You’d think due to where the story was going at the end of Episode 25 that this chunk would be set in space, but instead it’s surprisingly almost entirely set on Earth still. Not necessarily a bad thing of course, but I did feel at times that the story was treading water, especially in the case of the storyline involving Queen Dianna and her doppelganger. Anyway, let’s take a look!
After the battle at Kingley the Militia and their foes tend to the wounded and prepare for the next phase in their unofficial war, a phase that could endanger everyone on Earth…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
It’s the Turn-A and Kapool, a.k.a. the only Earth suits that ever get into Gundam games…
The first few episodes are actually quite tense as some Moonrace soldiers uncover a cache of “Dark History weapons” that we the viewer know are actually nuclear weapons but they have no idea what they’re dealing with. The Militia arrive and there’s a battle which eventually triggers a bunch of the bombs, and although some escape in time a lot of them are vaporised in the nuclear explosion. While most people are shaken by the experience (even Moonrace diehard Poe gives Loren the last two nukes rather than her own side, knowing he’d do what’s best and dispose of them) Major Phil Ackerman saw their potential and goes to “Diana” (remember Queen Diana and Earthling higher-up Kihel have switch places) to get permission to use them to conquer Earth and set up a new Kingdom in the Amerian Sunbelt by force. She denies him, but he just mutinies instead. The aforementioned Poe soon joins up with Phil and shares his vision (though presumably without the nukes given she gave them to Loren…) but Poe is soon taken down by Loren as the Militia and Dianna-loyal Moonrace continue on their journey in the Willgem (large space-capable spaceship they uncovered last time)
This leads to the next big act as in order to get into space they need to use a launcher, and the only working one is at a place called Manuipich which, would you believe it, is now under Moonrace control. While there is some drama in the mobile suit battles (especially as Loren still has two active nukes installed on the Turn-A that she plans to dispose of in space) I really enjoyed the internal politics of the Adeskans (the people who live in and around Manuipich) as their King Quoatl is viewed as a coward by the would-be King Taruka, who challenged Quoatl to a duel but was denied. The current King’s loyal aide Mayalito reveals that it wasn’t due to cowardice but instead Quoatl didn’t think Taruka was ready to lead yet. It was Taruka who allowed the Moonrace to conquer the place, and Quoatl helps the Militia invade and take out several cannons, but is wounded towards the end. After seeing how Taruka has changed he gives him permission to shoot the last bomb on the final canon where he laid, killing him and therefore allowing Trauka to become the rightful King. Throw in Mayalito staying with Quoatl to die with him out of loyalty and it was quite the fun mini-story, annoying Aztec-inspired names aside.
The last few episodes sees the Willgem make it to the halfway point between the Earth and Moon (despite another attack from Poe), a space station called “Zacktraeger”. Phil’s Moonrace army follows them in their own ship called “Gendarme” and there is a bit of a confrontation, though no real fighting, more trying to influence the station to attack the other. The episodes are mostly a bunch of “people from Earth aren’t used to zero gravity and instantly become homesick” jokes.
I get it! … I said I get it! … Look I get the joke, stop doing the same thing! Argh!
The whole Dianna and Kihel switcharoo storyline is completely played out at this point. In Episode 27 the two actually meet and you think Mr. Tomino has come to the same conclusion and the story is about to end, but nope! Dianna asks Kihel to continue to be her so she can make it to the moon and convince Agrippa Maintainer (still best worst name ever!) to stop his coup. So we had several more incidents resolved due to the two lookalikes playing games or outsmarting the people not in the know, but man I was bored of it… As a concept it can only stretch so far! I did like that Dianna loyalist Harry (and his funky glasses) has fallen in love with Kihel, which is confusing his greatly. Still doesn’t make up for it though…
Two hippy characters called Cancer and Muron feature quite frequently here, and their charm vanishes pretty quickly and becomes annoying even faster. The usual suspects in Sochie and co aren’t improved, but thankfully are pretty much just reduced to simple pilots in the main story arcs at least.
You know I’ve only just realised that I’ve never really mentioned Miashei, on the far right. She’s Sochie’s friend, but as you probably gathered by me not mentioning her, she isn’t very memorable when you’re summing up the series in large chunks…
Turn-A Gundam very slowly moves towards some different scenery, and while I enjoyed the two major stories in this batch there was always a feeling of metaphorically tapping my fingers waiting for the plot to move forward, especially the whole Dianna and Kihel storyline. Still, we’re in space now, and about to meet the lead antagonist of the series (yes, this late in…)