With pieces of Junius Seven raining down on Earth, the planet is in a state of chaos. Two members of the DSSD (Deep Space Survey and Development Organization), Selene McGriff and Edmond Du Clos, are contacting Sol Ryuune L’ange at mission control because Selene is worried about the launch schedule of the “401” (aka. the GSX-401FW Stargazer). Unfortunately, their conversation is cut short by a huge tidal wave approaching Selene and Edmond’s position. The two flee to higher ground, though many others are not so fortunate. Watching the pieces of Junius Seven coming down from another location, two members of Phantom Pain – Sven Cal Bayan and Shams Coza – are listening to the radio when a third member, Mudie Holcroft, comes by and tells them that they’re on mobilization standby.
Across the world, various cities are now under water or have been completely decimated. Rescue and humanitarian efforts are underway everywhere. Edmond and Selene find refuge in a large building where Earth Alliance forces have taken up positions. One of the soldiers recognizes Edmond, who used to be a tank platoon commander. Unfortunately, a GINN soon attacks and starts to destroy everything around it. Edmond and Selene are able to secure a single boat on which only Selene rides to the DSSD launch pad. Edmond instead goes back and boards a tank driven by the friend who recognized him. Edmond has the tank get pretty close to the GINN before it turns around and aims it’s bazooka at the tank. The tank and the GINN trade shots; the tank’s multiple shells topple the GINN, but the GINN’s bazooka shredded the tank. From the wreck of the tank, a dying Edmond sees the space shuttle flying towards space. Selene had arrived at the launch pad earlier and boarded the shuttle along with Sol.
With the battle over, the Earth Alliance forces open up the GINN and are surprised to find three children pilots inside. Meanwhile, the Phantom Pain group is sent out to help a base that’s under attack by ZAFT mobile suits. Mudie Holcroft pilots the Blu Duel, Shams Coza pilots the Verde Buster, and Sven Cal Bayan pilots the Strike Noir. The first two mobile suits are lifted out by helicopter, but Sven launches in the Strike Noir through the base’s catapult.
Ah the fresh carnage of a Gundam series. They did a lot to emphasize in this episode the human toll that took place because of the dropping of Junius Seven, something that maybe wasn’t quite as noticeable in GSD story. And partly because of that, the Earth Alliance/OMNI forces seemed to be presented in a pretty positive light with the humanitarian efforts and also because they’re fighting the faceless GINN wreaking destruction across the city like Godzilla. That is, until that faceless GINN is revealed to have children for pilots.
Along those lines, I’m not sure if the Phantom Pain group is going to be portrayed as bad guys (like they usually are) or what. Since this series doesn’t have a God-Kira-esque figure (thankfully), there’s not yet a clear good guy/bad guy line. Perhaps Sven will start off in Phantom Pain and eventually join Selene and the DSSD or something. We know that Sven and Selene are the two main characters, but how their fates become entwined is left up to the remaining two episodes.
Overall, I thought this was a good start, though maybe not enough stuff happened for this to be the first of only three episodes. Then again, I don’t know the scope of this series so it’s hard to comment. The animation quality was very good, though different from the GS and GSD style – character designs were by Oonuki Kenichi instead of Hirai Hisashi. I really like the ending theme song, 「STARGAZER ～ 星の扉」 (STARGAZER ~ Hoshi no Tobira) sung by Negishi Satori. It’s accompanied by just credits, though I didn’t really expect them to make an OP or ED animation for a short series like this.
Episode two airs in a little over a month, on August 18th. The third and final episode will be another month after that, on September 22nd.
As a final thought, I miss the pink explosions 🙂