SUPER DIMENSION CENTURY ORGUSS
EPISODE 14: OPERATION D
ICONIC SCENE: Tina reappears!
BROADCAST DATE: October 9, 1983
1. At the beginning, we find out that the Glomar is now in Afghanistan, so Emann territory is close (which is odd… because I thought the Emann capital was in Thailand…). Then Leiia wonders if Sley is really dead, and Mai says she’s sure that he’s still alive… which is generally a clue that, no, he’s not dead. If he were, the show would be making a much bigger fuss about it. At the very least, though, at least the lame love triangle aspect of the show is gone for now.
2. And then we get a surprise battle… There was a reason they showed Captain’s rather awesome capabilities last episode. It was because this episode, we see about a half-dozen Mu robots laying a Terram city to complete waste. I know that killer robots bringing down human civilization is a venerable science fiction theme, but for some reason, this Mu attack reminds me a lot of the Terminator, which is interesting, since this aired over a year before the Terminator came out (and over a year and a half before it was screened in Japan). I don’t really think Terminator copied from Orguss, either; I just think they both have similar inspirations.
Anyway, the devistation is pretty good here, but again, I miss the work of Ichiro Itano, who was at this time busy making beautiful destruction for the Macross movie.
3. The Terram government realizes that time is running short, if a Mu advance scout team got to one of their cities, and so they really NEED to capture Kei. The Supreme Commander, though, gets a report (from Henry) saying that Olson had a chance to get Kei, and let him escape. This is of course setting up a split in the Terram leadership, which will hit sooner than you might think. For now, though, I’d like to repeat that I really love the Supreme Commander’s voice. The actor, Yasuo Muramatsu (who is currently 85 years old) has acted in a lot of anime (going all the way back to 1964), but rarely in large roles, although fans of ’80s anime might recognize him as General Revil in the Gundam Movie trilogy (though not the TV series) and Geronimo in Dagger of Kamui (people still watch that movie, right…?). He’s still working now, his most recent role being in Doraemon last year.
Oh, and he was Dr. Hayward (Donna’s Dad) in the Japanese dub of Twin Peaks, and Bernard in the Japanese dub of Lost. And Uncle Owen in a 1989 Japanese redub of Star Wars. See what I mean? Not really a star… but a great voice.
4. WHOA!! Just in case you missed all of the hints that Olson is same dude-with-the-afro from Episode 1, he has a photograph of Kei’s old flame Tina in his barracks, and tells it that Kei is still alive, looking the same as he did “long ago.”
Not the first hint that time travel is involved, on top of the dimensional wonkiness (that would’ve been the Terram soldiers calling Kei’s Bronco II an “antique” back in Episode 1) but the pieces are definitely beginning to come together, and subtle hints are becoming more overt.
5. That said, when Athena confronts him about his actions in saving Kei, he says, “I’ll tell you exactly what the Singularity Point is.” She (and the audience) lean closer to find out… but all he says that the Singularity Point is the key for saving the world, which we, the audience, already knew. Kind of a let down, Olson (even if Athena didn’t know… which she didn’t). Although he DOES say that the restoration of the world depends on the “will” of the Singularity Point, which makes this seem a lot like a proto-Evangelion. How Kei perceives each dimension (and how he feels about it) might determine its place if all the dimensions are separated.
This, I think, is kind of important once we get to the final episode. So file it away for future reference.
(By the way, a couple of times in this scene, we see Athena’s face reflected against the photograph of Tina. It’s a smart bit of foreshadowing. As is Olson reminding Athena of her mother’s wishes, and Athena calling Olson her “uncle.” And, as well, Athena’s form being reflected in his sunglasses… but again, I’ll talk about all this at length later on.)
6. Robert comes in, gleefully, and tells Olson (whose full name we finally learn: “Olson D. Verne.” I trust I don’t have to annotate the importance of the name “Verne” to science fiction) that he’s been relieved of duty. The fissure widens.
Oh! And Robert calls Olson a “Singularity Point”! WAIT, WHAT???
And on top of all that, Kei is now expendable to to Terram, since they have something called “Operation D” in the works. It’s all very mysterious right now, but it seems to be some plan to save the world that doesn’t involve using the Singularity Point.
7. Finally, Sley gets a bit of sympathy. It’s odd how Mimsy seems to be the only one who even seems concerned about him. Then again, it IS Sley…
8. The cavalcade of new Terram gerwalks continues, as we get the Command-Type Ishkick, and the Logwoods are featured more prominently. As they leave for battle, Olson requests that Athena not join them. He has a good reason for this, but he doesn’t reveal it yet.
9. Then the big battle starts, and absolutely EVERYTHING happens at once. Robert and Henry try to kill both Kei AND Olson, Olson more-or-less switches sides (not that I can blame him, really), Kei gets shot down, and most surprising of all (even to the characters), as they reach Emann territory, a whole squadron of Orgusses (actually the Orguss II, although we aren’t told this yet) show up to drive off the Terram. We end with Kei injured, and Olson wandering off on his own, unable to return to the Terram army.
Later, Shaia asks what took the reinforcements so long, and apparently there’s been a debate in the Emann government about what to do about the Singularity Point… and the two main groups opposing each other are Shaia’s Tove Family and Mimsy’s Rath Family.
10. So, when I was talking about Episode 12, I said the first REAL climax of the show was still to come, and this is it. This feels like it’s end of “Part One” of the story, or the beginning of “Part Two,” or WHATEVER, and it’s a real doozy, although more in what it promises for future episodes than for what it contains. That said, the answers to some of the show’s many mysteries are beginning to rise to the surface. Anyway, after a few episodes where not much seemed to actually happen, it’s nice to get a truly engaging episode like this one.
OBLIGATORY ASS-SHOT: Yet another twofer.