NOTES & REVIEW

Previous Episode
THE IDEON: BE INVOKED
NOTES & REVIEW

ORIGINAL RELEASE: 10/07/1982

NOTES

Gije's final momentsThe Shocking Decoy Planet: Footage from episode 23 with some redubbed dialogue (providing the fan subs are accurate; the changes mainly seem to be in the form of exposition) forms the opening of the film. There's also a new death for Kitty Kitten - she's spectacularly decapitated by an explosion, in front of Cosmo (in the series, Daram shoots her with a pistol, while Cosmo is unconscious on the Solo Ship) - those look like the orphans she was taking care of faithfully reproduced too, and they buy the farm as well. The dialogue also palces the events on Kyaral after the attempted return to Earth - in the series, the Solo Ship visited Kyaral on the way back to the colonists' mother planet. Personally I take the 'canon' Ideon to be episodes 1-38 then Be Invoked, with A Contact as a mere curiosity. This is the only part of Be Invoked that clashes overtly with the TV show - my rationale for this is Kitty's new, ultra-violent death is Cosmo's nightmarish re-imagining, with himself standing by helplessly. Sod author intent. Oh, and as an aside, compare Cosmo standing between the Ideon's feet with Sheryl doing the same later in the film...

The Space Runaway: A few scenes from episode 38 are threaded around the titles, mainly covering Gije's death and the destruction of Star Steckin. Some of the dialogue is altered, notably making it clearer from the brief footage that Sheryl and Gije were in a relationship.

Joliver blocks Doba's attack on KaralaColony of Hatred: Lin's death, shown in episode 37, is not shown, but is mentioned by Sheryl in the dialogue.

In the Cosmos with You: Much of episode 39 is reused. Notable cuts are Sheryl's alcohol-fuelled ranting, the Solo Ship being dragged through space by the Ide, and Joliver letting Karala know his feelings. Plus, of course, the ending is changed and expanded. There is some (seamless) new animation to round out some of the scenes too. The device Karala threatens Doba with is named as Joliver's electrical tester - in the original episode it's unexplained, though Joliver might well carry a laser around with him just to hurt anyone when he's in a bad mood...

Be Invoked: Most of the footage after ~16 minutes in is new, though some sequences are still reused - the shot of the forest getting torched is from episode 20, while the explosion in the engineering deck is from way back in episode 12. It's pure speculation on my part, but assuming the brief lapses in battle originated from where each script ended, the comet segment may have made up episode 40, the Jongu attack episode 41, the deaths of Karala and Harulu episode 42 and the final ending episode 43. Obviously the change to a cinematic script left these a bit more fluid, and possibly saw additional ideas added.


Bes and Karala are reunitedDoba Ajiba: Doba isn't really an evil man. Xenophobic is more the word, and (as Gindoro's ghost, or Doba's hallucination of such, observes) he genuinely thinks he's doing the right thing, trying to protect his people from alien attack. He's uneasy about having so many of his men die as a decoy for the comet attack, but is convinced by Gindoro that it's for the greater good. Doba dies on Bairal Jin's bridge when he's shot six times by his own disgruntled subordinates (on my first couple of viewings, I thought he survived this and was screaming as his body is sucked out into space... however, doing screen captures I realised what I thought was an open mouth is the massive hole in his head left by the first shot... ouch).

Karala Ajiba: Karala recognises the rabbit star phenomenon, which suggests a comet is approaching. This appears to be made up, but to give her a little credit could just be the Buff Clan term for the tail of a comet. According to Rapoh, she has been pregnant for less than four months. Along with her unborn baby, she shares an empathic link with Lou. She seems less than enthralled by a pair of teenagers naming her child after a religious figure she's never heard of, though. Karala is killed when her sister Harulu shoots her in the face three times. Karala eventually 'gives birth' to Messiah in astral form.

Sheryl takes Lou outsideSheryl Formosa: Even if her open drinking isn't shown (though there is an empty wine bottle in her quarters), Sheryl is nevertheless still very depressed from the deaths of Lin and Gije, as well as the hopelessness of the colonists' situation. She dies when the blast from the Ideon Gun knocks her from the Solo Ship, and her spacesuit fails. Her astral form leaves her body, and is immediately reunited with that of Gije.

Lou Piper: Lou is explicitly spared by the Ide when the comet is destroyed, as he is guided back to the ship where Sheryl is thrown overboard. He is the only regular spared an onscreen death, though he's presumably killed when the Solo Ship is destroyed by the Gando Rowa.


Doba kills GindoroGindoro Jimnu: Gindoro doesn't seem to be quite as honourable as Doba... there are frequent hints that he is more concerned with securing his place in Doba's new order, as opposed to protecting the Buff Clan. His rising level of cowardice and self interest leads to Doba shooting him on the bridge of the Bairal Jin. His spirit then seems to visit Doba shortly afterwards, claiming understanding for his actions (however, it's also possible, having had both his daughters killed, his homeworld destroyed and most of his fleet wiped out, Doba's off in the deep end, and the conversation is Doba justifying his actions to himself). Gindoro is a notable absentee from the astral scene - whether this is just because he's too minor (though Guhaba makes it...) or just a sign he was an irredeemable bastard I'll leave up to you. That said, Quiddity informs me that a cel of his astral form did appear in an Ideon album, so presumably it was animated and cut. To be fair, there are some odd choices in the astral scene, from relatively minor characters such as Guhaba or Commodore and his previously unseen wife Maria to some odd pairings... It's even possible other Buff Clan generals such as Doku (who, after all, survived the edits to be in A Contact) had scenes cut.

Grand Emperor Zuou Habel Gande: We see Zuou for the second time only - this time we get to see his face properly, and he gets to speak. He is taking medicine for an unspecified illness, and also wants the power of the Ide (presumably for his own purposes). He is killed when Buff is destroyed by meteors.

Cosmo captures a JonguJoliver Ira: The wound suffered at the hands of Doba eventually proves fatal for Joliver, as he dies of blood loss in the Ideon's engine room. It's pretty amazing no-one finds time to treat him - or at least move him to a safer location - in the various lulls in fighting. It might just be the slicker animation, but Joliver is also prettier than he ever was on TV, with the hair calmed down a bit and the crooked nose smoothed out.

Cosmo Yuki: Cosmo shows excellent hand-to-hand fighting skills here, with both a pistol and a sword. He picks up the Jongu controls in no time as well. He also admits that his piloting skills are likely down to the Ide. Cosmo has some feelings for Kasha, though the ending proves his heart's still with Kitty Kitten. He blames the Buff Clan directly for the death of his mother, confirming she was in New Lopia during episode 2. His spirit has to be awoken by a kiss from Kitten at the end (which is a bit harsh on Kasha, who tries and fails), and he is finally together with her again.


Ashura's notorious deathAshura Novak: Despite having trouble carrying a gun, Ashura isn't actually a bad shot. She famously gets the harshest death of the whole lot (against competition like a pregnant woman getting shot in the face, a teenage girl getting shredded by shrapnel, someone being bang-centre in the Gando Rowa blast, and someone taking an hour of screentime to bleed to death) when she's decapitated by a Buff Clan shot. Apparently, this wasn't in the script, but added by the animation director. The most messed up thing about the death is that Fard, Rapoh and Hatari all get killed in relatively nice ways in the same scene... It's one thing to say "Hmm, having a character getting decapitated would be a great visual", it's another to purposefully pick out a female toddler when there are other options nearby. Still, it does fit the mood of the film...

Bes Jordan: Just in case we forget Bes is hardcore, he takes down a Jongu with his laser sword. He is left devastated by Karala's death (Kasha, rather unfairly, lashes out, blaming his lack of attention - this despite her actually being closer to Karala and having given herself the role of bodyguard...), but nevertheless continues to lead the colonists. Despite being shot in the side and the neck, he kills the final few Buff Clan troopers on the ship, only finally dying when the Solo Ship is destroyed.

Cosmo and Kasha totally fail to kissLotta Banda: Lotta realised Karala was pregnant a while ago. At least, that's what she claims. Lotta is killed while defending Karala - after killing Torolof, she refuses to divulge Karala's location, and is shot by Kilarul and Harulu. Karala, it has to be said, makes her sacrifice a bit pointless by stepping out from behind a tree as her body hits the ground...

Kasha Imhof: Kasha admits to having some sort of feelings for Cosmo. Her attempt to get a kiss off him is doomed to rather amusing failure, however. She has taken over the Ideo-Nova cockpit after Gije's death, though as the Ideon remains docked the whole film she's never seen to pilot the unit itself. Having turned from a slightly tomboy girl into a slightly psychotic mech pilot across the series, she now turns into a somewhat softer person, even telling Karala she's jealous (in a friendly way) of her for being pregnant. Whereas Cosmo accepts his piloting abilities are down to the Ide, Kasha instead claims to be a natural pilot. She is killed in the forest dome by shrapnel from an explosion.


Deck and Rapappa snackDeck Afta: Deck takes over control of the Ideo-Nova (or more specifically, Ideon's engine room and secondary controls - the robot is only seen in combined form throughout the film) when Kasha remains onboard the Solo Ship. He's smart enough to compute a shot for the Ideon Gun that actually enters Null Space. He, and his faithful companion Rapappa, are killed when the Ideon is destroyed.

Tekuno Gyabari: Tekuno takes sole control of the Ideo-Buster (or more specifically, Ideon's legs, etc., etc. and so on) after Kasha's departure. He is killed when the Ideon is destroyed.

Harulu Ajiba: Harulu blames the colonists for the death of Daram. She is killed when the Ideon Gun fires into Null Space and destroys the section of the Bairal Jin she is controlling the battle from. Her spirit is reunited with that of Daram's at the finale, proving even world class bitches can get a happy ending.

Bes wakes HatariRapoh Famu: Massive casualties and a pregnant character means Rapoh gets to have a few lines. She's one of the final few left alive on the Solo Ship when she's shot dead by a Buff Clan trooper. Her astral form is reunited with her beloved Moera.

Fard Malaka: Fard actually mans up a bit here, doing his best to defend the ship. He is shot by a Buff Clan trooper in the last stand on the bridge. He is shown to be still breathing afterwards - at best, this just means he dies when the Solo Ship is destroyed moments later.

Bento Malus: Bento is killed when the Gando Rowa's first blast strikes the Ideon, and the engine room is destroyed.

Hatari Naburu: Hatari dies when he is shot through the head by a Buff Clan trooper in the final stand on the bridge. His final line "I never had a chance to do anything..." manages to simultaneously be an amusing epitaph for this most nondescript character, and very poignant.


The Gando RowaThe Solo Ship: The Ideon Gun is stored on deck 13. I'm pretty sure the unnamed colonist leading repairs on the hatch has been glimpsed before, repelling boarders when the Solo Ship battled the Dorowa Zan in episode 21.

Gando Rowa: The Gando Rowa was built by the Ome Foundation. I've seen it described as both a mecha and a spacecraft, but it's really neither, more a space station that functions entirely as a weapon. Just 40% of the Gando Rowa's power can destroy a large planet. It is powered by the supernova Tau-Xi-70 star. We get a diagram as well.

The Buff Clan: When talking amongst themselves, the Buff Clan call their home planet Earth. Among their colonies is, or was, a planet named Campbell (possibly a reference to the anime Cho-denji Combattler V, where a planet of the same name was the source of the alien aggressors). Ath, Dell, Top seems to be some sort of Buff countdown - 3, 2, 1?

A Zanza Lubu attacksJongu: The Jongu type is a two-seat small attack mecha, designed for anti-troop battles. It seems to be a successor to the Gadakka type. Its' three legs are designed to allow it to bounce off most attacks, and can also deliver a powerful kick - the Ideon actually has a lot of trouble dealing with these small, durable machines, though they have less success against conventionally-armed colonists.

Zanza Lubu: A massive Buff Clan heavy mobile mecha, presumably very new. It seems to be a conventional step up from the Ganga Lubu. Had it appeared earlier in the series it would probably have been a dangerous adversary... unfortunately it's up against the amped-up Ideon, and they're wiped out just as easily as the Zigg Mack and Ganga Lubu types.

Yoshiyuki Tomino: The director himself is briefly glimpsed on the bridge as the colonists are preparing for their final stand. Presumably he dies at some point - I mean, it's only fair.


The Gando Rowa explodesThe End: The last few minutes of the film step firmly into viewer interpretation territory. A point-blank range blast from the Gando Rowa finally seems to be enough to destroy the Ideon, and this then releases the full power of the Ide, which wipes out everything around it. An interesting small touch is that a single Buff Clan ship seems to enter Null Space seconds before the Gando Rowa explodes, clearly getting away (even the distinctive sound effect can be heard). So it's possible the Buff Clan somehow survive. It's often stated that the Ideon wipes out the universe in this film... while there is a certain degree of interpretation, this isn't how I see things. Firstly, it should be remembered that the Ideon and the Ide are different things, and the robot isn't able to channel more than a fraction of the Ide's power. Secondly, while the blast does take out a planet or two, it's already stopped expanding when the shot pulls out to the astral scene.

Cosmo and Kasha as astral beingsThis itself is also open to huge interpretation - I personally take it to show the cleansed characters following Messiah to their new existence as part of the reborn Earth. The Doumou (from episode 34) and the damaged Saturn (from episode 32) both suggest that aside from the wiping out of both races, much of the rest of the universe remains.

Damido, Mayaya, Commodore and his wife or lover Maria, Guhaba, Torolof, Kitty and her orphan charges, Lin, Lotta, Fard, Ashura, Sheryl, Gije, Galbaba, his fiancé Miya, Moera, Rapoh, Hatari, Bento, Tekuno, Daram, Harulu, Joliver, Kilarul, Deck, Kasha, Cosmo, Karala, Messiah (who has inherited Bes' green hair!), Lou, Doba and Zuou are all seen in spirit form at the end of the film.


REVIEW

The IdeonStunning, in a word. A true epic, closing the door on Ideon and, really, Super Robots in general. Be Invoked has many, many strengths, from a lightning pace through superb animation and production (the orchestral score is beautiful) and a challenging plot. The film is often labelled as depressing, and while the character deaths are upsetting, the ending (which sounds awful written down) is genuinely uplifting.

The visuals and atmosphere don't let up, while the characterisation that lifted the series is present - Doba is a fantastic piece of work, while just about everyone else gets their moment in the sun, and some believable closure. Be Invoked is famous for the level of violence, but manages to remain more than a mass butchering - every death is given real resonance, even those for the likes of Torolof or Hatari. Simply masterful.