Sadly, when those two ships ventured off into the distance last time, it is revealed in this week’s opening scenes that Mika stayed behind on Saisei so he can help with finishing the Barbatos’s repairs. The result is that most of the character development is relegated to Orga and the supporting cast for the duration. However, after the coldness of the last episode, the emotional core that beats throughout this week’s adventure is more than welcome.
And boy does it beat heavily.
The crux of this week’s adventure is upon the concept of family. It isn’t enough for Tekkadan to grow closer together with this new lot in life, so the episode dedicates some time to letting its members find out how their loved ones are faring. When it comes to Kudelia and her parents, it’s unsurprisingly frayed. When it comes to the younger siblings of Biscuit and Takaki however, things are fine. This concept of family is not seen as much in Gundam properties, where the universe is centered upon the ship of the series and its crew. Any and all siblings/parents/relatives are non-existent either due to war, crazy familial strife, or apathy (on either the writer’s parts or the parent’s). Here, there’s a profound investment in family bonds on and off the ship, as people like Biscuit and Takaki take up such a dangerous job so their younger sisters have a future. It seems so mundane, but on the other hand, for a Gundam show? It’s quite daring. Most of the Gundam series has a cast that mostly focuses on broader pictures of peace or short-term goals like surviving the war. Here, everyone has their little slice of Heaven they want to come back to, for people they care deeply about. The only other series I remember that had such copacetic communication during wartime was one episode of Gundam SEED, where the friends of the protagonist spend time with their parents during a rare moment of peace.
Elsewhere we’re able to go knee-deep into the past of two other people: Akihiro and Atra. Akihiro’s past is interesting enough, showcasing the rather cutthroat nature of space pirates and Human Debris. The more interesting part there is there’s very little resentment and bitterness in Akihiro’s voice when he speaks about it. I thought that given how everybody seems to have a family member to go back to, he would be bitter and resentful. Turns out that isn’t the case, and it works all the better for us. When it comes to Atra, it’s great to finally see how she met Mika. Like Akihiro, she isn’t resentful at all about her past, and it’s adorable how her first interaction with Mika went. That Mika… he’s a pretty cool guy. He feeds orphaned, homeless, girls sandwiches and doesn’t afraid of anything.
…Other than that, that’s pretty much it on my end. Yeah maybe there’s some interesting developments with a Teiwaz representative on the ship (how that will clash with the other mole on the ship it is unknown), never mind the promise of an exciting new battle before the credits. Things may not be looking up for our heroes (again), but now the emotional core is back and my attention is retained.
- Atra confirmed to be okay with harem. This show succeeds in being so appealing in its light-heartedness.
- Other than that… That’s it for the notes as well. Not much to talk about here. Move along.