The latest episode of Gundam Unicorn made its digital download debut last weekend, with its blu-ray release coming within a few weeks. The episode was long awaited, with the last episode being released in May of last year, and with one more episode still to come. Naturally, I was pretty excited for the episode, dashing to my Xbox as soon as I heard that the new episode was out. After all, the last one was fantastic. Surely, Sunrise has resolved the pacing issues with the earlier episodes of the OVA, right?
First off, while the episode’s story was great, the pacing again felt off. We’re introduced to a great rivalry between the Londo Bell and Sleeves soldiers onboard the Nahel Argama, but it doesn’t last as long as it should. The opening battle, with Full Frontal tearing the mobile suit compliment of the General Revil to shreds was awesome, but it brought up one problem I’ve noticed with the series:
The openings of each episode should be the finales of the previous ones!
Like, okay. The end of the last episode was Full Frontal and Angelo tearing up Jegans and ReZels, and well, that’s where this episode started. Why not just show the entirety of the battle in episode 5, then end with Full Frontal’s line? That’d be an excellent cliffhanger and get people really hyped up about the next episode! Cutting the battle in half just delays gratification and makes things frustrating for your audience.
But what made things especially frustrating for me were the mobile suits. Early production material showed us the Unicorn Gundam in full-armor configuration everywhere. The last episode even had it glow green for the first time in the series. However, I found myself a little concerned after noticing that the only new kit of the FA Unicorn was the Unicorn mode one, with no Destroy Mode version in sight. My worst fears were realized when at no point in the episode, did we see it go into Destroy Mode with the full equipment.
To make things worse, the Banshee Norn, a suit I thought was made as an MSV, appears as the OVA equivalent of “Final Battle Banshee”. This, too, only received a kit of the suit in Unicorn mode, so hopefully that design will feature the awesome green NT-D frame of the novel version.
But aside from those two Unicorns, and the Jesta Cannon, Bandai didn’t seem that interested in marketing new suits with this episode. It almost makes me feel like they’re winding everything down for Unicorn in favor of doing HGUCs for MSV and the like. It’s a shame, because I could always count on Unicorn to deliver the goods, especially in the wake of Gundam AGE’s colossal failure.
Whatever the case may be, the last episode is due to be out next spring. It’s going to be a long wait, so let’s just hope the final episode is what we’ve been waiting these four years for.