Mobile Suit Gundam – 09

機動戦士ガンダム /Kido Senshi Gundam episode 09
Mobile Suit Gundam – 09

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09Frau Bow is making the rounds to get people to dinner but when she reaches Amuro’s room, she finds him moping and not interested in eating.  Instead, he talks of how the Federation is using White Base to distract Zeon while they make more advanced weapons.  Over in the mess hall, Kai is complaining when the three orphan steal some tomatoes and get away without raising an alarm.  They meet Amuro in the halls where the little blonde girl, Kikka, gives him a tomato.  Meanwhile, White Base receives word from Federation HQ to proceed through Zeon space to the ocean.  Unfortunately, there is no word of reinforcements nor of resupply.  Since ammunition stores on the White Base are low, it is decided that a patrol should be sent out to scout the area.  However, when ordered to go on patrol, Amuro decides to refuse the order.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09As Garma is preparing to lead an attack on White Base, the Federation Core Fighter patrol is spotted and the attack put on hold.  Char suspects that White Base must be in some sort of trouble to suddenly start sending out patrols.  Meanwhile, Ryu and Hayato complete their patrol and their Core Fighters are inserted into Guntank and Guncannon.  As this happens, Frau Bow is attempting to get Amuro to get back into the fight but he refuses, having returned to his room to mope.  Frau Bow gets Sayla on the line to give her the bad news.  When Bright hears this, he comes to Amuro’s room himself.  Bright is angry with Amuro’s attitude and punches him in the face to give him something real to complain about, which surprises Amuro since he doesn’t consider his actions to be petty.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09Garma leads his forces to attack White Base leaving Char to observe.  Garma sees that Gundam has not deployed and believes this is the trouble that Char suspected and so orders his fighters to concentrate their fire on one of White Base‘s engines.  Back on White Base, Bright backhands Amuro again, calling him a coward and stating that he was wrong in thinking Amuro could surpass Char.  This causes Amuro to come to his senses as Frau Bow decides she will pilot the Gundam and simply follow the manual as Amuro had done.  Hearing her words, Amuro tells her that it would not work for her as it did for him.  Though he does not like it, he is a man after all and thus prepares to take the Gundam into battle.  As he enters, he receives the latest information from Sayla and tells her that he is going to try a new strategy.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09Upon the Gundam deploying, Garma orders it be destroyed.  On the Zeon Gaw carrier, Char sabotages the radio without the bridge crew noticing it, all the while praising Garma’s abilities in battle.  Meanwhile, Amuro has Gundam leaping high into the air, aided by the rockets on its back.  While in the air, he begins carefully taking out every Zeon fighter with Guntank and Guncannon providing cover when Gundam returns to the ground.  With only two fighters left, Amuro slices Garma’s fighter and Garma leads Amuro away from White Base.  He orders the Gaw to attack but gets nothing back on the radio.  Frustrated, Garma continues to lead Amuro to where the Gaw is hidden behind the mountains.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09When Amuro attempts to pursue, a Federation transport arrives and its pilot warns Amuro of the Zeon Gaw danger.  White Base lands and the transport, begins transferring much needed supplies to the ship.  Matilda, the female commanding the Federation transport, provides orders from General Revil for White Base to stay the course as they are now considered a regular military asset based on their performances.  She gathers their battle reports and announces that she’ll be taking the wounded civilians as well as the wounded Lt. Reed.  When Bright asks why the Federation is leaving them out here, she doesn’t have an answer but expresses her confidence in the crew.  Amuro finds himself smitten with Matilda as she leaves, something Frau Bow notices.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09

Thoughts/Review

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09 Frau Bow is the real hero of this episode as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve always believed she is attracted to Amuro.  I believe she has known him longer that anyone else from their time on Side 7 and so her stepping to the plate to get Amuro’s whiny, self-pity angst ridden self out of bed is commendable.  She even went so far as to consider him not to be a man for bitching and moaning like he is.  However, I liked that she didn’t just hit him verbally, but reminded him that his actions saved not only her life but his when Side 7 was infiltrated by the three Zeon Zaku units.  Since then, Amuro has been instrumental in saving all their lives and like it or not, he has to get back into the fight.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09That’s not to say I don’t understand Amuro’s lack of enthusiasm for the job.  While I don’t know how much time has passed since the events on Side 7, clearly, the stress of constant combat is getting to Amuro and there’s no sign of it coming to an end.  I think Amuro is right in that the Federation is using White Base and its mobile suits as a major distraction while they bring more Gundam units online.

I see Char’s plot to take down Garma continues.  Char is pretty devious and knows how to play Garma so that the later doesn’t suspect Char of being behind his downfall.  Still, would Char have had the Gaw open fire if Amuro had taken the Gundam to its location?

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09Nice to see White Base finally get its resupply.  Good thing the Zeon attack was thwarted when it was because White Base on the ground would seem to be the most vulnerable and thus ripe for an attack.  Still, Char’s purposeful allowing of the Federation transport passed his location aside, I would have to say that the Zeons are asleep at the switch to allow a Federation transport in so deep into their territory and not notice it.  Even taking the Minovsky particles into consideration, one would think someone might have noticed it if Zeon has plenty of patrols up, to say nothing of eyeballs on the ground gazing skyward.  However, it seems that no one did until the transport reached Char’s location and then he let it go on as well for his own purposes.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09While we are on the subject of the Federation supply, I wonder why the writers suddenly had Amuro interested in Matilda.  After that one image I found of Amuro kissing Sayla, I guess I’d been looking for that angle so this came as a complete surprise.  Frau Bow’s reaction was not since as I said earlier, its clear she’s interested in Amuro and has been from the start.  If Amuro is interested in Matilda, I guess that means that we might see her again with another supply run.

If we see Matilda again, will we see this General Revil who arranged for White Base to get resupplied?

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09I think this episode is the first time that two core fighters have been dispatched for any situation.  Nice to see that happen.  That said, Hayato being a pilot is a laugh since he’s not one, but then I remember that the computer systems on these mobile suits do most of the work.  I’m guessing that aspect is true for the core fighters, which are also part of the mobile suit makeup.

While I’m thinking about it, it is nice to finally get the name of one of the orphans.  Kikka seems to like Amuro a lot.  One would think that if Matilda is getting wounded off of White Base, she’d get the kids off as well but somehow, I think they’ll still be there just because of how they continue to get cameos.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09Finally, there’s Genshiken.  *lol*  That manga is full of Gundam references but one I didn’t know suddenly came to light this episode.  In the first chapter of Genshiken, Saki punches Sasahara and his comeback line is, “…my own father never even hit me.”   The members of Genshiken all react big time to this line, which was obviously from some anime or manga.  The translator notes simply stated that this was a line from Gundam, so while I appreciated that, the line still meant nothing to me.  However, when Bright smacks Amuro a second time, the moment he uttered that line in Japanese, I KNEW that this was the line that Sasahara was quoting.  ^_^  Next time I read Genshiken, that part of the chapter will have greater meaning for me now that I understand the reference.  And people sometimes ask me why I bother to watch classic anime.  ^_~

Mobile Suit Gundam - 09Oh, while I’m thinking of it, I’ve shifted my image handling after it was suggested that this would resolve certain image feed problems.  I like images to be completely embedded in the articles but I guess we can’t always get what we want.  If you have an opinion one way or the other, let me know.  ^_^

So, another enjoyable episode.  I’m rather surprised this didn’t get better ratings when it first aired but I can see why it eventually picked up in popularity.

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14 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam – 09”

  1. Krono says:

    “Still, Char’s purposeful allowing of the Federation transport passed his location aside, I would have to say that the Zeons are asleep at the switch to allow a Federation transport in so deep into their territory and not notice it. Even taking the Minovsky particles into consideration, one would think someone might have noticed it if Zeon has plenty of patrols up, to say nothing of eyeballs on the ground gazing skyward.”

    One of the bits of back story that hasn’t been mentioned is that General Revil was captured by, then escaped from Zeon in the opening phases of the war. Upon his return he made a speech rallying people against surrendering to Zeon. One of the key points of his speech was that Zeon was exhausted and stretched to it’s limit.

  2. Manae says:

    As Krono said, you need to remember Zeon controls pretty much the entire planet at the moment. The only major Federation-controlled areas are a large chunk of the Amazon where Jabrow is hidden, some pockets in Europe and Asia, and large harsh-climate areas like tundra and deserts where Zakus require too much maintenance to be effective. The Zeon army doesn’t have enough numbers and equipment to maintain fronts and occupy territory; there are plenty of holes and even some Federation bases still standing in Zeon territory.

    There’s a pretty good story on forced method acting for the hitting line. After repeated recordings, none of which he liked, Tomino went into the recording booth, actually did hit Fuyuya Touru, and then had him give the line again: that take was used.

    The lack of use of the core fighters actually has a pretty good reason. They don’t exactly have spares–just one, as I recall–and all the mobile weapons are useless without a core.

    The ratings also make a good bit of sense for the time. Today, there’s nothing out of the ordinary in seeing anime aimed at teens and even adults. But when Gundam was put out, anime was still in the same boat as a lot of western animation: cartoons were for kids. Pulling out an adult-themed drama… as an anime? It was ludicrous. When you think about it, this still holds pretty true in the west. I can’t think of any US animation meant for adults that isn’t a comedy. We’ve gotten past the wall of serious cartoons to a point, but even cartoons that do this (for example, Avatar) are still aimed at children. Honestly, I think we owe a lot to Gundam for breaking that wall and allowing for some of the great titles we have today.

  3. karry says:

    Bright is quite possibly, the most useless character in all of Gundam. I dont remember him actually DOING anything in any of the three series he was in, except being a pompous self-important ass and punching people for no reason. Especially with Kamille. If i were there i’d probably punch him every time i passed him by in the corridor or something.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Next time I read Genshiken, that part of the chapter will have greater meaning for me now that I understand the reference.”

    It’s more fun to know the references, but the experience hardly qualifies as “greater meaning”, especially if the reference is used for a gag. Contrary to what some otaku believe, there’s no “greater meaning” in anime, it’s just entertainment.

  5. junior says:

    Brightslap, HO!!!

    Heh.

    Karry –

    Off-hand, I don’t remember Bright hitting Camille. Wong does that quite a lot, however. And something to keep in mind is that corporal punishment is viewed much more acceptably in Japan than it is in the US.

    As for your personal thoughts on Bright, keep in mind that he’s the ONLY character to appear in MS Gundam, Gundam Z, Gundam ZZ, and Char’s Counterattack. And he’s prominent in all four. There’s a reason for that. He’s an effective commander and a popular character. He gets the job done even though he invariably seems to end up with whiny teenagers piloting the ace mobile suits.

  6. karry says:

    “corporal punishment”
    Punishment should have a reason. Bright just loves backhanding people.

    “He’s an effective commander”
    Right, right. Usually he says something profound like “everyone, attack the enemy !!!”, or “launch the Gundam !!!”. Yeeeeessss, thats some top-notch strategy & tactics right there. What i see is mostly vanity and undeserved feeling of self-importance.

  7. junior says:

    Karry –

    He smacks whiny mobile suit pilots who feel too self-important to pull their weight with the crew. Amuro was acting like a twit. Bright called him on it and did what was necessary to get Amuro to do his job. I don’t understand how you can say that it didn’t serve a purpose. Given that Amuro ignored the first smack from Bright, just talking to the arrogant twerp (before or after the first smack) clearly wouldn’t have been enough to get him into the cockpit. Amuro’s not the only one that’s been under a tremendous amount of stress and strain, but he’s the only one that’s been throwing a snit about it.

    And off the top of my head, I can only think of one Brightslap that didn’t involve a whiny lead mobile suit pilot (that exception being a similarly whiny teenager in CCA, albeit one that wasn’t a mobile suit pilot). The rest of the crew seems to be able to get by just fine without seeming to require the occasional Brightslap to encourage them to stop being petulant.

    And as for Bright’s effectiveness, you’re forgetting the role of a commander/captain. It’s their job to see that their subordinates do their job and that their command runs smoothly. That’s stuff that happens behind the scenes as it tends to make for fairly boring on-screen viewing except for those times when Bright is forced to drop the hammer on someone. Bright’s people tend to be motivated even under trying conditions, and the ships that Bright captains tend to complete their assigned missions. Thus, we can tell that Bright is an effective commander.

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    One of the bits of back story that hasn’t been mentioned is that General Revil was captured by, then escaped from Zeon in the opening phases of the war. Upon his return he made a speech rallying people against surrendering to Zeon. One of the key points of his speech was that Zeon was exhausted and stretched to it’s limit.

    Is that something that comes out later or something from the supplemental materials?

    The ratings also make a good bit of sense for the time.

    I think that as a kid, I would have loved Gundam.

    Bright is quite possibly, the most useless character in all of Gundam.

    *lol* For some reason, that struck me as rather droll. Still, I’m not sure I agree with that since he did prevent Char from getting out of Side 7 with pictures of White Base.

    @Raso — thanks for the link. ^_^

    Contrary to what some otaku believe, there’s no “greater meaning” in anime, it’s just entertainment.

    *lol* One can say that for 100% of any entertainment.

  9. Hata says:

    after you are done with it, I recommend you to hit Char’s Counter Attack next, (I have no patient for Z and ZZ), and if you have time, the manga Gundam the Origin, (the novel you can skip, too. not that big a deal.) but you must read Mobile Suit Gundam San by Owada Hideki, in it the semi-fictional, semi-truth but exaggerate account of how the Bright slaps of Amuro was taped by the seiyu is simply hilarious. I think it is in book 3 or book 4?

  10. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Hata — I plan to watch Char’s Counter Attack. ^_^ The books will be a bit more difficult but we’ll see what I can do. ^_^;;; Thanks for the tips. ^_^

  11. SAMAS says:

    The whole Amuro/Sayla thing is a prime example of things not working out the way you want them to.

    Originally, Sayla was supposed to be Amuro’s love interest, but when the sequel Zeta Gundam rolled around, they couldn’t get ahold of her voice actress. The thing with Matilda is basically a crush on an attractive older woman.

    Sadly, Amuro is Case Zero for the legends of why you should never love or be loved by a Gundam pilot.

  12. holcroft says:

    @Hata:

    the tomino-slapping accident is not on Gundam-san, instead in Gundam Sousei, another manga created by the same author. IIRC

  13. Krono says:

    “Is that something that comes out later or something from the supplemental materials?”

    It’s been several years since I watched the series. IIRC, while Zeon’s need for resources comes up in the series itself, the stuff about the speech only shows up in supplemental material.

    In particular, the speech is in the novelization of Gundam that Tomino did.

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