Gundam: G no Reconguista – 06

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“The ship is too big. If we walk, the episode will be over.”

We get more battles this week, prefaced by long, multi-vehicle journeys through massive space stations, but we don’t get any kind of satisfying explanation for why exactly the Capital Army is committing such massive levels of manpower and equipment and yes, even expanding their arsenal all for the sake of one cadet they’re not even sure is still alive (or whether he defected). Well, besides the fact he’s the protagonist, I mean!

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“You mean I can DVR twelve inane discussions at the same time?”

Bellri’s own mother doesn’t quite understand it, either. She loves her son, but also thinks all this military buildup is a mistake, and “rescuing Bellri” and “restoring honor” aren’t just flimsy motivations; they’re downright ridiculous and reckless. Let’s get down to it, shall we? The Capital Army has been developing all these new toys from the get-go. They’re itching to play with them. They’d probably mobilize even if there was a space cat stuck in a tree.

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YES. FISH. WE GET IT.

Back with the pirates, Noredo and Raraiya are kind of stuck on a treadmill of asking Bellri when they’re going to escape back to the Capital and wondering if Raraiya is becoming lucid. Raraiya, at this point, is poised to become lucid sometime around episode 53. And never has a fish pooping in a glass ball gotten so much attention.

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As for the orbital battle, it’s pretty slick…for Gundam G. There are capital ship evasive maneuvers, dogfights, and the first use of G-Self’s “Reflector”, which absorbs energy from weapons either for deflection or use by G-Self’s weapons. It takes Bellri a while to figure out exactly how to use it.

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But in a nice nod to the fact he’s still ostentibly a Capital cadet, he uses the long leash the pirates have given him to detect the Amerian space fleet, which is moving in stealth as the pirates make a big flashy decoy show for the Caps. The episode shows a lot this week, but it also has its characters constantly spouting too-on-the-nose monologue overstuffed with proper nouns. I don’t have my glossary on me at all times!

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But then, something I’ve seen happen a lot in Gundam takes place: Bellri kills his friend and instructor Dellensen, and doesn’t realize it until he’s already killed him. You’d think with all this technology and weaponry flying around, there’d be some kind, any kind of communications protocol. People identifying themselves before they attack and whatnot. Sure, the heat of the moment and all that, but it still seems like a contrived, highly avoidable tragedy. But like I said, Gundam pulls this all the time.

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This was actually a beautiful little cut to the bridge. I kinda wanna be there

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As a result of his actions, Bellri goes into Depressed Mode, and Noredo can only stay by his side and ride it out. She can’t really ask “Sooo…Can we leave now?”, because, how can Bellri go back to the Capital having killed one of his own comrades, even if it was a misunderstanding? I’d imagine he’s extended his stay somewhat, along with that of Noredo and Raraiya. Which is just fine for people like Aida and Klim, who he impressed this week.

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Speaking of Klim: Here’s your RABUJOI Moment of Zen:

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 05

What ISN'T it for, sir? What ISN'T it for?
What ISN’T it for, sir? What ISN’T it for?

There are inevitably going to be some parties who believe Recon in G is nothing but a cynical, half-baked cash grab, exploiting an anniversary as the Capital Army exploits Bellri’s kidnapping to break the taboo, and appealing only to the LCD.

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With these parties, I shall make a deal: I’ll spare you a tortured and ultimately futile attempt to convince you that my opinion of the show is as valid as yours, if you’d kindly refrain from raining on my parade!

What the heck's going on here?
What the heck’s going on here?

Yes, G is safe, and derivative, and often pretty damn stupid, and nothing of particular note ever seems to ever happen, yet I’ve still found the last five episodes charmingly goofy, bawdy fun. It could be because I’ve never subjected myself to old-timey Gundam that my natural aversion to it is low.

I like how the contour lines aren't perfectly crisp, but a little uneven, giving the otherwise modern character designs a retro touch
I like how the contour lines aren’t perfectly crisp, but a little uneven, giving the otherwise modern character designs a retro touch

Seed, Seed Destiny, and 00 are the only other Gundam series I’ve watched in their entirety, and while their first five episodes were far superior to G in character, story, and spectacle, their profound seriousness could wear thin.

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From the laissez-faire uniform code aboard the Megafauna (which is the name of the pirates’ spaceship, not a term for the jungle; now I know!)  to the easygoing interactions of Bell, Noredo and Raraiya, this is a Gundam that not only borrows a lot from the past, but also lets its hair down a little.

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I DON’T KNOW HOW TO RESPOND TO THAT?!

Just take the underwhelming battle that went down between Klim in his Loredo and some new Visor Guy piloting an “Elf Bullock”: Their in-battle banter is so over-the-top and cheesy, I was laughing out loud at the TV. This wasn’t really good, per se, but it was enjoyable. Agreeable. Amusing. Genial.

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That might not even have been the producers’ intent, and I can totally understand why it wouldn’t be enjoyable for some, but all I can tell you is how it affected me. There’s a ludicrous onslaught of characters and slipshod tactics and far too much on-the-nose dialogue and none of that mattered. I bought in.

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It’s fitting, then, that this battle was essentially brought to a close with a big water balloon, which forces SuperCool Visor Guy to flee in terror. Though the mechanic Happa was telegraphing the Hell out of those water balls, I was so preoccupied with the Visor Guy/Klim exchange to realize Bell got his cute little flying cockpit off the ground to break up their fight.

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And believe it or not, some stuff did happen. We learned that whether she likes it or not, as a princess, Aida has to thank people who fight for her, even if they were the enemy of her mentor Cahill. This explains why she’s such a piece of work for most of the episode.

Also, while Bellri is really excited about piloting G-Self and becoming a lieutenant in the Amenian army, Noredo still wants to make sure he’s planning to escape at some point with her and Raraiya. We also spend more down time with Klim, and his formerly paper-thin character’s hard edges soften a bit; a welcome change.

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Good game. Let’s go eat!

As far as she’s concerned, they’re spies behind enemy lines, and the sooner they get home, the better. That’s not necessarily where Bell is right now, but we’ll see. Until then, I like how the trio bunch together to scarf down some well-earned grub, looking every bit the motley family.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 04

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Aida pointing out the fact not much happened this week

When the Capital Army Commander hears that Director Zellam, Noredo and Raraiya have been “taken hostage” by the pirates, he uses it an excuse to launch a military attack under the guise of a non-military rescue mission. Not only is the justification and classification flimsy, it violates the “Ag-Tech taboo against the advancement of science.” It would seem the use of advanced warmechs like Caitsiths is to be minimized as much as possible as the world “recovers” from what must have been a destructive, catastrophic war that may well have had beginnings just as modest as a captured official’s son.

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WAT

Where I start to kinda lose Recon in G is this taboo: I mean, if certain levels of technology aren’t allowed, why do the Caitsiths and Rectons and whatnot exist? I mean, shouldn’t building them have been just as taboo? It doesn’t really matter; the condition of the earth is kind of in the background anyway. Taboos aside, Bellri’s own instructor Dellensen leads the Capital Army mission to rescue him and the civvies, resulting in another somewhat awkward battle and the deaths of several men, none of which had to actually happen.

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I will say, that is a nice classic design

While Bell is piloting the G-Self to further examine it on Lt. “Genius” Klim’s orders, Capital arrives, giving the pirates an ultimatum. Bell wants to talk them down, but when the crucial moment to do so arrives, he learns he can only receive, not send, communications. Klim picks a fight, and the needless battle ensues, in which Dellensen loses a good number of pilots. Still, they’re nameless, faceless pilots that we can’t and don’t really care about. The typical Gundam Move of One Side Retreating for the Time Being ensues, and we’re back where we started: with Bell, Noredo and Raraiya as “guests” of Aida and the pirates.

"How long do I have to Mondaysit?"
“How long do I have to Mondaysit?”

Somewhat worryingly, on top of being an episode with a battle that only happened because of a stupid busted radio as the centerpiece, there was little to no character development for anyone. Bell and Aida’s interactions were all business without even a hint of romance, Klim is still a punk who’s constantly calling himself a genius, Noredo is just kind of around, periodically glaring at Aida, and Raraiya continues to be an amnesiac cypher. Is she ever going to be able to talk normally? I hope so. I hope a lot of things happen next week, because the retro sheen is rapidly fading.

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