The Despair of Zeon At The Bottom of The Gravity Well–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_27.53_[2011.11.21_06.03.30]

Sieg Zeon!

The sound of the war cry heard from Loni’s lips elicit a far, far different feeling from that of Gihren Zabi. How different? Gihren was rousing the troops and attempting to fill his enemies with fear. Loni sounds like she’s convincing herself of something.

There is a profound difference in how the Universal Century OVAs portrayed the Zeon. After the release of Char’s Counterattack, Zeon as an idea or movement was bankrupt. Zeon was defeated, its greatest hero proven to be a shameless joke. Zeon was truly exhausted.

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All the OVAs set in the Universal Century suddenly, but inevitably, and persistently portrayed Zeon elements sympathetically; with rich pathos. There was not only this feeling of connecting with the damned, as all the Zeon were, but also this nostalgia for this time, this One Year War when they were feared, when they had this illusion of strength.

If not this, the stories are the “heroic” attempts at vengeance if not redemption. The story of Operation Stardust is one such tale, and the narrative of the Sleeves is another, albeit it is difficult to tag it simplistically due to the involvement of Full Frontal who seems every bit as selfish and untrustworthy as Char when he led the 2nd Neo Zeon movement.

Throughout Banagher’s exposure to the Zeon in Palau, and now with the behavior of the Zeon remnants on Earth, we see this pathos and despair rise up and burst like a lanced boil. It is like a disease, this resentment, self-righteous victimhood, and thirst for revenge; now long festering after missing out on both Neo Zeon conflagrations. You just knew they were doomed. They knew they were doomed. They just wanted to strike. Full Frontal roused them, then got out of their way. Bastard.

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I remember Ghineas Sahalin, and Char himself. I remember how Char put Quess Paraya in the Alpha Azieru. It was never going to change the war the way Ghineas deluded himself that the Apsalas would, the way Dozle Zabi thought mass producing the Big Zam would. Loni in the Shambla was a pawn that reached the opposite end of the board but was made rook instead of queen.

Sacrificed with the rest, ghosts and remnants of what was this ideal that was less a lifeline but more a noose for the oppressed and embittered spacenoids of the Universal Century.

But even if Loni in the Shambla with its rogue psycommu was the focal point, the main symbol of the tragedy of post-Char Zeon. The tragedy and despair is really felt from, or communicated through the inevitability of failure in the words, thoughts, and actions of the supporting cast… The “common” soldiers of Zeon.

This was so powerful in War in the Pocket …with the Cyclops Team, with Bernie Wiseman himself; and almost just as much in The 08th MS Team, in Norris Packard. Here in Unicorn 04, aptly titled “At The Bottom of The Gravity Well” there are few named characters but what moments there are, speak volumes. How?

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It’s how the Zeon are punished by Londo Bell. The rout was as one-sided as anything in Gundam. The remnants scored decisively against the garrison forces with their equally ancient mobile suits, but when the crack Londo Bell forces arrived they were ripped to shreds, most notably by this ace in a Byalant who could have been Kamille Bidan or Amuro himself the way he shot down so many suits, ancient as they were.

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The Zeon soldiers in Mobile Suit Gundam had the look of cartoon villains. This would be true of Tomino Gundam up until ZZ Gundam. By the time the OVAs were made the Zeon soldiers looked like human beings. This is on purpose, and consistent with the sympathetic portrayal of the Zeon soldiers as doomed by their leaders, and cursed by history.

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This is not to absolve them of wrongdoing or deny the atrocities they are responsible for. This is but the enrichment of the narrative, the addition of more colorful threads in the tapestry of the Zeon wars with the Earth Federation.

So here are the Remnants of the One Year War, the likes of those who died or surrendered after sending Anavel Gato and the Zephyrantes Gundam to space. These remnants have endured untold privations, and suffered the indignity of missing out on both Neo Zeon wars. And they respond to the call to arms with such emotion. I swear the reaction of one of the commanders is one of my most favorite moments in Gundam. The punch-to-palm thing he did, just says it all, all of it.

[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_29.36_[2011.11.21_06.07.57]

I have no agreement to offer them, no lasting empathy for their cause, but for how they went down fighting, against superior opponents. I offer them a meaningless salute.

Sieg Zeon.

[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_53.34_[2011.11.21_06.31.36]

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04 Post Series

1. Sermon From The (Mobile) Suit
2. The Despair of Zeon [You are reading this now]
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.
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84 Responses to The Despair of Zeon At The Bottom of The Gravity Well–Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04

  1. Pingback: Sermon From The (Mobile) Suit: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 04 | We Remember Love

  2. Matt Wells says:

    The thing about the Zeon remnants here kind of bugged me. I got the impression from episode 4 of Stardust Memory that the African base was their last hurrah on the Earth Sphere, after that the only Zeon loyalists left on Earth were war prisoners or went incognito. So to see them stationed at Dakar, nearly a quarter of a century after the One Year War? With an intact chain of command and functional mobile suits? Fucking hell, if Loni is as old as Bannagher, she was born a few years after the OYW ended!!! What the hell man?!

    That’s putting aside their incredibly inefficient Super Prototype Armor, Zeon had a dozens of those left over when the war ended, so no stretch of the imagination there. But for them to be so well equipped and functional so LONG after Zeon was a threat to Earth? Just seemed a bit too implausibile for my giant robots with psychic powers animu. Best case scenario, they were loyalists who kept the base manned and periodically recieved cast-off mobile suits from whichever regime Zeon was under. They WERE a well placed asset, after all.

    Worst case scenario? They stayed in the desert for 18 years, slowly degenerating into a gang of inbred hillbilly Space Nazis. Like “The Hills Have Eyes”, but with more giant robots.

    Really feeling the fail for the ideal of Zeon here, it was the great Emperor With No Clothes of ideologies; rabble rousing dressed up in New Age hippy crap that Rem Daikum didn’t understand, lacking in any practical application except as racist propaganda for lunatics like Ghiren, or psychic super soldiers for Haman and Glemy. Their souls weren’t unchained from the bonds of gravity, they just became really incompetent stand ins for the Third Reich. Not to mention setting back the fight for Spacenoid Independence approximately 100 years. The Crossbone Vanguard and Jupiter Empire just picked up where they left off.

    LOVE that picture of the Cyclops Team playing cards. Who’s the guy with the glasses though? I thought the only member of the team that died before the events of 0080 was ANDDDYYYY!!!! (Cue Master Asia/Lt. Hardie cradling Andy’s dead body in the Arctic Tundra, THE EAST IS BURNING RED. LIKE SYDNEY AFTER THEY DROPPED A COLONY ON IT).

    • KrimzonStriker says:

      That was like ONE remnant zeon group from the One Year War, and as you can see a lot of the mobile suits came from the First Neo-Zeon war as well, so you have to include the remnants from Haman’s invasion of Earth too. Shambloo was in fact designed by Haman/Axis Zeon and finished by Loni’s father Mahdi, who in turn was a very rich billionare at the time so him being able to finish it isn’t that far of a stretch, not to mention the clandestine aid from from the Sleeves in space. Also Loni is 18 years old, which puts her at about 2 years of age when the One Year War ended.

      Eh, as I said in my post below, given their complete disadvantage in terms of numbers and production resources I don’t really blame them for sinking their resources in mobile armours too much. But I wouldn’t say they were well-equipped, a lot of their suits WERE antiquated after all. Also given how spread out they were and how ad-hoc allot of their bases were in the cut-scenes I’d say they tried to be as active as they could, Karaba/AEUG and each Neo-Zeon movement giving them a boost in support and morale along the way.

      Okay, you can bash their system of government under the Zabi’s and Neo-Zeon all you want, they deserve that, but everything Deikum said about Newtypes and the degradation of Earth’s environment was true, it simply became corrupted by BOTH sides in the end. At the same time a lot of the abuses and the current stagnation under the Federation WAS in fact true, the wars simply went about prolonging it because as we know in the end the Federation ALWAYS won, and in the end nothings really changed which in turn breed the same old conflicts again and again until the Federations fall and dissolution.

      • Matt Wells says:

        If I have to turn to Expanded Universe materials for all this info, in some small way the show has failed to engross me in its world. But fair enough. So long as there is some small excuse. And as a history nerd, I find it absurdly fun to discuss fictional empires as if they were real historical entities, with all that that entails!

        The poblem with mobile armors was that they spread themselves too thin. They forgot the lessons they learnt from their own Zaku II; they placed their hopes on magic super weapons and silver bullets like the Zeong, failing to commit to anything that was a genine step up in mobile suit warfare. If they cut out all unecessary side projects and focused on one multi-purpose mobile armor, they could well have won the war. But if they did that, they wouldn’t be Zeon.

        Can you imagine a fleet of Val Varos mowing down armies of GMs with their superior speed and firepower? Instead of concentrating their efforts onto a single mass produed unit, they squabbled into factions and threw away whatever early sucesses they made. They couldn’t even produce an MS that could match the Gundam untill a month before the war ended! Much like their Newtype Ideology, Zeon’s leadership was hopelessly divided and conflicted. Their inefficiency and posturing cost them the war.

        Sunrise really went out of their way to fit the Nazi parallels…http://www.viruscomix.com/page463.html Swap in Goering for Degwin Zabi and Jet Fighters for crazy shit like the Zakarello, and its a perfect fit.

        Zeon was a corrupt, racist and eliteist. The Federation was corrupt, racist and eliteist. Two wrongs don’t make a friggin’ colony drop!!! Zeon as a movement fails because they keep thrusting their heads against the posts, and still insist they see the Ghosts… of Solomon. They weigh themselves down in the sacrifices of the past, refusing to face up to their sins and move on towards the presents. They’re pitiable in that way.

        Zeon Daikum had a lot of good points to make, but the stuff about Newtypes being the next stage of human evolution was pure bunkum. They were abberations, nothing more, and their relative absence from the rest of UC seems to confirm that. The Flower Power generation of the Space Age achieved as little their real life counterparts did. I’m going to personally go with the Gundam X explanation that they were just mutants, and that the secret of Laplace’s Box is that they’re the result of Minovsky Particle exposure Lol. 🙂

        • KrimzonStriker says:

          Well this was glossed over in the conversation between Loni/Kirk with Full Frontal, and I think it safe to make a lot of those assumptions can be made given the types of mobile suits they put out in the assault on Torrington.

          All very good… in hindsight. You have to consider the fact that with the One Year War the inclusion of mobile suit warfare was all very new so their was no set doctrine on how to best go about it. That and the time constraints of only have months to produce these machines before the end of the war probably prevented any coherent development plan for what did work. Going back to the One Year War and the original Mobile Suit Gundam all of these different projects and designs were just as much about testing them out as it was about trying to win the specific battles they were used, given Makuva’s boasting that Zeon would be able to prolong the war for 10 more years they probably thought they had more time to experiment and gather data then they actually did. I mean the One Year War wasn’t just some random name they came up for this conflict you know…

          Sure… in space probably, but there was still the Gravity Front, atmospheric combat, and the naval engagements to consider too. But yes, competition and internal division did undoubtedly play a part in their failures to win the war, I won’t deny that, but I can kind of see at the time why the Zeon leadership indulged it as they did given the reasons I’ve already surmised.

          True, but once again that would have likely only delayed the inevitable given the fact that their war just no way they could match their enemies, better to bet on the long-shot then none at all. If we look at the beginning of the war for example the quality of their weapons did in fact contribute greatly to their initial victories, Zeon too as the Zaku no doubt seemed like a pie and the sky dream when first developed. The fact that everyone ended up copying their weapons, Zeon and the Nazi’s, kind of vindicates that.

          Perhaps they are pitiful, but I can understand why given the circumstances. Despite the Federations victory either nothing changed or it got systematically worst, vindicating a lot of what Zeon believed on an ideological front, thus making surrender seem like just as wasted effort as well, at least by continuing to fight they still had something to look forward to, something to hope for in the pits of their despair no matter how ridiculously stacked the odds were, the fact that they’ve come miraculously close at times at actually winning fuels that. But yes productively speaking its all wasted effort, however the main reason I say that is because thanks to Banagher there’s now the possibility of an alternative that could actually change things for the better.

          Eh, I’m not sold on the supposed sequels just yet and hold out hope beyond hope that the developers will come to their senses and disavow/rewrite that bit of history someday. But be that as it may I am blatantly of the opinion that it could have just as easily been the abuse of their development and the delayed transition of man to space which hampered their evolution during the span of the Gundam series. And the the beauty of mutation/evolution is that while it may go into remission you can never full wipe it out, if that is what is necessary to progress, survive and adapt then it will be adopted sooner or later, otherwise the species will simply go extinct in the end.

          And no, no, no, no, for one the thing as has already been shown Laplace’s Box predates Deikum and his Newtype theory by several decades, up to the very beginning of the Universal Century, and I’m not just saying that because I already spoiled myself on what it is 😀

          • Matt Wells says:

            Beautifuly written, and well reasoned to a tee! Hindsight is a wonderful thing in history, it’s great just judging people and calling them dumb for stuff they had no way of knowing. I shouldn’t take that for granted. Excellent point about the length of the war playing a major factor in their tech development, ideas like the Zaku II don’t just grow on trees, but I still can’t excuse how they were bogged down in specialising their mobile suits rather than making just one that could match a Gundam. They were pioneers in a new and unexplored concept, the Federation got by on numbers and leeching of their research. They reaped all the mistakes of experimentation, and few of the benefits.

            The mobile armor prototypes they did make were all wonderful machines, but they were only protoypes. Just making one doesn’t earn you squat. As the war turned against them they obsessed over a single super weapon being their saviour, which was probably fallout from the White Devil massacring their forces. White Base didn’t win the Feddies the war, it was a million expendable GMs that did that, and poor underdog Zeon got caught up in the idea of a MS Messiah, because what other chances did they have?

            The really sad thing is that the whole situation could have been avoided if Revill hadn’t rallied the troops. Degwin would have been smart enough to sue for peace, and the shellshocked Federation government would have given them free reign in space. An armistice would have given them time to rearm and develop, and based on Gundam canon Garma would have suceeded his father. No “Spacenoids are the Superior Race!”. All their near wins were just heartbreaking. The little colony that could… if not for fucking teenagers and their fucking Gundams rasafrasain…

            The whole thing about the increasing irrelevance of Newtypes in the UC is I think something that ties into that new age optimism of the 70’s. The post war baby boomers thought they were going to be at the next stage of humanity, as Gundam Sousei so aptly portrays it. See Ghosts’ blog work on the subject and Newtypes in general for further elaboration. As the children of the flower people grew up, sold out and became yuppies, I think that optimism for humanity (and by extension Newtypes) died with them. The hardcore realfag opposition to the Newtype concept just finished it off.

            Come the 80’s Japan is all cynicism and greed, and the best Gundam can manage is EVERYONE’S A NOBLE MIND. Tomino is soured on his earlier dream, people suck and cosmic communion is only good for mind raping your enemies. Newtpe magic or not, everybody dies, and the best they can manage is to demonstrate to the world the utterly pointless futility of war. Until the Sleeves start up in Unicorn. And then CB fucks everything up come UC 120. Then the Jupiter Empire in Victory…

          • War is hell.

            These are all still the Tears of Time.

            The futility, and absurdity of it all is what makes the OYW and related Zeon vs. EFSF conflicts high drama. I love it.

        • Zetatrain says:

          LOL, that would actually be an interesting twist, though personally I think Newtypes could still be the the next stage in human evolution, and the fact that they seem absent doesn’t necessarily mean their not the next step. In F91 and V-gundam it seems that wars break out less frequently and the reason we saw more Newtypes in earlier gundam series is because more of them were being used as mobile suit pilots in war. In F91 and V gundam there could be more Newtypes than you think out there, but because of wars like the OYW, they have a reputation of being war machines, so being a Newtype could be consider a stigma. As a result being a Newtype is something someone would much rather prefer to hide. It could also be that without wars, Newtype abilities don’t surface nearly as quickly as they did with the gundam protagonists. However, you are right that Newtypes are mutants, but some mutations can lead to evolution.

          • Yeah and evolution is slow, and certainly does not happen during the course of a few decades. This is what doomed everything.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            You know that is something to consider, most people didn’t awaken their Newtype potential unless stressed to do so, whether in labs or on the battlefield. The environment of the times probably did accelerate it for some to a degree now that I think about. Ah well, perhaps they’ll be able to properly develop in peace now that the accursed Federation lies broken on a pile of ash, if we’re going to constantly reference the sequel series that is :p

    • Zetatrain says:

      According to the Gundam Unicorn Website, Loni is 18 which would mean she was about a year old when the OYW broke out. While she obviously did not fight in the war, her hatred of the Federation was no doubt passed on to her by her parents and her hatred only grew with their deaths at the hands of the Federation.

      The Shamblo was actually built by the Zeon remnants with the assistance of the Sleeves and other sympathizers over the course of 6-7 years after the the first Neo Zeon War. If you think of the Shamblo as a hit and run weapon for sea and coastal targets then its actually pretty efficient. We saw how in the first 5 minutes it devastated Dakar and when Londo Bell launched its reinforcements it was gone before they got there. Although for drawn out frontal attacks on land it is less effective and probably would not last too long against concentrated fire from several units even with its powerful I-field.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        On the last bit, that might be true, if not for the fact that the Shambloo isn’t simply using an I-field, but a reflector bit that redirects the enemies fire back at them, and why it also had a large escort of mobile suits with it for support.

        • Zetatrain says:

          I forgot, are reflector bits similar to how the Nu gundam’s funnels could create shield around itself? Also can reflector bits deflect solid objects?

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Yes and no, they can form a similar shield like the Nu, but this whole redirect your enemies beams back at them is something new if I’m not mistaken. And I imagine the Shambloo’s armour more then compensates against solid projectile fire.

          • remy says:

            it seems the the shamblo deflectors shielded banagher from her own attack. riddhe took the opportunity to kill loni. what do you think?

          • It makes sense to think of it this way because there’s no way Riddhe should have that kind of time to disarm the Gundam and fire the Beam Magnum after the Shamblo already fired.

    • I don’t think there’s any truly satisfying explanation for the Zeon remnants, only an assurance that these guys have to be the last of them than can pose enough of a threat to attack a base.

      I mean, how many Zeon dropped onto Earth after Operation British anyway? How many perished in Odessa? How many died in Jaburo? How many were left behind?

      There’s enough uncertainty and elbow room to make the implausible plausible, if only barely.

      As for the mobile armors…

      They knew they can’t beat the Feddies in numbers, thus they have to make weapons that can fight in 1 vs. many scenarios. The Shamblo is inefficient as it shambled along the highway but only because it really was an aquatic mobile armor. It is part of the tragedy that they have to use their weapon in a less-than-ideal scenario… basically overstretching its operating parameters. It may seem not so bad given the firepower on it, but the mission would’ve been successful if there was a straight aquatic access to the base that the Shamblo could’ve taken.

      Interestingly though, Loni thought walking through the city would be faster than taking the aquatic route.

      I don’t know who the glasses guy playing with the Cyclops team.

      • Matt Wells says:

        One VS. Many scenarios? So instead of mobile armors as their solution, they should have just developed Variable Fighters? Figures… 🙂

        I just had a vision of a Zaku crossed with Magellan tanks and Dopp planes into a Zeon VF-1. Except it fires funnels instead of Reaction Warheads. FFFFFFFF…

        • Variable fighters would’ve owned.

          Now this is where the suckage comes in: fighter craft were portrayed to be vastly inferior to mobile suits in the OYW, and then suddenly the Z’s waverider, the Gaplant, the Asshimar are supposedly superior to most suits by default. This is bullshit. But hey, this is how Macross ruined Gundam.

          I mean the Delta Plus should be obviously superior to mobile suits on Dodais, flying surfboards, etc. But core fighters should’ve won the OYW under this logic, just arm them properly.

          Seriously, for all the awesomeness of artillery in the battle of Odessa, it had a ridiculous lack of air strikes. There were core fighters involved, but they were nerfed by design to show how Mobile Suits are the dominant war machines.

          • Reid says:

            As a huge fan of military aviation, I’d love to write or read or watch a Gundam work that showed how figher pilots staved off the Zeon in their initial invasion of the Earth. I mean, the Zeeks never gained air superiority during the whole war, so they must have been on to something. Fighter planes are too legit but mechs are beyond amazing – hence why I love those wacky gerwalky variable fighters.

            Also, Delta Plus owns face.

          • Even without attack craft, I believe that the helicopter gunship is going to be a holy terror against Mobile Suits in the gravity front. These birds feast on tanks with such low profiles, unlike mobile suits standing upright the size of a fucking Mazinger. Let’s say Minovsky Particles fuck up Hellfire missiles, the Zaku II’s tommy gun is practically semi-automatic. It is ill-suited to shoot fast-moving targets. Thus you have a scenario wherein a faster, more agile, airborne, and more mobile attack craft ass-rapes big, slow targets wholly bereft of anti-aircraft weaponry.

            Now a true fighter/bomber is just going to be insane. Zaku IIs have no way of defending against proper strafing runs, let alone BOMBING raids.

            Take away that.

            Send a fucking Warthog and reduce a trio of Zakus into a smoldering pile of scrap.

            Just think about it, gunships have dedicated pilots and THEN have a gunnery crew. The Zaku pilot has to do everything by himself. He is SO FUCKED.

            A VF-0 however, will rape everything in this comment.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            The Federation always did have air superiority which is why they didn’t get steamrolled completely on the Gravity Front. But yes, they never seemed able to design a fighter with the type of ordnance to take out mobile suits effectively. Though to be fair they can’t exactly use guided missiles anymore what with all the Minovsky particles flying about, so that meant getting a lot closer to retaliation fire.

            This makes me of the opinion that somehow having a humanoid shaped vehicle provides a better firing platform, which is why Zaku’s were able to own tanks so badly, but that’s only a theory I have so far and in no way am I trying to justify that with actual physics since I really couldn’t tell if that was the case or not.

          • The MS are too big as targets. Infantry should be able to take them out. Their max speed is laughable. They have no business owning tanks. A trio of Zakus running in the desert should be cut down by artillery fire. Tanks could hit them from kilometers away even if only using blanket fire. While Zakus would never be able to retaliate. By the time they arrive, the tanks have repositioned and are still fucking them up.

            Just look at the Guntanks and artillery works in Igloo II ep 03. Of course the Guntank just had to TREMENDOUSLY perform much better than the tanks in ep 02. There’s no reason why an MBT can perform less than those Guntanks.

          • Reid says:

            ^^ You’re exactly right. That’s the explanation given in the fluff. However, like Ghost said, when transformable mobile suits showed up they were potrayed as instantly and obviously better than everything else on the field. Maybe it’s like you said, and the problem wasn’t aircraft themselves but just that they didn’t pack enough of a punch, which is perhaps why flight-capable mobile suits really were so effective.

          • NERF EVERYTHING!

            Mobile Suits have got to be awesome. Turn aircraft into ineffectual core fighters and the like, and ugh Magella tops.

          • MrUnimport says:

            I just wish they’d given the Zaku vulcans. Seriously, all they have is the s-mines for antipersonnel work and they have to fire their non-airburst 120mm autocannons at aircraft. Woefully underequipped for land warfare, they are. Maybe things are different in SPAAAACE.

            When do we get our MS-06-BBQ Zeon Anti-Aircraft Mobile Suit “Flaku II” kits, eh?

          • In space there aren’t any aerodynamics so humanoid-shaped attack craft aren’t disadvantaged. The Ball is actually the best design: small profile, its vitals are farthest from any extremity, the only thing missing is full-spherical attack ability. It still has to “turn around.”

            Of course, a space battle among a bunch of balls sucks balls.

      • remy says:

        maybe the backroom dealings that keep mineva alive also keeping the zeon remnants alive. zeon also have sympathizer in the fed.

    • from what minerva said the federatio allowed them to not only exist but thrive turning a blind eye to annaheim’s dealings with and letting sympathizers give them funding

  3. KrimzonStriker says:

    To be fair to Gihneas, the Apsalus could probably have destroyed Jaburo and most anything the Federation had on the ground. Not that I think it would have changed anything in the long run other then set the Federation back, but the investment in giant mobile armours like the Big Zam, the Apsalus, and even the Shambloo was the longshot to victory in a war whose odds were always stacked against them. And then Gundam happened…

    Also, more often then naught a lot of the tragedies that the common soldier of Zeon is often blamed for as a whole WAS largely done by their leaders, and covered up in a way that allowed them to still believe in the rightness of their cause. Sydney for example, was an unintentional byproduct of trying to destroy a legitimate military target, and the gassing of the colonies involved were in turn blamed on ‘rogue’ soldiers like Cima.

    But to honor your once noble cause I too offer my own salute and final tribute from another fellow Zeon Remnant soldier, one Erik, to you my brave comrades in space, may your star continue to burn brightly in the great expanse of space, and may your legacy one day, help shine a light forward for a new possibility.

    • KrimzonStriker says:

      Edit: Goddang it, trying to embed this video here. My Sieg Zeon salute!! 😦

    • KrimzonStriker says:

      The heck? NOW it embeds!! There goes the moment… <_<

    • Gundam itself eulogizes the common soldier, from both sides, and often finds them trapped in moral quandaries by the malice and/or irresponsibility of their leaders. 08th MS Team, the Titans in Z… goes to show that fail happens on both sides, and Gundam Unicorn is consistent with this. It’s the common soldier, and at times their middle managers like Bright Noa that get trapped in the jaws of unjust violence.

      What was that thing fired onto the Earth?

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        Something called the Tears of Varuna I believe, its some kind of giant-rail gun built on the side of the moon and another of Ghiren’s Doom’s day weapons that never got to see action in the One Year War. Erik Blanke and his squad, the Invisible Knights, were supposed to be the ones to fire it before the war ended, and chose to restart the operation a year later. You can watch the entire thing in the channel or the user whose video I posted up, he managed to do some rudimentary translations for it.

        • Reid says:

          So was the “Teardrop from Heaven” a dud or what? Was firing the cannon just to make one last act of rebellion against the Federation, even if it was, as Erik said, “a fake”? If so, that is truly awesome. Hard work and guts indeed.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Now, now, there’s also a Federation endings to this game, I only showed the Zeon side in tribute to the fallen Zeon Remnants. I believe the target for the blast was the Federation California Base.

            But that being said, even when Zeon ‘wins’ they ultimately lose as Erik suddenly being surrounded by GM’s shows. His smirk at that was truly heartbreaking as he faced his likely demise with no regrets 😦

        • Cool thanks, gotta make time for this shit.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            No problem, just go to his channel playlist and click on the fourth one down from the top. Its the one called, My Gameplay : Kidou Senshi Gundam Senki (PS3)

        • KrimzonStriker says:

          Edit: Correcting myself slightly due a recent view of a subbed video for Gihren’s Greed, apparently the Tears of Varuna is a Mass Driver.

  4. Reid says:

    One question for any person who wishes to chime in: how is Full Frontal potrayed in this show? How about in the novels? Ghostlightning’s post said he “seems every bit as selfish and untrustworthy as Char….” Please understand, I’ve only seen the first episode of Unicorn (I really don’t want to see any more of it until it’s all finished – then I’ll get the bluray disks and watch it through all at once) and I have not read the novels (though I would like to if I could find a scanlation [any recommendations?]). If this is true, I am greatly distressed because I had hoped that Full Frontal was either the actual Char who decided to finally do the right by the Zeon loyalists and give them a war worth fighting or a man (possibly a memory clone of Char) who willingly took on the mantle of one of the worst monsters in human history – THE Char Aznable – for the purpose of changing his legacy by doing right by all the people of space. What else could he want the Box for?

    Maybe this was too much of a naive way to look at anything in UC Gundam, but I always wanted Char to live up to the decent things he could have done. After reading Ghost’s several posts on “Char’s Counterattack”, my whole perspective of him changed. I stopped looking at him like “an awesome rival/antihero/Darth Vader type misguided villain” and saw himi for what he is: a really petty, sad, infantile person unworthy of the unswerving loyalty his troops heaped on him. It was a sad day for me. He should have been the paragon of Zeonic virtue – which, like all other losers in “romantic” or sufficiently epic wars, has a very real appeal to me. To crib a page from the recent Gundam Wing manga we’ll call this appeal “The Glory of the Defeated.” As a guy from the southeastern United States, my own cultural background heavily features this almost palpable sense of “glory in defeat” as the Confederate States faced their own epic and tragic catastrophe in the conclusion of American Civil War. While I can’t say I ever wanted to overthrow the United States (far from it, in fact, since no one will argue that the CSA was foundedon some pretty tenuous grounds) and reclaim the honor of the Confederacy, the desires of the Zeonic remnants to vindicate themselves against the government that took everything from them and still continues to deny them a right to sovereignty resonate very strongly with me. Char should be my Robert E. Lee, my Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, only he should get the chance to do right by the people he fought for, even if “from beyond the grave” as Full Frontal. If I’m going to continue to hold him in such high regard, however baseless that might be, I need to find out the details, and I’d like it if you guys could tell me everything you think or know about Full Frontal, his motivations, etc.

    All that said….
    Sieg Zeon! Hail the glorious dead – real men who fight for their country, right or wrong, even in the face of overwhelming odds and certain death.

    • KrimzonStriker says:

      Full Frontal… eh, to sum up what I do know about him he’s actually the exact opposite of Char in a lot of respects, even if the results might often appear the same. Unlike Char who turned out to be petty, vindictive, and made his conflicts entirely too personal, which ghost often laments, Full Frontal is completely detached and ambivalent. He’s focused entirely on his goals, and how to best achieve them, thus he has no feelings of sympathy for his comrades nor hatred/anger towards his enemies. He’s an entirely logical and amoral being, which kind of makes sense for a man whose acting simply as ‘a vessel’.

      • Reid says:

        Do we, as yet, have any idea what his goals might be?

        • KrimzonStriker says:

          That would be spoiling, and I really can’t say right now because the adaptation from the novel into the OVA could change things up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. His character for the most part matches pretty well though, as far as I know.

    • Frontal is a douche.

      Unlike Char perhaps, he’s more into younger boys.

      Fetishization of defeat is intoxicating. I too, like my fail. It’s like a drug.

      • Reid says:

        In what way is he a douche? Can you give me some examples of what you mean? Sorry to be a bother…I just don’t want to watch episode 04 until I can buy it. This is the one anime I want to view “the right way” and actually pay for it. Haha, imagine that.

        • It’s how he callously treats the Cyber-Newtypes, Char-style.

          In episode 03 he used Marida Cruz specifically as bait to test his theory about the NT-D (confirmed). Banagher completely pwnd the Kshatriya by using its own funnels against it (fucking awesome).

          You don’t just throw your best pilot into a trap like that.

          It’s pretty much the same way with Loni. It’s Char putting Quess in the Alpha Azieru all over again. Not too significant, but mostly whatever, let’s see how we can take advantage of this mess… if he actually gives a shit at all.

          • Reid says:

            I hope he has a good reason for doing this horrible stuff. Maybe he’s doing it intentionally to demonize the cult-of-Char among even the diehard Zeonic remnant-types and disheartened colonists. Once they have The Box they won’t need “A Char,” after all, right?

          • Sometimes, people don’t have ulterior reasons to stop being decent or good and become douchebags. Sometimes that’s just how they are, or how they’ve become.

            Ask Bask, Jamaican, Jamitov, and Jerid.

  5. KrimzonStriker says:

    You know ghost, while we’re often on the subject of Char and the Zeon Remnants, I actually think that the extension of sympathy we have for then can be said for Char as well, to a degree. In much the same way the these Zeon soldiers lament about their situation and the state of the world, while being haunted by the ghost of their past, I can kind of picture this being the exact motivation for Char in CCA as well. In many ways I think he just went through the motions and attached himself to his father’s ideals because he felt he had nothing else and couldn’t bring himself to care about anything else. After Z and ZZ Gundam all he had was his hatred and disgust for the people of Earth and Amuro.

    • I always have sympathy for Char. He’s my most favorite non-Macross character ever, which is good enough for 3rd. Truly, he is the greatest anime character ever made. His failures are what make him so fascinating and compelling.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        True, but I think we can better relate his flaws and understand his mistakes looking back on, much as we are doing with the Zeon Remnants here I can actually see what probably happened after Z that sent Char spiraling down.

  6. sadakups says:

    Yeah, that pilot of the Byalant was godlike. Just like that dude in Episode 1.

    • This guy is much better, like a legit ace and shit.

      • MrUnimport says:

        If you ask me, although nobody ever does, I’d rather see more tightly-choreographed low-bodycount engagements like the ones earlier in the OVA, with casualties on both sides, than more one-ace-in-a-cool-suit-curbstomps-everybody fights. I mean, if I wanted more of that, I’d be watching Gunda–oh wait

  7. ces06 says:

    The common soldiers kicked ass. Bit of trivia: The elephant-nosed MS and the MS with a huge blade attached to it’s hand were from the MSV, and IIRC were machines originally intended to dig and drill their way into Jaburo during the assault on Jaburo in the OYW. They ultimately lost their purpose and never saw battle after Char found a hidden entrance into Jaburo long before the assault.

    And so the Feds get their asses handed to them by obsolete drilling machines. Sieg Zeon Mobile Suits!

    Man, Zeon Deikun’s probably rolling over in his grave right now.

    • Zetatrain says:

      LOL, he’s probably rolling over so much that if you wrapped copper wiring around his corpse and replaced his tombstone with a magnet you could generate enough electricity to power up a Zaku.

    • Ugly suits from the OYW given their time of day here… is a very good thing. Especially all of them die glorious, horrible deaths… what more can I ask for from a robot show?

  8. It’s hard to really root for Zeon in Gundam, and whatever Harutoshi Fukui’s political leanings may be, I don’t think that’s what Unicorn attempts to do. Despite how humanistic the Zeon characters are in this show (especially compared to the cold, inefficient Feddies) and the damming account of Feddie occupation, Zeons atrocity during war-time still casts a massive shadow over the episode, both in the colony-drop and by showing the Shamblo decimate that random Australian suburb.

    As you point out, this more human portrayal serves simply to give a richer, more fully realised lore. It is clear in Unicorn that spacenoids are, to an extent, disenfranchised. They lack the right to vote, they were occupied and pillaged by the Federation (which recalls Mineva’s comment about Spacenoids being used to violence against them). I’ve even heard that in the novels it is explicitly mentioned that the spacenoids are classed as abandoned refugees by the Government, which is why they lack certain fundamental rights. This doesn’t justify the gassing, the colony-drop ect, but it does make it more believable that so many spacenoids would be attracted to such an extremist organisation as Zeon. I hear a lot of complaints about this series being “Zeon fanwank” or whatever, but I actually think it does a good job of making the ideologies of UC as a whole much more fleshed out and believable.

    And any time it gets a little too “Hail Nippon!” or “those evil FEDDIE Amurrikans!”, Banagher is there to give Zeonic ideology a good hard kick in the balls.

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  10. d3v says:

    I’m surprised that Crusader hasn’t replied here and cursed you for being a “filthy Zeke lover.”

  11. A.r. says:

    I dunno about anyone else, but I personally found Ghinius a more tragic character than Norris. In before lynch mob.

    • He is a tragic character. Norris is not that interesting because he’s just a good guy trapped by honor. What made him compelling is how he fought the 08th MS Team single-handedly.

      Ghineas on the other hand, had all these things going on. He was the kind of guy that makes you think Zeon is fucked. He’s the guy that makes Norris tragic. His corruption is interesting and tragic.

      I think characters can be tragic and fascinating even if they weren’t good to begin with, take Gihren Zabi for example. He isn’t compelling, but he is fascinating. Nowhere near as Char, but his real moment was when he delivered his speech. I mean look at how iconic this shit has become:

      • A.r. says:

        True, though to me Ghinius is tragic moreso as a person than anything else. Yes, what he did to others and how they suffered because of his actions is terrible, but that I still feel bad for him as a person. His life is a mess, and probably always has been to some level. Despite his position in society it seems like his home life was pretty chaotic (see mommy leaving and all) and he’s never really dealt with the issues and insecurities he has because of it. He’s just repressed them and put on a facade of charisma and perfection because that’s what he wants to be and what others expect him to be. He aims to succeed in big, important things like the Apsaras project because he thinks it’ll bring honor and respect back to his family and will make his life worth something. And then the project just twists into a destructive attempt to cope with the inevitable breakdown from living such a life.

        While his actions seem to overrule most peoples’ ability to feel anything but disgust for him, I still feel more pity than anything else for the miserable, lonely, angry, desperate, sick man we see in Shuddering Mountain Pt.2. Yes, I know I’m a freak.

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  13. Lokey says:

    Oddly, I’ve always felt somewhat sympathetic towards the Zeon soldiers. I mean, the poor bastards have to throw themselves at a Gundam constantly.
    I think that the majority of Zeon soldiers even in the One Year War knew that they were going to lose. Zeon was massively outnumbered. They didn’t have the supplies to attempt a long scale war. But they had to go for it. They were desperate, and Zeon’s ideals gave them hope, but the Federation wouldn’t accept that, and so they had to fight, and die horribly for it.

    As a side note, I actually thought the guy in the Byalant might be Kou, given how it’s the Torrington base where he was stationed.

    • I’m curious though. In what order did you see the Gundam shows in the Universal Century? If you would be so kind as to list each show and the year you saw them I would be much obliged. It’s actually not Kou, because if he were he’d be lecturing harder than Banagher.

      • Lokey says:

        I saw CCA in 1999, having seen other gundam shows like Wing and X by then. Liked it alot, but didn’t understand a lot of it, so i went back and watched the original Gundam then also. I then watched Zeta and ZZ back to back a few years later, 2002ish i think.

        • Lokey says:

          *Facepalm* forgot to mention the OVAs. Watched Stardust Memory right before Zeta and War in the Pocket right after ZZ. Watched 08th MS team a little later, I got distracted by all things Captain Harlock for a while. 2004/2005 i think.

        • The order by which you saw the shows makes it easy to sympathize for Zeon. You meet Char, who is charismatic, bitter, awful, and loses — but rightfully he is the star of that film as much as Amuro is its hero.

          Then you see the OVAs… which as I’ve said, piled on the Zeon faggotry, depicting some of them as the honorable losers protecting every inch of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, etc. By the time you watched Zeta you’ll have been Zeon’d.

  14. Anya says:

    Unicorn 4 really pounded on the Zeon remnants, showing how they have nothing left but to fight for vengeance without a goal. All they wanted was to release their pent-up anger, not caring about the revival of Zeon. They didn’t even believe in the ideals of Zeon, just that they were dragged into hatred by their families.

    And I think you mean Physallis, not Zephyrantes http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/RX-78GP02A_Gundam_%22Physalis%22

    • Anya says:

      Oh and I just realized, Bottom of the Gravity Well can also be metaphorical to the “heavy burden on your shoulders” that Loni and the other Zeon soldiers bear. “Heavyness” in the chest is also closely associated with depression and despair. (if someone already pointed this out or if you already thought of that then shoot me)

    • If I was talking about the nuke gundam then yes, thank you.

      Definitely true, as the “war is hell” theme is continued to be portrayed. This time the enmity is all about inertia, being stripped of idealism.

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