In the year 2312, following an attack on an asteroid by a group of A-LAWS mobile suits, anti-government force Katharon members Klaus Grad and Shirin Bakhtiar discuss how there was a new mobile suit involved. Shirin wants to postpone a certain rescue operation in light of this, but Klaus decides to move things forward because a lot of lives are at stake. The Earth Federation government later makes an announcement about the launch of an autonomous peace-keeping force to exterminate the anti-government forces, and as he watches the broadcast, Sergei is on the phone with Kathy about a transfer to that very same peace-keeping force. Kathy intends to go, and Sergei thinks that it would be useful to have someone who could provide inside information on the A-LAWS group that keeps a lot of secrets. After he hangs up, Soma asks Sergei what it was about, but he avoids answering and instead asks her if she’s thought about a certain matter. She hasn’t, so he gives her more time to think about it. Meanwhile, on the Lagrange 4 Colony Proud, Saji is working on a construction project, but on this day, his friend Eddie gets accused of being a traitor to Katharon, and both of them get arrested. Saji is subsequently forced into do manual labor in a high-gravity environment, and he can’t help the people who become too exhausted to continue on.
At around the same time, Tieria gets word from Mileina and Ian that a new Federation cruiser is on its way towards Lagrange 4. He decides to go out in the Seravee Gundam, and he believes that a certain someone will show up if he’s still alive. That Federation cruiser is currently launching an Ahead and two GN-XIII mobile suits towards the colony, and one of the GN-XIII pilots is none other than Louise Halevy – this is her first battle. Unbeknownst to everyone, Setsuna is at this moment sneaking onto the colony, and he learns that the guards have been ordered to evacuate. The Katharon forces have already begun their rescue operation by taking out the colony’s defenses, and they land a ship in one of the colony’s hangers. Unfortunately, the three A-LAWS mobile suits arrive soon after and destroy the Katharon ship, and the Ahead deploys their new automaton robots inside the colony. These automaton race through the colony killing anyone they come across, and Saji finds himself stuck in a corner with one of the automaton approaching him. Luckily for him, Setsuna arrives on the scene and destroys the automaton with some explosives. The two recognize each other, but before they can chat, another automaton appears, so Setsuna grabs Saji and runs.
Feeling that nothing has changed, Setsuna takes out several more automaton as he heads towards a hanger. Awaiting him there is the Exia, and he uses it to destroy all the automaton inside the colony. Setsuna then attacks the three A-LAWS mobile suits, and the sight of a Gundam causes both a pain in Louise’s head and hyperventilation. However, the Exia turns out to be no match for the new Ahead, and it gets both its arms sliced off. Before the Exia can be destroyed though, a huge particle beam cuts through the battlefield and saves it. Setsuna’s savior is Tieria in the Gundam Seravee, and Tieria quickly destroys one of the GN-XIII. This leaves the pilot of the Ahead no choice but to order a retreat, and since Louise is unresponsive, he drags her GN-XIII back with him. When Klaus gets word of what happened, he’s grateful to the Gundams, and he feels that this might be a chance to get the help of someone who shares their goals. Back on the colony, Tieria and Setsuna meet again after four years, and when Tieria notes that Setsuna has changed, Setsuna comments on how Tieria hasn’t. Saji then confronts Setsuna about being the Gundam pilot and blames him for all people who died and got hurt, including the girl he loved and his only sister. Setsuna’s silence on the matter prompts Saji to grab his gun and threaten Setsuna with it, and he wants those two people returned to him.
Onboard the Federation cruiser, the captain of the vessel decides that the Gundams appearing is a good thing because it makes them – A-LAWS – even more necessary. Louise is also back on the ship and is trying to take some pills, but she shakes so much that she’s barely able to put one into her mouth. Seeing this causes her superior officer to wonder why such a such person is in A-LAWS. In a distant location, Ribbons thinks that this is a good thing as well because it means that Louise now has a reason to fight. Ribbons is then paid a visit by Wang Liu Mei. Word of the new Gundam quickly spreads everywhere, and Marina, Sumeragi, and Graham all hear about it. In this same time period, a man named Andrei Smirnov shows up at Sergei’s door to pick up Soma for the peace-keeping force. Sergei is surprised to see that his son is in A-LAWS, but Andrei refuses to say when he joined, and Soma is just plain shocked to find out that Sergei has a son. Meanwhile, Allelujah remains locked up in a prison somewhere.
Sometime later, on the new Ptolemaios, Tieria questions Saji on why he didn’t shoot Setsuna. Saji’s answer is that if he killed someone, then he’d become just like Tieria and the others. Tieria thinks that Saji should be grateful to Setsuna because if Setsuna hadn’t brought him there, then Saji would have been executed as a member of Katharon. He suggests that Saji doesn’t know reality, and he wants Saji to see with his own eyes. During this time, Setsuna has been given the 00 Gundam, and afterwards, he heads down to Earth to meet with Katharon member Lyle Dylandy. Setsuna introduces himself as a Gundam Meister of Celestial Being, and he claims that Lyle will become a Gundam Meister as well. In fact, he starts referring to Lyle as Lockon Stratos.
They played the OP this first week after the main part of the episode, but before an epilogue of Tieria confronting Saji and Setsuna finding Lockon. The song itself is very catchy and feels appropriate for this series, but the main draw is actually all the shots of characters past (Christina for example) and future. It hints at Tieria’s past, more MarinaXSetsuna, some large-scale fleet battles, and the return of Ali Al Sarshes and Graham as antagonists, so it was pretty exciting to watch.
Now that’s a great way to start a new season: plenty of action (it almost goes without saying that it was well-animated) and most of the major characters were reintroduced in some interesting way. The only person shown who didn’t really do anything was Marina, and it had me wondering again how her relationship with Setsuna is going to get played back up. Regardless, this looks to be a much faster start than the first series, and I’m curious to see where all the different storylines go. Much of the focus this week was on Saji, and although he’s grown up a bit, his confrontation with Setsuna makes it feel like he hasn’t matured much – he’s still brooding over those losses after all these years. Maybe now that he’s gotten that out of his system, he can join Celestial Being and actually accomplish something.
As for Louise, her character has taken on a whole new feel with her now popping pills and acting all crazy. In particular, her head hurting during the battle reminded me of the effects of the super soldier program from the first series, but there wasn’t someone else around to cause those headaches, so maybe that wasn’t it. It clear though that Ribbons has control over her and might even be able to see through her eyes. His involvement seems like an omen that her story will end tragically, and hopefully that won’t be the case if she and Saji can get reunited. Ironically, the two of them were so close to each other in the battle this episode, but their paths never crossed. Speaking of Ribbons, it would appear that Wang Liu Mei is up to no good since she’s visiting him. I’m not convinced yet that she’s going to be a bad guy, but she and Ribbons both managed to look somewhat sinister in that scene, so who knows what’s being planned.
In any case, this first episode and the OP have me pretty excited about what’s going to happen this second series, and it looks like next week will be about Setsuna gathering up the rest of Celestial Being – specifically Sumeragi – and taking the 00 Gundam into battle.