Mobile Suit Gundam – 02

機動戦士ガンダム /Kido Senshi Gundam episode 02
Mobile Suit Gundam – 02

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02As the Zeon ship launches a missile attack at Side 7, the captain of White Base is injured and many people are killed. The ship stops its attacks and the pilot of the Gundam is ordered to load Gundam equipment onto the ship even though no one knows who’s piloting it. Frau Bow and a blond lady named Sayla rescue some children before a girl named Mirai gets Frau to help in the infirmary. There, she helps treat the wounded captain, who wants to get the White Base out of Side 7 quickly, but they don’t have a pilot. Mirai volunteers since she has some piloting experience and her family name, Yashima, gives her credibility with the captain.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02Meanwhile, Zeon captain Char reports current events to his superior, Admiral Dozle. The admiral is shocked to hear of the loss of two Zaku mobile suits and that the Federation has a powerful mobile suit of its own which is capable of easily defeating Zaku units. He agrees to send a supply ship to Char with additional mobile suits and missiles. Char decides to go on the offensive and not wait for resupply and goes with a new three-man infiltration team, which includes the lone survivor of the previous expedition (Slender), to Side 7. His ship opens fire as a diversion while the team makes their way into the base.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02While this is going on, it is discovered that the pilot of the Gundam is actual a genius boy named Amuro. With the Zeon ship attacking and having little other choice, the captain orders Amuro to destroy the remaining Gundam parts to keep them from Zeon hands. Inside Side 7, Frau and Sayla are out looking for survivors to get people evacuated to White Base. Sayla encounters something suspicious and grabbing a hand gun, goes to investigate. She finds the blond-headed Char but he gets the drop on her after he removes his helmet. However, he seems to wonder if this girl is “Artesia” though he finds her too strong. He flees when Amuro shows up in the Gundam and Sayla refers to Char as “niisan,” an indication that this is her older brother.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02Amuro gets Sayla to get into the Gundam’s palm for protection as he destroys the remaining Gundam parts. Returning by lift to a hatch to leave Side 7, Char uses his jet suit to get in, causing White Base to go on alert and anyone with a gun is ordered to shoot the Zeon. Lots of folks with guns show up and begin firing away as a smiling Char is not hit and takes photos/scans of White Base. When an actual soldier shows up, Char takes it seriously but not before his camera/scanner is destroyed. He flees along with his three companions as Amuro follows in the Gundam. Amuro fires but the targets are too small to get a lock. Char orders his ship, the Musai, to ready his and Slender’s Zaku and remote launch them.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02Musai fires two more large missiles at White Base, which is departing from Side 7. Amuro destroys both missiles but the two Zaku units are approaching. Learning that one is the Red Comet, piloted by Char, the captain becomes very concerned since Char was able to single-handedly take out five Federation warships. Despite being told otherwise, Amuro decides to fight the red Zaku unit as civilians, coached by injured military people, pilot White Base away. Char has the superior skills and easily gets the best of Amuro, but the Gundam’s superior armor saves him. Char is shocked by this as a lone, new Core Fighter launches to help Amuro.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02Char gets Slender to help him deal with the Gundam but they can’t take it down despite Amuro’s inexperience. He’s stunned when a single shot from the Gundam’s beam rifle destroys Slender’s Zaku, revealing that this Gundam has the firepower of a battleship’s weapon. Char is angry but also concerned and wisely retreats. The Gundam is retrieved by White Base and Amuro reports to the bridge, where he’s officially made pilot and thus responsible for that Gundam unit. Amuro is tersely told by Bright, the now second in command, that he’s going to have to grow up and learn as his use of the beam weapon was wasteful (only one successful shot). Amuro is not happy, but agrees to this as White Base heads to the Luna II asteroid military base.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02I think I missed this when I watched episode 1 but it seems that one of the Earth colonies (Side 3) rebelled and joined with the Zeon people. So the Zeons we’ve seen to date would appear to be humans, just not associated with Earth. I’m not 100% clear on that though.

As to the episode, again, security is lax for Side 7. One would think that after such a brazen attack by Zeon’s within the colony space station combined with the missile attack from Musai (clearly not going for a kill), there would be an expectation of possibly more infiltrations now that the Zeon’s know about Gundam and White Base. However, they get in the second time just as easily.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02Also laughable is that Amuro, who’s only a civilian, isn’t even challenged to reveal his identity after the Zeon infiltration attack but is simply ordered to load parts onto White Base. So when the injured captain inquires about who’s piloting the Gundam, he’s met with, “I don’t know.” So much for military discipline and following of procedure.

More eye-rolling than that was Char’s almost leisurely flight to capture data about White Base while there is all kinds of fire coming at him from all sides. I suppose because the people firing at him were civilians, they weren’t supposed to be able to hit the broad side of a barn but when Bright shows up, suddenly Char decides playtime is over and of course Bright can shoot and thus the camera-scanner is destroyed.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02Yeah, it is still rather unbelievable that Amuro could become proficient to use a Gundam in what I guess is no more than an hour or so tops. However, Amuro giving the Gundam technology the credit helps there as does Char’s arrival. Char’s Zaku unit does the impossible (a mobile suit doing ninja shundo “instant move”?), but at least it gave the experience difference to show how Amuro was basically lucky and as he said, reliant on the Gundam technology. So because of that, it becomes more palatable and I can better suspend my disbelief. *lol*

Since most of the experienced crew of White Base were killed in the attacks, I wouldn’t mind the show focusing on civilians being thrust into jobs they’ve not been trained for. I’m guessing we’ll see some of this but considering the nature of the series, I’m guessing action will trump everything.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 02I was surprised that Japanese name Mirai Yashima was given in western style. I think that might be a first for any anime or manga I’ve read to have the Japanese name done this way.

Speaking of Japanese, the show has had very few traditional honorifics used. Amuro has addressed Bright as “Bright-san” and a few people have been addressed with the “kun” honorific to indicate subordinate status of the person being addressed.

Still, all things considered, I like what I’ve seen so far despite some eye-rolling stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go and if Sayla and Char end up being related or if that’s a giant red herring.

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8 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam – 02”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Side 3 IS Zeon

  2. Manae says:

    Going from the name thing, most of the Universal Century cannon actually does that. Similar to Firefly showing a distant future where the “official” languages is a mix of English and Chinese, Tomino created a future where Japanese apparently became much more English-like. Arguably, you could even say the series is “in English” excepting Japanese is used so it would be understood by the audience. This is further evidenced by the constant use of English terms–the title of the series is Kidou Senshi you won’t once hear that said in the series, but “mobile suit” is said a thousand times.

    The use of -san with Bright makes sense in this context. There are many series with the second-in-command on a ship is referred to as “Mister NAME.” I’m not sure how rooted in reality that is, but just off-hand you have Mister Mardukas from Full Metal Panic and Mister Christopher from Reboot.

  3. Philip says:

    Seems every Gundam series includes some guy with a mask…

  4. junior says:

    Seems every Gundam series includes some guy with a mask…

    And most of ’em are expies of this one…


    Seriously, Zechs from Gundam Wing is pretty clearly based off of Char. Rau from Gundam SEED *appears* to be based off of Char… but the story ends up very violently disabusing THAT notion by the end of the series. What gets really funny, though, when one stops to think about it, is the thinly disguised “Quatro Bajina” in Gundam Zeta.


    “Mister NAME.”

    That’s accurate. A superior might use it to refer to a lower-ranking individual.

    Arguably, you could even say the series is “in English” excepting Japanese is used so it would be understood by the audience. This is further evidenced by the constant use of English terms–the title of the series is Kidou Senshi you won’t once hear that said in the series, but “mobile suit” is said a thousand times.

    Don’t forget “beam” rifle and “beam” saber. Long ago I saw a fansub of one of the early episodes of Turn-A Gundam that refered to a “laser rifle”. I instantly knew that the translater wasn’t paying attention, as the word used is always the English-language word ‘beam’.

    Macross does something similar. The dialogue is all in Japanese, but PA announcements and the like are usually in English. And of course we all know what a good Japanese name ‘Roy Fokker’ is.


    As the first poster pointed out, Zeon literally is Side 3.

    Impromptu UC Gundam history lesson –

    In UC Gundam, a man named Zeon Zum Daikun advanced a theory that as humans moved into space they would grow and evolve into a new type of human – a literal “Newtype” – as the next step in evolution. He and his followers established a new nation at Side 3 (a collection of colonies at at the L2 Lagrange point). But Zeon died under mysterious circumstances. One of Zeon’s supporters, Degwin Zabi, took control of Side 3 and declared it the ‘Principality of Zeon’. In actuality, Zabi had arranged for the assassination of Zeon. While the Earth Federation pressured Side 3 to rejoin the Federation, the pressure remained purely diplomatic and economic. However Zabi decided to pursue a military policy and built up a powerful military. To counter the Federation’s superior strength, the Principality created a new weapon – the Mobile Suit. The initial Zaku I model was quickly followed by the Zaku II which is the current mainline model in use by the Principality. Zabi declared war on the Federation in Universal Century Year 0079, and due largly to the power of their mobile suits the Principality of Zeon was able to quickly achieve many victories over the numerically superior Earth Federation forces.

    Zeon forces gassed colonies aligned with the Earth Federation at Sides 2, 4, and 5, and attempted to drop a colony on the Earth Federation’s military headquarters at Jaburo. But the EF was able to cause enough damage to the colony to cause it to break up and it missed its target. Instead, the colony was broken into multiple pieces, and the largest of the pieces landed on Sydney Australia (this is shown in the series intro; the impact point is visited a few years later in Gundam 0083). By the time the initial phases of the war are over roughly half the human population has been killed and the two sides agree to the Antarctic Treaty, which prohibits the use of WMDs. The treaty also designates Side 6 as a neutral entity. At the time, Side 7 only contained one partially completed colony. As it was located at the L3 point – i.e. the farthest Lagrange point from Side 3, it was the ideal location to conduct the development of the Federation’s new secret weapons under the guise of colony construction projects.

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Anon — Yeah, I’ve had people tell me this. ^_^; When I saw the episode, I noticed the thing about Side 3, but it doesn’t come across (at least to me) that Side 3 and Zeon are the same. It sounded as if there was this alien race called Zeon and that Side 3 joined them.

    (I think I’m letting Macross and Space Battleship Yamato influence me.)

    @Manae — Well, even shows where it is in the future or more English is used, Japanese names still seem to be done traditionally. I was just surprised to see a Japanese name westernized. ^_^

    @Philip — Is there a reason behind the mask (assuming it isn’t a spoiler) or is it just, “Oh! I’m wearing a mask so I’m the cool person.”

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Junior — thanks for the 4-1-1. Does this information come out in the anime or is it just supplemental stuff?

  7. Manae says:

    That history is a little of both. Some of it is supplemental back story, but a lot of it will also be referenced at some point or another in the UC series.

    The Antarctic Treaty bans the use of any Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical weapons. It was the indiscriminate use of these that killed over 5 billion people during the “One Week War” at the start of the One Year War.

  8. Krono says:


    “(I think I’m letting Macross and Space Battleship Yamato influence me.)”

    I’m pretty certain you are. It’s been a while since I watched 0079, but I’m sure that nothing was said to indicate their enemies were aliens.

    “@Philip — Is there a reason behind the mask (assuming it isn’t a spoiler) or is it just, “Oh! I’m wearing a mask so I’m the cool person.””

    The official reason Zeon has on file for Char wearing a mask is facial scarring. The real reason is a spoiler.

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