Mobile Suit Gundam: Unicorn – OVAs V and VI Review

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Although they have some big moments between them, OVAs 5 and 6 of Gundam Unicorn is all about setting the stage for the big final battle in the final chapter, but it certainly doesn’t coast its way through. There are plenty of great moments, both character based and some action scenes, but it certainly achieves the goal of making you want to watch OVA 7 right away! Let’s take a look.

Synopsis:

The mysterious Black Unicorn successfully captures the original and brings it back to the Ra Cailum, where the former Marida Cruz is soon revealed to be the suit’s pilot. Banagher is lost as to what to do, until he talks to Commander Bright Noa…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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The Banshee always looked like it was designed solely to look cool… and it does!

Banagher Links (Koki Uchiyama / Steve Cannon) – Banagher is feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders after failing to save anyone in the last battle. He doesn’t even care that he’s been captured by a black version of his own suit…

Audrey Burne / Mineva Zabi (Ayumi Fujimura / Stephanie Sheh) – Audrey is being passed around from various Earth-based organisations, but her resolve hasn’t shaken. She will stop this potential war before it starts proper…

Full Frontal (Shuichi Ikeda / Keith Silverstein) – Full Frontal wishes to make the Spacenoids superior to their Earth counterparts by cutting them off from valuable resources, and to do this he needs the power of Laplace’s Box, or at the very least, the threat of what the box might contain…

Marida Cruz / Ple 12 (Yuko Kaida / Tara Platt) – Marida has once again been brainwashed, this time by Alberto Vist of Anaheim Electronics. She has been given the Black Unicorn Gundam known as the Banshee, and has new orders to carry out, but it seems maybe her old orders haven’t entirely vanished…

Riddhe Marcenas (Daisuke Namikawa / Yuri Lowenthal) – Riddhe is at a loss. He was knocked back and defeated by a new Gundam, and one that was from an Earth organisation his father was apparently on the side of. Still, at least Audrey is going to run away with him, right?

Suberoa Zinnerman (Hideaki Tezuka / Michael Alston Bailey) – Zinnerman has lost it all, once again. This time his would-be daughter Marida has been taken, and he’s at a loss… Will he really lose another loved one to war?

Angelo Sauper (Tetsuya Kakihara / Michael Sinterniklaas) – Angelo is still 100% dedicated to Full Frontal and his ideal, and will not hear of anything bad said about his master…

Bright Noa (Ken Narita / Christopher Corey Smith) – Bright is the commander of Londo Bell, an Earth space force that exists to stop another Zeon-like rebellion. He has got caught up in the race for Laplace’s Box, but doesn’t even known what it is…

Captain Otto Mitas (Naoya Uchida / Michael Sorich) – Captain Otto is in charge of the Nahel Argama and has seen first hand how crazy this chase has gotten. Still, waiting around in space with nothing to do somehow seems worse…

Plus more!

The Good:

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Riddhe gets manhandled… or Gundam handled?

OVA 5 is a bit of a breather after the action heavy previous entry, but it does have some good twists. The standout moment though has to be Bright Noa getting some one-on-one time with Banagher, where he pretty much ends up telling him to save Mineva Zabi during the up-coming sortie and board Zinnerman’s Garencieres ship to escape, and that he, like all previous Gundam pilots, should follow his heart. It really shows how much Bright has grown over the course of the Universal Century timeline, that he was willing to break some rules because the higher-ups weren’t in the right, and that he generally now trusts the Newtypes who pilot Gundams due to having seen so many.

We soon get to the main part of the OVA, where a simple meeting between Noa’s ship and the Garuda that will take the two Unicorns to meet the ship known as the General Revil (a nice nod to the famous general from the original series) are intercepted by the Garencieres team lead by Zinnerman, leading to an all out battle in above the clouds. Banagher and Marida sort-of do battle in the Unicorn and Banshee Gundams, though it’s mainly the former trying to get the latter to remember her time under Zinnerman and undo her latest lot of brainwashing. It eventually works thanks to Zinnerman himself being on foot in the large Garuda craft and helping out, eventually taking her back to the Garencieres.

Then there’s poor Riddhe, who tries to rescue Audrey / Mineva but she frankly refuses because he’s not going to be able to help her, much to his confusion and despair. She soon lets herself fall off of the ship, knowing that Banagher will save her, which he does, the two then flying off in the Unicorn. Riddhe is soon battered by Marida in the Banshee Gundam before her exit along with Zinnerman and Banagher (again), so Riddhe is left bitter, broken and standing in front of the Banshee Gundam…

The Garencieres soon needs to rendezvous with the Nahel Argama in space, and manages to do so when Banagher and the Unicorn Gundam pull the two ships together while enveloping them in a similar green glow as seen in Amuro and Char’s final moments in Char’s Counterattack, but they soon come under fire from the General Revil… until Angelo and Full Frontal arrive and save them! They know Banagher and the Unicorn are the only hope of finding Laplace’s Box, not to mention Mineva being on board. That’s how OVA 5 ends, with Full Frontal about to lay waste to the massive Earth Federation ship…

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Captain Otto has the rare honour of appearing in the middle of the Good section of a review, rather than under a new section…

So, as you can imagine, OVA 6 picks up right from where 5 left off as Frontal takes out the General Revil enough for everyone to escape. This leads to the Sleeves, the Garencieres team, and the Federation Forces loyal to Captain Otto and the Nahel Argama, all coexisting on the same ship… or trying to, anyway. We then get to a great scene in the Argama’s bridge, where Mineva demands to know what Full Frontal’s plan is, which he willingly obliges. He wishes to unite the colonies into one independent state and cut off Earth from their supplies, reducing them to having to rebuild the Earth to support themselves, while the Spacenoids become the dominant people in the Earth Sphere. It’s what he calls creating a “Side Co-Prosperity Sphere”, which is an awkward phrase to hear several characters say repeatedly…

In a great scene right afterwards, Mineva talks about how Char wanted to damage the Earth to the point where all of humanity had no choice but to live in space as one, so Frontal’s plan of keeping Earthlings on Earth will only lead to further wars down the line and that he really can’t be the actual Char. This is soon at odds when Frontal reminisces about having seen the green energy the Unicorn Gundam created once before, making people think it must have been when he was with Amuro at the “Axis Shock” event… Mineva soon tells Full Frontal the location of Laplace’s Box that Banagher found out via the Unicorn, shocking everybody.

While all this is going on several troops of the three factions start getting on each other’s nerves, the whole “Your side killed my friends!”  “Yeah, well your side killed my friends!” argument. Eventually Angelo turns an attempted attack from the Argama crew and takes them hostage, threatening Captain Otto with forcing him to shoot down an Earth Federation vessel that had been alerted to their presence. This leads to a frankly fantastic moment where mostly-gag-character Captain Otto shouts and belittles a shocked Angelo and refuses to give in to what are the acts of terrorists, just as his men are freed from the Sleeves soldiers. It’s always such a air-punching moment given how Otto is normally portrayed as. This leads to another shouting match over their conflicting ideals in the mobile suit deck, as Angelo boards his suit and starts to cause havoc while Frontal pins down Banagher in front of the Unicorn, forcing him to join his side or die, pretty much, given he no longer needs Banagher and the Unicorn to find the box.

Mirada soon arrives, freed from her brainwashing, with Mineva onboard her old Kshatriya suit, and pins Angelo down. The head of the Zabi family tries to convince everyone of the right way to do things, but of course fails, though during the course of the showdown Marida calls Zinnerman “father” instead of master, leading to a great moment where Zinnerman gives her a “final order” of following her heart instead of someone else’s orders. Frontal and Angelo escape, with Frontal saying that “it’s now a race to see who can get to the box first”.

The whole OVA is a great look at all of the conflicting personalities that have been drawn to the one chase. The last 10 minutes set up the final OVA, with Banagher heading out in the new Unicorn Gundam Full Armour, but ending up in a battle with Riddhe, who is now on board the Banshee Gundam under orders from his father and the Earth-based corporations that have been conspiring to get the box throughout the story, the one missing faction from the showdown earlier in the episode. That’s how we leave it, the two Unicorn Gundams doing battle as the race to finally reach Laplace’s box is on…

So, as you can tell, it’s a great two hours of TV. It’s has that classic Gundam blend of action and philosophical debates, where characters in a room talking to each other is often just as entertaining as large robots shooting at each other…

The Bad:

To be honest, there wasn’t much. The runtimes were perfectly paced to fit all the action and plot in perfectly, and the animation, soundtrack and voice work are all still top notch. I mentally didn’t give enough credit to these two OVAs…

Overall Thoughts:

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The ultimate Unicorn Gundam makes his way to finally find Laplace’s Box…

Do I need to add any more thoughts? I wrote so much about these two OVAs that I had to add a picture into the good to break up the wall of text. When I talked about Char’s Counterattack being the pinnacle of the Universal Century, I still feel I was right, but Unicorn comes far closer to topping it than I remembered… and we’re not even finished yet!

5 Star Watch

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