Mobile Suit Gundam – 12

機動戦士ガンダム /Kido Senshi Gundam episode 12
Mobile Suit Gundam – 12

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Mobile Suit Gundam - 12At the giant Zeon space station that holds the Zeon capital Zum City, the start of the public funeral for Garma begins with the Zabi family taking the stage.  Meanwhile, a Zeon force led by Ramba Ral on his warship Zanzibar decides to avenge “Garma-sama” and take out White Base.  They eventually catch up to the federation ship and attack, damaging one of its engines and forcing Bright to order they flee into a thunderstorm.  The storm causes Amuro to lose it and remember Icelina attempt to kill him before dying herself.  Mirai’s piloting loses the Zeon pursuers and they land on an island to make repairs.  While they are down, Bright orders Gundam, Guntank, and Guncannon out to defend the ship.  However, Ryu finds Amuro out of it and even though he manages to get Amuro into his flight suit, Amuro is unable to concentrate.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 12Ryu and Sayla manage to get Amuro out and the Gundam where Ramba in a new, blue mobile suit and two Zaku units have already landed.  Amuro quickly discovers that this blue mobile suit is very different and Bright recognizes it as a new Zeon weapon.  Amuro rejects having cover fire and goes to attack but is thwarted time and again by the blue mobile suit.  Ramba is impressed with the Gundam and its pilot, especially since it still survives.  However, his advantage is removed with White Base, Guntank, and Guncannon provide too much cover fire to allow him to finish off Gundam.  He orders a retreat and his girlfriend Hamon has the Zanzibar retrieve all three mobile suits.  Zanzibar then leaves with a stream of floodlights to blind the Federation forces.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 12Gihren, the now de facto ruler of Zeon, uses Garma’s funeral to make a speech against the Federation that is broadcast worldwide.  When Ryu and Amuro reach the White Base‘s bridge, Bright tells Amuro to watch the speech.  The speech is also seen by Ramba and Hamon on board Zanzibar as well as by Char, who’s been returned to his hometown and is having a drink in a bar.  Char is about to order another drink when a stranger comes up and pays for it.  Char recognizes the man as one of Kycilia’s guards, not by sight, but by smell.  The guard is impressed as Gihren continues his fiery speech.  As Gihren concludes, the Zeon’s chant “Sieg Zeon” over and over.  Amuro wonders if this is indeed the face of their enemy, leading Bright to tell him that Gihren and the Zabi family intend to rule all of Earth with a dictatorship.


Mobile Suit Gundam - 12The new introduction with episode 12 help to establish what Zeon’s purpose is and that Gihren is in fact the de facto ruler of Zeon, something I had not known before.  Before this episode, I’d assumed that their father Degwin was the ruler but I guess he had turned things over to his oldest son some time ago.

Interesting that the German word “sieg” (victory) is used by Gihren in his speech.  Clearly, the writers are attempting to evoke an association in the viewers mind with Nazi Germany and the “Sieg Heil” chants of the German people during World War II.  It is a shame though that the “Sieg Zeon” chant could not have been made to sound like the “Sieg Heil” chants on the old newsreels.  Heck, I’m not even sure if they could make a few voice actors sound like a crowd of 10’s of thousands of people today but had they been able to do this back when Gundam was made, it would have been a much more chilling moment in my opinion.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 12Also making the interesting list is Kycilia sending one of her men to Char.  So, apparently she has some sort of political aspirations since she didn’t have Char killed for Garma’s death.  I guess this is how Char is brought back into the story.

Amuro’s spacing out this episode made him more sympathetic than his previous, whiny, angst-ridden moments of self-pity.  Having seen Icelina puts a very human face on someone trying to kill him and someone he’s trying to kill.  Combine that with the almost non-stop combat and its no wonder that he had a tough time pulling it together.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 12The orphans again make their standard cameo.  This time, Kikka and the other two have a vacuum and have apparently been cleaning the ship.  I actually found that brought a smile to my face because doing common household chores like cleaning isn’t normally a part of a futuristic sci-fi series such as Gundam.

Having Bright snap at Kikka allowed for us to see the strain that command has placed on Bright (in addition to showing how Kikka is very manipulative).  I liked the short scene of him taking a break and being visited by Mirai after he snapped.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 12I can understand why many of the Federation and Zeon folks have never seen lightning, but even still, one would think that they’d have learned about it and thunderstorms.  However, Frau Bow assumed this was some sort of new Zeon weapon and some of the Zeon’s assumed lightning was a new Federation weapon.

And speaking of new weapons, this new, Zeon blue mobile suit that the writers made a strong point of stating that it was NOT a Zaku makes an appearance.  I don’t remember the mobile suit being named though, which is unfortunate.  I could look it up I suppose but I’m guessing it will have its type name revealed soon enough.

So, a rather interesting episode in a long string of such episodes.  I have to say that through twelve episodes, I’m rather impressed on the whole with what I’m seeing.

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11 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam – 12”

  1. junior says:

    New mobile suit – Gouf

    Assuming someone hasn’t already beaten me to it.


    Degwin is still the titular head of the Duchy. His children have all been delegated generous amounts of power within the Duchy, but Degwin can still override any of them. Garma, being less ambitious than his siblings as well as the youngest, still hadn’t done enough to justify being granted any degree of power. But it probably would have happened eventually.

    One thing to keep in mind about Kycilia is real world attitudes toward women in the late ’70s. Kycilia’s position is somewhat a nod toward that. She’s been delegated a great degree of responsibility within the Duchy, but there are indications in some of the background materials that chauvanist attitudes mean that she needs to do twice as well for half the recognition.

  2. Manae says:

    Char’s “Because he was a boy” line tends to get a lot of play. The gag parody Gundam-san includes some dozen takes on it alone, all with Char tricking Garma in some form and ending with a variation (“Why is this juice so bitter?!” “Because it’s gooyaa.”

    I believe the lightning part was included just to show how removed many spacenoids are from Earth in general. Most people on colonies by this point have never even set foot on the planet, so it’s not unthinkable that most of the characters shown would never have seen it before. Despite being freaked out, you’d think they would at least have known about it and acknowledged as such after being calmed by their respective commanders.

    Sieg Zeon sticks around for a long time. It goes from a semi-Nazi cry to more of a “remember the Alamo” sort of feel, though, in the later series. 0083 in particular seems to get a lot of use from it in this way. (As an aside from that, I’d recommend at least watching 0080 and 0083 before going on into Zeta Gundam if you plan on watching that one as well).

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Junior — thanks for the info. ^_^

    @Manae — Ditto. I have Char’s Counter Attack but don’t have any of those other Gundam titles. I may try to watch them though.

    One thing I’m curious about — are all of these Gundam titles in the same storyline or are some alternate universe type stuff?

  4. Manae says:

    You can divide them up pretty well between Universal Century and non-UC series. non-UC is made up of several other time lines on it’s own (most of them are only one or two series in their respective time lines, plus side stories via manga or light novels).

    The UC is, in a rough order:
    -MS Gundam
    -08th MS Team
    -0080 War in the Pocket
    -0083 Stardust Memory
    -Zeta Gundam
    -Double Zeta Gundam
    -Char’s Counterattack
    -Formula Wars movies and manga (F90, F91, Crossbone Gundam, etc)
    -Victory Gundam

    And then there’s plenty of other side stories like Char’s Deleted Affair (set shortly before Zeta Gundam) and the Johnny Ridden stories. There’s some other UC stories, too, such as Gundam Sentinel and G-Savior that are in that “debated canon” area.

    It shouldn’t be too hard to pick up the pre-Zeta side stories; they tend to be pretty popular. 08th MS Team is a good story, but it gets some continuity gripes (which could have been easily avoided by just not tacking “Gundam” onto the mobile suits) and isn’t needed to tie MSG and Zeta together. 0080 also doesn’t tie series, but does get some loose ends you might be left with after MSG. 0083 is almost a must to be able to get the political climate at the start of Zeta, though.

  5. junior says:

    One thing I’m curious about — are all of these Gundam titles in the same storyline or are some alternate universe type stuff?

    Yes and no…

    The setting for MS Gundam is referred to as ‘UC Gundam’ (i.e. Universal Century). Animation set in it includes –

    MS Gundam
    Z Gundam
    ZZ Gundam
    Char’s Counter-attack
    Gundam F-91
    V Gundam
    Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
    Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
    Gundam 08th MS Team
    Gundam Unicorn (currently in release)

    The letter series are all TV series. F-91 and Char’s Counterattack are both movies (the latter is also a three episode OVA). And the rest are OVA series. With the exception of Gundam Unicorn, the OVA series are all set during or a few years after MS Gundam. Everything in the list between MS Gundam and V Gundam are all listed in chronological order. Gundam Unicorn is set between Char’s Counter-attack and F-91. There’s also a live-action production called ‘G-Savior’ that I believe is supposed to be set long after V Gundam, but I don’t think there’s any real connection within the production itself. And it’s supposed to be awful.

    The first alternate series is the TV series G Gundam. Think Street Fighter as a giant robot series.

    The next is Gundam Wing. This TV series spawned the OVA Series/movie ‘Endless Waltz’. Think Gundam as a sentai/super robot series (of the non-combiner type).

    Finally, there’s X Gundam, which was the only series after MS Gundam that was ended early. From what I understand, it’s a post-apocalypse setting.

    Then you have Turn-A Gundam, which was Yoshiyuki Tomino’s final Gundam production, and his official notice that he was rejecting his ‘Kill ’em All!’ reputation. Technically, it takes place after ALL of the above… It’s a rather unusual series, and it’s been announced as an upcoming release in North America. Think Victorian England meets moon colonists, and the former start excavating mobile suits to even the odds. I told you it was unusual…


    Following that, we have Gundam SEED, which spawned Gundam SEED Destiny. There’s also a short OVA series attached to it which iirc is called Gundam Stargazer. The initial plot of Gundam SEED starts out an awful lot like MS Gundam (while also being quite different), and it stays somewhat recognizable along those lines right up until the point at which the White Base and its SEED counterpart reconnect with their respective militaries. And then it diverges a LOT…

    And finally, we have Gundam 00. This is the most recent series, and ended last year. It had a “continue the story/tie things up” movie released for it last month. As in W, the focus is on a group of super Gundams taking on militaries from around the world (in an attempt to “stop war”). There’s a pretty big time jump between the first and second seasons (with recognizable aging in some of the characters), and the first season isn’t as well-liked as the second season. Also, Amuro Rey’s VA plays a character who… well… that would be telling…


  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Manae and Junior — thanks for the information. Just so I’m clear, which list is the proper order for UC?

  7. karry says:

    “I actually found that brought a smile to my face because doing common household chores like cleaning isn’t normally a part of a futuristic sci-fi series such as Gundam.”

    Yeah, watch for around episode 30, where White Base enters Jaburo, they added a few things straight from Looney Tunes cartoons. That was sudden.

    I just finished rewatching 0079, and now rewatching SEED, and i had this thought that no matter what hardships they endure, 79’th characters never really change, except become more “concentrated” version of themselves. Even Kai, who is supposed to have this profound change, doesnt really behave any differently, except talks less.

    “many of the Federation and Zeon folks have never seen lightning”

    Which sounds really wrong, because there are many shots of space colonies insides, and there are clearly clouds in the middle. How could they have clouds but not have anything associated with them ?

    In contrast, in SEED there are many characters that actually make either a 180 turn, or are forced to reevaluate their set of beliefs. Not to mention that in the end of 79 there are loads and loads of big battles that i cant be arsed to care about, just some junk exploding in space, whereas in SEED they make doubly sure that you know exactly who was in each MS and/or ship, even if they dont get a name you saw their faces and heard them speak, and every time MS blows up i KNOW there was someone inside.

  8. junior says:

    @Manae and Junior — thanks for the information. Just so I’m clear, which list is the proper order for UC?

    It depends. Ignoring the manga for the moment (largely because there’s so much UC manga that it would take forever to list all of it)…

    In order of release –

    MS Gundam
    Z Gundam
    ZZ Gundam
    Char’s Counterattack
    Gundam F-91
    V Gundam
    Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
    Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
    Gundam 08th MS Team
    Gundam Unicorn (2nd episode’s due out in November)

    In-setting chronological order –

    MS Gundam
    08th MS Team (the first episode ends with Gihren’s eulogy at Garma’s funeral)
    Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

    All three of the above conclude at or shortly after the end of the One Year War (i.e. the war in MS Gundam). The order listed is based on guesswork regarding when the first episodes of each series take place.

    Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
    Z Gundam
    ZZ Gundam
    Char’s Counterattack
    Gundam Unicorn
    Gundam F-91
    Victory Gundam

    Watching the series in order of release works just as well as watching them in the setting’s chronological order. It’s true that Gundam 0083 in part tries to explain why certain things have happened at the start of Z Gundam, but there are also elements that will have you scratching your head if you aren’t familiar with the basics of Z Gundam (which was my situation when I first saw 0083). In short, certain elements in the series seem to assume that the viewer is already familiar with Z Gundam, though these primarily relate to minor elements within the plot. The primary story (which along with most of the characters, is generally considered quite weak… 0083 is a series that generally gets by on its gorgeous combat sequences), on the other hand, isn’t affected by your familiarity with Z Gundam.

    0083 also fails to provide some crucial background information on one of the characters, which unfortunately removes most of the depth from an otherwise unsympathetic character. Given that nearly everyone in the series comes across as rather flat, this is unfortunate.

    08th MS Team and Gundam 0080 are completely independent and have no real bearing on what comes before or after.

    The first episode of Gundam Unicorn works a bit better if you know the true identity of a particular character (who is easily recognizable if you’ve seen that individual in Z Gundam). And one of the plot elements introduced in episode two is a reaction to the end of Char’s Counter-attack.

  9. al103 says:

    There are also 3 MS IGLOO OVA sets that are also happen in 1 year war and describe it from point of view of Zeon new equipment evaluation unit

    and several moments as viewed by Federation troops

  10. Manae says:

    I wouldn’t call 0083’s plot weak. The shoe-horned love story, though, sure, that takes from it a bit. The Bask Om inclusion can be confusing without having watched Zeta, but the overall political atmosphere leading into that series is a much bigger part. Then again, both series pretty quickly give you the impression within minutes that Om is a complete bastard.

    As Junior said, at this point leaving Unicorn for last is probably a good idea.

    @al103: As much as I enjoyed the nine Igloo OVAs so far, it starts to add just too much to remember at times. You also have to include some of the Gundam Evolves, then, in particular the fourth and a few later ones that retell some key UC battles. And a dozen other vignettes floating around.

  11. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Thanks for all the 4-1-1, everyone. ^_^

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