「黒いユニコーン 」 (Kuroi Yunikoon)
I haven’t kept up with a lot of anime since my indefinite hiatus from blogging, but I fully intended to cover this fifth episode of Gundam Unicorn — especially considering the cliffhanger the OVA series left off on six months ago. I really have to re-watch this OVA series in one sitting some day, as it’s really hard to get caught up in all the characters’ emotions with these long intervals between releases. The fourth episode was really good in my mind, featuring some lengthy exposition about mankind’s mistakes as a species following its migration to space, and really echoed the profound pain of loss that the franchise is known for with the unfortunate outcome of Banagher’s battle with Loni. However, the sudden arrival of a newly brainwashed Marida, a.k.a. Ple Twelve, in Gundam Unicorn Banshee easily stole the focus of this episode, making the depiction of the heartache that Banagher was going through but a mere afterthought in the grand scheme of things. Had I watched these two episodes in subsequent weeks, the emotional impact would’ve undoubtedly lingered in my mind and made this series even better than it already is.
Incidentally, it does say a lot when the only thing that I can nitpick about Gundam Unicorn is its semi-annual release dates. Even then, this episode did well in tying in what happened last time with Bright Noa — the captain of all Gundam captains — providing words of wisdom to Banagher and then “informing” Amuro — the first Gundam pilot and his former subordinate — about how he’s going to place his bet on Banagher’s intuition. That spoke volumes to me, since Banagher does remind me of Amuro in a lot of ways. It also really set the tone for the operation that took place where the Ra Calium of the Earth Federation Space Forces (E.F.S.F.) was to deliver Banagher and Gundam Unicorn to the Garuda of the Earth Federation Forces (E.F.F.), and Bright actually betrayed the E.F.F. by making an underhanded dealing with Suberoa and the Sleeves. It was an unexpected development given the military chain of command, but I really liked how all the conspiracies played out. In short, the E.F.S.F. decided to help the enemy because they didn’t like how the Vist Foundation was conspiring with the E.F.F., which brought about some familiar faces in Beltorchika Irma and Kai Shiden, whom unlike Bright, are both voiced by their original seiyuu (Kawamura Maria and Furukawa Toshio respectively). The main appeal from a story standpoint is how this development continued to blur the lines on which faction’s causes are more noble — the Earth Federation or the Neo Zeons.
In this Universal Century timeline iteration, I more or less have Martha, Alberto, and the rest of the Vist Foundation who seek to keep the secret of Laplace’s Box to themselves labeled as the antagonists, with the brainwashing of Marida here reaffirming that sentiment. The Sleeves on the other hand is the group I’m quietly rooting for, simply because of Suberoa and the Garencieres crew have had the most impact on Banagher and the story as a whole. Offsetting their seemingly just cause are Full Frontal and Angelo (thanks to all the ReZel Type-C face-melting), similar to how the sight of the Dogosse Gier-class flagship, General Revil, firing on the Nahel Argama to silence those who came across Laplace’s Box shows that everything isn’t rosy on the Earth Federation side of things. While the spectacle of this episode was undoubtedly Banagher being reminded of Daguza and Gilboa and then using the power of the Newtype Destroyer (NT-D) system not as a red enraged weapon, but as a green psychoframe luminescent savior, I particularly enjoyed how the love story within all this conflict garnered dramatic development with Audrey and her million dollar smile picking Banagher over Riddhe.
You don’t have to ask me which pair I’m shipping, but even I found it rather heartless how nobody cared what happened to Riddhe after Marida absolutely manhandled his Delta Plus and left him for dead. However, I did find his fit of jealous rage and the sight of a vacated Unicorn Banshee before him to be a much better cliffhanger than Full Frontal firing on the General Revil. Granted, the possibility of seeing Bright and
Char Full Frontal teaming up on the battlefield again does pique my interest, given how the animation, cinematography, and scene transitions between pilot and mobile suit were awesome this time around — even by Unicorn’s standards. I didn’t even mind the use of CG for the battle between Unicorn and Banshee, as Sunrise really outdid themselves. Here’s to looking forward to the sixth of seven episodes, whenever it rolls around.
ED5: 「BROKEN MIRROR」 by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES
Watch the 5th ED!: Streaming ▼
I’ve really liked all the ending themes for Unicorn so far, but I can’t say I’m a fan of the latest one.