Mobile Suit Gundam – 14

機動戦士ガンダム /Kido Senshi Gundam episode 14
Mobile Suit Gundam – 14

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14White Base hides under a camaflage net as Lt. Matilda brings in more supplies and parts to repair White Base‘s damaged engine.  Matilda reveals that the Federation brass has wanted to put Bright up on charges for stealing White Base and Gundam but he has been protected by General Revil. To that end, Bright is promoted to the rank of Ensign but due to a critical shortage of officers, the Federation is not sending anyone to take command of the White Base.  Instead, the Federation continues to use White Base and its crew to gather data and to see what strategies they will continue to come up with against impossible odds.  Bright is not happy with all that he hears but has no choice but to accept this.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14Meanwhile, Amuro fawns for Matilda to Frau Bow’s annoyance, including when Matilda leaves on her Medea transport. White Base takes off in another direction with Amuro on standby in the Gundam in case of trouble.  Matilda runs into trouble when her Medea is spotted by a Zeon patrol and some young, eager Zeon troopers are ready to make a name for themselves by taking down Gundam.  When White Base learns that Matilda is in trouble, Amuro deploys in the Gundam and destroys a Zeon Luggun plane that is supporting the lone Zaku mobile suit in the area.  As Matilda escapes, the Zaku plays hide-and-seek in the nearby woods and Amuro finds he has a hard time attacking the Zeon soldiers on “hover bikes” with machine guns but gives chase just the same.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14The Zeon forces lure Amuro out so that a second force of troops on hover bikes come up from behind and plant explosives all over Gundam.  Amuro manages to drive off the Zeons but reports to White Base that he’s going to have to remove the bombs.  Bright sends an explosive expert (Omur) while the Zeons wait and watch from a distance, their bombs on timers and not remote detonators.  The Zeon soldiers are amazed when they see the Gundam pilot removing the bombs.  Inside White Base, Frau Bow is angry that no one is helping Amuro even though leaving him alone means the loss of only one life should the bombs go off.  She is then restrained by Mirai.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14Amuro removes the devices, save one which is in a spot he can’t reach. Seeing Amuro is digging to gain access to that bomb, Bright, Kai, Hayato, Ryu, Sayla, and Frau Bow all race out to help.  Hayato gets into the cockpit and lifts the Gundam leg up so that Amuro has access.  After Amuro removes the bomb, he and Kai get into one six-wheeled vehicle while Ryu drives the other.  Getting a kilometer away, Kai stops the vehicle with the bombs in it and he and Amuro get to Ryu’s vehicle and beat it.  As they flee, the bombs go off, creating a massive explosion that would have destroyed Gundam.  The Zeon soldiers are impressed with Amuro and the Federation troops and so change into civilian garb and drive a station wagon by Gundam to show their respect after a fashion.  Only Bright and Mirai realize that these “civilians” were in fact Zeon soldiers.

Thoughts/Review:

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14I see that the writers are picking up on Amuro’s crush on Matilda. The thing is, how far will this go?  I’d guess that Matilda recognizes Amuro’s crush but I just can’t see her being interested in him romantically.  However, this does give the writers a chance to make Frau Bow jealous.

Speaking of Frau Bow, the writers also took a moment to show how much she cares for Amuro by having her anger explode at the others when Amuro was left alone to remove the Zeon bombs from Gundam.  While she may love Amuro, I can’t see him returning those feelings.  We’ll see though.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14It seems rather strange to me that small, brick-sized bombs would be so destructive and cause such a massive explosion to destroy Gundam whereas rockets, large shells fired from tanks, and various large caliber bullets don’t do much at all to damage Gundam.  Based on the final explosion of the six-wheeled vehicle, one would think that these small bombs were mini nukes of some kind.  However, one of them went off early and only destroyed Gundam’s shield without any evidence of any nuke.  Further, there was no mention of radiation so who knows what kind of special explosives these were.  However, Zeon now has a weapon to destroy Gundam and everything else Federation — simply use hover bikes (or whatever they are called) and pant small bombs on your target.  ^_~

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14I did like how the writers took the time to explain why the Zeon explosives were on timers rather than a remote detonator.  Clearly, having a remote would have solved the problem for Zeon but since Gundam is on the good guy’s side, we can’t have it destroyed now can we?  ^_~  The explanation that the Zeon unit was poorly equipped works since they only had the single Zaku unit and a commander who was not aggressive (though he apparently had no problems with some of his people acting independently).  The way the writers had the Zeon troops wishing they had remote detonators while trying joke about how they’d never be equipped with good stuff just rang very true to me.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14Going back to White Base, it is interesting that some in the Federation still want Bright’s hide.  If Bright hadn’t kept the make-shift crew together combined with Amuro’s skills at quickly learning how to operate Gundam, I don’t think General Revil would have been able to protect him and indeed may not have wanted to.  Now Bright has additional pressures to perform as he’s been promoted to Ensign and knows that he could still be thrown in jail at the least little slip up.  Lets face it, if there are still Federation bass willing to court martial Bright when he saved White Base and Gundam, then the least little mistake on his part will be all the excuse they need to nail him and possibly the others.

Mobile Suit Gundam - 14So, where does White Base head to now?  I realize that the Federation may well be using the ship as a decoy to say nothing of learning the unorthodox methods the inexperienced and amateur crew use to stay alive against Zeon attacks.  However, it seems like White Base needs a destination of some kind and I don’t have a sense of what that is any longer.

Again, another episode without Char makes me a happy reviewer.  ^_^  He had been overused in my opinion and when he comes back, it will likely have more meaning.

With this episode in the can, I continue to be impressed with the writing as a whole and how each episode keeps me thoroughly engrossed and entertained.

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11 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam – 14”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is the only episode in First Gundam Tomino himself wrote the script for. It’s something he rarely does.

    Another thing is how the budgeting is so apparent. It’s the opposite of modern thought in mecha as the character art here gets the most attention and the robot is a second thought.

  2. karry says:

    “rockets, large shells fired from tanks, and various large caliber bullets don’t do much at all to damage Gundam.”

    Yep, writers clearly cant decide just what a “powerful weapon” means in UC timeline. If you think back, first those Zaku pilots were astonished that Gundam can take a small punishment, but then Char was equally amazed how Gundam can destroy Zaku in one hit. Just make up your mind already !

    If i was making a mobile suit, i’d AT LEAST make it from the same materials as the enemy ones, desirably better than that if i could get my hands on some quality alloys. So did Char REALLY expect Gundam to be made from some rusty scraps and armed with a aluminum spork or something ??

    “each episode keeps me thoroughly engrossed and entertained. “

    Yeah, its rather high quality for such an old show. Now if only they had a competent director as well…

  3. Manae says:

    I could see where the charges could be more effective than what’s been used on the Gundam so far. The armor is too thick and tough for the large-caliber kinetic rounds used by most of the Zeon mechanized forces, and a lot of anti-armor explosives are meant more to penetrate armor and cause secondary damage to disable the target–such as killing the crew or setting off the ammunition inside–instead of actually outright destroying it. The backpack charge could have really done some damage, and any of the others would have largely taken the Gundam out of commission since it doesn’t have any replacement parts on that scale.

    This episode also sees some animation issues, but not of the good kind like the last I mentioned. Won’t see a Gundam looking that big again until Zeta Gundam, but at least then it’s supposed to.

  4. Manae says:

    @karry: The weapon power in that instance makes perfect sense. Zakus and Zeon’s other mechanized units all use at best the equivalent anti-aircraft guns and anti-armor RPG’s. The Gundam was packing a beam rifle with the power of a battleship cannon. Even a Zaku can put up with some punishment from the type of weapons it carries, but a ship’s Mega Particle cannons, or the smaller version the Gundam uses, are a whole different beast.

    Keep in mind that mobile suits aren’t effective against battleships because the ships’ weapons are weak, the ships are weak because the cannons take forever to fire again (each Musai turret can only be fired once every six minutes, never saw anything on the Salamis or Magellans) and the mobile suits are too nimble for the Minovsky Effect-hampered targeting computers to be hit.

  5. junior says:

    iirc the next issue in the original broadcast is the one that got yanked from the US broadcast (because it was thought to be particularly bad, or something like that). I don’t recall off-hand whether or not it made it onto the R2 DVD.

  6. karry says:

    @Manae :
    No, it doesnt make sense. At the start of the series Zeon are the only ones with MSs, so its natural to assume they would judge Gundam by the Zakus standards. So since Gundam can survive a few shells in the chest – supposedly a Zaku would be destroyed already.
    But then, Gundam uses its weapons to destroy Zakus, and Zeon soldiers are astonished AGAIN. So now suddenly Zakus are supposed to be durable ? Well either they are or they arent, cant be both.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @karry
    Your post reads like this:
    “The Zekes are surprised that the gundam take enough punishment to take out a Zaku; the Zekes also are surprised when the gundam fires a magical pink beam of doom that shreds a zaku like tissue. Therefore there must be some discontinuity!”

    You are being highly silly.

  8. karry says:

    You obviously didnt even read my post properly, or have cognitive issues. And for the slow types, i wasnt even talking about beam cannon, Zions were surprised even at beam saber, even though they already use beam sabers themselves.

  9. AstroNerdBoy says:

    iirc the next issue in the original broadcast is the one that got yanked from the US broadcast (because it was thought to be particularly bad, or something like that). I don’t recall off-hand whether or not it made it onto the R2 DVD.

    I will be watching this episode. BWAH!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!

    @Anon, Karry, & Manae — interesting discussion even though I have nothing to add to it. ^_^

  10. Anonymous says:

    @Karry
    Heat Hawks (the axes Zakus carry) are not beam based weapons.

  11. paul says:

    very cool post. digging the crips pics.

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