Sermon From The (Mobile) Suit: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04

[TV-J] Kidou Senshi Gundam UC Unicorn - episode.04 [BD 1920x1080 h264 AAC(5.1ch JP,EN) Sub(JP,EN,FR,SP,CH)].mp4_snapshot_46.47_[2011.11.19_07.29.48]

In the previous installments of the Gundam Unicorn OVA I’ve lavished praise in its restraint in letting pilots talk in their mobile suits while fighting. The talking is a very Gundam thing to do, wherein the combatants debate, argue, and lecture each other self-righteously. It is ridiculous. I ridicule it. But it is part of what makes Gundam what it is, and I love Gundam more than I fancy myself as a patron of the arts.

Still, I prefer not to craft battle scenes around a moral/political debate with lots of shouting by teenagers, and Banagher dished out enough shouting, semonizing, imploring, pleading, and whining to fill nine thousandths of a Gundam SEED episode. But is this necessarily bad in itself? Or, is it a poor execution of a craft with its own tradition?

Swords are symbolic of the wills of the combatants. The battle is of wills, and what makes the will strong is the righteousness of the character, the belief in his rightness — or the right to prevail. The fight scene both symbolically expresses these wills and at the same time spells it out by having the characters (in)formally state their arguments. These are punctuated by blows, thrusts, slashes, and hacks.

[TV-J] Kidou Senshi Gundam UC Unicorn - episode.04 [BD 1920x1080 h264 AAC(5.1ch JP,EN) Sub(JP,EN,FR,SP,CH)].mp4_snapshot_01.02_[2011.11.19_06.36.26]

The tradition of this kind of cinema must probably be long, but I am no film scholar. I do know that if there’s anything that Gundam follows or is influenced by, or remembers love for, it is the Star Wars saga. Consider the following scenes:

1. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

2. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader & Emperor Palpatine, The Return of the Jedi

3. Obi-wan Kenobi vs. Anakin Skywalker, The Revenge of the Sith

All three scenes exemplify the tradition. Vader was doing PR for the Empire and recruiting Luke in Episode V (“Search your feelings, you know it to be true!”), Luke Skywalker was attempting to redeem Vader in Episode VI (“There is still good in you!”), and Obi-wan was attempting the same in Episode III (“You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them!”). Gundam took this tradition along with the Jedi/Newtype powers and the beam sabers and ran with it.

The thing with being in a Mobile Suit, the distance between the combatants is exaggerated, and in addition to this, one doesn’t necessarily see the face of one’s adversary. Just like how it is to have a heated argument over the phone, it is a lot easier to shout a lot. Add this to the youth of the combatants (younger than Luke Skywalker), then you get a lot more angry shouting, a lot more emotion… kind of like how the younger, angstier Anakin Skywalker differs from the smooth, robotic Darth Vader in the debates. In Gundam Unicorn 04, Banagher sheathes his weapons in front of his enemy just as Luke does against Vader in Episode VI.

The story of Star Wars is fairly simpler than that of Gundam. In Gundam the subject of the debate is the righteousness of the respective causes, the evils and wrongness of the respective factions, the self-identity and self-actualization of the pilots (“I’m a tool of war!” “This is all I have!”), and the wrongness of fighting, killing, and war itself (“You’ll just continue the cycle of hate and revenge!”).


But anyone who inspected those Star Wars clips and has seen this episode (and perhaps a lot more Gundam) must ask: Why is there SO MUCH MORE talking and lecturing in Gundam? It has to do with money. It is far more difficult and expensive to animate 8 minutes of fast-paced fighting than it is to film stuntmen in a green room. One must also consider that in the Star Wars sequels and especially with the prequels, there was a whole lot more money to go around. The light saber battle in Episode 04 is by far the simplest and the weakest in the saga, while Episode 03 made sure the proportion of talk vs. actual swordplay heavily favors the action.


Thus, dramatic pauses in the action for debating, haranguing, lecturing, whining, begging, etc. become welcome narrative devices in anime. Just look at shounen fighting shows and the sheer amount of dialogue that happens between adversaries. These involve describing attacks before they’re launched, how clever the counterattack was, the damage/power felt withstanding the attack, etc. Do I like this? No. But I accept this, and what Unicorn 04 did because I am a fan of anime.

But what about Macross, who has a whole lot less of this kind of thing? Well, yes, the Macross franchise indulges this a lot less albeit in general the duels are much shorter. The action is a lot more 1 vs. many. And when Gundam does 1 vs. many as shown in this episode, the chatter on the tactical net makes a lot more sense and is actually welcome (“It’s like a war museum out here. They (Zeon) sure have guts attacking us with those ancient suits!”). Also, let us not forget the remarkable subtlety in Unicorn episodes 01, 02, and 03!

It’s like this: Gundam Unicorn was always going to unleash this on us viewers. It was an inevitability. What it didn’t want to do was to  inflict it without setting things up, without providing enough great action in the first half, and without providing Banagher exposure to a whole range of different perspectives. The authority figures, from captains to more experienced pilots took time to listen to Banagher and gave their respective pieces in poignant and thoughtful ways: Deguze, Otto, Marida, Zinnerman, Frontal. Banagher was indulged as if he were an adult, a conceit common in Gundam (one need only look at episode 05 of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE to see this dynamic at work – Grudek and Emily).

All of what Banagher witnessed and heard from both sides of the conflict convinced him to act as neutral as possible, that his role, and that of the Gundam Unicorn, was not to tip the scales in favor of either the Federation or (Neo) Zeon, but to stop the conflict itself. Thus Banagher begins to arrive at the antagonistic dynamics of the Universal Century narrative.


Gundam Pilots/Heroes vs. Anaheim Electronics… Banagher Links/Vist Foundation want to end conflict while Anaheim Electronics want to perpetuate conflict (good for business). Federation vs. Zeon… Feddies want to quell terrorism, stop megalomaniacs, and punish those who dropped the colonies on Earth. Zeon want to remove the yoke of Earth upon the Spacenoids, and punish those who humiliated them. We used to see only the Spacenoid vs. Earthnoid struggle, represented by Zeon and the Earth Federation respectively, but now this show is explicitly articulating that there is a true villain, in the form of a war profiteer.

Is this not interesting? You can’t reason with those who have so much to carry, souls weighed down, etc. But one can remove those who powerfully perpetuate this hate in order to profit from it. This is how the story will go forward. Banagher has failed reasoning with soldiers in the thick of battle. He went into the battle with no intention to fight at all. Gundam Unicorn 04 didn’t quite show combatants arguing and talking during their duel. Banagher was never in a duel. When the time came for him to make it a fight, he did not, and could not do so. Banagher was not in a fight this episode.

[TV-J] Kidou Senshi Gundam UC Unicorn - episode.04 [BD 1920x1080 h264 AAC(5.1ch JP,EN) Sub(JP,EN,FR,SP,CH)].mp4_snapshot_44.58_[2011.11.19_07.27.09]



This show punished Banagher for trying, but edifies him at the same time. He got himself worked into a full head of steam, all-powered up after prevailing over Suberoa Zinnerman, but all this came to nothing with his ineffectual showing in the battle. He really saved NO ONE… DESPITE HIS NEWTYPE MAGIC.


Thus, before we all get worked up with how all this sermonizing from within the suit, remember how this episode showed that it failed. I would personally be more put off should Banagher have succeeded.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04 Post Series

1. Sermon From The (Mobile) Suit [You are reading this now]
2. The Despair of Zeon
3. The Eternal Captain: Bright Noa

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Sermon From The (Mobile) Suit: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04

  1. Personally, I’m going have to reserve judgement on all this cockpit speechifying until after I see how Banagher’s character develops from here. It reminds me of Daisaku’s refusal to fight in Giant Robo, it was aggravating at first, but that made the payoff all the better at the end.

    But for what its worth, I thought the sermonising here was well directed and implemented. Partly that was due to the performances, but most of all Furuhashi’s cinematic directing style continues to shine through, especially in the use of music. I’m somebody who usually HATES pilots leaving their mobile suits, but in Ep 04 it felt like a genuinely emotional, heartfelt moment.

    It helps too that the significant amount of action in this episode was grunt based, as his been the case in a lot of Unicorn. Banagher and the RX-0 exists mainly to activate the next coordinates, something which puts him in a viable position story wise to make these speeches, as neither side wants the Unicorn destroyed. Still, I think Unicorn is at its best in its quieter moments, like the FANTASTIC Diner conversation in this episode, or Marida’s conversation in the church. More of that and less of Banagher shouting, please.

    • I agree with your take on the direction and implementation/presentation. Let’s break it down:

      1. Banagher never intended to fight; fires only to get Loni’s attention.
      2. Banagher fully exposed himself as a target, then later on stepped out of the cockpit.
      2.1 Both are incredibly gutsy acts by someone determined, desperate, and inspired.
      2.2 There was no nonsense of disabling the Shamblo, either by use of ordnance or Newtype magic.
      3. The NT-D is revealed as a psycommu method of reaching out to Newtypes, and not just possessing its psycommu systems (not that it wasn’t awesome when the RX-0 possessed the Kshatriya’s funnels in episode 03)
      4. The “possession” conceit is maintained both ways — as this has been a dynamic since Z Gundam (with Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam), then ZZ Gundam with Puru Two (through Twelve, I imagine).
      5. It was very clear that Loni had nothing else, making her vulnerable to the “possession.”
      6. Banagher’s failure to fire kept him consistent with the person who willed himself out of the Grancieres (including beating up Zinnerman)

      What makes it all work, is the wealth of desperate battle action happening all around the character drama. As you said, the grunt-based action helps. The desperate gravity-based battle here easily ranks as high or better than the wealth of such scenes in UC Gundam OVAs (0080, 0083, 08th MS Team).

      As for the quiet moments, yeah they’re excellent — animated with the level of detail I’m used to seeing from Kyoto Animation works, a comparison befitting the slices of the lives of the characters. One thing to consider is how this episode splits Amuro’s running away from the White Base into two characters:

      Banagher in the desert (Amuro buried/retrieved the Gundam)
      Mineva in the diner/saloon (Amuro met Ramba & Hamon)

      It’s great remembering love, but is Unicorn as its best here? No. It’s battles are where the action is.

      • Interesting, I never picked up on that reference. I can totally see it, as Fukui seemed to have borrowed the structure of 0079 for his story, but I don’t think the homage is anything more than skin-deep. What wowed me about that scene was how we finally got to see a real civilian perspective on UC politics, and that civilian wasn’t a 14 year old boy thrust into a mobile suit. It was a world-weary old man, running his business and looking back on the century he’s witnessed with nostalgia and sadness. Its rare we get a real civilian view on things like the the actions of Char, or the Space Settlement program, so I really cherish moments like that. Luckily for me, Unicorn is filled with scenes like this. It helps that, in my opinion, when Unicorn turns away from the tropes of the past (cockpit shouting, newtype moments) it shows itself as one of the best written UC works out there, at least dialogue wise(not saying much, I know, when looking at the writing in most Tomino shows). Those tropes are fun and well implemented, but in the past two episodes they have brought it down a little, for me.

        Not that I can slight you for enjoying the battles the most, they were fantastic in this episode. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the Zaku Sniper, I’ve always loved that design so it was good to see it kick some serious ass /fanboy

        But I guess with Unicorn I’m a little more wowed with much time has been devoted to real world-building, and conflict of ideologies. Its all so well written and fleshed out in those quiet moments, but when Banagher enters the cockpit it all just degrades into “WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS WRONG”, as you pointed out. Eh, as long as his character pays off in the finale, I’ll be down with it.

        Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog posts on the episode.

  2. KrimzonStriker says:

    In many ways I believe Banagher’s failure in this instance vindicated his actions, as all this did in the end was demonstrated the continued tragedy of war, further supported by many of the other exposition scenes, both in the diner and out in the desert. Banagher’s own little shouting sermon was in turn necessary to demonstrate a real live example of the themes those scenes examined. Riddhe in my mind was the biggest loser out of all of this, he gave in to the cycle and the burden of his bloodline in the end while Banagher managed to maintain a bit of his own humanity by refusing to do so, and in turn was on the verge of actually succeeding in talking Loni down and opening her eyes. Its like when Batman refuses to kill a villain if you want a comparison. That’s not to say there won’t be legitimate enemies Banagher will no doubt have to confront in the future, ones whose soul existence are based on the continuation of the war, but in regards to simple soldiers who are ensnared into fighting we can begin to see a bridging of the divide through their common sadness and the slim chance of the belief within possibility.

    • Batman refuses to kill villains out of his moral code that is almost held up by pride more than actually giving a shit about the villain’s life. Here, Banagher really, genuinely cared more than I think Batman is capable of.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        Its not their motivations I’m comparing, but about their personal victory in choosing not too. And primarily Batman does it because he doesn’t want to fall into becoming as bad as those he fights in a cycle of retribution, he already puts himself on the edge of that as is. The same with Banagher, when push came to shove he didn’t fall into the cycle like Riddhe did.

    • Yes. Not going to say much about the Batman comparison, but rather on Riddhe:

      Riddhe is an excellently conceptualized character. He is there to fail in different ways from Banagher. If Banagher is the naive idealist, then Riddhe is the naive realist who is full of himself.

      Riddhe is from the Marcenas family, and acted as if he has this tremendous burden. I’m just glad he pulled the trigger in the end because he needed a win to sell this role.

      Who’s another blonde guy who was from an important family? Char Aznable. Riddhe is a take on how Char could’ve acted but fortunately didn’t.

    • Rusty says:

      I find it interesting that you commented on Riddhe giving in to his blood curse because Banagher is bounded by his bloodline too. Even if he didn’t realize it until he received the Unicorn, he is a Vist and Cardeas/Vist Foundation’s interest is to stop the conflict. He even received his mech/Key to the Laplace Box from his father even if it was an unplanned decision. Contrived coinincidence as it is, Banagher does end up inheriting and representing the Vist heritage in the current conflict, despite all his mother’s taking him away from the family. I guess what makes him different from Riddhe is that he’s much less self-conscious about it. Maybe it’s his chance of resolving the curse?

      With what Riddhe said in this episode about the Marcenas acting as mirror image of the Vist Foundation, I’m highly interested in what will unfold between the scions of the two families, especially if they know about each other’s background. Banagher probably won’t care but Riddhe certainly will.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        True, but what separates the two is that fact that Banagher makes a conscious decision to follow through with this goal based on his own reasons and conclusions, not because his father/family forced it upon him, his father didn’t even mention it to Banagher, he simply lent him a hand by giving him the Unicorn and leaving what course he wanted to take up to Banagher himself.

        This is the stark difference with Riddhe, who gave in to the pressure of his family even though deep down inside he knows what he’s doing is wrong. The clear difference between them then is the matter of choice, where Banagher MADE his own choice while Riddhe simply ACCEPTED the choice that was given to him.

      • Tman2000 says:

        Not so much a coincidence, considering Newtype theology. There is more to be revealed concerning Banagher’s childhood training and his Newtype status. I would love to see him as a cyber-Newtype that has kept his soul. Something like how there is no great secret to Newtype power, you just have to believe that peace and a better tomorrow are possible. Would love to see that tied into what the ‘box’ is.

        Also, episode one was very heavy in forcibly portraying Banagher’s Newtype compulsiveness. Forces were guiding him, and to Mineva. Why? Still waiting to find out…

  3. Shinmarizu says:

    It is a painful experience (for us as well as Banagher) for our protagonist to react to his situation initially in an immature way, learn from his elders and equals (in the best possible way, man-to-man on equal terms), develop and voice his opinions, and suffer through what seems like a catastrophic failure in trying to make his stand. This can mean only one thing.

    A short period of self-loathing, followed by a Brightslap, and subsequent opening of can of whoop-ass.

    Aside from that, Mineva is awesome.

    • The desert was Banagher’s slap in the face. He cried because he cared, and was acknowledged for it. Afterwards he wasn’t going to back down. He was going to make a stand on those feelings.

      He did the slapping (well, punching, kicking) in the Grancieres.

      Yes, Mineva is lovely.

  4. Importantly, the speeches in this episode were *badass and entertaining* at least for me. I do not regularly enjoy these things because they’re boring timewasters in the way of combat. UC took battle speeches to a place only Evangelion 2.22 can go. Never once does it stop being visually resplendent, does the battle stop being intense, does the speech feel forced or uninteresting, does the epic music and brilliant sound editing fail to convey something massively emotional. This is, I would argue, the best speech-in-battle scenario to have ever played out in anime (yes, much better even than Char’s lovably horrible ownage fighting Amuro in CCA). I came out of it wanting to see it all again.

    • LOLOL

      The yammering in Char’s Counterattack was amazing because Char was getting owned like a clown, and while being given the assbeating of his life he relentlessly kept talking in ever increasing levels of fail.

      This was painful to watch because the Unicorn didn’t fight. This is important. It is fair for us to expect the Unicorn Gundam to fight. It did not fight, and when it was time to do the one offensive act, Banagher choked. This is why it can feel like a let-down despite how well things were done.

      Well, the Banshee just fell from the sky and that’s Puru Twelve right there and the Unicorn 01 will be forced to fight, though we KNOW Banagher will use all his peace powers and the NT-D to reach out to Marida again when it hits him that she’s in the cockpit.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        To be fair, in retrospect Char was probably more arrogant until the end because he believed he would succeed in the long-run, which he almost did until Amuro pulled off his Aurora Borealis act which I don’t think anyone outside the Gundam Fandom saw coming.

        Eh, as you pointed out ghost, its better that it didn’t in order to get this dialog sequence through as it should have been, pure and simple. If they HAD fought while doing that I don’t know how the net would be able to contain your rage:p

        Hold-on, Hold-on now, its just as easily the Banshee could be coming to save Banagher, and given his options between Marida and Riddhe I don’t forsee much reason for him to get directly involved at this point, he’ll probably go to whoever wins out in this case without much fuss.

        • I’ll only compare Riddhe to the OYW Char. Riddhe has waaaays to go before he can clear that stage and juxtapose himself with Quattro.

          Yeah, I was so happy, even if only in the fridge logic sense, that Banagher wasn’t really in a fight… or he didn’t put himself in a fight. Thus I saved myself from an online coronary.

          Marida rescuing the Unicorn is a delicious concept, but not as delicious as Banagher finding himself and his Gundam under Bright Noa.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Agreed, probably better for Banagher to get placed under Bright’s authority this time around, he’s bound to be more sympathetic and reasonable then Martha until as such time as Marida is able to break free of Anaheim’s control.

          • And you got to have Bright order the Gundam to launch… or, have a Gundam launch from his ship without his permission LOLOLOL

  5. Matt Wells says:

    Jesus, how is Sunrise keeping up the high quality on this one? Even the best Gundam OVAs tend to slip up around the halfway mark,but Unicorn still dazzles with every episode. I loved how Banagher and the Sleeves Captain just degenrated from ideological debates to brawling on the bridge, very Zeta. Bright needs more screentime, but is unlikely to get it.

    Audrey/Mineva is great, the slightly awkward love triangle between her, Banagher and Riddhe? Less so. And Ms. Zeon McSillyname could have used a bit more development. This whole thing with Doomed Love Interests/Enemies in Mobile Armors is something the franchise has been doing with diminishing returns since the Zeta.

    I would comment more but its late, I saw a crappy quality version, there’s still no Japanese language track up yet, and I’m lazy. Only six months till the next episode: KUROI UNICORN!!!

    • Brawling on the bridge has to happen if Bright Noa is anywhere in this episode.

      The love triangle is awkward as fuck. I mean Riddhe suddenly making his pathetic move was LOL. I don’t know why Gundam just keeps trying. Is Nanai x Char x Quess the best triangle? How about Puru x Judau x Roux? Of course the CLASSIC Kou x Nina x Gato…

      Watch the [TV-J] rip. I’ve seen this episode thrice dubbed in crappy quality and once in its full glory. There’s an ocean of difference.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        Well, let’s be honest, at the time Riddhe WAS in a pathetic state of mind, so the portrayal in this scene was actually pretty spot on in reflecting that. And it does a good job of reinforcing the fact that EVERYONE knows he doesn’t stand a chance given Mineva’s awkward response. So I’m not going to fault it this time because the series doesn’t actually seem to be seriously indulging in the concept as was with the other cases.

      • Reid says:

        clearly the best love triangle in Gundam is Domon x Rain x Kicking A$$ for fun.

        “I’m a guy who’s ill at ease and knows only how to fight…”

        That says it all.

        This, by the way, is pure BS.

  6. KrimzonStriker says:

    Well at the time maybe, and in some ways you could say Char simply went about in a different way through his pursuit of revenge during the One Year War. But then he basically fell back onto the wagon during the Second Neo-Zeon war.

    Well not just Riddhe, every character demonstrated they’re carrying a ton of baggage in this episode, but I do agree he was rather weak-minded in dealing with it unlike most of the others. Makes me think he might have just set himself on the path to becoming a new Loni possibly.

    Anyway, Riddhe and the harsh reality of the world may have won this battle but I still have faith Banagher can pull through in the long-run, he kind of has too or the world’s basically beyond redemption, this setback will only push him forward. My view of Idealism is what the world HAS to be, not what it should be. In that sense I think Banagher’s idealism allows him to see some things more clearly better then others.

    • KrimzonStriker says:

      Edit: Sorry, forgot to hit the reply button under your response ghost.

    • I’ve little doubt that Riddhe is doomed in some way… at the very least, dommed against Banagher in the manliness and Mineva sweepstakes.

      What could happen is that he becomes this surprise villain… or find himself along this triangle:

      Hathaway Noa x Quess Paraya x Gyunei Guss


  7. Tenryu says:

    here is a a question… how many people has read the orginal novel version? I mean what you said , Ghost, about a little more talking than action and the Unicorn not fighting is all valid points but lets not forget that this is an adaption(i’ll be surprised if i’m wrong) or has a base medium in novel form.

    I don’t know if you ever read a novel with mecha in it, i myself have only read Full Metal Panic in this instance(that hasn’t been animated) but from that experience the fights between robots are pretty simple, a lot of monologue and sometimes even hard to understand what is actually happening.

    What i’m trying to say is, fight scenes are hard to write, but speechs and monologue are some what easier. Therefore this is (at least for this episode)more about character building rather than mecha fighting because ultimately this is what the ‘author’ wanted in this part equivilant to the novel part.
    It’s all part of the narrative so maybe it will pay off in the later episodes.

    That being said i did get a kick out of seeing all the different MS and variants, especially that Earth Federation MS that was fighting back. Reminded me of Penelope.

    And doesn’t any one find it weird that Bright has a blown up picture of Armuro on his wall instead of a group photo?

    • Reid says:

      The original Mobile Suit Gundam novels (in translated form anyway) are refreshingly pretty easy to follow when it comes to the fight scenes and the moralizing between pilots in a dogfight thing is kept to a minimum, which is also pretty refreshing.

    • I read more than 17 Robotech novels. The battles aren’t wordy affairs, you get more detailed battle/operation prose from the likes of Tom Clancy (I remember reading Rainbow Six).

      The thing about short OVAs, and especially in long formats, you need to provide a big payoff. Thus, big battles. This episode had a really big one. This episode does not lack for mecha battles. It’s the shouting that suddenly took center stage that was a surprise, in light of the Gundam not fighting at all.

      As for Amuro’s photo:

      • squaresphere says:

        I lol’d pretty hard as well, makes you wonder what Bright will do once Banagher does his inevitable emo whine.

        I do not forsee Banagher being able to beat down Bright as he did with the Zeke captain. Two factors really play against that.

        In hand to hand combat with gundam pilots isn’t Bright like undefeated (I’m totality making this up since I haven’t seen all of Bright’s exploits through the series).

        Two, Feddie grunts love them some Bright, Banagher puts a hand on him I fully expect the bridge crew to give him a mob beating.

        • Matt Wells says:

          Bright has been punched by one Gundam lead: Judau Ashta. Needless to say, the pinnacle of human evolution broke his hand on Bright’s Diamond hard jawbones.

        • Bright can be beaten. The aforementioned pinnacle of human evolution beat the shit out of him. Fucking chickens had their way with him. But I’ll save all I have to say when I finish the Bright Noa post.

          Also, Zimmerman got owned because he was talking bullshit. Fasto (or whatever his name was) could easily have cracked Banagher’s skull open but he let Zimmerman get smashed like a punk because he was running his mouth.

    • Skribulous says:

      Oh wow, pulling the “I read the source material so I’m better than you” card.

      Considering they stopped adhering to the novels since part 2, I say forget about it.

      • I didn’t get the impression that Tenryu is trying to pull that.

        Also, that wouldn’t matter to me anyway since I’m dealing with the anime, not any source material. I had to deal with a lot of this shit when I blogged the Broken Blade films. Bottom line, I take on anime, also because robot stories are best animated, and that’s especially because of the fights. Stories for their own sake can be nice, but I will be HARD PRESSED to ever prefer robot stories in printed form over ANYTHING else… just as much I find it difficult most of the time to prefer anything and everything else over even the shitty Gundam shows.

      • Tenryu says:

        actually i haven’t read Gundam UC. I said that in the second paragraph.

        What i was trying to say was that if its closely based on the novel than it has to be done like that and in most likely-hood fits better in the novel.

  8. ces06 says:

    Well, Banagher *probably* would have saved Loni, if not for the dick move Riddhe pulled off.

    No screenshot of Banagher kicking Zinneman in the balls? Never though I’d see that in a Gundam show, lol.

  9. Pingback: If Gurren Largan Can’t Toppa Any Tengen With His Not-Drill, Gundam Maxter Will Win This Gundam Fight! Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 07 | We Remember Love

  10. d3v says:

    I think it’s a fair point, when compared to Macross. That UC does also have the added burden of using a good amount of hand drawn animation, with 3D animated bits still being rotoscoped whereas modern Macross makes no qualms about going straight to CG (because they have the talent to do so).

    • In the interviews of animators/directors I’ve read, CG is still considered a shortcut. Macross is just shameless in using it. But yeah they do have talented folk making the CG fight scenes.

  11. squaresphere says:

    The mech action OMG it’s still gorgeous even if we didn’t get any details on who was piloting the Feddie super mobile suit.

    If this were a different series I could see Banagher being swayed into becoming a newtype elitist that wanted to blow up the earth so everyone would be forced to go to space and evolve into newtypes so they can “understand” each other. Oh wait, they already tried that plot in another series?

    I think in all the gundam series that use this “if we all understood each…” plot, it gets flipped on it’s head when the “protagonist” loses a close friend. Gundam SEED did this when both Kira and Athrun lost their friends to each other. Which was a very powerful scene. Where the series went wrong was to give both really god like skills and power so they could impose their will on everyone else afterward. It’ll be interesting to see what Unicorn does instead as the Unicorn (unless it gets an upgrade) really wouldn’t be able to put down two full fleets.

  12. Pingback: The Despair of Zeon At The Bottom of The Gravity Well–Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04 | We Remember Love

  13. Suiman says:

    UC 4 upended my expectations. Instead of a glorious fight between the Unicorn and Shambloo, I got a sermon and non-fight. It made me “sad” and I loved it.

    As for Banagher, the “preacher”, he was not a complete pacifist. He sortied not to stop the fight per se— he did went along with the planned takeover of Torrington base — but to stop the slaughter of innocents, to free Loni of her blood curse and release her from the Shambloo’s grip. Here, Banagher’s resolve was put to the test, not his ideal. Not shooting was his success but his demeanor in doing so was his failure.

    The first ceasefire attempt succeeded (the “What do you really want?” speech sure is effective to the ladies). But Kirks’ death which triggered Loni’s rage, showed us Banagher’s limited scope. Now, this is where he truly choked.

    Attempting to shoot Loni was his failure as a MAN OF COMPASSION. Thanks to the lieutenant’s ghost though, Loni was able to calm down. As Krimzon Striker pointed out GL, Loni took back control of the reflector bits to stop the Shambloo’s mega particle cannon. She, again, reciprocated Banagher’s compassion, a mutual understanding achieved through shared sadness. Heartbreakingly, the success of the newtype ideal was due to a faulty execution which led it to its quick end.

    Banagher’s hesitation to shoot, though gave Loni time to reform, had less of his conviction for “that” possibility—in contrast earlier when he stepped out of the cockpit— and had more of his desperation towards the situation. Choosing not to shoot validated his ideals but failing to stop Riddhe showed his weakness to defend them. Nonetheless, Banagher’s attempt was truly heartfelt. I would definitely choose this sad ending over a success.

    On another note, I really love how Banagher cries ALOT. Tears make a man, not the other way around.

    • All good points.

      I still think, in terms of a military operation, Banagher should’ve shot. The fact that he let the enemy fire put himself, his machine, Riddhe, his machine, and potentially a lot more targets AT RISK. Granted he wasn’t part of the Londo Belles, but he wasn’t Neo Zeon either. His inability to remove the destructive potential of the Shamblo is a failure. It may be romantic to lionize his actions as compassionate, but truly it is terrible conflict management, and even worse soldiering.

      It’s in the second episode of Broken Blade that really, really did it right. Rygart was schooled on how naive acts of mercy in the field make the battlefield even more dangerous and puts more friendlies at risk.

      On an abstract level, it makes Banagher a man, as you say. But it doesn’t make him necessarily a good man.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        Sure, if we’re looking at it purely from a military perspective then rationally speaking the most logical option would have been to forgo the risk and simply shoot Loni, taking the safe and more guaranteed way out. But this isn’t a purely military scenario, because as you point out Banagher is affiliated with neither side in the end, and his own objective was not a military one, it was diplomatic; thus we also have to view this from a psychological and philosophical perspective as well which I believe on both counts Banagher came out on top.

        The whole scene was about something much bigger then simply Loni, Banagher, and the battle around them, it was a microcosm of the greater struggle taking place in Gundam Unicorn, that of finding the possibility within humanity to finally put a peaceful and voluntary end to this struggle that has engulfed that has engulfed the Universal Century from both sides. This is especially highlighted by Riddhe’s chastising of Banagher that what he was doing was simply betting on a possibility, and demanding that he give up on it. If Banagher were to take this advice on the whole then the most logical view would be to give up on the whole idea of trying to find Laplace’s Box to end this conflict that has gone on since he was born and thus finally sealing the doom of the potential future for humanity. We thus have a confrontation between simple short-term gain in stopping Loni now, and the long-term hope that we can stop this conflict as a whole.

        I could use the example of the would be the attempts at rehabilitation of convicted criminals, where the most efficient solution would appear to be simply killing them off in order to prevent the future risk that they might commit a crime again. But instead we at least try to reform them because we want to prove that society can be better then that and has the capacity to correct its mistakes, if nothing else then to ourselves at the very least.

        This was about making a point more then anything I feel, to prove that there was hope for a possibility felt deep down inside every man, woman, and child, that no matter how much hatred and anger weighs on their soul there was also the capacity for empathy and the strength to let it go.

        That Loni did stop herself in the end should vindicate this leap of faith in Banagher, and what he is striving for. Perhaps this doesn’t make him a necessarily good man in the eyes of everyone, but to me at least, it proved he was the better one.

        • As a diplomatic policy, it’s problematic: expose all sides to equal risk without reducing risk of collateral damage.

          It was obvious that the Zeon remnants already lost. Loni was alone and on land. The Feddies have numbers, air dominance, and the Ra Caillum.

          Banagher had no realistic goal except “save Loni’s soul” at the expense of (many) other people’s lives. His expressed goal was to stop Loni from creating more civilian casualties, but by the time he arrived on the field, the Shamblo was the only unit left, and was going to fight a purely defensive battle. The best way to stop her from attacking civilians was to shoot her, and he did not do so.

          He was more interested in saving her Newtype Soul than preventing further casualties.

          It’s naive white knight faggotry.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            I think the viewpoint should be creating a diplomatic opportunity in the first place since no one was really thinking about negotiating, period and either way the end result would have been large-scale destruction on both sides. Risks aside you can’t deny that Banagher did get results, Riddhe simply reaped the reward.

            Not true, I’m going over the video right now it was right in the middle of the battle where he intervened ( just prior to Londo Bell arriving) and there were still plenty of units left at the time, thus and partly because of Banagher’s distraction the Shambloo never managed to reach the Torrington Base itself and help in the assault. Either way Loni would and could have blocked the shot made a fight of it in the end thus causing even more casualties had she really wanted too if Banagher not tried to talk her down to begin with. In that sense Banagher did meet his goal of preventing more casualties, had Riddhe not fired perhaps he could have saved one more with Loni, and in doing so made a demonstration to people like Zimmerman that there was another way. Now we have nothing to prevent the next conflict when, not if, it occurs.

            As I said I don’t believe it was really about Loni, though Banagher focused in on her what I believe he was trying to do was to try and stop the assault in general, which is why he implored her/them to withdraw so he could locate the box. Once again I’ve already made my own observations about the exact timeline of sequences during the battle, but I’ll make the point again that through his actions there was no need for another battle, defensive or otherwise, period.

            I like to think he was more interested about saving everyone in general, which is why he’s trying to find the box in the first place, and that this was him just trying to start with one person.

            Perhaps, but I don’t think its necessarily worse then cold ruthless cynicism, its why this conflict is still here in the first place. Naivety carries its own wisdom in being able to see things cynicism closes itself off from.

          • Yeah? But his was a reaction to an operation taking a disastrous turn after the Shamblo’s psycommu did its thing with Loni. Banagher was more than okay to participating in attacking the base.

            Banagher wasn’t going to be a diplomat here. He just wanted to save a soul, and forgot himself and the risks.

            This more than anything shows his military inexperience and lack of training. Not his fault, but very clear.

            He was trying to do the right thing, but didn’t know any better to do it the right way.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            I didn’t say he wasn’t, him realizing things had gone too far does not change my point about him trying to convince them to withdraw, which is why he also wanted to find the box’s location at the same time.

            I think you’re giving a kid whose basically trying to change the world too little credit on the scope of his view here ghost. He tried to save others, both directly and indirectly, by also saving this soul in my view.

            Clearly yes, because we both know he isn’t that, and the whole point is that he’s looking at all this from a different perspective with different goals then a purely military one.

            Difference of opinion about what exactly is the ‘right’ way, but at the very least he did it in his own way, based on his own beliefs and consistent with who he is and what he wants to do. Being anything else would have tarnished that.

  14. Pingback: The Eternal Captain: Bright Noa in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04 | We Remember Love

  15. Tman2000 says:

    Still waiting to find out more about the box.

    Can’t wait to see the effects of the mind game played on Marida.

    Would love to flush out the nature of Banagher and Mineva’s connection (because she was feeling it a little this episode finally, not so much him – oh, and it’s not a romance thing so much as a compelling…. connection).

    I’m still waiting for UC to reveal some deep ancient secret that explains the meaning of existence in the context of the totality of events in the Universal Century.

    I think this should all end with a 15 minute raw fist fight. No gundams, no rapiers, no talking, just fist and jaw. Maybe on the African sveldt.

  16. Pingback: The Purpose of Possibility: What Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Does for the Universal Century Narrative (The First of Three Posts on Mobile Suit Unicorn 05) | We Remember Love

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s