Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03 (The awesomeness continues.)

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03 Review
機動戦士ガンダム THE ORIGIN episode 03

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03Édouard is at the spaceport with Char when he notices he’s being targeted. He arranges for Char’s bags to have an antique revolver in it, delaying their being allowed to board the transport for Zeon. Since Char is distraught about missing the flight, Édouard suggests swapping identities for the purpose of getting Char to the Academy on time. Char agrees and since they look alike, Char is able to board as Édouard. Kycilia’s people destroy the shuttle, meaning Édouard is officially dead. Édouard then attends the Academy as Char, arriving a day late. He wears shades to hide his blue eyes, having obtained a medical excuse to do so.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03At the Academy, Char’s best friend Lino sees something is not the same about Char, but doesn’t report it. Garma Zabi from Zeon is chosen as the leader of this class of cadets. On the Zeon Side-3 station Guardian Banchi, which houses the Zeon Space Defense Military Academy, Garma is not pleased that Char is doing better than him not only athletically, but academically as well. Meanwhile, at the Side-3 Extra Banchi, Dark Colony, Dozle finds his mobile suit project about to be canceled by his brother Gihren. However, thanks to a briefing from Dr. Minovsky, Gihren is convinced to allow the project to continue for possible military usage.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03Three years later, the cadets in Char’s class are on a training hike through the mountains. Char is in the lad, but Garma is not far behind. When the cadets take cover during a rain, Garma tries to get passed Char, but ends up falling down the mountain partway, breaking his leg. Char goes to rescue him after the panicked Zeon folks begin frantically searching for Garma. The incident causes Garma to stop regarding Char as a rival and to start seeing him as a friend and trusted ally, not a yes man. Meanwhile, an older Sayla returns to Texas Colony, where she learns that Char as become estranged from his family. She wonders if Édouard is really dead as she senses he’s alive.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03Back at the academy, Garma and Char lead their fellow cadets in a battle simulation against superior Federation forces. The Federation observers are stunned to see the tactics used to overcome their troops as Char and Garma lead their troops to victory, pleasing Dozle. During the review, Char gets permission to ask the Federation commander a question, revealing he understands the Federation’s purpose for this training exercise was an attempt to show Zeon they would never break free of the Federation militarily. The commander slaps Char’s shades off, but Garma and the other cadets come to Char’s defense, citing how Char has medical authority to use the shades.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03After an incident where a Federation warship ignores Zeon traffic control, causing an accident that destroys the Federation ship and an agriculture block, Zeon people begin to demand total independence from the Federation. The Federation send in armed troops to quell the protests, leading to armed riots. Outside the station, Char is on a debris cleaning detail with Garma, where he discovers the existence of the mobile suits, which are also being used in the cleanup efforts. They also see a Federation troop transport arrive, which Char believes will have troops to pacify the fighting in Zum City. Meanwhile, Degwin orders the reluctant Gihren to have their people back down since Degwin knows the Federation have Garma basically as a hostage as a cadet.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03After Char, Garma, and fellow cadets arrive back at the academy, Char convinces Garma that they should attack a nearby Federation military base to help the people of Zeon from being slaughtered. Gathering the cadets of their class, Char has Zenna Mia, who helped him during the training fight, distract Dozle while he, Garma, and the rest do their assault. Lino reveals he knows Char is really Casval and wants to help him get revenge on the Zabi. Char accepts a new visor from Lino. He later has Lino capture a Federation tank, only to  report to his fellow troops that Lino died and the tank he’s in is actually responsible for Lino’s death. As such, the cadets destroy the tank to avenge Lino, not realizing they’ve killed him.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03Zenna has done her job, distracting Dozle, but also making sure Dozle knows that Garma was the mastermind behind the attack on the Federation base. They succeed in taking the base. Dozle and Zenna arrive on scene, where Dozle is happy to see Garma, who passes out in his older brother’s arms. The incident would be classified as the Dawn Rebellion and marked the starting point for the One Year War. Elsewhere, a young teenage Amuro Ray is with his father on a transport to Side 7, which is still under construction. With Amuro’s father Tem being the head of development, Amuro is told that he’ll be by himself most of the time as Tem will be very busy. As such, Tem wants Amuro to make friends and be a worthy son of Chief Ray.

Thoughts/Review:

Man. Sunrise really needs to consider remaking Mobile Suit Gundam after the incredible job they’ve done with Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

During my viewing of Mobile Suit Gundam, while I understood how Casval became Édouard (Edward), his taking on the identity of Char was a bit more of a mystery. Discovering in the previous episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin that Char looks identical to Casval, save for the fact that Casval has blue eyes, this become a convenient plot point. I wondered if this would be addressed or not.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

Fortunately, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03 doesn’t shy away from it. Indeed, early on, the real Char’s best friend Lino notices the differences in Char, but elects to say nothing. This comes up a few times. The episode does brush over how Casval was able to get a medical excuse to wear shades. The identity switch works for the most part, but I couldn’t help but think, “Yeah, but what about blood work? Dental work? There are lots of ways to expose Char as Casval or Édouard.”

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

The Lino character served a great purpose in developing Casval’s character as Char. Casval adopted the Char persona to get his revenge on the Zabi family. So when Lino figures Char is Casval, Casval doesn’t immediately kill Lino. Instead, he craftily takes Lino in, then sets Lino up for the fall. Thus Char’s true identity remains secure and a threat to his plan his removed without Char being linked to it.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

This then explains why Char befriends Garma. He had multiple opportunities to kill Garma, but instead, he’s building Garma up. Knowing how Garma ultimately meets his end makes all of this setup quite evil. Yes, I know Casval is getting revenge, but it doesn’t mean his act of revenge isn’t equally evil.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

I loved seeing how Char pushes Garma into leading the Dawn Rebellion. It really is quite amazing to think that Char pushed things over the edge to start the One Year War.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

Another thing I enjoyed about the episode is seeing how the rift between the Federation and Zeon grew to the point of starting a war. It was weird seeing Federation officers acting as observers for Zeon military forces. Not only that, but Zeon has Federation military bases in their various Side-3 stations.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

It was also weird seeing Dozle’s future wife in this episode. Zenna Mia is just a cadet and Dozle is the academy’s head honcho. I’m not sure how old Dozle is, but he certainly looks a lot older than Zenna. Plus, outside of the fact that he’s part of the Zabi family, he doesn’t seem like someone a cute, young babe would go for. I wonder if we’ll get to see that relationship start in the next OVA episode.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

Sayla only got a cameo this episode, which was a bummer. It basically was only there to reveal that Char’s family had become estranged from him (understandable) and that Sayla doesn’t believe Casval is actually dead.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

The other cameo was Amuro Ray and his dad, as well as that dopey robot sphere of Amuro’s. We really haven’t seen much of Amuro’s past, but I guess that’s because Amuro’s past is explored in the old TV series.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

Visually, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03 looks absolutely stunning. Of course visuals only go so far on their own. However, the well crafted story in this episode (and the previous two episodes) cause the superior visuals to be even more impressive. I really, REALLY would love to see Sunrise remake Mobile Suit Gundam with this level of care for the story, art, animation, music, etc.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

Finally, I found it interesting that this OVA episode decided to spend nearly five minutes and thirty seconds on a recap of the first couple of OVA episodes. I would have thought that they would have mostly assumed that folks watching the third OVA have seen the first two.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

In the end, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03 is another masterpiece OVA, which is a delight to watch due to it being a well written story and visually appealing. Plus, it fills in a lot of gaps about Char’s past from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03

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6 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 03 (The awesomeness continues.)”

  1. WMC says:

    That’s one of the best features of “The Origin.” It illuminates how war induces tragedies of all flavors, including the failure of brave but naive warriors like Garma. I always felt a little sorry for him. He’s born into the wrong family, been protected by his father to the point of ignorance of the world and being very self-centered. He easily falls prey to “Char’s” overtures and dies in a spectacular but futile fashion, during which he damn near destroys White Base. In the manga the artwork here is fantastic.

    Char snakes into the Zabi family with cool, artful moves, like befriending Garma and leading him to disaster in order to hurt his father. His handling of Kycilia works beautifully until the very end in which he get his ultimate revenge.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I don’t know how I’ll find the time, but after episode 4 airs, I’m going to want to watch the original TV series again.

      • WMC says:

        I’m still plowing my way through it. “The Origin” is definitely a big step up in quality, so it’s a little boring! But after what, thirty years, the whole Gundam saga remains terrific. I very strongly recommend the manga “The Origin.” Expensive, but worth every penny

  2. Rob C. says:

    Sorry to be late poster.

    I found The Origin III pretty well done and well crafted script wise. Previously, i’ve always had bone to pick with quality of the mecha/vehicles were being rendered since its all CGI. They’re not as bad in this episode, with space combat with the shiny look to them when their in space.

    Allegedly, the remake for the original Gundam TV series will follow once the The Origin OVAs are done this year. Weather or not this true is another story, but there is a series slated to come out

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Man, if you are right about a new series, I’m going to be so psyched. Hopefully, it will be as well crafted as the OVAs have been.

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