By 2307 AD, fossil fuels supplies have dried up, leaving mankind to rely on solar energy generation. This solar energy generation system is centered on three orbital elevators that extend about 50,000km. For the construction of these massive structures that acts as a semi-permanent energy sources, the world was consolidated into three national armies. One centers on the United States and is called the World Economic Union, aka. Union. The second is the Human Reform League, comprising of China, Russia, and India. The third and final one is Europe’s AEU. The defense of the orbital elevators is difficult due to their size, and for the sake of their dignity and influence, the three armies continue to play a grand zero-sum game. Even in the 24th century, mankind hasn’t united to one yet, and it is here that Celestial Being shows up. To get rid of strife, they have developed operations that transcend race, nationality, and religion. They are triggering a revolution in the world.
In Union’s Tokyo Special Economic Zone, the Celestial Being announcement video is still being played all over the city, and Saji Crossroad wonders to his friend Louise if there are people who’d actually act not in their own interest. Around the world, people like the president of the Human Reform League and the leaders of the AEU worry about Celestial Being and the Gundams. The AEU group in particular realizes that such advanced mobile suits require a lot of technology and money to develop, meaning that Celestial Being has to have someone powerful backing it. The Union president meanwhile talks with his adviser about how Celestial Being is taking their place in terms of eradicating war through military power. When the adviser wonders if Celestial Being is serious since they’re getting nothing in return, the president explains that Union intervenes in other countries’ disputes for the sake of securing its own people’s safety and national interests – it’s not charity. The adviser takes this to mean that Celestial Being will reveal its true character soon, and Union’s mission is to judge them at that time.
During all this, Lockon and Setsuna have been on an undisclosed island getting ready for their second mission, and Lockon comments on how every news agency is talking about them, though most people don’t believe them. Wang Liu Mei also happens to be here with her butler, and she suggests that they make the people believe. At a different location inside a van, Graham Acre is telling Billy Katagiri that he’s not immediately going back to the military because he wants to know the capabilities of the Gundam. Specifically, he’s interested in the light that was coming out of the back of the Gundam which impaired electronic devices around it, and Billy guesses that the light might be due to the photon collapse phenomenon, though he thinks that the Gundam also has other secrets. The two are then visited by a man who passes along orders instructing both of them to return to MSWAD. Up in space onboard the Ptolemaios, Allelujah voices his displeasure of the upcoming battle that’s to test their mobile suits, but Tieria points out that they need to assess the Gundam for the sake of what happens from now on.
Allelujah and Tieria then catapult out of the Ptolemaios on their respective Gundams and enter the Earth’s atmosphere after enabling a maximum dispersion of GN particles. Their entry is detected by the Human Reform League’s geostationary satellite orbit station, and once he hears that the Gundams’ destination is calculated to be the island of Ceylon, Sergei Smirnov wonders if Celestial Being seriously intends to do military intervention. Lockon and Setsuna also depart their island base to begin their second mission, and as she watches them take off, Wang Liu Mei describes the Gundams as the airframes that put Celestial Being’s philosophy into motion. As word gets out amongst the world leaders about what’s going on, the four Gundams join up, and Setsuna recalls the briefing that Sumeragi gave them. It seems that Ceylon is currently in anarchy because of an ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority that has been going on since the 20th century.
Onboard a transport plane, Billy and Graham are also discussing the exact same situation, including how the Human Reform League had supported the Tamils. Though it was under the pretext of reaching a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the Human Reform League’s actual goal was to secure the underwater path for their solar energy, but things got worse after their intervention. Graham then contacts someone on the transport and asks him to tell the captain to change course as well as to prepare a Flag mobile suit. Watching the ongoing battle as the Gundam Exia approaches the island, Setsuna is reminded of his own past and suddenly declares that he is Gundam. He then races the Exia on ahead and starts cutting apart enemy mobile suits on the battlefield. When Setsuna starts getting hit by enemy artillery, Lockon helps him out by picking them off with his sniper rifle. Allelujah meanwhile goes after the Human Reform League’s base, and Tieria sinks one of their ships. The battle is quickly over, and since Setsuna had been taking out Human Reform League mobile suits, those of the other side rush over to thank him and to press their new advantage. Unfortunately for them, Setsuna doesn’t differentiate between enemies and slices them in half with the Exia too – this is what he considers a Gundam Meister to be.
Meanwhile, at JNN corporate headquarters, one of the reporters has finally dug up a file on the man who made the Celestial Being announcement. The man’s name is Asolia Schenberg, but the problem is that he died over 200 years ago. At the same moment, another reporter learns about how Celestial Being just attacked both sides on Ceylon, and it leaves them wondering what Celestial Being is thinking. In space, Sergei is expressing his disbelief that Celestial Being thought they could end an ethnic conflict that’s been going on for over 300 years with one intervention. As if answering him from back on Earth, Wang Liu Mei claims that it’s not just once – they’ll do it however many times. Now on their way back to base, Tieria wonders to the other two guys why Setsuna is a Gundam Meister. Setsuna has gone on ahead, but he suddenly detects a Union transport plane, and from it emerges a Flag mobile suit. Introducing himself, Graham calls himself a man who is fascinated by the Gundam’s existence.
Well, it doesn’t take long to notice how much more modern politically grounded this series is compared to other recent Gundam shows – it’s a lot more than I had thought it’d be. Not only did they choose to use the Sri Lankan Civil War as a setting, I could also swear that the part with the Union president talking about Union intervening in other countries’ disputes for the sake of securing its own people’s safety and national interests is a reference to current United States foreign policy. Still, they haven’t really villain-ized any of the three major factions yet, and the antagonist for now remains war itself. Even Graham so far has been just curious about the Gundam’s capabilities and doesn’t hold a grudge against them or anything like that. He also seems to be the best person to stand up against the Gundams that have thus far been godly on the battlefield.
Overall, the animation quality has been quite good, and it feels like we’re still going through the introductory phase of this show. A lot of that has to do with how they jump around so much between the various cast members and political factions – even more this week than last – and it’ll probably continue this way until a few more distinct plot threads emerge (Saji and Louise for example) that the show can focus on. I’d personally like to get more story on Graham, though we’ll have to see first next week if he can even manage to damage the Exia.