SUPER DIMENSION CENTURY ORGUSS
EPISODE 23: DESTROYER
ICONIC SCENE: Tina’s house… with Mu???
BROADCAST DATE: January 8, 1984
1. After a week off for New Years, Orguss is back, reaching the year 1984 which has since been hailed as the greatest year ever for Japanese animation. I’m not sure if anyone cites Orguss among the best of the best, though… the top three are generally considered to be (in no particular order) Nausicaa, Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, and Macross: Do You Remember Love.
2. The opening scene of THIS episode, though, seems to go on a little too long, focusing on Kei popping snacks in his mouth, repetitively (and acting awfully moody). However, we find out that Llig is working on something called the “Dimension Conversion Equipment.”
(Mai also mentions that they’re nearing “Atlantis,” which is strange, since in the early episodes, it was “Atlanta.”)
3. It’s been so long since Operation D got mentioned, that I think the audience might be forgiven for not remembering it, but it finally gets explained. It’s kind of an opposite dimensional bomb. Instead of blowing an area into another dimension, it brings areas from other dimensions back into this one. Notably, they say that there’s no human element to it, which in most science fiction is usually a bad sign.
4. They turn it on, and while on the Glomar, Kei and Olson suddenly feel intense pain and have a lot of twinkly lights appear around them, the Terram brass find themselves in front of Tina’s house jut as Kei is making his escape, twenty years earlier. It all seems fine, until suddenly two Mu robots appear. They’re not in the past, though, and even when the machine is switched off, they’re still there.
The Mu attack the Terram base, and it takes a squadron of Nikicks to take them out. When one of the Nikicks gets hit, this spills out of it…
5. Mome checks out Kei and Olson (and some pretty weird stuff shows up on the computer, but I can’t really make much of it out), and it turns out they’re okay. Kei runs off with Mome and Mimsy wonders aloud why Kei’s so moody. Olson hears her and says that Kei is is having a very difficult time, without many people to talk to.
6. He goes off to cheer Kei up, but three Mu robots attack the Glomar.
You might notice that very suddenly, the Mu seem to have become more of a threat then they were originally. Kei even points out that now that the Terram are out of the picture (for the Glomar, and for the moment), the Mu seem to have taken their place.
7. And with no explanation, Olson has his own Orguss II. It don’t look all that great in this episode, but its blue-gray color makes it my favorite of the Orguss variants. I had the model kit when I was younger, and really loved it.
8. The Mu infiltrate Fudol’s ship, forcing everyone to evacuate. Kei and Olson try to hunt them down, but have a hard time finding them. It turns out the Mu’s mission is to destroy Llig’s Dimension Conversion Equipment, which means the Mu must be doing some pretty amazing intelligence work, since WE don’t even know what it is.
9. The ship gets sacrificed, Llig’s equipment gets destroyed, and Fudol is killed, but Llig himself manages to escape with all his notes. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Fudol’s ship falling.
10. Throughout this episode, I kept finding my attention wandering, which is odd, because a lot happens here. But it all seems disjointed… which makes sense, since it’s introducing the conflicts that will take us through to the end of the series. It also reuses a lot of scenes from previous episodes, but not enough really to make it a clip show. And I get that, too. Everyone (I hope) took a week off for New Years, and so I think the episode was written with recycling footage (like Kei escaping Tina’s house, or the Mu attacking the Terram base, using exactly the same shots used when they attacked the Terram city several episodes ago) in mind, in order to give the animators a break. But still… it feels a little low-energy, and the battle scenes, while trying to do something different, didn’t seem as exciting as they should. I guess my biggest issue, though, is that I have no idea how the D-System is meant to fix the dimensional confusion, especially since it seems mostly like a time machine.
OBLIGATORY ASS-SHOT: Really, the only one in this episode. Sorry.