「黒いユニコーン 」 (Kuroi Yunikoon)
“Black Unicorn”

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.

Full-length images: 08, 24, 26, 39, 41, 56, 71.

 

ED5 Sequence

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.

48 Comments

  1. man forget this, i forgot what happen already, i’ll wait till there done with all seven eps(then watch it, well see ya in about 8 months to 10 months,
    2 years for a 7 ep show is f-ing retarded, super lame.

    Gundam!!!!
    1. This isn’t as bad as Hellsing Ultimate’s wait. The thing’s been released for almost 7 years and it’s only reaching the tenth and last episode in a few months. Now that’s retarded.

      lion_of_genesis
    2. Actually ep 6 is set for release in Spring 2013, which is a year from now, and who knows how long we’ll have to wait for ep 7 after that. The reason for this delay is probably that all the work they had done for ep 6 already (supposed to be the last one when they started with the production) became useless once they got an extension with ep 7.

      anon
    3. If I have to waited for a little bit for quality anime like this one, I would be glad to do so. Watching these quality anime is much better than the rest of the junk that comes out nowadays.

      Just A Random Guy
    1. Also like the Unicorn running out of the fuel. It still had power to move and shoot and such, just no fuel to keep its thrusters greased up and allow it to fly around (fuel AND reactor power is needed, something that we rarely see in AU series’ it seems), so Banagher couldn’t magically go flying out to save the day and that went to Full Frontal and Angelo with his Rozen Zulu (basically a mixture of the Geara Doga/Zulu, Sinanju, and Hamma Hamma from ZZ).

      HalfDemonInuyasha
      1. In old school UC, a suits’ electronics is powered by the internal fusion reactor. The propellant which drives the thrusters is chemical in nature and needs to be refueled or in case of high mobility suits like the Sinanju, large propellant tanks are attached to the suits’ intake which is usually the backpack unit.

        alabaster
  2. Someone enlighten me on this, but is it true that Riddhe’s angst is more properly portrayed in the novel than in the OVA? I read that the cause is more than just him going ballistic over a rejection.

    paulrenzo
  3. thx for blogging. this is by far the best episode of UC yet. episode 6 going be late..

    watching this episode after gundam age feels like going from earth to heaven!

    immortalgamerz
    1. I’m going to patent the “THIS IS GUNDAM” for it’s use on RC. :p
      Riddhe is an ass. Knowing the truth about the Box, it’s importance in UC history and the utter stupidity that it caused (Earthnoids vs Spacenoids), he decide to help maintain the EF status quo. No wonder Audrey dump him as soon as she saw Banagher and the Unicorn.
      Bright, always Bright (FUCKING) Noah and his wisdom dealing with the Gundam Pilots. At least, Banagher is a step ahead of his predecessors: he didn’t needed the traditional Bright Slap to man up. The kid have the right idea: helping Audrey whenever she’s in danger. Forget the damn Box, he’ll go to hell and back for her, and that’s good.
      Kudos for Zinnerman and the Garencieres. I’ll expect that the anime staff changes the events of the novel at this point for Marida’s (and our’s) well being.

      SeedStriker
  4. Captain Bright was the best part the episode. He’s just so awesome on how he deals with things. It really shows that he’s seen everything that happens in UC that he isn’t surprised anymore.

    Overall, its much better than the last episode because it avoided most the pretentious self-righteous dialogue like before. I don’t like how they want to keep trying to portray Banagher’s no-kill policy though. It just feels so smug when they’re trying to make Banagher a saint when UC makes it a point that no one is ever truly innocent. I also never did like the Newtype Magic powers BS that pervades UC, but at least here it was’t as bad as CCA.

    I would have also liked to see more of Banshee, since it really didn’t do much other than fly and shoot. Mauling the Delta Plus was awesome though, if only to shut up Riddhe for being annoying. Its sad that he’s been reduced to this after being the one reasonable guy last episode.

    fragb85
  5. I wonder if bright sees amuro’s space ghost, more el oh els if it appears as swans.

    On the serious though. Bright’s actions here are probably what leads to the result in hathaway’s flash.

    I didn’t feel sorry for riddhe because of his angst, after watching 5 I rewatched 1-4, then I read novel spoilers which confirmed my dislike. He knows what’s in the box and I don’t like his reasons for trying to keep it a secret. I have to go even further than Audrey corruption is not good if it’s purpose is to subjugate people and maintain power, she has a little char thing goin on with “limiting” humanity.

    Audrey definitely has that million dollar smile. Squealed when she told banagher, “hai.” the Audrey theme is freggin awesome and it was also great how the catching scene paralleled him catching her on industrial 7.

    RickyMack

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