Zeta Gundam back toward the Argama and encounters the heavily damaged Gundam Mk-II along the way. She wonders aloud if it wants to return to the Argama too. The Argama departs after retrieving its remaining mobile suits. The Hyaku-Shiki floats through space with its cockpit hatch open.


Zeta Gundam concludes with a finale where dueling philosophies are espoused and body counts continue to rise. This episode sees the deaths of Emma, Scirocco and Gady, along with most of the rest of the Titans fleet. The battle inside Gryps 2 is well-staged and is one of the highlights for this series. Quattro is in a bad place this whole episode, but it’s a testament to his skills that he can take on Haman and Scirocco with a suit that’s so vastly outgunned. Haman really is convinced that she can sway Quattro back to her side, but it should be obvious that he wants nothing to do with her dream of reviving the Zabis. Scirocco makes it clear that he sees humanity as sheep to be led and who keep back geniuses (presumably including him) from ruling the world. Kamille is totally against this mindset and is willing to risk his body to stop Scirocco, which is something that in fact does end up happening. The sudden power of the Zeta Gundam to use the will of the dead is hotly debated in fandom, as is its stated explanation of featuring a bio-sensor, which is never stated in series. I can accept it because UC Gundam from the beginning has focused on communicating with the dead. It’s not so surprising that a machine could be made to draw on that power. In previous viewings, I’d thought of Fa as a middling pilot at best, but she clearly has enough luck and skill to survive as the Argama’s only remaining pilot by the end of the series. I’d wondered for many years what happened to Gryps 2, but that answer was later offered up by Gundam Unicorn. As a finale, this episode works because it brings an end to the primary conflict between the AEUG and the Titans. Sure, the issue of Axis is left unresolved for Gundam ZZ, but that’s the whole point. This ending was crafted knowing that it would lead into a direct sequel, and I have no problem with that.

As a series, Zeta Gundam still stands the test (or the tears) of time, even nearly 40 years after its debut. Its animation and mecha designs are still stand outs, and it set the pattern that many subsequent Gundam series would follow. It’s not perfect – the outdated gender commentary really sticks out in a modern viewing, and too many women are fridged for the sake of male pain. But other themes are still relevant, like the need to stand up to fascism, or the existence of dirty companies like Anaheim that try to play both sides for profit. Zeta Gundam also succeeds as a sequel that brings back the cast of the original series without having them either be pointless cameos or overshining the new cast. The most frequently featured returning characters are Char and Bright, but Amuro has a notable arc in starting off traumatized from his war experiences and post-war confinement, all the way to proactively fighting in Karaba. In the end, Zeta Gundam is a series that, even with its faults, is not to be missed.

Original Review: November 3, 2002

Overall Rating
Zeta Gundam Info


Yoshiyuki Tomino

Hiroshi Ohnogi
Yumiko Suzuki
Tomoko Kawasaki
Yasushi Hirano
Akinori Endo
Miho Maruo
Minoru Onoya

Mechanical Designer(s):
Kazumi Fujita
Mamoru Nagano
Kunio Okawara
Makoto Kobayashi
Kazuhisa Kondo
Hideo Okamoto

Character Designer:
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Musical Composer:
Shigeaki Saegusa

50 episodes; 3 compilation movies

Japan 03.02.1985 – 02.22.1986

Theatrical Release:
Japan 05.28.2005 – 03.04.2006


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