Welcome back to where we take a weekly look at Gundam Unicorn RE:0096. If last week proved Gundam Unicorn could stand as a weekly series this week showed it’s limitations. As for the first time it was clear there is going to be hick ups in the transition from OVA to weekly series. I personally have a feeling Unicorn will have an Iron-Blooded Orphans pacing vibe as we transition from action to quiet from episode to episode, however that is just a feeling I have at the moment.
That said this episode was much easier to watch for a new viewers perspective I would assume. As the episode really cut down on the technical jargon that confused a lot of viewers previously, which is probably helpful. On that note I’m also in the process (as per some requests) of writing a primer of sorts on the history and terminologies of the Universal Century to hopefully help new viewers get up to speed, so they can fully enjoy the series along with us Gundam vets. With that being said lets move on to Episode 2 “First Blood”.
As the episode proper opens we return to where the last episode left of as Banagher is escorting his mysterious new companion to the “snail”, the center of activity within the colony. Banagher explains although its quite mysterious there is a rumor of a mansion in the middle of the factory housing the chairman of his own school.
As Banagher and his companion are journeying towards the snail a security alert stops them. This was likely caused by the ruckus’ of his companions entrance into the colony. Along with the associates she so wishes to leave behind moving in as well who are ordered to find her before she makes contact with Cardeas Vist of the Vist Foundation.
Incidentally it’s during this scene where the editing of the series became very apparent. As a simple conversation jumped between several different sets including one on the colony and one in space. Although disorienting its not a massive issue its just quite noticeable and in a series a well produced as this one it does stand out.
Following a few throw away scenes of world building and some pretty epic foreshadowing if you know where to look, Banagher and his companion meets the muscle behind the Seeves. Marida catches up to them where the two women engage in a debate regarding tactics and how she feels “Full Frontal” would use the power of Laplaces Box to start yet more wars. Marida ignores this merely saying she has orders, to which the young woman responds “this isn’t why you were given your powers”.
What powers soon becomes apparent. As despite being an ace pilot and clearly a Newtype Marida also shows impressive physical abilities including speed and strength. Unfortunately for her Banagher proves to be capable himself and with a little luck is able to fend off her martial assault.
Following the encounter the viewer finally gets some information on our mysterious heroine. Who’s name is revealed as Audrey, the last name being irrelevant as it’s obvious a fake. Banagher then explains the origin of his Haro unit which is merely a toy replica of Amuro’s Haro from the One Year War, as Amuro has become a hero in the time since the Gundam first appeared.
Eventually Banagher and Audrey reach the heart of the snail and the Vist Foundation mansion. As the entire a beautiful room Banagher instantly recognizes and can read the dead language of french, mentioning he somehow remembers this. However before more information can be gleaned Cardeas enters the room and begins negotiations.
Although he seems quite pleasant with Audrey he is less then kind of Banagher of whom he has a surprising familiarity. Banagher is eventually asked to leave by Cardeas as he has no place there as Audrey is in no danger. Following this Audrey pleads her case not to hand the Laplaces Box over to the Seeves of Neo-Zeon as Full Frontal will merely use it to start a war. Cardeas although he is aware of Full Frontals reputation as “the second coming of Char” he remains firm in his decision to transfer possession of the box.
Following the discussion between Audrey and Cardeas, Audrey is escorted to a safe room. As the Captain of the Seeves arrives to discuss the transfer of the box. During this time though a Mobile Suit battle of unknown combatants is taking place outside the Colony. Both seemingly involving supporters of Zeon, although one seems far more capable.
With the Mobile Suit battle as a backdrop Cardeas uses his discussion to explain to both the Captain and the audience the nature of Newtypes and their place in the universe. This makes it very clear the idea of Newtypes and whatever Laplaces Box is are intrinsically connected to one another. However their discussion quickly breaks down as the Captain pulls a gun on Cardeas abruptly ending the episode.
As I wrote above this episode really showed the limitations of recutting the OVA for the weekly screen. Although it clear this is one of the most well animated anime on television right now its jarring editing has the ability to take people out the action. Indeed currently we’re only about two thirds of the way through the first OVA which is pretty clear considering how little action was to be found. However if you know anything about anime we’re about to have a big confrontation next week, so see ya then.
Gundam Music of the Week:
Honestly I’m not too sure what I think of this ending. While the Opening caught me right away the ending is more subdued. However it’s use of acoustic guitars and more subdued lyrics is a good bookend to an episode. Also not to spoil too much the lyrics of love and loyalty really do fit the series quite well. What do you guys think?
PS: This is a different version from the TV version but I personally prefer it, so here it is.