Episode 17, "Friendship, Love, and Mobile Suits"
Synopsis: Asemu keeps secret that he piloted the Gundam. Zeheart is told that the Gundam is likely hidden somewhere at the Asuno residence and joins the mobile suit club with Asemu and his friends. The four prepare for a MS tournament. Asemu invites the team to his house to get information on mobile suits. Zeheart uses this opportunity to look around for the Gundam, finally finding it in the stable. Later at the MS tournament, Asemu in his club MS battles other competitors, winning several bouts. However, Zeheart disappears. A Veigan MS is activated at the Asuno residence and Vargas alerts Asemu. Asemu speeds back home and gets in the Gundam. Zeheart moves in to support his superior, but Vargas activates a smog field which Asemu uses as cover to destroy one of the MS. However, Zeheart pins the Gundam down. The arrival of Romary allows Asemu to get free and Federation MS arrive. Zeheart retreats. The Gundam is moved to a Federation facility.
I like the mobile suit competition in this episode and wish there was more of it (maybe making this a two-parter would have worked). Especially the part about Asemu wanting to impress his father by winning. I imagine that Flit could be a bit difficult to impress, since he already built the Gundam and was fighting the Veigans/UE well before he was Asemu's age. Asemu is only barely able to build a small MS with his friends. He might not have even done as well as he did in the competition had it not been for Zeheart. I remember that in Zeta Gundam, Kamille Bidan was well-known for being a builder of petit MS.
The episode is somewhat a repeat of the previous, only this time Zeheart was in battle, too, and was able to pin down the Gundam. Actually, even before then Asemu was having slightly more difficulty with Zeheart's contact. Luckily for him the Federation's mobile suits arrived. But who knows? Maybe he would have been able to recover on his own. Based on what I saw in the previous episode, Asemu can really hold his own.
Is it just me or does Vargas seem a lot more helpful in this part of the show than in the previous one? That smog field was a good idea.
3.5 out of 5