Gundam Unicorn has been pretty much everything I could ask for in a Gundam show. Epic space battles complete with explosions, political intrigue, futile wars and depressingly human characters. It seems poised to become my third favorite series in the meta-series, closely following Turn A Gundam and Zeta. My only complaint is it takes so long for the next episode to come out.
In the third OVA, we learn that the Unicorn Gundam has anti-Newtype capabilities which seem to overwhelm the pilot’s own will. Banagher almost kills Marida, only to stop at the last second. Later, Banagher begins to bond with Daghda, so of course Full Frontal kills Daghda. Banagher becomes enraged and finally gains the will to kill someone, only to have the father of the family he stayed with in the colony block his shot and die.
Banagher has been surprisingly pleasant as far as Gundam leads go. He has the usual issue of not wanting to fight, but who can blame him? He really does have no reason to, especially since he even knows the people he’s fighting against. And unlike certain other Gundam protagonists, his indecisiveness has been short-lived in comparison with the usual twenty to thirty episodes. Banagher’s bloodlust after Daghda’s death was also understandable – I, for one, was hoping he would succeed. Compared to Amuro and Camille’s endless whining, Banagher is great. And compared to Setsuna F. Seiei and the protagonists of Gundam Seed— well, let’s no go there. But he does still possess the immaturity and naivety that make Gundam what it is.
In addition to Banagher’s development, the supporting cast gets a lot of time in the spotlight as well. In particular, Marida and Daghda become fully fleshed out, to make Daghda’s death all the more disturbing. It was a nice contrast how the creators allowed Daghda to die – the Gundams withstand debris, explosions and beam particles, but the human body just disintegrates into nothingness with the light sweep of the saber, in the middle of a last-ditch attack which doesn’t even faze his enemy.
For the next episode it seems like we are Earthbound and hopefully will see the political side of things from the point of Mineva. Gundam Unicorn truly makes it feel like the end of an era is approaching, with Mineva, who we last saw as a child, fully grown, and a weapon that has been built to make Newtypes, once seen as the future of humanity, obsolete.