Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief as we finally make it to the end of Victory Gundam. So, before those final end credits rolled, how was it? Was it full of great action, interesting character development and no pointless female deaths? Well… one of the three, anyway…
The Zanscare Empire have a new master plan: The Angel Halo, a large multi-ringed space station full of Psycommu technology will put the population of Earth right, by which they mean make everyone sleep until they die. It’s up the Earth Federation, League Millataire and, of course, Gundam pilot Uso Erwin to stop them.
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Hey, two Mobile Suits clashing, both with good designs… it’s actually a screenshot with nothing bad in it?!
So there are some good here, at the last moment. The final battle, which in most Gundam shows was normally the last two or three episodes, was effectively spread across the last 10. The Zanscare Empire reveal their big plan, which was a giant space station that looks like several gold rings called “The Angel Halo”. It’s packed to the brim with Psycommu tech, which not only showed terrifying potential in Char’s Counterattack, but retroactively thanks to Unicorn Gundam on top of that we know is powerful stuff. They have convinced Queen Maria that praying in the centre of this station, which is lined with people with potential psychic power locked in pods, will bring peace to the battlefield through mental manipulation. As it turns out, Maria is being manipulated herself by Zanscare big wig Kagatie as he knows all the Angel Halo will do is put the people of Earth into a deep sleep, one they won’t wake up from. So we get a space chase, including several fleet battles, as the combined Earth Federation and League Millitaire group chase the Zanscare fleet as they protect the Angel Halo’s trip to Earth. It’s a good idea, and the final few episodes were really exciting.
Another good bit was the return of Tassilo and Fuala, the latter of which has been driven mad by her extended time in space after being jettisoned early in the series and is now piloting a new, actually cool looking suit. You believe her slow loss of grip on reality and Tassilo is a good smug villain who himself nearly got put to the guillotine earlier in the series, so they were far more interesting than Chronicle and Katejina. Tassilo kidnaps the Queen, knowing she’s just a puppet, and ends up killing her in a mad panic, which causes Uso to kill him in a fit of rage. Fuala is also killed in combat, a few episodes before the end (in a second, not quite as cool looking suit). I did enjoy the in-fighting, even Chronicle being caught between his sister and the warring Zanscare soldiers was good. Oh and Odelo, the “cool orphan teenager” who has been hanging around since the start dies in the final battle, which is actually an earned, emotional death, unlike pretty much all the others…
The ominous Angel Halo… should really be Halos, but whatever…
In the big finale we see the Reinforce Junior sacrifice itself by ramming the Zanscare flagship in a great scene backed with some nice music, all the while Shakti goes into the centre of Angel Halo to pray for an end to war. What happens instead is the Halo breaks up into bits, reforms into several small halos and then “captures” the Zanscare soldiers in the halos and flies off into … space, somewhere. Very odd, very vague. Shakti is safely ejected from the place and rescued by Uso, so and the two of them, plus Marbet (who thanks to being pregnant was spared the usual female pilot death) and some of the other characters live happily ever after on Earth. It was… fine. I guess.
…. I just…. it’s just that I…. *sigh*. I don’t know any more…
So, you know how I’ve mentioned the female pilot deaths and how it clearly shows some weird hatred towards women Tomino was apparently going through at the time? Well, it didn’t get better at the end, that’s for sure. Three more members of the female-only Shrike Team get killed, Queen Maria is killed, there is a scene where Katejina sends a bunch of rocket launcher-wielding women is bikinis after Uso (yes REALLY) and they get smacked about a bit and presumably killed, and then the fight with Katejina turns into the woman taking great pleasure in having men fight for her and generally over eggs the manipulating woman angle. “Does Katejina die as well?” No, actually! Instead she becomes poor… and blind… and loses her memory. Yikes. That’ll teach her for being a manipulative bitch, I guess…?
So in the end we get no further character development for anyone, Uso is the same, Shakti is the same, Chronicle literally does nothing other than be a pawn in Katejina’s game, seemingly. The constant action at least took your mind off that fact, but it’s still not good. Even the introduction of Uso’s Dad as the real leader of the League Milliaire didn’t do much. He was sort of harsh to Uso, kind of scared of how powerful he’s become, and Uso was sort upset by it… then the Dad dies, though I thought he’d escaped but apparently not… *shrugs*.
There was an episode where Uso saw hallucinations while in the middle of battle thanks to the Angel Halo that meant it was half a recap episode, or at the very least a “reusing old footage” episode. Annoying.
Shakti looks sad at the state of Katejina. Given she’s now blind, memoryless and poor, it would be hard for anyone to deserve that fate, to be fair…
So less to talk about due to the final 10 episodes being pretty much one story, but man is it ever the textbook example of “peering into the mind of the writer”. So many women killed, so many “this who is manipulating the men for her own amusement” scenes, the bikini rocket launcher women scene was just uncomfortable… Not good. The action was often good, and there were some good scenes, a couple of good villains and a satisfying conclusion… ish, so out of all four chunks of the story, this rates the highest, but trust me, sitting through a 1 and two 2 rated chunks isn’t worth this “just scrapes a 3” rated chunk. The series very much lived up to its “hype”.