Mobile Suit Gundam – 03

機動戦士ガンダム /Kido Senshi Gundam episode 03
Mobile Suit Gundam – 03

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03As White Base approaches the Luna II asteroid base, the new crew attempt to get settled into their roles while taking care of the civilian evacuees on board. Frau brings Amuro some food and a change of clothing as he’s skipped the last two meals as he attempts to know everything he can about Gundam. Since the Musai is tailing the White Base but not attacking, Mirai speculates that they may be out of ammunition and in need of a resupply. Bright is not so sure since Char is involved but when a second ship is seen rendezvousing with Musai, Bright orders the new crew to the bridge and takes a vote on whether to attack the potentially defenseless Musai or make a run for Luna II.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03On the Musai, Char learns that his resupply request is being sent on an old, obsolete ship and that he is only getting two Zaku units instead of the three he asked for. Meanwhile, White Base launches the Core Fighter (piloted by the rookie Ryu) and the Gundam (piloted by Amuro) to attack Musai. As White Base opens its gun ports and readies its weapons to support the action, Ryu and Amuro use the cover of an asteroid to approach Musai from the direction of the sun. As such, Amuro is able to launch a missile at the attached ships, destroying the conveyors before supplies can be transported. Char orders that the Zaku be delivered outside the ship as another missile finds its mark. With that, Char goes for his Zaku unit to defend his ship.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03Ryu strafes the supply ship while White Base begins its own attack. Char manages to shoot down the next incoming missiles and goes after the Gundam. He orders that even if no other supply makes it, he needs those Zaku units. The attack by White Base has destroyed the catapults of the supply ship, meaning they will have to manually get the two mobile suits over to Musai. Ryu’s constant strafing attacks makes that job even harder. Meanwhile, Char schools Amuro hard as his Zaku unit constantly gets the drop on Amuro. However, Char is frustrated that what should be kill shots and attacks are not enough to take the Gundam out of action.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03Back on White Base, Ryu’s actions cause gunners Hayato and Kai to not be able to bring the main cannons to bear, lest they hit Ryu. Since Ryu has his radio turned off, White Base cannot make contact. However, Kai and Hayato have a plan and since Kai has a license to drive a track vehicle, they get Bright to approve their taking the Guntank down to the surface of the asteroid to bring its twin cannon to the fight without the risk of hitting Ryu. Musai manages to get its main energy cannons charged and fires on White Base as the Guntank drives to get in range of the supply ship. Once in range, the Guntank’s cannons cause the supply ship to go down.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03Seeing that the ship is lost, the crew eject all remaining supplies before the ship crashes and is destroyed. The captain of the supply ship, in his own Zaku unit to make sure Char’s new Zaku units were delivered, decides to attack the Gundam in revenge. While he has the superior skills, the Gundam is so superior as to allow the relatively inexperienced Amuro to destroy the Zaku. With the destruction of the supply ship and one enemy Zaku, Bright recalls his forces. Char sees the retreating Gundam and ponders how the Zeon could have been defeated so easily when it is obvious that the pilot of the Gundam and the crew of the White Base are acting like amateurs rather than trained soldiers. Realizing that the Federation has such superior technology cause Char to fear.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03It is difficult to gauge how much time has passed since the events in episode 1 (the Zaku attack inside Side 7) to episode 3. If I had to guess, I’d say a day or two tops. I could be wrong though.

I was struck by some of the imagery in this episode that reminded me of the early episodes of Space Battleship Yamato. Not surprising considering both series came out in the 70’s (Yamato first). It isn’t a problem, but I smiled seeing some of the White Base corridors that reminded me of Yamato as well as the Core Fighter launching and being shown from the rear.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03Story-wise, I liked how things played out here. A lack of supplies has been used on occasion as a plot point but here, the enemy having the supply issues is unique in my experience. However, the Musai needing to be resupplied with munitions provided both a realistic situation and a plausible means for the inexperienced heroes to score a victory when otherwise, they might have been blown out of the sky.

I had figured that even though a point was made about the age of the resupply ship, things would Mobile Suit Gundam - 03go fairly smoothly (some limited damage) and that Musai would quickly get the munitions loaded and go hunting but White Base would make it to Luna II in time. So I was pleasantly surprised when the attacks from Ryu, Amaru, and the limited attacks from White Base continued to keep the fresh supplies from being transferred. I really liked how the captain of the supply ship had the cargo jettisoned to save it before his ship crashed and was destroyed. Of course, he had to ruin things by being stupid but he paid for his stupidity so all’s well that ends well.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 03Amuro showed some talent for the job with his tactical thinking on how to attack Musai and the supply ship. However, Char’s continuing to school Amuro gives the audience a marker of how far Amuro has to go. Thankfully, the deus ex machina nature of the Gundam unit and possibly White Base means that Amuro has time to learn his job and gain proficiency.

As to the others, there’s the obvious convenience of how they all landed their jobs but beyond that, we really haven’t learned too much about the crew. I’m guessing that will change with time.

So through three episodes, things certainly are interesting and entertaining.

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5 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam – 03”

  1. Bonehimer says:

    I like this episode as it shows us that both sides of the conflict are hurting hurting in either manpower and ships. It will help justify the future of the White Base.
    Also, you reminded me that I should really get around to watching Yamato. Its been on my too watch list too long.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The feeling of familiarity between Yamato and Gundam isn’t misplaced. Both Tomino and Yasuhiko (First Gundam’s head animation director) worked on the first season of Yamato. As story board artists to be specific. YAS actually worked on the second season and one of the movies as well. It goes deeper too, the key animator for episode three of Gundam also did work on Yamato.

  3. junior says:

    iirc, Tomino’s on the record as saying that the interior designs were influenced by either Star Trek or Star Wars (or possibly both).

    One of the things to note about MS Gundam is that ship classes weren’t often too well thought out. As unlikely as it might have been in real life, often in shows at the time the first ship that we saw in the series ended up being the “class name” ship for the entire class. Thus Char’s ship is named the ‘Musai’, and it’s also a ‘Musai-class’ warship. I would imagine that it’s more due to lack of concern on the part of the writers than anything else. The first ship of a given class appeared on-screen, was named, and was used as a convenient reference whenever another ship of that type was seen later. White Base is a notable exception to this rule, as it’s a Pegasus-class ship – the first, in fact. Two additional Pegasus-class vessels will eventually appear in animation – the ‘Grey Phantom’ in Gundam: 0080, and the ‘Albion’ in Gundam: 0083.

    As an odd trivia note, the MS Gundam novels reverse the name and class of the protagonists’ warship. Instead of the White Base being a Pegasus-class warship, the Pegasus is a White Base-class warship.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Bonehimer — the first Yamato series isn’t too bad. In fact, I’m hoping I can watch the live-action movie out of Japan sometime.

    @Anon — Ah, I did not know that. Thanks for the info. ^_^

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Junior — thanks for the additional information. ^_^

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