I just watched the first fourteen minutes of Gundam Unicorn's second episode. The first time I watched it, it was RAW, so I couldn't understand much of what the characters were saying. I had to judge some of the interactions based on body language. But then the English dub version came out.
Well, first, the production values are as amazing as the first episode's. The art is excellent, the animation is pretty fluid, especially some of the more subtle gestures of the characters while they're in conversation. Nobody seems to just be standing motionless for no apparent reason. The coloring is such that it looks fairly natural for a show about colorful giant robots. In other words, the shading isn't off and nothing looks too shiny and fake. The music is atmospheric. The voice acting seems decent enough, though Full Frontal is barely in the first fourteen minutes, so it's hard to tell whether Shuichi Ikeda still has it or not.
The episode starts out with the Unicorn engaging Marida in the Kshatriya. Marida handles herself well, but is pretty clearly being dominated. What's interesting is that the Unicorn doesn't pursue her when she retreats. This is most interesting because it is the mobile suit that's doing all the work: Banagher is passed out in it and doesn't come to be consciousness until towards the end of this preview. In other words, the Unicorn is responding to the danger of the Kshatriya, but once it flies off, it deactivates, like it no longer detects danger. I'm a little weary of a MS that does all the work for its pilot, but it would be just as silly if Banagher was able to pilot the MS well enough to challenge Marida right off.
The bearded Sleeves captain, Suberoa, talks to Full Frontal back on his ship. Full Frontal is on another ship with some Garma Zabi-looking guy who seems really fruity. Sort of an aristrocratic type of behavior to him. He chews out Suberoa for not retrieving Leplace's Box or Audrey. Full Frontal is interested in the Gundam and says he might come and check it out himself.
The ship the Unicorn is taken to is the Nahel Argama (from Gundam ZZ), which has apparently been updated. It's now being captained by some other bearded guy (apparently a beard is now a must-have for ship captains). The captain doesn't seem particularly skilled. Some annoying douche from Anaheim is there, too. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. The representative is a total fatass, so zero gravity must suit him fine (yes, I took the crack on Zeon pilot said to another in 08th MS Team).
Audrey, Micott, and that other friend of Banagher are on the Nahel Argama, too. Some loser pilot named Ridy introduces himself to Audrey, but she's annoyed. Micott mopes around, probably worried about Banagher. Haro is lucky enough to have her hold it to her chest.
The Nahel Argama crew spend a lot of time trying to open the Unicorn's cockpit. The tech guy they got on it is getting frustrated. As soon as they get it open, they get Banagher over to the medical wing, where he's attended to by Doctor Hasan from Zeta Gundam. Honestly, was he even in ZZ or Char's Counterattack? Considering what happened to Saegusa and Astonage, maybe it was for the best. Anyway, Banagher wakes up, and Feddie officers come in and kick everyone else out to grill him. But he ends up telling them to fuck off.
Oh, and earlier, a flashback reveals that Banagher was used to test some part of the Unicorn's mechanisms as a young child. Wow, Cardeas Vist is one of the worst fathers ever.
Not long after Banagher tells the Feddies to go suck a bag of dicks, the Nahel Argama is attacked by the Sleeves, including Full Frontal in the Sinanju. As the Sinanju closes in, the preview ends.
The English dub is as good as the first episode's, which is to say, excellent. Steve Staley and Stephanie Sheh are presentable as Banagher and Audrey respectively, but I was really impressed NYAV also cast Richard Epcar and Michelle Ruff, as well. Keith Silverstein is perhaps a little too whispery as Full Frontal, but he has the right attitude.
Unicorn is the best Gundam material for a long time and I'm pretty excited about it. It's too bad that collecting it is so damn pricey. I guess there's the option of waiting for the price to drop or the DVD version coming out, but damn do I want the Blu-Ray.
And so should you.