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"The beast of possibility finds its master and soars through a shaken cosmos."

Universal Century 0001
The Earth's population is finally united under The Federation, migration into space colonies begins, and a celebration is underway at the Laplace space station. The space station is blown to tiny bits.
Universal Century 0096
Three years after Char Aznable almost hit the Earth with a giant rock, Banagher Links stumbles across a mysterious and attractive girl calling herself Audrey Burne. Meanwhile, a clandestine deal between the Vist Foundation and renegade Neo Zeon forces led by a Char-lookalike named "Full Frontal", involving an artifact called "Laplace's Box" that's said to contain the power to destroy the Earth Federation if ever opened, goes very, very wrong. Next thing Banagher knows, the colony is collapsing around him and he's fallen into the cockpit of an obscenely powerful mobile suit, the Unicorn Gundam.

Looks like it's back to business as usual, then...


This seven-episode OVA began syndication in 2010 and is based on a novel series by Harutoshi Fukui, famous for his military novels about the Imperial Japanese Army and Kaiju Defense Force, and infamous for adding militaristic flavor and portraying the Japanese military as heroic, which makes Japan's neighbors go a bit... crazy.

As of this reading the first five episodes have been released on Playstation Network and Blu Ray/ DVD. With each episode being released roughly six months apart save for the sixth and seventh episodes, which will take a year each, the series will take about four years to fully air. The last time this occurred was with Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team[1], which took three-and-a-half years.


Note: This page contains spoilers for the completed novel series which the OVA has not reached yet. Highlight with caution.


Gundam Unicorn provides examples of:

  • A Boy And His Gundam
  • Ace Custom: A few:
    • Angelo Sauper's bright purple Geara Zulu, and the RGM-96X Jesta.
    • The Rozen Zulu, a Geara Zulu that uses spare parts from the Sinanju to follow the concept of the Hamma Hamma Cyber-Newtype suit.
  • Affably Evil: Full Frontal
  • Adaptation Distillation: The OVA simplifies many elements of the novels. Among other things, it includes the simplification of the Shamblo, turning it from a 4-man crewed machine to singly piloted, and the circumstances under which the Banshee changes pilots from Marida to Riddhe. Also includes Canon Immigrancy, and Canon Foreigners in terms of new machinery presented.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Sleeves have their equipment stylized after WWII German firearms and accessories, examples being the standard STG-44-lookalike beam rifle, the stahlhelm-like heads of the Geara Doga and Geara Zulu, and even their uniforms. Being The Remnants of the Neo-Zeon movement, this isn't too surprising.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Vist Foundation, keepers of Laplace's Box.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Marida, who has an extreme hatred for the Gundam, ends up piloting a Gundam herself after getting reconditioned by the Vist Foundation. When she finally realizes what happened, she does not take it well.
  • Anti-Villain: The Sleeves, being organised sorts, appear to have rounded up every likeable, sympathetic soldier on their payroll, put them all on a single ship, and called it the Garencieres. In Episode Four, Banagher even gets to become a crew member and help out in a combat operation, though not in any way that the Sleeves' tacticians would have expected at the start of the battle.
  • Animal Motifs: The Unicorn Banshee has the lion motif.
  • Anyone Can Die: The first episode kills in more civilians and Mauve Shirts than any Gundam series in recent history, at least in as rapid of a time as they did it. By the third episode, named players start dying.
  • Artifact of Doom: Laplace's Box could allegedly bring about the demise of the Federation.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Loni's attitude when attacking Torrington, to the point where she gets all the rest of the Zeon Remnants killed due to her unwillingness to retreat.
  • Attack Drone:
    • The Kshatriya possesses twenty four funnels and employs them liberally to overwhelm individual units or engage multiple enemies simultaneously.
    • The Rozen Zulu's rose bits and forearms; the arm parts, however, remaining attached to the suit via cables.
    • The Shamblo also has a number of helicopter drones that help it reflect beams.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Ironically, all related to the Unicorn Gundam:
    • The Unicorn's Beam Magnum can only fire six shots before it needs to be reloaded.
    • The NT-D, which only lasts for five minutes before the pilot is overwhelmed and needs to detect an enemy Newtype before it even activates. Still, that's often more than enough to get the job done, as poor Kshatriya learned the hard way.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The D50C Loto, which doubles as a Transforming Mecha.
  • Batman Gambit Full Frontal LET Banagher leave Palau, putting a type of tracer on the Unicorn so they could track its movements and intercept any data about the Box's location when NT-D is activated. Plus the bum who gave Banagher the note was the Federation's inside man, but he was sent by Frontal.
    • Backfires in Episode 4. Zinnerman tells Banagher during the Battle of Torrington that he's tempted to go down there and add to the casualties himself, possibly just to spur Banagher to leave their ship and put a stop to all the destruction. What he probably didn't expect was to get beaten up instead.
      • Perhaps a double subversion in that Banagher DOES leave the ship to put an end to the casualties, after he beats up Zinnerman.
  • Beam Spam: Marida Cruz is the queen of beam spam, bested only by the Gadaleza and Zabanya. Witness the beginning of the second episode, where Marida uses only the suit-mounted mega-particle cannons against the Unicorn.
  • BFG: Several
    • The ReZEL suits have access to a Mega Beam Launcher.
    • Angelo Sauper's and Gilboa Sant's Geara Zulus uses a Lange Bruno Cannon Kai and a Lange Bruno modified to fire beam shots as opposed to shells
    • Angelo's Geara Zulu later upgrades to a beam shotrifle.
    • The Sinanju's unusually long, lance-like beam rifle, which is faster-firing and harder-hitting than most weapons of its type due to drawing its power from the suit's reactor rather than E-Cap ammunition batteries.
  • BFS: The Sinanju's pair of huge, confusingly-named 'beam axes', which are actually broad-bladed, beam-edged metal swords a la Gundam Seed's anti-ship blades. Whilst they're big enough on their own, they can also be attached to the suit's shield in order to create an absolutely enormous double-edged Blade Below the Shoulder.
  • Berserk Button: Comrade killing. On all sides. But especially inadvisable when you are toting a machine designed to take down the most powerful of foes.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Full Frontal with Neo Zeon, Martha Vist Carbine with the Federation/Vist Foundation.
  • Big Damn Villains: Full Frontal and Angelo at the end of Episode 5.
  • Bigger Is Better: The Unicorn's NT-D Mode increases its height and bulk significantly as its armour slides apart to reveal the psyco-frame. Particularly obvious in the shot of it powering down near the end of Episode 5.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Vist family is almost as screwed up as the Zabis. That's quite a feat.
    • The Marcenas family as well
  • Birds of a Feather / Not So Different:
    • Banagher easily bonds with Audrey after learning they both were "always on the move" as children.
    • The same can be said for Riddhe and Audrey when they discuss their families and the responsibilities that stemmed from being born into them.
  • Bishonen: Some males in the anime adaption.
  • Black and Gray Morality: This is the Universal Century, and the conflict between both the Federation and the Sleeves might result in one being just as bad the other. On the other hand, Banagher, who is caught in the middle, is as white as a unicorn.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Unicorn and Sinanju both have beam sabers built into their forearms in addition to their handheld weaponry, allowing them to strike from a greater variety of angles in melee.
  • Bling of War: While the civilians live in abject poverty, the higher-ranking officers of "The Sleeves" live in a mansion, have the nice uniforms, and haverather decorative embellishments on their mobile suits, especially the Sinanju. For bonus points, they've somehow convinced the civilians that the Federation is the reason they live below the poverty line.
  • Bothering by the Book: What the Garencieres bridge crew does whilst Banagher is beating Zinnerman up. Doubles as an Ironic Echo, seeing as Bothering by the Book was the reason he was getting his face rearranged.
  • Bottomless Magazines: This is averted when Banagher learns this the hard way. During his engagement against the Sinanju, he burns through the Beam Magnum's entire ammo supply by taking unwise shots. While he was only trying to stall for time, that became much more difficult once he couldn't use the magnum anymore.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Banagher's meeting with Audrey starts the whole story.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: In accordance with their rather haphazard resources, the Zeon remnants have some very elderly mobile suits. Even the mighty Kshatriya is dated enough to belong in a museum.
    • This is all relative. Technology is at a point where it is advancing very quickly, as a result the Sinanju and Kshatriya while very advanced at the time of manufacture some three years ago, have become somewhat outdated by 0096. On the other hand, some of the suits used in attack on Torrington seemed to be the actual Zakus.
    • A bit of a subversion lets suits from even the One Year War give a good account of themselves. Beam weapons in the Universal Century are generally able to punch through almost any amount of armor mounted on a normal sized Mobile Suit. Even if outdated in other ways they still only need a solid hit to destroy modern machines.
  • Bring Him to Me: Barely a quarter of the way into episode two, Banagher finds himself overwhelmed in battle and captured. Less than ten minutes later, the viewer sees him taken to Full Frontal.
  • Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: The Sinanju's 'beam axes'. See BFS above.
  • Canon Immigrant: It’s expected in a Gundam series.
    • The Stark Jegan[2] and the Geara Doga Heavy Weapons-Type, having originally been in the MSV files for Char's Counterattack.
    • Same applies for the equipment on Angelo Sauper's and Gilboa Sant's Geara Zulu, as their main weapon is a modified beam firing version of the Lange Bruno cannon that was from the Geara Doga Heavy Weapons-Type.
    • So many in the fourth episode it's not expedient to list them here.
    • The ECOAS "Manhunter" Unit originally appeared as the antagonists of Tomino's Gaia Gear novels. No word yet on what this means for the novels' shaky canonicity.
  • Cool Ship: The Nahel Argama and the Ra Cailum (for Londo Bell), and the Garencieres and Rewloola (for the Sleeves).
  • Conspicuous CG: Most notably with the NT-D transformation.
  • Continuity Nod: Kai Shiden makes a brief cameo appearance in episode 5.
    • When Banagher is trying to connect a tow cable to the Garencieres, he manages to unlock the Unicorn's true power, surrounding both the Garencieres and Nahel Argama in a green light and pulling both ships out of Earth's atmosphere, just like what Amuro did to Axis in Chars Counterattack.
    • Bright still keeps a portrait of Amuro Ray in his office.
  • Crapsack World: Earth has been almost completely robbed of its resources and subjected to at least four Colony Drops, The Federation is barely holding together, both it and what's left of Zeon have distorted their founding ideologies beyond recognition and to the point that both sides are just as bad as each other, and the few Newtypes that do show up invariably get drafted as soldiers and typically end up completely insane.
  • Cycle of Revenge: One of the reasons that the war continues between Zeon and the Federation is because both sides keep performing atrocities as revenge for past atrocities.
  • Darker and Edgier: They dialed up the violence and destruction with this one. We're four episodes in, and Gundam Unicorn is almost rivaling Victory Gundam in utter bleakness.
    • It belongs to the Universal Century timeline. What else can we expect?
  • Eighties Hair: Guilty as charged. Despite the show having started in 2010, everyone has an epic 'do. It might be so it matches the style of previous UC shows, most of which were actually made in The Eighties.
  • Enemy Mine: In Episode Five, Londo Bell and the Sleeves team up to rescue Mineva, Banagher, and the Unicorn, on the grounds that 'if the Vist Foundation is going this far to cover up Laplace's Box, it's probably important'. The Federation planning to sacrifice the Nahel Argama probably helped.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Several examples:
    • The Sleeves aren't terribly fond of civilian casualties, to the point where they're willing to sit back and watch whilst Banagher beats the crap out of their captain for refusing to intervene in a massacre.
    • Alberto is visibly uncomfortable about what the Vist Foundation is putting Marida through. It probably doesn't help that she saved his life.
  • Expy: Again, it's expected in a Gundam series.
    • The Geara Zulu is an Expy of the Zaku II (in-universe explanation states that this is deliberate in an attempt to raise troop morale).
    • The Sleeves repaint of the Dreissen look similar to the original Dom
    • The beam axe wielded by the Sinanju is reminiscent of the energy swords found in Halo, but is actually an Expy of the Sazabi's Axe.
      • The Sinanju itself is basically an upgraded funnel-less Sazabi.
      • The Sinanju also has a similar origin and look to Gerbera Tetra the Sinanju began its life as an Anaheim mobile suit known as the Sinanju Stein before being stolen by The Sleeves and being slightly modified to The Sinanju
    • The Rozen Zulu is an Expy of the Hamma Hamma.
    • The Ankusha, of the Asshimar.
    • The Kshatriya is (literally) a downsized, high-manoeuvrability version of the Quin Mantha.
    • The Unicorn Gundam, in Destroy Mode, resembles the original Gundam, especially with the backpack mounted Beam Sabers. Its beam magnum even fires with the same sound as the RX-78-2's beam rifle, a conscious decision by the producers.
    • There are some in the case of the characters as well
      • If Full Frontal is the Second Coming of Char, then Banagher Links is the Return of Amuro Ray.
      • Having been raised by her now deceased matriarch, Haman Karn, Minerva Lao Zabi (Audrey Burne) inherits her cold, dignified personality traits.
      • Zinnerman holds some of Char's warmer personality traits, and Marida is like his personal Lalah Sune. They even met the same way, Zinnerman found Marida working as a prostitute and Char found Lalah doing likewise. In their case, though, the relationship is parental rather than romantic.
  • Falling Into the Cockpit: Bright Lampshades this trope by point out that literally every single Gundam pilot up to this point, including Banagher, ended up in a Gundam by sheer dumb luck. However, Bright also points out that what sets Gundam pilots apart from everybody else is that they chose to get into the cockpit when the situation presented itself.
  • Free-Fall Fight: A most awesome variation occurs in episode three: Banagher ends up fighting Full Frontal amidst atmospheric reentry. In this case, the danger isn't so much the ground at the bottom, but rather Banagher's Roaring Rampage of Revenge preventing either of them escaping back into space before they burn up.
  • Forever War: At the beginning the series, the Federation and Zeon have been at war with each other for almost twenty years. It's gradually winding down, mostly due to sheer exhaustion, but the Zeon remnants are very persistent.
  • Gatling Good:
    • The Unicorn gets hold of a pair of twin beam gatling guns (originally meant for the Khsatriya) during Banagher's escape from Palau.
    • Gilboa's Geara Zulu also carries one to supplement its cannon, and the Greifer has two projectile-based gatling guns.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: In Episode 5, Mineva escapes the Vist Foundation's Garuda by jumping out in mid-air and requesting that Banagher catch her (she'd lost her parachute moments beforehand). Happily, he has the presence of mind to match speeds before grabbing her in order to ensure that she doesn't go squish.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Vist Foundation's deal with the Sleeves, thanks to a traitor inside the Foundation and a nervous lookout with an itchy trigger finger.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Banagher and Zinnerman's "disagreement" over tactics and ideology on the Garencieres bridge in the fourth episode. The rest of the bridge crew decided not to involve themselves. What's interesting is that despite the size difference Banagher won.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The Unicorn's hatch closes just before Cardeas's body is engulfed in an explosion, despite being averted many times in the preceding colony raid.
  • Groin Attack: Delivered by Banagher during the aforementioned disagreement.
  • Gundamjack: The Sleeves steal the second Unicorn unit, "Banshee", which in turn gets Gundamjacked back by the Nahel Argama crew.
    • Averted in the case of the Unicorn itself since Laplace's Box registered Banagher as its pilot and nobody else can use it.
    • The Sinanju Stein was Gundam Jacked and modified into The Sinanju
  • Gratuitous English: The note Banagher gets in the second episode is written in understandable, but still rather broken, bad English.
  • Haunted Technology: The series reveals that the psycoframe technology introduced in Chars Counterattack has some rather unusual side-effects - namely, it stores echoes of a suit's past pilots. This becomes quite a significant plot point. It's how they made Full Frontal, and the cause of Loni going berserk during the attack on Torrington.
  • He Knows Too Much: The Federation tries to pull this on the Nahel Argama and its crew. End result? Londo Bell goes rogue... again.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dr. Bancroft, a history teacher at Anaheim Electronics Technical School, willingly closes a bunker door from the outside to prevent those inside from being fried by a nuclear blast. It's one of the few truly heroic actions in the whole series so far.
  • He Who Fights Monsters; The Sleeves, who've spent so long trying to pay the Federation back for its misdeeds that they have no understanding of any other way to live.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!!: Loni Garvey is voiced by Karen Straussman, who also voices another attractive pilot of a red mecha.
  • Hostage Situation: Inverted in episode two, when Daguza Mackle holds Mineva Zabi hostage in an attempt to prevent Full Frontal from destroying the Nahel Argama. This then turns into...
    • Hostage for Macguffin: When Full Frontal denies these terms and holds the Nahel Argama hostage in exchange for the Unicorn Gundam.
  • I Am Dying Please Take My Gundam: How Banagher receives the Unicorn at the end of the first episode.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Banagher attempts to reach out to Loni in episode four and very nearly succeeds.
    • He has better luck in Episode 5 with Marida, thanks to help from Zinnerman and Riddhe.
  • Interrupted Cooldown Hug: Riddhe tried one when Banagher and Zinnerman were trying to defuse a Brainwashed and Crazy Marida. He failed spectacularly - see Nice Job Fixing It, Villain below.
  • Lampshade Hanging: At one point in episode three, Banagher calls the search for Laplace's Box a "crazy treasure hunt".
    • Garencieres' mechanic lampshading the Anacheim Electronics' pouring the fuel into the EF-(Neo)Zeon's wars' fire.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Sleeves have two:
    • The Sinanju prompts this response from one of the Londo Bell officers:

 Bridge officer: The lead machine is approaching at... three times the speed of the others!

    • The Shamblo is a red mobile armour that single handedly lays waste to Dakar and the forces at Torrington Base.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Kshatriya is remarkably fast given its bulk and firepower, but even it pales in comparison to the Sinanju, Unicorn, and Banshee.
  • Light Is Good: The completely white Unicorn Gundam, whose name is based on a beast of light and possibilities, mostly because it's piloted by the good-hearted kid serving as our protagonist. However...
  • Light Is Not Good: Marida stated that Zeon replaced the light of God for the spacenoids, even using the phrase "a new light called Zeon". Moreover, the Unicorn itself has a nasty habit of going all Super-Powered Evil Side when there are other Newtypes around, which is a bit of a problem if the pilot doesn't want to reduce them to a bloody smear across the cosmos.
  • Linked-List Clue Methodology: The Unicorn Gundam and its La+ OS can only be activated at certain times and places to unlock the next clue, eventually unlocking what's contained in Laplace's Box.
  • Love Triangle: In the novels, there is Micott/Banagher/Audrey, and later, Banagher/Audrey/Riddhe. Both of them have been carried over intact into the anime.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Cardeas Vist to Banagher Links, though subverted as it turns out Banagher knew it all along and just didn't remember very well.
    • Of course, thus far the anime has also raised the possibility that his parents wiped his memories.
  • MacGuffin: Laplace's Box.
  • Malicious Slander: Possible example. When Banagher is eating with Gilboa's family after being captured, one of the kids claims that anyone held prisoner by the E.F.S.F will be denied food, his defense being "his dad told him so." This definitely isn't official Federation policy, but given the setting, it's still not implausible that Gilboa himself was starved during his previous run-ins with their military.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Neo Zeon remnants are called "the Sleeves" due to the decorative patterns on the forearms of their mobile suits, on the other end the ECOAS are referred to as the "Manhunter unit" due to their stated mission of hunting down the Neo Zeon remnants.
    • Full Frontal, which stands for full frontal assault, is a shout out to the missing-in-action Char Aznable's combat style.
    • Extends to the mobile suits too:
      • The Unicorn is named after the mythical creature who's name means The Beast of Possibilities (something that Banagher does comment on).
      • The Kshatriya is named for the military and ruling order of one of the four social classes of Hinduism.
      • The Sinanju is named for a fictional style of martial arts (which is supposed to be the original base of all martial arts, with all other forms of martial arts being watered-down imitations) from a paperback book series known as The Destroyer.
        • The Sinanju Stein with Stein meaning "stone" in German and Norwegian. The Sinanju Stein is also referred to as "The stone from which Full Frontal's Sinanju was hewn.
      • The Banshee is named after a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.
      • The Klimt, a Vist Foundation ship used under the guise of transporting works of art to and from the colonies, is named after Gustav Klimt.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: The Stark Jegan and the Unicorn's Full Armor configuration grant the mobile suits in question an increased array of weapons..
  • Mecha-Mooks: This is subverted when the Londo Bell forces and ECOAS special operations units actually put up a decent fight against the Kshatriya.
  • Mega Corp: Anaheim Electronics, though it no longer has a monopoly with the introduction of SNRI, who made the D50C Loto.
  • The Men in Black: The Vist Foundation has a generous supply.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade:
    • Riddhe Marcenas gets two of these, upgrading from his ReZEL to the Delta Plus, and then upgrades that to the Unicorn Unit 02 "Banshee" after they reclaim it from the Sleeves. What makes this interesting is that it happens to one of the supporting cast rather than the main character.
    • Angelo Sauper gets one in the form of the Rozen Zulu.
    • Banagher gets one, from Unicorn to Full Armor Unicorn
  • Milking the Giant Cow: The Unicorn made quite the hand gesture when it took control of Kshatriya's funnels.
    • Of course the Unicorn was crushing it, as opposed to milking it.
  • Mind Hug: Banagher tries a near-literal version on Loni in order to persuade her to stop her murderous rampage. Unfortunately, her malfunctioning psycommu got in the way.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Tolro-800 "Torohachi" petite mobile suit.
  • Morality Pet: Marida Cruz for the cast as a whole, and especially her fellow Sleeves. If you want a quick shorthand as to a character's moral alignment, check out how they interact with her.
  • My Hero Zero: The Unicorn Gundam's official designation is RX-0.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In order to allow the Unicorn to unlock the next stage in the La+ program, the Zeon Remnants stage a full scale attack on the Federation base at Torrington. However, all this accomplishes is gathering all of the remaining Zeon resistance on Earth in one place to get annihilated.
    • On the Federation's side, meanwhile, Riddhe's deranged ranting turns out to be exactly the little nudge Marida needs to break her Vist Foundation brainwashing.
  • No Export for You: Australia is one of the countries not listed as part of the international March 12 release, to the annoyance of some fans. Others hope that Madman Entertainment will be able to get distribution rights somehow, rather than having to Keep Circulating the Tapes.
    • As of June 2011 Madman have released the first episode... but only on DVD. No word regarding a possible Blu-Ray release.
    • Of course, the Blu-Rays are region free anyway, which is probably for the best for Western fans given that Amazon US stopped offering them after the first episode and Amazon in other regions never offered them in the first place.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Zeon Remnants might possibly have won the Battle of Torrington if they'd been a little less squeamish about civilian casualties.
    • Marida saves Alberto from being sucked into space after the Nahel Argama suffers a breach in its hull. She is later taken by Alberto to Augusta, where she is mentally tortured by his aunt, Martha to essentially turn her into a slave soldier. Later afterwards, she dies protecting the Nahel Argama. Karma really worked with her.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Unicorn vs. Kshatriya, Round 3 is without question the most brutal one-on-one fight yet depicted in Gundam.
    • Banagher does this to Zinnerman after he calls him out on his hypocrisy. Amusingly enough, Zinnerman's crew pretend not to notice.
      • They noticed it pretty well, please and thank you. They just refused to get involved. Flaste specifically said to Zinnerman that he's on his own there.
    • Marida administers one to Riddhe's Delta Plus in Episode 5 for looking too much like a Gundam during a time of severe emotional stress.
  • Number of the Beast: The Kshatriya's official designation is NZ-666.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: While the Sleeves have some crappy and outdated stuff, it still would take a lot of money to have all of what they do.
    • They're funded by sympathisers, like the Governor of Palau. Also, they get free suits from Anaheim Electronics, whose want to keep the Federation and Zeon fighting to stay in the black. In this respect its possible that the Sleeves not so much stole the Sinanju but it was given to them by Anaheim, this is perhaps further supported by the fact that the thing looks like a more refined version of Sazabi.
  • Offhand Backhand: During episode three, the Unicorn Gundam is fighting against two Geara Zulus. After using its shield to block a beam rifle attack it uses the beam saber on its right arm to slice off the flanking Geara Zulu's weapon arm, stabs through the left side of its cockpit, and tosses it aside. All within the span of about two seconds.
  • The Other Darrin: Ken Narita as Bright Noa, replacing Hirotaka Suzuoki, who tragically died of lung cancer in 2006.
  • Praetorian Guard: Full Frontal's bodyguards, at least two of which were killed, pretty easily, by Banagher, making them something of a Redshirt Army.
  • Psychic Powers: Welcome back to Universal Century; there will be Newtypes. So far we have Audrey/Mineva, Marida, Banagher, Riddhe, Full Frontal, and Loni.
  • Punch Clock Villain: When Banagher is taken to Palau, he finds that the rank and file Sleeves members are Not So Different, and even befriends or at least earns the respect of a few of them.
  • Put on a Bus: The crew of the Nahel Argama don't show up at all in episode 4 since they're being quarantined by the Federation for their role in trying to find Laplace's Box.
  • Recycled in Space:
    • The show is essentially The Da Vinci Code with Humongous Mecha. Replace "Priory of Sion" with "Vist Foundation", the cryptex with the Unicorn Gundam, and the Grail with Laplace's Box and you have the overall plot of Gundam Unicorn.
      • Extremely good analogy; in The Da Vinci Code, the reveal of the Grail would prove Jesus was human, which would simultaneously cripple religious fanatics and ruin the Church's humanitarian efforts. The reveal of Laplace's Box would show that the Earth not only granted the initial colonists the right to self-rule, but predicted the birth of Newtypes, which Zeon could spin into a philosophical right to rule not only the Colonies, but all humanity.
    • Gundam Unicorn is also The Lion and the Unicorn in Space, with the Unicorn obviously being the unicorn and the Unicorn "Banshee" being the lion and Audrey being The Lady.
  • Retirony: Gilboa promises to return to his family when he has to leave for another assignment. Guess what happens on his very next mission?
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: What it all really boils down to.
  • Rocket Punch: Variation; the Loto has missile launchers for its forearms.
  • Shoot the Dog: In Episode 4 Banagher can't bring himself to kill Loni, so Riddhe grabs the Unicorn's beam magnum and takes the shot instead.
  • Shout-Out: Audrey Burne is named after Audrey Hepburn. There is even a movie poster named Runaway Princess, a blatant Shout-Out to Roman Holiday.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: One of the recurring themes of the series is how children are cursed to carry on the grudges borne by their parents. In poor Loni's case, it's literal.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Sleeves' plan to take Torrington Base might have actually worked if Loni's psycommu hadn't malfunctioned, causing her to start massacring civilians and forcing them to deploy Banagher to take out their own superweapon.
  • Spit Take: After reading an emergency communiqué in episode five, Captain Midas sprays tea on the bridge officers in surprise.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: There's a reason why you should try to aim away from a mobile suit's Minovsky reactor... especially inside colonies.
  • Super Mode: The NT-D. Overlaps with...
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: The Unicorn's Destroy Mode gives off this feel, especially in episode three.
  • Super Prototype: Invoked as a cover story. The Unicorn was sold to the Vist Foundation's backers as a test-bed for full-body psycoframe technology. The truth was rather more complicated. Its sister unit, the Banshee, plays it straight, being designed purely for military testing rather than, say, destabilising the entire Federation. Not that we're implying anything, of course.
    • In novel, Unicorn has mass production model call Jesta which lacks psychoframe and NT-D, but still far more powerful than old Jegan.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The Unicorn's AI spoke fluent English in the Japanese version, when Cardeas Vist and an Anaheim employee were testing it.
    • Also in the first episode, the Earth Federation's Prime Minister speaks in Japanese, with an English voice translating what he says shortly after (presumably an interpreter).
    • The opening conversation of episode 5 is done completely in English. Both speak perfect English, though Torrington Control lacks any obvious accent while the Vist Foundation speaker has a heavy Asian accent.
  • Tender Tears: During a conversation with Zinnerman, Banagher breaks down in tears over the pointlessness of the Federation/Zeon conflict. He apologizes to Zinnerman because men shouldn't cry, but Zinnerman points out that crying means he cares. He also remarks that he would never trust a man that doesn't cry.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: The Sleeves are a rather tragic example. They're theoretically fighting for the restoration of Zeon, but the truth is that they've been at it so long that it's all they know how to do.
  • Thwarted Escape: Subverted. Micott interfered with Riddhe and Audrey's escape to Earth. After hearing them out, she reluctantly lets them go.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Justified: During the Unicorn's first activation of its NT-D, Marida has Kshatriya activate all 24 of its funnels so she can blast this new Gundam to all hell before it can finish doing whatever it's doing. They line up, fire... and the beams bend around the Unicorn as it deploys an I-field specifically designed to prevent the Unicorn from being shot down during its transformation.
  • Transforming Mecha: The ReZEL, Delta Plus, Ankusha, Shamblo, Loto (the only difference being the first two change into a spacecraft while the latter changes into a tank) and of course the Unicorn and Banshee.
  • Villainous Rescue: Episode 5 contains two in a row. The first one (which overlaps with Big Damn Heroes, considering who it involves) has the Garencieres crew rescue Mineva, Banagher, the Unicorn, and (as an added bonus) Marida from the Vist Foundation, whilst the Nahel Argama provides support. The second one has Frontal and Angelo rescue everyone when the General Revil arrives to silence them.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Sleeves and Neo Zeon have good publicity in the Palau colony.
  • War for Fun and Profit: One cannot stop thinking that Anacheim Electronics have stirred most of the Earth Sphere wars since OYW to sell mobile suits to both sides. Actually lampshaded by Tomura, the Garencieres' mechanic, while discussing with Banagher why the EF and Zeon's hardware is compatible.
  • War Is Hell:
    • In the first episode alone we're treated to such things as a mobile suit pilot getting the lower half of his body incinerated by a beam saber, fleeing civilians being vaporized by stray shots from beam cannons, a nuclear blast from an exploding Minovsky reactor ripping a hole in the colony, civilians being crushed by falling mobile suit limbs, and other rather messy deaths.
    • As bad as the Industrial 7 battle is, it pales in comparison to the Dakar and Torrington massacre by the massive AMA-X7 Shamblo mobile armor.
  • Wave Motion Gun:
    • The Unicorn has a specialized beam rifle called a "Beam Magnum", which fires shots equal in power to a battleship-grade mega particle cannon (a shot in normal mode being powerful enough to rip through an asteroid without slowing down and another shot destroying a Geara Zulu by just passing near it). Unfortunately, to achieve such a yield it drains an entire E-pac in one shot, requiring it to use a specialized setup consisting of six normal E-pacs stacked together.
    • The Nahel Argama's Hyper Mega Particle Cannon packs enough power to push away a colonized asteroid while blasting a giant hole in it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Banagher delivers this several times[3], all to rather dangerous people to be calling out:
      • To Cardeas Vist when Industrial 7 is attacked.
      • To Audrey when she attempts to get Banagher to escape with her from the Nahel Argama.
      • To Audrey again when she tries to persuade Daguza to shoot her when her identity as Mineva Lao Zabi is revealed
      • to Daguza (see below) for involving Audrey in the conflict (who in turn delivers his own Hannibal Lecture)
      • To Full Frontal for continuing his attack.
      • To Zinnerman for sitting back and doing nothing as Zeon Remnants begin slaughtering civilians, even after he acknowledged that the hatred against Zeon was partially justified.
    • In return, Angelo lashes out at Banagher for accidentally killing a Neo Zeon pilot with a stray shot.
    • Full Frontal muses that Cardeas Vist may have deliberately designed the La+ program to remind and call out Zeon on their past crimes when the next set of coordinates leads them to the impact site of Zeon's first Colony Drop.
  • Whip Beam Rifle: The Bashee's Armed Armor BS, otherwise known as a Beam Smart Gun. Where other beam weapons travel in a straight line, the beams from the BS have a characteristic "instability" where it flails about wildly, meaning it can catch pilots who merely dodge to the side.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Banshee's Armed Armor VN. Also a Vibroweapon, and can act as a Power Fist when closed up.

So... what's Laplace's Box?

Notes

  1. In the case of the former, the original director actually died, thus causing delays. In Unicorn's case, the release timing is attributed to the time required to produce each episode.
  2. The Stark Jegan was originally slightly different in the first episode, but, in episodes two and three began to use more or less the exact lineart of the original, officially calling it the "Prototype Stark Jegan."
  3. In fact, Marida speculates that this willingness to question himself and others is what makes him a truly worthy pilot for the Unicorn
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