Sakuracon 2013

•04/07/2013 • Leave a Comment

Hello all, once again comes Scififantasyanimeman. It’s time for another year of great cosplays and great memories. Last year was pretty rough for yours truly. My stepfather had a nasty health scare which turned up to be hyperthyroidism, and my Mom had some gall bladder stones and a couple of growths on her kidneys. They turned out to be benign but oh boy add to that the fact that the kitchen in my family’s home got remodeled and oh boy, last year was the pits. I’m hoping that the years to come, including this year, are much better. As it stands my parents are lucky they made it through last year alive. And let me tell you it’s things like this that scare the daylights out of anyone and cause them to reasses things. Thus far, thank God for small favors, this year has been relaively quiet. Also this year in a change of pace I’ve put some stuff up on my Youtube channel where I’m known as Animeman73. I’ll give you some information on what to type in the search space at the end of the blog entry. Anyway here we go.

DSCN0167 This, ladies and gentlemen, is the hotel I stayed at this year. I give you, The Roosevelt. It was the closest hotel to the convention I could find at a reasonable price. The hotel is one of the oldest in Seattle. While it was comfortable it was also just a tad bit small, especially the shower and bathroom area. But I had to make due with what I had. Note to self for next year, make sure I keep an eye on Sakuracon’s website to get a good priced hotel room that’s at least reasonably close. Also they don’t exactly have a large area for parking. This is a hotel that while good is from a time when there were fewer people on the planet. Oh well, overall I do give this hotel a raving recommendation.

DSCN0168 Okay there’s a bit of a tale here. After getting my hotel room and going through my traditional SUBWAY sandwich before the convention I went back to my room for a bit. Then I suddenly realized that my swag bag had come with no lanyard for my badge. So I went back and had to wait for hours in line for the management. There I discovered, to my dismay, that they’d run out of lanyards for this year. To quote a certain bald-headed kid “Good Grief”. Sighing in consteration I left cursing my ill-fortune and the fact I hadn’t gotten any cosplayers yet. However, lady luck was about to shine a better face on me. While coming out of the check-in area for convention goers, who do I happen to run across, but this this fellow dressed as none other than Doctor Who number 4, played by Tom Baker. This Doctor was always my favorite. And it does my heart a world of good to see the younger generation showing respect for the old school of Doctor Who. The best thing of all this young fellow here had a little prop sonic screrwdriver to add to his cosplay. I love a cosplayer who shows such dedication to details. Whoever you are, in real life sir, my proverbial hat is taken off to you for your dedication and hard work on this outfit. As for the lanyard a quick trip to a convieniently placed Sakuracon merchandise booth fixed that little detail. Afterwards all was well with the universe again.

DSCN0169 On Day 1, with high hopes and a zest for photographing, I set off on my journey into the realm of Sakuracon cosplayers. I came across this nifty little creation. This is where I wish I’d brought a small notepad to take down names. The name of this character seems to escape me at the moment. So I can’t say which anime it’s from. If anyone out there has any ideas as to who this is please let me know, and I’ll be happy to give you proper credit in the author’s notes at the end of this blog entry. As I said I love watching cosplayers dress up and do their thing, espcially the female cosplayers. Some of the costumes are absoluteloy fantastic. They might freak out some but Japanese anime is what it is. And that’s exactly how I like it.

DSCN0170 Here’s another time that I wish I’d brought my notepad with me. This lovely lady has a very classic, very Victorian-esque cosplay here. It looks like something from Hellsing but I might be wrong. Again, if anyone knows this character please let me know as soon as possible. Whoever you are young lady, this is a fantastic cosplay and I absolutely love it. You did an excellent job with this outfit and you should be proud. Gothic/Victorian and anime are two things that in my opinion were always meant to go tiogether. And this lovely lady here is living proof of that.

DSCN0171 Now HERE is an anime character I’m VERY familliar with. I give you the diabolically villianous James, of Team Rocket. He’s part of the duo with his female counterpart Jessie, and their talking, scheming Pokemon Meowth. Jessie, James, and Meowth have sworn to casue chaos, help their organization, Team Rocket, take over the world, and steal series protaganist Ash Ketchum’s Pokemon, Pikachu. Talk about obssessive, they’ve been trying this since series one but to no avail as Ash somehow manages to protect Pikachu/save him and, with his Pokemon’s help, gives James, Jessie, and Meowth a shockking Surprrise and send them literally fl;ying. Oh well, the bad guys always have to get their comuppance in Pokemon somehow. And this man here has captured the essence of James the gentleman snob of Team Rocket.

DSCN0172 Now this is an interesting fellow I found on the fourth floor of the great western Trade and Convention Center. This guy looks like a cross between something out of the Neverwinter nights games, and a much darker, even terrifying, fantasy game called Dark Souls. In Neverwinter Nights, your character must traipse around the region around the city of Neverwinter in order to solve quests and seek solutions for various problems in each chapter of the game. The player character can be any number of professions and races. Dark Souls, is a game for the console and PC. In it the character takes on the role of an undead being, yeah you heard me, sent to the Undead Asylum in the far north. The character can be any profession the game allows. But if the charcter can get out of the asylum that’s only the beginning of an incredible adventure. What makes the game so good is you just can’t go in and hack and slash. instead you have to think, plan and straegize your moves because any creature in that game acan kill your charcter. And what’s worse if your charcter can reach a bonfire they can heal, turn human, and refill their magical healing flask. The problem is, it allows all the monsters in the area to regenerate. Ooh talk about a double-bladed sword. This fellow is truly an enthusisast for the fantasy craft as you can see by the quality with which he put together this knightly suit of armor. You sir, have my most sincere compliments ona fine job.

DSCN0173 And for my next photo, here we have Lelouch as Zero from the series Code Geass. In an oppresive alternate time, the Brittanian Empire rules the world with an iron fist. Lelouch is a prince of that family. And his father has been constantly using him in his own selfish schemees. Talk about a father with a God complex. Lelouch decides that enough is enough so he decides to don the attire and mask of a vigilante leader named, Zero. And with his speacial power, given to him by a mysterious young girl with her own form of the power called Geass, sets out to free the world from the oppression of the Brittanian Empire so that the people can concentrate on the problems of poverty and hunger. Noble goals, but the way Lelouch/Zero goes about them is in a rather Macchiovellian way. The series is a first rate tale of intrigue, backstabbing, plot twists, and strange alliances, all while using giant fightning mechs. Now that’s the kind of drama we guys can get into. And this fellow here, has captured the esscenec of Lelouch/Zero down to the smallest detail. Well done sir, well done I say!

DSCN0174 And who do we have here? Why it’s Legolas, the elf from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Legolas was a master archer and an elf. He’s the person who played is also one of those who left a number of the ladies liking what they saw. This cosplayer here captures the esscence of the charcter J.R.R. Tolkien created. The Lord of the Rings was a huge box office smash hit and I’m proud to say I saw all three movies and loved every minute of them. I just recently saw The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey and it loks as though it’s going to be as epic as Lod of the Rings was. The thing I’ve always liked about anime conventions is this, it was something aco-paneluist at one of my panels pointed out, “Anime fans don’t segragate.” And it’s true they don’t. At an anime convention you’ll seeStar Wars charcters, Star Trek, Charcters, Lord of the Rings, Harry potter, and all srts of different charcters. And this is what makes anime conventions so awesome.

DSCN0175 And it’s not just movie, and T.V. show characters at anime conventions. Here we have someone dressed as a character from out of a video game series. The game is called, Assassin’s Creed. The fellow is dressed up as, Altair, the protagonist from the first Assassin’s Creed game. Altair is a member of a secret society of Assassins who are bent on protecting the world from anopther secret society called, The Templars, said enem,y group want to enslave mankind and take away their free will. The character of Altair existed during the time of King Richard and the Crusades in the land of Jerusalem. It’s a deliciously complex and crazy story and game created by Ubisoft. The irony of it is, Ubisoft are the ones who bought the Might and Magic series after 3D0, the company that originally produced Might and Magic, went bankrupt. I have learned that Ubisoft is planning to make a new turn-based, single-player Might and Magic game called Might and Magic X: Legacy. In my opinion it’s about time. But I digress, this cosplayer here captures the esscence of Altair (Pronounced: Al-Tie-Ear). In the course of the game Altair has to relearn his skills and discover the terrible truth of what’s been going on around him. You want to know more you’ll just have to play the game to see.

DSCN0176 And here we have my broski, and good buddy, Agent of the Divine One. He’s chosen to dress as Sub-Zero from the Mortal kombat series. Sub-Zero was a character wwho has the ability to control ice. With that terrible power he could literally freeze his opponents in their tracks turning them into life-sized frozen corpses for him to smash. The Mortal Kombat games have been around for a long time, and they’ve always been noted for being bloody and extremely brutal. In short, the Mortal Kombat games are most certainly NOT for the kids. I knew that Agent was going to be Sub-Zero but I’ll say this, the way he went about creating his costume was absolutely fantastic. I love cosplayers whop are willing to go the extra mile for their art.

DSCN0177 The merchant’s hall and the area just outside it are great places to shoot cosplay characters. And this year was no exception. In my quest to complete my collection of Claymore manga, and fulfill my yearly tradition of good-naturedly harassing the Kumoricon reps there, I came across this fine cosplayer. This gentleman is dressed as Sephiroth from the Final Fantasy series. Sephiroth was the main villian of, Final Fantasy 7. The thing that made this game so depressing was because the main character, Cloud, at the end did not get the love interest. Instead she dies by Sephiroth’s blade as part of his crazy plan to make himself into the very world itself. I have a couple of friends on Skype who have played that game. Their thoughts were when Cloud’s love interest dies, “It’s ON now!”. I can understand because I prefer endings where the guy gets the girl. When people become attached to the characters then well it means the people who made the game have done their job. Okay the graphics for Final fantasy 7 weren’t exactly the greatest but they were pretty good. And the characters Cloud and Sepiroth would later go on to make appearances in the game series, Kingdom Hearts. Overall this is a fantasic cosplay froma great gaming series.

DSCN0178 And goodness, gracious me, who do we have here? Why it’s Maxmillian Pegasus, or Pegasus J. Crawford as he’s known in the Japanese version. He’s from one of my all-time favorite animes Yu-Gi-Oh. I enjoy it not just for the duels but also for the character development, and ideas of friendship and honor suceeding. Admittedly the Japanese version of the series is more gritty than the version hee in the states. But that has to do with other circumstances. Pegasus in Season 1, Season 2 in the Japanese version, was an enmey for a while as he captured the soul of Yugi’s grandfather and forced the litle spiky-haired duelist to participate in Duelist kingdom, his Duel Monsters tournament. Pegasus possesed a powerful magical artifact called, The Millenium Eye, with it he could read people’s minds and steal their souls. It was all part of his misguided efforts to ressurect his dead wife, Cecilia. As to what happens check oput the series and see qwhat happens. But this person here captures Pegasus down to the glass of “wine”/grape juice that he drinks.

DSCN0179 And here we have a charcter from the anime/manga Rosario + Vampire. This is an anime and manga that is definitely not for the kids. There’s a lot of adult subject matter and humor. in it a student unwittingly enrolls in a High school for monsters. He comes across a particularly lovely young girl, his own age seemingly, who just happens to be a vampire. Ther series is interesting and only gets better. this charcter however is from the manga. I can’t quite remember this fellow’s name. It’s times like this I wish I’d brought my notepad to write these things down. I must make a note of this for Kumoricon. If anyone knows the name of this charcter then feel free to let me know.

DSCN0180 And here is a goofy and yet formidable character from Full Metal Alchemist. Meet Maes Hughes. He’s got a penchant for driving Col. Mustang, and others, up the wall with his chatter about his family and his penchant for showing off photos of his daughter. Yeah, he’s a doting father in the most extreme sort of way. Unfortunately in the course of the series he ends up getting killed. It’s sad because I rather liked the charcter. And so did protaganist Edward Elric. Hughes in spite of his goofy appearance was also a formidable officer of the state. give this guy a knife and he could do some serious harm to the bad guys. I’ve had the pelasure of meeting Highes’ dub voice, Sonny Strait. Mr. Strait is a wonderful man, and I have nothing but the highest praise for the man’s cgharcter, and his skill in acting and artistry. This cosplayer here captures the goofiness of Maes Hughes to the letter. But then again i never met a cosplay I didn’t like.

DSCN0181 And here comes more trouble, make it double. We have another couple of Team Rocket agents. It still amazes me how a show from the 90′s such as Pokemon continues to retain it’s popularity. Some have said that Pokemon has started to go downhill others say it’s just getting bigger. Me, it doesn’t really matter. ALl that matters is capturing these fantastic cosplays and immortalizing them on the internet. Ahh the wonders of the digital age. Who’d have ever th0ought when i was a kid that we’d have cameras that could shoot still pictures and shoot movies. There’s definitely something to be said for living in the present.

DSCN0183 Moon Healing activation! Here, as a shout out to Peach Wookiee, are the Sailor Scouts and friend posing for the camera. Sailor Moon has been one of the most enduring of the Magical girl genre of animes. Sailor Moon is quite contradictory to her super hero self. Her real self is a clumsy, slacking girl who barely knows what to do with her life. Then she has saving the world cast on her. Oh boy talk about BIG responsibility. Anyway, I caught these lovely young ladies at the entrance to the merchant’s Hall or Dealer’s Hall. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about cosplay is what the ladies are going to wear as a costume. They can range from cute, to downright sexy. Fortunately being a classy kind of guy I don’t “perv out”. That is, I don’t do anything to make the ladies in cosplay feel uncomfortable. I pride myself on having class and treating people with class. I find it’s a great way to get around in this life.

DSCN0182 There is no peace only passion. Here we have a Sith lord. These are Jedi who utilize the dark side of the force. They can be opretty nasty espcially the master level Sith lords. Palpatine, from the original Star Wars series, was clear indication of that and Darth Vader was no slouch either. It’s amazing to me how Star Wars has come so far since Episode 4: A new hope made it’s debut in the 70′s. Unfortunately LucasArts, the company that made Star Wars stuff, has gone six feet under, and the franchise for Star Wars has been bought oput by Disney. I admit I’m not too happy with Lucasarts being shut down. And some have said that Disney is going to ruin Star Wars like they ruined Marvel. Me, I’ll sit back and wait for them to take action then I’ll judge. We’ll see the truth of what Disney has in mind for the Star Wars universe soon enough.

DSCN0187 And here is the first of my celebrity photos. This gentleman alongside yours truly is John Swasey. This man is just one of the m0ost veteran voice actors in anime. Having done anime since 1997 he’s done work for ADV Films, FUNimation, and Illumitoons. Among the many charcters to his credit are Gendo from Evangelion, Kogaro from Sgt. Frog, Sir Crocodile from One Piece, Karl Haushofer in Full Metal Alchemist, and Lord Death in SOul Eater to name a few of his many accomplishments.This man is quite the voice actor and he still has quite the ability to project and his voices are unmatched. This is a man who has nothing but my utmost respect for his abil;ity and his genuinely affable personality. My thanks to you Mr. Swasety for allowing me to be photographeed with you.

DSCN0188 It’s a sure sign that you’re getting older when the voice actors start getting younger than you. Such is the case for me with this young man right here. This voice actor has some distinguished history in his family. This man has been voice acting since he was 8 and his father was the one who actually got him into the business. I give you Bryce Papenbrook. Among his repotoire of voice aacting accomplishments are Zidane Tribal in Final Fantasy Dissidia, Guan Ping in Dynasty Warriors, Jack in MAR, Hanabusa Aido in Vampire Knight, and Isami Fujiwara in Noein. It takes guts tio willingly walk in the same profession as a parent. But it looks like Mr. papenbrook here who’s a good natured kind of fellow will be around for many years to come.

DSCN0189 And here’s a shout out to Lobo Argost. Here’s the ultimate knucklehead ninja getting ready to save the world. Here’s, Naruto, the main character from the anime of the same name. For those who don’t know this series Naruto was born with the spirit of a creature known as the nine-tailed fox within him. For a lot of his young life he was generally picked on and seen as a fool by the rest of his home the hidden Leaf village. But as he’s gotten older he’s gained mopre respect friom the people of his village and his country. Naruto’s ultimate goal is to become Hokage, the ruler, of the Hidden Leaf country, and defeat his arch-rival Sasuske Uchiha (Pronopunced: Sauce-Kay Ooo-Cheee-Uh). Incidentally Lobo Argost has made it no secret he’s not a big Sauske fan, and to tell the truth I found his personally rather grating on me. But different strokes for different folks. Some people love Sauske’s character, why this is so I don’t know. But people are entitled to their opinions and I’ll not try and change them.

DSCN0190 And for my next picture who is this eccentric-looking fellow? Why it’s none other than Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. This screwball character was created by comedian/actor Jim Carrey. He starred in two Ace ventura movies. Personally I always thought the first one was the best. As for Jim carrey himself, he started off as a stand-up comedian then went on to a failed T.V. Show and some campy movies in the 80′s including Earth Girls are easy. But Jim Carrey really got his break when he once again teamed up with Earth girls are Easy co-star Damon Wayans for the sketch T.V. comedy show “In Living Color’. that show would run for many years in the early 90′s and it gave Jim Carrey the chance to cook up all sorts of insane charcters including, Fire Marshall Bill. From there it was on to Ace Ventura, and The Mask and well many of you Jim Carrey fans out there know the rest of the sotry. I’ve seen some of Jim Carrey’s stuff and I actually think that he’s pretty funny. That’s my personal opinion. As for this fellow, I believe I found him on the night of Day 1 and I thought to mysself that if I don’t get this cosplayer’s picture I’ll never forgive myself! The resemblance to Ace Ventura is astonishing. I don’t know how you pulled this off sir. But to whoever is behind this cosplay of Ace Ventura I say, kudos to you sir, kudos.

DSCN0191 And here’s a couple charcters from an anime I most certainly know of. This pair are dressed as Spike Spiegel and Faye Vallentine from the show, Cowboy Bebop. Both are rather interesting characters. Both are bounty hunters on the same team. Spike used to be a member of a crime syndicate but fell in lovewitha guirl and well…disaster incurred. As for Faye Vallentine she was awakened from Cryogenic freeze with no memory of who she was in a different time and place. Cowboy Bebop while it was set in the future with spaceships was still pretty gritty and dark. That was one of the things that made the show so good that and in the dub version Steve Blum’s voice as Spike made for some great lines from that show. This show is definately not for kids. That’s why it from time to time still pops up on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. Unfortunateloy Adult Swim isn’t what it used to be. Still I recommend buying the series. Cowboy Bebop is a first rate science fiction drama. And these cospl;ayers here capture the esscence of Spike and Faye.

DSCN0197 With the onset of Day 2, I decided to tone down the picture taking because I didn’t want to end up with 50 pictures again. So I decided to be very cautious. Still, when I saw this cosplay during the day I just had to get a shot. This is, Alphonse Elric, the younger brother of Edward Elric. A disaster invovling alchemy placed Alphonse’s soul inside this suit of armor. The tragic irony is Edward and Alphonse were trying to ressurect their dead mother. Unfortunately in the alchemy laws of the universe of Full Metal Alchemist that’s a card-carrying no-no. The end result was Alphonse resided in that suit of armor and Edward lost an arm. Boy alchemy is like playing with fire. Pklay with it inproperly and yopu’ll get burned. In the original Full Metal Alchemist Aaron Ditsuke played the part of Alphonse. But in Full Metal ALchemist: brotherhood a voice actress took over the role of Alphonse. Which was understandable as young Mr. Ditsuke’s voice had deepened because of maturity. That’s just how it goes. As for this cosplayer I found them in the Levekl 4 area of the convention center where the main events and the autograph area. It’s pretty big and it has a nifty snack bar area where you cn buy stuff to eat including pizza, pretzels, chips, fruit, and soft drinks just to name a few things. I have to say whoever isd beneath this cosplay you did a terrrific job of putting together this fantastic cosplay.

DSCN0198 Now this is literally what i call…heavy metal. This fellow here is dressed as a Gundum. Gundums are gigantic robotic fighting machines shaped like humans. Usually they’re piloted by humans. There have been many incarnations of the Gundum series from the original Gundum to the recently released Gundum Unicorn. My own personal favorite of all the Gundum series is Gundum Wing. Of course that was also the first series I watched when Toonami wa in prime Time on Cartoon Network. The Gundums are still being made but unfortunately bandai the company that makes the shows has gone six feet under due in many ways to online piracy. It’s sad that some people don’t care about the consequences of their actions enough to think about what they’re doing to the industry. There are a lot of people out there who work hard to bring these programs to the states. And yet some people only care about themselves and would rather cheat the system than pay fair and legal for it. Perhaps it’s things like this that should make us all take a good long look at ourselves and the unintended consequences of our actions. But again, i digress. This fellow here I don’t envy the costume they’re wearing it looks really bulky and heavy. Still, it’s an awesome costume and i absolutely had to take a shot of this.

DSCN0199 And who do we have here? Why it’s Arthur, King of the Britons and his trusty squire. The come from Camelot where Arthur leads the knights of the round table, who dance whenever they’re able. But seriously they’re from one of the best comedy classics of all time Monty Python and the Holy grail. Arthur was played by Graham Chapman who unfortunately passed away a number of years ago. But even in his death Chapman chose to make people laugh by having his surviving Python fellow do the Funeral skit. Those guys from Monty Python, jokers to the end. Still I want them to be around for many years still because I would love to meet John Cleese, Eric Idle, Micheal Palin Terry Gilliam, or any of the otehr emmebrs of Monty Python. It always does my heart a world of good when I get to shoot people who are showing respect to one of the greatest comedy troupe’s of all time. And these two are no exception.

DSCN0207 OBJECTION!!!! Here we have Phoenix Wright and one of his lawyer rivals from the Phoenix Wright games. This one goes out to my Imouto-chan (Little sister) Heat. She’s quite the fabn of the Phoenix Wright games. I’ve never played them myself but these games require a lot of skill, smarts, and a great deal of detetcive work to find out the truth in the courtroom. Phoenix Wright if you play your cards right can win a lot of his cases. But opoor Phoenix keeps getting hit and clobbered left and right, also he never really seems to get the girl in the end. Poor sap. absued and lonely. I guess in anime games sometimes that’s just how it goes. Still from what I’ve seen of the Phoenix Wright games they look to be pretty fun. As for these cosplayers I caught them outside the “Stadium” room used for the athletic goings on at Sakuracon which include, kendo, sumo wrestling, and even ball room dancing, and cosplay chess.

DSCN0208 And for my next to last picture here we have a couple of Marvel Comics characters. I found these guys as I was changing chips for my camera on day3 of the convention. Here are Thor and Rogue. Thor, who also happens to be the Aesir God, and a member of the super hero group The Avengers. Rogue is a mutant who has the ability to fly, super human strength and she has the naturally occuring ability to drain other mutants powers. This version of Rogure comes from the 90′s version of X-men. It was an animated seres from marvel Comics studios and was on every Saturday back in the days of the Fox Kids Netowork. A lot of you 90′s kids who remember this program I imagine loved this stuff. i was actually in my teens and 20′s back in the 90′s and I loved X-Men. the way it showed prejudice and while remaininga kids show had it’s fair share of darkness and grittiness showed what happens when you have smart writers on staff. When i saw this couple of marvel comics heros I knew I just had to get a picture of them. And when i did snap a pjoto of these cosplayers it helped make my day.

DSCN0209 And for my final photo, here we have a gentleman cosplaying James T. Kirk and lovely young lady cosplaying as a female officer from the original Star Trek series. When Gene Roddenberry’s series first debuted back int he 60′s not even Roddenberry had any idea the series would blow up into the massive phenomenon it’s become. Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that this was a series that dared to rebel against the whole gloom and doom future concept and create the idea of a future where humanity not only manages to survive but actaully becomes far better and nobler than it was by leaning from the mistakes of the past and not repeating them. In this day and age of the T.V. and movie airwaves being saturated with gloom and doom programs we need more positive looks at the future in spite of everything that’s going on. because humanity may have a destruuctive nature but we must acknowledge that other half of us that all humans have which say that humans are capable of achieving great things. And the gentleman right here and the young lady with him are a good example of what haopens when dedication is applied to the craft of cosplay.

Well there you have it folks. All 28 photos from Sakuracon 2013. The next convention will be Kumoricon 2013 in September of this year. I’ll see about getting the photos up as soon as I can. In the meantime before I go, as promised, here are the information on the panels I did at Sakuracon from my Youtube channel.

Check these out:
The nightcrew fictiontheater
Otaku 25 and older

Untill September this is Scififantasyanimeman saying I will see ya’!

Kumoricon 2012 photos

•09/07/2012 • 1 Comment

Hello out there all you cosplay loving anime,science fiction, and fantasy fans. This is Scififantasyanimeman, and I’ve gotten back from Kumoricon 2012. And it gives me pleasure to present for your approval 23 very cool pictures from that wonderful convention. Once again Kumoricon was held in two hotels the Vancouver,. Washington Hilton and the Red Lion on the Quay hotel. And it was a pleasure to learn that next year’s convention will again be held at the two hotels. Kumoricon is a growing convention and it needs two hotels in order to accommodate all those people. Not bad for a group of people who were contemplating the idea of an anime convention on the campus of the University of Oregon years ago. It’s been 10 years for the convention 6 of which I’ve been attending. And this was my fifth year taking pictures. Good ness me, how time flies when you’re having fun. I’d like to give a shout out to the Kumoricon staff for the superb job they’ve done, to the staff and security of the Vancouver Hilton and the Red Lion for the job they do and to the police officers and the bus service of the city of Vancouver, Washington. Thank you for all that you do. Also special shout out to PaladinCecil for all that he does and to Reppy from the Kumoricon forums. All right. And now ladies and gents without further adieu on to the pictures! 

Okay i admit this picture didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to. I still have a lot to learn about my camera. After I finished work  (Yes it’s hard to believe but I do have a day job.) I had to hurry on over to the Vancouver Hilton to get my room. I was fortunate in that I also managed to get my VIP swag bag and my badge still it was close. Note to self, net year set up things so that i either get off earlier or am not working that day. Anyway after getting my room I went out to get some dinner from Subway. In the park between he hotel and SUbway I caught this fierce-looking furry and his little friend and I just had to snap a photo. Like I said it came out blurry which was kind of irksome but oh well, I’ll have better luck next year with my shots.

And here’s a cosplay that made my convention. It was the beginning of Day 1. I eagerly awoke that morning ready to go out and shoot some cosplayers. After getting dressed and getting some breakfast from the little place in the Vancouver Hilton I got my things together and went ona  cosplay hunt. And lo and behold look what I happened to find. I’ve been a big fan of the works of comedy genius Mel Brooks for many years. This fellow here is dressed as a Spaceball from the movie Spaceballs. The Spaceballs are actually the bad guys in the movie. Spaceballs was a parody of Star Wars. And in I believe it was 88 when the movie came out it had a great deal of success. It’s to be expected considering this was Mel brooks the man behind history of the World part 1, and Silent Movie just to name of a few of his many credits. This fellow and i were to be part of the Non-anime and Oddball cosplay photo shoot. Unfortunately it didn’t go down which was kind of disappointing. However later in the convention the SIlent Hill photo shoot went down and I reprised my role as Henry Townshend for it. And i can say it was a load of fun. Thank you so much Wrath-chan19 for allowing me in on that photo shoot it was so much fun. But I digress. This fellow here I think did a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of being a  Spaceball.  I thank you good sir for taking time out of your convention for this photo.

This photo you see here is of a White Wizard from the Final Fantasy saga. Final fantasy is an action RPG that’s been around since I was a kid, and that says something. I do admit at first i thought it was a guy playing jesus but when I asked him about it he explained he was a White Wizard from the Final fantasy series. I just had to get a photo of this fellow. ANd as with the photo of the Spaceball I think it turned out pretty well. And as you can tell from the glare of the sun it was a bright and sunshiny day outside the convention. That was a good thing. The light kept me from wanting to take a nap. There’s no rest for the busy cosplay shooting dude such as myself.  And as always many of the cosplayers who come to these convention put a lot of time and effort into their cosplay building. So don’t hate on them, and if anything asking to take a photo of them shows respect for tem. I admit I may not take as many photos as a lot of folks but I do my best to make these photos as fantastic as ai possibly can.

And now it’s time to ask the 1 million dollar question all Pokemon fans, what would happen if ASh Ketchum went over to the dark side, that is joined team Rocket? The answer is, this little gem of a unique cosplay right here. After a terrific opening ceremonies where yours truly once again sat at the front, VIP is the way to go at Kumoricon in my opinion, I headed to the park just across the street from the Vancouver Hilton. The place was jam-packed full of people in cosplay. I didn’t know where to start so i just wandered. In the course of my wanderings on that warm day in early autumn I found this Team Rocket Ash getting photographed by a number of Kumoricon goers. I liked the costume enough that I just had to take a photo.  He’s even got a stuffed Pikachu with him to complete the costume ensemble,. In the series Ash has never joined Team Rocket but I can imagine a number of fanfiction writers have written stories around the question what if Ash joined Team Rocket. So for all those Fan fiction writers who dared to ask that question, whether you’re on Fanfiction.net or another site, this photo is going out to you.

And here’s a photo that I really enjoyed shooting. Here we have a Dovah-kin, or Dragon-born. This character is from a game I admit that I am heavily into it’s called The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls game series which in recent years has fallen into the hands of Bethesda game studios is a non-linear action adventure RPG. In Skyrim your character discovers they are a hero of ancient legend known as the Dovah-kin   or Dragon-born as translated from the draconic tongue. Your character when they kill a dragon has the ability to absorb their soul and gain the knowledge and power. This in turns allows the character to utilize fantastic abilities known as shouts. AFter seeing videos by the likes of my buddy the Gamehorder, as well as Paulsoresjr, and LuclinMCWB make Skyrim videos i knew I just had to try it for myself. So i bought the Collector’s edition and the box it came in was a doozy. It was the size of a small fright box. In it I got the game, a book of art, and even a little statue which shows the main bad guy in the Skyrim game, the Dragon Alduin. Being a recent convert to the Elder Scrolls games I can see why they’ve become so popular. Bethesda has made the Elder Scrolls series very distinct in its own way. The games are a filled with such depth and vastness. You never feel like you’re being closed in. A player can actually feel like they’re in a vast world filled with all sorts of wonders. And this fellow here is one of the many Skyrim fans that have shown up since the game first came out. I can understand as I’m an Elder Scrolls fan myself so in tribute to one of my favorite video games I dedicate this photo to Bethesda game studios and all the Skyrim and Elder Scrolls fans out there.

Okay the glare of the sun kind of did a bit of a number on this picture but there’s enough photo here for you to see. Here is a cosplayer kicking it old school. He’s taking it back to Jack Nicholson/ Mark Hamil as the Joker.  The Joker is from the C comic Batman. in recent years batman has gone from a goofy comic book character to his current incarnation as the Dark knight, a brooding vigilante in search of justice. The Joker has always been one of Batman’s deadliest opponents. The Joker is completely insane and in the Dark knight universe known for actually killing or doing permanent traumatic harm to people while crazily laughing all the way about it. The cosplayer here captures the essence of Mark Hamil/ jack Nicholson’s Joker to the letter. AS a matter of fact on Day 2 this fellow was in a cosplay skit for the Cosplay contest called Inuyasha vs The Joker (The name says it all I think.). And this fellow put on a fantastic performance as the Joker in that skit. Whoever you are good sir, it’s obvious you’re either a big Joker fan.a  as superb actor or maybe even both. And for that i say to you good sir kudos (applause) top you, kudos, kudos, kudos for the Jokerman.

Phasers on stun! This one is going out to Peach Wookiee, here we have a character from Star Trek: The NExt Generation. This show was on from when i was in middle school in 86 or 87 to 93. It was fantastic show which starred such greats as Micheal Dorn, Patrick Stewart, Johnathan Frakes, Bret Spiner, Gates McFadden, and Marina Sirus. The show which took place 100′s of years after the original  Star trek series proved to be a long-lasting show especially after the addition of the Borg. I found this fellow in the midst of another travel through the park near the hotel. And i have no regrets about capturing this Trekkie or Trekker whatever they’re called they all awesome to me. It’s always a pleasure to see those who are willing to keep the spirit of Star Trek alive even though there hasn’t been a Star Trek series for years now on T.V. And in my opinion it’s sad because Sci-fi could use some good writing and some shows with an uplifting view of the future even in these dark depressing times of a bad economy.

It’s amazing how much of a better picture one can get when facing away from the sun.  In my travels through the park of anime fans I came across these characters from the console shoot-em up game Halo. Halo is a dark, and gory sci-fi shoot-em up in the tradition of games such as DOOM. In this game the character has fight against an alien race that has the ability to take over people’s bodies. An alien parasite eww that gives me the shivers just thinking about it. fortunately the character gets all sorts of nice weaponry to teach those alien parasites that messing with humanity is bad idea!  Halo is currently as I recall in its third game so this is a series that’s been around a while. I can’t really confirm it but I think Halo was the inspiration for a goofball parody internet series called Red vs. Blue that my friend Lobo Argost watches, but I can’t be certain. When i saw these spacesuit wearing marine characters I just had to get a photo of them. And as with my other photos I regret nothing. In fact I think this is another photo that turned out absolutely fantastic.

And here’s a character from an anime meant for adults. Here’s Kamina from Gurren Lagann. Gurren Lagann is a post-apocalyptic anime in which Kamina discovers a powerful but small spiral robot which has the ability to increase the strength and power of others through the power of spiral and the human heart. > Kamina who had been a driller before goes through a series of insane adventures and in the course of the adventure not all of his companions survive. It is sad but Kamina grows up along the way. First Gurren Lagann which is the name of the robot Kamina pilots battles the beast men, a strange half human/half-animal race and then the forces of the anti-spiral.  In the dub version of the series Kamina was actually voiced by a fellow named Yuri Lowenthal, he’s best known for being Ben on Ben 10: Alien Force. In Gurren Lagann the series dub got this line which has become the quintessential series trope “JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!!!!” granted it is a trope and i wouldn’t recommend kids say this line to a parent or a teacher but  it has a certain catch to it.  I found this Kamina cosplayer wandering the halls of the Hilton on day 1  In keeping with Kamina’s character this guy’s right hand is pointed towards the heavens. Kamina always dreamed of reaching for the heavens and seeing what was out there. Boy did he get more than he bargained for. Be careful what you wish for you just might get it.

I had to take this fellows photo twice because the first one had some problems. This photo however turned out marvelously. Her we have Cobra Commander YESSSSSSS! Cobra Commander iwas the main bad guy, the head of the organization C.O.B.R.A. which were the arch-enemies of G.I. Joe. Since the 1980′s when G.I. Joe debuted several people have voiced Cobra Commander. The original voice of him was actually the same actor who played Starscream in Transformers G1.AT one point in the original show Cobra Commander actually had his power usurped when the show introduced Serpentor a genetically engineered superhuman composed of DNA from several of history’s most famous/nefarious rulers. personally as with the decision to get rid of Optimus Prime, I thought as interesting as Serpentor was he just didn’t have that dark malevolence or that well-rounded evil that Cobra Commander had. Fortunately in the post G.I. joe movie series they did the right thing and gor rid of Serpentor and put Cobra Commander back in charge. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.   Since then there have been many incarnations but the original I’ve always thought was the best. And I thought that this cosplayer in the picture captures the malevolent essence of Cobra Commander quite nicely. Or rather thissss issss a most excellent cosssssplay.

And who is this lucky fellow beside this lovely lady? Why it’s yours truly. This year I decided to dress as a original character of my own design. It didn’t have to do all the much since I already had most of what I needed. As for the lovely lady beside me, this ladies and gentleman is Lauren Landa, if you’re not familiar with her let me acquaint you with her many accomplishments. Lauren Landa began acting at age 11 when she starred in  a stage production of Annie. From there it was on to such things as Rogers and Hammerstein’s  Cinderella, Bye Bye Birdie, Comic Potential,  and the Greek comedy Lysistrata. She’s also directed stage productions such as the aforementioned Lysistrata, Merrily We Roll Along, and Bat Boy: the Musical. before you ask what she’s doing at an anime convention let me give you some of her anime credits. As a voice actress she can be heard as Litchi Faye-Ling in the fighting video game BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, the sequel BlazBlue: Continuum Shift and continuum Shift Extend, Aegil, cotton, and Sasha from Rondo of Swords, and last but not least she was in the last good anime on Sy-Fy’s Ani-Monday, before they (in my opinion) so foolishly took it off the air, Monster. A lot of voice actresses I’ve noticed are a lot smaller than me. I don’t why but this is so. Still this lady’s talent cannot be denied and she generally has a very pleasant attitude with people I find refreshing. Thank you Miss Landa for so graciously agreeing to this picture I hope to see you again in the near future ma’am.

And who do we have here. Why its evil incarnate himself, Aku.  Aku is a shape shifting being made of what can only be described as pure evil. He was the arch-enemy of the main character in the show Samurai Jack. Aku not only could blast people but he could shape himself into anything, his only weakness was a magical sword that the samurai carried on him. What happened is Samurai Jack as he would come to be known, after spending years training returned to his homeland and faced Aku in battle. Because of the Samurai’s magic sword he almost defeated Aku. But in a  last desperate act Aku opened up a portal and flung the Samurai into the future where Aku’s evil was law. Throughout the course of the series the Samurai sought to return to the past and undo the damage that Aku had done to the time stream. It unfortunately never came around to that because for some reason I have as yet to understand the show, Samurai Jack, was cancelled at the height of it’;s popularity and after it had won a major T.V. award. Talk about disappointment. This cosplayer here is playing Aku and I have to say they did a pretty good job of capturing the fiend’s character and essence. i later saw this character at the panel Story, Story, Die. And i think he did a pretty good job there. Whoever you are behind that costume I say kudos to you sir, kudos and…why didn’t you enter the cosplay contest? That’s a pretty convincing Aku outfit to me.

On the night of Day 1 I came across these fellows. i admit this picture is a little blurry but I think there’s enough here for these characters to be recognized. What’s the one thing in Minecraft that’s worse than one creeper? How about 2 or even 3 creepers? In the online game Minecraft, which is still surprisingly, popular if you get too close to a creeper they can blow up and three of them they can take out a player as if they were nothing. I’ve had creepers get too close to my shelters with rather explosive and infuriating consequences. And as for my times in the game there are times where I haven’t heard them coming untill it was all over. that’s what makes these things even worse than then recently added Endermen. Fortunately these were only cosplayers  so with hem there’s no need to worry about explosions. But int he game if you see a creeper you either run away from it, try to kill it before it explodes or lure it to its death. In Minecraft’s survival mode and Hardcore Mode that’s the name of the game.

And of course what Kumoricon would be complete without that age-old battle Pirates Vs. Ninjas. Since this blog takes a neutral; stance on that rivalry I present my pirate photo. I found this scurvy knave wandering around the hotel on day 2 of the convention. And I just had to snap a photo. I love pirates in their high seas adventuring, sword fighting, plundering ships for precious booty (And I mean treasure such as coins and such), and all their raucous shenanigans. This fellow right here captures the essence of the pirate lifestyle with  the attire he’s donned. AS for this whole pirates vs. Ninjas thing I don’t know exactly where or when this anime feud started but it’s amusing in a what the heck kind of way. Still it makes for some interesting happenings at a convention. As I recall they used to have a battle at Kumoricon which featured a bucket being passed around and whoever  won the most buckets in a  game of rock, paper, scissors on Day 1 and 2 faced off in a team pirate and team ninja show down. They didn’t have it this year, such a pity. Oh well times are changing as Kumoricon gets bigger.

And here we have a couple of young ladies dressed as Sailor Scouts, or Senshi Scouts as they’re known in Japan.  I can’t quite remember which scouts these are, if anyone out there has any idea I’ll be happy to make the correction needed and credit them at the end of this post. These Scouts are part of a genre in anime known as the magical girl  anime’s. usually they involve a 14 or 15-year-old girl who discovers she has super-powers and has to battle a powerful evil force. Not an easy job for a girl about to enter or has entered high School.  Usually the magical girls are dressed in some kind of attire that has a miniskirt to it. Before anyone makes a comment it should be known that thanks to my friend Peach Wookiee, I have it on good authority that the creator of Sailor Moon is actually female. And the same can be said i think of the creator of Full metal Alchemist.  Anime and Manga are equal opportunity.  And these two young ladies who i shot near the entranceway to main events definitely help capture the essence of Sailor Scouts. And I imagine there will always be fans of the magical girl genre of anime. And who am i to tell people what they should or shouldn’t like.

In the park across from the Hilton lots of strange and unusual things go on especially where anime fans are concerned. And this year with the sun shining don merrily on Vancouver, Washington was no exception. In this photo is another contribution to the social sciences from me. Here we have the glomp circle. The glomp is where a person rushes up to another and throws themselves on another person. It’s frowned on in Kumoricon itself. Which is understandable in closed quarters accidents can happen from glomping or worse. Outside in open spaces however that’s a  different matter. There’s more room to move and more room to do all sorts of crazy things. In recent years I’ve seen a variation on this with a spin the bottle glomp circle and even a glomp circle where one person asks “Hey guess what”, in response everyone in the circle has to respond with “What”, the speaker then repeats this again and the others in the circle repeat the same, lastly the speaker says whatever random stuff is on their mind before they do or don’t give someone a glomp. It’s rather intricate and complex and i rather enjoy it. Anime fans are a unique bunch and they will do the most daft of things but most of them are pretty cool in my book. And I’d like to thank the members of this glomp circle for graciously allowing me to take a photo of them.

And what do we have here on the Vancouver Hilton’s second level. Why it’s Batgirl, Wonder Girl and Martian Manhunter’s niece. These characters are from the show Young Justice which currently airs on Cartoon Network. While the show isn’t for the really young kids older kids to adults I think can handle the show. I’ve seen some of Young Justice for myself and I have nothing but praise for that show. The animation is very realistic to the traditions of DC comics, the characters are very well-rounded, and the stories with their plot twists and intrigues are very smart and well thought out. In a time when a lot of shows writing leaves something to be desired this show on Cartoon Network is a shining example of what can happen when a show gets done right.  And I can tell these young ladies are big fans of the DC universe because the time and the energy they put into their cosplay making shows here. But then again I’m always impressed with the amount of love and dedication that people at these conventions put into their costume making efforts.  Bravo ladies bravo I say.  Oh and this one definitely goes out to my buddy Lobo Argost.

And what do we have here at Kumoricon on Day 2? Why it’s Belle (Beauty) and the Beast (Prince Adam). The Disney movie was based on the romantic fairy tale in which a young woman helps the Beast to overcome the terrible curse he’s under and find his humanity and happiness. AS i recall it was one of the many fairy tales created by the Grimm brothers. The Disney version wasn’t quite as dark as the original fairy Tale but it was still an epic romantic story. Hey even we men love a good love story, as long as it’s not too sappy because otherwise, bleah!  And it’s obvious from the amount of time these two have put into their costume making that we have some true Disney fans here. But then again Disney adaptations of fairy tales have always been legendary.  In fact Belle has been regarded by many as on of Disney’s legendary Princesses, an honor of which there are quite a few female characters. Disney being a  family entertainment company has also been known for the subtle. Just take a look at the coachman from Pinocchio and the way boys are turned into Donkeys in it. There’s a lot to be said for not showing all the details. And Disney does a masterful job of being subtle.

And what anime convention would be complete without some Bleach pictures. Bleach continues to be a prominent anime at conventions. Although I do admit I have noticed that it’s starting to lose some of its popularity. Bleach is a great series and all but many have complained that like Naruto it suffers from what’s called TMF, that’s short for Too Much Filler. Filler is where they actually fill up time with what characters are thinking as they prepare to make their next move. SOme fill;er is good it can add dramatic flare. But too much filler and it starts to bog down the overall plot line. And many have complained this is what Bleach and Naruto suffer from. For my part I’ll take the fence on this one. I am after all a humble blogger.  As for these ladies I caught them in the park across from the hotel. A lot of convention goers seem to flock there. Not surprising the place is pretty big perfect for all types of photo shoots.  Unfortunately I can’t seem to remember who these two are from Bleach. if anyone out there knows let me know and you’ll receive proper credit at the end of this blog entry. ANd also make sure to point out who they are nicely please. It’s easier to get ahead with me when you’re nice to me.

Like I said earlier fairness and balance is what I’m about. I’ve had a pirate, now it’s time for the ninja.I found this rather formidable looking fellow as I was coming back from the Merchant’s hall located at the Red Lion on the Quay hotel. Over the course of three days I bought my fair share of Pocky, Ramenade, and a lot of anime, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate. While walking back towards the Hilton I ran across this formidable looking dude. He  happily agreed to the picture when I explained how I needed a ninja picture to go with my pirate photo.  Ninjas are known for being master assassins and masters of the martial art known as ninjitsu. They’ve become not only the subject of Asian myth, but of a number of pop culture movies. And yes even in Japan they have ninja movies. In this case this ninja was basically one where you could ask him a 1 question without him killing you. Fortunately it’s all in jest of course. Kumoricon would never allow anyone to be harmed or fatally injured that would be bad for the convention and it’s reputation. And Kumoricon is growing rapidly a good sign of things to come.

Now here’s an anime I am VERYfamiliar with. These two cosplayers here are dressed as Inuyasha and Shippo from the anime Inuyasha. In the anime a half-demon teenager named Inuyasha is freed in medieval Japan by a girl from modern japan named Kagome. In the course of their adventures they pick up some interesting companions in their efforts to retain the shards of a powerful gem that can make Inuyasha a full demon.  i noticed at the convention that a lot of anime fans have families, that’s right, a lot of anime fans have a spouse and even children. it shows that anime is multigenerational, parents who love anime are getting their kids involved in the world of anime. And it’s pleasure to see that the future of japanese animation will be secure for generations yet to come.  From what I saw of these two I’m guessing theat they’re either brothers or father and son. It wouldn’t be the first time that a family dressed as anime characters. You want to talk about family values, a family that goes to anime conventions and shares in the love of all things otaku ISwhat true family values are all about. Sharing in the love of something that provides common ground, is that awesomeness or what?

On the night of Day 2 at the convention i ran into thsi yopung lady as  a panel was coming to a close. She’s playing the part of Sakura from Naruto. Sakura is one of the prominent female charcters in the show. Knownm not jut for her fierceness but for her differing personalities, and inner strength. This pictures goes out to my Fanfiction.net buddy Lobo Argost. When I explained to this young lady that he was a fan of the couple Naruto?Sakura she agreed to have her picture taken.  I admit I rather like this coupling but I also like Naruto/Hinata and several other Naruto pairings. Lobo ARgost has had quite an effect on me. Even though a lot of folks complain about too much filler in Naruto I for one will not judge. I’m just yhere to show off pictures and keep comments family friendly. That’s how i roll.  

And for my final picture right before closing ceremonies on Day 3 I present the Gingerbread man,a s part of the Gingerbread man liberation front. Sorry, little joke there.  This year was different from other Kumoricons. in the past on Day 3 I carried all my luggage around as I had to get out of my room  before noon. However this year was different as I discovered that the Hilton would happily hold some of my luggage untill I was ready to pick it up. To the staff of the Hilton this was one of your best ideas yet. Carrying all that luggage around is hard enough but to have it stored someplace safe untill it’s time to pick it up really helped. It meant I could save a little tim and energy untill after closing ceremonies when I picked up my luggage and headed for the nearby bus terminal to catch a bus to the Yellow line MAX and from there a TriMet bus home. One of the advantages of knowing the public transportation system in the Portland area is being able to get around with a  reasonable amount of ease. But I digress. All types of costumes at Kumoricon and this gingerbread man outfit is no exception to the rule. The staff of the convention has a few rules though. For women costumes must cover the upper region of the chest and the groin area as well as the feet. As for men, the groin area as well as the feet. Reasonable rules I think, there’s a certain m,erasure of decency that must be kept at these conventions. There are after all kids there.And this Gingerbread man costume definitely fits the bill as being appropriate. Oh and al;so name badges must be in a place where they can easily be seen by the staff. A simple and reasonable enough rule I think. And again this Gingerbread man’s name badge placement definitely fits in the area of okay.

Well there you have it folks. there is all 23 of my Kumoricon 2012 photos. I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I enjoyed taking them. Next year Kumoricon will be returning to the Vancouver Hilton and the Red Lion hotels. It seems that the two hotels like having us enough to get a new contract with the convention. That’s fine by me staying at the Vancouver Hilton is always a wonderful experience and I look forward to staying there again next year. Also since I’ve already taken photos of this hotel don’t expect another picture of the two hotels. I never photograph the same hotel twice. Still it’s been a wonderful experience. Perhaps I’ll see about taking some photos as Orycon this year. It would be an interesting change of pace. ANd hopefully I’ll go to Sakuracon next year to take more pictures there. Although I think I’ll be more choosy about how many pictures I take in a day. I don’t want to end up with 50 photos again, putting all those photos up was great but also arduous being that I also had to comment on each one. So next year I’ll be more choosy either that or I’ll try a different formula. if you have any ideas on what I should do I’d love to hear from you, as long as the comments are nice and/or constructive.

Suthor’s note: Thanks to Peach Wookieefor pointing ou they’re Senshi Scouts not Sennen Scouts.

Sakuracon 2012 Photos

•04/12/2012 • 1 Comment

Hey there anime, fantasy, and sci-fi lovers everywhere this Scififantasyanimeman.And I’ve been one busy fellow. I’ve been working on some writing and taking a break after successfully finishing my Mobile Fighter G-Gundam critique. I’m hoping to some time  in the near future do a Ouran high School or a Slayers critique. This last critique of G-Gundam taught me perhaps I need to summarize the summary, it would make things a lot easier in terms of critiques. I also plan on critiquing a fantasy novel Dragon mage in the near future. But first thing’s first I just recently got back from an incredible weekend up in beautiful downtown Seattle, Washington. And I’d like to send a very special shout out to Peach Wookiee from Fanfiction.net and Agent of the Divine One who showed up at my panel Otaku 25 and Older – The Return.  I’d like to as always thank those who come to my blog to read it and see my pictures, and I’d like to thank all my subjects who took out time from Sakuracon 2012 to allow me the chance to take a picture of them.  All Right. Without further adieu let’s get this post rolling!

This year I didn’t need to go to Bartel’s for anything because well after last year when a battery failure caught me by surprise I wasn’t going to taker any chances so I prepared as best I could which included an extra set of batteries. AS much as I love Bartel’s, once bitten, twice shy I say! Anyway after having a little difficulty getting into my hotel room I finally got in got set up and headed to register. It turns up that those who pre-gregistered online and those who were registering for the convention per arrival had been moved. Those were registering for the con as it took place was done in the lobby of the Hyatt hotel. Meanwhile those who registered online had to get their name badges in another part of the convention center. As I’ve so often said about the Washington State Convention and trade Center “Cripes, this place is big!”
After getting the information on where to go and getting my badge I began to intermittently wander around and relax in my room. In the course of my wanderings I came across this gentleman who had registered taking on the part of Ichigo Kurasaki from Bleach. He was a little surprised to see someone who has shooting cosplayers so early at the convention. But I’ve always believed as the Ben franklin adage goes “the early bird catches the worm.” or in this case the early photographer catches the cosplayer. I do admit I think this year I kind of overdid things as far as photographs go. I’ll explain why in the course of this post.

 While wandering the convention Center on I think it was Day o or 1 I came across this gentleman cosplaying as Ciel Phantomhive, from Black Butler. I’ve eenm tidbits of the rather gothic supernatural action/adventure series and it looks really good and really dark. As you can tell from this gentleman’s dark clothing it captures the essence of the series involving a young boy and his mysterious butler who seems to in all actuality be a creature of one of the infernal realms of the underworld. Apparently some kind of deal was struck in which the gentleman who is the boy’s Butler has agreed to act as his guardian. The problem is every time the boy calls on the butler the more he loses his soul. There’s a thought that creeps me out because I’m rather fond of my soul. AS far as I understand based on the attire the story takes place in the 19th century, a time before cars, microwaves, and all the modern convieniences we take for granted today.  Overall from what I’ve seen while the show is most certainly not for kids it’s definitely a series I’ll check out as soon as I dig my way out of all the anime I have to critique. So much to do “Sigh”,

This young lady here is dressed as the character Britain from Hetalia: Axis Powers. Like a lot of anime out there this series isn’t exactly meant for little kids teens on the other hand could get the humor involved. It should be noted however that this series uses a lot of stereotypes in it. I’m not sure if the creator of the series did this in jest, or on purpose but whatever the reason parents you should note this. I don’t think little kids coul comprehend the humor of this series. Older kids and even teens however that’s another subject entirely. In other words the series is not exactly super raunchy or anything like that…but it does have a few themes which only older kids and teens could comprehend. So take note of this parents before you let your kids buy something from the anime section.  As for this young lady, I caught her on Level 3 of the convention center  wearing this attire. The section in question is next to the Subway they have built into the center, comes in handy if hypothetically speaking, it’s raining outside  and I’m not in the mood to go out and get something outside.   And let me just state for the record, as far as this cosplay goes,  that I think she captures the essence of Britain quite nicely.

“If there’s somethin’ strange, in the neighborhood, who ya’ gonna’ call…GHOSTBUSTERS!!!” This gentleman here is dressed as a non-canon (That means not in the original movies.) Ghostbusters. Okay granted he’s not exactly canon but hey I love to see people be creative with certain universes. And personally I think this fellow’s cosplay has captured the essence of the Ghostbusters/The real Ghostbusters universe. The original Ghostbusters from the movie were 3 scientists who got thrown out of a prestigious university and decided to go into business for themselves. The three get more than they bargained for when ghosts start popping up all over the city. of New York.  Later on Winston Zephmore joined the group. And let me just state the actor who played Winston I think did a terrific job of playing the quintessential everyman thrown into the middle of extraordinary circumstances. As for this cosplayer like I said he captures the essence of the Ghostbusters universe. The design of the uniform, the proton pack, I’d love to know what materials he used to make this terrific costume.

In my journey about the convention center in search of cosplayers on Day 1 of the convention lo and behold who do I happen to come across ascending on one of the many escalators throughout the convention center but a couple of cosplayers in the roles of Tamaki Suoh, and Haruhi, the main character from Ouran High School Host club. I’ve been watching some of OHSHC, and its a rather interesting tale. Haruhi is an honor roll student with an extraordinary intellect. What makes her so unique is she comes  from a  humble family. Most everyone else who goes to Ouran come from families that are super rich and powerful. While searching for a place to study she ends up in an old music room and the home of the Host club. There she knocks over a 10 million yen vase (Yen is japanese money in case anyone out there doesn’t know.) that the Club had planned on auctioning off. As a consequence Haruhi is forced to join the Host Club, the one problem is…Haruhi’s a girl, and Host Club is an all boys club. Absolute hilarity ensues. These two cosplayers here capture the essence of Haruhi and Tamaki. I think a number of folks are actually fans of this couple. I for one think I could see these two as a couple in spite of their different lives, I think they’d compliment each other rather well.

And here  for Sakuracon we have someone playing the ever stretchable, elastic hero Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece. Luffy as he’s known for short and his crew travel about their world searching for One Piece, the legendary treasure of the deceased Pirate king, Gold Roger. In the course of Luffy’s adventures he gains a crew of unique individuals, including Nami, an expert navigator; Zolo (Or Zoro in the Japanese version) a pirate hunter turned second-in-command;  Sanji, a master cook who literally gets a kick out of things and is a sucker for the ladies; Usopp, a would-be pirate who has a master’s touch with a slingshot;  Chopper, a creature with the ability to shape-change and also just happens to be a great doctor; and finally Robin, a young lady who wants to make a map of the entire world, and has the ability to create extra limbs which come in handy if she needs to grab someone or something. One Piece wasn’t exactly the greatest series when 4kids entertainment did it. But after FUNimation took over the series just took off, especially since FUNimation brought the spirit of the series mostly back to the way the author of the series originally intended. Having Vic Mignogna record a first-rate opening song for the FUNimation version of the series helped a lot. But if you’ve heard Vic Mignogna sing or act you’d understand how talented the man is. As for this character he captures the essence of Luffy who ate the Gum-Gum fruit. But remembering that this was an anime convention I didn’t ask him to stretch or anything which was probably the wisest course of action.

And here we have Hawkeye from Full Metal Alchemist. Don’t let this young lady’s small size fool you she has a master marksman, or in this case markswoman’s touch with a pistol. Over time she becomes one of cornel Mustang’s most trusted aids in his quest to become ruler of his country. She’s a fierce one but she also has a fair amount of wisdom enough to keep Roy Mustang from getting too far out of hand and keep everyone track to doing what needs to be done. I found this young lady playing Hawkeye outside of Merchant’s hall, on the sky bridge that takes a person from one side of the convention center to the other side another something that comes in handy on a rainy day.  Okay granted this young lady isn’t exactly carrying a pistol but that’s okay. And anyway she’d have to make sure it was a toy pistol that didn’t shoot anything and put it through the Sakuracon peace-bonding process. And that reminds me, I just found out that like Kumoricon, Sakuracon also has a peace-bonding process. Peace-bonding simply means you can carrying around your weapon as long as you promise not to get into any fights mock or otherwise with it but only use for things such as say posing for pictures.  I understand Sakuracon’s thinking entirely. It wouldn’t be good to have anime fans hurting themselves at these conventions after all Sakuracon does want to go back to the convention center.

And here’s something unique. this is Keikeishi, one of the ninjas from the Hidden Leaf village in Naruto. And yes, he is a ninja. Don’t worry pirates your time is coming in all fairness and balance. Kaikeishi taught Naruto, Sakura, and Sauske about teamwork. I won’t spoil everything for the series but let’s just say this little team is going to break up due to a very nasty falling out between two characters.  Keikeishi when he taught Naruto had a habit maintaining a cool, almost to the point of “I don’t care” attitude, which had a knack for rubbing some people the wrong way.  But make no mistake he was a dangerous ninja who eventually taught Sauske a very powerful, and very dangerous technique used by ninjas for some assassination missions. It was a chakra attack that sounded like 1,000 birds chirping. Hence how that chakra attack got its name. I’m often amazed that Naruto is still ongoing, that may in part be to the fact that the original Naruto’s sequel Shippuden is out here in the states. Just make sure you mind your manners around Keikeishi or else.

  And here we have the character that came up with catchphrase “Love and Peace”. Here’s a fellow playing Vash the Stampede from Trigun. Vash if you’ve ever watched the series was a sort of male Calamity Jane. Specifically, he doesn’t go looking for trouble, trouble just seems to find him. All he wants to do is live in peace alongside the humans on the planet Gunsmoke, unfortunately outlaws and even his Brother Knives, and his gang the Gung-Ho guns, come looking for him. Throughout the series accompanying Vash are Millie and Meryl two insurance inspectors who are trying to make sure he doesn’t cause anything to blow up, and Nicholas Wolfwood, a man of God who’s got a few secrets of his own.  I rather liked the way this gentleman captured the spirit of Vash from the series. He doesn’t exactly have the broomstick hair but condsidering the hallway he was in under the circumstances I considered this the wisest course of action. Kudos (Applause)  to you sir, kudos I say!

 And here we have a fellow with a unique character look. He looks like a custom character from the game Minecraft. Minecraft for those of you who aren’t exactly in to video games, is a PC game which can be purchased online. it casts the player in the role of a lone miner trying to survive in the wilderness by building a shelter, dodging and/or killing nasty creatures, and mining for precious materials such as wood, coal, diamonds, iron etc. he more stuff you collect the more items you can craft with a workbench and cooker. A mining pick is one of the items you can craft. There are several types of picks that can be made they are wood, stone, iron, diamond, and gold. Gold is about as useful as a wooden pick in that it doesn’t last too long. Stone picks last longer, Iron pick are definitely much stronger, and diamond picks are the best. You can also forge swords, axes, farming scythes, torches, and even create more advanced things such as railways and redstone torches, made from redstone. These are good because redstone torches generate electricity and redstones can be used as a conduit to power things such as railroad tracks. There’s more info on the stuff that can be built in on Minecraft Wikipedia. This game is a sensation, heck even yours truly has bought it, and it can be quite challenging and fun. And for those who want the thrill of building something without the hassle of having to worry about getting killed the game as a creative mode which allows you to build things to your heart’s delight without any worry and without having to look for the necessary materials.  Nifty huh?  

Whovian fans rejoice here we have a picture of several Doctors and a rather clever looking cardboard interpretation of the T.A.R.D.I.S.the craft the Doctor travels in. And here we have some people cosplaying as the second Doctor, who was played by the late Patrick Troughton (Pronounced: Trow-ton.); two Number 10 Doctors, the 10th Doctor was played by David Tennant, and Doctor Who 11 the current Doctor. Unfortunately I can’t remember the 11 th Doctor’s name if anyone out there does know please send the information to me and I’ll happily put an author’s note dedicated to you at the end of this post. I’ve actually been watching Doctor Who since the days of Doctor Who number 4 portrayed by the legendary, Tom Baker. So I am what some would call an old school Whovian. I happen to know on Facebook,  there’s a site deciated to Doctor Who called Friends of the Doctor the first regeneration. Its a great page for all Whovian fans especially those here in the Pacific northwest. I highly recommend this site. As for these Doctor Who fans, I found them on level 6 of the convention center on Day 1 and instantly loved their schtick so I just had to snap a photogra[ph. Have I mentioned how much i love my Nikon Coolpix, this little digital camera has been a real help for me.

“Prepare for trouble!” “Make it double!’ Here we have Jessie and James from Pokemon. Pokemon which is short for Pocket monsters is a very popular anime kids series which has been steadily popular over the years. Some fans have said the show has been going downhill for a while, well I’ll leave that to the viewers to decide. In the series Jessie and James along with a talking Pokemon named Meowth comprised a group called Team Rocket. They were constantly looking for ways to kidnap Pikachu, the main Pokemon of  series protagonist, Ash Ketchem. Somehow no matter how hard they tried their efforts ended up getting botched up by unfortunate circumstance or by Ash and his friends pulling a surprise out of their hat and sending  Team Rocket flying off after Pikachu electracutes them real good. I hope you like your team Rocket extra crispy. I caught these cosplayers of Jessie and James on level 4 of the convention center.  I thought it was a pretty good rendering of the two Team Rocket members. So, I just had to snap a photot of these two. As with all my photo subjects I’m most grateful for their cooperation.

And what do we have here? JEEPERS it’s a Creeper! Creepers are one of the monsters that are out to kill your character in Minecraft. Creepers are right up there with some of the meanest and nastiest creatures in the game. In terms of sounds all they make is a quick hiss, what’s worse if they stay close to you for too long they explode. They can be a real pain because in survival mode they can blow up your shelter if you’re not careful. I know this because I’ve had them sneak up on me in the game when I wasn’t looking and I’ve had them pay me a visit at night. Let’s just say when they’ve ruined my shelters I’ve had some colorful metaphors for them. But for the sake of the kiddies and all those who are reading I shall not repeat any of those rude words.  They can however die if you hit them with arrows or with a sword. Diamond swords do the  most damage with gold and wood doing the least. Stone does pretty good damage, and iron is right below diamond in terms of damage.  As infuriating as these things are if you manage to kill them before they blow up they drop gunpowder which is useful for a creating a certain device that will allow you to construct a gateway to another realm of a place in Minecraft called ‘The Nether’. Still if you haven’t got the means to take them down from a distance or quickly the best thing to do is run like crazy and get out of the range of their explosion.

And here on level 4 we have someone cosplaying as Darth Vader from Star Wars. Darth Vader as was discovered in The Empire Strikes back was related to Luke by blood. If you’ve ever watched the movies then you know what that is.  Some say that Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith were mediocre movies in the Star Wars franchise. However I humbly but politely disagree I thought they were pretty good movies and the 3rd movie especially cleared up a lot of stuff that I didn’t know about the Star Wars Universe, such as how did the Empire gain control so quickly and how Darth Vader became who he was? Let me just say the way that it happened was rather gruesome. And so this is why Darth Vader is forced to wear all these mechanical gizmos on his body. ooh nasty! Be rest assured that in reality cosplayers do not have to stoop to Darth Vader’s level to make themselves look like him. Nope any good costume maker can make it so a person can keep a hold of all their ligaments and body parts while pretending to be Darth Vader. And this rather accurate rendition of Darth Vader is truly a blessing to the eyes of this picture-taking con goer. Well done to you the person beneath the costume. Well done to you indeed.

And now comes the first of my celebrity photos from Sakuracon 2012. The lady in this photo started off when she was hired by FUNimation to be the dub voice of Tweedledee from the anime Kiddy Grade. From there she’s gone on to such diverse roles as China from Hetalia: Axis Powers, Sei from Burst Angel, Sanae from Samurai 7,  Miss Katz from Shin Chan, and Asagi from Witchblade and that’s only th tip of the iceberg for trhis lady’s career. Ladies and gentleman I give you,  Clarine Harp.  This year for the autograph sessions they did something different.  This year Sakuracon had it so anyone who manged to make it to the Guest of Honors’ Q & A sessions received a special pass that allowed them to get in early and get autographs and pictures of the one they came to see 15 minutes before the regular time. Okay I will admit I wasn’t too keen 0on the passes being pink colored but other than that I thought the passes were a terrific idea. I went to Clarine Harp’s Q & A session so I was fortunate enough to get one of the passes that allowed me to go see her and get an autograph and this lovely picture of her. I have to say she’s a wonderful person and I genuinely hope to see her again sometime in the future.

And who do we have here as our next cosplayer? Why it’s none other than Zero from Code Geass (Pronounced: Gi-os). In the series a young man named Lelouch on an alternative Earth discovers that his father Lord zi Brittania has used powerful technology to enslave Japan in the alternate 2010. Lelouch dons a helmet to become Zero and helps organize the resistance of Japan into a viable fighting force. His whole plan is to eventually get rid of the Britanian Empire and restore the individuality of the countries so they can make up their own minds as to what they want to do with their lives as well as give his younger sister a chance to decide her own fate. In Lelouch/Zero’s journey his only true ally is a girl named C.C. who posseses power and knowledge of Lelouch’s mysterious Geass ability. But in this series there are more twists and surprises than anyone relizes and not everything is what it seems as lelouch soon learns. AS for this ciosplayer I caught him while wandering one of the many hallways in the convention center.  This in my opinion is a [pretty accurate capturing of Zero. From the detail of the costume you can see it’s adds to the esscenec of the charcter as mysterious, charismatic, and dangerous.  Just like lelouch/Zero from the anime series.

And here we have someone playing a charcter from Dragonball Z. I do admit at first I though this fellow was from thr animeAfro-Samurai, I do apologize for that. This will teach me to assume anything. I also confess to my shame that I don’t know which character this is but it looks to me like this fellow in the attire he’s wearing would fit into the Dragonball universe with little to no problem.  Dragonball Z is actually a pretty good action anime which tells the story of a fellow named Goku. This is the second chapter of the Dragonball series in the first one Dragonball Goku was for most of it a kid who turned into a hariy ape when the moon was full and had some killer martial arts abilities. In Dragonnball Z Goku is an adult and is married to the love of his life Chi-Chi, whom also appeared in Dragonball. The third chaopter of the series was Dragonball GT and that’s when things really started to get weird in the Dragonball Universe. To tell the truth, Dragonball was pretty good, Dragonball Z was grand, but reflecting on it I thought Dragonball GT left more than a little bit to be desired. But mind you that’s strictly my opinion.

Nice furry, good furry just lay there and chill, don’t eat me! Yup at Sakuracon there are all types of cosplayers including furries that is people who dress up in animal costumes . I caught this furry on the sixth level of the convention in the hallway just outside where they show the AMVs. I’ve always found the intricacies involved in making furry costumes to be quite extroardinary. It’s amazing when you see someone wearing one of these outfits how much time they or whoever designed the costuime put into this labor of love. Having had experience in the theatre I know that costume making is a delicate art form. The right costume can equal an unconvincing performance, or a Tony (An on-stage award given to those in the theater). And I find that those in the realm of the furry either have someone put time and effort into their costume or do it themselves. Either way it’s cool with me. And as for this furry, I think it’s a wolf, they’re just lounging around. that’s something you can do quite a bit of at Sakuracon. It’s always a good idea to pace yourself at a convention, and most importantly don’t forget to eat. Ever since my own disastrous first con exoperience I’ve learned the ropes and in my own opinion have become quite good at conventions. I also think I’m pretty good with talking to voice actors, but I got help from a book I listened to on talkiing books called “How to talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime” by Larry Zeiger. For those of you who don’t know that name, he was better known as Larry King, that’s right as in THE Larry King! And for any cosplayer if you want to take their picture the addition of the magical words “Please” before and “Thank you” afterwards goes a long way. Just some advice to think on.

Ah, and here we have a refreshing something from my youth. In the fourth season of the original G.I. Joe they brought in a number of new characters including this guy. Based on the professional Wrestler of the same name, I give you, Sgt. Slaughter. In G.I. even though he was only a Sergeant he was tough as nails. He gave the Cobra Emporer Serpentor a real fight in the premiere episodes. And he proved to be one of three G.I. Joe characters who would go on to fight the three main leaders of Cobra La in G.I. Joe: The Movie. As with Sgt Slaughter’s wrestler personality his character was known for taking out-of-shape soldiers and turning them into more efficient fighting machines. He proved so when he first took the laxidaisical G.I. Joe team in Season 4 and toughened them up. He did so again when he took Duke’s slacking younger half-brother Lieutenant Falcon and had him clean his act up in a  hurry. This dude here captures the esscence of Sgt. Slaughter and it’s always a pleasure to see those who remember the great television programs of old.

This picture is dedicated to a close and dear friend, Peach Wookiee. Phasers on stun! Here we have a cosplayer dressed as someone from Star Trek: The Next Generation. This series essentially lauched the careers of Johnathan Frakes who played Riker; Patrick Stewart who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard; Brent Spiner who played Data and Michael Dorn who played Worf. It’s always a pleasure to see people who keep the spirit of Star Trek alive. I was actually in 6th Grade when Star Trek: The Next genertayiion or TNG for short came out. that was back in 1987. TNG would go on to be as popular maybe even more so than the original Star Trek. The fact that Gene Roddenberry the creator of the original Star Trek was hevaily involved with the series helped a lot. I remember how my family would gather around to watch Star Trek: TNG and see what Picard and the crew would be up to that week. I miss that series and since then Star Trek has gone through a nummber of changes. But I for one will always hold a special place in my heart for the original Star Trek and TNG. And like I said when I see cosplayers who continue to keep the spirit of Star Trek alive it does my heart a world of good.

And here is another character from Dragonball Z. Here is his glory the powerful, dangerous, and grumpy royal highness Vegeta, prince of all Saiyans. In Dragonball Z Vegeta started out as a dangerous, and ruthless bad guy but over time he mellowed out and met his future wife, Bulma from the original Dragonball series. The two would eventually go on have two kids, Trunks, and a daughter later on.  When I saw this cosplayer on Level 6 of the convention Center I realized i needed to get his picture. The fellow has captured everything from the costume to the hair of Vegeta. Anime hair is known for looking like something from a bad hair day. But anime characters make up for that with lots of power, and great character quirks. And in spite of his sour attitude Vegeta’s a character that can be sympathized with when the truth of his past comes out. Thing is he evenually will find his own redemption. What it is…well I’ll let Dragonball Z tell you that, or rather show you that.

  And just who do we have here standing alongside yours truly? Why it’s the talented and legendary voice actor Steve Blum. Steve Blum’s anime voice acting credits are the stuff of legend with characters such as Spike Spiegel, from  Ciowboy Bebop, Orochimaru from Naruto, Leeron from Gurren Lagann, and Gilmon from Digimon Season 3. His non-anime roles include Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII, Wolverine from X-Men the T.V. Series and Super hero Squad, Vilgax from Ben 10, TOM host of Toonami, and more recenmtly Starscream from Transformers: Prime. I had the privlege of meeting him at the Hard Rock cafe Seattle. You see shortly before Sakuracon I received an e-mail from the Sakuracon staff advertising the Guest of Honor reception at the Hard Rock cafe. It cost me $50.00 to get in but in my opinion it was well worth the payment. I got to meet so many great people there. Thanks to my stepfather and remaining calm as I walked there I found the cafe to my immense relief so I didn’t miss anything. When I first bumped into Steve Blum I told him that he had a voice as distinct as the late voice actor, Mel Blanc who voiced Bugs bunny and Heathcliff among others. Steve Blum was actually flattered by my comments. I also learned he’s quite the fan of Frank Welker, who incidentally plays Megatron in Transformers G1 and Transformers: Prime and Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime,  who also is in said Transformers series.  As for the Guest of Honor reception I do believe I may do this next year. It was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend this and give kudos to Sakuracon for this.

And once again we have a Pyramid Head. Pyramid head is an antagonist from the Silent Hill series. he appears in Silent Hill 2 and SIlent Hill: Homecoming. Noted for his Pyramid shaped head on his body, and his rather large and formidable looking sword this is a nightmare creature that you definitely do not want to meet in a dark alley. In Silent Hill 2 Pyramid Head was used to represent certain frustrations that the main character had. In Hiomecoming he was meant to be shown as the executioner of Silent Hill for those who had commited sins too unredeemable. It’s scary but then again the SIlent Hill franchise is meant to be a horror/survival game. In short anyone who plays it had best be prepared to have the pants scared off of them. And this sort of scary is not R.L. Stien scary, this is adult scary so I highly recommend anyone with kids under the age of 18 keep them away from this game untill their mature enough to handle it. Granted R.L. Stien is a horror writer but he’s more around the lines of the Stephen King of kids’ novels, so older kids and teens could handle his work. Since I’m a Silent Hill fan, and has shown it by once again playing Henry Townshend I was flattered to see someone keeping the spirit of Silent Hill alive. And I do confess to my joy that when I mentioned tio this SIlent Hill fan and the young lady he was accompanying she wanted to give me a hug. Hugs from anime fans always nice. And most anime fans including that young lady are nice people  who will treat you with respect.

 And who is this formidable looking dude here? Why it’s Casey Jones from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. In the series Casey Jones was a vigilante who was known for knocking the daylights out of bad guys and lawbreakers throughout New York city. Also based on the type of equipment he uses he’s a quintessential sports enthusiast. Not too surprising since in new York they have teams such as the Yankees, Mets, The Giants, the Knicks, and The Rangers to name a few. In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie back in the 90′s and in the more recent remake of the series put out by 4Kids entertainment Casey Jones got together with April O’ Neil, the reporter. Well the two are human and adults and to tell the truth i find the couple rather cute and appropriate. This fellow I think captures Caey Jones from his days on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series way back in the 1980′s. Back then Casey Jones was meant to be a knock-off of Dirty Harry. He was okay and definitely not someone to cross but I thought in the movie and the more recent T.V. series that Casey actually got a lot more depth and character to him than in the original series. But mind you this is strictly my opinion.  

When I examined this picture after taking it I recieved a burst of creative inspiration. Which is why I’ve titled this one, 3F which is short for (Furry friends Forever). I took this one on the 3rd or 2nd floor of the convention center. I found these furry friends walking around. Being that I’ve always appreicated the intricacies of furry costumes just had to snap a photo of these two. Also the fact that several other photographers were snapping pictures grabbed my attention. Any good cosplay phoographer knows it’s a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings.  Because a great picture can show up at a moment’s notice so you have to be ready. In my own personal opinion I think photoghraphy has become a lot easier in this era of digital cameras and computer photo shops. It makes so that if you understand how to use your camera and have the right type one can snap some great shots. I admit I sometims get shots with some glare but photography as with everything is a practice that takes time, discipline, and effort to master. And i think I’ve managed to get the hang of my Nikon Coolpix Camera pretty well.

When on the convention 4th floor the moment I laid eyes on this costume I thought “Holy cow, Cosplay magic!”. This fellow right here is dressed up a Wolverine from the X-Men series and Super Hero Squad. Wolverine was unique among the X-Men for two reasons. One, his mutant power is the ability to heal himself. Which means that even if the deadliest of viruses is introduced into his system his power automatically finds a cure for it. That was demonstrated in the 1990′s X-Men series when a time traveller from the future deliberately contaminated Wolverine with a deadly genetically engineeered virus.  Two, and this is rather an unpleasnat thing, he was captured by a  rogue agency he was experiemented on. His normal bones were replaced with liquid adamantite, a powerful form of steel. Wolverine’s powers allowed him to absorb the metal and gave him his adamantite claws which have became a trademark of his character. The thing is Wolverine was always meant to be a flawed anti-hero, let’s just say he has a nasty temper. I saw this fellow when I was heading into the area of the main events stage. We moved to the location where this picture was shot in order to get out of people’s way. The number of people at Sakuracon is quite a few. This pose right here I think captures the esscence of Wolverine’s character. Fierce and dangerous.

This picture right here is going out to my good friend Lobo Argost from Fanfiction.net. This is Sakura from Naruto, and yes she’s a ninja. She originally had a massive crush on Sauske, and would later be teamed with him and Naruto. However the poor girl like the rest of the Hidden Leaf village would be stunned when Sauske would (Warning spoiler alert!) end up betraying The Leaf village thanks to a nasty mark put on him by Orochimaru. The thing is Lobo Argost has never  been a Sauske fan. Simply because he never liked Sauske’s whole uppity emo thing. A lot of girls do, and I admit I don’t see what they see in him either because Sauske to me seemed well…kind of a horse’s patooty. As for the pink-haired Sakura Lobo Argost is fan of the couple Naruto/Sakura. There are those on Fanfiction.net who support this couple and it’s well kind of caused a sort of shipping war (A couples war) Personally as I get older and reflect on all the shipping wars the more useless and a complete waste of time I see them as being. Why get angry over something like another person’s oponion? This is America everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. The beauty is we don’t neccessarily have to listen or agree with it.  That’s why I’ve never really participated in the shipping wars, because I find them to be a waste of time and energy. As for this young lady when I explained that Lobo Argost was a fan of Naruto/Sakura  and how I wanted to take a photo of her, she happily oblieged. I do confess I’ve written some stuff with Lobo Argost concerning Naruto/Sakura, but let’s just say it’s not the sort of stuff children should see.  In this benevolent dictatorship known as my blog I stick to the rule family friendly material only and I stand by that rule.

And here we have Mr. Hattinclog from Bleach. He was always lending aid to the main character Ichigo and even helped him to unleash some of his greater power in the course of the series. Later on it was discovered that he was a Soul Reaper who left the Soul society for his own reasons. He started his own unique store on Earth and collected a unique group of individuals to serve as staff and help out when needed. The nifty little something he’s carrying is more than just a sword it’s called a Zanpakto and it’s powerful weapon made of conecntrated spirit energy. Ichigo had one such and later mastered it’s power in order to help it, and himself, reach a greater level of power in order to defeat his enemies. The one main problem with the series and many have complained about this is that there are too many filler episodes and not enough episodes that advance the storyline. This is  a curse that many have also accused Naruto of.  I actually happen to agree here a few less filler episodes and more ploline and character development in each episode would advance the story much quicker and attract more audience members. But well, this is only my opinion.

And who is this mighty looking elf hero. Why it’s just one of the most legendary characters in all of the history of console gaming. I give you, Lin,k from the Legend of Zelda  series. The fellow has been around since The legend of Zelda II way back in I think it was the late 80′s to early 90′s. For a short time they even had a Legend of Zelda cartoon on T.V. but always Link has been an important part of the Legend of Zelda series using his magical sword to blast differing types of bad guys. I’ve had friends who’ve played the most recent Zelda games and from what I’ve been told they’re actually pretty good.  I actually captured this fellow in his Link cosplay on Level 3 of the COnvention Center. It’s always nice to se people keeping games series from the “old school” alive.

This frightening fellow here is Ryuk (Pronounced: Ree-youk), a Shinigami. This creature is from the anime series Death Note. Death Note is a more adult anime series. In it a High school honor student, Light Yagami, finds a book called a Death Note. The thing about it is when a name is written in it that person dies, either by heart attack or some other horrible means. Light Yagami decides he’s going to use it to kill the criminals of the world and become the God of the new world. Ironically in the process he becomes the very same creature he set out to destroy. It reminds me of a saying by Frederich Nietzsche, “Those who fight the monsters, should see that they do not become one. For when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you.” Where Ryuk comes in is he becomes Light’s companion shortly after he first picks up the Death Note. This cosplayer here I thought does a pretty good rendition of the Shinigami. And this cosplayer even has an apple with them. Ryuk was always fond of apples from the human world. Why this is so the anime and manga never made clear maybe it was the texture, the shape, or something else.

Watch out for gun toting bloodsucker. Here we have Alucard, from the manga and anime of the same name. Alucard is a vampire that has made it his mission to kill other vampires. I found this cosplayer on Level 4 of the convention center. He is carrying guns but I’d bet any amount of money those guns don’t shoot anything and are actually meant for posing purposes. That”s one of the main rules for when you get your weapon peace-bonded by the Sakuracon people. Another is no sharp objects and no metal objects, since those could also hurt someone. I’d probbaly think it’s a good guess these weapons are plastic or more likely wood. I’m pretty confident my axe could pass peace-bonding since the axe that I bought for my henry Townshend costume in reality is made entirely of plastic and has no sharp edges. Rules are rulea and even for this fang-bearing cosplayer those rrules are meant for con-goer safety.

And here’s a retro blast from the past. Here’s Speed Racer from the anime of the same name. Funny thing is when I watched this show years ago I didn’t think of it as an anime, I just thought of it as another cartoon. It was only after I started watching anime that I discovered that Speed Racer was an anime. What made it so revolutionary and controversial was at the time it came out cartoons usally had people ejecting from their vehicles when they were too badly damaged. Speed Racer didn’t have that. It was very shocking to a lot of people back then, as was the concept of making the episodes all part of one storyline.  By today’s standards if you were to show this anime to any NASCAR driver or Indy car driver they’d tell that’s around the lines of the sort of stuff they go through when out there on the track.  I know that a few years back they made a Speed Racer movie, it was okay in my book, not great, but okay. It certainly did a lot better than the Dragonball movie that came out. Ask any anime fan and they’ll tell you the live action Dragonball movie was a disaster because the writers and director paid no attention to the original storyline. The story for the live action Speed Racer was kind of campy but unlike Dragonball they actually captured the esscence of the old anime series. And it’s always great to see those cosplaying as characters from classic anime. I caught this Speed Racer in the area on the 6th floor where the video games fighting games, Dance, Dance Revolution, and even Rock Band are located. They moved it from it’s location on the 4th floor klast year. Change is inevitable but it can be a good thing.

Okay a little story behind this picture. First off for security purposes I’ll refer to this gentleman as Mr. James. This fellow here is from my Taekwondo school, he’s been one of those who’s really helped get things going with the martial arts demonstrations the past several years at Kumoricon here in Portland.  Well when I made mention I was heading to Sakuracon in Seattle he said he’d see me there. And lo and behold while wandering around the 6th floor looking for cosplayers look who I just happen to bump into? Mr. James here is playing Sebastian from Black Butler. In my personal opinion this is a really good cosplay he’s even got some contact lenses that give him demon eyes. Ah, the wonders of this modern age. It’s always a pleasure to see that I’ve managed to bring even one of my fellow Taekwondo students into the world of the otaku, or anime fan. It makes for more good company when an anime convention feels kind of lonely. 

Be careful of this dynamic duo! Here is yours truly with a celebrity by the name of Reuben Langdon. For those of you who don’t know who this fellow is, he’s a stuntman, a stop motion performer, and an actor who has done the voice of Dante in the Devil May cry series. Because of his multiple martial arts training he’s worked alongside the likes of Sammo Hung in the Martial Law series and Martial arts comedy legend Jackie Chan. He also owns his studio in Japan Just cause productions. I first met this fellow at the Hard Rock cafe Guest of honor reception. And after seeing him in action I can say this guy’s martial arts abilty put him at a level right up there with the likes of Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. And that’s far above my humble martial arts ability.  One of the most recent productions this fellow did was a documentary on the Kagashima disaster. Kagashima was the nuclear plant in the area that got hit by the recent earthquake and tsunami over in Japan. He did a little panel in which he showed the disaster and it’s results. I listened and learned quite a bit. I can’t say I agree with all of it. But I kept my mouth shut and just listened. As my mother likes to say “Everybody’s got their sacred cow”  proverbially speaking of course.  Like I said I can’t say I agree with everything but I’ll not argue the point over it. This is after all America and everyone’s entitled to their beliefs.

And right here we have Code name: V, from the movie V for Vendetta. In the movie a young woman living in a dark and dystopian future England is nearly assualted by corrupt policemen working for an even more corrupt government. Code name V as it turns up was one of the corrupt government’s victims but he escaped and has launched a cmapign of vengeance against those corrupt officials. The cosplayer playing V is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. According to historical records Guy Fawkes was a terrorist, a  criminal from the 17th century.  He was also a Catholic who wasn’t happy with the Church of England. What he’d planned to to do was murder the whole of Parliment by blowing up the main office of Government affairs where parliment as well as James the first the then king of England were doing their business. Afterward he’d planned to see  a Catholic king would be insstalled who would bring England back under the control of Rome and the papacy.  However as the story goes just as Fawkes was about to take a torch to one of the barrels of gunpowder he’d planned to use to blow up parliment he was caught in the act by law enforcement. Since then the Guy Fawkes mask has become a symbol to many of revolution and change. Unfortunately more extreme elements in the U.S. see this mask more and more as a call to violent and disrespectfully disruptive  action against this country. And I’m one of the strong opinion that  if we want to change this country for the better our best course of action is going through the ballot box, voting that is. We can disagree to our heart’s content and discuss things in a polite and civil fashion. That’s America and that’s how Democracy works. Polite political discussion is a sign of a healthy and vigorous country. But when fringe elements use the law as a means to commit violent and unlawful acts, then we have a problem.  As for this cosplayer I think they’ve done a wonderful job of capturing the esscence of the V character. 

And here we have a couple more characters from Hetalia: Axis Powers. Here we have Russia and Italy . As I explained earlier Hetalia is an anime comedy  with the charcters taking on the names of their respective countries. There are a number os tereotypes used throughout the series. so like I said this isn’t exactly a series for little kids.  I’ve yet to see much of the series myself but from the tidbits I’ve seen it looks  pretty funny. And the dub voice actors they used in it as I understand did a pretty good job. Perhaps maybve someday when i get out from beneath the piles of anime I’ve collected already I’ll be able to do a critique of the series.  So much top do and so little time.  So well that’s just how life is.

Another of my Day 2 pictures. Here we have the notrious Col. Van Pelt from Jumanji. In the movie a young boy gets sucked into a magical anjd dangerous board game and when a couple of other kids reopen it years later dangerous insanity breaks loose. In the course of the game the good Col. comes out wanting the first boy’s head. The kid in question who later becomes an adult is played by Robin Williams. I saw this movie on video years ago and I absolutely loved the whole concept of Jumanji and all the dangers that came in the adventure. He may not be an anime charcter but Van Pelt is not the sort of fellow you want to get on the bad side of because this guy is a ruthless and dangerous hunter. I met this cosplayer while I was in the Merchant’s hall of the convention. On day 3 I purchsed a whole bunch of Claymore manga from there. Ido have a copy of the series and as soon as I get the chance I plan on doing a critique of it. On day 1 actually hunted down where Kumoricon has it’s registration booth jusst so i could good-naturedly harass the staff there. Conventions are about having fun after all. 

And here we have two more characters from Full Metal Alchemeist we have another Hawkeye and we have Luis Armstrong. Physcially Armstrong was one of the most powerful men under the command of Col. Mustang. Known for frequently throwing off his jacket in order to launch into a session of flexing the muscles on his bodybuilder suized frame this alchemist was also known for being loud, brash, and possesing a jolly temperment save for when he goes into battle, then he’s all business. The only one I saw in the series who could match up to Armstrong in physical muscle mass was the husband of Ed and Al’s teacher. In fact at one point int the series the two got into a flexing competition. Also Armstrong got a peek into Ed’s world when he accompanied the protagonist to his home village. I have to say the cosplayer playing Armstrong I’m pretty confident goes to the gym on a regular basis, not to menti0n they obviously live the bodybbuilder lifestyle to some extrent. How else could anyone in real life achieve a luis Armstrong type of body.

And this one is going out to my good friend Tygra from IMVU. Here we have a picture of Sessshomaru and Inuyasha both from the series Inuyasha. Both htese characters are half-demons and are from the same father. However Sesshonmaru developed a rather antagonistic view towards humans. Meanwhile Inuyasha kind of likes human, even though he doesn’t want to admit it. He also acts tough and even snobbish in the series. That’s where the amulet of a girl named Kagome comes in handy. After slipping it on Inuyasha at the start of the series all Kagome has to do is say, “Sit boy” and that literally takes Inuyasha face first off his feet. That’s a good thing because Inuyasha’s attitude can get kind of grating. As with these two cosplayers in the anime series Inuyasha and Sesshomaru start off being bitter enemies. But over the course of the series things cool down between the two. The funny thing is, each of them gains a powerful blade that their full demon father meant to give as gifts to them. It seems that their father in spite of being a fearsome dog demon had some sense of heart.

And speaking of Edward Elric here is one of the main characters from Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Fortunately in both Vic Mignogna plays Edward Elric. A wise choice on FUNimation’s part as having seen both series Mr. Mignogna does a superb job of being the dub voice for the fun-sized Alchemist. I caught this cosplayer in the area outside of the autographs hall and main events. it’s pretty roomy in there and there’s lots of light from the glass windows so there’s plenty of room and plenty of light with which to get some great shots. I have to say the guy who did this Edward Elric costume I thought did a pretty good job. It’s always a pleasure to see those cosplayers who take pride in their craft.

What you’re seeing here is not a furry. Furries are actually cute and cuddily. There’s nothing cute and cuddily about this character. Here’s Bowser from the Super Mario Bros. vconsole game series. He’s actually the main bad guy of the series. Constanly kidnapping Princesses and doing all sorts of bad stuff with his minions Bowser is a nasty opponent who can take down poor Mario if a player isn’t careful. A lot of anime fans at Sakuracon are also console and PC game fans, myself included. And Super Mario Bros. is pretty old. This series actually got it’s start back in the mid 1980′s when the first Nintendo Entertainment system came out. The early days of console and computer games were glorious times filled with inventiveness and fantastic amounts of wit and humor. Bowser as you can guess kind of looks liek a cross between a gladiator, a dragon, and a turtle because of the shell on his back. Still that shell is a great way of ensuring no one can backstab him. Overall Bowser is considered one of the classic video game antagonists of all time and it’s a pleasure to see anyone take such great care in replicating the character.

The moment I laid eyes on this cosplay in the hall where the anime theater rooms are I just knew I had to snap a picture. this fellow here is dressed as a gundam. Gundam are humaniod-shaped robots or mecha as they’re known in Japan. Over the course of franchise many of piloted the powerful fighting machines. One of the most notable groups of pilots were in Gundam Wing.  The series when it was on Toonami back in the late 90′s I th0ught was tremendously well done full of intrigue, plots, and lots of action. It was also a very gritty and dark series full of lots of killing. I definitely do not recommend this series for little kids, older kids can see the softened version that they showed on Toonami, and those 18 and older can watch the uncut and unceensored versions. G-Gundam granted had Gundam in it’s name but many saw it as different from the original Gundam series. In fact the creator of the G-Gundam series said so hinmmself that it was completely different from the other Gundam series. Because of the series Gundam toys and Gundam model kits are a hot selling item with many anime/manga memorabillia collectors. Yeah, it safe to say the Gundam bran has become a million-dollar industry.

And here we have another fellow from the One Piece series. The fellow is dressed up as Zolo (or Zoro as he’s known in the Japanese version of the series). Zolo is known for a three sword style one  of which he actually puts in his mouth. That’s not exactly sanitary fella’. Still it helps him get things done as he seeks to become the best swordsman on the sea and learn as many attacks styles as he can. All while trying to keep Luffy from doing something careless and getting killed. What’s rather interesting is the swordsman actually started off as a pirate hunter. Strange how a pirate hunter can go from that to becoming the second-in-command of a pirate crew. But Luffy’s crew are known for having very unique talents. And Zolo (or Zoro) is most certainly no different. As for the series itself I’ve heard it on authority from many anime fans that after 4kids dumped the series that they’re very happy with FUNimation taking over the proverbial steering wheel of the series. I actually find myself in agreement here. Funny thing though the guy who wore this costume, either it was my imagination or the guy sounded British based on his accent. But then again from the persepctive of British citizens we Americans have a funny accent.

And here’s a picture that makes this old school Whovian veryhappy. This fellow is actually cosplaying as Doctor Who #4, played by British actor Tom Baker. I like many Whovians am of the firm belief that Tom Baker was the best Doctor. He was constantly scheming and planning. But on the same hand Tom Baker had a certain wit, charm, and a sense of humor that a lot of Whovians such as myself found irresistable. The scarf, that long flowing multicolored scarf is a legendary signature of he fourth Doctor. it always thrills me to no end to see those cosplayers who remember the old school of Doctor Who. Sure the new school is okay. But the older Dooctors are always going to be some of the most remembered.  And I made emntion to this cosplayer that he just made this old school Whovian very happy. Kudos to you sir, kudos!

Since I opride myself on fairness and balance I can’t show ninjas without at least showing some pirates. Even at Sakuracon steampunk has managed to gain a foothold in it just like those fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is magic. Steampunk is a mixture of fantasy swords and sorcery with the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th century. In the course of my travels I realized I had to get some pirate as well as ninja picture ottherwise all the pirate cosplayers would make me walk the plank. And after the success of the Pirates of the Carribean movies pirates have seen a resurrgence in populariy as cosplayed characters.  And I’m glad this cosplayer agreed to be one of my pirates I shot. Yo ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

Hey there web-slinging fans, what do we have here? It’s the legendary Spider-Man. Ever since Spider-Man fiirst came into being there have ben many incarnations of the web-slinging wonder. When Stan Lee created him for MARVEL comics back in the 1960′s the premise of it was to have a superhero who had a secret identity as a teenager. I’ve watched all the Spider-Man series  throughout the course of my life. But I’ve always thought the Spider-Man series that FOX Kids Entertainment did back in the 90′s was closest to what Stan Lee had in mind when he created the series. One line that stands out in the Spider-Man series is something Ben Parker, Peter’s Uncle who is later slain,  said to Peter Parker (Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man). He said “With great power comes great responsibility”. The funny thing was Stan Lee when he wrote that simply made it up on the spot, He never knew that so simple a statement could become so profound even in modern culture. And it’s a saying a lot of people would do well to learn and keep close to heart in this day and age. As for this cosplayer I was outside the biggest panel room when I saw this fellow standing around and knew what I had to do.  Little did I know much work I’d slowly been giving myself. 

Start running folks here we have a cosplayer dressed up as the Joker, one of Batman’s deadliest enemies in the DC Comic. There have over the years been many versions of the clown prince of crime. The version who looks more dark and psychootic is found in such things as Batam: Arkham city. And he kind of resembles Keith Ledger’s Joker. His performance turned out to be so deliciously psychotic and evil. Granted he didn’t have the campy laugh and he didn’t havethe eternal grin but he was one sick fellow with the deeds he did. I knew i just had to get this fellow when I saw him on the 6th level of the convention Center. Even in the anime fans there are a lot of comic book fans. And this comic book fanatic captures the esence of the Joker quite nicely. 

And here is a MARVEL comics fan’s dream. Here are three cosplayers in the part of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. All three of these characters are powerful heroes of their own ability. But they’re also members of the super-hero group the Avengers. The movie based on the long lasted Marvel Comic will be coming out next month. I’ve seen the previews for the movie and it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic roller coaster ride. One of the best things about the Avengers movie is Joss Whedon, the guy who did Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be directing it. And based on what I’ve seen from the trailers it looks as though Whedon has inserted his dry and sharp sense of humor into this movie. And that’s just fine every director has their own individual style. And these three characters in this pictures are some of the most legendary members of the team. What would an Avengers movie be without these three characters?

And here we have another dark character, this one from the MARVEL universe. Here we have the Ghost Rider. Originally he was a stunt motorbiker who made a deal with the devil, really bad idea! It was originally meant to save the life of his mentor. Johnny Blaze would eventually become the Ghost Rider, the Devil’s Bounty Hunter sent to reclaim souls that hd escaped from hell. I was quite surprised to see a cosplayer dressed as the Ghost Rider but this was not an oppurtunity I was going to miss. I’ve kicked myself in the rear for messing up and missing out on a lot of things but there was no way I was going to let this photo get away. And I was very happy to see the results were a clear photo of one of the most famous of MARVEL’s dark antiheroes. Beware the Ghost Rider!

And for my final picture on Day 3 we have Steampunk pirate. That’s right a steampunk pirate, adding a nother Pirate to the policy of fairness and balance.  Ah, the pirates vs. ninjas rivalry at conventions it’s all in good clean fun, and it’s a funny stuff. Okay tere’s a bit of a story here. After i got the Ghost Rider picture I went through all my pictures and discovered to my astonishment that I’d collected a total of 49 pictures, 49 pictures! I’ve never shot that many pictures ever. I love cosplays and everything but sheesh 49 pictures that’s just insane! So on Day 3 I shot this one picture to give myself 50, which is a good round, but very large number. Whew, getting all these pictures put up takes time, energy, and patience. I’m seriously starting to consider perhaps being more selective about which pictures I put up. Nothing personal but next time I may have 60, and that would be an even bigger handful. Oh dear, the pains I go through for my art.

And there you have it ladies and gentleman. All 50 of my Sakuracon 2012 photos. It was hard work getting all these up but it’s a labor of love. And I hope you have as much fun looking at these pictures as I had taking these pictures. I didn’t take a picture of the hotel I stayed at because well, I’ve already shot a picture of the Sheraton (See: Sakuracon 2011 photos). The next convention will be Kumoricon in September, that’s going to be loads of fun and less expensive since it’s near my hometown, and at the end of last year’s Orycon I decided to sign up for the Hilton Honors plan. And since Hilton is a national chain of hotels I strongly suspect tthat the Vancouver Hilton will happily give me a discount since I’m a member of the Hilton Honors plan. A frugal traveller knows you should always shop around for the best deals and take discounts where they can find them. In this day and age discounts are a precious thing. Anyway that’s it for Sakuracon 2012. I again hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures and hopefully when I can find time in my busy schedule I’ll see about getting another critique up. Untill next time this is Scififantasyanimeman saying I will see ya’!

Review of Mobile Fighter G-Gundam Part 2

•02/05/2012 • Leave a Comment

 Hello again everyone Scififantasyanimeman here bringing you Part 2 of my critique of Mobile Fighter G-Gundam.  Now let’s get right back into the action shall we?

After the narrator reviews recent events and the story title Master Asia and Wong re discussing the state of the Gundam fight. The battle Royale is set and will take place after Domon and Schwartz’s match.  Wong mentions Domon and Schwartz met once before in the Gundam fight and Schwartz easily defeated him. However Master Asia points out Domon has progressed a great deal since then. The Wong shows Master Asia what he intends for their final match and Master Asia is horrified. The arena for the match is being laced with electric netting and explosive designed to go off after a certain amount of time.  Am I  the only one who thinks Wong has gone way too far here?  The ring has basically been rigged with 50,000 tons of explosive the exact amount of the first nuclear device if I’m not mistaken. And while Wong doesn’t mention so verbally he really is out to get rid of both Domon and Schwartz who he sees as threats to the Dark Gundam’s recovery. His plan is once those two are out-of-the-way he’ll just awaken his ultimate fighter Allenby who he has locked in cryogenic stasis below the palace.  Now Wong’s agenda is perfectly clear.
Meanwhile Argo and Domon are seeing Andrew Graham off. Once Andrew returns to Neo-Canada he’ll enter a rehabilitation program. And unfortunately Domon has had little success in his efforts to find Allenby. Argo mentions that Neo-Hong Kong  is full of mysteries. Just then someone calls out to Domon. It’s Commissioner Karato and Dr. Mikamura is with him. Domon asks the head of Neo–Japan what’s wrong. Karato then hands Domon Rain letter of resignation much to his surprise. Basically Rain lays out because she’s lost Domon’s trust she can’t continue as Domon’s partner. Dom0n growls about how Rain is only thinking of herself…untill Dr. Mikamura snaps. He tells Domon that he is the one thinking of himself. Basically he applied all that pressure to Rain untill she snapped that’s why one should be careful around the Kasshu family then turned away.  Dr. Mikamura had a point about Domon applying  so much pressure to Rain. Still the question arises what did that last bit about being cautious around the Kasshu family mean?  Karato appoints a substitute. Domon says he doesn’;t need anyone then Karato points out that Domon caused  this, which is the truth.  AS always Domon demonstrates an infuriating stubbornness.
Meanwhile Rain is wandering the streets of Neo-Hong Kong when she hears about Domon’s impending match. She realizes that because she’s taken a  leave of absence this doesn’t concern her anymore.  Then she spots someone who looks like Kyoji across the street. She runs off after him and ends up following him into a dark alley. Not the best place to be Rain.  However this time Rain ends up running into the hanger of one Schwartz Bruder and Shadow Gundam. And Schwartz has spotted her and at first wonders if she’s come to scout Domon’s next opponent. Over a nice cup of tea Schwartz learns that Rain has quit. Then rain apologizes for her lack of manners wonders if she’s bored Schwartz. However the Neo-Germany fighter is far from bored. And mentions that Domon is like a child, he only sees what’s in front of him rather than thinking about the feelings of those around him. You think so?  But then Schwartz points out because Domon only knows how to communicate his feelings through his fists this is to be expected. And rain gets the feeling that talking to Schwartz is like talking to Kyoji, that is she feels comfortable doing so.  Then Rain is snapped out of her reflections by Schwartz who has an idea, he suggests having her look at fighting Domon from the other side of things. Meanwhile in a burst of thunder and lightning rain starts to fall on the most prosperous  city on Earth.
Meanwhile Domon’s replacement crew member comes to him needing him to get into his Gundam so she can make adjustments. It seems that BurninG Gundam differs from Major Alube’s Gundam which she was in charge of.  Domon at fiurst stubbornly refuses but than agrees but is annoyed by doing so.  A short time later as dawn approaches Domon does some last-minute training then chats with the other SHuffle Alliance members. The Karato demands Domon get ready rather than chat with the others. Sai Saichi in his own childish way taunts Karato then spots the young lady who is Rain’s replacement. Domon explains that Rain is no longer with them and that he’ll fight using his own strength. Then Schwartz shows up deriding Domon’s mentality. AFter the SHuffle Allaince mentions that if they can’t beat Schwartz what chance do they stand against the Dark Gundam? Domon however swears he’ll fight to the very end. Schwartz is amused by Domon’s boast and  then introduces his new partner…Rain dressed in attire similar to Schwartz’s and wearing face ask. But the eyes and the hair make it clear who she is. This is in my opinion is a masterful plot twist and places Domon in a  rather awkward situation. The rest of the Alliance, Commissioner Karato and Dr. Mikamura are stunned by this change of events.  Then Domon demands an explanation. Good grief Domon still hasn’t figured it out?
In the next scene Shadow Gundam and Burning Gundam enter the arena. Domon is still stunned by recent events despite his best attempts of set his sights on Schwartz. Meanwhile Rain is having some difficulty with this also. This despite the fact she mentally tells herself Domon and she are enemies now.  Master Asia’s keen interest is drawn to the match because of this development.  At Wong’s command the battle begins.  And so does the timer for the explosives.  Rain’s replacement mentions Domon’s systems are all green but now it’s all up to Domon. Schwartz slips away from his battle of strength. Schwartz then launches a furious assault on Domon with his shadow blades and an energy net attack. This leads the Shuffle Alliance to believe that not even Domon can beat Schwartz.  Akino,  at Karato’s instruction tries to provide Domon with support but the stubborn Neo-Japan fighter refuses the help believing he’ll get Schwartz with his burning fingers…that hope is dashed when it’s learned there’s been a short out in the hyper mode linking circuits  in the right arm of Burning Gundam. Okay this definitely throws a monkey wrench into the works. Wong is amused by this sudden development. Master Asia meanwhile mentally hopes Domon can finish this before time runs out.  Meanwhile Rain is having attack of concioience, on the one hand she knows what the problem is and can fix it on the other hand she’s on the opposing team now and can’t help in any way lest it jeopardize Schwartz’s chances. In the arena Schwartz taunts Domon wondering if he’ll ask Rain for help but Domon is so intent on defeat Schwartz he actually calls Rain a traitor. Schwartz decides it’s time to finish the match.  Schwartz’s Gundam starts spinning around the arena gaining velocity. The other Alliance members recognize this as the move used to defeat each of them.  Schwartz’s attack slams into Domon adjust as he’s thrown against the electric wiring. Badly damaged Burnin Gundam falls limply to the ground. Schwartz them mentions that Domon hasn’t changed since back then. To answer the question of what Schwartz means Domon’s mind flashes back to when he was a child. Little Domon was frightened because he was on a  bridge that was a far distance above a river and waterfall. Domon was so frightened untill his brother Kyoji mentioned that instead of looking down he should concentrate on what lies ahead and that was the end of the bridge and his waiting family.  Remembering this Domon starts to suspect that Schwartz Bruder may in fact be his brother Kyoji. Domon then remembers that what he really needs cheering him on are the voice of those he cares about the most. And most of all he remembers Rain and how important she is. Finally, he starts to get it! Rain comes toa  decision and tells Domon how to overcome the technical issues with his Gundam. Having had the chance to look at things from an opponents perspective Rain realizes she’s not a fighter who communicates with her fists and so she felt like she was being left behind by warriors such as him and Allenby. She decides she’s going to just do her best from now on even if it means offering support.  She does so because deep down she still has feelings for Domon Kasshu. Domon battered and beaten but not out does as Rain says and the system starts to adjust and overcome the technical issues much to Karato’s relief.  However even though this has irked Wong he notes that the two are just about out of time. Master Asia mumbles that this is the crucial moment. Domon is back on his feet more determined than ever to win this and understanding what he’s fighting for. Schwartz meanwhile is determined to see if he can stand up to the bind of love Domon and Rain share. Schwartz moves in for another final attack while Domon combines burning finger with the secret technique of the school of the East. Just as the two reach other launching attacks…time runs out and the arena blows up.
The the fire and smoke from the explosion blind all as to what’s happening in the arena.  Domon somehow manages to come out the victory while Schwartz collapses to the ground. Rain and Domon are reunited. Domon finally realizes how important Rain is to him.  Took him long enough sakes! 
Master Asia realizes he’s going to indeed need Domon to fulfill his purpose.  Wong is disappointed that he wasn’t able to get rid of either opponent. Though mentally the scheming leader of Neo-Hong Kong is nowhere near ready to give up. Back in the arena a medical team arrives and puts Schwartz ona stretcher. The mask is removed…and Domon and Rain are  surprised to see it’s Kyoji who compliments Domon on how well he did in the match as he’s carried off. Before he lapses into a coma he warns Domon to be careful of the island. And yet another twist in a great series.

The episode starts out with the members of the Shuffle Alliance with their crewmates save Argo ho as always is locked up in his cell. The narrator  sets the stage for things and even introduces the name of the Island where the battle Royale will take place…Lantau Island. The music and the atmosphere I thought was set fairly well in the beginning. Afterward Domon reflects on recent events as he and Raina re escorted from where Schwartz is being kept at a Neo-Hong Kong hospital. The armed guards make it clear no one is seeing Schwartz yet. Rain tells Domon to back down but like her beloved Gundam fighter she has no intention of backing off, she just as a more subtle plan. Outside Rain explains her plan. Since her main profession is being a doctor she can slip by security. Domon remembers this and begs her to find out if it’s true and Schwartz is indeed Kyoji. Rain understanding the dangerous situation Domon is going into takes his hands and tells him that while she’ll do her part she wants him to come back alive. Domon promises this and tells Rain he has something to say to her when she gets back. Domon asks Rain to find and take care of Schwartz/Kyoji then releases her and heads off. Rain is left clearly worried for Domon. Considering everything that’s happened in this case it’s understandable.
The crowds and the media have gathered to watch the carnage that’s about to unfold on Lantau Island. Underground however darker events are taking place. The Dark Gundam is almost fully recovered from the events in the Guyana Highlands. Master Asia makes his plans for what he wants to do with the Dark Gundam believing it to be the key to his plan which is as of yet not quite revealed. However Prime Minister Wong Yunfat who is tuning into Master Asia’s little rant believes the Dark Gundam is under his control with the help of the as yet still captive Allenby.
back upstairs a certain female reporter who has been present at all of the matches explains how Lantau Island will have barrier generators that will turn it into an arena for the Battle Royale. Domon enters thoughts of Schwartz, Rain, and his cryogenic stasis held father coming to his mind as he heads for the Island. Sai Saichi heads for the Island reciting Shoulin words of wisdom thoughts of Kelun and Zuisen in his mind. Chibodee approaches the island with his team of girls in tow determined to make his dream of becoming champion of the Gundam fight a reality. George in typical knightly fashion kisses Marie-Louise’s hands promises to strive to honor his nation by winning the championship. Marie-Louise explains her thoughts will be with the chivalrous Neo-France fighter. Argo heads for the Island as Natascha watches. The Neo-Russian fighter makes it clear he fights for his friends/crewmates and for Natascha. The other Gundams arrive including Neros Gundam, Cobra Gundam, Royal Gundam and Zeus Gundam. Then Master Asia astride Phoonpsyche, both in their respective Gundams arrive. After a verbal exchange of trash talk Master Asia makes it clear that he’ll fight Domon eventually. hen Domon spots what looks like Allenby and her Gundam zooming by.  Then his attention is drawn to an annoucement from Wong making it clear he’ll be watching keenly to see who will emerge as the Gundam of Gundam from the battle Royale.  The barrier is activated and the match begins.
AS things get underway Sai Saichi and Argo get into a battle while Chibodee and George fight. Meanwhile  another Gundam approaches Domon…it’s Zeus Gundam. And Marcelot, Zeus Gundam’s pilot is looking for some payback. AS they fight it out Wong watches and decrees that the Gundam fighters offer up every last bit of strength they have to resurrect the Dark Gundam. Meanwhile Domon makes it clear he hasn’t got time to play with Marcelot. Domon ends the battle quickly, or so he thinks, with a Burning slash attack that connects. As Domon turns to leave however mechanical tentacles from the Dark Gundam slither up from the ground to draw in Marcelot.
Meanwhile back at the hospital Rain in a doctor’s uniform slips into the hospital and manages to fool the guards. A dangerous path but also very subtle. Rain meanwhile wonders why there’s so much security concerning Schwartz?  She manages to get into the room but then hearing more people coming hides in the shadows. A group of doctors and nurses enter being accompanied by…Dr. Mikamura of all people. The medical doctor asks for his help as he’s an expert in the field of cybernetics.  They take the sheet off of the body of Kyoji and…surprise he’s an android. This is as much a shock to Rain as to Dr. Mikamura. The male doctor hypothesizes that he was human but somewhere along the way he became an android. What’s creepier is the fact his mechanical body is composed of DG cells. Rain wonders why this is so and why he looks like Kyoji? An excellent question Rain.
Back on the island Domon is looking around noting that things have gotten too quiet. Then an explosion occurs behind him. Racing to the scene Domon discovers Jester Gundam and Cobra Gundam blasted to pieces.  Domon wonders why anyone would want to destroy them like this as there’s no good reason. Then he hears the familiar sound of galloping hooves. And he recognizes who it is. It’s Zeus Gundam sure enough. Domon is then battered by Marcelot who’s far more powerful than he was a few minutes ago. After getting battered Domon realizes why. Marcelot and his Gundam have been exposed to DG cells making them even more powerful.  Domon is trapped in a web like attack by Zeus Gundam and blasted by an electrical charge. As Domon wonders how Marcelot got exposed Wong decides it’s time to play his hand and calls forth the Dark Gundam. The island and the ocean nearby are rocked by a massive earthquake. The old man tells Hoy and Meng to get inside the boat. The Dark Gundam emerges and a massive tidal smashes into the fleet of ships near the island watching. Chibodee’s crew are knocked from their speedboat, Marie-Louise and everyone else manage to stay on their yacht. The old man who’s had experience with violent ocean currents steers the ship. But then he spots something in the cloud of smoke that scares him half to death.  The Dark Gundam emerges in all it’s hideous and monstrous glory. On the mainland of Neo-Hong Kong power is knocked out after the tremors hit. The hospital switches to the backup generators. The Dr and his medical staff rush out. Once again Rain hides in the shadows. Dr. Mikamura stays however. Dr. Mikamura then reaches towards Kyoji almost as if he were…about top strangle him. Then Kyoji wakes up and makes it clear he is indeed Kyoji Kasshu the son of Dr. Mikamura’s former best friend.  Rain wonders what going on here? I was of the same opinion.
Back on Lantau island Domon finishes the thought Rain started as she watched Dr. Mikamura and Kyoji from behind some equipment. Domon realizes this is what Schwartz meant when he told Domon tobe careful on the island.  Master Asia appears and reveals  that he Marcelot, Michalo Chariot, and Gentle Chapman are now the four Kings of the Dark Gundam.  Things just got extremely interesting.

The next episode starts with the narrator summarizing what’s happened thus far. Leading up to Michalo Chariot and Soaring Raven Gundam swooping in to attack Domon.  Meanwhile Schwartz/Kyoji and Dr. Mikamura have a conversation. Kyoji tries to get up and finds that he can’t. Dr. Mikamura has grabbed a scalpel much to Rain’s dismay. Kyoji struggles but hasn’t the strength to hold out against the Dr. forever. Rain decides to intervene. Dr. Mikamura is shock and horrified that Rain has discovered this and heard that he plans to eliminate all those who know the truth about Dr. Kasshu and The Dark Gundam,/ Truth, what is this about?  Back on the battlefield Master ASia taunts Domon while he struggles against Michalo and Raven Gundam. Domon asks why Michalo crossed over to the darkness. The Neo-Italy explains that it was so he could defeat Domon. It’s obvious that Michalo hasn’t gotten over when Domon first defeated him.  Back at the hospital Dr. Mikamura drops the scalpel. Rain asks her father why he’s doing this. Shame-faced he turns away. Kyoji however has no compunctions about explaining things.  It began when the Dark Gundam was first created…but back then it had another name….the ultimate Gundam. Then Dr. Kasshu’s lab was stormed by the military who had their own intentions for it. And the man who led the effort to take the Dark Gundam…was Commander Alube!  Dr, Kasshu’s guards and even Dr. Mikamura betrayed him.  Kyoji breaks free of two guards who had captured him and heads for the Ultimate Gundam intending to see it doesn’t fall into the Neo-Japenese military’s more diabolical hands. Alube orders the guards to fire but then Dr. Kasshu’s wife, Kyoji and Domon mother got in their line of fire. Dr. Kasshu meanwhile was placed in cryogenic stasis to keep him silent. Meanwhile Kyoji headed to Earth with the Dark Gundam and confirms the effort to seize the Dark Gundam, or Ultimate Gundam as it was known, was all a  plot hatched by Alube.  Rain is horrified and believes that what Kyoji has said is a lie. But Dr. Mikamura faced with the truth has no choice but to admit it. Dr. Kasshu was always three steps ahead of Mikamura in research and development. Dr. Kasshu was the one who was able to point out the flaws in Dr. Mikanmura’s Shining Gundam. When the Ultimate Gundam was created the jealousy of Dr. Mikamura turned into hate. The reason Dr. Mikamura wanted the Ultimate Gundam was so he could lay claim to the theoretical abilities that Dr. Kasshu developed. The ability to self-recover, self multiply, and self-evolve. Dr, Mikamura’s own greed and jealousy got the better of him. Rain is furious at this confession. Worse still He tricked the Kasshu family into helping him try to hunt down the Dark Gundam so he could seize control of it. A teary-eyed Rain states that what Dr. Mikamura has done is too cruel. Dr. Mikamura was against the idea of involving his daughter Rain but Mikamaura had no choice as he received orders from Alube himself. Now why would Commander Alube take an interest in Dr. Mikamura’s daughter? Rain gives her father a nasty reprimand for what he’s done. Dr. Mikamura explains that all he wanted was the research on the Dark Gundam for himself. However Kyoji believes that no one not Dr. Mikamura nor Alube should have it…good thinking that much power in anyone’s hands would be disastrous. Kyoji then asks for Rain’s help.
Back on Lantau island Domon is getting the daylights pummeled out of him by Michalo. The DG cells the Neo-Italy fighter has are making him stronger, faster, and more powerful on a scale that not even Domon can defeat. Meanwhile Rain at Kyoji’s insistence takes some electrical wires. Dr. Mikamura tries to talk her out of it but she refuses to listen to her father anymore. She uses the wires on Kyoji and the DG cells on him regenerate even though Kyoji himself is in great pain. A medical doctor has to do what’s best for their patient even if it’s not always the most pleasant. Back on the battlefield Domon tries an erupting Burning finger in desperation but Chariot deftly dodges it  before he moves in for his final attack.
But just before Soaring raven can hit Domon is saved when Argo uses his Guya Crusher attack to protect Domon from Michalo. Soaring raven Gundam then gets nailed by an attack from Sai Saichi and Dragon Gundam. Michalo is of course furious at being interfered with. Meanwhile Natascha  whose ship was wrecked by the tidal wave wonder why the Dark Gundam is on Lantau island. Then she gets aboard the old fisherman’s boat and she’s not the only one. The other Shuffle ALliance crew members and even Marie-Louise got on board after they were shipwrecked. Hoy and Meng as always make their presence known. But they also call her old lady. Natascha is slightly irked by this but not angry. Chibodee’s team mange to get a view of the island. Noting that members of the Shuffle Alliance have joined forces Natascha is confident they won’t lose much to the kids’ delight. Back on the island Domon united with two of his fellows in the SHuffle Alliance launches a burning finger attack at Soaring Raven Gundam. The DG cell infused Gundam however absorbs the attack then hits them with a nasty whirlwind attack.  The crew then lose the transmission. Natascha is flustered as she wants to know just what’s happening on Lantau island.
Meanwhile Rain helps Kyoji emerge into the light of the outside world. On the roof of the hospital Kyoji makes it clear he has to get out of there. With a  final goodbye to Rain Kyoji calls out to his repaired Gundam and takes off. Wait just a second…how did Shadow Gundam get repaired so quickly in was in a wrecked state when seen last. A little problem with the story here.  Rain watches Kyoji take off. Rain decides she’s not going to sit back anymore, she decides to get the truth to Domon. She decides that action shall come by her relaying the information in Rising Gundam, ironically this was Alube’s old Gundam from when he was in the Gundam fights. Back on the battlefield of Lantau island Argo and Sai Saichi tell Domon to head to where the Dark Gundam is waiting. Domon is unsure of this untill Sai Saichi of all people tells him its the duty of the Shuffle Alliance.  The three Gundam perform a triple Guya Crusher attack which creates a tunnel for Domon to get to where the Dark Gundam is. Michalo tries to prevent this but it’s too late Domon heads down the tunnel and Sai Saichi and Argo turn to deal with Michalo. Both know they want to fulfill their dreams but understand that the fight against the Dark Gundam is more important. Both Gundams activate their Super Modes. Sai Saichi dodges Michalo’s attack and slams into him driving him towards the ground. The Neo-Italy gangster is shocked wondering if Sai Saichi is trying to make him crash untill…too late he sees Argo has drawn out energy and ball and launches an attack that first ties up Soaring Gundam then slams him into the ground. Sai Saichi then activates part of his staff which turns into a spear and smashes through the head of Michalo’s Gundam. Sai Saichi then turns and says goodbye to Argo. What, say it ain’t so Sai Saichi, say it ain’t so?  Argo’s one regret is that they couldn’t have had a decisive match. Back on the boat a protective bead that Sai Saichi gave his mentors breaks apart…a bad sign. Natascha is also horrified realizing what’s happen to Argo. Back on the island Domon emerges from the tunnel and notes the wreckage. After seeing what has happened Domon is livid with Master Asia and swears on his crest to defeat him and the Dark Gundam. However Master Asia has different ideas and sends a rock tumbling his way. That rock turns out to be holding none other than Gentle Chapman. Master Asia leaves Domon with a task of defeating the Neo-England fighter before meeting up with him.  And here the episode ends, and just as things were about to get even more insane than they already were.

After a brief recap by the narrator things start off on a fast note. Domon realizes he has to defeat Chapman fast so he goes for an Erupting Burning Finger attack on Chapman. The blow connects…but Domon gets a surprise when the Neo-England fighter in unaffected by the attack. Grand Gundam, Chapman’s current Gundam, exudes a strange smoke which leaves Domon unable to see. Chapman then lets loose with a vicious counterattack. Chapman lets loose with a  bellowing roar that can be heard all the way to the fishing vessel where the others are. Chibodee’s girls don’t known what it is…however Marie-Louiseand  Raymond have heard it before. They recognize it as the voice of the Gundam that attacked George. But before they can go to help a familiar voice tells them to wait. It’s Schwartz Bruder. After being asked why he’s here he explaims he’ll save it for later. Then shows that the barrier around Lantau island is a double barrier that extends above and below ground.  Marie Louise is outraged because she thinks Schwartz Bruder doesn’t have anyone in there he cares about. Ma’am if only you knew.  Schwartz begs to differ Kat from Chibodee’s team sums it up that they want to help but for now are completely powerless to do anything.  Then Rising Gundam with Rain arrives. Shirley then shows she’s not just a pretty face when she gets an idea.  The power of the two Gundams interferes with the barrier which according to Shirley will create an opening which will allow them to get in and destroy the barrier by taking out one of the corner posts which is key to the barrier. Schwartz/Kyoji and Rain are hoping that Domon is holding out.  Meanwhile Domon is getting the daylights pounded and stomped out of him by Grand Gundam which has since gone onto its super tank mode ala Dark Gundam alterations.  Master Asia watches awed by how the DG cells have made Chapman more powerful than when he won three Gundam fights. Chapman and Master Asia get a little surprise when Chapman gets blasted off his feet. Gundam rose then swoops in and picks up Burning Gundam. Chibodee then tells Domon to get moving while George and he take care of business.  Grand Gundam gets back to its feet. Domon then warns Chibodee Chapman is piloting Grand Gundam. Chibodee however is not intimidated having always to take on the Neo-England pilot.  Chapman then lets loose with the massive cannon on Grand Gundam. George then joins in with a rose bits attack. George hopes this will at least buy some time. They then make it clear that Domon needs to head on to the Dark Gundam. They have a duty as The SHuffle Alliance, also Chibodee and george want to pay Domon back for giving them a chance to escape back in the Guyana Highlands.  Domon awed by this noble act is brought to tears with reluctance Domon turns and heads off. George and Chibodee then get hit hard by Chapman. Back on the boat Shirley gets a bad feeling. Back on Lantau island Domon arrives at where Mater Asia is. But before the two can engage each other Wong Yunfat decides to add another complication to matters. After tremors rip the ground apart and Noble Gundam in berserk mode emerges. Oops, problem.
Domon tries to reason with the Neo-Sweden fighter but in berserker mode she doesn’t understand reason or logic. Wong has decided that it’s Domon Kasshu that’s needed to revive the dark Gundam but Allenby Beardsley.  Master Asia is furious and tries to lecture Wong. However the arrogant leader of Neo-Hong Kong isn’t listening as he means to have Master Asia watch as Allenby gets rid of Domon. Master Asia decides to sit back and see how far  Wong Yunfat, ever shallow and the coward that has someone else do his dirty work , will go.  Allenby forces Domon back to a cliff and almost knocks him off save for a single hand which catches the ledge.
Back at the fight between George, Chibodee, and Chapman, George uses as rose streamer to drop a mountain peak on Chapman. The attack connects with grand Gundam. Meanwhile George and Chibodee  leave the immeadiate area.  They hide behind a nearby Rock wall. Chibodee is slightly annoyed with himself at losing track of his bullet count.  However the conversation doesn’t last long as Chapman is far from defeated. In fact dropping that mountain peak on Chapman only made him mad.  Chapman demands the two come out. Chibodee explains that his gun is low on energy and down to one last shot. The only way to beat him is to get up close and fire through his cockpit. The move is risky and may cost them their lives. In spite of this Chibodee makes a bet the loser has to buy the winner a drink. In Chibodee’s case it’s wine from the U.S. George chastises Chibodee on his irresponsible  lifestyle until George unintentionally shows that he’s been carrying some French Champaign with him. Oops, busted!  The two pour out their alcoholic beverages, their only real regret is having not been able to have a decisive match against each other. Chapman meantime has spotted the two. The Shuffle Alliance fighters break their glass bottles on their Gundam swearing that they’ll survive this encounter.
Back at where Rain and the others are the two Gundam manage to create a small hole…a hiole big enough for Marie-Louise to fit through. Raymond voices his concern as the slightest wrong move could injure Marie-Louise. However the young princess of Neo-France has her sights set on helping. She’s determined to risk herself for George and the others. The young lady has truly become a woman by understanding risk and responibility to help others. Marie-Louise bumps her head against the field but then crawls through Raymond begging her to be careful. This show of maturity on Marie-Louise’s part indicate a refreshing growth. And even if it’s a just a little all characters have to change and grow somehow.
back at the fight between Chapman and the Neo-American, and Neo-France fighters Chibodee wishes his friend and rival good luck. Chibodee readies his shot while George leaps into battle challenging Chapman for the insult he suffered at the Neo-England fighter’s hands some time ago. Chibodee approaches george . Then george launches a Rose Hurricane attack. This surprises the Neo-England fighter. At george’s cue Chibodee fires…and Chapman dodges at the last-minute. Oops problem. Grand Gundam grabs Gundam Maxter from its huiding place and prepares to blast it at point-blank range. George launches a desperate counteroffensive. Meanwhile in spite of her dress edges getting burned and some electrical burns Marie-Louise makes it through. She finds the post which is the key to the field and throws an explosive device she’s been carrying. The device hits…and does it’s job. Schwartz however has been badly weakened by the effort. Rain turns and heads off to find Domon. The various crews of the Gundam head off to find their respective pilots. 
Gundam Maxter is blasted by Chapman.  At first George and Chibodee think all is lost George spots a rose bit that got stuck in Grand Gundam. George grabs a leg of Chapman and unblances him, while screaming the name of Marie-Louise. Chibodee battered and beaten, but not broken says a true T.V. Trope, “Goodbye, champ!” before launching the rose bit into the cockpit of Grand Gundam. The Gundam is knocked over and explodes.
Domon somehow senses what’s just happened but then is knocked from his precarious position by a blow from Allenby’s energy ribbon. The crazed Neo-Sweden fighter demands that Domon fight with her now. Noble Gundam swoops in for an attck…but then gets blindsided when Riising Gundam arrives. Domon wonders who is piloting it. And here the episode ends. The episode starts out with what happened at the end of the last eo

At the beginning of the next episode the narrator tells us that we’re about to find out about the tragedy that occurred between Schwartz Bruder and Kyoji Kashu. Ironically the name Schwartz rests in grace, Domon’s Tearful attack made me think…Why do i have the feeling this isn’t going to end well?  The episode starts out with Rising Gundam swooping in and slamming into Noble Gundam and the crazed Allenby. The surge of the blow sends to two combatants hurdling into the nearby bay,. Then Domon is ambushed by Master Asia who tells him to give up on his dream of facing the Dark Gundam. Domon refuses to do so. Master Asia tells him he’s helpless and will never succeed. A new voice however tells him to keep going, the voice of none other than Schwartz/Kyoji.  Kyoji breaks Master Asia’s lock on Burning Gundam and then makes it clear to Master Asia he won’t allow him to harm his brother. The truth is finally in the open Schwartz is indeed Kyoji, this leaves Domon absolutely stunned.  Wong Yunfat is absolutely livid with frustration as one contingency after another keeps coming his way. He wonders where Allenby is and discovers she’s underwater fighting with Rising Gundam. Wong order Allenby to break free and return to being Allenby slave of the Dark Gundam. Allenby with a massive surge of energy breaks free and then transforms. This confirms rain’s fears she’s been contaminated with DG cells.  Back on the surface on Lantau island Domon asks his brother how this is possible. Kyoji tells Domon he’ll explain later as he’ll take care of Master Asia while Domon should go on to the Dark Gundam. Domon does as his brother says and heads off. Master Asia taunts Domon telling him to go see the state of his real brother’s existence. Domon discovers that indeed his brother is in the Dark Gundam and he looks battered and his clothes torn up. Domon is left throughly confused as to how there can be two Kyojis.  Just then the Dark Gundam ambushes Domon. Master Asia heads to Domon and tells him its his fault that the Dark Gundam is in this state. Because Domon defeated it in the Guyana Highlands the Dark Gundam hasn’t fully recovered. He wants Domon to offer himself up as the pilot and replace Kyoji who Master Asia says is about to breathe his last breath. But Master Asia in the midst of a mocking laugh gets a surprise when Wong contacts him and explains that it will be unneccessary to have Domon be the pilot.  He then explains the dark Gundam can survive without a pilot for a short time. Dark Gundam tentacles emerge from the Earth much to Kyoji/Schwartz’s horror and Master Asia’s surprise. Wong then explains it can survive long enough to do what needs to be done. AMong other things destroy him. Ah, and the rats turn on one another. Master Asia is furious at Wong’s betrayal. SOmehow though I knew this was coming. Master Asia breaks free of the Dark Gundam heads that attack him. Calling Phoonpsyche he heads off to find Wong not wanting the Dark Gundam to be used for the Neo-Hong Kong Prime Minister’s own malevolent purposes. Then Master Asia’s health problems pop up again.
back Underwater rain is getting pounded by the more experienced Allenby. Rain tries to explain to Allenby that if she’s a fighter who communicates with her fists then she should resist the DG cells and help Domon. Unfortunately all the crazed Neo-Sweden fighter can think of is Domon as she blindly lashes out at Rain. Rain is then thrown a surprise after getting nailed by a  blow from Allenby. It turns up the Neo-Sweden fighter is in love with Domon. This I admit was a surprise when i first heard it spewed from Allenby’s mouth. Awkward situations often make for great T.V.if done right and i think this little plot twist actually worked. Rain is absolutely stunned.
Back on the surface Wong makes it clear he’s decided to take the man’s advice and get rid of all the riff-raff. His plan is to make the new pilot of the Dark Gundam Allenby Beardsley. Back where the Dark Gundam is Domon saves The Kyoji in Shadow Gundam. The Kyoji in Shadow Gundam begs Domon to strike the Kyoji in the Dark Gundam otherwise he’ll never be able to defeat it, Domon asks the Kyoji he just saved what’s going on and why there are two of him. Kyoji decides to come clean he explains that his body and”soul” have separated. He’s Kyoji’s image in a mirror.
Domon learns from Kyoji the truth about the dark Gundam when it was the master Gundam. He explains how the Master Gundam because of its theoretical abilities was meant to help resurrect the Earth. But Alube and Mikamura had other plans. So Kyoji at his father’s orders took it to earth. However the impact corrupted the computer on the Master Gundam and caused it to become the Dark Gundam. It then captured Kyoji and stored it within. It was all because Dr. Mikamura couldn’t control his jealousy.  Domon is heartbroken that all this time he’s been chasing after Kyoji based ona  lie. Kyoji explains it wasn’t his fault Dr. Mikamura and Commander Ulube took advantage of Domon’s obedient nature.  As Kyoji’s conscience began to fade he had the dark Gundam use Schwartz Bruder to become a reflection, a composite clone of him with the mission of helping Domon. The reason he didn’t Domon is his true identity was because at the time Domon was so hot-headed he’d have never believed. And besides as long as their father’s life was at stake it was necessary that  Domon do everything in his power to win the Gundam fight. The youngest member of the Kasshu family is more certain than ever that the man before him is indeed his older brother Kyoji.
Wong still in his palace has been watching everything. He’s surprised the Kasshu brothers found each other again.  But he’s about say how it doesn’t mater when violent shaking interrupts his thoughts. One of his staff then contacts him and mentions two Gundam are fighting outside. Allenby meanwhile knocks Rain out of the water and into an arena. Rain starts to suspect someone is controlling Allenby.  Wong callously decides it’s time to get rid of Rising Gundam and activates the Berserker system full Berserk. Allenby screams in pain begging whoever is doing this to stop. Rain meantime has been using Rising Gundam’s shields to deflect Allenby’s attacks.  Then a scan of the contaminated Noble Gundam reveals that it’s the Berserker system that’s causing Allenby such pain.  Rain has doubts about whether she can hit it without harming Allenby since the Berserker system is so close to Allenby’s cockpit. After dodging another attack from Allenby Rain decides she has no choice. She activates Rising Gundam’s laser bow and aims for the Berserker system. Where’s the WIlliam Tell theme when you need it. raim understands while she may not be a martial artist she knows she’s a Doctor with feelings. And because of those feelings she’s determined to help free Domon and those who stand with him be free from the infection of DG Cells. Just like a true Doctor.  Shr fires an Ultimate arrow at Noble Gundam…and hits the Berserker system dead on without harming Allenby. Just like a Doctor performing a delicate surgery. Then Allenby collides with Rain and the two topple into the bay. Wong is stunned and horrified, this wasn’t what he had in mind.” Wong, you got splainin’ to do” To paraphrase the late actor/musician Desi Arnaz. Wong having lost his favorite play toy goes insane and calls on the Dark Gundam to destroy everything.
Meanwhile Master Asia has returned…wait a second wasn’t he just off to talk with Wong? How is it that he realized the problem of Wong had been dealt with? Another plot hole here. Master Asia explains how he wants Domon to fill in as the core life unit for the dark Gundam and has been training him for this while using the funds from his Gundam Fight championship to accomplish his goal of reviving the Dark Gundam. Kyoji and Shadow Gundam free Domon and realizing his body’s life is slipping away goes in for a desperate attack. However the Dark Gundam proves too strong for the badly weakened Kyoji. Kyoji leaps from a  destroyed Shadow Gundam and grabs onto his body. The Dark Gundam tries to absorb him. Master Asia’s health issues meanwhile have returned. Kyoji then asks Domon to destroy the cockpit and him as well. Domon is horrified at this prospect. Then Kyoji calls him a crybaby and reminds him of the crest that makes him a  member of the Shuffle Alliance., and reminds of those who sacrificed themselves to get here. Master Asia begs Domon ton stop as he launches towards where the Neo-Japan fighter is. Domon meanwhile has come to a decision, he lets loose with an Erupting Sekeha Kyoken attack that obliterates the Dark Gundam. And Master Asia is knocked for a loop as well. But poor Domon is left with the fact that he had to kill Kyoji in order to destroy the Dark Gundam. I knew this episode wasn’t going to end well and sure enough it didn’t.  And  the tragedy will continue in the next episode.

The episode starts out with the final moment when Dom0n makes that final decision and takes out his own brother and the Dark Gundam. The Shuffle Alliance who Domon doesn’t know have actually been rescued, their crewmates, even Master Asia and the scheming Wong Yunfat are stunned (And in Master Asia and Wong’s cases horrified.) that Domon has defeated the Dark Gundam, Yet, why couldn’t I help but have the feeling that the game was far from over. Domon himself as pointed out by the narrator is emotionally devastated. However there’s no time to rest because the time for the final showdown between teacher and apprentice has come. Kind of reminds me of when Ben Kenobi met with Darth Vader in Episode 4 of Star Wars. However unlike Star Wars in G-Gundam the roles are reversed the student is the good guy and the teacher the antagonist.
Master Asia is livid with anger over what Domon has done. But then Domon tells his old master to shut up and calls him a  heartless villain for wanting to use the dark Gundam to take over the world with Wong. However Master Asia states he never said he wanted to take over the world in fact he only took advantage of Wong’s position to resurrect the Dark Gundam. Master Asia explains he’ll tell Domon why he did whjat he did in the language he understands, that being his fists, Domon accepts and so begins the final match of the Gundam battle royale.  The Shuffle Alliance members and Chibodee’s girl watch the fight. But Bunny wants to geta  closer look. Chibodee however tells them to stay out of it. He also notes this will go down as the greatest Gundam fight in all history. The two warriors fight back and forth untill Master Asia uses one of his sectret techniques. Then he asks Domon if he remembers The Island they were on and the ruined state it was in. Then he asks about all the cities he’s been in and their ruined state. Master Asia then explained that after the last Gundam fight he came to a decision that he would help revive the Earth. Wong ever the politician tries to sweet talk Master Asia into winning the championship so they can recreate the Dark Gundam into a “kinder, gentler” Gundam. Master Asia however has had enough and makes it clear to Wong that he’s a typical sleezeball politician who knows neither kindness nor gentleness. To summarize things,  Master Asia explains that his goal is the same goal as the Dark Gundam…to wipe out all humanity.  Master Asia believes that by keeping humanity off the Earth that it will allow Nature to restore the planet and ensure that humanity can never harm it again.  Domon is stunned and horrified by this as is WOng who’s certain that Master Asia has gone crazy. No kidding! Just then Wong gets an unexpected surprise when Rain and Allenby’s battle reaches his palace. Oops, surprise contingency. The palace gets trashed in the fight and Rain wonders why the berserker system hasn’t shut down. Having no choice she let’s Allenby’s Gundam bite her hand allowing her to launch an ultimate arrow point-blank into her Gundam. The explosion knocks Allenby free of the system. Whew, fast paced action, you have to love it.
In the dust of the ruined palace Rain finds Allenby the battled doctor favoring one arm collapses to her knees crying because she was unable to save Allenby. However she gets a surpise when her father shows up. He explains the DG cells have not taken over Allenby’s body. He realizes he has no right to call himself her father after involving in his scheme. But he intends to make amends for the sins he’s committed by testifying to the truth and clear Dr. Kasshu of the charges against him.
Meanwhile back at the fight Asia goess on about making amends for the sins that mankind has committed against Earth. He explains that the Gundam fight is not an ideal war but a joke, war is supposed to be about suffering and pain. Domon points out the Gundam fight is better than sacrificing hundreds of lives. But as they fight Domon realizes that Master Asia’s fists are “crying” as if there were some deep sorrow within them. Even as Master Asia pummels Domon he asks himself why are Master Asia’s fists crying so? Then Domon remember as what Master Asia taught him a martial artist’s fists are the windows to their soul.  Then Master Asia’s health issues pop up anew and Domon asks if Master Asia is dying.  Master Asia retorts that’s none of his business. Domon decides to make it his business. The two martial artists then use another technique of the school of the East.  The other members of the Shuffle Alliance watch in awe the sad soul of souls dueling, the truest form of martial arts match. Master Asia then asks if Domon is having trouble understanding how he feels? Then Domon knocks his fist away and explains something to him what Master Asia plans is nothing more than mass destruction. The reason is Master Asia has failed to take a simple fact into account, a simple fact that a lot of the more extreme environmental groups in the U.S. have failed to realize also. An effort to restore Earth without taking people into an account is doomed to fail because human beings were created on Earth, Therefore human beings are a part of nature. Therefore any scheme which involves wiping out humans who have lived on Earth for thousands of years is indeed doomed to fail.  Master Asia flustered by this decides that the time has come to see who wins this battle therefore decides the argument. Both Gundams go into super mode and use the ultimate technique of the school of the East. The two  launch their final attacks as the explosion they put out is a tremendous force. The other shuffle Alliance members however refuse to budge. At first it looks as though Master Asia will win easily . He mocks Domon untill Domon shows he’s been holding back as he means to show he can surpass Master Asia. Domon then combines the Sekeha Kyoken with his own Burning Finger technique and finally takes down Master Asia. Domon then gets a surprise when Master Asia smiles and congratulates Domon on becoming a true King of Hearts. As the battle ends the ring posts around the Earth deactivate. In a dream the dying Master Asia is visited by the members of the previous Shuffle Alliance. It appears they’ve had an epiphany. It seems they were wrong top question whether the Gundam fight was a correct method of battle. It seems they placed too heavy a burden on Master Asia. And Master Asia was devastated the destruction the Gundam fight had wrought knowing he had helped cause it. That was what set the current tragic events into motion.  ASs the spirits of the original shuffle Alliance disappear into the great beyond to await Master Asia they mention that all they can do now is hope the next generation of the Shuffle Alliance make things better.
Master Asia awakens knowing he’s dying. And he realizes that he was about to make the same mistake that he made before again. He’s remorseful for what he’s done and happy that Domon still calls him Master. He also shows that all this time he’s been fighting with no DG cells whatsoever. This is probably one of the most epically sad moments in G-Gundam. And I felt the music, the shadowing, and the textures of the animation captured this scene well. This scene brought me to tears and it takes a lot to do that. The two collectively chant that same phrase they chanted when they first met each other in Shinjuku so long ago in the series. And with that Master Asia, one of the greatest martial artists in the history of the G-Gundam universe passes on to join his fellows Shuffle Alliance members.

The next episode starts out on a somber note with Domon watching as Master Asia’s Gundam is consumed in a ceremonial funeral pyre. Even Phoonpsyche in his own horse-like fashion choses to cry for his beloved owner. Not surprising there. Phoonpsyche looks like a well-cared for steed. Master Asia may have been an enemy but he showed he took care of his horse, which said something.  After the intros the scene shifts to the fishing boat which Domon has used as his sanctuary for so long. The old Fisherman is readying the sails while his grandchildren are impatient to see Domon’s victory. The other Shuffle Alliance members unfortunately haven’t achieved their goals, however George for one is rather refreshed.  And Argo is certain his friends will understand. At a Neo Hong-Kong hospital Dr. Mikamura has removed all the DG cells from Allenby and while she isn’t awake she’s out of danger.  Rai  meanwhile is verbally meditating over the fact that Domon won it all. He beat the Dark Gundam and defeated his own teacher. Just then a group of shady looking soldiers arrive to get Dr. Mikamura. When I saw the soldiers i thought uh-oh this smells of Alube.
At the celebration Domon is meditating over  things Master Asia said. He begins to wonder what gain came from the Gundam fight.  Just then a joyous Commissioner Karato arrives via a flying platform to congratulate Domon on its first Gundam of Gundam title and the right to rule space for four years. Domon mentions that he’s not interested…untill Karato mentions because of this all charges against his father will be dropped. suddenly something comes to Domon’s mind and he leaps off of Burning Gundam. Commissioner Karato demands he come back. Then Domon tells Karato to give it a rest or he’ll turn down the championship. Karato asks his assistant what’s going on. Then ships head towards the site of the Dark Gundam battle. Commissioner Karato notes they are definitely Neo-Japan aircraft but wonders who could be ordering them. I thought, “You mean you’re only just now figuring out that something’s fishy here?’ . On board the biggest of the Neo-Japan craft Major Alube is making his move.
Domon meanwhile heads for the hospital and rain when he notes Rising Gundam and the dark Gundam thing Noble gundam had been trapped in.. Calling for Rain he awakens Allenby from her sleep. Allenby finds Domon and explains everything that happened to her. Then she says something that stuns Domon, that rain will never see him again. There was a plot twist I didn’t expect when i first saw this series.
Meanwhile on Lantau island the Neo Japan ships create an energy net to carry the Dark Gundam back to Neo-Japan for military experimentation. Dr. Mikamura asks if his daughter is okay with her decision. She says it’s as much for herself as anything but her face tells a different story. Domon meanwhile is running to stop Rain. Allenby’s message from Rain to him is basically that Rain will never Domon again because her father’s actions were the direct cause of what got Domon shackled as a Gundam fighter. In her book her father’s crimes are her crimes to bear as well. Domon trips on the ground then gets to his feet horrified and wanting to stop Rain. In the last part of rain’s message she begs him not to come after her. Rain however has different ideas. Then gets a surprise when the Neo-Japan soldiers won’t let him through in spite of who he is. Pushing the soldier aside he runs to the dock just in time to see the Neo-Japan forces carry the dark Gundam off. Meanwhile on board the flagship of Neo-Japan father and Daughter meet up with Ulube. The other SHuffle Alliance members arrive in time to also see what’s happening. Domon is heartbroken that he wasn’t able to get to Rain in time in fact he can’t see himself going on without her. Meanwhile a saddened Rain watches the earth slowly fade away as the fleet ascends into the sky. Meanwhile Ulube is going over a report on the Dark Gundam his men were able to retrieve from Wong Yunfat. Going over it, the report mentions that in order for the Dark Gundam to prosper it needs a healthy human with the power of life. Ulube then eyes Rain in a dangerously maniacal fashion. Uh-oh, there’s trouble in the horizon.
Ona  rainy day in Neo-Hong Kong Domon sits on the deck of the fishing boat looking very distraught having lost his master and the love of his life.  The Shuffle Alliance members feel for him but realize that they can’t stick around. Meng hands Domon the brain wave module Rain used. Domon casually throws it into the water. Meng and Hoy chastise Domon for just throwing it all away and not going after Rain. Domon says it’s not as simple and heads off for a walk. And I thought we American men were stubborn!
Meanwhile on board the flagship Rain is looking over things. In the office of Ulube on the ship Dr. Mikanura has decided tio surrender himself to the authorities having had an attack of conscience. But Ulube will not have any of it. The reason is he’s found a new unit to pilot the Dark Gundam. He explains that thanks to Wong’s research it’s been discovered that the one who can pilot the Dark Gundam is one who has the ability to givve life to the next Generation, in short a female…and it’s not just any female that Ulube has in mind…but Dr. Mikamura’s own daughter. And so Ulube’s ambitions are fully known. Dr. Mikamura runs to Rain and tells her to run for her life. Before he can fully explain Ulube comes along wielding a  pistol and explains for him before he opens fire. Back on Earth Domon is seeing to Allenby. SHe asks if he’s going to go after Rain. He explains it’s out of his hands untill Allenby points out she’s the most important thing in her life. At that very moment somehow Domon gets an eerie feeling that rain is in trouble. Meanwhile Ulube has a comatose and unharmed Rain and is on a platform moving towards the Dark Gundam. A bleeding and dying Dr. Mikamura sees this and the horror that is to come. Meanwhile A crazed Ulube has the Dark Gundam take in Rain as a sort of religious sacrifice.
Back on earth the members of the SHuffle Alliance arrive having received a strange transmission Natascha is checking the source. The Domon arrives and Chibodee explains rain is in danger. Back on the station a struggling Dr. Mikanmura tries to explain Rain is danger at the hands of the Dark Gundam and Ulube.  However Domon can’t get a clear message before it goes silent. Back on the ship Ulube fires his pistol but Dr. Mikamura as managed to slip away. Ulube is most irked because Dr. Mikamura won’t give up.
back on Earth the other members of the SHuffle Alliance insist that Domon go get rain. However the Neo-Japan pilot is uncertain. But then a bereft Sai Saichi asks him why he should need a reason. He asks is it because he can’t decide what to do and isn’t it he who’s pushing Rain away.  Domon is still unsure untill the old man chimes in mentioning who cares about the reason a man should risk it all for the woman he loves, that’s in his book the destiny of a man as the fisherman hooks and pulls the brain wave device out of the water.  Domon realizes that his victory has finally ben earned for the friendship of the Shuffle Alliance and for rain.  calling on Burning Gundam Domon takes off to save Rain. As the fisherman points out Domon is no longer a wanderbug but as large as life itself. Domon calls on his carrier and takes off. However his path is blocked by a bitter and angry Wong Yunfat who hasn’t forgotten that Domon deposed him as world leader. Wong has acquired the power of DG cells and is looking for some payback. Wong also explains he’d always intended the pilot of the Dark Gundam to be a woman. Aboard a Gundam also infected with DG cells Wong attacks Domon.  Wong’s efforts destroy Domon’s carrier sending him hurtling earthward. Wong then turns to head for space. meanwhile Domon gets a surprise when a familiar carrier/horse carrying the what Domon sees as the spirit of Master Asia arrives. Domon understands now. Higher up WOng is still heading spaceward when Domon returns. His new carrier transforms into Phoonpsyche in Gundam mode.  Domon then makes it clear Wong doesn’t have what it takes to be a fighter and proves it by wiping WOng out with an Erupting Burning Finger attack.  Wong mentions that his efforts will come to nothing as The Dark Gundam will still be revived. Domon tells Wong to shut up and then tears off the head of his Gundam thing before it’s destroyed.  Domon then charges into space on his steed to the rescue of Rain like a classic knight or samurai charging in to rescue the lady he loves.

After a quick summation of events thus far the story immediately grabs us again. Ulube orders the Neo-Japan colony into lockdown…and then kills everyone on the bridge of the ship that he’s on. The Dark Gundam roots itself in the Neo japan colony and takes it over Domon en route to the colony receives a message along with the rest of the universe from Commander Ulube Ishikawa (pronounced: E-She-Cow-wha). Basically he decrees as Neo-Japan’s first act as ruler of the universe he is abolishing the Gundam fight as Neo-Japan now reserves the right to rule eternally. Commissioner Karato and the other members of the SHuffle Alliance are stunned by this blantent coup attempt. The other nations in response break the cease-fire. Neo-America takes the first step in response by activating its ultimate weapon the statue of liberty canon. Now I must admit this part of G-Gundam I found rather unrealistic. mainly because why would our country turn an icon as sacred as the Statue Of liberty into a weapon of mass destruction? That just doesn’t make sense.  However when they fire the canon the energy barrier that has now encompassed Neo-Japan easily aborbs all the energy of the canon. Ulube mocks the attempt to thwart his plan.  Ulube then sends his own energy blast which obliterates the canon and seriously damages Neo America.
This point is where I think the English-speaking voice actor who played Ulube absolutely excelled in the fine art of villainy. Laughing with a calm, wicked delight Ulube calls on the Dark Gundam to rise up. Rain deep inside the Dark Gundam is absorbed by it. Then Domon shows up astride Phoonpsyche ready to take on Ulube.  Ulube recognizes Domon for who he is…and is not afraid at all. In fact he’s confident to the point of overconfident. Domon rashly declares he’ll destroy the Dark Gundam. Then Ulube shows that he’s made Rain the life-force unit of the Dark Gundam. Domon is horrified at the sight. First his father, then his mother, his brother/Schwartz, and now Rain. Domon is really enraged at being used so callously by Ulube.  and sets out to fulfill his mission.  Ulube mocks Domon and dares the Neo-Japan fighter to come after him.
As this is going on a struggling Dr. Mikamura continues to cling to life even as he notes the Dark Gundam has been resurrected partly because of his involvement. Dr. Mikamura realizing that he doesn’t have much time decides to at least put a dent in Ulube’s plans.  He heads off in a transport for another part of Neo-Japan and I think we can all guess where.
Meanwhile back on Earth the representatives of every nation re fleeing back to their colonies.  Argo points out that it’s foolish to do so because there’s no where they can go because it’s the Dark Gundam they face. Chibodee grabs Commissioner Karato by the collar and demands he take action. Karato however points out his hands are tied as long as Ulube is in control. Sai Saichi is furious also because he know Domon isfighting and they’re just sitting around. Zuisten and Kelun point ou the Gundams can’t break through the atmosphere by themselves. Natascha however offers an answer in the form of the ship that brought Argo’s friends here. And lo and behold who just happens to be running the ship…but Argo’s friends and crewmates.  The Neo-Russian woman then presses a remote control…and Argo is released from his shackles freeing him to fight without restraint. Argo is joyous but also stunned, such a move violates Neo-Russia protocol. Then Getting dangerously close to him Natascha points out that if there’s a problem she’ll seriously consider joining him and become a space pirate. That is another way of Natascha saying that she’s had more than enough of her government’s dirty tricks. And yeah it looks as though the fan base of this series can definitely support the couple Argo/Natascha.  The Shuffle Alliance board the ship and head for space to help Domon.
Back up in space Ulube as Domon struggles to reach him explains why he’s done what he has. He really began to understand after his meeting the Dark Gundam, when it left the scar on his face that forced him to hide behind a mask.  But what really fueled his lust for power was the last Gundam fight. He was known as the Genius fighter but ended up losing in the Gundam finals to Master Asia.  that’s when he realized that power was the only thing that mattered in his rather twisted mind. In short he’s ona  power trip. Domon outrage fights to reach him but is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of mechanical tentacles from the Dark Gundam.  Having only been defeated by the Undefeated of the East Ulube watched with cruel amusement as his one prize student and he fought. Wow, sadism anyone? Ulube mocks and torments Domon as he caresses rain. He tells Domon that he’ll be foining his beloved Rain soon, in a  grave. Domon has a flashback to conversation he and Rain had in the Guyana highlands on how at the end of the year Dr. Kasshu will be freed and they’ll have no more reason to be together. Domon tries to clam Rain down then sees her in the present as a [prisoner of the Dark Gundam and Ulube. The arrogant commander then sets out to finish Domon off. But then he gets a nasty surprise in the form of energy weapons firing at the Dark Gundam tentacles.
The other members of the Shuffle Alliance arrive along with the crew of the other Gundam [pilots and Argo’s crew united by a common bond. Natascha as the voice of the others, and a very compelling one at that calls on Domon to ring the bell proverbially speaking and start the match. Domon complies and the match with Ulube begins. The Shuffle Alliance proves formidable but again the Dark Gundam proves too powerful. But then Dr> Mikamura still struggling reaches a chamber even as he communicates with Domon and the others. He explains he’s going to release Dr. Kasshu and provide an opening  for the Shuffle Alliance to get in…at the cost of his own life. At first Domon tells Dr. Mikamura not to do it. But then Natascha points out this is no time for sentiment and that the SHuffle Alliance has a job to do. Understanding The SHuffle Alliance heads for the opening even as Ulube who is horrified at what Mikamura is trying to do tries to protect that Achilles Heel. Dr. Mikamura asks one last favor. he knows he’s beyond redemption for what he’s done. he asks Domon to save Rain explains that she is absolved of any wrong doing and the blame falls squarely on his shoulders. With his life slipping away Dr. Mikamura wonders if his former friend is laughing at him or thinking something else. With his last breath he presses the emergency release button and sends Dr. Kasshu’s cryogenic capsule hurdling into space. Domon seeing the capsule tries to go after it until Argo and the others block him. The NEo-Russia fighters points out Natascha can recover it. They have to focus on defeating the Dark Gundam. Domon turns back toward the SHuffle Alliance’s goal and sets out to defeat the Dark Gundam and rescue Rain.

Well folks now we’re getting now to the nitty-gritty we’re ar the next to last episode. The episode starts off with Dr. Mikamura making his final request for Domon to save Rain before he releases Dr. Kasshu’s cryogenic capsule into space. After the intro  George’s faithful butler aboard his own machine grabs Dr. Kasshu’s cryogenic pod and brings it into the ship where Commissioner Karato and the various Gundam crews are, along with Argo’s pirate crew.  Commissioner Karato and Kat goo to get Dr. Kasshu out. Natascha, who has taken command, understands that Dr. Kasshu is only one who can help Domon and the other because he knows what the Dark Gundam’s weakness is.  Meanwhile Ulube is not worried about the Shuffle Alliance penetrating believing them to be pathogens (germs.) that will be wiped out by the body’s white blood cells, or in this case Dark Gundam cells. Deliciously overconfident, again kudos to the American voice actor who was chosen to be Ulube’s dub voice.  Meanwhile the Shuffle Alliance zips towards where Rain is. Small circular objects appear and  surround the various Gundams. Chibodee goes off on his own attempting to destroy them. George however has a bad feeling and tries to warn Chiboodee against.  Chibodee punches one and immediately he and the others are hit with nasty electrical jolts. Trapped by this Ulube believes its over and sets his sight on the Dark Gundam’s next target the possession of Earth.  Giant mechanical tentacles shoot from Neo-Japan and barely miss Argo’;s ship. The plan becomes clear enough when the tentacle reaches earth. the thing breaks into smaller tentacles and begins consuming the Earth and all the people on it. Raymond tries to keep Marie-Louise, who is also on the vessel, from seeing what’s happening. Natascha knowing time’s running out asks Karato if Dr. Kasshu is revived yet. unfortunately they haven’t made much progress. But just when everything looks hopeless a familliar figure in the series Allenby, recovered from her ordeal launches a hula hoop attack. Then another Gundam Mandella Gundam and Kyral come in. The former assassin has decided to lend his help as a means of paying Domon back for his help. And they’re not alone. The governments of the world have not been idle. They’re launching all their Gundams in an effort to help thwart Ulube’s scheme.  Looks like Ulube in his effort to take over has encountered an all out world revolt. The Gundam fighters understand that nationality is nothing when the Earth itself is in danger.  Ulube arrogantly thinks they can do nothing…untill they see a united Shuffle Allaince break free of Ulube’s trap. Meanwhile Allenby and the other Gundam Earth side finish off the tentacles that descended to it.  Kyral tells them they must not concentrate their efforts on defending it. Natascha notes the Dark Gundam seems in pain. A new voice explains she’s correct. The voice belongs to a weakened but fully awake Dr. Kasshu.  Contacting his son Dr. Kasshu explains that the central power generator in Neo-Japan is how the Dark Gundam is getting it’s energy. He then tells Domon how much he’s grown up. Translation, he’s proud of his son. Domon takes off for the main generator. Ulube meanwhile is rather perturbed at this turn of events. He decides he’ll fight the Shuffle Alliance personally. And it seems he’s continued to work out. Why do i have the sneaking feeling DG cells are involved with Ulube also. He then activates his mysterious Grand master Gundam.
Meanwhile smashing through more Dark Gundam defenses The Shuffle Alliance reach the shelters and discover the people are all safe. Karato explains they’re trying to hack in to the hidden circuits on their end so they can get the cities and people therein to safety. In spite of the bad situation Domon teases Karato explaining that his concern for the people shows he may become a great leader after all. Karato is irked at Domon’s teasing. Then the signal starts to lose strength.  Dr. Kasshu decides to lend a hand by trying the code for the area. Somehow they manage to strengthen the signal. Dr. Kasshu then tells Domon where to go. The Alliance climbs in an elevator and heads for where the generator is. Chibodee teases Sai Saichi a little and asks if he’s nervous. Sai Saichi angrily retorts he’s excited. Domon then says something that again show how tiresomely stubborn he cam be when he says he’s going on alone.  However the other Shuffle Alliance members veto him by making it clear they’re not just doing this out of duty. they’re doing it because when they’;re with Domon they get into all sorts of interesting battles and find it to be an adrenaline rush.  Are the Shuffle Alliance members all crazy, could be, as a warm laugh is shared by all despite the circumstances.  They arrive to discover Ulube waiting for them. However in the course of the conversation when Ulube asks what Domon will do if he doesn’t return rain Domon says he’ll fight to the end. I thought, “That line is kind of corny.” personally I think a better line would’ve been “Return Rain or I’ll beat the living tar out of you!”. Another corny moment came a short time later when Ulube compares Domon to the valiant Prince, Rain the captive Princess, and himself the evil sorcerer. But then he shows a little surprise. The power generator for the Dark Gundam is in fact Grand master Gundam. Now that I thought was a nice twist.  Even better was the fact Grandmaster Gundam was a combination of all four Dark kings.  Each of the Shuffle Alliance launch individual attacks. All of which merely bounce off the monstrous machine.  Domon finally launches a fa Sekeha Kyoken attack at full power at the gigantic machine.  However Grand master Gundam isn’t even fazed by the attack. Okay, now we have a problem.  Ulube then hits Domon with a powerful blow knocking him into a nearby wall. Meanwhile the Dark Gundam reaches a new form spreading sickly looking wings. it leaves Neo-japan intending to descend to Earth. Meanwhile aboard Argo’s ship they get a signal again Ulube has been infected with DG cells and is no longer Commander Ulube but the avatar of the Dark Gundam itself. Commissioner Karato put it bets when he described the Dark Gundam as pure evil.  Meanwhile Domon is near the brink of breaking. But the other Shuffle Alliance members remind him not to give up. Then maybe it’s an illusion or perhaps the spirits of Master Asia, Schwartz and Kyoji, as well as his mother come. They remind him of his abilities and why this fight is too important to lose.  Filled with an immense new strength Domon goes into super mode.  The other members follow suit entering super mode. The group launches a collective Shuffle Alliance attack at the Ulube thing who suddenly doesn’t look or so sound so confident.  Teamwork , it gets the bad guys every time. However there’s a problem. The Dark Gundam isn’t dying. Dr. Kasshu realizes the only way to stop the Dark Gundam is to take out the life force unit. However Domon refuses to kill Rain. Instead he chooses to go after her. Meanwhile before he death the Ulube thing mentions Rain will never return to Domon.

And so at last we come to the final episode of what has overall been a good series. After the final intro by the narrator the story picks up with Domon desperately searching for Rain. Meanwhile Rain seems to be reacting to Domon’s approach. However for the rest of the Shuffle Alliance there’s trouble. The generator they thought they had destroyed is self-recovering and proceeds to hit them with a nasty energy blast.  Outside more Dark Gundam tentacles pop out and shoot for Earth. Dr. Kasshu explains the situation to Domon.  Domon understands and promises to save Rain and end the crisis, right before the dark Gundam proceeds to block his approach and then surrounding him in a shocking field of energy.  Dr. Kasshu explains that Domon needs a hand so they need to distract the Dark Gundam. Natascha takes command of the situation by ordering the ship to open fire. JKelun, Zuisen, Raymond, and Marie-Louise man the guns and open fire on the Dark Gundam. The dark Gundam not too pleased with the new assault sends Gundam heads to attack the ship. But before the Gundam heads can reach the ship Kyral and Allenby come to the rescue chopping the Gundam heads into little bits.  Kyral and Allenby make it clear they’ll handle the Gundam heads, their job is help Domon. Zuisen and Kelun offer up their thanks. I must admit while I find the two monks collective lines interesting it can get a little bit annoying after a while.  Kyral takes the first squadron of the “Gundam federation” and take down the Tentacle approaching Earth. They succeed in destroying one tentacle only for Kyral to get hit by another. Allenby goes after him.
Meanwhile Dr. Kasshu wonders if the Dark Gundam is trying to swallow the Earth. as this goes on  more of the Dark Gundam’s tentacles reach Earth and as Dr. Kasshu feared begin to swallow it. Meng and Hoy hold on to the grandfather scared for their lives, not that I blame them. Their Grandfather reminds them to have faith in their Gundams.
back in space however for the Shuffle Alliance and the Gundam federation things are starting to fall apart. And the ship with all of The Alliance’s crew is alos in danger.  However there is hope, seeing the bad situation causes Burning Gundam to go into super mode. Domon breaks free and goes after Rain. However Rain reacts. and actually causes the Dark Gundam to block Domon’s approach. But Domon ever stubborn will not be denied. He breaks into the center of the Dark Gundam seeking Rain. The area unlike the rest of the Dark Gundam is deceptively quiet.  From within the strange region the dark Gundam emerges in its final form. As Dr. Kasshu points out everyone is in big trouble now.  Back in the heart of the Dark Gundam, the machine he faces starts using its powerful weapons. Domon dodges it but notes the Dark Gundam is destroying itself. He tries to go for an erupting Burning finger attack untill he senses Rain within the confines of the hideous machine. Domon halts his attack and the dark Gundam confirms his worst fear, Rain is indeed within the Dark Gundam.
Domon believes Rain can’t get out on her own and tries to help but then is blocked by a powerful attack from the Dark Gundam…and Dr. Kasshu. Dr. Kasshu explains the reason the Dark Gundam’s evolution is progressing faster is because its because of rain herself. Domon at first is unsure why…untill he remembers the note he received from Rain stating that her father’s crimes are her crimes. Dr.Kkasshu then explains the Dark Gundam is getting its strength from human emotion, in this case rain’s guilt for what she feels are her crimes. Domon is horrified. His final opponent is in fact Rain herself. He falls to his knees unable to make a move untill Allenby makes an appearance.  She explains to Domon that the Dark Gundam is her way of closing her heart to him. Allenby explains the way to get to Rain is simply to tell her that he loves her. It’s true that throughout the series as Rain and Domon have discovered their feelings for one another Domon has never once said he loves her. The point is reenforced when the Shuffle Alliance put in an appearance having seemingly escaped from their predicament. Allenby tells him to go get Rain and tell her how he truly feels so she can fall in love with someone else. Domon realizing what needs to be done turns to The dark Gundam with rain in it. He opens up his cockpit and emerges. On seeing this Rain halts her barrage and the Dark Gundam ceases it’s activities.  Okay I admit the ending was expected and perhaps a little bit overly emotional to the point of sappy but it was pretty good.

Well that’s it review and commentary on the series Mobile Fighter G-Gundam. While there were a number of plot holes that showed perhaps the series was a little on the rushed side overall Mobile Fighter G-Gundam was a well-rounded, series with some pretty good character development, although i think they would’ve done a little more work with it. Overall I Give Mobile fighter G-Gundam **** (4 stars) giving it a solid B, which gives it the rating of pretty good. Well, that’s it for G-Gundam, my next critique/review will be coming soon and hopefully the reviews won’t take so long. Well this is Scififantasyanimeman saying untill next time I will see ya!”

Review of Mobile Fighter G-Gundam Part 1

•02/05/2012 • Leave a Comment

Hello again everybody, Scififantasyanimeman here. Once again I’d like to thank all the peeps out there who has been looking at my blog entries. And I’d like to send a special shout out to a friend of mine from the Kumoricon blogs who now  has a blog here on WordPress.com. She goes by the name The tired and confused school girl. Keep reaching for the sky, forget the trends and the cliques, just be yourself and keep up your personal integrity you’ll be a lot happier. And thank you so much for looking at my blog lass. Now with that being said it’s time to review another anime series. This time we’ll be looking at Mobile Fighter G-Gundam.

First off let me state for the record that while the mechas you see on the show are Gundams the series name is actually kind of deceptive. Mainly because This is series is a complete departure from the Universe of such series as Mobile Suit: Gundam, Gundam 00, and Gundam Wing. Even the space colonies are different from the ones in the traditional Gundam series. As a matter of fact Hajime Yatate who came up with the concept has admitted that this Gundam series is more a universe in and of itself. And I for one am inclined to agree. While it may lack any of the technical details of the other Gundam series, this series is however very action-packed, and full of political intrigues, dirty secrets, and surprise twists that will keep any fan of anime action series on their toes.

The story focuses around Domon Kasshu (Pronounced: Dough-moan Caw-shoe) a Gundam fighter from the space colony of Neo Japan and his partner Rain Mikamura (Last name pronounced: Meek-a-more-uh), a brilliant mechanic and doctor. They are searching for someone in a picture Domon carries with him the implications of which will come into being later. As the series opens with Domon instead of landing in Neo Japan on Earth crash landing in Neo Italy. It turns up Gundam Fighters aren’t exactly welcome on Earth as those who never made it to the space colonies view themselves as people abandoned on a badly polluted planet by people who’d rather focus on their own interests up at the space colonies. The police who suspect Domon is a Gundam Fighter go out of their way to not make him feel very welcome. Meanwhile Neo Italy’s Gundam fighter Michalo (Pronounced: Mi-caw-lo) Chariot has discovered there’s a Gundam fighter in town and is eager to fight him. He’s learned this because before he became a Gundam fighter he was a member of the Italian mafia and still retains many of his thugs from his days as a powerful criminal kingpin.

After Domon’s release from prison by Rain it becomes clear that’s he’s only interested in the “Mission” so much so that he doesn’t treat Rain very well. A little flaw that I found kind of grating at times.  A group of local orphan children bring Rain and Domon some gifts and go with them to a local hotel to get a room. However things take a turn for the ugly when Michalo’s men find Domon. Michalo then kidnaps one of the orphan kids and gives Domon an ultimatum. “Come alone to a specific place, no Gundam, or anything or the child dies.” Michalo then trashes the hotel but Rain saves Domon, herself, and the children with a nifty little gadget from her purse. But no sooner are they safe then the  chief of police and his men surround and take Domon and the others into custody.

The Chief who has a gigantic grudge against Gundam pilots for the way they seem to casually trash the cities of the world and the planet with total abandon sets out on a mission to kill Michalo Chariot and his men. However shortly after the chief leaves Domon, using his superb skills as a martial artist, extricates himself, Rain, and the children from their predicament. To the police chief’s astonishment Domon arrives and gets into another fight with Michalo’s goons. In the course of the fight the rope holding the little girl hostage is broken…but Domon rescues her.  It’s then that Michalo’s men recognize Domon as the reputed fighter of Neo-Japan who also goes by the name “The King of Hearts” for the King of Hearts crest on his right hand and superior martial arts ability.

Michalo goes ballistic and summons his Gundam. Seeing the little girl to safety Domon calls on his Shining Gundam. Michalo uses all types of dirty tactics to try to take Domon down including the fearsome laser weapons on his legs called his silver feet. Domon decides he’s had enough and uses his special attack, his “Shining fingers” . He crushes the head-piece of Michalo’s Gundam. In accordance with the rules of the Gundam fight any participant who has their head-piece destroyed is disqualified.  As Domon crushes Michalo’s Gundam he discerns no information about the person in the torn picture he holds. With Michalo Chariot no longer a Gundam Fighter the police take him into custody for his numerous crimes. The police chief gives Domon a pizza he’d promised. The chief then surmises that this Gundam fight is going to be an ugly one a sign of things to come.

The next place Domon goes is to New York in Neo-America. There he means to face off against Neo-America’s great hope for the Gundam fight Chibodee Crockett. The story opens up with Chibodee Crockett returning home ro New York city his boyhood home to a massive ovation. Meanwhile Domon in a quiet bar far from the action is watching even as he broods over the man in the picture. From a young man who admires Chibodee Crockett for fulfilling his dream Domon learns that there’s going to be a boxing match tonight for the United Space championship featuring Chibodee in action. This intrigues Domon.

That night before the match Douglas and a number of men from the Neo-American Ministry of Defense come to warn Chibodee not to be too flashy because they know that Neo Japan’s Gundam Fighter is nearby and they have information on how Domon defeated Micalo Chariot. Douglas warns that Neo-Japan’s fighter may try something underhanded. At this point I couldn’t help but think, “They don’t know Domon Kasshu very well do they”. Chibodee however is not worried at all as he wryly comments on how the Ministry of defense is supposed to be there to protect him. Chibodee is joined by four lovely ladies clad in high-heeled boots and wearing one piece swimsuits who sit close to the cocky and brash fighter. Chibodee comments on how with the four lovely women that are his crew he has all the protection he needs. Meanwhile Chibodee’s opponent gets a surprise visitor and gets knocked out. As Chibodee makes a typically flashy entrance Douglas and his goons from the Ministry of Defense are scheming and plotting away. After Chibodee enters he gets the surprise of his life when he gets sucker punched by his opponent. The opponent throws off his hooded jacket…and no surprise reveals himself as Domon Kasshu. Domon then challenges Chibodee to a Gundam fight. Chibodee is furious at Domon’s actions at launches a series of fast and furious blows at Domon. Domon is grazed by one of the punches but even the graze hurts indicating Chibodee’s superb power and technique. Domon explains he’ll be waiting for Chibodee’s answer and then leaves the arena in a blur of agility. Leaving Chibodee furious at Domon’s actions.

Outraged over being made a fool of Chibodee trashes some furniture. When Douglas and his ministry goons try and order an assassination to take out Domon Chibodee essentially tells them to go stick it and that he’ll accept the match and handle things his way. This indicates that Chibodee has something of a problem with authority, a typical trait in a lot of us Americans. Meanwhile Domon is starting to feel the effects of Chibodee Crockett’s hit when several assassins from the ministry of defense come looking for Domon. However they get a nasty surprise in the form of Rain with a nasty looking stun gun. The assassins take off and Domon blacks out. Meanwhile Chibodee thinks back to his days when he was another street urchin trying to survive on New York’s streets and how his fists and strength gained him the attention of people from the Neo-America colony. He makes a promise to himself to win the Gundam fight as he eagerly anticipates his upcomong battle with Neo-Japan. A short time later Domon wakes up to find himself in a skid row hotel with Rain fixing him up. After giving him some preventative medicine Rain chides Domon on pushing himself so hard. Then Bunny, one of Chibodee’s crew members comes and tells Domon he’ll accept Domon’s fight and tells him to meet Chibodee in a deserted part of New York city. Unbeknownst to Domon and Rain however Bunny is actually being controlled by Douglas and his goons who have evil plans of their own for getting rid of Domon Kasshu. Ah, personal political agendas you gotta’ love them (Note the sarcasm). 

The next day Rain wakes up to find she’s overslept and Domon has already left. However she gets a surprise when she finds Chibodee is waiting at a local stadium. Meanwhile Domon arrives at the area for the supposed Gundam fight only to find Douglas, his scheming partner, and a controlled Bunny waiting for him in their own mo0bile suits. Back at New York Stadium Rain arrives and demands to know why Chibodee set Domon up. Chibodee realizes that Douglas has been acting on his own and sets off for the battle on his Gundam Maxter’s flying surfboard. Kind of cheesy but whatever works. Just as Douglas, eager to be invited to the colony, is about to do Domon in Chibodee arrives and tells Domon to get into his Gundam. It turns up Domon’s Shining Gundam i’s hidden in the remains of the statue of liberty. I will admit I found the idea of the statue of liberty getting trashed like that kind of irking. But that might be because I’m an American and hold the statue of Liberty as a sacred landmark of the U.S. Back on subject Domon takes out Douglas’ partner. Douglas himself gets taken down by Chibodee who calls Douglas and his goons “A disgrace to my country.” On that count Mr. Crockett my sentiments exactly. Chibodee not pleased with the way things have turned out issues Domon the challenge. He happily accepts and the two really get into it. Domon however manages to outdo Chibodee in strength. Before he finishes Chibodee off he asks if Chibodee has seen the man in the picture he holds. Chibodee has no idea and Domon surmises that a classy character like Chibodee Crockett wouldn’t associate with the man in the picture. Domon then shatters one of Gundam Maxter’s arms with a Shining Finger attack. However he doesn’t go after Chibodee’s head-piece as he sees a worthy rival in the Neo-American. Chibodee gets the surprise of his life when he finds that his fan base even when he loses won’t desert him. Domon Kashu and Chibodee Crockett for a bond of mutual respect and friendship between rival fighters.

The next episode his laced with some comedy as Domon heads to Neo-China to take on its Gundam fighter Sai Saici (Pronounced: Sigh Sigh-she) and his Dragon Gundam. The episode starts out with Neo-China’s leader instructing their Gundam Fighter on what needs to be done prior to pilot and Gundam being sent to Earth. We get a brief glimpse of the pilot but not his face. However the grunt I heard indicated that the pilot was actually a boy. However things go awry when the Dragon Gundam reaches Earth. The powerful Dragon Gundam falls into the hands of a nefarious bandit and his gang. The Bandits then proceed to start terrorizing the town and villages of the Chinese countryside. A couple elderly bald priests watch in disgust as the dragon Gundam tears through its latest victim. However the men who look to be Asian monks spot Domon tearing through the bandits. Domon then spots the Dragon Gundam. The elderly monks recognize Domon as a Gundam fighter and ask his assistance.

The next day as clean-up efforts begin Rain, who has been tending the wounded, is disgusted by the fact that most of the town’s medicine stock is gone and many people injured. Rain finds Domon talking to the elderly monks. It turns up they’re members of the Shoulin temple which seeks to win the Gundam fight to bring about the resurrection of the temple. They ask Domon to eliminate the pilot of Dragon Gundam. Domon however doesm’t care. This action lead me to think, “How can such a powerful martial artist be so cold and uncaring on the one hand and be so noble on the other hand? That’s a clear sign of immaturity.” The monks try to assail him but are stopped by Domon’s quick reflexes. The two then threaten Rain’s life unless he does what they say. Domon snaps his fingers and he and the corlander which he uses to board his Gundam fly off deal with the situation. Leaving Rain to politely ask the monks to put the knife at her throat down. When the monks did so and actually apologized to Rain I thought, “I knew it, I knew there was no way Shoulin monks would ever callously take a life.”.

Later on during the day as Domon travels towards the mountain camp of the bandits he runs into a boy sleeping on the road. The boy asks Domon for help only to get rejected as the Corlander can only seat one person. However the boy won’t be so easily denied and hitches a ride with Domon. Domon shows the boy a copy of the torn picture  showing the man with long hair he showed to Chibodee Crockett and Michalo Chariot. And again it turns up to be a dead-end. Domon at the boy’s insistance stops off at a local village. Domon ends up washing dishes while the boy demonstrates his abilities as a first-rate gourmet cook. As the diners finish their meals and leave the boy gives Domon his fair share of their payment for their hard work. However things at the village’s festival take an ugly turn when the bandits crash the party. During the ensuing chaos it comes to light that Domon’s semi-annoying child companion may not be so ordinary hen he recognizes the Dragon Gundam. In the course of fighting off the bandits and the Dragon Gundam Domon’s corlander is swiped by the bandits.

The two discover the bandits’ hideout is in a mountainous region near the ruins of the Great wall of China. Here we see another sign that this boy is not so ordinary when he unintentionally lets slip that he’s done his homework.  At this point I thought that if I were in Domon’s shoes this would be the point where I’d get suspicious and start to ask questions. Domon however demonstrates his fault of being so single mindedly driven that he forgets how the little details can add up. As he scouts out the guards the boy sneaks off and alerts the guards. Domon ends up being captured by the bandits. The bandits beat him up as they try to glean information out of him. Then the bandit’s leader shows up. Domon identifies himself as a Gundam fighter and calls the bandit leader Sai Saici.  It’s at this moment that things take a surprising turn. The bandit leader is puzzled and the boy startled when Domon makes mention of  how devastated the two elderly Shoulin priests Kelun and Zuisen (Pronounced: Kay-oh-nin and Zoo-ee-sten) were. The boy seems concerned about Domon but then plays like he doesn’t know Domon.  This lead me to think, “Who the blazes is this boy?” The bandits that night enjoy a dinner courtesy of their new cook (the boy). Meanwhile that same boy frees Domon allowing him to go after his corlander. The boy then raises the alarm. Domon however now that he’s free of any and all restraints easily defeats the bandits with his superior martial arts ability. Meanwhile the bandit leader goes to get the Dragon Gundam only to be ambushed by the boy. Things really take a surprising turn when the boy makes mention of one of the articles of the Gundam fight. Things start to finally fall into place when the Dragon Gundam activates. It turns up the boy is in fact the real Sai Saici of Neo-China. It turns up he and his Gundam got separated and that’s when it fell into he hands of the Bandit leader and his gang. Domon finally understands that Sai Saici was using Domon as a means to get his Gundam back. As a way of thanking Domon for his help he accepts Domon’s challenge to a Gundam fight. Sai Saici proves to be a superb martial artist and a clever opponent. The fight ends in a draw after some last-minute surprise tactics from the young Gundam Fighter. The bandits are turned over to the local authorities and Kelun and Zuisen apologize to Domon for all the trouble that’s been caused promising to keep a closer eye on Sai Saici and the Dragon Gundam. But there’s still no clue as to the identity of the person in the picture Domon is carrying that fills the Neo-Japan fighter with such anger.

The next episode takes place in Neo-France. The city of Paris like all the other cities of Earth, once beautiful and urban has become ruined and the once lovely Eifel tower now a sagging mockery of what it once was. Amidst this ruin we find the handsome and chivalrous Neo-France knight George De Sand (Last name pronounced: Di Saw-nt) about to do battle with a Gundam fighter whose Gundam looks like a cross between a human and a spider. The unknown and brutish looking Gundam fighter and his lack of chivalrous respect are looked down upon by George who is ever like the knights of old. And because of his respectful and honorable ways the Knight is loved by Princess Marie-Louise a girl in her mid to late teens who happens to be the daughter to Neo-France’s ruler. The match however is crashed when Domon ever single-mindedly driven in his purpose throttles George’s opponent before challenging him to a match. George however is not having any of it as he finds Domon’s brash and angry ways an affront to his honor as a knight. Outraged Domon tries to take a swipe at George. However the knight  easily dodges Domon’s attack and places an explosive device called a rose petal one of the arms of Domon’s Gundam. The blast leaves Shining Gundam’s left arm impaired. George De Sand before he takes off warns Domon not to appear before him again.  Marie-Louise who is watching from the flying yacht as always is swooning over George calling him her prince.

A little later Rain fixes up the damage to Shining Gundam. Then Commissioner Karato from Neo-Japan calls up frustrated over a complaint filed by the Gundam International committee. Domon doesn’t think much of it until the man makes mention of the situation involving Domon’s father. That sets Domon off and also gives us a clue into why he’ so determined to find the man in the picture and why he’s so angry. Rain tries to explain how she’s concerned over Domon. But the angry fighter isn’t listening, as always. Domon heads out leaving Rain frustrated with Domon.

Meanwhile at a party being held at the Palace of Neo France’s Ruler. Princess Marie-Louise is feeling rather awkward until she spots George De Sand. She goes out to the porch where he is standing. The two get into a conversation. It soon becomes apparent that George for all his chivalrous ways is ignorant of Marie-Louise’s love for him. Marie-Louise later on ponders what she needs to do but then after smearing lipstick on her mirror gets an idea. George De Sand’s servant discovers Marie Louise is missing.  when he finds the message on the mirror and her room trashed. George however is suspicious of this happening. Meanwhile at a local cafe  Marie Louise who’s in disguise runs into a bit of trouble when she gets her tab and forgets to bring money to pay the cafe waiter. Then the pilot of the spider Gundam and his crew show up and pay her tab before trying to get frisky with her. Domon however is having none of that and  teaches the Gundam pilot and his goons a lesson in manners.  At first Domon doesn’t acknowledge he’s a Gundam pilot until he learns Marie-Louise has a plan to see he gets to fight George.

When Marie Louise explains her kidnapping plan Rain is not happy with the idea. She then explains she’s received a tip from Major Ulube (Pronounced: Ah-Lou-bay) concerning Neo-Russia’s Bolt Gundam.  Domon however is skeptical of Ulube’s tip. Marie Louise and Domon then lock up Rain in the restroom before setting out to prepare the next stage of the plan. Meanwhile the waiter from the cafe Marie-Louise was at delivers a letter to George de Sand. After reading the letter George readies his rose Gundam for action and flies off to the designated fighting area. Meanwhile Rain has managed to escape her prison using her mechanic abilities. Getting on a hover cycle she takes off after Domon and Marie-Louise. Domon finishes tying up Marie-Louise when George arrives. As the two warriors begin their Gundam fight Rain arrives and tries to untie Marie-Louise. Rain then explains to Marie-Louise that when men get into a combat situation they only think of their opponent. George confirms what Rain says. Domon manages to deflect George’s sword blows  and disarms the knight. However George then brings out his Rose bits attack which Domon has some difficulty with. Finally Domon gets trapped in a sort of rose bits gravity web. George thinks he’s won until Domon uses his shining fingers attack to destroy the rose bits and the web. However in the process the already damaged Eifel tower collapses and falls towards Rain who with Domon’s advice has almost freed Marie-Louise. Desperate to save Neo-France’s princess the fighter for said country grabs the tower and holds it up making him vulnerable to  attack. However Domon shows his own warrior’s honor by holding off his attack thereby making the match a draw.

The next day Marie-Louise is ashamed of what she’s done. However George now understands Marie-Louise’s feelings for him and is honored yet handles it as always in a gentlemanly and knightly fashion. He swears he will continue to fight for the glory of Neo-France and to win the championship. Later on that day George explains how he caught on a long time ago to Marie-Louise’s scheme because of the fact that Domon doesn’t have an extraordinarily proficient handling of the French language.  After George leaves Domon in response to Rain question about whether he’d come to save her picks on her a little. Personally I felt this was another sign of Domon’s grating immaturity.

Finally following up on Major Ulube’s information Domon and Rain head for Neo Russia to face Bolt Gundam. It’s pilot however is a mystery one which the Neo-Russian government has kept very tight-lipped about. the story opens up with Rain searching for Domon in a small town in Neo-Russia near an island sanitarium. Rain however is unable to find any trace of Domon. Unknown to her Domon Kasshu has been captured by the Neo-Russian military and taken to the sanitarium which is in the middle of a region called the Gundam graveyard mainly because over the years Gundam pilots who’ve come here looking for Neo-Russia’s Gundam have disappeared. Domon breaks out of the sanitarium and hides behind some bushes. He’s confused as to why they’re after him. Domon’s mind flashes back to when he was first captured and interrogated. The two prison officials were arguing over whether Domon was a Gundam pilot and whether picking him up was such a good idea. At which point from the shadows a beautiful but fiercely dangerous looking Neo-Russian woman dressed in the attire of the military confirms from her sources that Domon is Neo-Japan’s pilot. The prison officials then notice the picture Domon has been carrying. One of the officials asks Domon about it only to get head butted by Domon. Domon then has the other release him from his chains before breaking his captive’s left arm as a diversion. However before the Neo-Russian woman calms the officials down  and gives a knowing smile. A sure sign that something was going on.

As Domon returns to his present situation he meets up with a huge prisoner, not huge as in obese, huge as in giant-sized, muscles that make his arms and legs look like tree trunks, and a stony stoic face that would be perfect for poker. The man mentions in a cold matter of fact tone that Domon will never be able to escape this place alone.  The big brown-haired man when he receives several punches to his stomach region from Domon doesn’t even flinch, indicating this is a real tough as they come opponent. Domon is then knocked out when the man who is a prisoner same as Domon delivers a powerful double fisted hammer blow to Domon’s head! The Neo-Russian woman then identifies the man as Argo Gulski.

Rain is still unable to find Domon. After receiving instructions from her father Dr. Mikamura she shows she is worried for him and swears that if he keeps this up she’s leaving him.  Meanwhile Domon has a dream where we see a man with a brown mullet hair cut wearing a partial face mask dressed in the uniform of Neo-Japan’s military and he makes mention of the man in the picture and of something called the Dark Gundam. Dr. Mikamura in the dream makes mention of how Domon needs to hurry up for his father’s sake.

Domon awakens from his nightmare to find himself locked up in prison, his only cellmate, a man who calls himself the Birdman. The man then mentions that Domon should give up on trying to escape from the prison/sanitarium. In the course of the day that follows the Birdman explains that this region of Neo-Russia is home to the Bolt Gundam. Neo-Russia kidnaps Gundam pilots, breaks their spirits, and forces them to reveal where their Gundams are. Gundam fighters are then proclaimed traitors to their nations and have nowhere else to go thus completing their breaking by Neo-Russia. Domon at this simply smirks as he recognizes the Birdman as a former Gundam pilot. The Birdman tries to deny it but Domon isn’t fooled. Domon however sees the prisoner Argo Gulski. He then leap off the tabel where he’d been eating his lunch and nails Argo in the head with a powerful kick. This seems to move the big man. A guard tries to intervene only to recieve an elbow and have his weapon relieved from him by Domon. Domon thinks he has the situation in hand. But he’s unawares that a prison sniper is aiming at him. Argo Gulski sees this and nails Domon with an elbow just as the guard fires his shot. Argo then explains to Domon that he has a plan to escape from this prison and that they should meet up after work shift tomorrow. Domon is surprised by then gets ambushed by the prison guards.

Later that night the Birdman chastises Domon on nearly getting killed and continues to insist that he give up his Gundam. However Domon surprises the Birdman and asks if he’s interested in escaping. The Birdman frustrated again tells Domon to give up before curling up beneath his blankets for some sleep on the cold Neo-Russian night. Meanwhile The prison wards and the Neo-Russian woman have learned of an escape plan from the spy they’ve planted in the prison though they don’t know the exact details of it. Most people would’ve assumed it was the Birdman who told. The Neo-Russian woman is furious and bends the horse prod she carries as is her habit.

Rain continuing her search for Domon is looking over the prison from a barge and understands the place is more than it seems. And she’s frustrated over not being abl to get the corlander to Domon. The next morning the Birdman as always is sitting and feeding the seagulls near the island. Domon asks if he’s interested in escaping. The Birdman decides to take a chance and signs on with Domon. Later that day at the appointed time Domon asks Argo how they’re going to escape. That way turns up to be using the prison fuel lines to start a fire. A classic diversionary tactic and very effective.  The three then escape on a hover truck. At that moment Rain’s signal with Domon is reestablished and she immediately sets off for his position. The Neo-Russian woman is irked at what has happened and orders the activation of the Bolt Gundam. Operating it by remote control she and her men set off by helicopter to intercept Domon and the other fugitives. The Birdman is celebrating the fact that he’s free when Bolt Gundam arrives to stop them. Domon suspects a spy in their midst. The Birdman openly admits that it’s not him. The spy in fact turns out to be…Argo Gulski (Surprise, surprise). But just when all hope seems lost Rain arrives and dives out of the Corlander. This allows Domon to activate the shining Gundam and get into it. The Neo-Russian woman is eager to dissect the Shining Gundam and tries to order Argo to step back so she and her men can take over. But then she gets the surprise of a lifetime. Argo will have none of it. It seems he wants to fight Domon in a Gundam match. Argo reveals one of his Gundam’s special weapons a hammer weapon linked to to the hilt by a laser chain. Hmm, that’s actually rather clever I thought. The match starts off with  Domon launching an attack at Argo. The Neo-Russian prisoner/fighter tries to take a swipe at Domon but he dives under the blow and goes for a punch to Bolt Gundam’s head. The blow ends up connecting but it doesn’t even phase Bolt Gundam. The Neo-Russian woman then notes in a mocking tone, “Don’t underestimate Neo-Russia’s technology.” Argo Gulski manages to connect with a couple of hammer blows to the shoulders of Domon’s Gundam then tear off Shining Gundam’s right arm. At the woman’s instructions goes for the head. However Domon shows Argo why he’s a worthy competitor when he manages to break free and uses his shining finger attack. First the attack destroys the left hand of Bolt Gundam and severely damages the head-piece. The Neo-Russian woman is stunned by the sudden change of and figures they’ve lost. However the Birdman points out that both Gundams are now too badly damaged to continue, end result, another draw!

The Birdman then reveals that Argo, Neo-Russia’s fighter, has a bomb attached to his chest making him a prisoner for life. It turns up Argo was a space pirate who plundered the colonies. He and his crew were captured by Neo-Russia and in return for their safety Argo was forced to become Neo-Russia’s fighter. So now the only freedom left to him is the freedom of the Gundam fight. The Birdman after explaining that he’s never seen the man in the picture before shows he’s a Gundam fighter when he explains that Article 7 of the Gundam fight states that Earth is the battlefield for Gundam matches. So in a way all Gundam fighters are prisoners sentenced to fight on Earth until there’s a clear winner. Domon realizes that he too is a prisoner and can’t do anything about it. And worse still there’s still no clue as to the man in the picture. And what’s more the audience is left with a new question, what is the dark Gundam?

The next episode finds Domon at a Shinto temple in the ruins of Kyoto, Japan. He sitting and having some tea while talking to a monk. He’s figures that he’s arrived early for his appointment. But then gets a nasty surprise when he finds the monk he’s talking top isn’t a monk and has drugged his tea. Domon falls over and succumbs to the effects of the drug. Things then change over to a scene of a group of Mobile suits battling the Dark Gundam at which I got confused as to what exactly was going on here. Things were quickly explained when it was discovered that what was being shown was video recordings of the year before. Since then the region has been cleaned up of any traces of the mysterious Dark Gundam. It’s also discovered that Maj. Ulube and Rain’s father are conducting an experiment on Domon. This mysterious experiment is being done with the blessing of commissioner Karato who doesn’t want anyone to find out about this Dark Gundam or exploit the Gundam Fight for their own ends. Ulube does his best to calm Karato and help show hiom through the experiment that Domon is the best man for their purposes which have to do with the mysterious Dark Gundam.

Domon is awakened from his drugged sleep to find himself in the living room of his home. There he comes face to face with the man in the picture. The man is in fact Domon’s own brother Kyoji. He then  greets his mother and father. As the experiment continues Karato starts to grow impatient as according to the Gundam fight rules bringing a fighter back to the colony in the middle of the fight is forbidden. As the simulated experiment continues Domon sees Rain again. And while she plays t having not seen him in a long time The sad look on Rain’s face told me that she had something of an idea of what was really going on. Over dinner Domon talks to Kyoji, Rain, and his parents about his martial arts training. Here we discover just how Domon became the king of hearts. Domon was trained by the legendary Gundam fighter, Master Asia. Master Asia had been known as the king of Hearts for his master over the various styles of martial arts. Master Asia was the leader of a group known as the Shuffle alliance. Asia ‘s role in the greater scheme of things will become known later on in the saga. As Domon kids around his brother and chats with his parents it becomes clear that it’s all a cruel experiment. And rain is feeling more and more guilty about it. After fleeing the “residence” Rain confronts her father on the experiment. She shows open disgust for the whole idea and Dr. Mikamura admits his own doubts. Dr. Mikamura then explains commissioner Karato is less concerned about the Dark Gundam and more concerned about winning the Gundam fight to fuel his political ambition to become Prime minister of Neo-Japan. He also explains the experiment is about to enter a critical stage. 

 That critical point comes as follows. As Dr. Kashu and Kyoji are showing off  their new Gundam which as “Limitless potential” they’re confronted by the police. Dr. Kashu and Kyoji are arrested on crime of using that gundam…which is in fact the dark Gundam to take over the earth and the United Federation of colonies.  Dr. Kashu is surprised but Kyoji shows that it’s supposedly all his doing. I will admit I agreed with Rain that this experiment was proving unnecessarily cruel especially for Domon. Back in the simulation Kyoji blasts the security forces sent to arrest him. Mrs. Kashu rushes forward and begs Kyoji to stop. The leader meanwhile fires off a shot from his pistol which kills Mrs. Kashu unintentionally. Kyoji then leaps aboard the large Gundam not listening to the pleas of Domon. However  the truth of the matter is the simulation is based on the record of the events that happened. the truth of the matter is Domon returned after the tragic events had happened. Dr. Mikamura explained what happened. Dr. Kashu was convicted of being an accomplice in Kyoji’s activities and sentenced to cryo-stasis. Dr. Mikamura and Commander Ulube explain  that this was the best they could manage with he authorities. They then explain that currently leadership of the colonies is in the hands of Neo-Hong Kong. They want Domon to become the representative fighter for Neo-Japan. They also explain how after Kyoji fled with the Dark Gundam they fell to Earth. They also explain that the Dark Gundam has three special powers called “Theoretical abilities’ the ability to self-multiply, self-recover, and self-regenerate. According to Mikamura and Ulube’s calculations it will be a year before Kyoji and the dark Gundam will represent a serious threat. That year just happens to coincide with the Gundam fight. Now the meaning of Domon’s bull-headed pursuit of the man in the picture, his brother becomes clear. Domon has targeted specific fighters who would’ve sensed something about the Dark Gundam. They do admit that their plan has backfired.

Commissioner Karato however has grown impatient and takes over the experiment in order to see if Domon has what it takes to win a championship and fire on his own brother. Dr. Mikamura and Ulube are frustrated that Karato would hijack the experiment for his own purposes. It gets worse when Karato explains how if Domon doesn’t make it he intends to use his influence with the International committee to put in a substitute pilot. Ah political intrigue.  Meanwhile Rain puts a guard to sleep as she races for the hanger. As the fight between Domon and “his brother’ (actually another regular Gundam in disguise) continues Domon proves reluctant to attack him. It also becomes clear that Karato never wanted Domon to be the fighter for Neo-Japan to begin with. At the last-minute however “Kyoji’s” final attack is blocked by another Gundam which had Rain in it. Rain is thrown from it. Karato dismisses the effort as pathetic…until he sees the implications of it.

Seeing Rain endangered causes Domon to snap. The end result is Shining Gundam transforms into its true form. Domon’s anger is transformed into energy which allows Shining Gundam to transform into super mode allowing the use of an attack called Shining Finger sword. As Domon moves in for the kill he says a line that in my opinion adds to the raw power of the scene, “Take this my love, my anger, and all of my sorrow.’ Considering how much Domon had been through the line fit. Domon then takes Karato, Dr. Mikamura, and Ulube (Mostly Karato) by surprise when he shows he’s known the truth of the experiment for some time. He then makes it clear they aren’t to pull this again and watch him from the sidelines. Karato furious at having being knocked from his proverbial high horse storms off in anger. Domon then picks up Rain and they return to Earth, the battleground for the Gundam fights.

The next episode starts off on the Space colony of Neo-Mexico. A young boy and girl stare down at the earth while their Grandfather tells them of the ocean of Neo-Mexico. The short of it is while no life exists in the ocean the ocean itself is alive. While the children’s Grandfather plays the accustic guitar he makes mention of how the Earth’s ocean has the strength and Endurance to last. The young boy makes a promise to the girl who is his sister, Gina, that one day he’ll return to that ocean and fish in it just like their Grandfather did. 

Times passes as the two grow into adults the boy, Chico by name,  never forgetting about the promise to live by the ocean. Meanwhile Domon is continuing his pursuit of Kyoji and the dark Gundam. The story picks up with Domon in Neo-Mexico on Earth looking for Neo-Mexico’s Gundam fighter and Kyoji.  He asks an old man who tells him he hasn’t seen the person in the picture and suggests that Domon finish his business then leave as Neo-Mexico has very strict  immigration laws and doesn’t like people sneaking around. Yet Domon is unaware that Bunny from Chibodee Crockett’s team is following Domon. As Domon leaves another person sitting across from the old man gets up and follows Domon. The man asks if Domon is looking for someone as he draws out a blow dart shooter and fires one at Domon. catches the attack on his wrist and is knocked unconcious by the tranquilizer.  By the time Bunny reaches where Domon is he and the other man have disappeared.

Meanwhile out on the ocean Chibodee Crockett and his two other crew members are having a talk with members of the Neo-Mexican government. They explain that the fighter for Neo-Mexico has taken the Spike Gundam and fled in violation of Gundam Fight regulation. The Neo-Mexico officials make note that Chico Rodriguez is an exceptional fighter. They say anyway that they want Chibodee to find Chico so they can give him another chance. Chibodee in typical fashion has a problem with authority and says he has no interest in fighting a person he sees as a coward.  He’s got his eyes set on fighting Domon again and paying him back for what he did to his Gundam’s right arm. Bunny then calls and lets Chibodee and the rest of his crew know that Domon’s disappeared. Chibodee is openly frustrated at this. The Neo Mexico government officials realize that Domon’s disappearance and those of a number of agents and men sent after Chico Rodriguez is interconnected.

Meanwhile Chico Rodriguez, the man who knocked out Domon has brought him to a cliff and attempts to send him over into the ocean. However his sister Gina rushes over to and begs him not carry out what he’s been doing to all those who pursue him any longer. Gina also has some kind of ailment when Chico points out that Gina shouldn’t be up and pushing herself like she has. Domon then gives Chico a surprise when he shows he’s thrown off the effects of the dart . He then challenges Domon to a fight. Chico uses another dart Domon at first throws it off and lands several blows that really rattle Chico. Then the tranquilizer from the dart takes effect. Chico tries to finish off Domon with a switch blade until Gina begs him to stop.  Chico has no choice but to help Gina and let Domon live. Domon meanwhile locked in the throes of a drug induced sleep has a dream involving what really happened to him that lead to his current situation.  Domon in the last portion of the dream watches as the Dark Gundam moves in to finish him off.

Domon awakes from his dream to find himself in bed and Gina close by sleeping on the table. Domon remembers how Chico tried to finish him off and this girl must have saved him. Domon gets a call from Rain. First she makes dry comments about wondering if Domon is eager to get away from the girl with him. Domon makes mention that Chico is as fierce as they say. Rain and he then put the pieces of the proverbial puzzle together about how Chico became a fighter to allow him and his sister to reach Earth then ditched his government knowing that they’d come after him in order to fulfill the dream he and his sister have had.  Rain points out that more than likely they have nothing to do with the Dark Gundam. Domon in typical fashion is bull-headed and dead set on fighting Chico saying that he suspects they still might have some connection and can avoid a fight with Chico Rodriguez. Again I couldn’t help but wonder “Rain, why the blazes do you stick with someone so bull-headed and immature?” and it shes makes mention of how she’s beginning to get tired of Domon’s attitude.

The next day Domon is feeling better and makes mention of as much to Gina. She then begs him not to fight her brother and leave them alobne. Domon however refuses. Chico returns armed with a pitchfork. The two men are about ready to duke it out when Gina in coughing fit collapses. Chico ever the faithful big brother is at his sister’s suide instantly. Gina is very ill and needs a doctor. Domon calls up Rain then goes with Chico and Gina as he’s determined to pay Gina back for saving his life. Chico reluctantly agrees.  

Near the town they see government troops are crawling all over. The old man who talked to Domon at the beginning of the episode reappears and helps out by offering his place. He insists that they remain strangers in order to avoid there being any trouble. At the old man’s place they make Gina comfortable as possible. Moments later “The doctor” Domon called comes. Gina then shoos all the men out and takes control pf the situation in true matriarchal/Doctor fashion. She then makes it clear if Domon peeks she’ll never speak to him again. Domon is irritated by this. Domon and Chico argue over why Chico became a Gundam fighter but the argument’s interrupted by the appearance of Gundam Maxter and Chibodee Crockett’s team. Domon is flustered by Neo-America’s fighter raising a  ruckus like he has. But then he discovers Chico has disappeared.  As Chibodee and his team along with the Neo-Mexican government officials call out to Chico the former Neo-Mexico Gundam fighter prepares to launch a dart attack at Chibodee in the ame way he ambushed Domon.  Said Neo-Japan fighter however stops Chico and the two get into a wrestling match. The commotion attracts the attention of Bunny who sees Domon. The government officials recognize Chico and prepare to fire on him. It turns up the Neo-Mexico officials have no interest in keeping chico alive but only want the Spike Gundam, their Gundam, back. Realizing this was a set up Domon and Chico flee. They then learn from the old man that Gina has disappeared and is probably on her way back to the house on the coast she shares with her brother.  Chibodee is outraged at having been used by the Neo-Mexican officials. Here’s a little did you know, the guy who was the American dubbed voice of Commander Ulube also played the lead Mexican government official. Getting back to the story After Chico confronts Rain about Gina’s disapperance it’s discovered why he ran. it turns up Gina has a very rare virus found only in the colonies. The doctors haven’t been able to find a cure for it and have given her only a year at most to live. Domon and Chico get into another argument until the old man chastises them both for being at one another’s throats when Gina is someonewhere out there.  Chico suspects she’s returning to their place. Rain, Chico, and Domon get into the truck and take off after her as soon as the coast is clear. Unfortunately their luck runs out just after they leave a Neo-Mexican  official spots them.

Gina meanwhiel nearing their home collapses at the side of the road.  Rain and Chico are in the midst of discussing Gina’s state and why he became a Gundam fighter when they discover Gina at the side of the road.  The Neo-Mexican government officials then track him down and try to arrest him demanding the return of the Spike Gundam. Gina begs Chico to run away. Chico however has no intention of doing so instead he  runs to the edge of the road near the ocean and leaps in. At first Rain thinks he’s running away but Domon understands what’s really happening he’s going to get the Spike Gundam. Rain insists they help Gina. But Domon is single-mindedly bent of fighting Chico and calls the Corlander, so he can summon Shining Gundam.  As soon as Spike Gundam emerges the officials call up their mobile Suits to go after Chico’s Gundam. Gina is saddened and stunned Chico would get into a Gundam again. Chico is frustrated and saddened at having to do this, but he has no alternative. Neo Mexican mobile suits fire torpedoes at the Gundam trying to take it and Chico down however Chibodee pays back their betrayal by destroying the mobile suits. he then challenges Domon to a fight. Domon gives Chibodee the brush off as he is already set on fighting Chico and makes mention that Gundam fights are one on one. Chibodee is outraged by this but can only sit back and watch the fight. The fight doesn’t last very long as Chico takes one stab at the charging Domon. The neo-Japan fighter ducks the blow and with his laser sword cuts off Spike Gundam’s arms. Gina tries to stop the fight by explaining how grateful she is that Chico brought her back to earth for only a short time. Chico however demands that Domon finish him off. So in accordance with the rules Domon goes after the head piece of Chico’s Gundam. Chico decides to accept his fate to die until Domon insists he protect her himself. and live his life with his sister. In a blaze of glory The Spike Gundam is destroyed. It turns up Domon and Chico staged Chico’s death in order to make it look like Chico died honorably and thusly get the hounds of his government off his back.  Rain realizes what’s happened and plays along. The government officials have no choice but to acknowledge this seeming fact and leave. Rain then leaves a grieving Gina behind as she growls “Men only think of themselves.” Chico emerges from the ocean. His Gundam fighter suit is ripped to shreds but he’s very much alive and uninjured.  As the sun sets over Neo_mexico Guina and Chico travel across the ocean in a boat. Chico explains to Gina how their grandfather was right there is life in the ocean. Because of the ocean Chico will never have to fight or kill anyone ever again. Gina wonders if the same is true for her if anything happens to her. Chico however grimaces unsure and knowing that Gina has such a limited time to live. However to assuage Gina’s fear he tells her he’s certain. A bittersweet ending to this episode.

The next episode is a darker one as Domon faces off against Andrew Graham of Neo-Canada. However Andrew Graham has a terrible secret, a grudge he has carried with him since his days of the Space Police force. The episode starts out 5 years in the past when Andrew Graham was on the Police force. He and his wife had been rather to what had proved to be a rather boring security job out near Saturn. He and his wife had one more week to go before the end of their tour of duty. Their plan had been once their assignment was finished to return to the colonies and start a family. Then tragedy struck. A rather large pirate ship collides with the station Andrew Graham and his wife are stationed on. The events that followed will have an effect on Domon Kasshu as he and rain will be thrown into the middle of a bitter feud between Andrew Graham…and Argo Gulski.  The episode starts out with Rain trying to enjoy the beautiful view of Niagara falls.  Domon in typical immature fashion is more set on meeting Neo-Canada’s fighter. Rain and Domon get into a nasty fight and end up going their separate ways (at least for the moment. Sigh). No sooner has this happened then a man bigger than Domon with a big burly mustache and beard and muscles the size of tree trunks approaches Domon. The man confirms Domon’s identity then introduces himself as Andrew Graham, the Gundam fighter for Neo-Canada. Rain broods over Domon’s behavior, not that I blame her, then notices a yacht with Domon and Andrew Graham on it. On the boat Domon figures out that Andrew wants to join forces with him to defeat Argo Gulski., who is on his way from Neo Russia. Graham asks for all the data Domon has collected on the Bolt Gundam. Domon however is furious at the Fact Graham is ignoring him. It turns up Graham has his eyes solely set on Argo Gulski. Domon however is having none of it as he has his eyes set on fighting  Andrew Graham, Domon then activates his Gundam. Graham activates his Grizzly Gundam, however when Domon tries to force Andrew graham into a match he refuses. Again he asks Domon for all the information he has on the bolt Gundam. Andrew Graham dodges Domon’s attacks and then ambushes him from behind with a crushing bear hug. Graham then throws Domon into Niagara Falls. Knowing that Domon is not so easily defeated he kidnaps Rain who’s watched the whole thing and then says to meet him in the Rocky mountains when he’s ready to hand over his information on the Bolt Gundam.

A short time later Argo Gulski and , the Russian woman, and a contingent of Neo-Russian soldiers arrive. They learn that Domon Kasshu has arrived and had an unofficial match with Andrew Graham. The woman orders top-level security measures knowing how unpredictable Domon can be. Things take an intense turn when several explosions announce Domon”s arrival. Domon sarcastically mentions how he might have overdone it on his arrival. Argo at the woman’s orders goes after Domon. The two get into a fierce fight. Then Domon turns the tables on Argo before he’s captured. In a meeting room at a local airport Domon, Argo, and his crew discuss the situation. The Neo-Russian woman proves she’s very savvy in collecting information as she knows Rain has been captured. Domon casually explains he and Rain aren’t partners anymore. Talk about a rocky relationship. The Neo-Russian crew agree to help.

At his cabin in a mountainous region Andrew Graham apologizes for taking rain hostage. Rain is curious as to why he’s done this. It turns up Andrew Graham wants to kill Argo Gulski. Rain tries to explain that killing another pilot is forbidden. However Andrew Graham doesn’t think of it as murder he thinks of it as passing judgement on the person who killed his wife 5 years ago.  En route to the meeting place Andrew described  Domon is told the story of Andrew Graham and Argo Gulski. 5 years ago Argo Gulski attacked the station  Andrew and his wife were working on. This confirms the rumor that Argo was a space pirate. In the course of the attack Andrew’s wife was sucked out into space and to her death when a man got in he way of his reaching her. Later on a defense fleet picked him up but there was nothing left of the station. The image of his wife being sucked into space is still etched his mind along with the face of the man he sees as her killer, Argo Gulski.

Meanwhile after Andrew finishes up the tale Rain tries to reason with him. He feels that by both of them being Gundam pilots that they can settle things between them  once and for all on the field of battle. Then Graham spots their ship and tells Rain he no longer needs her and that she’s free to leave. Rain again tries to explain that physically attacking another fighter to kill them is against the rules. Andrew however isn’t listening and tells her not to interfere. Rain however being a proud and stubborn one herself tells him to forget it and hitches a ride on Andrew’s grizzly Gundam. As they arrive the plan is for Domon to take on Andrew and have Argo fight whatever’s left. However Argo show’s that like Chibodee Crockett he too has a problem with authority. Argo goes after Andrew Graham. The Neo-Canadian and Neo-Russian are about to fight when Rain gets into the head-piece of the Gundam and orders that Andrew Graham stop this as she can’t allow him to commit murder. Andrew apologizes andto rain as she reminds him of his wife who was also a kind person then hits her in the stomach knocking her unconcious. Graham and Argo then go at each other both proving to have equal amounts of strength. Domon meanwhile calls on his Gundam and goes after Rain.
Argo gets distracted and graham takes advantage connecting with some nasty blows to Argo. But then Domon gets involved. Andrew Graham decides that Domon has joined Argo’s side and attacks him as well. Domon connects with some powerful blows but they don’t even phase Graham. Andrew graham then grabs Domon in another xcrushibng bear hug and tries to throw Domon yet again. But Domon has learned a new trick uses the momentum to grab Andrew and slam him to the ground. Domon then connects with his shining finger attack. Just as Domon tries to get Rain out the cliff side the two have been fighting on collapses. I couldn’t help but think “Gundam fighter are so impulsive!” Domon’s Gundam falls into the river below. Domon manages to get out of his Gundam. Andrew, still in his Gundam, is hanging on by one hand. Argo Gulski comes to them. Domon begs Argo to spare them as Rain is still in there. A sign that Domon is starting anyway to realize just how important Rain is. Just as Andrew is about to lose his grip He is actually saved by Argo. Afterward Andrew gets some news which throws everything he believed to be the truth into doubt. The Neo-Russian woman who has always known that while Argo was a pirate was never known for taking a life tells Andrew the truth. The Neo-Russian government learned that Argo’s ship was forced into the station when Andrew and his wife were. Also Argo was trying to save Andrew’s wife 5 years ago. Yet despite his best efforts Andrew’s wife still lost her life. The event has haunted Argo ever since. We also learn why Argo is fighting. The Neo-Russian government is holding Argo’s friends/crew as captive. Argo is fighting to free his friends from captivity. This proves that while Argo may have been a space pirate he did have a code of honor. On hearing this Andrew is thrown into tears just as he finishes chopping up some wood. Domon and rain watch and Rain wonders if Andrew will ever stoop chasing Argo. Domon however doesn’t know.

Domon’s next challenger is Gentle Chapman of Neo-England. The Episode opens in Neo-London as Big Ben chimes the hour. George De Sandt is locked in combat with a mysterious opponent and is doing quite poorly. After using his rose bits attack on what turns up to be a dummy George gets blindsided by an attack from the fog he’s fighting in. Before his opponent finishes him off he explains to George, “Battles are inherently ruthless. When there is a winner there must always be a loser.”
A short time later Domon Kasshu arrives in London the heart of the nation of Neo-England to challenge Gentle Chapman. As it turns up gentle Chapman is no ordinary Gundam pilot he’s a legend as his Royal Gundam has helped him win the championship a record three times. So Gentle Chapman is a legend in the world of Gundam pilots. Domon enters the Casino Bar when Chapman is playing cards. Chapman is wins a hand of cards when Domon in his usual brash style enters. However instead of yelling at him and demanding a challenge he actually goes for a more subtle approach by challenging him to a round of cards. The tension is summed up when Domon explains, “A man tries not to think about what happens when he loses.”. The tension is so thick one could cut it with a spoon. And Chapman actually laughs in admiration of Domon’s tenacity. Chapman wins but Domon reveals that Chapman’s dealer had cards literally up her sleeve. Chapman sees that Domon is no fool. And he doesn’t even flinch when Chapman’s men put guns to his head. Rain squeezes through the crowd and immediately has guns pointed her way. Laughing nervously I couldn’t help but think rain was secretly saying, “Domon Kashu if I get out of this alive Gundam fighter or not I’m going to kill you!” Chapman seeing the discipline of Domon lets out a hearty if rather sinister sounding laugh.
A butler escorts Domon and Rain to their guest room later on. Rain finally has the chance to chastise Domon for his actions. The two look over the magnificent pictures of Chapman in his prime when he won so many matches and 3 championships. Then George De Sandt arrives badly wounded. Rain treats the badly wounded knight who then explains that during his match Chapman wore him down with dummies and had other Gundams attack him from the fog. This is a direction violation of the one on one rules for Gundam fights. George De Sandt who looked up to the proud Neo-England fighter believes that Chapman’s glory days are behind him and that he’s become something far worse than the honorable hero he used to be. He then mentions that during the fight Chapman grazed his Gundam’s cheek then backed off in some pain before disappearing into the fog. Before he can tell his suspicions George blacks out and rain insists he be allowed to rest.
meanwhile Chapman wakes up in a  world of pain. Then the dealer from the Casino Bar, who is also his wife, gives him some medication. SHe explains how she’s woorried about his degenerating condition. Chapman says anyway that after this tournament is over they should go to Mars for better climes. Chapman’s wife then decides to invite Domon and Rain over for tea.  Domon reminds her  a lot of Chapman with his intense gaze. Domon and rain head to Chapman’s private home in the corlander and through the streets of London which is like the rest of the cities of the world mostly ruins. Domon seems wary of the tea although Rain enjoys the fragrance. Domon is rather impatient to challenge Chapman. Chapman admires Domon’s youthful vigor but also warns it’s overconfidence. Domon is furious meanwhile Rain’s sharp eyes have caught sight of a pill that Chapman dropped. Rain plays clumsy to swipe the pill out from under him.  As Rain goes off to the ladies room Domon makes it perfectly clear he’s not afraid of Chapman as a matter of fact he believes that Chapman’s glory days are behind him. This sets the usually calm and collected Chapman off. The tea ends with Chapman holding a pistol to Domon, the japanese fighter in a ready stance and Chapman’s wife trying to hold him back.

Meanwhile Rain Discovers the pill she swiped is in fact a mental stimulant. Rain investigates further and discovers the unmanned mobile Suits George mentions but before she can tell Domon her findings she is caught by one of Chapman’s men and knocked out.  Back in the dining hall Domon and Chapman are in a stalemate when Chapman’s medicine starts to wear off. Chapman finally accepts Domon challenge and the two start their fight on the river Thames near the Tower of London. Meanwhile Rain awakens to discover herself in a secret control room.  It turns up Chapman’s wife knew what rain did and had Chapman’s men knock her out.  It turns up she’s operating the system for the mysterious fog that’s appeared in all of Chapman’s recent matches and the dummy mobile suits. The strange fog interferes with all of Domon’s systems the same way it did George’s. It turns up George is one of those pilots who simply can’t seem to let go of his glory days. The mental stimulant pills he takes and the pain that rack his body are indications of that.   Domon meanwhile if forced to fight Chapman’s automated dummies even as he lectures Chapman on the concepts of fighting fair. Chapman’s wife has decided that she’s going to help Chapman and support him no matter what the cost. Just as one of Chapman’s drones are about to take down Domon George intervenes and lets Domon know how Chapman has been able to see him despite the interfering fog. Domon goes after the real Chapman in order to see that someone takes care of him due to the side effects of the mental stimulants. It’s also discovered that doesn’t know the truth of the fog or the drone mobile suits.  That was a twist that took me off guard, and made this episode more interesting. Domon has his sword knocked from his hand and is tripped by a couple of shots from Chapman. However a severe attack of the Stimulant side effects hits Chapman and he begs Domon to take advantage of the situation and end this. Domon fulfills Chapman’s request and destroys his head unit with his shining finger attack thus disqualifiying Chapman. It turns up Chapman knew all along that his wife was behind everything, while Chapman may not be the fighter he used to be he’s no fool.  Chapman’s wife then explains to Domon and George that Chapman’s state could be their fate however it’s also possible to avoid their fate. Meaning sometimes it’s best know when your glory days are over and it’s time to park your Gundam permanently.  A good lesson to learn indeed.

The next Episode takes place in Neo Egypt. The episode starts out at night in Neo-Egypt. The current pilot of said country and his crew are in a tent and around acampfire. They mention that one of their greatest heroes the Gundam pilot, Dahal Muhammad, has been sighted along with his mummy Gundam the 4th.  The biggest problem is he’s no longer one of the living. Talk of this as expected freaks out the Egyptian Gundam pilot. problem is they soon learn that the story is all too true when they’re attacked by said Gundam undead pilot and Gundam much to their horror.

The next morning Domon and Rain arrive at the remains of the tent/hangar of Neo-Egypt’s pilot. They find only the pilot is still alive…and just barely and his Gundam has been trashed along with the hanger. The pilot warns Domon of Dahal but Domon doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  This is one of those things about Domon that irks me because any good Gundam pilot would read up on their history so that they’d get a sense of those who came before them. The pilot dies soon after Domon on examination of the Gundam finds the cockpit has been destroyed. Before he can surmise anything Rain spots a Gundam fight and warns Domon about it. We soon learn the fighters are none other than Dahal in his mummy Gundam…and Sai Saichi. Saichi winded and tired tries an attack on the Mummy Gundam and scores a hot but then the Gundam actually regenerates the “wound”. Wait, doesn’t the Dark Gundam have regenerative abilities? Sai Saichi manages to get in what should be a good blow and discovers to his horror that he hit the cockpit a clear violation of Article 2 of the Gundam fight. this brings the young pilot to his knees clearly unhinged by the events. Meanwhile the badly damaged mummy Gundam somehow finds the strength to tunnel underneath the ground. The two return to the site of the destroyed Gundam and confirm the pilot and the destroyed Gundam are Neo-Egypt’s pilot and Gundam. Sai Saichi is clearly frightened as he thinks it’s a ghost he fought in that match. Domon decides that it’s none of his business but Sai Saichi is scared out of his wits, not that anyone could blame him.  Saichi’s mentor Kelun and Zuisen agree with Sai Saichi. Domon is clearly not too comfortable with being a big brother and Rain is amused. 

That night outside a town while the three Shoulin monks are asleep Domon and rain are wondering if this has something to do witht the mission. Domon doesn’t know but he suspects. Rain mentions his brother but Domon snaps at her never to call Kyoji his brother again. Meanwhile Sai Sachi wakes up out of a nightmare involving the pilot he thinks he killed. At that moment nature calls and he heads out to relieve himself after letting one of his mentors know. this leads to an amusing piece of conversation some could consider TMI (too Much information). However Sai Saichi after complaining about how his mentors treat him like a little kid gets the scare of his life when spies a genuine mummy, as in a mummy from the old horror movies. The next day the group travel by camel to the desert tomb of Dahal Muhamad. Rain discovers from researxch that Dahal was indeed a great Gundam fighter who gave Neo-Egypt the right to rule the world at the end of the 3rd Gundam fight. When they reach the tomb Sai Saichi turns to leave wanting nothing to do with the dead. But  Domon garbs the terrified young Gundam pilot stating that they’re going in. Zuisen and Kelun chastise Sai Saichi for his cowardice and weep at the concept of having their hopes for resurrecting the Shoulin Temple shattered. Sai Saichi sufficiently giving the guilt trip agrees to go in with them albeit reluctantly.

The group enter the temple and traverse a long hallway. However that walk comes to an abrupt end when Domon, Rain, and Sai Saichi set off a trap and fall down a pit. They awaken in the burial chamber of Dahal Muhammad himself. Domon decides to open the sarcophagus of Dahal. Sai Saichi however is avidly against it as he believes opening up final resting places is bad luck. Domon stubborn as always doesn’t listen and opens up the sarcoughogus…and the three find, Sai Saichi having to be forced to  see by Domon  that the glorified coffin is empty! The lamp the three were using goes out and the three hear footsteps heading towards them. The nearby wall with a  picture of Dahal is smashed as the mummified Gundam fighter breaks in and is looking none too pleased at having people in his burail chamber. Domon tells Sai Saichi to take Rain and run. The mummy however goes directly after the young Shoulin monk. Domon however makes an interesting discovery. Beneath the creatures mummy wrappings is not rotted flesh…but wiring and circuitry. Domon break the bandages the mummy uses. At Domon’s instruction rain uses a special grenade on the mummy while the three run for their lives.

Outside the now destroyed tomb Sai Saichi awakens thinking the battle is over. However Domon knows better this time and points out the mummy is indestructible. He proves it when the creature emerges in its mummy Gundam the 4th. Sai Saichi is terrified by this but then Domon grabs by the throat and tells him to fight and prove his worth to the Shoulin temple. Sai Saichi has no choice but to fight. But at first he just backs away and takes the blows the mummy throws at him.  Domon however doesn’t interfere when Zuisen and Kulen insist. However rain makes a shocking discovery which the monks relate to Sai Saichi. Dahal became the champion of the 3rd Gundam fight. But in the 4th Gundam fight he perished in the finals at the hands of a certain Shoulin monk head….Sai Saichi’s grandfather! Now it all makes sense Dahal is looking for a rematch even after huis body has died his warrior pride lives on. Sai Saichi decides to do the honorable thing and accepts the challenge. Sai Saichi quickly gains the upper hand untill Dahal and his Gundam through a  seeming miracle comes back for more. Domon has realized the truth somehow Dahal has acquired self-recovery one of the three theoretical abilities of the dark Gundam. this in turn corrupted Dahal’s fighting spirit into something evil. Domon’s Gundam then assumes super mode and he goes after the perversion with a ferocity and power that show why Domon Kasshu is indeed the king of hearts. Rain however is brought to tears because of the fact she understands Domon’s opponent is his own brother. Meanwhile Domon has his first indication that he’s closing in on his brother and the Dark Gundam.

From the beginning of this episode it quickly becomes apparent that tragedy is impending. This is indicated by the dark colors and the fact that it’s raining in Neo-Turkey. However the narrartor of the series who has been with us from the beginning makes it clear that one of those who will be involved in this tragedy from out of the past will be none other than Rain Mikamura.  The story oopens with rain holding an umbrella over her head and talking to an old man sitting on the street while armed police are wandering the city. Apparently a week ago the country’s Gundam, the Scythe Gundam, went wild and destroyed the West side of Istambul. Since then heavily police and heavily armored vehicles have been making the rounds looking for it. The government has managed to keep it a rumor but if word of it ever got out Neo-Turkey would be disgraced.  Rain meanwhile is waiting for Domon who is again late. She’s getting disgusted with him when she spots someone by a building pillar nearby,  The first thing she notices is that the man is badly injured as she draws closer she recognizes the man and calls him Sate (pronounced: Say-t). She immediately proceeds to see to his injuries. Domon arrives and is surprised to see what’s going on. Domon and Rain take him back to their hotel. it turns up rain knew Sate from her days at Colony university. She was majoring in medicine and he in Mechanical engineering. he was also Captain of the Collegiate Wrestling team. Domon thinks of them as just classmates. This line to me a classic Domon facepalm moments because from her tone it was clear they were more than just classmates. However in a rare act of maturity Domon actually decides tio leave them alone. Kudos to you Domon.. However Domon begins to suspect something’s up when he discovers a Gundam key card and a pistol in his clothes. Things take a weird and frightening turn when after a conversation about old timesRain discovers strange machine like cells on Sate’s arm and strange circuitry glowing.  Rain recognizes them as Dark Gundam cells. he mind drifts back to a briefing her faterh did shortly after the incidnet in Dr. Kashu’s lab, It’s discovered that when cells from the dark Gundam are administered to organic cells they merge with them and act like living cells. The most horrifying thing about these cells is over time they take over the subject as was discovered with some experiments ona  rat. Eventually when the cells reach the brain they completely overwhelm the creature making it into the dark gunbdam’s willing servant. This keeps in line with one of the Dark Gundam’s three great theoretical abilities, the ability to self multiply.  Very, very freaky stuff and just the soprt of thing that would grab anyone’s attention. Sate explains that he’s had his disease for some time but it’s almost better. That to me seemed like an all out lie. Sate begs Rain not to tell anyone about his condition. Rain ends uop agreeing falling back on her oath as a doctor. This in my opinion was a mistake on Rain’s part as this has the potential for all types of personal conflict. Meanwhile Domon has left the hotel and with the Gundam key has been on the hunt for a Gundam. He finds it hidden in a pile of junk. This left mwe with an eerie feeling that Sate was hiding more than he was letting on.

Meanwhile Rain prepares to treat Sate the man recollects on when they first met and he’d wanted to see her the day she left. He holds no ill will he’s just glad to see her again. he asks about Domon if he’s Rain’s husband or boyfriend. She tells him she’s not sure. Frankly I don’t blame her considering how badly Domon treats her. Unfortunately things take an ugly turn when the DG cells take control of Sate. The native of Istambul almost strangles Rain but somehow manages to regain control of himself. However in the struggle Rain’s medical supplies have been smashed.  Domon returns just as Rain has cleaned up and is trying to cover up. However Domon being persistant is not so easily swayed. He discovers Sate’s infection and immediately he and rain get into a squabble over him. 

Domon leaves conflicted about what to do next. Meanwhile Sate tells Rain how he became a Gundam Fighter because of his Mechanical Engineering knowledge. He tells of the terrible battles he’s been involved in and his meeting with the Dark Gundam.  After the battle Sate has periods of time in battkle where he loses conciousness. This is a clear indication the Dark Gundam cells are taking control of him. Sate ends up getting out of bed and prepares to leave not wanting to hurt Rain, Rain tries to get Sate to not go claiming she won’t her abandon her paitient. Sate however asks if that’s the only reason. Her inability to answer indicates a clear conflict of her own.  However the dark Gundam cells are beginning to spread at an accelerated rate anmd cover his left hand.

 Sate tries to ask why Rain left that day he wanted to see her but before she can answer Domon enters the room and tells them the police have found Sate. The native of Istanbul creates a distraction to ensure that it’s not discovered Rain and Domon have been harboring a known felon. Talk about a gutsy sacrifice, Sate gets into his Gundam however the dark Gundam choses that moment to seize control.  Rain tries to talk Domon out of fighting him but the Neo-Japan fighter won’t listen. He and Sate get into a Gundam fight. However Domon discovers that the infection of the Scythe Gundam and Sate has reached the point when his Gundam has the self-recover ability. Domon is almost eviscerated by Sate until rain causes Sate to stop. SHe explains to Domon that he’s still got a chance because he accepted the match. Rain then explains to Sate why she didn’t come to meet him that day. She had been planning to go when  she’d received a call from her father Dr. Mikamura asking her to return home immediately. She then admits she loves him and believes he can return to being the man she fell for in college. Domon takes the chance to move in for his Shining finger attack in spite of Rain’s protests. However instead of killing him he uses the attack to purge Sate’s Gundam and him of the DG (Dark Gundam) cells.

Sate is taken to a hospital in Istanbul where he can receive proper care and Rain is relieved to know the government will let him off easy because he was affected by a disease. She thanks Domon who claims that he only wanted to insure theat turkey diodn’t discover anything on the Dark Gundam. -Sigh- Single minded as always. Still the episode ended better than I’d expected, quite the twist.

The next episode of G-Gundam in my opinion is the beginning of the portion of the series where things reallybegin to pick up for the series.  The episode starts out late at night on the space colony of Neo-Japan, commissioner Karato is awakened by a phone call and is at first quite irritated. Then he hears mention of the Dark Gundam. The call is in fact from Commander Ulube. It turns up one by one they’ve been losing contact with their intelligence gathering agents on Earth. The most recent was in Tokyo the largest city of Neo-Japan. Ulube and Dr. Mikamura ask to borrow Domon Kashu’s services to deal with the Dark gundam. the Commisoner is more than willing to oblige. Domon is immediately heads for the ruins of the Shinjuku center a prominent area of Tokyo. In Shinjuku Domon notices off the bat the damage done is not normal. When damage done to a city is not normal it stands to reason that there’s something wrong here. Domon and Rain barely managed to avoid a shuttle which crashes nearby. Rain notes the pilot is still alive and goes to save him Domon following to jkeep her safe. What they don’t see is the robed figure following them.

The pilot before he falls into unconsciousness gives them a disk that he says contains valuable information for his allies in this city. Domon silences Rain when he realizes that they’re surrounded. Using split second timing the two get themselves and the unconscious pilot into the corlander and make a break for it as they’re pursued by very ominous looking mobile suits. Domon is about to call on his Gundam then someone stops him. A figure dressed in a hood and robes tells him to stop and explains that he needs to keep Gundam activity to a minimum in this area. He then borrows a ribbon from Domon. Using the ribbon as a weapon he cuts up and then rips the head off of. The second one he dodges a shot from it then stuff two bombs into the giant rifle it carries blowing it up. With unbelievable maneuverability and strength the final Mobile suit is crushed. Domon recognizes the style and the man using it.  The hooded man is in fact Master Asia known as the undefeated of the east , Domon’s former instructor in the martial arts, and the former King of Hearts. The last Mobile suit emerges not quite so destroyed and tries to flatten Master Asia. Domon warns Master Asia who dodges at the last-minute. Just then two more mobile suits of a different set of colors arrive and gun down the last attacker. However the man is nowhere to been seen much to Domon’s amazement. Until the man calls out to Domon. Domon looks high up and sees the man standing  on a beam looking down on his apprentice. The master and apprentice go through an elaborate  martial arts routine which involves Domon answering a  question of Master Asia’s and an elaborate series of moves. I couldn’t but think “Geez, wouldn’t a simple hello be easier?”
Domon then breaks down and begins to cry much to his master’s surprise,

At the downtown Metropolitan Tower Domon relates the story of his mother’s death his father’s imprisonment and his hunt for his brother while being forced to be a Gundam pilot. Master Asia explains that it would appear his destiny is once again intertwined with Domon’s. He explains how the once great economic powerhouse city known as Tokyo has been reduced to ruins and the survivors have gathered around the tower where they are. Turning the area of the tower into a fort and using the defensive Mobile Suits as weapons has been a grim time indeed. Master Asia explains how this is all the fault of a group known as the dark army led by a giant Gundam which is probably the dark Gundam. He then explains he too is participating in the Gundam fight once again as its defending champion and representative of the current ruling nation Neo-Hong Kong. Master ASia takes Domon around the fort  and explains how he was attacked by an unknown assailant and how they have enough food and water to survive for sometime but these conditions are hard.  The one of the men deserts scared and unable to stand the harsh environs any longer.  The guard deserts but then his mobile suit and he are shot down in cold blood by the dark army. Master Asia then asks Domon to help him in his mission to save these people from harm.

Rain takes a walk around the tower and wonders how something so horrible as this could happen when she spots Domon and Master Asia descending some stairs. Master Asia then introduces him to his Haug Gundam. it’s a bit ancient by the ‘Modern” standards of Gundams but still very powerful. Domon then talks of his own Shining Gundam. Master Asia then smiles and grabs Domon in a headlock and playfully jokes Domon’s going to end up with a big head if he’s not careful.  Rain is surprised because she’s never seen Domon so happy. However the happy moment is shattered when  an alarm sounds. A gigantic force of enemy mobile suits is heading towards them. Master Asia , Domon, and the military personnel  gather for a strategizing session. With the valuable data provided by the pilot Domon and Rain rescued they hatch a daring plot to lure the dark army units into the sea ala the Pied piper of Hamlin. One of the officers there is fearful of facing the Dark Army but Master Asia speaks a line that really I think speaks for itself, “Only those with the courage to fight join me.”

Domon, Master Asia and a large force of Mobile Suits take off to commence the operation. Master Asia shows why he’s the undefeated of the East. v Domon slices through several but the numbers seem endless. Domon at Master Asia’s instruction launches him which allows Master Asia to use a special attack which rips through the reinforcements for the enemy like a knife through butter.  That even left me wide-eyed with awe.  What was even more surprising is when Master Asia’s technique causes the remaining enemy enemy mobile suits to explode. I couldn’t help but think, “Dang no wonder Master Asia is the undefeated of the East.” Meanwhile Rain watches from the safety of the government tower. However, the operation hits a snag when one of the enemy suit slips through and heads for the tower bent on destroying it. One of the defensive units takes it down but not before it lets out a high-pitched signal. This puts a dent in Master Asia’s plans when as the robots are walking into the sea they stop their forward momentum when they hear the signal from their destroyed fellow. Domon at Master Asia’s instructions returns to the Tower while he remains behind. The defensive Gundam gets a surprise when the supposedly destroyed enemy Mobile suit shows it has an extra set of legs. After getting smashed by the enemy unit the mobile suits is blaster by Domon and then received a shining finger attack to the head unit. Without the signal the enemy units return to walking towards the sea. The operation is a success.  The mayor of Tokyo is relieved that things have turned out as they have.

Domon and Rain examine the downed enemy unit. After a brief exchange of pleasantries with Master Asia the cockpit for the enemy unit opens. A ghoulish looking skeletal creature steps out. The thing with wires through everything including its eyes lets out an inhuman roar before Master Asia uses an attack to fricassee it. Domon and Rain recognize the undead thing has been infected with DG cells. This proves to Domon that the Dark Gundam is not far from here. Domon has finally caught up with the Dark Gundam and Kyoji. A sign that there are dark things to come for Rain and Domon.

The next episode of gundam is where things take a darker turn, and in my opinion where the series starts to pick up. The episode starts out with Domon and master Asia continuing their fight to save the survivors of Tokyo in Neo-Japan from the dark army. Domon keeps seeing Kyoji and is determined to find his brother. However the narrator of the show throws in a surprise when he mentions in the episode that Domon’s opponents today will be none other than Chibodee, Sai Saichi, Argo, and George of all people already showing signs of dark things to come. Afterward s a cut scene ensues showing george playing the piano. Throughout the c ruined city the haunting melody can be heard. At the base the survivors discover that the song is coming from the West side indicating some more survivors. Master Asia decides the absolute minimum force is needed mainly Domon and himself.  Rainn notes an odd change come over Master Asia leaving her with an eerie feeling. Intrigue when used properly can really help advance a plotline and this is a good example of how to properly use it. Domon and Master Asia proceed to plow through the force. Asia suspects they don’t know how powerful they are. However I noted that after the last encounter shouldn’t it have been harder for Domon and Master Asia to get around the Dark Army? Hamm, VEEEERY Interesting!  Meanwhile back at the Tokyo tower Rain and the others are going over the best route for Domon and Master Asia to take  to get to the radio tower where the piano was heard. But then they detect four very powerful energy sources coming from the tower. Unfortunately because of the dark Army’s radio interference once Domon and Master Asia get outside the perimeter defense they can’t be contacted. that means there’s no way to warn them.
As the two Gundam fighters approach the radio tower Asia detects some “Evil energy”  the decides to make the rest of the run to the tower a race between the two of them. At this point I knew for certain by uintuition that something was wrong here.  Domon is surprised that Master Asia wants to race. Stranger still he goes on without his mobile suit.  Domon is about to follow when Rain arrives on a hovercycle. She then explains how she detcted 4 powerful energy signatures, Gundamenergy signatures.  Rain insists on going with Domon. After discovering that the subway they’re near an entrance to leads to the tower Domon goes on alone leaving rain behind with the Shining Gundam believing her safer there and unaware of the mysterious Gundam that was watching them. Could that be one of the four Gundam energy signatures hmm? Rain as always is flustered with Domon’s brashness and narrow-minded mentality not that i blame her. Meanwhile Domon discovers a subway that’s stopped just for him. Domon takes it and discovers Chibodee Crockett waiting for him. And this time he’s out for Domon’s blood. Domon discovers that Chibodee has become much stronger but manages to slip away. Meanwhile Rain discovers Domon was lying when he said the right hand of the Gundam was a little slow.  Then the Gundam’s sensors detect the four Gundam signatures heading towards her location. And then she gets ambushed by Dark Army units. By now i knew for certain this was a set up. Rain notes that she’s surrounded by enemy units. Meanwhile Domon finds himself about to become the filling in a subway sandwich.
Domon using his instincts judges the front train to be faster and manges to slip through. However he notes someone is watching him. That someone is in fact Sai Saichi, and the young Shoulin monk like Chibodee has Domon’s blood on his mind. At this point I began to have a queasy feeling about what was to come.  In another sign of Domon’s narrow-mindedness Domon when he hears the explosions above figures rain has gotten away. this is something that rather irked me as if it’d been me in that situation I’d of said, “Forget the mission, I’m coming Rain!” Meanwhile  Rain is forced to activate the manual systems of the Gundam. As she is cased in the latex suit it hurts like nothing else as it’s painfully tight. But survives donning the suit and goes after her opponents. Domon meanwhile continues his search through the subway for the signal heard. His journey brings him to a subway way station where Domon dodges several trains. Then he discovers sure enough Argo Gulski and like the others he’s out for Domon’s blood. Domon slips past him. Chibodee arrives to give Argo a ride. And Sai Saichi leaves the control room that he’s in knowing where Domon’s heading. Domon meanwhile leaves the subways and finds himself right beneath the tower. Meanwhile Rain as been holding her own against the dark Army legions that is untill a mysterious mobile suit appears above her.
Domon enters the tower and hears the piano that heard on the radio earlier playing and he is unawares that it’s George De Sandt. In typical Domon fashion he heads towards the signal  Domon is openly surprised when he discovers the piano player is George De Sandt. . it turns up this whole signal bit was bait to lure Domon into their trap.  At this point Sai Saichi, Argo, and Chibodee arrive and from the gleefully murderous expressions on their faces it’s clear what they’re out for. Domon gets the surprise of his life as the four move with incredible speed and try to take him out.  Domon realizes that the new power they’ve received is courtesy of Kyoji and the dark Gundam. Domon has no choice  but to fight them. That is untill his Gundam comes crashing into the tower. Domon gets inside and sees that rain’s been badly beaten. Domon and rain prepare to try to break through the four Gundam pilots but then the run into the mysterious mobile suit that attacked Rain. it’s another Gundam…a fifth Gundam. And it wields some nasty power with such attacks as darkness finger. Domon tries to use shining finger on the follower of Kyoji and the Dark Gundam and gets more than he bargained for.  Domon insists rain  take the corlander and escape Rain refuses opting to stay and fight as she’s his partner.  Their combined power gives the Shining Finger attack much more strength. The evil Gundam and the four other Gundam pilots vanish. Master Asia chooses that moment to arrive. Domon then explains what happened. Master Asia seems  unnerved that the situation as a trap.  As the story ends the narrator asks  What is the identity of the Mysterious horned Gundam that attacked Rain, Have Domon’s friends really become disciples of the dark Gundam, and the most important question is Domon’s brother Kyoji behind all this or is there someone else involved? The last question is a sign of things to come.

The next epiisode of Gundam indicates more mysteries are coming to Shinjuku. First somewhere deep underneath Shinjuku the Dark Gundam stirs using one of its theoretical abilities “Recovery”. Meanwhile four mysterious lights are heading right for Shinjuku. The survivors of Shinjuku and rain are unsure as to what they are. Then one of the survivors makes mention of the possibility that the colonies are behind everything. At this Rain rather expressive eyes develop a momentary look of sadness. This led me to think, “Hello, Rain are you hiding something?” The Domon’s partner notes Master Asia on a security screen behaving oddly.  And the mysteries deepen. Rain notes Master Asia looking around warily before entering the Shinjuku subway. At once curious and suspicious Rain grabs a pistol and goes after the martial arts master. Rain follows the martial artist until he traps her in a  hallway. Now the true answers and the double-cross begin. Rain locked in the hallway can’t open the door then is hypnotized by a strange series of lights.  She walks off down  the passageway unable to resist and believing someone is calling her.
The next morning Domon while eating confides to his Master his disbelief at his rivals/friends turning on him and their frightening new abilities. Master Asia casually mentions that no matter how bad the situation he always maintains a serene piece of mind. Yeah right I’ll bet. When Asia asks about his partner Domon figures she’s still asleep because she has low blood pressure. ASia casually slaps on the beck and mentions “That’s no way to talk about women, Domon.”. Another example of Domon being so single-minded that he fails to ask the important questions.  Rain meanwhile continues down the long hallway locked in a trance.  Meanwhile Domon and Master Asia are made aware of the four flying objects heading for Shinjuku. Master Asia gets a visibly frightened look on his face because he thinks he knows who they are. When I first saw this series that moment was when I knew Master Asia was up to no good. Domon notes the disturbed look on Master Asia’s face but before he can inquire further the Dark Army launches another attack. Rather convenient isn’t it that they show up at such a moment? After taking out several Master Asia pulls Domon back telling him that a basic rule of strategy is  an army will collapse if they have no General to lead them, The General turns out to be Rose Gundam and George De Sandt. Domon is distraught that George has become a follower of the dark Gundam. George proves that he’s not the same by stating that he no longer cares about the Gundam fight now that he’s met Kyoji. Domon cuts George’s rose bits attack to pieces.  But then George reveals that Domon has walked into a  trap as he finds himself surrounded by Chibodee, Sai Saichi, Argo, and perviously mentioned George De Sandt.
Meanwhile Rain continues her trek towards her unknown destination unawares of what has happened. Finally she awakens to find herself in a dark foreboding room filled with cultivation capsules.  And a number of them have bodies in them that have been contaminated by Dark Gundam cells or DG cells.  Several others Rain discovers contain the crew of those who have become new disciples of the Dark Gundam. Rain frees the crew and notes they thankfully haven’t been contaminated by DG cells. However the group are soon looked in the fight of their lives against the ghoulish minions of the dark Gundam. Rain shoots one only to find that they’re surrounded by dozens more. It’s clear the only way out is to fight.  Meanwhile Domon gets the throttling of a lifetime from the four Gundam pilots. Even battered he lets them know how disappointed he is in them  and their new course. George tries to go for the killing Blow but from out of the sky is halted by Master Asia.  Domon is delighted to see his martial arts instructor. However at that very moment Rain and the others have broken free of the cultivation area and rain is made aware of the truth. Rain is absolutely stunned at what she hears. Apparently Chibodee, Sai Saichi, George, and Argo were all tricked into coming to Shinjuku the way Rain and Domon  were.  Each were challenged to a Gundam fight and their crews were hypnotized by the strange light that got Rain. The crew watched as the Gundam pilots were forced against their will to become disciples of the dark Gundam and the warrior who is aiding it and Kyoji. The group reach daylight as they see Domon battered and  Master Asia seemingly blocking them from Domon…or is he? That’s right, it’s a double-cross. Master Asiais in fact the one behind all this!  Rain tells Domon as much but Domon doesn’t believe her. Then Domon gets stomped on by Master Asia and confirms that indeed he is behind all this. And worse still the Gundam he has is just a shell. The real Gundam is fact Master Gundam, the very same Gundam that attacked Rain and he yesterday.  To me this was an excellentplot twist. Master Asia turning out to be evil and his old apprentice is forced to face the truth, that makes for excellent storytelling. And this is where I believe the series really starts to take some depth.  Master Asia the uses some hypnotic lights similar to the ones used on Rain to try to turn Domon to the dark Gundam’s cause.  Rain manages to wake Domon up. Enraged at the realization of Master Asia’s betrayal Domon activates Shining Gundam super mode and his Shining finger attack. Master Asia attacks with his own darkness finger attack.  However Master Gundam and Master Asia are no longer affected by the Shining Finger and Domon is defeated by the Master Gundam.  But just before master Asia can break Shining Gundam’s right arm the four previously mentioned mysterious objects land,…right where the battle is taking place. Forced to back off Asia recognizes the objects…and becomes extremely agitated as he recognizes who it is. Domon also knows who the objects are. They’re in fact Gundams, but not just any Gundams four very powerful legendary Gundams known as the Shuffle Alliance Black Joker, Ace of Clubs,  Queen of Spades, and Jack of Diamonds. And it would appear the Shuffle Alliance wants to have a little talk  with the former King of Hearts Master Asia. Ah, more plot twists. The Shuffle Allaince are former Champions of the various colonies all sworn to defend humanity. And after a brief exchange of barbs it becomes clear that they want Master Asia’s head. Then Domon intervenes.  Master Asia decides to retreat for the time being but makes it clear Domon is no longer his apprentice and that he wants Domon dead. As he and his minions retreat Domon is devastated by this sudden turn of events. Bad enough to be defeated physically but spiritually is too much for even the new king of hearts. Rain feels for Domon. And this opens up the story to some very entertaining new possibilities.

The next episode starts off with a  quick recap. And admittedly it is surprising to learn that Domon’s Master and the current defending champ of the Gundam fight has joined the Dark Gundam’s forces. The Shuffle Alliance has decided that Master Asia must be eliminated. Domon is stunned and devastated by this decision. Rain still in the dark on things asks the Shuffle Alliance who they are. It turns up the Shuffle Alliance has been around since the most ancient days of combat watching over things and helping save mankind from extinction so they could learn from their mistakes and grow as a species.  They’re here because Master Asia is deliberately disrupting the Gundam fight and jeopardizing the critical balance that exists because of the Gundam fight technically anyway eliminating the need for wars and unnecessary battles. Personally I think while the idea may seem noble it needs a lot of work.  The shuffle alliance coax out Domon’s fighting spirit. But then the group is interrupted by a messenger from the dark army. Master ASia wants Domon at the Tokyo tower in 1 hour thereby guaranteeing the safety of the city. Rain warns Domon not to go sensing it’s a trap.  -Sigh- In typical Domon fashion he rudely tells Rain to shut up and the goes running off in no condition for a fight. Typical brash and single-minded Domon.  The Shuffle Alliance mentions how foolish Domon is being.  Black Joker decides they won’t interfere as it will give them the chance to see if Domon is worthy of being the King of Hearts. Master Asia and his troops see Domon is coming. Sai Saichi and the others want to get rid of him outright. Master Asia however wants to capture him as he still has natural fighting ability. As Domon strolls towards Master Asia’s specified location he still can’t believe what’s happened to Master Asia and reflects on Master Asia’s training of him and one night while they were sitting around a campfire. Domon then comes face to face with his traitorous former Master and finds himself facing his former friends, now enemies.  After dodging their attacks Domon tells them their strength is only skin deep and how a real martial artist expresses in strength from their inner being. After more fierce fighting Asia and the otehr members of the Big 5 corner Domon on top of the Tokyo tower.
Domon’s conscience in the forms of the Shuffle Alliance members appear and wake him up to doing what needs to be done.  Domon as Master ASia is about to attack leaps off the Tokyo tower and calls forth his Gundam. He then challenges Master Asia to a Gundam fight. Master Asia while amused decides to accept. His disciples try to join but are stopped by the other members of the Shuffle Alliance. Jack of Diamonds is suddenly startled by something he felt when he defended himself. Meanwhile Domon is having a great deal of difficulty even laying his fists on Master Asia  and is force to do some swift dodging for his own life. Meanwhile the members of the shuffle alliance discover their powers aren’t working on the other members of the Big 5 and discover why. The four members of the Big 5 are c glowing with the same powers of life as them. And the four are getting a natural rush from fighting the Shuffle alliance. In the moment all the members of the Shuffle alliance realize that these four fighters are their successors.  The Shuffle Alliance in one massive attack sacrifice themselves to purify Sai Saichi, George, Argo, and Chibodee of the Dark Gundam cells.  Asia is unable to stop them and the four members of the Shuffle alliance pass away leaving Domon with the task of guiding the four successors of the Shuffle alliance. Even from where Rain is with the other survivors of Tokyo Rain senses what’s happening.  Master Asia shows how low he’s sunk by laughing at and mocking their noble sacrifice. Domon outraged at the show of disrespect  flares up enough that Shining Gundam goes into super mode. In this mode he finally manages to score some damage on Master Asia’s Gundam.  Master Asia retreats. Meanwhile his former disciples awaken with no memory of what happened after their match with Master Asia. Meanwhile Domon is frustrated at not being able to express his spirit of the martial arts with his fists and get through to Master Asia.  Proving once again his rather irksome flaw of being so single-minded.

In the next episode the time has come to bring about the climax of the Shinjuku portion of Mobile Fighter G-Gundam.  How things have taken quite the turn already. First master Asia’s betrayal, and then the sacrifice of the shuffle alliance passing on their crests to those Gundam pilots that had only recently been slaves of the dark Gundam.  The survivors of Shinjuku in the beginning of the episode are quite cynical about taking help from Master asia’s former disciples. George for one is upset at himself and Master Asia. The actions he has committed recently go against his code of chivalry. In fact all the alliance members want nothing more than to get their hands on Master Asia to pay him back for what he made them do. Chibodee who is even more headstrong than Domon gets irked at Natasha’s comments about an incompetent ally. But one of Chibodee’s crew calms him down by simply stating that fighting amongst themselves will accomplish nothing.  Rain suggests that Domon should take command of the situation. But Domon as headstrong and single-minded as always is only interested in defeating Kyoji and the dark Gundam. As a matter of fact he doesn’t even see his old teacher Master Asia as an enemy. MUst….resist…comments  about Domon’s stubbornness.  Suddenly a massive tremor starts up and all the Gundam pilots end up falling into a large pit. Meanwhile Master Asia who is watching over the dark Gundam makes mention that in a short while it will be fully recovered and then Shinjuku will be destroyed. What he doesn’t see is a mysterious shadowy figure watching him. What’s this…another player in this game? Very interesting.  Meanwhile rain awakens in a subway passage.  She then gets the scare of her life when someone lays a hand on her right shoulder. She screams and turns to punch the fellow square in the face. That someone turns out to be Chibodee.  Chibodee offers to escort her out the problem is he doesn’t know a way out as George points out as he joins them. Meanwhile Chibodee’s female companions, along with Kalun and Zuisen have ended up with Natasha and Argo.  Bunny, one of Chibodee’s girls remembers something. When she and the others were captured by Master Asia she saw something a very large Gundam that looked asleep…though she didn’t recognize it as the dark Gundam. What she does know is something is about to happen…something terrible. Meanwhile Sai Saichi has ended up with Domon. They note another earthquake and poor Sai Saichi gets scared half to death by a large army of fleeing rats. Domon notes that animals always abandon a place when they sense danger. And to Domon that means Kyoji and the dark Gundam are near. He realizes that they have to get out of here. Domon rushes off Sai Saichi right behind him. Meanwhile George notes Chibodee’s route is taking them deeper down. Chibodee quips that if George doesn’t like this he can leave. george retorts  that it would violate his knightly code to leave Rain alone with someone as arrogant as Chibodee. The two tell rain to stay out of their sparring match and throw a powerful attack that smashes a nearby wall. From out of the wall come some of the dark Gundam’s undead legions. It would seem that rain, Chibodee and George have wandered into the proverbial hornet’s nest. George sensed this and while Chibodee is rather cocky and at times full of himself he is no fool…he too noticed the creatures.  They explain to Rain they’ll create an opening she  should get out while she has the chance. Rain finally does as asked while Chibodee and George give her cover to escape.
Rain sees some light and races for it. However instead of finding light from outside….she runs right into the large chamber where the Dark Gundam is! Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Rain puts the pieces of the puzzle as to how the Dark Gundam has been able to stay under their noses all this time, how it’s recovering, and what Master Asia’s plans are. However one of the Dark army units spots her.  Before she can be captured however a mysterious invisible figure rescues her, He gives her a route to the surface and warms her to get everyone as far away from Shinjuku as possible. Meanwhile the invisible figure with a strange boomerang like weapon cuts down the Dark Gundam skeletal creatures. It’s revealed to be a man wearing a long coat and some kind of mask over his face. Whoever this fellow is…he is definitely trained in the martial arts.
Rain almost makes it tot he surface when she runs into Master Asia. Master Asia realizes she’s seen the Dark Gundam and tries to kill Rain. However Domon stops Asia’s attack and tells Sai Saichi to take rain out of here. The boy does as told.  However it’s already too late as Master Asia points out Kyoji and the dark Gundam are about to awaken. Bunny and the others are rescued by survivors of Shinjuku in their Mobil Suits. George and Chibodee also managed to make it out. George is worried about rain when Chibodee spots her. Rain tells everyone to move away from Shinjuku. But then a massive earthquake starts up showing the dark Gundam is about to awaken.
The Shinjuku tower explodes and the Dark Gundam emerges. Natasha remembers that the Dark Gundam looks just like the thing that lured them to Shinjuku. Rain summarizes what she’s learned. The dark Gundam is in the middle of evolving like a caterpillar to a butterfly, though far more gruesome.  The Dark Army hasn’t been attacking Shinjuku they’ve been protecting it. And the skeletal creatures are in fact…the people of Shinjuku all taken over completely by the dark Gundam. The Dark Gundam itself has been getting stronger by absorbing the creatures it created. The fact that it’s been underneath them all along is why the survivors haven’t been able to locate it. However rain notes there was one contingency in Master Asia’s plan. He didn’t expect Domon to show up.  Master Asia as Domon emerges explains that he isn’t being controlled by the Dark Gundam he chose to follow it of his own free will moved by the thing’s sheer strength. However the four other members of the Shuffle Alliance arrive . Starting with Chibodee they try to take on Master Asia.  However Master Asia shows why he’s the defending champion and earned the title “Undefeated of the east” by defeating all of them the last three Shuffle Alliance members with a technique from “the school of the undefeated of the East”. Domon tries to attack but Master Asia defeats him as well. Before he can finish them off The attack is stopped by another Gundam. The Shadow Gundam as it’s called proves to be very much a  match for Master Asia. the pilot introduces himself as Schwartz Bruder representing Neo-Germany.  Domon is stunned at the man’s ability to fight at Master Asia’s level. Schwartz them tells Domon to hurry up and finish the Dark Gundam off.  Domon activates his super mode and goes after the dark Gundam. However Domon instead of going after the head attacks the lower area. That proves to be a very bad move. The dark Gundam absorbs The Shining Gundam’s Shining Finger attack and is resurrected.  Because of this move Domon joins the short but rather infamous list of the winners of  Scififantasyanimeman;s dreaded facepalm award winners. This award is given to the character or characters who pull a stunt or manuever that make a person want to hit their face with the plan of their hand.  The members of the Shuffle alliance  note a fellow sitting on the ruins of the Shinjuku tower….the very same person Domon carried in his photo. Kyoji is back and he’s alive or so it appears. Kyoji has the dark Gundam fire a massive burst of red colored energy at them. The blast hits all of them very hard leaving them battered. Master Asia taunts the group of Gundam pilots before he, Kyoji, and the dark Gundam Disappear. A rain settles over the ruins of Shinjuku. The Shuffle Alliance stands battered and completely defeated. Schwartz who’s mask looks like a tri-colored cross between a ninja mask and jester’s hat points out that it can’t be help with the dark gundam being in it’s recovered state. Domon is devastated by recent events knowing that his own brother tried to kill him.

The next episode picks up right where it left off. The members of the new shuffle alliance are stunned by the raw power of their enemy. Each of them takes off to do their own thing. Argo however momentarily remains behind possibly looking for Domon to do or say something. Domon however is locked in his own personal battle dealing with the fact the Dark Gundam and his brother have slipped through his fingers again and he has vengeful thoughts towards his teacher Master Asia. Under the circumstances this time I can’t blame Domon. I mean if I’d had a teacher who pulled the kind of stuff Master Asia did I’d be angry too. Meanwhile Master Asia who knows all too well how Domon thinks makes plans to launch a several stage attack to capture Domon and bring him to the Dark Gundam. Meanwhile most of the various crew members of the Shuffle Alliance members stop by to say farewell  to Rain. Natasha just simply thanks her. Chibodee’s female crew members give a more cheery and less somber thanks Chibodee adding his own flirtatious thank you.  Sai Saichi meanwhile is heading out and stuffing his face with food. His Shoulin companions are more concerned about the dark Gundam. George’s butler kisses Rain’s  hand in the fashion of a true courtly gentleman. After which he insists George do the same. Before George is about to hand Rain a rose when Rain spots Domon heading off and goes after him. George determined to say thank you to Rain puts the flower on her mobile computer. Rain tries to convince Domon to stand down because he’s tired. And again Domon demonstrates his irksome penchant for single-mindedness by believing he can go bring his Master back all by himself.  Master Asia begins to institute his plan for  trapping Domon with a series of deceptive and straightforward tactics design to confuse and frustrate Domon into rushing into battle in an uncontrolled rage so he can be taken down easily. However things go awry when Domon is stopped in his tracks by none other than Schwartz Bruder. Domon doesn’t realize this untill after his corlander spins out and crashes into some trees. Schwartz as it turns up is there to stop Domon. He points out that currently at his skill level he’s in no way ready for Master Asia. And he points this out after giving Domon a through throttling when Domon attacks him. And slicing through a tree just over the head of Domon Schwartz hands Domon a katana sword and tells him, “Ask this sword what you’re capabilities are….then come fight me.”. Master Asia is frustrated and wary of Schwartz because he can sense that the Neo-Germany fighter is no ordinary opponent. After Bruder vanishes Domon takes the sword puzzled by the Gundam fighter’s words. in frustration he pulls out the sword and chops a tree…only to find that not  only will the sword not cut completely through it…the sword is dulled and rusty. Yet somehow Schwartz was able to cut through it. Hmm, quite the enigma aren’t you Mr. Bruder.  Rain gathers some information on Bruder but well the information is not much. It’s mostly stuff that’s already known however it’s pointed out  that Bruder disappeared while fighting an opponent similar to the Dark Gundam and didn’t resurface untill The Tokyo incident. And the mastery deepens.
Domon believing he has a trump card in the Shining Gundam super mode takes off again single-mindedly. However with all the talk recently of a calm state of mind for the true martial artist doesn’t Shining Gundam’s super mode seem well contradictory in nature? Meanwhile Master Asia leads Domon into his trap. It turns up that what Domon thought was master Asia’s Gundam were in fact Dark Army units in disguise. Master Asia snares Domon in his trap and firs on his corlander and Rain who is trying to convince Domon that something’s wrong. Domon ends up getting trapped by several Dark Army units. That is untill Schwartz Bruder again intervenes and then chastizes Domon. He explains Master Asia has been predicting his moves from the very start using basic battle tactics. Domon enraged by Bruder’s words challenges him to a Gundam fight…and again gets his rear end handed too him. Domon tries to summon his super mode…and finds that he can’t….and Schwartz puts him in a  net and then spares him saying that Domon should be ashamed of his lack of battle strategy. However things take a surprise turn when Master Asia sneaks an extra Dark Army unit into the remains to play possum. However as Domon is about to get hit…his super mode chooses to activate. After defeating the Dark Army unit Domon is perplexed as to why his super mode activated then. Meanwhile Master Asia is furious because he was close to having Domon and lost. He decides to retreat and change his battle strategy even as he puts the Dark Gundam’s plan into motion.  A little later on that day Domon comes to a realization…his fighting abilities are severely lacking and he needs to do some serious training. So he decides to take a trip to the place where he first started learning the martial arts….the Guyana (Pronounced: Gi-enna) Highlands to train and learn to control his power more. and harness super mode when he needs it the most.

As the next episode starts Domon and Rain have finally reached the Guyana Highlands so Domon can train to unleash super mode whenever he wants. Meanwhile Chibodee Crockett has a hallucination that Dark Gundam cells are appearing on his body. Apparently he’s still haunted by the memory of the deeds he committed when he was under the control of the Dark Gundam. Breaking free of the scissor hold the scimitar wielding Gundam has Chibodee goes berserk and absolutely pounds his opponent into the ground. Yeah, someone needs therapy I think. His crew gets him to stop but then Chibodee looks around horrified at what happened and wonders if he did all the damage around him. An old man who has been watching the match at first derides Chibodee. But then as he gets up to leave he explains to Chibodee’s crew that the Neo-America fighter has lost his spirit as a fighter and needs to find it again by fighting against a powerful opponent to “Reignite the spark” if Neo-America has any hope of regaining its past glory. The odd thing is…the old man sounds an awful lot like Schwartz Bruder. Hamm, could it be? The other girls are outraged at the man’s antics but one of them notes the old man is right Chibodee needs a strong opponent to fight, none other than Domon Kashu himself. The old man is nearby and as suspected it is indeed Schwartz Bruder in disguise. The Neo-Germany Gundam fighter believes the members of the Shuffle Alliance will help each other more if they train each other.  The strategy is a sound one but the question remains what is Schwartz Bruder’s agenda? That night at his home Chibodee finds the front door to his room locked. He’s forced to punch down the door. He lies on the couch and calls to his crew whose names as learned are Shirley, Bunny Kat, and Janet.  When the girls don’t come Chibodee lets out a sigh as he lounges on the couch. Then he finds a letter from the girls. Minutes later he’s on Maxter Gundam and heading off after the girls. And Chibodee is irked that the girls didn’t consult him first. Apparently the ladies are en route to the Guyana Highlands to defeat Domon Kashu, claiming anyway, that they can’t stand to see weakness in him. And so Chibodee follows them to the Guyana Highlands.
In the Guyana Highlands Domon continues his intense training and ends up getting throttled when he leaps off the top of a water fall into a nearby river. Rain as always is frustrated because his training isn’t progressing at all and it’s boring her to tears. What rain doesn’t know is that Shirley, Bunny, Kat, and Janet are hiding nearby. The plan of the girls is to steal Shining Gundam’s battle data. Bunny isn’ too keen on the idea. But then Shirley points out that the girls are going to have to behave like they used to be. Behave like they used to be, hmm, veryinteresting. And we flash back to a time not so long ago. Back then Chibodee’s girls were just street trash and what many called good for nothings because all they did was steal, swindle, and rioting  in New York city among other things. Sothere’s more to Chibodee’s girls than meets the eye.  As troublemakers they only did what they did in order to survive. They almost managed to sneak their way to the colony untill they got caught at the Spaceport at the last-minute. It looked as though theirs would be a bad end….that is untill they first met Chibodee Crockett. Chibodee saw something in them a spark that reminded him a lot of himself before he went to the colony. he  makes Shirley, Bunny, Kat, and Janet an offer they can’t refuse to come work for him. The girls were stunned as being treated with dignity is something they weren’t used to.  The girls decided they’d work for him and swore an oath to do anything to help Chibodee win…even if that means stealing information on the weaknesses of Shining Gundam.  Meanwhile Rain is still napping and soaking her feet in the river. Just as Shirley gets the data she hears Kat fire her gun outside. The shot deliberately missed Rain, it was meant as a warning shot. After a verbal confrontation with Rain The girls throw a flash bomb and take off running.  Meanwhile Chibodee arrives intending to have a nice little talk with his crew members. Then he spots Domon Kashu at the top of a huge waterfall and is horrified when the Neo-Japan fighter dives off.
Chibodee watches Domon train…and undersdtands what he’s doing. Domon is envisioning fighting the dark Gundam. At this Chibodee’s fighting spirit begins to reignite as he decides to fight against the Dark Gundam with the power of his fists. Yet they are unaware that Schwartz Bruder is watching as the “lion cubs sharpen their claws. Meanwhile Chibodee’s crew are having trouble getting away from Rain. Apparently she’s in great shape herself. The girls decide to split into two groups. Bunny and Kat hide and think they’ve made a clean getaway…that is untill a snake drops from the trees. that I can understand as I’m scared to death of snakes myself. Bunny screams as she’s always been “Grossed out” by snakes”. Then Rain finds them and the three go toppling off a nearby cliff. Meanwhile Domon is frustrated because for all his hours of training he still hasn’t learned how to cut trees with the rusty sword he has. Then Chibodee shows up and knocks the sword. After some verbal sparring he challenges Domon to a match. As a storm erupts in the Guyana highlands the two Gundam fighters begin fighting. Meanwhile Kat has severely sprained her ankle in the fall. Rain questions the girls and learns that the reason they took Shining Gundam’s battle data was for Chibodee’s sake. Things take a turn for a the worse when a landslide erupts and the river floods. Chibodee manges to create some new techniques with his Maxter Gundam and Domon manges to use his SHining finger attack in super mode. Schwartz Bruder appears in his Gundam and tells Domon his training has only just begun and he’ll be watching. Chibodee then takes the data the girls had and destroys the disk.  Chibodee is not pleased with what the girls tried to do however thanks to them he’s learned some new techniques and his Warrior spirit is reignite and as he points out to Shirley and the others he has no intention of firing them. However he also points out he has a long way to go to live up to the Queen of spades crest on his right hand. If anything he and the girls are going to have train together as a team. This is what Rain was talking about when they were trapped on that cliff during the landslide the union between a Gundam pilot and his crew.  And so the episode sends with Neo-Japan and Neo-America standing side by side.

In the next episode Rain is working on some serious problems in Shining Gundam’s systems. Meanwhile Domon is continuing his training in the Guyana Highlands. As before Domon is having trouble with the rusted sword he’s using. Schwartz watches keenly and mentions that as long as Domon can’t use that sword he’ll never be able to control the super mode. However training is interrupted when Sai Saichi who’s fed up with training  before it starts literally drops in to pay a visit. He swoops in and pulls on Rain’s dress up giving poor Domon an ample view of her…um..well…her undergarment beneath her dress. Rain is openly annoyed at Sai Saichi’s antics. Then she notes Domon’s blushing face and puts the pieces of the puzzle together much to her embarrassment. Oops….awkward moment anybody? Domon then again falls into the water. This proves to the diligent Schwartz that Domon still has a way to go.  Kalun and Zuisten approach looking rather annoyed at Sai Saichi’s antics and wonder if the revival of the Shoulin temple is only a dream. Rain doesn’t know what to make of Sai Saichi’s mentors/crew.
That night again Sai Saichi is on the prowl like a mountain cat on the hunt. He’s annoyed at the fact the “Old men” want him to train so hard. Talk about a lack of discipline. What Sai Saichi thinks he sees something then it vanishes. It’s his imagination probably…or is it? Sai Saichi then spots a campsite off in the distance and leaps through the trees better than a monkey to have a look.  It turns up to be the Neo-Russia team. Sai Saichi swipes some of their food. As he eats he notes that “Their approach to seasoning’s all wrong”.  The he gets a glimpse of a naked Natasha going for a swim. And he’s actually enjoying the view.  Little pervert, haven’t you ever heard of a woman’s right to privacy!?! In the midst of Sai Saichi’s hormonal attack he drops a utensil which hits a rock causing  enough racket for Natasha’s keen ears to pick up. Natasha turns in the direction of the noise visibly ticked, not that I blame her.  covering herself she grabs her pistol and starts firing in Sai Saichi’s direction. Freaked the little Shoulin peeper takes off.  As soon as he gets out of range he growls about how he thinks she’s overreacting. No Sai Saichi she’s NOT! As he heads away from the camp Sai Saichi runs face first into a brick wall….a brick wall named Argo Gulski.  The Neo-Russia fighter picks up Sai Saichi like he was a rag doll and demands to know why he’s out here. Desperate to get away Sai Saichi bites Argo on the arm and slips out of his grasp. He explains that he just lost his way around…pfft yeah right! He lands gracefully only to find he’s near some cliff dropping to a river far below. Sai Saichi tries top fake Argo out with a frontal attack then leaps high into the sky to catch Argo with a powerful flying side kick. Argo however brushes it off like it was nothing, proving once again why he’s one of the strongest Gundam fighters there is.  Sai Saichi looks into Argo’s eyes and sees a vision of the Dark Gundam which scares him severely. Sai Saichi turns and flees only to drop off the cliff as there’s nowhere else to go. Sai Saichi falls into the river below and vanishes. Just then Argo’s team/keepers come his way led by Natasha wanting to know where the prisoner is. Argo just looks up at the starlit sky. A short time later a wet but very much alive Sai Saichi is whining and complaining as Rain tends to his wounds. Zuisten and Kalun  note in their brief encounter with the Neo-Russia fighter that he was very formidable. Rain meantime chastises Sai Saichi Domon notes that all of Sai Saichi’s martial arts techniques were no match for Argo Gulski. Sai Saichi is furious and rashly runs off to face Argo Gulski believing he can still beat him.
Meanwhile Natasha is trying to explain to Neo-Russia just how dangerous the dark Gundam is and how it’s important to keep an eye on Domon Kasshu for the sake of the world. The Neo-Russian government however is more concerned with winning the Gundam fight rather than the threat that the Dark Gundam poses. Natasha is furious at the stubbornness of her government and their failure to comprehend just how dangerous the dark Gundam really is. Natasha is many things but not a fool she has first hand experience with the menace the dark Gundam’s forces pose. Her frustration is interrupted when Dragon Gundam approaches. Sai Saichi challenges Argo Gulski to a fight. However Argo actually refuses mentioning that Sai Saichi is in no condition for a fight. Argo turns and walks away even as Sai Saichi hurls insult after insult at the Neo-Russia fighter.  The Neo Russian forces then turn on their spotlights and aim their weapons at Sai Saichi and his Gundam. Natasha asks if Sai Saichi was the intruder at the camp earlier. confirming what she suspects Sai Saichi high tails it back inside his Gundam. Safe from any gunfire from the Neo-Russia troops Sai Saichi takes off. Natasha them demands to know why Argo refused to fight. Argo however is in something of a mood and takes off for someplace quiet to think. Not even Natasha’s threats and mentioning that he’s still a prisoner so much as slow him.  Zuisten and Kalun then emerge from the trees and have a favor to ask of Natasha and Neo-Russia.
Meanwhile Domon is still frustrated because he’s not making any progress with the sword. just then Argo emerges from the shadows.  Meanwhile the proposition laid out by the Shoulin monks is they want Neo-Russia to accept the challenge.  Natasha wonders if they have thatmuch confidence in Dragon Gundam or if there’s a ulterior motive. Meanwhile Argo and Domon get to talking. It turns up Argo hasn’t felt much joy since his days as a space pirate. The only joy he’s felt recently was the match he had with Domon. No surprise there…their match they was quite intense. Before Argo can answer the question of why he refused Sai Saichi’s challenge the Neo-Russia camp is attacked.  Dragon Gundam or at least what looks like it has incinerated a lot of the camp. The Shoulin monks notes Sai Saichi would never do anything like this. Natasha chastises Argo for not being there when the Dragon Gundam attacks. Argo mans his Bolt Gundam and takes off after Dragon Gundam. While this wasn’t anticipated it fits in with the Monks’ plan. Meanwhile Sai Saichi is hanging around Domon’s camp much to Rain’s chagrin.  Then Argo arrives looking to deal with Sai Saichi. While the young Shoulin fighter is unsure as to what Argo is accusing him of he knows that Argo has accepted his challenge. The two Gundam fighters then really get into it. Argo and Sai Saichi match each other moves for move. Zuisten and Kelun explain that since the Dark Gundam Sai Saichi had lost the will to fight and needed a strong enemy to get back that will. Since Domon was in the middle of training they planned to have Argo take that role. Unfortunately because Argo is so strong they hadn’t counted on the possibility of Sai Saichi losing. Brilliant plan and a few unexpected contingencies. So the Shoulin monks almost but not quite win the facepalm award.  Domon thinks their fighting with equal strength. But then Schwartz appears and show Domon the truth. Argo has the advantage because he’s keeping his movements to an absolute minimum whIle Sai Saichi is using more with his movement. And soon enough Sai Saichi is running out of energy. A very shrewd and strategic move on Argo’s part. However Sai Saichi then pulls out a trump card of his own. A move that causes Argo’s energy flail to bounce off one of Sai Saichi’s energy flags and knock him over before  Sai Saichi uses the energy of Argo’s energy ball attack to tie up one  arm of the Bolt Gundam. Very shrewd move on Sai Saichi’s part.  Argo however refuses to lose and breaks free from his bond before catching Sai Saichi with a blow of his own. Schwartz explains to Domon “Do away with your fear and confusion and channel your soul and energy towards the enemy before you”. Domon begins to understand. what Schwartz is talking about. Just then the Neo-Russia forces show up and try to take all into custody as witnesses to the atrocity of the Dragon Gundam. Schwartz however points out the real culprit. it turns out to be a machine in the service of the Dark Gundam which in the dark lookedlike Dragon Gundam. Bolt Gundam and the real Dragon Gundam after their fight are in no condition to fight the imposter machine.  Things get worse when the imposter summons some friends that look just like it. Schwartz and Domon get into their Gundams,. Rain however tries to stop Domon. It turns up she wasn’t done with the maintenance. The machine goes haywire on Domon. The feedback causes Domon a great deal of pain.   Schwartz manages to take down most of them but one particularly spry Dark Gundam machine tries to fry Domon. The Neo-Japan fighter remembering the lesson he learns channel;s all his energy and manages to summon up his Shining finger attack.
Afterward it all comes together that the Dark Gundam created the imposter Dragon Gundams and worse still it has extended its territory. Proving the situation has just become more serious.  Just as Argo is about top leave Sai Saichi asks the Bolt Gundam pilot why he didn’t want to fight. Argo explains that he knew Sai Saichi wasn’t at his best and would never fight anyone unless it were at their best. Proving that even though he’s a prisoner Argo has a sense of honor. As Argo leaves Schwartz mentions Domon had better hurry up and progress before he’s left behind.  Domon realizes Schwartz has a point.

The Guyana Highlands portion of the series continues. this time the focus is George De Sand. In Neo-France a shuttle smashes through the defenses of the Neo france border patrol and heads for earth. The person on board Jean-Pierre Mirabeau a Gundam pilot who wants revenge on George De Sand. Ooh looks like our chivalrous knight’s past is catching up with him.  The episode continues with George in his Gundam dueling his butler Raymond who is in another mobile suit. But the training seems well…rather lightweight from an objective perspective. After several more moves George decides that is enough is enough. However Raymond who has ben the butler to the De Sand family for 45 years refuses. Raymond charges George who deftly dodges the butler.  After chastising Raymond for continuing to treat him like a child George has a disturbing vision of the Dark Gundam. Proving that like the others the experience of facing off against that powerful machine has traumatized his fighting spirit.  Raymond desperately holds on to george trying to get him to calm down. Fortunately at that very moment Rain comes by and sees what’s going on.  A little bit convenient hmm?
A little later Raymond explains what George’s problems are. George chastises Raymond and apologizes to Rain. Rain tries to explain that it’s no problem. George suspects that Raymond and Rain somehow planned this. Rain realizing the proverbial jig is up decides she needs to be someplace else. George meanwhile again chastises Raymond and it’s apparent that while George is angry he’s also frightened. Raymond explains how he wanted to have George and Domon fight ion order to get past their impasse in training George however absolutely refuses. And here I thought Domon was stubborn.  meanwhile Domon despite what he’s learned is still having trouble in his training. He’s surprised when a rock is thrown his way. Domon easily chops it into bits then Raymond in his mobile suit shows up to ask a favor of Domon.
Meanwhile George has a dream that starts out with him and Marie-Louise but then she’s struck down and taken by the Dark Gundam George in his Rose Gundam goes to assist then suddenly finds himself being covered in DG cells. Then the knight awakens terrified by the dream.  He calls on Raymond who is nowhere to be found. meanwhile Raymond explains how it’s not just the Dark Gundam that’s the problem. in a recent match George looked like a man possessed. It had to di with one year ago at the Gundam finals to see who would represent Neo-France. George’s opponent was Jean-Pierre Mirabeau, the same one who wants revenge on George. The Gundam fighter used a strategy of moving in front of the crowds to prevent george from using his attacks lest he harm the audience. The king of France however is NOT pleased with Mirabeau’s fighting style. He disqualifies Mirabeau.  The Gundam fighter is furious and launches an attack on the king  George saves the kind but the end result is the torch is knocked down and a lot of people are killed in the explosion that follows. The event came to beknown as the Mersey tragedy. This is what traumatized George, understandable really. Mirabeau was spared and sentenced to 1000 years of hard labor for his crimes. The shock of the Dark Gundam reopened those old wounds.  Raymond begs Domon to challenge George to a Gundam fight to “bring back his soul”.  The session however is interrupted by George himself.  George overhead everything and is furious with Raymond. To summarize  George’s words he tells Raymond Bishop his family’s butler of 45 years he’s fired. Meanwhile Schwartz Bruder watches intently and says nothing.
Raymond finds a bar in the mountains and drowns his sorrows in coffee. He’s stunned that George fired him the same George who’s diapers he used to change meanwhile Domon continues his training.  Rain notes that Domon seems to be quite popular these days not just George but Sai Saichi, Argo, and Chibodee have all come to him for help in training. Rain figures they’ve got a close-knit friendship going. Domon dismisses it. Stubborn as always. Meanwhile Raymond awakens to the news that Hean-Pierre Mirabeau escaped from prison and is heading for earth. Worse still Mirabeau stole a  new military Gundam Raymond puts the pieces of the puzzle together and takes off to warn George.  Meanwhile George staring out at the sunrise is haunted by his memories of the past.  Frustrated and not being able to exorcise his demons his thoughts turn to the butler who had untill recently been there for him all his life.  He’s awakened by Rain calling him. Domon is with her. Domon chastises George for abandoning his spirit of chivalry and essentially calls him a coward.  This wasn’t exactly what Rain was looking for and she’s quite furious at the Neo-Japan fighter. George however does something unexpected…he actually agrees with Domon that he has shamed the De Sand family because of his cowardice.  Just then the shuttle Miribeaus stole appears. After flying over the three The shuttle breaks apart and the military Gundam appears piloted by Mirabeau. George finds the demons of recent popping up again. Mirabeau  fires on the camp but the three manage to get out of the line of fire. Domon keeps Rain back as he understands this is George’s fight now. Mirabeau challenges George to a Gundam fight.
Meanwhile Raymond and his mobile suit are rumbling, bumbling, and stumbling to get back to George and in classic anime comedy fashion.  This is part of what makes anime so great. Poor Raymond just barely makes it across a chasm and has a near heart attack from he shock of nearly falling to his death. Raymond you’re definitely no spring chicken anymore.  After a cliff ridge cracks and falls into a river taking ray with it Raymond climbs to the top of a cliff and looks out over the wilderness. He spots some smoke and fire in the distance and believes it to be George locked in a fight with Mirabeau. 
George meantime dodges another attack. Domon tries to intervene but then Schwartz Bruder intervenes to stop Domon and then tells George that he needs to look to his crest to understand and prove why he is worthy of being part of the Shuffle Alliance. Mirabeau then shows the Gundam Fighters a nasty surprise. As soon as he landed on Earth he met Master Asia and “Embraced the darkness” within himself. Infected with DG cells he now has the theoretical abilities of the Dark Gundam…including self recovery.  Okay now things just got serious. Rain tries to reach George but then Mirabeau fires missiles at George and Rain. Raymond however gets in the way and takes the brunt of the attack. george irate at this gets into his Gundam. Fighting with animal ferocity he clobbers Mirabeau but then almost loses himself in his battle rage. Domon ends up holding George back and trying to calm him down. Geez who’d have ever thunk that Domon actually calming someone else down. What a concept! At that moment Domon’s super mode activates.  George guided by the words of his butler realizes the true enemy he must defeat is the monster in himself. Through the power of the crest he frees Mirabeau from the power of the Dark Gundam proving himself worthy of being a shuffle alliance member. Schwartz explains that power without heart is meaningless and there is always a double edge to it.
George afterward re-hires Raymond as his family butler explaining that only he has the competence and capability to be the butler to the De Sand family.  Raymond isolated to be the family butler again. Meanwhile Domon has begun to possibly understand his super mode.  Could it be that it’s one thing to concentrate all one’s focus on one’s opponent while maintaining a calm state of mind?  Could be.

The episode opens in Neo-Japan up in space. Commissioner Karato is incensed that Domon isn’t at the field for the final round of the Gundam fight. What’s more important is he only has three days to get there. Alube measures  Karato that Domon will be there. Dr. Mikanmura also assures Karato of Domon’s continuing cooperation.  Meanwhile other Gundam who have been winning the previously forgotten Gundam fight are making their way towards the site of the final battle Neo Hong Kong. These Gundams include Neo-Greece, Neo-Spain, Neo-Norway, and Neo-Holland.  Meanwhile back in the Guyana Highlands the various members of the Shuffle Alliance send their crew members ahead to Neo-Hong Kong to prepare for the Gundam finals.  However Rain has not gone off to Neo Hong kong like the others she’s been busily repairing Domon’s Gundam. George comes looking for Domon. After getting chastised by rain she explains that Domon has gone off to do some training on his own. And he’s been gone for 2 weeks since then. George then calls out the other members of the Shuffle Alliance who have been thinking the same thing George has. In a surprisde twist  enough Natasha is still with Argo. Hello, could there possibly be something forming between the Neo-Russian military woman and the space pirate…very interesting. Before the members can engage in combat their  shuffle Alliance crests begins to glow and hurt. this leads them to think that Domon might be in some kind of trouble.  George doubts it. Natasha ever the cynic doubts the power of the Shuffle Alliance that connects the members. Argo admits that while the members of the alliance are meant to be enemies the pain they’re feeling is also genuine.
Meanwhile in a  cave Domon is getting fired up and frustrated because on his inability to use the super mode. Meanwhile shades of his Master appear to haunt and taunt him while reminding him of his mission to save his father. Schwartz Bruder meanwhile has been watching Domon and has observed enough to realize that Domon’s problems are more severe than he thought. Schwartz decides that more drastic measures are necessary. Back at where the Shining Gundam is three of the four Shuffle Alliance members are still there George, Chibodee, and Sai Saichi. George explains that he’s there to “Protect Rain from the savage beasts” he explains that it’s his duty as a knight, Sai Saichi thinks it’s th same reason as him because they want to check up on Domon. Chibodee launches into a rant about how Domon is always getting them into trouble and they should forget about him. George then asks Chibodee why he’s still here. At this point all the bluster goes out of Chibodee and he explains he got nothing but time on his hands. Open mouth….insert foot.  Surprisingly Natasha and Argo are hanging around. Natasha reminds him he’;s still a prisoner but Argo notes that at that moment  Domon Kasshu is holding them both prisoner.
Meanwhile a sleeping Rain is unaware that she’s being surrounded by dark Army units. Back at the cave Domon is on his last legs and just about out of hope. Then Schwartz Bruder appears and challeneges Domon to a Gundam fight. Domon intends not to accept but Schwartz to let him not accept. Domon tries desperately to dodge the blows but he can’t escape.  But just as Schwartz moves in for the killing blow a wave of serene clam sweeps over Domon and somehow he stops Schwartz’s blow. Domon is unable to understand how this was done…stubborn and thick-headed as always. Meanwhile the other members of the Shuffle Alliance sense something is happening. Then Schwartz gives him the revelation he’s been looking for a serene state of mind is the key. When a  person removes of hate, anger, and guilt and focuses all their energy on a single enemy with a calm state of mind then the true power of the super mode manifests itself. Before Domon can push away Schwartz’s sword the cave is hit by an explosion. 
The Dark army has arrived to try to kill all those who oppose the Dark Gundam.  The Shining Gundam responds to Domon’s call but is then attacked by the Dark Army units that have surrounded it. Meanwhile Argo sees what’s happening. Natasha attempts to leash in Argo but he tells her to shut up and heads off in the direction of the Shining Gundam.  Meanwhile Rain is forced to man the Gundam however the Dark Army is already on top of her. However they get a  nasty surprise when the other members of the Shuffle Alliance arrive. They each in turn move to ensure Rain can get to Domon.  Sai Saichi draws off some then George, then Chibodee,. Then Rain is ambushed by Master Asia who has personally come to oversee Domon’s forced conscription into the dark Gundam’s army.  Rain is pummeled by The dark Army but then the units gets sliced to pieces by Domon. He tries to use it on Master Asia but he blocks the attack. Master Asia mans his master Gundam and tries to finish Domon off but then gets halted by Argo Gulski in Bolt Gundam.  Apparently the Neo-Russian wants to fight Domon in Neo-Hong Kong.  Then the other Shuffle Alliance members arrive.  Asia throws off Argo’s attack and breaks the Bolt Gundam’s arm. Master Asia then summons a number of Dark Gundam heads not intending to let any of them get out alive. Schwartz suddenly comes in and tells Domon that they need to work as a team to get out of there. Domon however refuses to involve anyone in what he feels is his battle. Stubborn as always. Domon and Master Asia move in to attack with their finishing moves and the episode ends with a massive explosion.  Ah the classic to be continued trick always a sure fire way to keep viewers impaitient for the next episode.

The next episode starts out with a  recap of the last couple minutes of the last episode. then continues on. Both Master Asia and Domon are determined to defeat one another. I guess we now know where Domon developed his stubborn streak from.  However the Gundam fighters have to get out of there as they must report to Neo Hong Kong in 2 days for the finals of the Gundam fight.  As the smoke settles from the explision Domon is thrown from the explosion while Master Asia stands tall. The other Shuffle Alliance members rally to Domon. Master Asia moves in for the kill but Schwartz Bruder again interferes and after a flash of light from his Gundam all of Master Asia’s targets have vanished. Master Asia isn’t worried as he knows where they’ve gone and figures it’s only a matter of time before he defeats them. 
Meanwhile the Gundams have retreated to where Natasha is. The group after studying several strategies decides the only way to get past the Gundam heads and escape to neo Hong Kong is to force their way through as a group.  The biggest problem Sai Saichi points out is Domon’s Gundam has taken a real beating. Rain however is confident of her abilities as a mechanic. Considering all she’s done thus far it’s understandable.  She mentions it’ll take half a day. The rest of the Shuffle Alliance decide to keep the enemy busy while Rain completes repairs. Chibodee explains he’s doing this for Rain’s sake, which George echoes.  The plan is agreed on by all and is set into motion. Natasha shows her strategic capabilities by planning out the smaller details dividing the Gundam into teams Shadow and dragon Gundam, Maxter and Rose Gundam, and Bolt  Gundam. With an accompaniment of Neo-Russian troops and land mines the group set to work preparing for the dark Army onslaught.  Domon while making repairs nearly falls off of Shining Gundam. Domon catches her and realizes she has a fever.  Rain however is determined to finish her work. She’s a strong one that’s for sure. Master Asia meanwhile decides that it’s time to strike and orders his troops to move in. Meanwhile Natasha wonders if they’ll have enough time to complete Shining Gundam’s repairs.  All the defending Gundams report clear  untill Argo gets attacked. However the ex-space pirate recognizes Master Asia’s ploy from his days of intergalactic buccaneering.  A decoy group is sent after him while the main force comes in someplace else. Argo’s hunch proves to be correct as another more massive force is heading Chibodee and George’s way.  George finds himself admiring the space pirate’s tactical prowess. Meanwhile Schwartz looking at a nearby waterfall decides to put his plan for escape into motion while the others fight but notes the plan is dangerous.
Meanwhile Domon finds Rain has fainted from the strain of the fever. Domon decides with rains instructions he’ll repair the Gundam. Finally, The Gundam pilot sees it as payback for when Rain helped him out facing Master Asia in Shinjuku. Rain asks that when this is over she be allowed to continue on with him.  Domon agrees being a man of his word.
Natasha analyzing the battle from her end notes that too few enemy units are coming in. Sai Saichi is wondering if he should help with one of the other lines when a wave of enemies start shooting at him. Master Asia has been holding back and has decided that now is the time to send the bulk of his force in to crush them.  Somehow looking at this scene critically I thought that an otherwise prudent move on Master Asia’s part might just prove his undoing this time. Natasha is frustrated as she sees Master Asia’s strategy and discovers that Rain and Domon are still having trouble repairing SHining Gundam. One of the Neo-Russian crew members suggests they take Bolt Gundam and escape. Natasha is many things but she is neither a fool nor a coward having seen the power of the Dark Gundam for herself she understands the implications of what would happen should Neo russia desert now. Also mentioning the pride of Neo-Russia puts such thoughts out of the crew’s minds. ALl the Gundam pilots swear that they’ll continue on to Neo Hong Kong so they can defeat Domon for the pride of their countries. Master Asia decides to put in a  personal appearance on this scene.  But something occurred to me at that moment. Has anybody seen where Shadow Gundam went? Hamm, very interesting.
meanwhile Rain has again fainted but not before she and Domon have completed all the necessary repairs. However before Domon can join the fight the previously absent  Schwartz re-enters explaining that Natasha needs to tell the Gundam fighters to retreat to higher ground not having time to explain his plan.  The Gundam fighters thankfully decide that discretion is the better part of valor and do exactly as Schwartz told them to. As the Neo Russian carrier with Rain aboard takes off master Asia arrives thinking he has the upper hand. However master Asia then spots the signal flare in the water. Mistaking it for a mine he attacks it. The flare is launched and that cues Schwartz’s next move. using a powerful whirlwind like attack Schwartz Bruder in Shadow Gundam smashes the waterfall and starts a massive tidal wave flood…aimed directly at the surprised Master Asia. Oops, surf’s up Master Asia. As Schwartz Bruder intended Master Asia, the Dark Gundam heads and the dark Army are swept away by the massive flood. Natasha then instructs the Gundam to escape. She also promises to take care of rain and se her safely to Neo Hong Kong.  The other Gundam fighters also take off leaving Domon to handle unfinished business. Master Asia leaps from the water ready for battle. But Domon has finally wizened up enough to recognize that master Asia is no longer his teacher but his enemy. The Master Asia gives Domon another surprise. the Dark Gundam appears carrying Domon’s brother Kyoji. Now Domon finds himself facing two enemies at once. The episode ends on the count bringing us one step closer to the end of the Guyana highlands saga.

In the next episode Domon prepares to face off against Master Asia and the dark Gundam. Meanwhile up in space the activities of Domon and the dark Gundam have not gone unnoticed. Commander Ulube and Commissioner Karato realize that the dark Gundam’s power has increased exponentially since Shinjuku. Ul;ube decides that it’s time for Neo-Japan to play a trump card they’d had secretly prepared for just such a situation, a trump card called Burning Gundam. Whats this, a new type of Gundam? Another well-played plot twist I thought.  Commissioner Karato is adamant not using Burning Gundam wanting to save it for the final battle. However Dr. Mikanmura asks Commissioner Karato “What if Domon’s still in the Guyana highlands and can’t get out?” Dr. Mikamura realizing that Domon is their only hope alters Burning Gundam’s trajectory and prepares to send it to the Guyana Highlands. Meanwhile Rain awakens. Natasha has been watching her and explains that Domon stayed behind and the transport plane will not be turning back. Considering that the final tourney is a short time away and right now the Guyana Highlands is one of the most dangerous places to be that is probably the smartest move.
bacjk in the Guyana Highlands master Asia deftly dodges Domon’s blows and taunts the Neo-Japan fighter about using his super mode. Master Asia then pummels Domon and tries to finish him off when Shadow gundam and Scwartz Bruder again interfere. Schwartz explains to Domon that Master Asia is intentionally trying to anger Domon. Schwartz does his best to calm Domon down. Master Asia in an attempt to antagonize Domon points out his brother who laughs yet somehow the laughter seems hollow and empty and it’s noted Kyoji’s eyes show a hollow vacant look almost as if he isn’t there. is that just madness or perhaps something else?  Domon tries to go after his brother but then Schwartz stops him and uses another one of his special attacks to temporarily blind Master Asia. When his sight clears Domon and Shadow Gundam are both gone.  Master Asia is not pleased. In a nearby cave Domon is furious ay Schwartz and tries to go after Master Asia even though the Neo-Germany fighter points out Kyoji is being used as bait by Master Asia to draw out Domon’s anger. Domon however isn’t listening until Schwartz infuriated by Domon’s stubbornness chastises him for his recklessness and points out that anger causes a person to lose focus giving an enemy several opportunities to strike.  Domon is suddenly hit by the sense of deja-vu. He has a feeling he’s heard Schwartz’s voice before.  Domon wants to defeat the Dark Gundam now Schwartz however points out that in order for Domon to succeed he needs a tranquil state of mind. Domon however is rash and impatient. Schwartz finally fed up with Domon tells him to do as he wishes but tells him that in the unlikely event of success he’ll be waiting in Neo-Hong Kong.  Schwartz takes off.
Meanwhile Rain has been in contact with Neo-japan and has explained the situation. Natasha meanwhile explains to one of her subordinates that she’ll be accountable for what rain’s doing. Natasha may a strict and stringent woman of the Neo-Russian military but she knows when to do what’s right.  After rain finishes Rain’s father asks if they can send Burning Gundam now. commissioner Karato in light of recent events gives the go ahead. Dr. Mikamura launches the space pod with Burning Gundam in it towards earth.
Meanwhile Domon returns to face Master Asia. After Domon’s initial attack which isn’t too successful master Asia returns to pummeling Domon while trying to anger him. This and the sight of his brother who continues to laugh at him drive Domon into a berserk state. Meanwhile Master Asia backs off while he allows Domon to go into a destructive frenzy.  Just as Domon tries to cur down Master Asia but the Martial artist deftly dodges the blow and tries to finish Domon off. But his attack is stopped when Shadow Gundam interferes again this time at the cost of severe Damage. But Shadow succeeds in shattering an arm of Master Asia’s Master Gundam. Domon is taken aback by this gesture from Schwartz whom he thought on his way to Neo-Germany.  It seems Schwartz did that to try to get Domon to calm down. But once again Domon’s rashness got the better of him. As Domon lets down his guard Master Asia grabs a hold of his Gundam’s head and tries to proverbially choke the life out of Domon. Schwartz with all his strength reminds Domon of the time in the cave when he achieved a serene state of mind.  Suddenly Domon finds himself in that serene state of mind, Suddenly once he has that tranquil state everything becomes clear.  Domon is suddenly able to achieve what Schwartz calls “The true super mode”.Master Asia however the power of the Dark Gundam manages to have his Gundam recover from the damage and tries to finish Domon. However Master Asia for the first time in the series finds himself on the receiving end of the worst beat down of his life something which the legendary “Undefeated of the East” has never has happen before. It appears that the student has finally surpassed the master. Domon then launches a Shining Finger attack on the base of the Dark Gundam. When the attack hits Domon feels the anger, the rage, and frustration drain away like water in a stream. Meanwhile Master Asia tries to get a plan to together but the badly beaten fighter is stopped by Schwartz. Master Asia then gets a look at Schwartz whose mask and uniform have been badly shredded in the recent battle. Master Asia gets a look beneath the mask and recognizes the face. But wait Schwartz has hair the same color as …Kyoji’s. And we have another brilliant plot twist.
A calm and serene Domon finally believes it’s over but then he spots a capsule dropping from the sky…the very same one Neo-Japan launched. Meaning that Burning Gundam has arrived on Earth. This implies that the next episode will be a high adrenaline race for the capsule.

The next episode picks up with the ending of the last episode. The scene then changes over to Neo-Hong Kong.  People from all around the world are gathering for the finals and being that it’s currently the most prominent city on Earth Neo-Hong Kong actually looks clean and tidy. Gundams arriving from all over the world including the members of the Shuffle Alliance. George, Sai Saichi, and Chibodee make grand entrances as only they can. On spotting each other they launch into a barrage of good-natured trash talk. The Then they learn the shuttle from Neo-Japan has arrived but Domon has not. Their crests begin to hurt and the surmise he’s still in the Guyana Highlands fighting the Dark Gundam.  Commissioner Karato is having a  near conniption fit because Domon hasn’t arrived. Dr. Mikamura is calm and Commander Ulube assures Karato that Domon did receive Burning Gundam. Then Dr. Mikamura spots his daughter. Meanwhile rain is worried that Domon won’t arrive on time and thereby be disqualified. Natasha noting Domon isn’t here figures the help of Neo-Russia hasn’t counted for much. Argo however sensing his crest stinging believes Domon will make it. Natasha in typical Neo-Russian form is rather cynical about that. Dr. Mikamura then arrives and is reunited with his daughter.  Natasha mentions she’s looking forward to taking on their Gundam she and Argo then head off to get Bolt Gundam and head to the opening ceremonies. Meanwhile Rain continues to worry for Domon.
Meanwhile back in the Guyana Highlands  Domon recognizes the Neo-Japan capsule and gets a quick glimpse of what’s inside. The side that capsule is on begins to collapse. And the side Domon is on begins to collaspe as well. Just then from out of the ground Master Asia pops up and he’s rather sore about his recent loss.  Domon and Master Asia fall to a ravine below. Master Asia then shows that he never wanted Domon to become a Gundam fighter or show up in Shinjuku so that things could have gone “According to plan” this is a surprise turn Domon didn’t expect. Call Domon names Master Asia then begins pounding away at Shining Gundam.  Both men launch one last mighty attack. Unfortunately the effort leaves Shining Gundam badly damaged.  Domon unable to make Shining Gundam moves jumps out under Master’s nose and makes a beeline for the capsule with Burning Gundam.  Master Asia spots Domon and launches an attack at the Neo-Japan fighter. However Shining Gundam gets up and takes the attack right in the chest. Master Asia is taken aback by this.  Master Asia realizes that Domon had though two or three attacks ahead of Master Asia and programmed the Corlander’s energy to have the Shining Gundam do this. And that ladies and gentleman is part of the true martial artist, it’s not just one thing to out power your opponent but to out think them. Domon regrets what he’s done but understands that this sacrifice was necessary so he could reach Burning Gundam.
Domon reaches the capsule but Master Asia is far from through. He frees  his right hand from Shining Gundam and slams into the Capsule knocking it over. He thinks of it as “His final lesson from master to pupil.” Quite the persistent sore loser isn’t he?  The blow knocks both Domon and the capsule off the cliff.
Meanwhile back in Neo-Hong Kong time is running out for Gundams to arrive.  George, Chibodee, and Sai Saichi show some concern for Domon. Argo however states that Domon will arrive. George mentions that it’s rather odd that they should show concern for a single  opponent.  Meanwhile as there’s on hour to go untill the deadline Commissioner Karato continues to be concerned about Domon arriving in time. Commander Ulube assures the Commissioner that Burning Gundam arrived in the Guyana Highlands. Then Dr. Mikamura receives a signal from Burning Gundam. Rain who’s at her nerves end tries to contact Domon unawares of the events in the Guyana Highlands.
back in said Highlands Domon manages to stumble into the machine. However the Gundam isn’t moving, it would seem there are gremlins in the works. Then Master Asia arrives and tries to make Domon come out of his Gundam. Is it me or is Master Asia intentionally trying to keep Domon from the finals…hmmm, very interesting.  Master Asia launches a devastating series of attacks but Domon refuses to give up swearing to reach Neo-Hong Kong and save his father.  back in Neo-Hong Kong Dr. Mikamura has summarized that something’s gone wrong. He decides that Shining Gundam needs to transfer its battle data to Burning Gundam in order so it can function properly. He places a device called a brainwave transmitter on to Rain which will allow her to control Shining Gundam and get it to  give Domon the data needed to make burning Gundam to work as well as help rain communicate with Domon.  However the device is untested and Commissioner Karato has his doubts. However at this stage desperate times call for desperate measures. The shuffle Alliance watch from a  distance as rain uses the device. Thinking back over the past 11 months Rain reaches out with her mind. The Neo-Japan woman ina  burst of light suddenly finds herself flying down a long passageway visions of people and things that have happened pass by her. the last one looms the largest it’s…her. Domon then finds herself falling towards the Guyana Highlands. A burst of light suddenly knocks Master Asia away and Shing Gundam gets to it’s hands and knees. Rain makes the SHining Gundam crawl towards Domon Rain explaining what she intends. Master Asia attempts to get up to stop it but the self-recovery of Master Gundam is too slow. Rain manages to get Shining Gundam to Burning Gundam as she explains her feelings for Domon in her own way. The battle data from Shining Gundam is successfully transferred to Burning Gundam. Rain back in Neo-Hong Kong collapses But the shuffle Alliance members and her father immediately race to her side. Back in the Highlands Like a soldier carrying a dying comrade Burning Gundam emerges much to Master Asia’s chagrin.  Shining Gundam’s lights in its eyes flicker and then go out.  Master Asia uses the last of his strength to allow his Master Gundam to self-recover then challenges Domon to a fight. However Domon slams Master Gundam into the ground and makes it clear he has no time to play and heads off to Neo-Hong Kong leaving Master Gundam to explode and seemingly take Master Asia with it. Domon looks behind at Shining Gundam one last time and bids it farewell.  And thusly leaving Shining Gundam behind in the Guyana Highland Domon uses the energy ropes around Earth like a pro-wrestler to slingshot himself towards his destination Neo-Hong Kong. Now it all makes sense. Master ASia has indeed been trying to keep Domon from reaching Neo-Hong Kong. But for once Domon’s thick-headed single-mindedness actually proves a benefit. Domon zips through the atmosphere heading for Neo Hong-Kong. However four mysterious objects suddenly appear behind the Neo-Japan fighter.  With one minute remaining  Domon is almost to Neo-Hong Kong when those objects he saw earlier surround him and attack him.  The members of the Shuffle Alliance and Rain call out to Domon to hurry up. Domon notes that one of the objects looks like a robotic horse used by one of the Gundams.  With the clock ticking Domon pouring on extra speed and arrives with one second to spare. Geez, that’s cutting it a little too close Domon.  Rain is happy to see Domon but chastises him for worrying her so. Greeted by friends and comrades all celebrate the opening of the Gundam fight Finals. The stakes have been raised…and Season 2 of Mobile Fighter G-Gundam is about to begin.

As the next episode starts out all the surviving Gundam fighters have assembled in Neo-Hong Kong for the Gundam finals.  Prime Minister Wong who rules the current leader of all of  “Outer space” gazes on the spectacle. From the beginning it’s clear that prime Minister Wong seems more like a cross between a quintessential sleaze ball politician and a boss from say the mafia or Yakuza. Meanwhile as Ulube  thanks Domon for defeating the dark Gundam Commissioner Karato tries to lecture Domon only for Domon to make it clear to the leader of Neo-Japan that he knows what’s at stake, the life of his father Dr. Kasshu.  As the opening ceremonies begin the next day Gundam Maxter and Chibodee Crockett enter in a  blaze of glory and pagentry demonstrating his Gundam’s attacks.  Sai Saichi enters next and Kelun and Zuisten remind Sai Saichi to keep his focus. Sai Saichi’s intentions become clear like his father and grandfather before him he seeks to resurrect the Shoulin temple  and make it the ruler of all martial arts once again.   Next up is Rose Gundam which shows subtle and elegant power and elegance much like it’s chivalrous Neo-France pilot.  After demonstrating his own special attack George declares that he dedicate his victory to the one he loves Marie Louise, princess of Neo-France.  Argo enters  next swearing to win the championship in spite of Natasha and Neo-Russian authorities so that he and his friends can be free.  Next up Domon enters the specially built stadium. Domon reflects on everything that’s happened and how the Bruning Gundam in his eyes IS  Shining Gundam in a  different body. Rain as she watches only asks that Domon be safe. The report watching above from a helicopter makes mention of Domon and the crests of the other Shuffle Alliance members. Publicly the symbols are a symbol of excellence in the Gundam fight. Giving the impression few are aware of the true significance of the Alliance crests/. Meanwhile Prime Minister Wong watches and cynically asks that the strongest fighter of all is among the five Shuffle Alliance members.  Wong then mentions to the shadowy figure that the other fighters aren’t pushovers either. The shadowy figure watches. On closer inspection we familiar set of eyes and eyebrows come into the light….is the who we think it is?
briefly at the opening ceremonies more Gundam are introduced. Zeus Gundam from Neo-Greece, Windmill Gundam from Neo-Holland, Toros Gundam from Neo-Spain, Viking Gundam from Neo-Norway, Mandela Gundam from Neo-Nepal, Mermaid Gundam from Neo-Denmark, Neo-India’s Cobra Gundam, Neo Kenya’s Zebra Gundam. The next Gundam is an all too familiar one Neo-Canada’s grizzly Gundam piloted by Andrew Graham, and no doubt he’s still looking to pay Argo Gulski back. This is why grudges can be a bad thing.  Next up is Shadow Gundam and Schwartz Bruder who has managed to surprisingly make a full recovery. All the shuffle Alliance members are grateful to the Neo-German pilot for his help in the Guyana Highlands. Domon on reflection  realizes he owes the most. Because of Schwartz Domon realized that only through a serene state of mind without guilt, doubt, or anger could he truly unlock his super-mode and surpass his own limits.  Still Domon is stymied as yo who Schwartz really is. Before he can investigate further Domon gets a nasty surprise. Waiting at the entranceway is Neros Gundam piloted by Michalo Chariot and Royal Gundam piloted by Graham Chapman. Now here is where in my opinion the story starts to slip up just a  bit. Neros Gundam I can understand being there but Royal Gundam and gentle Chapman, uh where’s Chapman’s wife wouldn’t she have something to say about this?  Domon is stunned he defeated Chariot back in episode 1 of G-Gundam and as for Gentle Chapman George can confirm that  Domon defeated him. Chibodee mentions that it’s a major breach of  Gundam protocols for a disqualified Gundam pilot to participate. Sai Saichi is about to contact the authorities when Bruder stops them mentioning a major player is about to be introduced.  Argo is among those who are especially surprised to see the Gundam riding…on another Gundam that looks like a horse. A horse Gundam….hmmm intetewsting.  The Gundam on the back of his horse Gundam, piloted by a real horse, named Phoonpsyche, at least that’s how I think it’s spelled, and pronounced (Foon-sy-key), is in fact Master Gundam  piloted by the undefeated of the East, Master Asia. Okay here’s where in my opinion a  major  plot hole develops. In the remainder of the story they never said just how Master Gundam or Shadow Gundam survived the Guyana Highlands. That kind of detracted from the overall storyline.
Master Asia declares at the end of the Gundam fight he will be “Super Asia” Champion of the East, West, North, South, and center. Domon makes a brazen declaration of his own. he swears he will win every fight in order so that he can face and defeat Master Asia once and for all.  The other Gundam fighters are stunned by Domon’s declaration. Brave words Domon hope you can back them up.  The other fighters including his fellow Shuffle Alliance members are stunned and outraged that Domon would think himself better than them.  Before things can get out of hand Prime Minister Wong sitting in one of his many thrones pops up and calms things down by explaining the Opening ceremonies are about harmony. But everything including the man’s dubbed voice, the fellow who did it in my opinion did an excellent job, drip of sleaze ball.  The Prime Minister congratulates the Gundam pilots on making it through 11 months of hell. Bu then explains things are going to get much harder as he introducing three new rules. This has even Commissioner Karato surprised. The new rules are. 1, A Gundam can be repaired as many times as they want without limit,  2. The cockpit is a viable target, a move Commander Ulube, Rain, the Shuffle Alliance aren’t too keen on, and the third rule is whichever Gundam survives the finals will be given the title of “Gundam of Gundams”> Interesting but I got the sneaking feeling there was more going on behind the scenes then meets the eye. Prime Minister Wong then calls on the undefeated of the East and Domon to demonstrate their skills. The Gundam fighters perform the same technique that they used when they met in Shinjuku.  In a blast of flare and pageantry they light up the ceremonial torch which looks like a nest surrounded by dragons. Prime Minster Wong then declares the final battle of the 13th Gundam fight officially underway.  Commander Ulube and Dr. Mikamura note that the tournament has begun. Domon again swears to save his father from his imprisonment. he swears on the symbol of the king of hearts. Hold on folks things are about to get good.

The next episode is where things reallystart to change. Even the intro to the show is different.  The Episode starts out with Hurricane Gundam from Neo-Holland and Zeus Gundam from Neo-Greece piloted by a fellow named Marcelot going at it in the Arena. It becomes apparent from the way Marcelot is throttling hurricane Gundam that he doesn’t think much of the pilot’s skill or the Gundam. in fact he seems to take a very uppity and arrogant view of his abilities. Definitely not the sort of guy you want to have a pleasant chat with. After Neo-Holland launches a hurricane attack Zeus Gundam blows it off then proceeds to take down Hurricane Gundam showing why he’s considered the favorite to win the championship.  But then again Domon swore he’d win every match so he could face off against and defeat Master Asia. But the problem is Domon isn’t exactly familiar with Burning Gundam’s controls. Nothing like on the job training hmm? That night in the tower palace of Prime Minister Wong the politician is playing a sort of chess game with the Gundam fighters being the pieces. After being bored by the round between hurricane Gundam and Zeus Gundam he decides to put Domon’s promise to the test by sending him against Zeus Gundam. OOh right off the bat a dangerous opponent. Good luck Neo-Japan you’ll need it.  Master Asia comes into the room where Wong is. He is in complete agreement that Domon should fight the best in order to prove worthy of being a champion.
Meanwhile Domon is leaving the hotel finding the rich and ritzy environs not to his satisfaction. Bidding Rain good-bye he promises to be at the match tomorrow. Stubborn as always. Just then Commissioner Karato shows up wanting to speak with Domon. Neo-Japan’s fighter gives Karato the brush off at first…untill he learns that Karato knows who his first opponent will be.  He explains it’ll be Zeus Gundam. Everyone else is visibly shaken as Zeus Gundam has proven why he’s the favorite to win the championship. Domon however is unmoved believing that with Burning Gundam he has what he needs he takes off looking for a place to stay. Karato is furious but Ulube calms Karato down believing they should let Domon do as he pleases. Rain takes off after Domon and Dr. Mikamura has figured out his daughter has feelings for Domon and is a little worried about it. Worry where there should be fatherly delight why is that?  Meanwhile Domon wanders the streets of Neo-Hong Kong various passersby make various comments about Domon mostly all say that Neo-Greece is the favorite. Domon however is unphased by it. He genuinely believes Burning Gundam has what it takes to defeat Neo-Greece. Hamm, perhaps Domon is being tooconfident? Domon’s wanderings come to a halt when he spots a Grecian temple with Zeus Gundam in it.  Domon admits that it is impressive but still believes Burning Gundam will win. But then he surprised by the Gundam’s pilot Marcelot. After getting a nasty punch to the face Domon returns the favor with a power flying side kick to the face. The man, who’s even bigger than Argo Gulski of Neo-Russia isn’t even fazed by the attack. In fact he merely laughs it off.  Marcelot then proceeds to dodge Domon’s blows and then beat the living daylights out of Domon. One final blows Knocks Domon into the bay waters Marcelot callously walks away laughing rather than going to save Domon. Definitely not a nice man.
Meanwhile in a phone conversation Dr. Mikamura suggests Rain return to the hotel as she has preparations for tomorrow to make.  Rain explains she will after she checks the coastal area of the city one last time. Commissioner Karato is furious with Domon’s behavior and chastises Dr. Mikamura and Ulube for indulging Domon. Meanwhile a comatose Domon is floating around in the bay while Rain is getting frustrated with DOmon’s behavior. Meanwhile Domon has a nightmare in which he’s attacked by Neo-Greece who proclaims his Gundam to be the ultimate Gundam.  Domon ends up losing to Neo-Greece in his dream then awakens his confidence severely shaken.  He then realizes he’s been sleeping in what looks like a room aboard a ship.  Domon opens up a hatch and finds he’s indeed on a  ship a wooden fishing vessel.  Domon wonders where he is untill he’s surprised by an old man who’s working ona  fishing net.  Domon demands to know who the man is. The old man gently chastises him by saying “Who am I? Just a simple good morning would’ve been nicer.” Some children with the old man also chastise Domon explaining that the old man saved Domon’s life. The old man just simply chuckles demonstrating a genuinely pleasant nature.
Over breakfast Domon is at a loss as to how to thank the old man for saving his life. Domon starts to introduce himself but the two children already know. The old man notes that Domon looks unfocused apparently he’s still reeling from Marcelot’s beating. He asks the little girl, Meng (Pronounced Minn.), to get the “Wanderbug” powder. The old man then points to some pepper. The kids are confused but the old man continues explaining that “The Wanderbug is a tiny insect 2 centimeters long that preys on other insects twice it’s size.” He explains how it’s courageous and never gives up if it’s going to survive. Okay granted I recognized the story for what it was the pep talk couldn’t be missed. Very subtle means of getting Domon back into his game. That is one clever old man.
The scene shifts to the arena where Neo-Japan is getting nervous because Domon hasn’t arrived yet.  Wong chuckles in wry amusement figuring Domon is too scared to fight Zeus Gundam. Master Asia reminds Prime Minister Wong not to underestimate Domon Kasshu. That’s a typical martial arts philosophy, “NEVER underestimate your opponent.” Wong is surprised by this but then Master Asia explains the stronger the opponent the more he’ll want to fight.  Meanwhile Domon and the old man are talking on the deck of his fishing vessel. Domon and the old man conclude that even though Zeus Gundam is stronger the only solution is “The Wanderbug”. Domon asks if he can stay. The old man says he can only if he wins. Domon agrees. Again I couldn’t help but think “This is one very clever old man.” The old man calls up Meng and the boy whose name is Hoy,  and they ready the ship to sail. En route the other members of the Shuffle Alliance just happen to pass by and greet Domon offering their support to him.  Then he spots Prime Minister Wong and Master Asia thusly fulfilling Master Asia prophecy that Domon would show up for his match.  Domon then leaps into his new Gundam. much to Rain’s relief, her more so than the rest of Neo-Japans Representatives. The match then begins. It quickly becomes clear Domon has his work cut out for him.
Meanwhile Mein asks the old man, who’s in fact hers and the boy’s grandfather why he made up that phony story about the wanderbug. He explains that it was a way to help Domon rid himself of doubt. Domon’s Falcon guns have no affect on Zeus Gundam. Neo-Greece moves to attack. But Domon remembering his dream takes a different approach and ends up cutting off the head of the robotic horse portion of Zeus Gundam. Almost everyone thinks the battle is over. But Master Asia points out the battle has just begin. Again master ASia’s words are prophetic as Zeus Gundam emerges and uses its Lightning of Judgement attack on Burning Gundam. Ouch electric!  Domon iis then subjected to Marcelot’s merciless taunting and a pounding from Zeus Gundam at the same time. Wong thinks it’s over and Neo-Japan is gravely concerned. However Master Asia, Chibodee and the other Shuffle Alliance members see a different story. Domon is enduring the painful onslaught to await that one moment which will change everything.  Domon actually begins to laugh. Marcelot is outraged and decides to make an example out of Domon by finishing him off with one blow. Zeus Gundam leaps into the air and comes in wielding maximum power. But at the last second Domon halts the attack. Marcelot is furious at this. Rain tells Domon about his new finishing attack Erupting Burning Finger. Domon using the power of a calm state of mind activates the attack…and ends up smashing right into Zeus Gundam’s chest. In the end Zeus Gundam is destroyed and Marcelot finds out the hard way that he was the one making too many boasts. Ah the classic David and Goliath story. In this case utilizing that old story proves to be an excellent move for this anime.  In the midst of celebrating his victory Domon admits he knew the old man’s story about the “Wanderbug” powder was baloney. Domon is many things but he’s not that much of a fool.  A nice little humorous twist in the story. Domon then enjoys his first victory with Burning Gundam.

This next episode is the kind of episode that would give Indiana Jones the creeps because it involves a Gundam that looks like a cobra.  The episode starts off with a group of kids ascending some stairs. The Neo-Hong Kong kids are looking top get some good seats for the Gundam fight. They arrive at the top of a building to find Gundam Zebra and Gundam Maxter (Chibodee’s Gundam.) in combat. One of the kids has a program which gives the stats of the Gundams.  One of the kids name of Cha (at least this is how I think it’s spelled.) is awed by the Gundams and steps closer to the fight.  Another kid tries to warn Cha away saying it dangerous to go past the barriers.  Cha however doesn’t hear them as he is in awe of the Gundams.  He swears that one day he’s going to become a Gundam pilot and show them all. Oops plot hole here Show who? 
Meanwhile in his palace Prime Minister Wong is analyzing the data from the match of Gundam Maxter and Gundam Zebra. Wong makes mention that the hidden strengths of Neo-America are not to be underestimated. Wong then sets his mind to who should go next.  He decides that Domon’s second match which is tomorrow should take place immediately. At Master Asia’s suggestion Domon is set up with a tough  opponent Cobra Gundam from Neo-India.  A figure watches over the city while Domon and the old man’s Grandchildren are shopping. Apparently it’s been noted that Domon eats like a horse. Domon is unsure of how to handle this situation. It comes out to 500 Neo Hong Kong dollars. Ooh ouch!  The grandkids promise to treat Domon next time, Domon however thinks someone is watching him. And it’s true someone is…it’s Cha the very same boy who was watching the match between Gundams Zebra and Maxter earlier. The grandkids wave it off saying Gundam fighters are always watched because they’re so famous.  The boy, Poy assures Rain and Domon this is true. Meanwhile Cha and his friends watch from a  distance it turns up the three older boys are friends of Poy. Cha and the older boys imagine all kinds of possibilities including the one that Poy has seen the inside of a Gundam. Cha outraged by this decides to show Poy. Oh boy, this has potential disaster written all over it. Suddenly Domon  sets everything he was carrying including Poy down and takes off. At first Cha and the others are fearful that they’ve been spotted….untill Domon leaps over where they’re hiding and takes off into an alley. Surprise twist anyone?  Domon chases after his mysterious stalker untill he finds himself in an alley. The fellow looks like a  snake charmer and his has the musical intrument…and a giant cobra with him. Domon tries to fight it off only to have the squeeze literally put on him by the giant snake. Domon demands to know who the man is but the snake-like man refuses. He then reveals that his musical instrument has a blade in it which he intends to use to kill Domon. However that plan is put on hold when rain, Poy, and Meng show up worried about Domon. The cobra lets go and both snake and it’s master flee.  Not very sportsman like behavior is it?  As they tend to Domon the three kids decide that Domon is really weak and unworthy of piloting his Gundam. Cha comes up with a  plan to steal Domon’s Gundam. AS i said this has disaster written all over it. 
back atb the fishing vessel Domon and rain do some research. They uncover that the man who attacked Domon is indeed a Gundam fighter his name is Shijema (Pronounced: She-Jee-mah.) and of his favorite tactics is the one he used on Domon today. Domon suspects Shijema and Cobra Gundam will be his next opponent and is grateful for all the information he can get. Meng makes mention that Hoy is away and she needs help preparing dinner. Domon mentions that this would be a good time for Rain to learn more about cooking. Rain is outraged by this and asks in a harsh tone if Domon is insinuating that she’s a terrible cook.  Meanwhile the three older boys are watching the hanger where Burning Gundam is kept. Cha mentions that there’s still time to get in there. Poy is with them and the boy is having second thoughts about this as he doesn’t want to violate Domon’s trust. Cha intimidates and shames Hoy into submission.  The boys spot Domon and put their plan into action. Poy comes in looking for Domon. As Poy distracts Domon Cha and the others make their move Cha zooms in on his bike and zips over to the platform. He them leaps into the cockpit promising half-heartedly to not damage Burning Gundam. Domon tries to get Cha to come out. But the boy refuses claiming that the Gundam now belongs to him.  However Cha’s small body doesn’t have what it takes to handle the tight fit of the Gundam body suit.  Out of control and unable to handle the system Cha accidentally knocks Domon off the elevation platform when he tries to ascend to help the boy. Poy rushes to Domon’s aid. I figured that something disastrous as thiis would happen.  Domon then chastises Poy then realizes his right shoulder was injured in the fall.  As the other boys watch in horror they are unaware that Shijema and his pet cobra  are watching also.  Domon explains to Cha that unless he relaxes the suit will crush every bone in his body.  Domon has no choice but to knock the boy out to save him from disaster. Burning Gundam then shuts down.  Domon holding his shoulder comes out with a  unconscious Cha. Shijema makes his presence known then vanishes. Domon wonders if Shijema told the kids to do this. AS soon as Cha is awake Domon grasping the boy by his shirt asks as much. Cha is so frightened he can barely speak. Finally Domon gets so frustrated he lets the boy go then favors that injured shoulder.  Domon coldly turns and walks away. Poy and the others explain to Cha that Domon was injured trying to save him. What a rough way to learn that for every action there are consequences. 
The next day in the first match Gundam Rose defeats Hurricane Gundam. Next up is Domon’s match. Poy is frightened for Domon, considering what happened it’s understandable. Cha however is even more concerned as he is responsible for Domon’s injury. As Domon descends to the arena Prime Minster Wong and Master Asia watch. Shijema has informed the pair of Domon’s injury. Master Asia sees it as a good test for Domon. Prime Minister Wong isn’t concerned as long as there isn’t a fatality. Domon calls out the Neo-India fighter who ascends from the ground ina  giant pot. Shijema mockingly asks Domon about his injury. His cobra Gundam then slithers out from within the pot playing a giant version of that same musical instrument he played before. Predictably it can probably be guessed how much like that musical instrument Cobra Gundam’s is. At Prime minister Wong’s command the Gundam fight begins as all look on. Quickly Shijema’s strategy is to go after the injured arm of Domon, just like a true snake. Domon tries to launch a counteroffensive but the snealy pilot of the cobra Gundam proves a slippery one and eventually gets Domon into a death grip just like before.  Domon unable to move screams in pain. Meanwhile Commissioner Karato is on his feet furious at Domon’s lack of action,. Rain reminds DOPmon of his pledge, to which Domon is very much aware and retorts rather sharply. Meanwhile Meng is wondering why Domon hasn’t done anything. The old man points out that Domon might have injured himself. Again, this is a verysharp old man. At this comment Hoy casts his face downward.  Meanwhile Cha’s conscience has been slowly eating away at him after last night. Cha finally runs off much to the surprise of his friends. Rain tries to get Domon to do something while Karato looks about ready to have a conniption fit.  Just then Hoy and Cha reach where Rain and the others are sitting. Wait a second wasn’t Hoy with The Old man and the other kids just a  short time ago. Oops, an overlooked detail. Rain tries to shoo the kids off by explaining that Domon is in a match. But Cha explains what he has to say is  that important.  Rain agrees to his request. Hoy contacts Domon and apologizes for his actions Cha then explains the whole of his plan and how the idea of stealing Domon’s Gundam was  hisidea and not a plan of Shijema. All he wanted ro do was ride in a Gundam, ooh international incident anyone? He begs Domon’s forgiveness and asks him to win his match all while all the representatives of Neo-Japan watch. Somehow Domon understands, surprising considering how temperamental he usual is. Personally I’d have been furious with the kid. Nonetheless Domon now knowing the truth sets his mind to the match. Meanwhile Shijema decides the time as come for the final blow. Cobra Gundams body separates from its tail. Sure enough the musical instrument Cobra Gundam was playing has a laser blade much like the real blade in Shijema’s instrument/weapon.  It looks like it’s all over for Domon…untill Domon gets a rather risky idea. To escape the coiled grip of Cobra Gundam Domon dislocates his own right shoulder. YeeouchWhat a painful way to escape from that trap!  Domon slips out of the Cobra Gundam’s coil and hits the Neo-India Gundam with a left-handed Erupting Burning Finger.  Domon defeats Cobra Gundam to the elated cheers of his friends and the spectators. Master Asia is pleased by this turn of events. Is it me, or does master Asia actually want to fight Domon? Hmm, very interesting intrigues.
The children race to meet up with Domon and again apologize for their actions. Domon then offers Cha a piece of advice…build up his body while he’s still young so that one day he can truly pilot a Gundam. Rain impressed by the company he’s keeping. Okay so maybe Domon is growing up after all. There’s always hope.

The next episode starts off on an action packed and dark note. A Gundam fighter is running through a dark alley only to be attacked and murdered by a mysterious figure. the man is in fact Kyral, and yes, he’s an assassin. Every Gundam Fighter he’s gone up against has lost by default because they’ve been found dead. And Prime minister Wong has selected him as Domon’s next opponent. Wait a second Master Asia only wanted DOmon tested not killed outright as he wants to fight Domon himself. Hmm, I sense an ulterior agenda here on the part of Prime minister Wong. And yet again as plot takes an interesting twist.  Meanwhile it’s clear Domon will next face Kyral and Mandela Gundam of Neo-Nepal, if he can live long enough to be there.
Meanwhile Domon and his companions are watching the match between Viking Gundam and Shadow Gundam. Schwartz Bruder at first is on the defensive. But after using a substitution technique to put Viking Gundam’s ship body in place of it Shadow Gundam hits Viking Gundam from beneath the ground for the victory.  Oh yeah, Schwartz Bruder again proves why he’s thatgood. Schwartz in a  blatant display of good sportsmanship helps the rescue crew save Viking Gundam’s pilot. Meanwhile the others are awed by Shadow Gundam which to them moved so fast they couldn’t what moves it made. Not surprising as I couldn’t see the substitution tactics untill after it was done also. The kids and Domon talk about whose stronger Shadow Gundam or Burning Gundam. Meanwhile Chibodee drops by for a visit. He asks if Rain wants to have lunch with him Rain starts to politely turn him down. Then Hoy comes along and kicks Chibodee in the shin. He then tells Chibodee that rain belongs to Domon to which is taken by surprise. Kids really do say the darndest things. With Meng on one shoulder Domon greets the brash and easy-going Neo-American fighter.  After Hoy tells Chibodee to go away The Neo-American fighter explains Domon and Rain are just friends so it’s okay for him to ask Rain out. Domon suddenly feels extreme uncomfortable much to Rain’s annoyance and the amusement of everyone else.
Later on in the city Chibodee mentions that there’s an assassin after Domon’s life. Heb hands Domon a copy of the information on Kyral. Domon browses the information on Kyral and his victories by default. He then makes mention that his warning while appreciated is a little too late just then Kyral shows up in broad daylight on the streets to kill Domon. Domon unlike his other victims proves harder than Kyral expected to defeat dodging the assasin’s powerful blows.  Domon lands on a double-decker bus but the assassin relentlessly pursues Domon. The fight on the bus proves to be most surprising as Domon discovers Kyral is blind. Domon tries to use this to his advantage but the cunning assassin who uses his staff’s long reach on his victims has a nother surprise, a hidden blade in his staff.  YIKES this guy is too good at what he does. The surprise blade catches Domon. But before he can fall to his death Chibodee catches him then the two crash just as Kyral makes a soft landing. Kyral then shows how dangerous he is by cutting a double-decker bus in half. Kyral decides to retreat for the time being swearing to take care of Domon later. In typical assassin form Kyral is relentless.
At the facility of Neo-Nepal it becomes clear what the game plan of the Neo-Nepal government is. They believe that by eliminating all the competition before the Gundam fight they can gain control of the world by default. What a cheap way to gain a win, cheap and dirty. The Neo-Nepal representatives are less than pleased with the fact that Kyral has not succeeded. However even though he’s blind the assassin from Neo-Nepal shows why he’s such a feared assassin. Amidst a flare of sliced candles Kyral promises he will succeed in killing Domon Kasshu.  This guy is definitely not playing around.
Back at the fishing vessel Chibodee tells the story of how Kyral became a blind assassin. Once a genuine fighter during the final stage of one Gundam tournament he lost his eyesight to a competitor. He was then callously tossed aside by his government. But now it would appear he’s returned for revenge against ALL Gundam fighters. 
That evening Domon does some training with Sai Saichi No matter how hard Domon tries though he can’t get close to the Neo-China fighter, just like with Kyral. And Domon remembers that if he gets too close Kyral will bring out that blade of his. Just then Kyral crashes the party. Domon notes from the Oceanside that Kyral is concentrating all his energy on a single spot. Kyral is impressed by Domon’s research of him. But then he makes it clear to Chibodee, Sai Saichi, and Domon that friendship is meaningless and the only thing a person can count on is themselves. No wonder this guy doesn’t have many friends. Kyral easily brushes aside Chibodee’s attack and then mocks all three of the Gundam fighters promising to kill all of them when the time is right as payback for the Gundam fights costing him his sight.
That night Domon sits on the dock contemplating and getting frustrated over the fact he can’t find a way past Kyral’s offense. Then Schwartz Bruder shows up and gives Domon a lesson and a reminder that Kyral got him with his techniques once and that part of overcoming it is to remember a calm state of mind.  throwing a log at Domon, the Neo-Japan fighter cuts through it with his sword. Schwartz Bruder then disappears as Domon suddenly has a brainstorm of an idea.
The next day as the Gundam fight is about to start Neo-Nepal’s Government comments Kyral has grown soft,. The assassin however isn’t worried. And he shows why as with Madela Gundam’s staff Kyral attacks and keeps Domon from being able to launch so much as a single attack. Domon is then pushed into a  barrier where Kyral hits him with his staff inferno attacks. Prime Minister Wong is confident this will finish off Domon for good much to his amusement. Master Asia however points out Kyral failed to kill Domon once and that Domon his former apprentice. Wong decides to watch and look fo that “Home run in the bottom of the 9th” as the BAseball term goes. Domon meanwhile remembers his serene state of mind and fearing his enemy or for his life won’t help. Ah, without fear, one of the most powerful weapons of the assassin is taken away. Burning Gundam goes into super mode much to the surprise of Kyral, Wong, and Master Asia.  Domon goes for his burning Finger attack, then at the last minutes blocks and deflects Kyral’s attack as he connects with a hit. Domon then explains that in the world of Gundam fights one life may be at stake but it’s different from the world of assassins. It’s a matter of winning and losing in the ring. He then goes on to explain Kyral made a fatal tactical error by showing Domon his trump technique outside of the ring. And Domon Kasshu the king of hearts remembers the wisdom of the old adage “Fool me once shame ion you, fool me twice shame on me.  Domon then prepares his newest attack Erupting Burning Slash. The Neo-Nepal Representatives are not pleased by this turn of events. Faced with this truth Kyral and Domon decide to put it all on the line with just one move. Readying their weapons both on guard ready for the slightest movement much to the awe of Chibodee and the others. Schwartz watches from a distance and rain is practically praying Domon knows what he’s doing.  Kyral unleashes all his hatred and all his desire for vengeance against Domon just as Domon  launches his own final strike,. Kyral manges to hit Domon much to his supporters horror. However Kyral has lost but has no regrets  having been pleased to fight someone like Domon in what he sees as his last Gundam fight. Then Mandela Gundam breaks in two making Domon the winner. Neo-Nepal tries to get rid of their Gundam and any evidence of Kyral’s involvement. However Schwartz at the last-minute interferes telling Neo-Nepal to back off or he’ll have Kyral tel about every Gundam Fighter he’s assassinated.  Schwartz then congratulates Domon on an excellent match. Wong is surprised, amused, and at the same time slightly irritated that Domon has survived another match. Asia is pleased once  more as this brings him one step closer to fighting him.
Some time later Kyral stands at the edge of Neo-Hong Kong accompanied by Domon, Chibodee, Rain, and Sai Saichi. Bowing before Kyral bids the group good-bye. Domon explains Kyral is leaving the assassin’s world and is going to try to make amends for the horrible things he’s done by serving the families of his victims. Chibodee points out that Kyral’s crimes may never be forgiven, Sai Saichi wishes Kyral well.

The next episode is different from the others as the focus isn’t entirely on Domon. Instead this particular episode will focus on Sai Saichi and it will involve a young lady around his age who’ll make Sai Saichi swoon.  The episode starts off with Zuisten and Kelun watching Mermaid Gundam in action against toros Gundam. Bboth monks remind Sai Saichi that the Shoulin Temple cannot be revived unless Sai Saichi wins the Gundam fight. Sai Saichi however appears to be rather bored with the whole of it.  Then Domon and rain arrive. After a brief exchange of greetings and Domon getting chastised by Rain The monks point out the match is in its final stage. While Mermaid Gundam does win the match Domon notes that Mermaid Gundam is badly battered and will last only one more match. The pilot who si waving to the crowd mentally begs the Gundam to last one more match. The Monks then discover Sai Saichi has disappeared. Sai Saichi has put on a disguise and is wandering around. After grabbing some food he sees a couple thug terrorizing another food vendor complaining that there’s a bug in it. However Sai Saichi sees the trap for what it is. Just as he’s about to interfere a young girl with Blue Black hair intervenes instead pointing out the thugs took the bug from a  pocket. The thugs try to intimidate the girl when Sai Saichi chooses to intervene calling himself “A handsome young hero.” The young man quickly makes work of them kicking one in his male naughty bits. Ooh, ouch! The thugs then run off swearing that they’ll leave him alone for now. The thought that came to mind for me was bawk, bawkm baaaaaawk!  The thugs then run off swearing revenge then run off. Sai Saichi calls them losers then turns to find the girl helping the old man up.  But before they can thanks Sai Saichi the old man’s sore ribs start acting up. However instead of the old man closing up shop Sai Saichi takes over and demonstrates his superior cooking skills.
After evening business hours end Sai Saichi and the young girl take a walk along the docks. The girl asks Sai Saichi his name. he starts to answer then thinking twice comes up with the name Chickolean. The girl chuckles and mentions that his name is unusual. Sai then mentions that it sounds like the foghorn’s calling him. A little later the two are walking through the park and she makes mention the shopkeeper won’t be on his feet for sometime. She asks if he’d be willing to show off more of his culinary skills. Sai Saichi agrees and as she leaves for home is absolutely giddy with excitement. Ah puppy love isn’t it a grand thing? 
The girl returns to the apartment where she’s staying. Her bnrother…is in fact Hans the pilot of Mermaid Gundam. She makes mention that she made a new friend today a boy. Hans is VERY curious. Ah, the overprotective brother. Meanwhile over the next couple days Sai Saichi barely ever trains and is constantly heading off. Zuisten and Kelun are [perplexed as to what’s up with the boy. If only they knew. Sai Saichi meanwhile goes off to meet with the young girl and they proceed to purchase ingredients for the restaurant and just enjoy each other’s company, The two find themselves sitting ona  dock talking about their lives together.  It seems both have something in common their parents are gone. in the girl’s case it’s just been her and her brother. In Sai Saichi/Chickolean’s case his parents have been gone and he’s been raised by two elderly men Zuisten and Kelun.  When the girl makes mention that she has no friends here and it gets lonely Sai mentions that she has him then blushes furiously. Oh yeah, Sai is falling hard for her. And then asks if it’s okay with her and calls her by the name Cecil (pronounced See-Seal) Domon and Rain pass by and see what Sai is doing. Before Domon can go over and say hello Rain holds him back. Domon then realizes that perhaps both deserve a measure of privacy. That night Sai is up to his usual round of cooking meanwhile Hans drops by to visit his sister at the restaurant. Oops, impending disaster alert!  Neo-Denmark and Neo-China recognize one another instantly. Cecil greets her brother only to wind up in the middle of a rather awkward moment.
The next day Sai Saichi hasn’t shown up for the match yet and Zuisten and Kelun ar rather worried because if he doesn’t show by noon he’ll lose the match by forfeit. To add to the two Shoulin’s worries the representatives of the Shoulin monks arrive to partake of the match via a giant dragon boat with stadium seating. Not exactly very realistic or seaworthy in my personal opinion. Then Rain sees the young woman Cecil standing near the arena looking visibly worried. Rain goes to ask the young lady about Sai Saichi. A cutscene follows showing  Hans confronting Sai Saichi and Cecil asking if it’s true. Sai Saichi unable to answer drops what he’s doing and runs off heartbroken. Zuisten and Kelun now understand that SAi Saichi is in love and feel rather ashamed of themselves. While they were busy preparing him for the upcoming fight they failed to see that Sai Saichi has grown up in many ways. Oh yeah,  BIG botch up. Cecil then tells them she’ll go get him.  She believes that it wouldn’t be right to sit and do nothing. That’s a girl with a good sense of right and wrong.
Meanwhile the thugs from last night are lying around deciding that it’s too hot to work. Then they notice Sai Saichi gloomily sitting by the bay side. It’s almost time for the match when Cecil finds him. before Sai Saichi can explain everything Cecil slaps him and chastises him for feeling sorry for them and himself. It turns up that’s not the reason Sai Saichi doesn’t want to fight. He explains Mermaid Gundam’s frame has been badly damaged and he knows  if they lose Cecil and Hans will have to return to their country and he’ll never see her again. Cecil begs Sai Saichi to go fight her brother who’s been quite eager to take on Dragon Gundam. Sai Saichi agrees. But then the thugs piloting Mobile Suits show up. Sai Saichi and Cecil try to walk away but are then surrounded by the thugs. However Domon chooses to intervene telling Sai Saichi to get to the stadium for his match. Both bow respectfully to Domon and thank him before heading off. The thugs try to stop Sai and Cecil but Domon draws their attention, He calls forth Burning Gundam forth. At first the thugs are frightened but then their leader hoaxes them into going after Donon. the three proceed to run circles around Burning Gundam. Now it’s a well-known fact that in anime and real-life the majority of criminal types are not very bright. The thugs fighting Domon prove to be no exception. Running around Domon and needlessly wasting energy. Domon however maintains a calm state of mind.  He extends one foot and trips up the thug leader causing a chain reaction effect in the form of the others running into their leader and toppling into the bay.  And that ladies and gentleman is what anime fans would call epic fail at least for the waterlogged thugs who swim off swearing vengeance. Rain then tells Domon to hurry to the stadium.
At the stadium with two minutes to go The female reporter asks the comments of the Shoulin monks on Dragon Gundam not arriving. The monks are in tears. Kelun and Zuisten while not crying admit the fault lays in their teachings. You think so? As the noon hour strikes the match is about to be called when Dragon Gundam arrives. Hans smiles as he’s been eager for a chance to fight his sister’s boyfriend.  Sai Saichi makes it clear just because Hans is Cecil’s brother doesn’t ,mean he’ll go easy. Hans wouldn’t have it any other way. The fight proves to be a fearsome one. Mermaid Gundam has incredible speed and energy and Sai Saichi finds it hard to keep up with the Gundam. Dragon Gundam dodges Mermaid Gundam’s harpoon attack. But beneath the guise of the watery geyser that emerges in the field Mermaid Gundam grabs Dragon Gundam and takes it under water. Mermaid Gundam then converts to submarine mode and goes after Dragon Gundam having the advantage in the water. After pummeling Dragon Gundam Hans then lets Sai Saichi have it with an energy net attack, the same one he used on Toros Gundam. Dragon Gundam is badly damaged by the attack. In desperation Sai Saichi uses the dragon head  of his Gundam to hit the ground creating a means to hide himself. Mermaid Gundam looks around temporarily disoreiented by the underwater screen of dirt particles. then he spots  Dragon Gundam and launches an attack. At first he’s confident he’s won then realizes that it’s only Dragon Gundam’s Dragon head or rather an arm. Dragon Gundam then catches Mermaid Gundam with a shot that destroys Mermaid Gundam’s head. Very sneaky Sai Saichi.  The Shoulin monks are elated and Zuisten and Kelun are delighted. Cecil is at once sad and yet relieved. Domon compliments Sai Saichi ona  well fought match while Cecil tears up in joy.
Later on at the Neo-Hong Kong airport Hans and Cecil are about to depart. Cecil is gladdened by the fact Sai Saichi fought Hans honestly. Bidding Sai Saichi goodbye she kisses him on the cheek causing Sai Saichi to flush. Again ah puppy love. As the plane/shuttle heads off Sai Saichi’s guardians realize that they may have been mistaken to keep treating him as a child. Again, you think so? Sai Saichi meantime swears to win the championship.

The next episode Starts out with Argo Gulski and Bolt Gundam up against a female shaped Gundam that suddenly lights up with angry red light. The Gundam rushes at Argo who is unable to stop the assault. Bolt Gundam has its weapon arm torn out and is completely defeated in 48 seconds by untill that day unknown Noble Gundam of Neo-Sweden.  That is definitely an upset as Bolt Gundam is no pushover. To add to things the next opponent for Neo-Sweden….is Domon and Burning Gundam. Oh boy, good luck Domon, you’ll need it! AFter the match a defeated Argo and Natasha push their way through a crowd of press and into their vehicle. However they get a surprise when they discover one of the passengers is none other than Domon himself. It seems he read the headline about Argo’s defeat and wants the scoop on what happened. And he’s in the guise of a Neo-Russia soldier for good measure. Domon is a clever one when he wants to be.  Argo offers no excuse only explains that the female pilot name of Allenby is a lot like Domon in that she’s very dangerous and tells Domon to watch himself around her.
Later that night Domon and Rain are out on the town talking about Argo’s advice. Then Hoy and Meng show leading Domon and rain to a local arcade.  Most of the games seem the same untill they come across a simulation game similar to games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and even Super Smash Bros. The current champ of the game has won 16 in a row after throttling her opponent. All are shocked to discover the champ is in fact a young woman, a very attractive young woman at that. As a challenge for another opponent is issued Domon steps up calling himself a “Professional”. Yeah those are fightin’ words. At first the young woman doesn’t take Domon seriously but once they get into it they discover that the other can back up their talk with action. Rain is surprised that Domon is taking this fight seriously. The two turn a simple game into a heck of a match and end up overloading the game’s system.  AS all flee the fire started in the arcade Domon and the young lady meet up the woman promises next time she’ll beat Domon. When the Neo japan fighter asks her name she introduces herself as Allenby Beardsley. After she takes off Domon suddenly realizes that this is the same Allenby who so throughly defeated Argo.
meanwhile at the palace of Prime Minster Wong he and Master Asia are plotting again. Master Asia is reading up on Allenby. apparently Allenby is an ensign in the Space Forces and well versed in the military arts. It’s also noted that up untill now she’s been hidden from the limelight and that she’s one all of her matches in under a minute. He explains to Prime Minster Wong that while he doesn’t think her matches are a fluke he does point out that there are certain facts that are as of yet unknown here and that judgement should be reserved.  A wise decision on Master Asia’s part. Prime Minister Wong decides to test her by setting up a match with…no surprise here Domon. Master Asia finds that match rather intriguing.
At Neo-Sweden’s base The members of Allenby’s’ crew check her out. one stern-faced man chastises her for going out and causing “chaos”. Another of her crew notes that her brain patterns that are for attention are rather high and asks if something interesting happened. Allenby gets agitated as he she doesn’t like having people poking around her head. Later that night she takes off from her base determined never to do what “Those people” want her to do again. Meanwhile Domon is working out himself. Allenby a free-spirited woman  takes a leap of faith….and ends up crashing on Domon. Both fighters are clearly surprised to see each other. As Domon returns to the fishing boat Meng chastises him for being late. Then Allenby comes in behind him. Rain is surprised but not displeased to see her. It turns up Allenby has never been on a ship like this one. The old man invites her to stay for dinner. Allenby isn’t sure but then her stomach makes up her mind for her by demanding to be fed much to the amusement of the others.  After dinner Allenby goes a little into herself. She lost her parents when she was no older than Meng and Hoy.  After that she was raised in military facilities to be a Gundam fighter. Up untill she met Domon  she had no reason to fight.  but when she met Domon she discovered a reason to fight And is determined to prove who’s the better in that match. Domon is just as eager to accept her challenge.  These two are definitely kindred spirits in the martial arts.
The next day the match takes place at Victoria Peaks away from the city of Neo-Hong Kong. Allenby tells her team to let her fight using her own strength. The man who note her brain activity decides that they’re going to use the usual plan. The older stern-faced man tells the other to ignore what Allenby said. Hmm, interesting. Within Noble Gundam Allenby dressed in attire that’s a cross between a Gundam suit and something out of say…Sialor Moon,  and Domon at Wong’s command start the fight. The match proves in and of itself to be something else. Rain notes both fighters see this match as a game and are clearly enjoying the thrill of battle. That in my opinion represents the true spirit of martial arts. Argo and Natasha show up. As the one minute mark approaches Argo notes Allenby hasn’t used her powers yet. The medical teammate of Allenby’s notes that she’s giving it her all but the stern-faced man is more intent on victory. Uh-oh that can’t be good.  The man then tells Allenby’s controller to activate “the system” The man is hesitant at first untill the stern face man tells him it’s an order. Allenby screams in pain as the system kicks into gear. the same angry red light that appeared in Allenby’s match with Argo appears. Argo notes as much.  The system as Allenby’s stern-faced  teeammate explains it flushes out Allenby’s latent fighting ability and causes it to climb to 120% turning her into an invincible berserker. Allenby in her full berserker rage starts pummeling Domon relentlessly. Domon is stunned even as he receives blow after blow to him the blows have no soul or life to them. Then Domon and Burning Gundam are knocked into a rocky wall.
Prime Minster WOng asks Master Asia’s opinion about Allenby’s fighting system but then he points out that Allenby can’t win and it show by how tired she is. The controller for Allenby is horrified and ashamed at what he’s done. The stern-faced man smiled with maniacal glee thinking they’ve defeated Neo-Japen. But then…surprise Buurning Gundam goes into super mode., Domon explains he wanted the fight to aspire to something else something better than this. He explains this kind of match is boring and he won’t fight her. The stern-faced man orders Allenby to finish Domon off. Domon however remains calm and collected. Argo quietly cheers on Domon. Domon calls forth the power of his King of Hearts crest to help bring Allenby back to her senses  through it and the power of Erupting burning finger Domon succeeds in that. After apologizing for what happened the two begin the fight anew but Allenby ends up losing the match to Domon as she’s been drained by the berserker system.  The controller [points out Allenby has turned into an impressive fighter and the berserker system is no longer needed. Master Asia points out with a little polishing Allenby Beardsley has to potential to become a great fighter.  One more thing for him to get excited about. Meanwhile Domon triumphant carries Allenby very much alive but asleep in his arms.

In the next episode of G-Gundam a side of Chibodee no one has seen before comes out. Specifically one of his major fears. The episode starts off with Neo-France’s George De Sand in a bad situation. He’s being assailed in a  Gundam match by a Gundam that looks like a Jester. The Gundam is, no surprise here, called Jester Gundam and has the ability to imitate any other Gundam’s  abilities. It and it’s pilot Romario Manini from Neo-Portugal.  And his defeat of Neo France’s Rose Gundam has brought it into the spotlight. The most shocking thing about it is that Jester’s defeat of Gundam Rose in completely legitimate. And Jester Gundam’s next opponent uis…Gundam Maxter.
After the introduction of the episode the scene changes to a carnival. Bunny and the girls have insisted the Chibodee come here to check up on Romario because being a clown the Neo-Portugal fighter works here. At first it appears that Chibodee isn’t interested…perhaps a little too  not interested. Then Domon and Rain show up. Bunny starts flirting with Domon mentioning that Chibodee isn’t interested. Now here’s where i see another story flaw. Why wouldn’t Chibodee or for that matter Rain get irked at someone flirting with Domon. This just doesn’t make sense in my opinion. Then Hoy and Meng show up with some clown balloons. Chibodee gets a little freaked by them. Scared by clown baloons….very interesting.  Within the big top of the carnival the show starts off with a clown on the high wire. Chibodee immediately identifies the clown as Jester Gundam’s pilot. After intentionally falling off he catches another. Domon mentions that the move was perfectly calculated. The clown then lands on a giant rubber ball and then falls in an act of pure clownish buffoonery. He then leaps to his feet perfectly okay. Then the clown antagonizes Domon by mocking him and gets into a fight with him. Domon then gets the surprise of his life when the clown imitates Domon move for move. Finally ending with an erupting burning finger attack that ends with confetti falling on the crowd and. The audience erupts into cheers. Okay it’s safe to say that this clown is Romario Manini and he definitely knows the craft of fighting and of being a clown. The clown then turns to Chibodee is Kat now notices is openly terrified of the clown.  Chibodee Crockett afraid of clowns? To veer from the episode review let me just say that I rather liked the concept of Chibodee being afraid of clowns. It’s actually a very realistic fear. Yes indeed, in this world there are people who are afraid of clowns and I’ve actually met someone who has that fear. As Romario cockles and does his clownish thing Chibodee gets increasingly agitated and frightened. There’s more here than meets the eye.
That night Chibodee has locked himself in his room and is being tormented in his dreams. meanwhile one of Chibodee’s girls has discovered that someone has accessed Chibodee’s past. Three guesses as to who it is and it isn’t Domon. Meanwhile Chibodee has a dream where he faces a more evil form of himself taunting and teasing him.  Chibodee awakens as he darker self beckoning him to follow. The girls meanwhile discover what romario has been up to. Then Chibodee comes out of his bedroom his usual bluster and flare gone as he steps out into the night. Chibodee heads over to the circus. in the middle of the big top Chibodee looks over everything and remembers this being the place.  He has a flash back of his mother being carried off by a large crowd while he was being held captive by a clown who was shooting an automatic into the air. Chibodee  calls out to his mother but ends up running into his darker self who starts cackling like Romario.  Then Domon and Rain appear calling to Chibodee. The darker version of Chibodee turns into Romario. The clown growls then cackles before he takes off. Chibodee is curled up in a  fetal position when Domon snaps him out of his fear.  Domon explains Chibodee’s crew alerted him to what was going on so he came here to find Chibodee. Chibodee after a brief conversation actually hits one of his crew. And such a thing is simply unthinkable usually with Chibodee. The Neo-American storms off. Bunny, Kat and the others explain how there was a riot at a circus when Chibodee was a boy and he’s been traumatized by it since. They beg Rain to examine him mentioning the proud fighter can be quite stubborn. Domon says that it’s her problem and that she could use some time away from Karato.
The the facility where Gundam Maxter is being stored Chibodee does some late night training furious that he’s let his fear overtake him.  Rain carefully watches the ornery Neo_American fightrer from a distance.
Back on the fishing vessel Domon stares off into the night. Hoy mentions that he thinks Domon is worried about her. After a brief interaction they are surprised to find the sharp-eared Domon has known where they’ve been hiding the whole time. Startled that Domon has been listening to them while they’ve been spying on him the kids scoot off for bed. Domon looks off into the Neo-Hong Kong bay and wonders not for the first time why he’s here.
Meanwhile Chibodee receives a visit from Rain. Chibodee however is not fooled. Rain proves to be a terrible liar as Chibodee sees that it was the girls who sent her to him. Sitting down after a 3 hours workout Chibodee decides to tell the story of what happened when he was a kid. Back then New York was in more chaaos than ever with people rioting trying to get tickets to the Space colonies. When he was living with his mother at the time she got tickets so they could get to the colonies.  They stopped at a circus to celebrate their last day on Earth but then everything fell apart Chibodee’s mother was carried off into the crowd as a group of thugs disguised as clowns stormed the circus demanding a shuttle to the colonies and carrying a threat to cause a riot. Rain wonders what happened to Chibodee’s mother. He’s where I see a plot hole. They never make any mention of what happened to Chibodee’s mother. Chibodee imagines Rain’s been bored by his story but rain isn’t. That kind of story sure wouldn’t bore me either. Chibodee then asks Rain to play a certain song for him.  Meanwhile outside Chibodee’s girls are listening through they’re wary of entering the hanger. they then hear Rain singing a song “America the beautiful” probably the second most patriotic song in the U.S.’s histiory. And this is where i give the Japanese credit. The way they handled a song which is a symbol of patriotism for my country was done with such reverence and such respect that it brought a smile to face to see them showing the song such reverence. As rain sings Chibodee starts to calm down and fall asleep calling to his mother Rain suspects he wants to believe his mother is still alive.  This is an issue that in my opinion should’ve been resolved by series end. The girls listen to Rain’s singing while Domon stares off into the stars, As dawn rises Rain awakens still in the hanger.  But she notes that Chibodee has gone outside for some air. Chibodee thanks rain for her efforts complementing her on her doctoring skills. He seems to be better and explains he can’t afford to lose especially not in from of his crew who are sleeping soundly.
 night falls in Neo-Hong Kong the kids and Domon spot Rain watching the competition. The kids wonder why rain isn’t joining them. Domon however is more concerned about Chibodee. The Neo-American fighter emerges. Jester Gundam and Romario come in Jester riding a high wire. Chibodee shoot the wire but Jester manages to land on its feet. Chibodee and Romario then start the Gundam fight. The Gundam fight starts outa  draw as Chibodee hits with everything he’s got Romario copying his moves. Chibodee’s crew are openly worried about Chibodee’s mental health. George suddenly show up mentioning that he lost to Romario’s tactics. Meanwhile Romario starts cackling in his usual clownish way freaking out Chibodee. The clown then breaks into Chibodee systems and barrages him with images of Chibodee as a child and himself laughing gleefully at Chibodee’s horror. The clown then uses a ring attack to tie up Chibodee and proceeds to bash at Gundam Maxter. In desperation the girls run to rain and beg her to sing “America the Beautiful” again to help Chibodee calm down.  Rain however explains she’s a Neo-Japan crew member and the girls have to tackle the problem themselves.  The girls decide to sing America the beautiful. Chibodee is surprised to hear the song then turns to see the girls singing it. Hearing the girls sing makes Chibodee realize they’ve been there for him all along. Chibodee then breaks out of Romario’s trap and catches the clown’s attack. Chibodee then proceeds to lay down a massive throttling on the Neo-Portugal pilot, outraged that the clown would stoop so low as to open an old wound of his.  Finally Chibodee’s lands a pace punch that smashes Jester Gundam’s head. The match is over and Chiibodee has overcome a nasty demon of his past. Domon and George smug smiles on their faces see Rain coming over to them. Domon mentions that Rain’s special medical treatment must’ve worked. Rain however mentioned it was only temporary  It was Chibodee’s rew who did all the work. back to his old self Chibodee declares he’ll win the championship specially for those who’ve stuck by him.

In the next episode an olde enemy of Domon’s,the notorious mafioso leader Michelo Chariot is up to no good. The episode starts out with Dr. Mikamura and Comissioner Karato taking. Neo-Japan sent troops to the Guyana Highlands to recover the remains of the dark Gundam. Those troops have since disappeared. The two along with the members of the Shuffle Alliance see a gigantic box being flown by helicopter to a secret location. Something about the box gives Rain the creeps. Domon also gets an eerie feeling about the box. Meanwhile the package that Master Asia and prime minister Wong have expected arrives. Why do I have this ugly feeling this has to do with the dark Gundam?
The next day Domon is involved in a fierce match with Zebra Gundam, Neo-Kenya’s Gundam. Zebra Gundam gives Domon all he can handle. However Domon in the end manages to triumph with his Erupting Burning Finger attack.  Meanwhile Allenby has been watching the match and smiles as she remembers how Domon was able to beat her. However she then notices Romario Panini (The clown), Shijema, and Marcelot, and one other Gundam pilot are sitting nearby. Shijema and Marcelot verbally complain that Domon cheated because he used that technique. The unnamed pilot points out Domon played entirely by the rules in each of his wins. Then….who of all people just happens to show up but Michelo Chariot. And he makes each of the Gundam pilots an offer, the chance to get even with Domon, if they follow him. The four others get up to follow. Allenby sensing that bad things are afoot tells the restaurant owner that the money’s on the table and sets off to follow the group. At a nearby restaurant Allenby takes a seat to listen to the group of conspirators. The unnamed Gundam pilot on hearing what the plan is decides he’d rather follow his morals then get caught up in something as  sleazy as this. Marcelot, Romario, and Shijema however are very interested in Michelo’s offer.
back on the fishing boat Hoy and Meng come out and pull on Domon’s cape wanting to play with him. Rain mentions that it’s past the kids’ bedtime. The kids insist they want to stay up and play with Domon, then the old man mentions Domon has a  phone call. The person on the phone is in fact Carlos of Neo-Spain, the plot who didn’t want anything to do with Michelo’s offer. He mentions to Domon that he has information for him and that Domon should come to see him immediately. Now in some circles, including science fiction author Harlan Ellison this would be considered a bad suspense builder. Me,I don’t know, I’ll let you readers make the call. Just then Allenby arrives.
The two head over to where Neo_Spain’s delagation is staying but the building then gets attacked. The next day emergency crews take Carlos to an ambulance. and Allenby demands an explanation. It’s abundantly clear that someone didn’t want Carlos spilling the beans about a certain meeting to Domon, and i think that I know who. The Domon spots Michelo Chariot and chases after him Allenby right behind. Michelo leads Domon to a deserted building where he gives Domon surprise with a new kicking technique. Domon however while surprised shrugs it off but Michelo escapes. Allenby then makes mention of an argument Michelo and Carlos had and two others he was meeting with. Domon and Allenby head over to the place Allenby mentions and first question the bartender. The bartender is less than cooperative, a thug/bouncer tries to grab Domon until Domon throttles the thug. Before Domon can get an answer a gong rings and a hatch shaped like a dragon opens. Prime Minister Wong enters.
LAter that night at Prime Minister Wong’s tower-esque palace Allenby is awed by the view. Wong however is more interested in Domon. Apparently he knows quite a bit from Domon’s age of 20 to the fact that he met his missing brother Kyoji in the Guyana Highlands. Domon then asks why Michelo and Chapman are participating in the Gundam fight. Prime Minister Wong however is less than forthcoming with the information. But the makes Domon a challenge defeat Chariot and ask him yourself. Keep an eye on this one Domon, this guy’s trouble. And kudos to the dub voice actor who played Prime Minister Wong for pulling off a terrific performance as the quintessential sleazy politician. Meanwhile Chibodee and the girls are out for a night on the town. Bunny asks Chibodee to go faster to which Chibodee happily complies. Kat however is a little more wary. Then the group come across a large rig full of logs which intentionally blocks their way then dumps its load. Chibodee’s crew are knocked out but Chibodee manages to recover. The driver of the rig he doesn’t realize is in fact Romario Panini, it appears the Neo-Portugal pilot was out for some payback for what happened in their match. Chibodee is left to wonder was it an accident or perhaps something else. Ah intrigue, when used properly it makes for a heck of a series.
The next day Chibodee gets a surprise when he discovers George, Sai Saichi, and Argo were also attacked. In the case of George he was almost taken out by a steel beam falling, with Sai Saichi someone deliberately pushed him in front of a bus, and with Argo someone fired on where Neo-Russia was staying. Schwartz Bruder appears out of the shadows and mentions that there’s something sinister lurking behind this tournament and it’s started to make its move. Meanwhile Marcelot, Shijema, and Romario watch and begrudgingly admit they’re impressed with the Shuffle Alliance’s abilities. Now it falls the Michelo Chariot who is Domon’s next  opponent to take out Domon. The mafia man has sworn ever since his defeat that even if it meant turning pure evil that he would get even with Domon. Uh-oh this can’t be good. Rain warns Domon not underestimate the man, always good advice. Meanwhile Allenby with a  bag of snacks watches. Prime minister WOng makes mention to Master Asia that he met Domon and is quite impressed with him. He makes mention that Domon might be the perfect candidate. Candidate for what i wonder? Then the match begins Michelo proves that unlike last time he’s improved his speed and his technique giving Domon quite the run.  Then Domon is knocked to the ground by Chariot’s furious attack. Allenby decides to act. She gets in contact with Domon and even gives Karato the brush off by calling him an old-timer. thusly putting the head of Neo-Japan in his place. Nice work Allenby, yeah. The Neo-Sweden fighter then tells Domon to wait for the lull in Michelo’s attack then strike. Domon does as suggested and connects with a solid blow to Michelo’s face. But then the Gundam explodes just after MIchelo’s eyes turn an angry red. Domon is left confused as to what just happened. Wait a second isn’t a person’s eyes turning red what happens when they’re infected by…gasp…DG cells!?! Wong meanwhile makes mention that Domon’s true fight has begun. Wong’s word prove prophetic as Domon is assaulted by A bird-like Neros Gundam. It appears Michelo has made some massive improvements to his Gundam, such as the ability to transform into a bird. Domon is grabbed, dropped, and then throttled by Neros Gundam. However Domon digs down and manages to pull an Erupting Burning finger attack on Chariot as the Gundam fighter tries to flee amidst the smoke. The blow strikes squarely and an explosion occurs in the smoke. Domon and rain are confused are to what’s going on. Domon then spots a badly battered Michelo lying on the ground. Later on as Michelo is carried off Schwartz makes mention that something big is happening at the tournament and that they should watch their backs. Looks like the party’s over for the Shuffle Alliance and it’s time to go to work.
Meanwhile Prime minister Wong and master Asia descend into a large hanger. Wong is amazed that not even Michelo could take Domon out. Master Asia makes mention that Domon is a member of the Shuffle Alliance. However Wong is quick dismiss the fact that Shuffle Alliance has maintained order throughout the centuries. He believes he’s found a means to maintain his status as the ruler of space. That package that giant box that was briought to Neo-Hong Kong at the beginning to the episode in fact contains the remains of the Dark Gundam. Just as suspected. It appears Wong means to use the Dark Gundam in order to maintain his status as ruler of space. dark designs are afoot in Neo-Hong Kong.

In the next episode it’s two ancient Rivals going at it anew. Those rivals being France and England or in this case Neo-France and Neo-England. Gentle Chapman returns. But wait, didn’t he lose his right to participate to Domon Kasshu just as Michelo Chariot did? Hmm, there are dirty dealings going on behind the scenes, Ah, intrigue doesn’t it make for a grand drama when used properly. At the home where Neo-England is stationed Sir William a representative of Neo-England is incensed at the idea of having Chapman fight extra matches. Sir Whitney who’s very facial look screams of a weasel tries to dismiss what Sir William is saying. Sir William however demands that in the tradition of honor and sportsmanship that Royal Gundam withdraw and return home as the Gundam rules state. Sir Whitney who seems to be more concerned with winning matches disagrees. Sir William then asks Sir Whitney when his mind became corrupt. Their conversation is a moment later interrupted when someone Sir Whitney has been expecting arrives.
Meanwhile at the main arena in downtown Neo-Hong Kong Domon is engaged in a match of his own. During the course of the match its learned why people can get close to this arena on the water. there’s an energy field nearby which protects the spectators from incoming fire. Hoy, Meng, the old man, and Allenby watch in awe. Meanwhile over at the station which powers the safety field the staff there watch the match and are clearly enjoying Domon’s performance. Once again Domon triumphs with his erupting Burning Finger attack. Nearby Marie-Louise is watching and makes mention of why Domon Kasshu is one of the few people worthy of dueling George De Sand. The Princess’ Maid in waiting mentions they’re close to the lodging of Neo-France and asks if her father will be surprised to see her because she’s come unannounced.  The King of Neo-France is surprised and somewhat irked at his daughter being here as he has no desire for her antics. However Marie-Louise’s reasons for being here are two-fold she hasn’t seen her father in some time and secondly she wants to see George. George greets Marie-Louise and on inquiry from the Princess of Neo-France explains that he’s off to Neo-England’s lodging as he has a few inquiries about Gentle Chapman. Eager for some excitement the Princess grabs George and they speed off for the Neo-England lodgings> In the car George explains he has some grave doubts about Chapman and wants to get some clarification before their match.
On their way they spot Domon Kasshu and rain. George orders the driver of the limo to stop George asks to speak to Domon. Meanwhile Allenby and the kids are getting a  drink. Allenby’s drink which looks like either coffee or hot cocoa doesn’t appeal to her taste buds in fact Allenby mentions it tastes weird.  the kids who have something similar mention that to them it tastes yummy. Meanwhile George says goodbye to Domon and heads off. Domon makes mentions that before he joins the others for his celebration he’s going to sniff out some rats.
Over at the Neo-England facility Chapman and Sir Whitney are talking to someone . Sir Whitney figures that the battle against Neo-France will be an easy win. Then a servant mentions that George is here. Sir Whitney decides to take of  George while Champman and the mysterious other deal with Sir William. uh-oh trouble is brewing.  A short time later Marie-Louise furious at being made to wait so long goes out impulsively for a walk. Marie-Louise wonders if she should’ve stayed with her father so she could get something to eat. But then she hears Sir William protesting. Marie-Louise goes to investigate and witnesses to her horror Sir WIlliam being murdered by a changed Chapman and a mysterious other wearing a ring. Uh-oh now the plot thickens and Gentle Chapman has changed and not for the better. Chapman spots Marie-Louise and goes after her. The princess cries for help and not too surprisingly in typical knightly fashion George comes to the rescue. He gets the princess free of Chapman’s grasp as she accuses Chapman of murder. George and Chapman get into a fierce fight. Chapman’s technique and his strength have increased. George soon learns why when his crest sines and he manages to tears off some of the sleeve of Chapman’s jacket. Underneath the tear George sees….DG cells. As guards head the way of where the fight is George grabs Marie Louise and carrying her bridal style takes off Chapman in pursuit. Meanwhile Domon is waiting outside of the Neo-England lodging. He makes mention of sniffing out a rat which freaks out Rain and Allenby. They chastise Domon when they realize there is no real rat around. Domon unphased makes mention that it’s the otherkind of rat he’s looking for. Then George leaps over the brick fence with Marie-Louise. Domon asks what George is doing when Chapman leaps over the fence.  This is the kind of rat Domon was sniffing out. And he soon learns just how dirty this rat is as he gets into a physical fight with him as Allenby takes care of the guards. Domon discovers when his crest lights up and he spots the tear that Chapman is infected with DG cells. Chapman manages to deal some hits to Domon, George and even Allenby but nothing major. Watching from the trees is Michalo Chariot, somehow I suspected that one would show up. And his eyes are glowing as angry red as when he fought Domon leaving no doubt that since he and Chapman seem to be allies that can only man that he too has been infected with DG cells. And the plot thickens.
At the safety of the Fishing boat Marie-Louise relates everything she saw. Allenby mentions Neo-England mentions that Sir Williams death was a heart attack. However Marie-Louise is absolutely certain that Sir WIlliam’s death was murder. She also makes mention that there was someone else there with Chapman. While she couldn’t see his face she saw a ring that he wore in his right hand. Marie-Louise begs George to find out the truth. The Neo-France swears on his honor as a knight to do so and deliver swift justice on to Chapman.
The next day at the main arena George prepares to face Chapman. Marie-Louise from the seeming  safety of the observation tower watches with her digital looking glasses searching for the other man responsible for Sir William’s murder. Meanwhile from their fishing boat Domon has a bad feeling something is going to happen. Considering what happened all I can say is no kidding Sherlock. The Safety barrier for the match is activated. However at the power station for the safety fields the crew have been knocked out by gas. three armed and masked individuals one of whom is Michalo Chariot then proceed to the controls. George proclaims that he will bury Chapman for the last time. the match begins and everyone gets a horrifying surprise when Chapman fires his beam rifle…the safety barriers are down and so massive explosions occur in the water where the beams hit. One of the beams just barely misses the observation tower where Marie-Louise and the rest of the Neo-France contingent are. it would appear that the ones responsible for Sir William’s death are making their move. Domon, Rain, and Allenby borrow a speedboat and head off towards the  power station for the barrier. MEanwhile Michelo who is still masked appears on-screen to Neo-France and George. basically he says that Marie-Louise will stay where she is if she knows what’s good for her. He also orders the Neo-France knight to do nothing but be a shield for Marie-Louise.  otherwise the barrier will be completely shut off.  Very sneaky and not a bad bit of intrigue. The two have no choice but to comply. But George makes it perfectly clear their mysterious captor will pay for this villany. He also asks Marie-Louise to have patience and endure this for a little longer before he defeats Chapman. None is aware that Domon is on the case. At Michelo’s suggestion Chapman blasts the surface where George is and tips it so he can no longer protect Marie-Louise. Chapman then tries to finish her off. However Domon and Allenby smash through one of the windows and go after the culprits. Meanwhile rain deactivates the barrier just as Chapman takes what he believes will be the killing shot. However the barrier activates stopping the shot. Meanwhile the culprits aare unmasked, the first is indeed Michelo Chariot, the second is Sir Whitney from Neo-England. The third culprit seems to have vanished mysteriously. Oops plot hole. However Domon and Allenby recognize the two major perpetrators in this matter. Prime Minister Wong is disappointed because the “fun” as he calls it is over. Master Asia begs to differ as things are about to get more interesting. George de Sand launches a furious barrage of rose bits attacks and his sword at Chapman striking Royal Gundam int he heart. But the Royal Gundam spews forth some smoke. Uh-oh this can’t be good. Domon recognizes it as the same smoke that Michelo Chariot used before the Neo-Italy fighter unleashed his bird-like Gundam on Domon.  Rose Gundam is then skewered by a big hulking Gundam. Domon recognizes it as one of the Gundams that attacked him as he was making his way to the finals. Indeed dirty dealing are a foot. The hulking Gundam then slams George to the ground then steps on Royal Gundam crushing his arms. George through the pain manages to come up with a desperate strategy. he launches a Rose bits attack at the Gundam. One manages to catch the Gundam in one of its eyes. the pilot probably Chapman screams in pain as it gets off the Neo-France fighter and disappears into the smoke.
After the match George thanks Domon for his timely help in allowing him to protect Marie-Louise. Prime Minister Wong’s vessel stops by and he congratulates George on defeating Chapman. Master Asia also congratulates and compliments the knight. Domon has questions for the undefeated of the East. Wong however waives them off as he’s concerned with  George. Marie-Louise gets the shock of her life when she sees the ring on Wong’s right hand. Wong’s yacht takes off. Marie-Louise then explains to her father she’s  certain it was Prime Minister Wong who was the other man in the room when Sir William was murdered. After telling her father the ruler of Neo-France tells her to forget everything she’s learned. he explains that if WOng wished he could have Neo-France disqualified and they can’t afford to turn against Prime minster Wong….at least not so long as he’s the ruler of space. It would appear that Wong’s tenure as ruler of space has corrupted him. This gives relevance to the old adage “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
A little later in the secret chamber under Neo-Hong Kong Wong is confident that his absolute power is about to become eternal power as his greatest prize the Dark Gundam has begun the process of self-recovery. A sign that dark tidings are on the horizon.

In the next episode Domon’s opponents will be Ashura Gundam of Neo-Singapore and Skull Gundam of Neo-Malaysia. This next fight will be interesting as it will a tag team match with Domon having to work together with another Gundam pilot for victory. That could be hard as Domon has always been a lone wolf type. The episode starts off with rain returning to the fishing vessel with a  bag full of groceries. Then she notes that Burning Gundam and Noble Gundam are just standing around. She finds Domon and Allenby inside Burning Gundam. Allenby is showing Domon some special circuitry which will allow Burning Gundam to mimimize its energy use while in Hyper mode. Rain chastises Domon and Allenby for allowing a  fighter from a  foreign country into the cockpit. Allenby and Domon say it’s no big deal. Rain starts to get absolutely enraged by this. Hello, do I sense some jealousy here? In that fit of rage as Domon and Allenby are talking about buns from a  Chinese food stall Rain snaps. “You want to talk about buns, talk about buns! Get yours outta’ here!” She snaps before throwing both out of Burning Gundam. Hoy notes that rain is scary when she’s angry. Meng points out it’s not a good idea to mess with a woman’s heart. Sound advice in my opinion. While Domon and Allenby are puzzled over Rain actions she throws water on both of them to cool them off. She then takes a look at Burning Gundam as she mentions that one can only be so friendly with fellow competitors.
That evening Commissioner Karato, Commander Ulube, Dr Mikamura, and rain arrive at Wong’s palace hoping to find out what their next match is. The men complain about Wong’s tactics. Dr. Mikamura hopes that Wong is not doing anything morally wrong. If they knew the full extent of what Prime minister Wong was up to they’d be scared half to death. Rain’s keen eyes spot Schwartz Bruder leaping on to the roof. She takes off after him telling her father and the others to go on without her. She spots Schwartz as he reaches a wall and actually melds into it.  Schwartz appears within the secret chamber Master Asia and Wong are in a minute later. Wong is eager to have the Dark Gundam recover fully because it will mean that the rule of Space will forever belong to Neo-Hong Kong or rather him. Master Asia however points out that Kyoji’s body has been badly battered by the events in the Guyana Highlands. In order for their plan to succeed the Gundam Fight must be manipulated to the fullest extent. Oops there are dirty dealing indeed going on behind the scenes of the Gundam Fight.  Schwartz quietly lands nearby noting that they’ve retrieved the remains of the dark Gundam but wonders how this is connected with the Gundam fight. Just then Master Asia discovers a trespasser. Schwartz escapes and Master Asia raises the alarm.
Schwartz escapes the building only to find a surprised Rain waiting for him. Grabbing Rain he takes off Asia, Wong and a number of troops smash the wall down and come out in pursuit. Wong orders Chapman, and Michalo Chariot to go after them. Meanwhile Wong orders all police and naval units to block off all roots of escape. On the rooftops of Neo-Hong Kong  An injured Schwartz and Rain are chased by Michelo and Chapman. At one point  Schwartz tosses rain into the air into to fight off the silver kick attacks of Neo-Italy’s fighter. Schwartz catches Rain and dodges another blow just as Chariot’s silver kick attack shears a skyscraper in half. Now if the Dark Gundam can give people that kind of power then the Dark Gundam is definitely something to be dealt with  immediately. The ruckus made by the high altitude fight wakes up the dock area. Domon and Allenby are also surprised by this sudden turn of events. Schwartz and rain then land much to Domon’s surprise then take off. Then spotlights are lit up and Domon and Allenby find themselves surrounded by Police, Navy and Chapman, and Michalo. Master Asia then shows up accusing Domon of entering a Government building without permission. The two get into a  fierce battle where Domon shows he’s improved tremendously. The fight ends in a  stalemate. Master Asia then tells all units to withdraw. Michalo eager for a fight protests. Master Asia tells him to do as told. Chapman and Michalo do as told along with the rest of their force. The group leave Allenby puzzled as to what’s going on and Domon knowing they were after Schwartz…but wondering why? On his way back Master Asia encounters Wong and explains he believes Domon has nothing to do with the break in. Wong believes master Asia’s sight has been blinded. Master Asia explains that there are those who don’t understand the way of the fist. Master Wong however decides he’s going to handle this matter personally by having Domon go through judgement in the ring. This does not sit well with Master Asia. Hmm, it would appear that Prime Minister Wong has his own personal agenda.
Rain on her way back to the ship goes over a conversation she and with Schwartz Bruder. Basically while he couldn’t reveal everything he says that Prime Minister Wong can’t be trusted and that she should watch out for Domon. The Domon appears wondering where rain has been. Rain however can’t tell as she doesn’t know all the facts yet herself. Just then Allenby lets Domon know that tomorrow’s match is going to be a tag match with her and him as one team. Domon is taken off guard by this as is Rain. Next morning Neo-Japan arrives at Wong’s palace. One of Wong’s men explains that the other rings are being repaired and explains that this is a change of pace it’s been decided to introduce a double bout format. To insure that Domon complies The Prime Minister who suddenly decides to insert himself into the conversation explains that it’s either this or forfeit the remaining matches. Domon realizes that Wong’s thought this through and tells the Prime Minister he’ll defeat anything thrown his way. It would appear that Domon doesn’t trust Wong either. {Probably a very smart move. Allenby echoes Domon’s sentiments. Rain meanwhile remembers how Schwartz said don’t trust Wong. Neo-Malaysia and Neo Singapore’s fighters who look like thugs happily agree to the match format.
Under ominous clouds Domon and Allenby get into their Gundams. The stoic member of Allenby’s crew says that the berserker system is still down. Allenby reminds him that they promised never to use it again. Allenby is confident that with Domon at he side that they’ll win the match. Wong however, ever the rat-fink shows he’s got other plans. One of his men calls and mentions that preparations are complete. Master Asia demands to know what Wong is doing. The Prime minister of Neo-Hong Kong explains he’s passing judgement. That sounds ominous.  AS the match begins Domon is ambushed by a  powerful force which drags his body down. It turns up Wong introduced under the ring a super gravitational device, or a magnet for short designed to drag Domon down. Indeed it’s clear Wong has his own agenda. Master Asia is furious at this treacherous action on Wong’s part. Wong casually brushes off Asia’s protests by explaining that this will be a good test to see if Domon is truly worthy of being the king of hearts.  Rain realizes she has act quickly as Domon’s life is at stake here. Allenby decides she’s going to take of things herself but then gets a surprise when Neo-Singapore’s Gundam disassembled itself and starts throttling Allenby. When Neo-Finland asks if Domon has given up Ulube explains that Neo-Japan would never do anything so callous and asks Rain what’s going on. Rain explains there’s nothing wrong with Domon’s system so the problem is external.  Meanwhile Neo-Malaysia and Neo-Singapore give Allenby a throttling to the point where her life is danger. And Domon is helpless to anything but watch. Domon and Allenby’s opponents then throttle Domon demanding that Domon apologize for saying he’d win every match. Neo_Finland is about to give up when Allenby stops them saying that she plans to fight to the end in spite of her team and Domon protesting. Gutsy move.  Domon filled with a new sense of desperation goes into hyper Mode. Wong is confident that not even in Hyper Mode can Mode escape this trap. However Wong gets a little surprise when Domon actually rises  to his full height. Rain then notes the part Allenby had installed is helping Domon. Because Hyper Mode isn’t using as much power in this state it proves too much even for Wong’s magnet. Master Asia then explains to Wong to watch and see the soul of a true m,martial artist. Neo-Singapore and Neo-Malaysia half have the fear of the Neo-Finland and Neo-Japan put into them. They try to run away begging for mercy and saying they’re sorry. Meanwhile rain is left stunned and perhaps a little heartbroken because Allenby’s part helped Domon where she couldn’t. Allenby and Domon take down their opponents. and in the process smash the arena.  Domon thanks Allenby for her help. Allenby explains she does didn’t want to lose. Wong is furious. But then Master Asia tells him to never try such stunts again. However an enraged Wong decides that Domon needs to be punished and decides that for his next opponents he shall face the other members of the Shuffle alliance one by one. This turn of events has Allenby, Rain, and even Schwartz who has been watching today’s match stunned while the people cheer.  Master Asia is fine with these matches as they will pit Domon against the very best.  Things just got a whole lot more complicated for poor Domon.

The episode starts with a  recap of what’s happened thus far including Prime minister Wong Yunfat’s plans. After the intro Chibodee is posing for pictures for the press. One reporter points out that in his last matches with Domon Kasshu the matches between the two of them ended in a indecisive fashion. They looked pretty decisive to me. The crew look worried that Chibodee is about to blow a fuse. Instead he laughs it off and proclaims rashly that he’ll win and fulfill his dream. Chibodee is actually quite eager to face Domon. However tremors throw a monkey wrench into Chibodee’s press time. As Chibodee gets out from beneath the flag that fell on him his crest begins to glow. He turns towards the city as he sees a Dark Gundam head come forth. Meanwhile Domon and rain race to the area where the head was spotted. Domon confirms  it that it’s a Dark Gundam head.  Domon is about to activate his Gundam when Master Asia shows up in his Gundam Phoonpsyche his steed in his horse-like Gundam as well.  Master Asia shows that even though he’;s not a young man anymore he’s still shown why they call him Undefeated of the East. Neo-Hong kong’s fighter makes quick work of the Dark Gundam head determined to get rid of any evidence of the Dark Gundam’s presence. Domon tries to get some answers but the dark Gundam head proves resilient. Master Asia however again makes short work of it. He then lies outright and claims that it’s a leftover head. after he mocks Dom0n.  Master Asia turns to leave and Domon unintentionally addresses his old teacher as master. Master Asia notes this but then has a nasty coughing fit. Hello, what’s this health problems for Master Asia, very interesting.  Master Asia then comments that Wong is making a huge blunder. Wong reassures Master Asia that everything is under control. the dark Gundam’s main body is being moved so it can self recover undisturbed.
Afterward Ulube and Dr. Mikamura are discussing the situation. They understand now why the research troops disappeared in the Guyana Highlands. Dr. Mikaura wonders who knew that the dark Gundam would end up in Neo-Hong Kong. Ulube decides to head up to space. It seems that Mikamura understand that where there’s one Dark Gundam head there’s bound to be more. Ulube explains that’s imperative that a way be found to counter this. Ulube leaves Dr. Mikamura in charge.
A little later Domon and the other members of the Shuffle Alliance discuss the situation.  It seems neither Domon nor the Shuffle Alliance buy into Master Asia’s explanation. It would also explain how Chapman and Michaelo got DG cells.  Domon realizes that more than likely Master Asia will try to restore the Dark Gundam. However when he tries to get the others to follow his lead they all just sit or stand there. They decide they can’t help as they’re still part of the Gundam fight and continuing to fight for their various goals. Chibodee for his dream, Sai Saichi to restore the Shoulin temple, Argo to free his friends,  and George for the honor of his nation as Rain explains. She then reminds Domon why he’s in the Gundam fight to free his father from cryogenic sleep.  Domon stubbornly goes after them because the way he sees it the Shuffle Alliance is the only group that can keep the Gundam fight under control. Chibodee tells Domon to shut up when he confronts him.  Chibodee really wants to fight Domon. He understands his responsibilities as a Shuffle Alliance member but he wants to find out who’s the better. He then shows he’s developed his own form of the hyper-mode a technique developed in the Guyana Highlands called Bursting Machine Gun punch.  And it’s a devastating manuever. Chibodee then turns and leaves. Domon is about to chase after Chibodee when Schwartz yet again appears on the scene. He tells Domon to concentrate on fighting Chibodee he’ll look for the Dark Gundam.  Schwartz appears and explains to Domon to concentrate on Chibodee he’ll look for the Dark Gundam. Domon is unsure why untill Schwartz explains in order to bring the Shuffle Alliance together Domon needs to express that feeling  with his fists. It’s the only thing that Martial Artists understand. Meanwhile Chibodee gets mentally and physically ready for his match with Domon. After some coaxing from him the girl;s give Chibodee the extra fuel he needs prior tio his match with Domon.
Major Ulube heads back to the colony prior to the end of the Gundam fight. Rain is worried that Neo-Japan might start a war because of the situation with the Gundam head. Dr. Mikamura assures Rain no such thing will happen. Domon meanwhile is milling over Chibodee and Schwartz’s words. The Allenby stops by fr a workout session. Rain returns to find a note from Domon saying he’s gone to th reconstruction zone for training. Over in the area Allenby in her Gundam is dropping large chunks of buildings on Domon. Yet Domon doesn’t feel like it’s working. Then one building pieces/boulder knocks Domon for a loop. Allenby manages to catch him. Allenby then suggests they stop. Domon however is determined to continue. Allenby points out Domon can’t stop them all there’s just one of him. Something in Allenby’s words strikes him mentally. The Domon gets a brainstorm on how to beat Chibodee and now knows he’s ready to face him.
As night descends on Neo-Hong Kong people gather for the fight. hundreds of people from Neo-America come to cheer on their hero. That is actually very much in the tradition of us Americans we do cheer outr own when we can. Allenby is also in attendance eating a bag of snacks.  Chibodee as always makes a grand entrance. Domon in typical Japanese fashion simply just enters calmly. Chibodee in a burst of power shows that he’s improved tremendously as Domon notes. Even Master Asia and Wong are impressed. Chibodee Crockett has transformed into a raging beast ready for battle. With a command from Wong the match begins. And he shows just how much he’s improved by really laying down some hard hits on Domon remembering everything how this for not just himself, but his dream, and to payback Domon for beating him in the city of New York where Chibodee grew up. As Chibodee goes into his own hyper-Mode Domon actually laughs as he gets to his feet. Chibodee has lit a fire in him only true martial artists understand.  Domon goes into his hyper-mode as well. Chibodee launches his machine gun punch attack. All watch and wonder if Domon can counter this. Domon then uses a new technique he’s developed called burning show. Tis allows him to multiply and catches all of Chibodee’s attacks before the shadows dissipate become on Gundam. Chibodee has lit a very big fire in Domon. Domon counters with his own hyper-mode attack Erupting Burning finger. Domon manages to triumphs over Chibodee with a 10 count knockout h in the end. However Chibodee understands dreams are what they are because they’re endless. He swears he won’t lose when he fights the Dark Gundam.  ANd once again Chibodee’s fans show their unwavering support. Schwartz who has been watching this mentions they both did well. However Domon’s tribulations are far from over his next opponent by Wong’s command will be George de Sand, of Neo-France.

In the next episode Domon meets up with George on a windy night in Neo-Hong Kong. There George demonstrates the new technique he developed in the Guyana Highlands the Rose Hurricane attack. Domon at first thinks nothing 0of it untill he see a rose has pierced the skin of his left shoulder. George explains that if he’d wanted to he could have had the attack pierce his neck because the rose hurricane doesn’t stop its motion. But he didn’t because as he explains the De Sand family has a tradition of fighting fair and so he wanted to show off his technique to give Domon fair warning. George is a dangerous an opponent but give him credit where it’s due he does his country service with his attention to honor and chivalry like any true knight would. However George is about to get a very nasty bump in the road to Domon. The next day George is heading to the office of the emperor. of Neo-France. Marie-Louise greets him but George uncharacteristically passes by. Marie-Louise is puzzled until Raymond shows up and explains they’ve received a letter from Neo-France’s president. In the office of the Emperor he explains that Neo-France is worried about Rose Gundam taking damage so he’s being asked to withdraw from the Gundam fight prior to his fight with Domon Kasshu.  George is absolutely outraged by this. Marie Louise has heard and is not pleased with the decision. Outside George is furious and using his fighting ability launches into a tirade. Marie-Louise chastises her father bu the older man refuses toi change his mind. Marie-Louise storms off and the Emperor of Neo-France says that he senses weakness in George despite his strength.
Meanwhile Allenby and Domon are engaging in some training so Domon can be prepared for George’s Rose Hurricane attack. Rain is surprised and a little upset that Domon is causing Burning Gundam damage just before the battle. Domon explains he’s training his eyes so he can counteract the Rose Hurricane. He explains it’s important to have George on his side if he hopes to defeat the Dark Gundam. So therefore Domon has to fight with all his might in order to get George to see why he’s needed. 
The next day at the coliseum where the next match is taking place Domon stands ready. Master Asia mentions to Yunfat Wong that the matches between Domon and the various shuffle Alliance members is a stroke of genius. Wong agrees and in keeping with that he’s ordered Chapman and Michalo not to interfere as he doesn’t want to demean the matches. Yet Wong wonders where Rose Gundam is. At the establishment of Neo-France George and Raymond struggle to get through the guards. George wants to fight Domon real bad. Even Marie-Louise tries to help. But Neo-France’s ruler still won’t let him. He makes clear that if George tries he will no longer be considered the nation’s fighter and be charged with the crime of treason. George falls to his knees a broken man. Yet, i got the feeling the reason Neo-France’s ruler was keeping him from fighting was more out of fear than concern for George. Marie-Louise like Raymond is heartbroken as she can clearly see what her father is doing is wrong. Domon meanwhile continues to wait. Then the announcement comes in Neo-France is withdrawing from the match. Wong is disappointed however Master Asia believes that things are about to get really interesting.  Ina symbolic moves by the animators of the series storm clouds are forming overhead. And knowing how symbolism is quite prominent in anime I can tell that the storm clouds are not just a weather phenomenon.
That night George wanders the streets of Neo-Hong Kong clearly depressed over what’s happened, not that I blame him.  A couple of thugs try to assail George in the rain. They knock him into some trash cans but then he defeats then even throwing one into a sushi stand.  George wanders off. he makes his way to the Neo-France hangar where he has a one-sided conversation with Gundam rose. As the Thunder blares in the night sky and the rain falls George comes to a decision. A short time later Gundam rose smashes out of its hanger and takes off scaring a couple of guards on duty.
A little later on Raymond and Marie-Louise show up at the Fisherman’s boat asking for Domon, Rain, and Allenby’s help. They know it was George that took the Gundam Rose. And they need his help to find him. Rain suggests they split up and look for him. Domon however disagrees. Rain is at first surprised untill Domon steps up to the front of the boat. He then tells George to come out. Gundam Rose emerges from the water.  Having seen through george’s ruse The Neo-France fighter hurl’s a soaked glove at Domon. Traditionally this is intended as a means of challenging someone to a duel. Marie-Louise and Raymond beg him to stop as there’s still time to return Gunad Rose and apologize to father. However George makes it perfectly clear this time he’s fighting for himself and he’s prepared to accept the treason charges. Marie-Louise is stunned and perhaps a bit hurt but then nods and heads into the boat. George then tells Domon where to meet him on the North hill before dawn.  Domon tries to reason with George but to no avail.  Domon is stunned George is risking everything for one decisive battle. Schwartz Bruder shows up and asks Domon what will he do.  At the palace of Wong Yunfat one of his agents reports in that Gundam Rose has been stolen and Neo-France is secretly searching for it. Wong informs his agents to tell Master Asia and inform him things are getting interesting just as he predicted.
As a clear morning is about to rise in Neo-Hong Kong George waits on the North Hill for Domon. The Neo-Japan fighter shows as expected. Domon asks why George is willing to take it this far. George says the answer doesn’t matter what does is the match begins at dawn. Domon readies himself for the match.  AS the sun rises the match begins the two battling with their energy blade weapons. Raymond, Marie-Louise, and Rain are there to witness it. The ruler of Neo-France and a number of security head that direction bent on stopping the fight. But they find their road blocked by Allenby who easily overwhelms in security forces of Neo-France. Marie-Louise father is not to eb denied and runs up to the hill and demands that they stop. But then Domon and George basically tell him to stay out of the fight as neither is bent on quitting.  He tried to get his daughter, Marie Louise to intervene but she refuses in fact she says that if George is charged with treason she’ll stand by his side.  There are some things in this world men should settle for themselves.  George decides it’s time to end it and uses his Rose Hurricane attack. Domon is surrounded by george Rose bit weapons and while he manages to destroy a  few George points out he can’t beat them all. That’s when Domon decides to use a technique he developed from his training, Burning Slash Typhoon. Burning Gundam starts spinning . After an explosion which knocks over Rose Gundam George understands. Domon’s attack spun with the rose bits and the energy forced out all the rose bits, destroying them. Very clever Domon.  However George refuses to give up even After Domon has hit him. That’s when much to everyone’s surprise George compelled by his fighting style and his pride goes into his own version of Super Mode. That when the surprise comes in. The ruler of Neo-France was actually hoping top see this kind of energy from George.  Even though he still loses to Domon, George has shown a great deal of energy and intensity fighting, one which is worth any price. However Neo-France’s ruler then throws George surprise. He has no intention of punishing george. What he saw today was a fight at a level of power worthy of Neo-France. He has no intention of separating George from Rose Gundam or removing him as Neo-France representative much to Marie-Louise’s delight. George swears that he’ll aide Domon in bringing down the Dark Gundam but also swears in the battle Royale he’ll do his best to defeat Domon. George is a true competitor I’ll give him that. Schwartz Bruder has been watching and mentions martial artists communicate their feelings through their fists. He also senses Master Asia and Wong are watching. Indeed the twosome are. Wong isn’t worried about the consecutive bouts but Master Asia is a little worried they’ll come back to haunt the two of them. Another sign that Master Asia is displeased with the situation. Especially considering Domon’s next opponent will be Sai Saichi and will no doubt be the most intense fight yet.

The nbext episode starts out at the facility of Neo-China. Although the facility more resembles a Shoulin temple more than anything else.  Kelun and Zuisen  coming to the room where Sai Saichi is sleeping. They try to wake him up subtly. When that doesn’t work they try cold water….only to find that Sai Saichi has slipped away. It appears that even in a a half-asleep state he can dodge his guardians’ actions. Hmm, That’s perhaps pushing it a little in terms of believability.  Sai Saichi crouch walks in a crawl space mumbling about how he knows his match is coming up against Domon and how he should take it more seriously.  He mentions to himself as much as anyone how he needs to remain calm. Then one step later brings him across a mouse. Sai Saichi is startled whacks his head against the roof and ends up falling through the floor. He falls into a storage room where Kelun and Zuisen’s things are.  Sai Saichi is worried about what will happen next until he finds a note from of all people….his own father. Though addressed to Sai Saichi’s mentors the boy Shoulin decides to have a peak. What he discovers in the letter will be a real game changer for the young boy.  After the episode intro Sai Saichi is practicing like he has never practiced before. Zuisen and Kelun are stunned. The level of intensity in the young boy and the way he’s pushing himself are unlike anything ever seen before.  Zuisen is rather concerned about it as this is a complete change of mind for the young boy he finds it rather unnerving. Kelun has no complaints. But that doesn’t assuage Zuisen’s doubts. One thing is certain something about that letter Sai Saichi found has made him more intense and more focused than ever before. The question remains what could it be?
The scene shifts to Allenby and Domon getting in a training session.  They finish as Rain shows up. Rain explains that they’ve  not been able to find a trace of the Dark Gundam. One thing is certain the Dark Gundam is hiding somewhere in the city though Domon doesn’t know where. Rain thanks Allenby for coming out everyday to train with Domon but, do I sense a little sarcasm in her voice. Rain, jealous of Allenby? Very interesting. Allenby then makes mention that Domon’s next opponent is Sai Saichi of Neo-China. Rain then heads off the work on the “junk heap” not wanting to keep Domon from training. But the tone in Rain’s voice leaves no doubt there’s some jealousy there.  Domon is completely clueless as to what’s going on. Allenby calls it “The jealousy of an old woman.” Just then Sai Saichi comes by on a bike. Unfortunately he can’t stop. He manages to land gracefully on his feet and catch two of the bag. However his perfect landing is spoiled when he gets nailed on the head by a bag of pots and pans. Ooh, ouch! The events leave a surprised Allenby and Domon confused.
That night Sai Saichi demonstrates his cooking skills. Hoy and Meng are in awe of  Sai Saichi’s culinary skills. Sai Saichi calls it a show of respect to the enemy. Domon promises to cherish the meal.  However Allenby is eager to have at it with Sai Saichi. Trash talk is exchanged and the two get into a fierce sparring match outside. Rain starts eating while complaining the two are behaving like children. Domon and the kids are enjoying the fight however. The fight ends with Sai Saichi actually holding back as they land on someone’s houseboat. Just then Allenby and Sai Saichi see a news report that Neo-China has sent a delegation to witness the fight between Sai Saichi and Domon.  On seeing this report Sai Saichi takes off. Allenby and Domon talk about what happened later. Allenby mentions that if Sai Saichi would fight seriously he could be a real problem. Domon however notes that he’s willing to fight and even sacrifice his life for the cause with which he fights. He suspects the reason Sai Saichi came over was to say good-bye. That sounds rather ominous.
Back at the grounds of Neo-China Sai Saichi and his mentors come face-to-face with Neo-China’s Emperor giving the man the traditional measure of respect. In the conversation that follows the Emperor praises Sai Saichi’s record as Neo-China’s fighter as well as Zuisen and Kelun’s teachings. He then asks if Sai Saichi wishes anything. Sai Saichi states that what he wishes is the revival of the Shoulin Temple. The Emperor is surprised by this request realizing that Sai Saichi will have to become the champion now. but he will consider it.  Sai Saichi makes it clear that he would give his life for this cause. Just as Domon mentioned. Later that night as apprentice and guardians are watching the waves crash against a rocky shore far below them Sai Saichi’s mentor mention how surprised they are that Sai Saichi has been giving this so much thought and how proud they are of him. Sai Saichi mentions how juvenile he is.  Kelun is surprised that Sai Saichi has realized how juvenile he is. Zuisen however has doubts about Sai Saichi’s current state of mind.  Sai Saichi and Domon have some private moments of meditation before the match.  As the first light of dawn drifts over the nearby mountains Sai Saichi is praying at an altar. Then he pulls the letter he found out and looks over it. Later on Sai Saichi exits the temple. Zusen and Kelun must remain behind to allow Sai Saichi to fight this battle in his own way.  Sai Saichi thanks his mentors for all they’ve done. Yet, i got the distinct feeling that Sai Saichi was saying good-bye to them. Later on that day with Neo-China’s Emperor watching Wong commands the match to begin. Master Asia points out both are equal and either one could fall. Then Wong makes mention that this could be the day Domon falls. Master Asia is surprised and outraged by this then goes into a coughing fit . Now it’s very clear that Master Asia is not in the best of health,. Wong mockingly apologizes for doing something to jeopardize Master Asia’s health. It’s now pretty clear that Wong wants Domon defeated and/or killed.  The Match between Domon and Sai Saichi goes back and forth with both countering each other’s attacks. Meanwhile Kelun and Zuisen are praying for Sai Saichi’s success. Then Zuisen spots something in the hands of a Buddha statue, the letter that Sai Saichi found.  Meanwhile with both his dragon arms broken the battle between Dragon Gundam and Burning Gundam turns in Domon’s favor. Zuisen meanwhile finds Kelun and shows him the letter. That letter is in fact that last will and testament of Sai Saichi’s father. Sai Saichi’s father tells thee two older priests of his heartbreak at not being able to fulfill their dream of resurrecting the Shoulin temple and asks that they teach his son.  In spite of what’s happened Sai Saichi refuses to give up. Even though he’s never seen his father he can feel his father chasing his dream. This is one gutsy kid.  Sai Saichi guided by the spirit of his father goes into his own version of super mode and unleashes one of the most powerful Shoulin techniques one thought lost. This has not gone unnoticed by the Emperor. But then Neo-China’s ruler notes that’s it’s also a kamikaze move. Kamikaze as is a suicide move, ooh now this match takes an interesting twist.  Domon counters with Erupting Burning Finger with his right hand. SaiS aichi’s move smashes through the right hand of Burning Gundam. Domon however is far from done. He connects on Dragon Gundam with a Burning finger with the left hand. Sai Saichi and Domon both refuse to give up but just before Domon can complete the move the ruler of Neo-China commands the fight to cease. He then commends Sai Saichi on his actions today proving that he is the pride of Neo-China. However the Emperor explains he can’t afford to have his prize warrior die. He tells Sai Saichi win the battle royale and he will revive the Shoulin temple. To the teary-eyed boy thanks his Emperor.  Domon congratulates Sai Saichi on what has been an incredible match. Wong is absolutely furious and openly admits that he wants Domon out-of-the-way. Master Asia laughs derisively at Wong’s fury. He then tells Wong to look and see what the heart of the true martial artist is about. Master Asia may be a villain but he’s a villain with a sense of integrity. An antagonist  n with a conscience, ah now those complex characters are always the best. Allenby who’s been watching the match is thrilled things have turned out as they have and runs to meet up with Domon and Sai Saichi. Rain finally begins to understand how martial artists communicate with their fists.  A heartwarming ending to this episode. But also an episode that’s starting to see true agendas coming to the surface.

The Episode opens with the narrator for the series giving a summation of recent events And he gives the name and correct pronunciation of Prime Minster Wong’s name Wong Yunfat (Pronounced Yoon-Fa). The announcer makes it clear in this episode things are going to get verycomplicated with Domon and Allenby forming a tag team against Argo and his partner. Here’s where it gets interesting. Argo’s partner is going to be none other than …Neo-Canada’s own Andrew Graham who’s made it to the finals still determined to take Argo’s life in retaliation for his wife Death. That match made me think, Is it me, or is this not going to end well? The episode really gets underway with a  bang picking up right in the middle of the match between Grizzly Gundam and Bolt Gundam. The rest of the Shuffle Alliance and Allenby watch. They’re surprised at the amount of ferocity in Andrew Graham untill Domon tells them of the tragic accident that took the life Andrew’s wife. Meanwhile Grizzily Gundam has Bolt Gundam On the ground in an arm lock,. But then Natasha reminds Argo that he’s fighting for his friend. This a massive surge of strength Argo lifts Grizzily Gundam off the ground and throws him into a building Argo then enters Hyper Mode and uses his new attack he created in the Guyana Highlands, and this one is a killer it causes massive upheaval in the earth’s crust. The move Natascha comments is named Guya (Pronounced: Guy-ya) Crusher. Trapped within A ravine of rock Graham is unable to halt Argo’s attack to his Gundam’s head. But Andrew Graham still refuses to forgive  Argo still. Obsessive isn’t he? Up on the building where the rest of the Alliance is watching Chibodee sums it up with, “And checkmate.” to which George De Sand  agrees.  Rain points out that Domon will fight Argo next.  Argo makes it clear he’s looking forward to their final battle as their last one ended with a s draw. Flashing their Shuffle Alliance crests the two have a stare down.
Meanwhile MAster Asia gets the surprise of his life. Wong has decided he doesn’t want Domon to be the pilot who resurrects the Dark Gundam after all. Why do I get the feeling that was never his intention to begin with. MNeo-Sweden’s operator arrives as just as WOng planned. Dirty dealings are a foot. Wong orders his men to treat the man with courtesy. Master Asia asks if he thinks it will be that easy when another coughing fit comes on much to WOng’s derisive amusement. Yep, it’s clear Wong’s as corrupt as they come.
That night Argo in his cell practices his Guya Crusher technique, He is quite focused ion his upcoming match. Then Argo is sent what appears to be a vision of him floating towards a Neo-Russian ship. Next he finds himself inside where he sees the cell with his friends. He rushes towards them only to fall through the cage. It was all 3-D holograms designed to trick Argo and get his blood stirred up as Natasha explains. Headquarters wants him riled up because of the match that’s upcoming. And it’s soon learned why Wong has ordered a taag=team match with Domon and Allenby against Argo and…Andrew Graham.Chibodee, George, and Sai Saichi are reading the poster for the event. . Sai Saichi then explains that when Domon found out about it he made a beeline straight for the Neo-Canada lodge.  Meanwhile at the said Lodge Andrew graham throws an axe at Domon but it misses him and strikes the tree nearby. Domon however doesn’t even blink.  After an argument between the two graham gets a surprise when Domon who’s much smaller than he is hurls Andrew graham’s axe into a tree stump. He then explains Graham shouldn’t giver up the chance for a unique fight. Domon turns and walks away hoping that Graham will understand and at least communicate with Argo using his fists, the way of the martial artist. Graham apaarently understands. That evening Allenby is calm and relaxed and promises to keep Andre Graham off his back. Domon is far more concerned as the match was arranged by Wong which means that anything could happen. And after  a firm hand clasp of friendship which Allenby is a little less than eager to break he heads back to lodge to keep her team off her case. Domon however warns her to watch her back.
Meanwhile the creator of the Berserker system awakens to find himself in a chair his legs clamped to it and a electrical system like that of a electric chair attacjhed to his head. Wong then welcomes the Neo-Sweden  Doctor, whose name is Belyman (pronounced: Belly-Mun). And Neo Hong Kong Prime Minister has created a replica of the Berserker system with Neo-Hong Kong technology, wiping out The Neo-Sweden Dr.’s accusations of theft. The Prime Minister then demands Allenby Beardsley’s brain wave frequency.  Dr. Belyman is a man of integrity and refuses. Wong then shows that the chair he’s got the Dr. in is meant for the purpose of torturing the information out of him if he chose to be cooperative. Allenby Beardsley stops thinking she’s heard something. Dark omens proving something is coming, something bad.
Later that night Argo is released from an armored truck with a small detachment of guards.  Argo finds he’s ona  quiet dock area at night. When he demands to know who brought him here he gets his answer. Natasha did and she’s dressed in an evening gown that shows off some of one of her legs and her arms. And the red dress is a form-fitting one. On seeing the sleeveless dinner gown I couldn’t help but think  Whoa, she works that dress!Even the Neo-Russia officer has times where she has to feel like a woman. AS the meal begins Nastascha asks if Argo doesn’t like the food, or if her can’t use chopsticks or if he’s upset over having to team up with Graham. She explains this is her apology to him for what happened. She then points out a Neo Russia ship…the very same ship Argo saw in the hologram. Nastascha explains that her country’s authorities have gone too far and she’s angry about it seeing as how they got here on their own merit and she doesn’t approve of the fact the Government doesn’t trust them. She’s right trust is a two-way thing. She asks Argo to do her a favor, Defeat Domon and destroy Andrew if he must but win the match for both of them. Argo agrees as his appetite returns. A BIG appetite for a big man. Argo grabs the fish and starts tearing into it with a vengeance much to Natascha’s amusement. There is definitely a spark between these two and from a objeective perspective the way it’s come about is rather organic and real. An excellent job with this romance. However Nastascha sees a shoot star at the Neo-Russia colony indicating bad luck…but bad luck for who?
The next day as the sun rises The four Gundam fighters prepare for their match. Meanwhile george and Chibodee are talking George explains to Chibodee that he isn’t certain but it’s possible Andrew graham might try something during the match. Revenge is a powerful thing and can influence people in unwise ways. Schwartz Bruder then appears and points out that it’s possible and that Andrew Graham’s actions will decide the fate of this match. Andrew graham is reflecting on what Domon said to him nonverbal. Meanwhile Argo makes it clear no matter what graham thinks his only enemy is Domon Kashu. Domon asks Allenby to keep Andrew Graham off of him he wants to fight Argo one on one.  Allenby happily agrees. Allenby’s other teammate, the older man has a much improved attitude, explains that since Dr. Belyman isn’t back they can’t use the berserker system. That’s just fine by Allenby as she wants to fight this on her own. Meanwhile Master Asia arrive astride Phoonpsyche, not in their Gundams either. Master Asia has come to watch this match but wonders what is Wong up to.  Meanwhile explains he means to show Dr. Belyman how to properly use the Berserker system. He then commands the Gundam fighters to get ready…and the match is on. From the start Argo goes into Hyper Mode and uses his Guya Crusher attack to ensure it’s just him and Domon as he wants this to be a one on one match. Domon and Argo give it everything they have as both are trying to save people important to them. WIth Domon it’s his father, with Argo it’s his friends/crew.  Meanwhile Andrew graham tries to get into a  position to ambush Argo but Allenby chases after him determined to foil his plan. Meanwhile Wong prepares to activate the Berserker system.  Allenby let’s out an ear-piercing scream when Wong activates the system. Rain takes note of this but Neo-Sweden’s crew can confirm that they haven’t activated it. Schwartz and Master Asia put two and two tiogether. Master Asia is irate over this. He and Phoonpsyche take off plans of their own stirring.
As Allenby struggles with the Berserker system Wong decides to increase the power. Just then Master Asia astride Phoonpsyche arrives. Wong is unapologetic about what he’s done. Master Asia then whips out that ribbon of his which can rup people to shreds and orders Wong to stop it. Just then Master Asia’s sickness kicks in again.  Wong smiles derisively and turns up the power. As the Berserker system seizes control Andrew graham watches carefully to judge who Argo Gulski is, murderer or otherwise. Meanwhile Domon and Argo push each other to their fighting limits. Argo makes it clear he hasn’t forgotten his duties as the Black Joker of the shuffle Alliance but both men realize the importance of this match and decide to end it. Argo goes into Hyper Mode as does Domon.  Domon and Argo let loose with their special moves. Domon connects with Erupting burning Finger. But then Argo grabs the hand as is determined to make in a double D.Q. and sacrifice himself for the lives of his friends much to Natascha’s horror and surprise. Argo then tells Natascha in a surprisingly gentle tone that if anything happens to him take care of his friends. Andrew Graham comes to a decision understanding that for Argo the lives of his friends are far more important then victory, or his own life. He understands that Argo tried to save Andrew’s wife and that it really was an accident.
Meanwhile Domon notes that Argo’s right light is wobbly and uses a new attack  Burning Field Dash which puts enough pressure on Argo’s right leg to break it. Argo has clearly lost the match. Nastascha comes toa  realization that she didn’t realize how much pressure Guys Crusher was putting on Bolt Gundam’s legs, the fault she believes is clearly hers. But then Argo tells her it’s just one loss. Play, yeah it’s a certainty Natascha is in love with Argo…and it seems the feeling is mutual with Argo. The Neo-Russia fighter swears to join Domon in his battle against the Dark Gundam. Just then a previously forgotten Allenby bursts through determined to tear apart Bolt Gundam. Andrew graham realizes Argo and Domon are in no shape to fight. He leaps down in front of the charging Allenby and takes her attack in the chest of his Gundam.  Andrew Graham explains that Argo’s fists have shown him the truth and this act of sacrifice is the only way he can make amends for what he’s done. A massive explosion rocks the arena. The other Shuffle members, Natascha , and Rain are horrified to see the massive explosion that occurs. Master Asia is uncertain as to what has happened but Wong is absolutely livid with a perverse joy at the carnage and calls out Allenby’s name. Things have just taken a  turn for the worse.

The episode starts out with a recap of the final moments of the last episode including Andrew’s noble sacrifice.  After the narrator’s moment going over what’s happened and recent events with master Asia and Wong the scene shifts to Domon who leaps into Allenby’s Gundam and gets the comatose girl out.  Rain comes to Domon who’s all right but he and Rain note the Berserker system put Allenby in her current state.  Argo who has helped out Andrew calls to Domon for assistance. The king of Hearts responds to he former adversary’s request.  While the two Gundam pilots help out Graham Rain tries to aid Allenby untill a First Aid team arrives. However Rain insists on coming along. However the shady looking First aide team says there’s no need and take Allenby and head off saying another team is en route to get Graham.  That one team seemed a little too eager to get Allenby, I smell Wong’s handiwork.
That night Master Asia makes it clear he’s furious with Wong for nearly making Domon a casuality. Wong explains that’s he’s just trying to figure out who the strongest fighter is. He then notes that Master Asia has perhaps been pulling for Domon a little too much noting that perhaps the ties between mentor and teacher are hard to sever. Master Asia denies it of course swearing that they’re enemies now.  Wong then shows Asia who Domon’s next opponent is…none other than Schwartz Bruder himself. Even more notable Master Asia has a suspicion as to who Schwartz is and if so then he believes Domon doesn’t stand a chance as he stares into the Neo Hong Kong night.
Meanwhile at a Neo-Hong Kong hospital Rain is talking with a front desk nurse. Domon and Argo are conversing also. Andrew’s life saving operation went well but according to the doctors he’ll never be able to pilot a Gundam ever again. Domon is saddened Andrew despite his hatred of Argo was actually a superb fighter. Then Allenby comes to Domon and explains that Allenby isn’t at this hospital to which Domon gets agitated.  Then the older man from team Neo_Sweden shows up Domon grabs the man by the collar and berates the man untill he explained that someone else activated the Berserker system.He adds that not only Allenby but the berserker system’s creator Dr. Bellyman re both missing.  However Domon instead of taking time to calm down and think berates Rain for being neglectful of Allenby. Later that night a hurt and saddened Rain stares at the bay remembering Domon’s angry words while the kids Hoy and Meng watch. Domon in Rain’s recollection berates her about how she should have questioned the “First Aid team’s” credentials. He then questions her most elementary principle of once she takes on a patient she sticks with them. He then tells Rain that she has no reason to be his crew member Rain tries to get him to calm down but Domon shoves her away. Argo catches her and tries to get Domon to think but the brash young Neo-Japan pilot tells Argo to stay out of it. Domon then heads off to find Allenby. Ooh something tells me those words will come back to haunt Domon.  Meng and Hoy are unaware of what happened to Domon. Hoy wonders where Domon is Meng is certain he’ll be all right. Rain figures he’ll be all right and perhaps he’ll be better off without her. Like I said Domon’s words are going to come back to haunt him.
Domon meanwhile is staring out at the bay from a farther off point wondering where Allenby went. Just then Phoonpsyche arrives minus Master Asia.  Through the use of body langauge the steed makes it clear he wants Domon to ride him. Domon is a little unused to riding the horse as is evident when he nearly falls off the powerful equine the first time PhoonPsyche takes off. But somehow Domon manges to stay on and rides the horse into the night finally arriving at a dock and a small ferry-boat. As soon as Domon and the horse are on an engine starts carrying steed and Domon off. Domon realizes that there’s no turning back now. So he turns his attention to the mountains and whatever his destination is as the sun rises over the far off mountains.
A short time later Domon arrives and the boat takes off with Phoonpsyche still on it. the horse makes it clear in his own equine way that Domon is on his own from here. That’s one smart horse. Domon heads off further onto the island. He comes across the remains of what looks like a city or a temple based on the amount of debris. Just then Master Asia announces his presence from the top of a nearby dead tree. Meanwhile Wong is made aware by one of his men that master Asia has mae contact with Domon. His man explains that it’s on an island northeast of Neo-Hong Kong. Wong decides to send out a Dark Gundam head to eliminate Master Asia. He figures once the head has dealt with Asia he can make up a lie and thinks himself rather clever for concealing from Master Asia the fact he can control the Gundam heads. And so the snakes turn on their own. Wong Yunfat’s true agenda again rears its ugly head, no pun intended.  Meanwhile Master Asia tells Domon he lacks skill if he couldn’t etct his presence untill he called out. He then explains Schwartz Bruder will be his next opponent but he intends to defeat his former apprentice before then. Domon dodges Master Asia’s attacks and prepares for a counteroffensive. Suddenly from out of the lake right by where Domon and Master Asia are fighting…A Gundam Head appears. Wong is making his move.
With Gundam head’s appearance master Asia is pretty sure Wong is behind this. Domon however is completely clueless and ends up falling off the Dark Gundam apparatus rather than watching his step. Asia rescues Domon while calling him an unskilled fool and tells him to keep his guard up. the Gundam head however smashes the cliff the two Gundam fighters are on and sends them toppling into the muddy water below. The two fighters end up falling through a hole and into a secret cavern.  Domon is relieved that Master Asia is all right. Maybe Wong was right maybe the bond between apprentice and master is harder to sever then both men think. Master Asia explains the cavern which is actually a tunnel was used to connect the island they were on to the mainland long ago.  However Master Asia realizes that he must have injured a leg in the fall. Even martial artists are mortal.  Domon is clueless as to why Master Asia saved him. His old teacher makes it clear he wants to take him out and when Domon tries to call his Gundam makes it clear that in this tunnel calling Burning Gundam would cause both of them to be crushed. He calls a truce untill they get out of the tunnel.  The two begins a treacherous journey out of the tunnel After climbing up to a ruined platform the two men head off. Domon asks Master Asia why the Gundam head was after him if he’s in collusion with them, referring to The Dark Gundam and Wong. Just then Master Asia orders Domon to move. The two are trapped in a pasage which begins to flood. Master Asia mentions a similar problem they faced long ago then shows the secret technique of the Undefeated SChool of the east. The powerful attack creates a massive hole in a nearby wall.  Domon then has a flashback to when he was training under Master Asia. He got separated from his martial arts instructor and ran into a pack of wolves. He was so scared he couldn’t move. Then Master Asia appeared and berated him for letting his mind wander. His his words “A martial artist should never let his mind wander away from his fists.” otherwise Domon wouldn’t be able to Master the secret technique of the School of the east. Domon recalls that moment. Master Asia then explains that Domon still gets so wrapped up in his anger that he forgets his feelings.  then his leg starts acting up again. Domon grabs his Master as he remembers Master Asia’s words about no time for small talk.
The two head deeper into the tuinnel Master Asia meanwhile explains how detestable human beings are while Neo-Hong Kong may be one of the most prosperous cities on Earth the ruined tunnel is an example of the other side of the coin Yet he mentions how people get so excited about the Gundam fights. Master Asia explains why he must do something but before he can explain what it is the two come across another wall.  Master Asia explains that Domon can help him here. He explains he no longer has the strength to use another secret technique on the wall. A wave of water heads towards the two. However just before the water reaches them the two use a double Seke-Hate-Kyoken. (Pronounced: Sek-hey Key-Yah-Tay Key-yo-ken.) The the impact smashes the ceiling above them allowing the two to escape. However Master Asia’s leg is still bothering him. Just then the Gundam head that attacked them earlier appears followed by more. Domon calls to Burning Gundam while Master Asia calls Master Gundam meanwhile the carrier for Master Asia’s Gundam transforms into the horse shaped Gundam Phoonpsyche operates.  The two engage in a  fierce battle with the heads. Domon ends up at Master Asia’s suggestion using the Ultimate technique which obliterates the Gundam heads. But when Domon tries to ask Master Asia some questions Master Asia tells Domon to take a good look at the ruins and see them as an example of the final sunset to humanity then takes off astride Phoonpsyche.  Domon is left troubled and calling out to hiis Master.
Meanwhile as Dr. Mikamura and a crew of technicians are going over maintaining Burning Gundam commissioner Karato discovers a latter from Rain…a letter of resignation. It’s no more than what I suspected would happen. I guess putting up with some many of Domon’s tantrums and recent events finally took their toll on her not that i blame her. But Neo-Japan is left in a fix and things have taken an interesting turn.

That’s all for Part 1, part 2 coming soon. Untill then this is Scififantasyanimeman saying I will see you later.

Kumoricon 2011 photos

•09/07/2011 • 4 Comments

Hello everyone nice of you to come by. Well the good news is I’m currently on Season 2 of mobile fighter G-Gundam and should have it done before the end of the year. I’m taking an episode a week approach so as not to burn myself out. But I digress This post is meant to show off the wonderful Kumoricon photos I took this year. And I’m very happy with the shots I got. But before I begin I’d like to send a heartfelt congratulations to Jaz the V.I.P. manager and her husband on the impending birth of their first child and based on everything they’ve told me its apparent thier child will have no shortage of love. A warm shout out to her and her husband. I’d also like extend heartfelt shout outs and greetings to TomtheFanboy and his wife VallieGirl, Reppy, KHKing, Washougal_Otaku, and all the members of the Random Panel of Doom, special shout out and hello from your friend Scififantasyanimeman.And now let’s get to the business of photos shall we?

And here we have someone else I know on the forums. Tanuki19, and she’s dressed as Heather Mason from the horror/survival game SIlent Hill III. When we were talking on the forums I came up with the idea of taking her picture on Day 0. So after getting to the hotel and grabbing my room I went looking for her. It took me a bit but I found her. And I was so delighted to be able to keep my promise and take a photo of her. Some folks may think promises aren’t worth much but my stepfather taught me a long time ago that when you make a promise…you keep it! And It was quite a delight to take a photo of this young lady cosplaying as Heather and paying respect to the SIlent Hill franchise. I again chose to go as Henry Townshend. A number of people at the con wanted my photo and I happily obliged them. But I was thinking maybe next year as well as being Henry maybe I should also go as a Jedi. What do you think?

This ladies and gentleman is the Vancouver Hilton in Vancouver, Washington just across the Columbia River from Portland. This is one of the two hotels that housed Kumoricon this year. I actually stayed at this hotel back in 2007 when I started going to Kumoricon full on. I’ve often cursed the fact I didn’t start taking pictures then. But I finally got a chance to make up for it. I took this picture in the park across the street from the hotel on Day 0. This hotel has 7 floors with rooms and has a bistro Grey’s at the park in it. I had hoped to someday stay here again as I have fond memories of this hotel from 2007. And well The Vancouver Hilton showed just how badly they wanted us back. The overall performance of the employees at this school was exceptional. This hotel understands the value of customer service and hospitality.  Not only did they have this restaurant in one of the side lobbys  they also had a refreshments area where people could buy candy, fruits, soda, water, and even pizza. I will admit I tried some of the refreshment bars goods.Hey a guy can’t eat healthy all the time that gets boring. The room I got as wonderful because it was clean and quite spacious. And they had warm showers in the morning so I was pleased with that. I mentioned how pleased I was to one of the hotels staff and they appreciated the comment.  The best news is this hotel and it’s neighbor  hotel are going to be next year’s convention site which is fine by me. I love the idea of staying again at the Vancouver Hilton.

And who do we have here for cosplayers? Why it’s Monkey D. Luffy and his brother  from One Piece.  Monkey D. Luffy  is the main character in One Piece he was a boy who ended up eating a food item called a cursed fruit which contains the remains of a sea spirit as I understand. The end result is anyone who eats a cursed fruits is given extroardinary powers. However they can never go swimming again as they’d sink to the bottom like a weight and drown. The fruit Luffy ate is called a Gum-Gum fruit. It turned Luffy into a rubber man capable of stretching himself to unbelievable lengths. Contrary to his scrawny look Luffy is actually quite strong. Among the many powerful enemies he’s defeated is a half-human/half-shark fish man who had teeth like a steel trap. So this kid is a strong one. The other is Luffy’s brother, like Luffy rex too ate a cursed fruit called a Flare-Flare fruit. The end result is He’s a human blowtorch who can launch any kind of fire attack he wants to…ooh fierce. Luffy’s brother is also second-in-command of the crew of the Pirate Captain Blackbeard (And I’m not talking Captain Teach here). Luffy’s crew and Blackbeard’s crew are among the many Pirates searching for the treasure known as One Piece the one thing that would make whoever finds it the absolute undisputed King, or in some cases Queen, of the Pirates. As for these cosplayers here who have captured the spirits of the characters I actually caught them on a walkway down by the Columbia River as the sun was setting. When the sun is rising or setting on the Columbia it’s a beautiful sight to behold. And perhaps it was a sign of the good things that were to come for me.  

This is the second hotel that Kumoricon used. This is the Vancouver Red Lion on the Quay. It’s a two-story hotel with a pool and while I haven’t been in it looks like a rather nice looking Hotel. This hotel also had the Centennial Center which housed the Dealer’s Hall, that is the place where all the vendors sold their wares. Granted it was a bit crowded  and some merchants had to be moved to the Hilton but overall it was a nice place.  If you ever decided to take swimming gear to next year’s Kumoricon then I recommend this as the Hotel for you as they have a large swimming pool  that would be perfect. As the name states it’s actually near the Columbia RIver  and it also has a large parking lot to its credit.  and it should also be noted  that the hotel is only four blocks away from the Hilton.  which is rather nice as it provides a nice little walk to get there that isn’t too bad. Although considering the shape I’m in and my job I’m used to standing on my feet a lot. so this walk was no sweat. As i understand it the Red Lion was so happy  with the business Kumoricon gave them that they’ve happily agreed to team up with the Hilton to house Kumoricon attendees and guests next year. No great surprise there. with how well these two hotels handled the convention who wouldn’t want to come back?

The next day long before opening ceremonies took place I got breakfast and then decided to go wandering to learn where everything was. During the course of my wanderings I actually ran into my friend acton from the forums who I was doing the panel Otaku 30 and older – The Return. Acton is actually a card-carrying Christian. Yes even among the Good Lord’s flock there are Otaku. And during our conversation i ran across this lovely lady right here. She not any particular anime character, this lady is what they call a lolita. They represent a mixture of modern beauty and japanese traditional beauty. When i first saw this lovely Lolita I though there was no way I was going to let this lovely creature often found at anime conventions get away without snapping a photo. And I have to say i am very happy with the end result. This was just one of the unique things about Kumoricon I managed to catch with my camera and you’ll be seeing more of these wonderful enigmas throughout this post.

This rather emo looking character here is L from the show Death Note. L was the original rival of Light Yagami in the series. L who uses that as a code name is one of the most brilliant crime solvers in all law enforcement.  He keeps that mysterious identity in order to ensure that his enemies don’t find out who he was and come after him. Watching him and Light play their game  was like watching a chess match or better still watching Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes  duel. One of L’s most unusual quirks was the fact that the emo looking character had a very big sweet tooth, often L could be seen with say a lollipop or a plate of cake, or a box of candy. So this fellow had quite the sweet tooth indeed.  This person playing L is actually a girl. It’s not surprising really I’;ve seen  guys play the parts of girls and girls playing the part of guys. It’s called crossplaying. I don’t do it myself but if that’s what other people want to do well then that’s their business. And this lady right here as captured the essence of L’s character quite nicely.

This is the  first of the non-anime characters I shot while I was at the convention. This is Rorshak from the movie “The Watchmen”. This hero’s biggest problem was not only was he paranoid he was also more than a little psycho. I think that may have been due to the fact he snapped when he came across one truly evil individual in his usual nightly patrols. What happens to him at the end of the movie isn’t pleasant but let’s just say what he leaves behind will throw a monkey wrench into what was created. I caught this fellow as things were starting to get crowded in the Hilton hallways on Day 1 of the con. Thankfully once again because of my V.I.P. pass I avoided the horrors of waiting in a  monstrously long line and got in with the other V.I.P.s to a front row seat. Although at first one of the guys directing traffic did kind of mess up he quickly corrected things and got us V.I.P.’s to our seats which ha a covering of blue fabric on it. Since I’m legally blind that was a god sent, that and the fact that they had some large screens to  which i could watch to see what was going on stage with no problems. The speaker systems really worked well and really brought the music played to life.

After opening ceremonies I decided to go to the Dealer’s Hall to check up on what they had for sale. On my way to Centennial Hall I came across this cosplayer potraying the part of Nicholas Wolfwood from Trigun. Don’t let this man of the cloth fool you that cross of his is actually a very powerful weapon that can tear through anything without a second glance. Wolfwood was always a contradictory character here was a man of God who carried a weapon around with him and wasn’t afraid to kill. Often Vash the Stampede chided him by saying, “Hey whatever happened to thou shalt not kill?” And this fellow here has captured the essence of Wolfwood quite nicely. Although I wish I’d asked him what is that prop of his made of. All props have to go through peace bonding in order so they can be on con grounds. Hey Kumoricon wants to be safe, not only from law suits but ensure that con goers can continue to go wherever they want on con grounds without causing any accidents or getting hurt themselves. Safety first.

There is a bit of sun glare in this photo and I do apologize for it but still hopefully all of you can see this picture very well. Coming back from The Dealer’s Hal;l I had a container of ramenade, a Japanese soft drink, with me. I was having some difficulty opening it when these two people kindly lent a hand. And for that I will always be grateful. This young lady is playing Mara Jade Luke Skywalker’s wife from the Star Wars novels. The fellow at her side is a random Sith lord.  I’m sure Peach Wookiee is going to love this one. I actually read about Mara she’s a fascinating character and I understand why in the novels Luke Skywalker fell in love with her. One of the biggest and most costly mistakes I always felt the old Jedis made was the renouncing of all family ties. I’ve always been on the strong opinion that family can make a person str0onger and give them more character. And likewise the renouncement of all family ties can actually make a person weaker because they have nothing to provide that moral base. And for a Jedi that can leave them open to being turned to the dark side. But that’s just my opinion.

And here we have the first of my celebrity photos. This gentleman here is named David Vincent. His acting credits include Code Geass as Li Xingke, Grimmjow  Jeagerjaques in Bleach, Van in Gun x Sword, and General Logi in Blue Dragon to name a few anime credits. he’s also voiced  number of video games among his credits being Marshall law in Tekken 6, Jin  Kisaragi and Hakumen in BlazBlue, T. Hawk in Street Fighter, and Keiss in Final fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. He’s also appeared in guest roles on shows such as NCIS, Criminal Minds, and the Nine, he’s also a T.V. producer.  I actually met him at the V.I,P. Dinner. the food was tasty enough and the good folks I got to meet were fantastic. I kidded with David Vincent a little mentuioning that his name sounded like the protagonist from an old 60′s sci-fi show The Invaders. Here as you can see yours truly is dressed as Henry Townsend and I’m standing alongside Mr. Vincent after politely asking for an autograph and a photo. As with all my subjects i always ask beforehand before I get photos so that way they don’t get offended and i don’t get into trouble. Always a good idea.

This fellow here is Mr. Chris Cason, the second of my celebrity photos. He is an anime voice actor, as well as a director, and screenwriter. His voicing credits include  Tien Shinhan and Mr. Popo in Dragon Ball Z, Gluttony in Full Metal Alchemist, Holy Roman Empire in Hetalia: Axis Powers, Miyamoto and M1 in Yu Yu Hakusho  he also can be heard in One piece, Ouran High School Host club (Forthcoming), Case Closed, and Gunslinger Girl just to name a few. He has also worked in various positions of anime productions exclusively with Funimation.  Before the V.I.p, dinner I actually went to a panel when he turned the tables on anime fans and asked them all sorts of crazy questions including embarrassing moments. I ended up responding by making mention of an embarrassing and painful time in my Taekwondo training I gave myself a nasty five stitch gash in my hand after I collided with the grating of one of the lights while practicing the flying side kick. It’s always nice to see those who respect the martial arts and everything they stand for. It’s a breath of fresh air to me. And I will admit my current status as a second degree Black Belt is as much a surprise to me as anyone else.

This fellow here is dressed as Kona, from Bleach. When he wasn’t protecting Ichigo Kurasaki’s body he was in this stuffed animal lion body. The is an excellent example of someone who is really dedicated to the art of cosplay. And this guy definitely qualifies for the category of really dedicated cosplayer. I caught this guy on level 2 on the evening of Day 1 I was waiting to get into the panel Story, Story, Die 18+. I would later see this guy in the cosplay contest and let me tell you I can see why this guy would choose to be a competitor . And also I would learn at closing ceremonies this guy would actually win a hall  costume award. I can understand why. If you compare this guy’s costume with the real Kona from Bleach you can see the similarities.   Oh and I learned a little something interesting from earlier that day those painting behind Kona have alarms on them to ensure that no steals them. It’s understandable really  those are nice paintings and even though most con goers are nice and honorable people there are a few bad apples to watch out for so kudos to security for doing their job.

And who do we have here? Why it’s Andriod 17 from Dragonball Z and GT. In Dragonball Z Andriod 17 originally was a bad guy but as he Andriod 18, and Andriod 16 continued to experience life they developed personalities of their ow rather than a simple desire to kill Goku. unfortunately Andriod 17 and his sister Andriod 18 were absorbed later on by Cell. Andriod 18 ended getting spewed out of Cell when Gohan laid a powerful punch to Cell’s stomach. Later on she became a human and married Krillian. As for 17 he would later come back in a more powerful form in Dragonball GT under the command of Dr. Gero (Pronounced Jher-row) and cause some serious damage before Goku and the others defeated him.  As for this cosplayer playing Andriod 17 I caught him outside the heritage main events room on the morning of Day 2 of the convention.  I think this Android 17 would later on that day go on to the cosplay contest to perform in a skit called Andriod 17 explains it all, it was a comical look at the magical Girl genre of anime.  And I have to admit that skit was pretty funny.

This picture is my contribution to social science. There are many social enigmas at Kumoricon but no social enigma is more amazing or complex then the phenomenon known as the glomp circle. It’s  a rather complex thing involving one person going to the center and if the correct command or sentence is uttered then one person of everyone rushes forward to collide into a hug with another or even the person standing at the center of the circle. At previous conventions there wasn’t enough room at the other parks for this but at the Park across from the Vancouver Hilton there was room. I actually got this picture after taking in The random Panel of Doom and then taking a trip to the Dealers Hall where I purchased the complete series of Trigun. -Sigh- another anime to add to the growing collection of series to critique. Oh well what can you do? Anyhow The Park is rather nice it had it’s fair share of benches, it’s got places for kids to play, and lots of area for picnicing. Add in a good amount of warmth and sunshine and a lot of  Kumoricon attendees migrated out there. Kumoricon fans indeed have unique social interactions and know how to make their own fun.

On the subject of pictures in the park here’s another one. This time we have Two pyramid heads and based on their design I’d say they’re from SIlent Hill II. Pyramid Head was one of the chief enemies in SIlent Hill II. But it was also mentioned that they represented the um….frustration of the protagonist. These Pyramid head make for great cosplaying but  i wouldn’t want to meet these guys at night in a dark alley. If  I did even with my martial arts prowess I’d probably run the way I came. Still it’s always nice to see there are still fans of the horror/survival series. I’m just hoping they come out with a new Silent Hill game soon before people forget about it.  And as for this park the cosplayers are in here’s an interesting and wonderful story. Well apparently on Day 2 or 1 I think it was the park trash cans got overwhelmed by garbage so it went flying all over the place. The Kumoricon staff and a large number of attendees went outside and in 10 minutes time had the entire park cleaned up. Now that’s what i call showing respect for the community. I think some of the local law enforcement mentioned as much. Do right by the community and it’ll do right by you. 

And on the subject of Bleach here we have a couple of cosplayers outside the viewing room playing Rukia Kuchki and Ichigo Kurasaki himself. While wandering about the viewing rooms and watching various people play the piano they had there  my keen eye caught these two.  In Bleach Ichigo is a young man who learns he has soulrepaer powers of his own after they’re activated by taking Rukia’s in a  crisis situation. Rukia is an adopted member of the Kuchki clan one of the most respected families in the soul society. Bleach overall is a great show but like Naruto it tends to suffer from the blight of too much filler that is it take ages for any action to take place in it or the plotline to move along. that can be infuriating to American audiences as we like character development and story development.  As for these cosplayer as with all my subject I’m grateful for them taking out time to have their picture taken.

And what do we have here in terms of non-anime characters. Why it’s the Dread Pirate Roberts a.k.a. Wesley from the princess bride. That fantasy/comedy movie directed by Rob Reiner and based on the book of the same name is a classic. The gentleman who played Wesley in that film did a magnificent job and this cosplayer has captured the essence of Wesley quite nicely. And this young lady with him is no particular character but rather a steampunk type character. And once again we see why Steampunk is becoming so popular the mixture of magic and Industrial Revolution era science makes for an odd but rather effective combination which has attracted lots of readers to the genre. Though how long that will last remains to be seen. Anyway I caught these two in the same area I caught the Bleach cosplayers. There’s a stair way that goes down to an exit from the hotel from where my subjects are standing.

And here we have a picture I took on the second floor of the Hilton on the evening of Day 2. These two gentleman you see here are both playing Auditore da Frenze from the game Assassin’s Creed. In it the Assassins who are actually the good guys are fighting to protect an Ancient secret that could turn the world upside down and even destroy it. It’s currently a game but  there was a novel inspired by the game and while I haven’t played it myself I hear it’s pretty good. My buddy Lobo Argost from Fanfiction.net is a very big fan of that game. SO when I saw these two individuals outside the photobooth room for Kumoricon. When i saw these guys i thought how my friend would LOVE to see a picture of these two. As I’ve so often said when good opportunity for a picture presents itself take it and ask your subject or subjects permission.  And with this picture i send a very special Oregon shout-out to my buddy Lobo Argost, enjoy the picture my friend I hope it makes your day.

Ah and for all you Doctor Who fans out there here we have someone playing Doctor WHo number 11 who’s played by Matt SMith. It’s hard to believe that there have been a total of 11 Doctors. I remember watching Doctor Who back in the days of Tom Baker and later Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy. The Doctor has sure come a long way from when William Hartnell played him way back in the mid 60′s, Holy cow I hadn’t even been born yet. Dang man, I am getting old.  ANyway as soon as I saw the Doctor I had to take a picture and he has a sonic screwdriver to add to the feel of the character. For some reason it just wouldn’t be right for the Doctor to be without his sonic Screwdriver. As with my last picture I caught this Doctor on the 2nd floor of the Vancouver Hilton which is where the panels and events for Kumoricon took place. there was a panel for the doctor called tiptoe through the TARDIS put on by Ellen one of the people from Kumoricon’s creation station. Unfortunately i wasn’t able to get to that. Oh well there’s always Orycon and  I strongly suspect she’ll be there.

And here we come to Day 3 of the con, the final day. And the busiest day for me. This was the day that REALLY wiped me out.  First I had my Taekwondo demonstration with my School U.S. West coast Taekwondo. Since it was a High Energy, high impact performance. Afterwards I changed into my costume and headed over tto the Oak room on the second floor. That’s where I took this picture. A good friend of mine on the forums, acton, and I did a panel called Otaku 30 and older – The return. Named so because we did this last year when Kumoricon was at the Portland Hilton. This panel was for those of us 30 and older who love anime. It may not have seemed like a big crowd at first but we had people trickle into our forum. There’s actually quite a few anime fans out there who are 30 and older but my friend and I are thinking of dropping the age limit to 25 and older so we can get those anime fans in that no man’s land of 25 to 29 into our panel. I actually think that’s a good idea. It would encourage more people to come from the word go. And a lot of folks 25 and older are getting into that time when they’re settling down and having kids. This would be a great place for them to come and talk about life as an older anime fan. AS for yours truly I mentioned to acton that if he wants me for next year as a co-panelist I’m there.  And that’s a promise I after he showed up for my demonstration this is a promise I definitely mean to keep.

 And here we have a steampunk mad hatter character I just happened to catch while talking to Reppy. This young lady’s costume looks like the Mad hatter and i think it is the Mad hatter but it also has a very Steampunk vibe to it and that was one of the things that caught my eye with the costume.  The mad hatter by the way was a character from louis Carrol’s story Alice in Wonderland. it noted that Carrol was something of a Drug addict and these characters were created from his opium hazed mind. While Personally i think a writer’s imagination would do much better without the drugs. I certainly have no need for drugs as my mind is weird and imaginative enough without them.  As for this cosplayer this is an example of how anime crosses all boundaries into all worlds. ANime is a universal style. And this is a reminder of why I believe it’s only a matter of time before anime takes its rightful place in American prime time T.V.

Mamma Mia! it’s-uh Mario’s brother Luigi! I caught this cosplayer for Luigi in the main lobby of the hotel  and just had to get a shot of them. Luigi has been a part of the Mario universe since the original Mario brothers way back in the mid-80′s. Although he’s not quite as prominent as his brother Mario here on this blog he gets his fair share of credit for helping save Princess Peach and helping to save the world from the likes of Koopa, and Bowser. Of all my questions about all things Mario this question comes to mind when are they going to have Mario and DOnkey Kong duke kit out one more time? It’s too bad i missed the chance to get some shots of Mario but oh well maybe next time there’s an anime convention i can get Mario for the sake of fairness and balance.

There’s always a certain melancholic sadness as a convention comes to an end. Such is true of even Kumoricon and i noted this as I wondered the convention in search of some last-minute pictures of cosplayers. Still I’m grateful my Nikon coolpix worked so well. Because it allowed me to snap pictures like this one. Here we have a trio, the evolved form of a diglet. It’s a grass type Pokemon that has the ability to burrow under the earth. Pokemon is an anime that has grown to nearly unbelievable levels of popularity here in the states. The show focuses around a young boy named Ash Ketchum who’s heading out ona  journey to become the best Pokemon master he can. Along the way he’s been accompanied by an ever-changing line-up of companions. The new season of Pokemon I admit is not quite as good as the others. In fact I think the writing and the characters could use a good amount of work. Still these individuals who combined their efforts to create this trio Pokemon have really outdone themselves in my opinion and I just had to snap a photo of them. Kudos to who so ever created this fantastic outfit. 

Now here’s something i remember from my younger years. Back when Toonami dominated the airwaves this is Liger 0 in its Jaiger form from the show Zoids. Liger 0 was originally piloted by a young man named Kip Cloudkicker were part of a team that was competing to be the best. It should be known that the American dub voice of Kip also played Inuyasha’s dubbed voice. Liger 0 which at the end of the series was revealed to contain the legendary organoid system which gave the zoid the ability to have its own thoughts and personality had several armors for it. Jaiger which you see in this picture gave Liger the ability to aerodynamically glide across the field which proved useful for Kip against one particular opponent a zoid bounty hunter who would become one of Kip’s favorite rivals. I don’t know how this person managed to capture the feel of Liger 0 or come up with all the mechanisms for the costume but I give nothing but praise to them. I can also understand why they owon a prize for the best costume at Kumoricon. I mean take a look at this costumes detail. Who wouldn’t want to give someone who put that much heart and dedication into such a wonderfully elaborate costume?

As one of my two last shots I took this [picture at closing ceremonies. I’m not sure exactly what kind of character this fellow is supposed to be but he/she has all sorts of small cameras on their costumes to show pictures of the viewers to the people. A rather ingenious costume if I do say so myself. I’m not sue who came up with this idea but it’s effective in my own personal opinion.  This unofficial mascot of Kumoricon’s closing ceremonies helped to really pump up the crowd and get everyone ready for the glorious closing ceremonies to Kumoricon. And although I will admit there were some minor glitches here and there with the closing ceremonies overall it was a general success and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Kumoricon 2012. Chances are it’s going to be quite a load of fun. And because I’ll be going V.I.P. I’ll get a front row seat for all the fun once again at the Vancouver Hilton.  

It’s a well-known fact that with Anime fans you never keep them waiting too long for anything otherwise they go crazy. That’s why rather than give this picture the usual name I decided to title it. Sometime during the course of closing ceremonies Kumoricon ran into some technical difficulties. After a while the anime fans as soon as the music started playing rushed up to the front and we had a spur of the moment mosh pit of anime fans dancing like crazy. I’ll say this about Kumoricon fans they know how to make their own fun. I’m not saying it’s better or rworse than Sakuracon it’s just the Kumoricon way and I accept it for what it is. First the Otaku danced to a number of ANime themes but then somewhere along the way…WE GOT RICKROLLED!!! Rickrolled is slang for when a person hears the 80′s dance hit Never gonna’ give you up by Rick Astley. Sakes another something that survived the 80′s will wonders never cease.  I found this social phenomenon rather amusing myself. Ah the anime fan or Otaku is such a wondrous type of person indeed. And with this was the last picture I took at Kumoricon 2011.

Well that’s it folks that’s all 26 of my Kumoricon 2011 pictures. Definitely this is a lot more than last year. My Nikon Coolpix camera is awesome. and i will use it again at Orycon 2011 later this year to take more pictures of costumed characters from the realms of sci-fi and fantasy. I hope this makes up to all of you viewers out there for last year? I put a lot of time and effort into these pictures. In the meantime I’ll keep chipping away at G-Gundam until it’s done and get around to all the other anime I have in my rather large collection. So untill next time this is Scififantasyanimeman saying be good to yourselves and each other. And I will see ya’!

Sakuracon 2011 pictures

•05/18/2011 • 3 Comments

Hello everyone this is Scififantasyanimeman. I’m sorry for having been gone so long I’ve been dealing with family issues and getting ready for my Black belt test in taekwondo. The good news is yours truly is now a second degree Black belt in Taekwondo. And now that I’m back if all goes accordingly I intend to work more on my blog and help make my writing razor-sharp. In the meantime recently I got back from Seattle where i attended Sakuracon 2011 the anime convention up there. And oh boy do I ever have some amazing stories to tell. As always I’ll also be showing off pictures of the various cosplayers and voice actors I snapped pictures of while at the convention. As always I’m grateful to all those who consented to having their pictures taken. My new Nikon Coolpix camera worked wonders. There was one pictures however that was so blurry that I had to toss it I do apologize to my subjects for that.  I feel so sheepish about it. But it taught me what makes for a good position to shoot pictures in. Anyway here are the photos please enjoy then and if you can let me know what you think. Please do so in a  polite courteous fashion without name-calling or anything like that because as head and moderator of this blog I hold the right to censor anyone who uses vulgar or otherwise disrespectful language.

 

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Certainly not this blogger that’s for sure. I took the picture of this furry cosplayer on Day 0 a good time for shooting cosplayers as there isn’t that many people there. I’ve always found the intricacies of the costumes for furry cosplayers amazingly good. And this person right here is no exception. Oh and there’s a bit of a tale here. After I’d gotten myself set up in my hotel room I discovered to my horror that the batteries I’d brought along no longer worked. So I set out on a desperate quest to find some batteries for my camera. Along the way I ran into a couple of nice individuals of Children’s International a Christian organization that helps impoverished children around the world. All I can say is God bless you my good fellows and keep up the good work. After getting almost throughly lost I ran into an information booth in downtown Seattle and some nice Information guides, or as they are called by the city of Seattle “Safety managers” after explaining to them my plight they led me to a drug store called Bartel’s. I later found out from Peach that Bartel’s is actually one of the oldest local drug store chains in the Seattle area. They’ve been in business for 100 years. WOWSERS!!!! That’s a long time to be in business.  And I soon found out why they’re still around. The customer service at the Bartel’s near the Convention and Trade Center is fantastic. After explaining to one of their incredibly nice employees my problem they led me to the batteries where I purchased some nice long-lasting Lithium batteries. Saved from defeat and after getting lost again I finally found my way to the Great Western Trade and Convention Center where I registered and got my badge. As always it was a good thing I pre-registered and checked in on Day 0. The lines for last-minute registration were  jammed packed. And well as I’ve so often said I’m not a line person.

 

 Good heavens Miss, that’s a rather large and formidable umbrella you have there. Please don’t hit me with that as I can imagine it would smart to no end. This lovely cosplaying lady and the previous wolf picture I got after registering and my desperate race to find some batteries. And the results of this picture are very pleasing to me. I’m always amazed by the designs of cosplayers especially the female cosplayers. SOme of them can put hours at a time into these costumes. Fortunately there are bloggers such as yours truly here who can take pictures and appreciate every aspect of the hard work they put in to making these costumes.  And this rather formidable looking young lady right here is no exception to the rule.

 

 

 

 

 

This picture right here also taken on Day 0 is Toby from Naruto. How do I know that you ask? I actually asked the cosplayer myself. You see as I’ve been honing my craft I’ve noted that I’ve misidentified a lot of characters simply because I didn’t ask who they were. This year at Sakuracon was different. this year I took along a notepad and made notes as to what character they were as my memory I will admit isn’t the greatest. And I have to say that this has probably been one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made. Simply because it means I’ll able to more accurately identify characters. After all there’s no easier way to find out who the cosplayer is dressed as then from the person themselves.  But I digress. Naruto as many of you know is an anime series about a young man named Naruto Uzamaki. He wants to become Hokage of his home the fallen leaf  village. But the problem is he’s been something of the village troublemaker and he also holds within him the spirit of a very powerful very dangerous creature the Nine-tailed fox. I have a friend Lobo Argost, who’s a  fan fiction writer, he’s a big fan of a particular couple in Naruto that being Naruto, and a female character in that show named Sakura, who’s a medical ninja. Kind of strange considering ninjas are supposed to be deadly assassins. Anyway I’ve promised Lobo that if i ever come across a Naruto/Sakura couple that I’d snap a photo of them. and I mean to do just that. Special shout-out to Lobo Argost from your trusty friend Scififantasyanimeman.

 

These two cosplayer are dressed as characters from the romantic/comedy show Ouran High School Host Club. One is Hani-Senpai. (Senpai by the way is japanese used as a gesture of respect to describe an older classmen.) but just so you know Hani-Senpai is a child. But don’t let the sweet and innocent visage fool you. Hani comes from a long line of master martial artists. And as he proves in one episode of Ouran he is absolutely fiercein the martial arts. Yet that and his high intelligence which as allowed him to reach his older classmen stature so quickly are hidden behind the visage of a sweet. innocent little boy with a love of cake. The taller person is his cousin, he’s the strong/silent one of the Host Club. The sort who lets his actions speak for themselves.  Originally his family served the family of Hani-Senpai. But  somewhere along the way  their families became connected by blood and marriage. Though strong and silent he cares deeply for Hani-Senpai and those he calls friends. This is found out in the course of the series. Something as a martial artist i can understand as family means a lot to me too. And I have to say these two cosplayers have captured the spirit of the two characters quite nicely.

 

 

This fellow right here in front of the art show sign is dressed as Suzaku from the show Code Geass. I saw Code Geass when it was ion Adult Swim years ago. It was a rather dark and depressing show at times. in it an evil Empire known as Britannia had taken over the world and even enslaved japan. However there were those who chose to fight against the tyranny of the Empire and it’s ruler. One character in particular Lelouch decides to take Britannia down and creates a masked public personage, Zero.  Suzaku, another  character in the series was the son of the Japanese Prime minister. After his father killed himself he joined with Britannia hoping that he could change the Empire from within the system. He ends up becoming a prominent member of  the Brittanian forces and eventually becomes the protector of Lelouch’s sister. It’s all deliciously complicated especially when Lelouch’s Geass ability which gives him the power to implant ideas and suggestions into people is taken into account. Add to it the powerful mecha, the weaponry, and the great action and as anime series go we have a winner here!

 

 

 Having not too fond memories of lukewarm showers last year at the Grand Hyatt I chose instead to stay at the Seattle Sheraton this year. And this move proved to be a smart decision. The Seattle Sheraton is a very nice looking hotel. The service there was very friendly and the room was nice and comfortable. Not only that the showers there actually have warm water. YAY warm showers, just the thing to help reinvigorate the soul body and spirit on a cold Seattle morning.  And while the sun did show up later on during the course of a couple of days at the convention things can get kind of chilly up there. mainly due tot he fact Seattle is so close to the Pacific ocean and there’s that cold breeze coming in from it. The Seattle Sheraton itself i quickly discovered had a cafe in it. The cafe not only served the usual morning breakfast suspects (bananas, maple bars, muffins, bottled Orange Juice etc.) but also had warm breakfast sandwiches another something to warm the body ona  cold Seattle morning not to mention filling. A good breakfast can keep a  blogger from becoming  grumpy. And a grumpy con goer is no good fior anyone. And since the Seattle Sheraton is one of the official hotels of Sakuracon I was able to get my room at a good price. Granted it still cost quite a bit, but in my opinion it was a lot better a price than the grand Hyatt. that’s why i think I’ll be staying at the Seattle Sheraton again next year. And to the friendly staff and management of the downtown Seattle Sheraton a special shout-out to you from Scififantasyanimeman.

 

 

JEEPERS!!!! it’s a creeper! Sorry the pun was too good to pass up heh. Anyway a creeper is actually not from any anime series. A creeper is actually a monster or mob from a very popular online game called Minecraft. Minecraft is an open-ended sandbox/survival game where the player must harness materials from above and below ground in order to survive in a world full of good and bad mobs. The creeper is one of the bad mobs, They can hurt a character’s health, which comes in the form of hearts at the bottom of the screen, in two ways physical damage and secondly if a player remains too close to a creeper for three seconds they explode and not only can destroy a player but they also can wreak havoc on a house or the environment.  Unfortunately  sometimes a person has to hunt down creepers. You see it’s very tricky but if a player can kill a creeper with a sword or tool without the creeper exploding they drop gunpowder. And gunpowder is necessary in the making of a particular item in Minecraft. To get the game you need to go to the Minecraft official website. Next register an account and pay a little over $20.00 . Then you have to download a program called java in order for Minecraft to function properly.  Notch the game’s creator did this because well hey a guy’s got to make money somehow. But i think it was well worth it though I’ve been nailed by a  creeper in the game heavens knows how many times. Fortunately this creeper i shot at Sakuracon is just a cosplayer which is good as I’d like to live to be a ripe old age.

On Day 1 of the convention while travelling the upper levels of the convention i found myself in an area of convention rooms set aside for the viewing of anime and Japanese movies.  It was early morning so not a lot of people were up yet. Still in my wanderings I came across this group of rather laid back cosplayers who were just lounging around enjotying the sites, and playing a little music. there are a fair share of musicians at Sakuracon who have shown their stuff. On a whim these people caught my eye and i politely asked them if i could snap a picture of them. I’m always amazed at how nice and accommodating people can be especially when “please” and “thank you very much” are added to the equation. And these warm and social [people right here are no exception to the rule. Thank you good people thank you so much.

 

 

With this picture I’d like to send a warm and very special shout out to my good friend Peach Wookiee. While travelling around the topmost level of the great Western trade and Convention center I ran across this young lady playing none other than Sailor Moon. While I may not be the biggest fan of Sailor moon I find the story kind of intriguing.  And the characters are delightfully quirky. Sailor Moon is actually a super hero her real life name is Serena in the dub, and Usagi intthe original Japanese version of the show. It’s always a pleasure when Ii come across people like this young lady who put such time, detail and dedication into their costume making. People like this help to inspire and insure the future of c great anime shows and great cosplaying.  Young lady you are indeed an inspiration to cosplayers everywhere. More power to you dear lady, more power to you.

 

 

And just who do we have here? Why it’s Winry and Envy from Full Metal Alchemist. In the show Winry comes from a long line of armor smiths. Winry isn’t what you would call a girly girl. She’s tough as nails, but she has a good heart, and she absolutely goes gaga when she sees a brand spanking new tool. Considering that she’s absolutely obsessed with them it’s not surprising. But it also shows she seeks to improve her craft and that’s the sign of a true artisan. Envy is a far nastier character. in fact Envy is one of the major antagonists in Full Metal Alchemist. Envy is a homunculus, that is an artificial human created by illegal alchemy. What makes Envy so dangerous is this creature can shape change into anyone or anything as several characters in the series including a loveable father and family man find out the hard way with fatal consequences. Each homunculi in the series has been named after one of the biblical seven deadly sins. Rather appropriate considering the nature of each one. And these cosplayers in my opinion captured the spirit of the characters quite nicely. This shot was on day 1 and as i recall it was near where registration and gaming was.

 

NEVER FEAR AMERICANS EVERYWHERE HERE COMES CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!! Captain America is one of the most prominent super heroes in the Marvel comics rouster. Basically a runty U.S. Army reject was selected for a top-secret program to create a super soldier. The program succeeds beyond hopes and expectations but then got wrecked by a Nazi infiltrator. But not before America got its best weapon against the forces of industrialized tyranny. Ironically around the end of World War 2 Captain America in a  battle with his arch-enemy, the red Skull, fell into the sea where he was frozen and eventually woke up in o “Present day” America. He became a soldier in the a new war against crime and corruption, of which there’s plenty in Stan Lee’s marvel universe. He actually went on to help create the Avengers a super group that worked alongside a secret government organization called S.H.I.E.L.D. led by super agent Nick Fury.  Yeah I admit I’m a marvel fan. I’ve been reading their comics since I was a kid and I absolutely love the complex and quirky heroes that were created. not to mention the way they talk sounds so realistic. And this cosplayer here captures the essence and patriotic spirit of captain America very well. By the way it should be noted that a Captain America movie is coming out soon. There have been several made in the past. All of which have not exactly been up to grade. I hope this one turns out a lot better.

 

And behold ladies and gentleman the arch-enemy of the Pirate at any anime convention. the ninja! Being a  martial artist I’ve always had a fascination with ninjas and their art. It can be at times hard to believe that someone with some many weapons can be so deadly with their hands and feet. This ninja here looks to be no exception to that rule,. And what anime convention would be complete without them. As to that whole Pirates and ninja bit here’s the deal. It’s a running joke about the rivalry between pirates and ninjas. i find the feud to be a hoot and have even competed in the rock, paper scissors battles they have. I’ve done fairly well. 4 wins and 1 loss. That’s a pretty good average for me I think. Although they didn’t have that kind of competition at this convention the whole pirates and ninjas thing is a classic at anime conventions around the country. So help me when I get to Kumoricon in fairness I’m going to make sure one of my pictures at the start is a pirate. Why do that? Because I’m fair and balanced. 

 

 

 Here’s a cosplay that’s liable to give people nightmares. I took this picture outside as I promised. There is a little bit of glare I admit but I was mostly able to shoot away from the sun. I’ve found out the hard way why shooting directly into the sun is not a good thing. Still I saw the fact that the sun chose to show up on Day 21 to be a blessing in and of itself. I like taking indoor pictures but once in a  while I like to get outdoors to take some pictures in the sun. besides that I’ve heard that exposing one’s self to 15 minutes of sunlight can help wake the body up. That’s good because I’m not exactly a morning person. Anyway this is an original cosplay that the fellow threw together. It’s not from any anime it’s an original character I think the name is Dr. Plague or something. considering the attire they’re wearing that name would suit this fearsome looking fellow quite well. And I shiver to think what kind of nasty little chemicals and weapons they have on their person. Definitely the sort of villain that only a super hero could take down in a  fight.

And here we have Mario’s brother Luigi alongside him is the princess. All from the Mario Bros universe. Mario has been around since Donkey Kong back in my day. Luigi however made his big debut in the original Mario Brothers game. Then in the late 80′s when the Nintendo entertainment system came out SUper Mario brothers came out and the brothers were catapulted to super stardom. Although Mario gets more credit than Luigi does the  brother of Mario has his fair share of credits to his name. including Mario is missing. I took this shot near the merchants area where I bought a lot of stuff including the animes FLCL, Claymore, and season 1 of a ew series called K-ON,a s well as a Claymore manga, and the first to manga of a series called Airgear. At first i thought only to shoot Luigi but when the Princess came in the opportunity to shoot both was too good to pass up. I as always appreciate the willing ness of my subjects. This is why I enjoy snapping photos and putting them on this blog.

 HELLOOOOO MISS!!!! This rather lovely looking young lady here is dressed as officer Jenny a rather shapely and tough cop from the Universe of the anime show called Pokemon. Pokemon by the way is short for pocket monsters. There’s an Officer Jenny in every big city in the Pokemon world. And they all look-a-like but their personalities are what make each unique. Every officer Jenny when he was still with Ash Ketchum the protagonist of the show, a former Pokemon gym leader and aspiring Breeder named Brock always went gaga when an officer Jenny was around. Ah hormones aren’t they something else. Anyway when I saw this attractive young lady sporting this cosplay I  just had to snap a picture of her as did a lot of other people. And i have no regrets about it. And i was one of the photographers who actually remembered their manners enough to say thank you afterward. This is another prime example of someone who put a lot of love into their cosplay. Kudos to you young lady kudos!!!!

 I’m not sure exactly who these two cosplayers are supposed to be but I just happened to catch these two cosplayers on level 1 of the convention center. whimsy moved me to snap a picture of these two so I did. Oh a little story here that U.S. bank ATM behind them actually didn’t work.as I found out the hard way. it turned up the ATM machines that did work were near the dealers hall where all the merchants were. Fortunately it didn’t do any lasting damage to my checking account which is a good thing because I needed money for food and for buying stuff from the convention. And believe me there were a fair share of places to eat at the convention center and during  breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours YIKES, those places were packed! Still I managed to get some good food to eat from subway, Taco Del Mar, and a local pizza place that served a terrific pineapple and Canadian Bacon pizza. Hey I can’t eat healthy all the time that gets boring after a while.

 

 And who do we have here? Well I’ll be its two characters I remember from my childhood. Here are Statler and Waldorf. These two are actually characters that were created by the late Jim Henson for the Muppet show.  Statler and Waldorf would sit in their booth and heckle the folks who performed on the Muppet show. I always got a kick out of that show. Kermit the frog the host worked hard to make the show work and often weird and wacky things would happen much to his chagrin. These characters not only dressed as Statler and Waldorf in their box they also enacted  impromptu quips from them.  I always find it pleasing to see people dress up as characters I remember from my own childhood. It gives me hope that there will be those who remember the great shows of the past in the years to come.  And Jim Henson who was a master of his craft and his creations should in my opinion never be forgotten lest we lose an important something for our children and their children to come. As to these two cosplayers i found them while wandering the merchant’s hall. And as I’ve said it’s always a pleasure to capture something from my childhood.

 

 And who is this red clad fearsomely fanged fellow and his lovely associate? Why it’s Alucard the main character from the show Hellsing. Alucard is a character who slays other vampires. The lady with him is playing Seras Victoria. And I know this because the lady was kind enough to write it down for me. Ma’am I’m grateful to you for doing so considering my rather shoddy memory. I think that this was the second of my Day 2 pictures. And what a way to get day 2 going with this little gem of a picture. This was actually a special day for me on that day i had my first ever panel. Yeah you heard me i did a panel. The panel was called Otaku (anime fans) 25 and older. i put an advertisement for it on the Sakuracon forums before i went to the convention. And I have to say the extra time and effort paid off very big dividends. The small room i was in ended up being standing room only. And the crowd was very receptive granted I did make a few mistakes but I went in knowing not everything would be perfect and I got some great ideas for next year. That’s right folks Otaku 25 (The Sakuracon staff willing.) and older is coming back next year bigger and better than before. I also will be bringing in some extra help.  I hope to see more of my fellow 25 and older Otaku next year.

In my travels across Sakuracon I came across this fellow right here. they’re actually playing Canada from the anime show Hetalia. Hetalia is actually a newer anime show. It’s a comedy as I understand it. Basically the characters on that show take the name of the country they represent. It’s  a crazy and wild United Nations. I’ve seen tidbits of that show and it actually looks kind of funny. Although they do use quite a bit of stereotyping in that show. I’m not sure if it’s meant in jest or otherwise. Well the japanese for a long time were a very insular people. It was only in the 1800′s that they started to acknowledge the rest of the world. However it should be noted that after World War 22 the united States helped Japan reconstruct itself. Ironically now that they’re a first world nation we Americans and they are actually very close allies. That’s good especially in these days when terrorism is running amuck around the world. Still as long we as we have shows like Hetalia and Ouran high School host club we can forget about the worries of the world and get a chance to laugh. And they say laughter is good for the soul.

 This fearsome looking fellow right here is Lieutenant Isagi from the show Bleach. Isagi is a member of the soul society an organization dedicated to insuring that the spirits of the dead pass on to the next stage of existence. They also have to deal with nasty creatures called hallows that devour and even transform souls into their own kind. Isagi is a second in command to one of the ten Captains who guard the realm of the Soulreapers. All soulreapers wield strange sword-like weapons called zanpaktos. Those who have achieved enough mastery of their zanpaktos can transform them into incredible battle instruments. I’ve seen this in another of episodes of Bleach which is still on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. the only problem a lot of folks have with Bleach is it suffers from the same curse as Naruto, that is it tends to have too many filler episodes. Ulm, I can say that’s a good possibility because there have been episodes where the plotline has slowed to a crawl. Which is sad because the overall premise of the show is tremendously well done.

 

 

  Well folks for years I’ve been promising this to you and at last I begin to deliver. Ladies and gentleman i give you Yatta Cloud of  the comedy troupe “The Anime Hunters”, The main group is comprised of Yatta Cloud, Yatta Dante, Random Dancing Kid (RDK for short), and Chibi-Roth. They started off as a comedy group on the Anime sketch circuit but then made some videos on the internet and their popularity skyrocketed. Ah, the power of media. I’ve seen the videos these guys put out and these guys are a hoot, they’re very funny to be precise.  Granted their humor is not exactly Shakespearean but hey folks (Including myself) like them just the way they are. I took this picture of Yatta Cloud here after the panel they hosted at Sakuracon. It was a load of laughs and I enjoyed it immensely. These folks have some GREAT comedic timing.  These guys are actually native to my home state of Oregon. It’s always nice to see talent from Oregon gain a measure of respectable notoriety. And i have to say that these guys have taken their success in stride. Which is refreshing when  folks realize how easy it is to get lost in the miasma of fame and popularity rather than strive to hone one’s craft.

 

And here we have a couple of cosplayers who are holding Keyblades. Keyblades are powerful weapons used to fight terrible monsters known as heartless. This is in the universe of a game called Kingdom Hearts. Although I’ve never played it myself dure to the game being console and myself being a PC gamer I’ve seen some Let’s plays on Youtube and it’s actually a very interesting game. mainly because it’s the first time ever that Disney teamed up with the Japanese gaming company Square Enix the same guys who created such greats as the Final fantasy series. Mickey mouse in the game was actually the king of the land (No surprise there.) and Goofy and Donald Duck are two of his servants. The premise of the game is the main character is fighting against some of the most powerful and most evil Disney characters ever created. YIKES that’s no easy task especially when they’ve teamed up. Yeah the most evil Disney characters of all teaming up….now that’s scary.

Eek, now here’s a character you NEVER want to meet in a  dark alley. This fellow is playing the part of Pyramid head one of the most infamous monsters from the Silent Hill universe. This is a very elaborate Pyramid Head costume right down to the large sword he carries. Pyramid Head first appeared in Silent Hill 2, Some have theorized that Pyramid head actually represented the frustration the male character had because his wife had a horrible disease that as killing her and eventually drove the protagonist to do something horrible as he realized in the course of Silent Hill 2. The main character in the end has to battle two Pyramid heads including this fellow. This cosplayer here captures the fearsome essence of Pyramid Head. I actually took a picture with this guy for someone else collection of photos and I’m all for that. Silent Hill needs to be kept alive. And hopefully the newest chapter of the horror/survival gaming series will add something to the series.

Now here’s another of those photos i just had to snap. I give you reptile from the universe of Mortal Kombat. Reptile is a ninja and a deadly one at that because he isn’t human he has the ability to spit a highly toxic and corrosive acid that can blind or even melt people. And his martial arts skills are unparalleled and if you guessed that he’;s one of the bad guys in the Mortal Kombat. Although I’ve never played the games I can tell you they’ve been around since I was a teenager. they’re bloody, violent, definitely not for kids and they’re pretty exciting stuff. that is if you’re into super violent video games for an older more mature audience.  Here’s another prime example of someone who puts a lot of love into their costume making. This fellow has captured in my opinion the detail of Reptile down the the very last tid bit.

 Now here’s a cosplaying couple I recognize without a shadow of a doubt. These cosplayers right here are playing Vegeta and Bulma from Dragonball Z. Vegeta was the prince of the Saiyan race but while he was away on a mission for his master Freiza the fiend murdered his people. That is all except three others, one of whom is his rival and eventual friend Kakoraut or Goku as he’s known on Earth. Vegeta starts off as a villain but by the end of the series is a sort of hero. Bulma is the daughter of Dr. Brief the head of Capsule corporation in the Dragonball universe. She has actually been around since the start of the series when she met Goku as a teenager in the original Dragonball series. In Dragonball Z she’s a full-grown woman this is the outfit she wore when she and several other characters headed to the planet Namek to recover the dragonballs there so they could revive Earth’s guardian. Ironically  by the end of the series she and Vegeta end up married and having a boy, Trunks, and a daughter together. Strange as it may sound I always thought that Vegeta and Bulma do well together. They both have a fierce temper. Both are very proud and stubborn but both underneath their gruff exteriors have a good heart. Though  with Vegeta his good heart takes longer to show up. As to the costumes take a look at the detail involved in the making of these costumes. I can see why a lot of people wanted to shoot these two. this is some very stylish costume making if I do say so myself. 

 Ladies and gentleman the first of my two celebrity photos I give you Chris Bevins an accomplished voice actor/director. Huis directing credits include Samurai 7, Speed Grapher, BECK, WitchBlade, Burst Angel, and Dragonball GT to name a few. His acting credits including Japan from Hetalia Axis powers, Romeo x juliet, Aquarion (Critique forthcoming), D.Gray-man, Baccano. and yu-Yu Hakusho to name a few. For some reason this years Sakuracon was particularly edgy with people taking photographs and on keeping things on schedule. Or maybe they’ve always been like that and i  never noticed. Either way next time I got to Sakuracon and go after a particular celebrity’s photo I must make sure i get there earlier. My timing this year was absolutely hideous. Still i feel blessed to have gotten his photo period. I’m so happy he was accommodating and Mr. Bevins sir I can’t thank you enough for this honor sir. 

 And for my next photo this handsome fellow right here is yours truly dressed once again as Henry Townsend from Silent Hill 4: the room. and who is this petite lady standing beside me? Why it’s Stephanie Sheh. She’s a writer and producer/voice director for the anime company ADR. She is also a prominent voice actress whose credits include Hinata from Naruto, Orihime from Bleach, Akira in Lucky Star, Michon in Eden of the East, Sylphiel in Slayers (critique forthcoming), Audrey from Gundam Unicorn, and most recently Yui Hirasawa in K-ON.  She has also done voices for video games such as Bioshock 2, Devil May cry, 4, Tales from the Abyss, We Cheer, and the forthcoming video game Secret World.As you can see she is a tiny thing and a very generous lady. I am grateful she let me get her autograph and a photograph of her for my blog. Thank you Miss Sheh for your generousity.This is an honor I shall remember.

 

 This radiant young lady here is dressed up as princess Ukari from Paradise Kiss. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have the slightest idea what that anime is about. But when i saw the young lady on Day 2 or 3 of the convention I thought to myself that this elegant outfit is just the sort of thing that should go up on my bl0g. And i think the young lady who wears this outfit pulls off princess Ukari quite nicely. As with all my subjects I thank you miss for your cooperation. And I pat myself on the back for asking this lovely young lady what character she was cosplaying.

And here’s another something from my youth i remember very well. Here are two cosplayers playing Peter Venkman, and Egon Spengler two of the four Ghostbusters. The movie first came out in the 80′s and starred among other notables Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray. The movie itself was a block buster hit and added to the acreers of some already great talent. I found the movie a little scary at first but as I’ve gotten older I find the movie to be a kick in the pants and actually quite funny. Bill Murray’s famous “He slimed me” line is a classic in moviemaking. And it’s always a pleasure to see people playing as iconic figures from movie history. And it seems to me these two have done the real actors behind Ray and Egon proud.  Well done gentleman well done.  

This young lady in this rather form-fitting outfit is Tear Grants from Tales of the Abyss.  While granted I never played the game I was smart enough to ask her and then write down the name of the character she was cosplaying. It would appear my strategy of writing down character names on a note pad so I don’t forget them has paid big dividends. I actually got this young lady on the 3rd and final day of the convention. The area outside of the autographs hall and the main events hall is very roomy and it wasn’t hard to find space. Also the fact that a lot of con goers had gone home helped. Me I like to stay and get the whole experience. But that’s the kind of dedicated blogger and photographer I am. I do my best to bring all of you some great photos. And i hope that I’ve done my best to entertain you with this blog portion. 

And here’s a character I am VERY familiar with. From out of the universe of the show Full Metal Alchemist I give you Maes Hughes. Maes is a character I admit someday I want to cosplay as. If you’ve ever read the manga or watched the anime you can see how this fellow has captured the essence of the character a doting father and dedicated husband, But he was also a very cunning agent of the military who had  a knack for getting information from the right places at the right times. And in his business a lack of information can be deadly. However for poor Hughes lets just say what he found out ended  up costing him dearly. Which was a pity because I rather liked his character and saw why he was a trusted friend of Edward Elric and Cornel Roy Mustang.  Anyway this cosplayer who I snapped on Day 3 of the convention captures the character of Maes Hughes tremendously well. An excellent job to you sir!

And here we have another character from the universe of  Naruto. This is Gara from the Sand Village. Gara first appeared during the combat portion of the Chunin exams. Gara was possessed by the spirit of a powerful sand creature, He and Naruto ended up fighting but Naruto came out on top later in course of the series the Sand ninja has a change of heart and becomes one of the good guys. I’ve heard it said that he eventually becomes Hokage of the Sand village and a good one at that. Considering all that he went through that’s a triumphant ending for a boy who had a rough childhood.  I kind of got chills when I looked on the goth look and costuming of this fellow who plays Gara because they captured the character so well. And they even have a prop that looks like the giant container that Gara carried with him. details are everything when it comes to cosplaying and this fellow definitely gets a gold star in my book.

 

 And for the final picture from Sakuracon 2011 how appropriate that we end like this. The young lady right here is playing Melfina from my absolute most favorite anime of all Outlaw Star. Melfina was a cyborg though she is human also. She actually possesses the key to the Galactic Leyline. Gene Starwind sets out from the start to help Melfina find her lost memories . She becomes close with the crew of the Outlaw Star and eventually falls in love with Gene. rather appropriate that they waited untill the end to have melfina and gene get together and i certainly had no qualms about that if anything I heartily endorse the couple. On the last day of the convention when waiting for the closing ceremonies I managed to find this lady in the area outside the Main Events hall. I just had to snap a photo of her. No true outlaw Star fan would ever not have at least one cosplay of an Outlaw Star character somewhere in their blog.  And i am definitely no exception. I’d like to thank this kind lady for consenting to a pciture and wish her nothing but the best in whatever she does

 

 

Well there you have it folks all 33 viable Sakuracon 2011 photos. It was hard work getting them all down into this blog entry but in the end in my opinion it’s been well worth it. I hope all of you had as much fun viewing these photos as I had taking them. The next convention will be Kumoricon 2011 at the Vancouver Hilton hotel and the Red Lion Hotel both in Vancouver, Washington. I promise that I will get photos of both hotels along with the various voice actors and cosplayer at the convention. As always leave comments that are compliments or polite constructive criticism. And  no pressure on me for a while I can concentrate on bringing you more critiques I hope. Well untill next time this is Scififfantasyanimeman saying take care of yourselves and each other and I will see ya’!

Authors note: Special shout-out abnd thanks to Andrea for correcting me that the character’s name is Tears Grants not Tier Grants. My thanks and again a special shout-out to you.

 
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