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Ideon under attack from a Buff Clan KoporaIn the woods on the Earth colony planet Solo,a military detachment led by Bes Jordan heads to an archaeological site, where the diggers have found three mysterious red trucks. The soldiers are followed by two teenagers named Cosmo Yuki and Kasha Imhof, and their young friend Deck Afta. Above the planet, the colony is being observed by a race called the Buff Clan, searching for the mysterious Ide. One of their number, Karala (daughter of the Buff Clan military's Supreme Commander, Doba) sets off to explore the planet without permission. The officers in charge of the expedition, Gije Zaral and Damido Pechi, dispatch a pair of fighters to follow her from their ship, the Gram Zan. Down on Solo, Bes attempts to seize the vehicles excavated at the ruins, much to the consternation of the archaeological team, led by Sheryl Formosa and Rouru Yuki, Cosmo's father. He believes they were manufactured illegally on Solo; however Sheryl maintains they were simply found and restored. Karala and her maid Mayaya stumble on the site in their Gadakka walkers, but manage to remain undetected. However, the two Kopola units sent to follow her open fire on the military at the site due to their nervous pilots overreacting.

Cosmo and his short-lived fatherBes tries to organise a counterattack, but the ground-based Earth units are outgunned. The Kopola that brought Karala to Solo is destroyed, but the following ships deploy their Gadakkas, and despite Bes' efforts, the Earth forces are overwhelmed. He, Cosmo, Deck, Kasha, Sheryl and a pair of surviving troopers all shelter in the excavated trucks. These begin moving and stopping of their own accord, and are undamaged by Buff Clan attacks. The systems on board, including what Sheryl calls an Ideon Gauge, seem to be activating autonomously, and combine to form a massive robot. Cosmo manages to work out the basic controls, and takes out the other two Kopolas. Both those inside the robot and the watching Karala try to take in what they've just seen.


A Kopora attackingBes Jordan: An airforce officer going by the opening dialogue, Bes is nevertheless very skilled in hand-to-hand combat, proving handy with both a pistol and a light saber, destroying a Gadakka single-handedly. He's also the only soldier to hit a Kopola, using the machine gun mounted on a Tokamof tank to shoot one down.

Kasha Imhof: She starts off very poorly, being freaked out by bugs landing on her motorbike. Very out of character compared to what she'll be like for the rest of the series.

Sheryl Formosa: She has been researching the Ide for sometime previously, and names the Ideon gauge. She also gets the immortal line "My name is Sheryl Formosa, not 'you bitch'" after Bes calls her a bitch twice inside around 30 seconds. Her father, only named as Professor Formosa, is killed by debris in the Buff Clan attack.

Cosmo Yuki: His father Rouri is killed by an excavating machine falling on him in the Buff Clan's initial attack. He appears to be training as an archaeologist himself, though it's not clear whether he wanted to. It would seem he's already good friends with Deck and Kasha before the series starts.

Tokamof: An Earth Union type of tank (the green one), armed with beam weapons (cf. Gundam). They seem pretty useless, to be honest. The tan type with the big white thing on the front is the Jineral - they're just as rubbish.

Kopola: A Buff Clan scouting/attack type. The 'blades' underneath are fixed in place. Each one carries a pair of Gadakka 'walker' units. The cockpit is fairly roomy, I guess these could carry a small assault team if necessary. The type is lightly armoured - Bes shoots Shiraku's example down with what looks like a conventional machine gun. The mothership they use is the Gram Zan, a cruiser.

Sol Amber and Sol Vainer dockingSolo: Solo is also referred to as Planet A-7, and is in the Andromeda system. The only settlement appears to be New Lopia. The colony is still very small, with the third immigrant ship arriving at the start of the episode. Colonisation of the planet began two years previously; the archaeological team began investigating the ruins six months ago.

Buff Clan: The Buff Clan know the planet Solo as Logo Dau (and Buff Clan forces will refer to the Solo Ship and its' crew by this name for the remainder of the series).Their troops recognise the Ideon as the Giant God from their legends - again, this term will be used by Buff Clan characters throughout the series. 'Serks' is given as a measurement of length - a tank is four Serks long. They look almost entirely like the colonists - the only differences are a seeming lack of pupils with just a large iris (this is generally too pronounced to be an artistic thing - when eyes are stylised for longer shots of colony characters, it's their iris that's omitted, not the pupil), and a general propensity for unusual hair colours (Mayaya's hair is actually red, rather than ginger like Cosmo's or Sheryl's; Gije's is blue), although Bes does have (natural) green hair.

The Ideon: The unknown makers of the Ideon are referred to as the Sixth Civilisation - this is about all the explanation we'll get.


Mayaya and KaralaA nice, steady start to the series. Time is taken to flesh out the basic characters of Cosmo, Bes and Sheryl (even if Kasha and Deck are pretty useless at the moment) while also providing a fairly detailed thumbnail of what exactly Solo is.

The Buff Clan are very well done, even before the Ideon forms there's a tangible sense they're as scared of the Solo colonists as the colonists are of them, and the whole chain of events leading up to the activation of Ideon is rather well done.

There are some similarities with the opening episode of Mobile Suit Gundam, such as the isolated undermanned new colony, the overzealous enemy scouting party and the young hero's father becoming an almost unnoticed casualty in the opening skirmish, but there's enough verve and mystery here to make the episode stand out. A fine opener, covering a lot of ground.

This episode placed 10th in the Animage Grand Prix poll for the first half of 1980.