A Decoy in Space (ザンジバル,追撃! Zanjibaru, Tsuigeki!?, lit. Zanzibar, In Pursuit!) is the thirty-first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It first aired in Japan on November 3, 1979 and North America on August 31, 2001.
In the Jaburo large conference room, White Base is ordered to leave Jaburo two hours before the rest of the Tienem fleet. The Federation plans to have White Base taking an opposite route from the rest of the fleet, prior to them launching an attack on Zeon space fortress Solomon. Admiral Gopp comments on Mirai having been engaged, which surprises Bright. Mirai tells him that it was an arranged marriage and that her fiance fled to Side 6 to avoid the war.
Bright and Mirai return to White Base and Bright tells the crew to prepare to leave in one hour. A tall blonde haired soldier called Lt. Sleggar Law shows up, saying he has been assigned to White Base and immediately hits on Mirai. Amuro shows Sleggar to his room. The children wonder what Sleggar is like. White Base heads out and departs from Jaburo. A large flock of flamingos flies by the ship.
Meanwhile, Char and Mulligan head onto a Zanzibar commanded by an officer named Tokwan. The Zanzibar blasts off into space. Tokwan shows Char the Bigro, a gigantic mobile armor. Tokwan tells Char that they also have 2 Doms retrofitted for space. Char says they will attack once they reach the White Base. White Base notices the Zanzibar following them and Bright plans to trick them into thinking that they are headed for the moon. Sayla says she is sure that Char is coming, and heads to the dock to pilot the G-Fighter. Char immediately realizes that the White Base is a decoy and that they are going to have to pre-emptively strike White Base since they can't turn their attention to the oncoming Tienem fleet.
Bright orders the G-Sky and G-Bull to launch. The Bigro and Doms launch. Sayla thinks of her encounter with Char as she takes off in the G-Bull. Amuro tells Sayla to distance herself from him. The Zeon forces fire upon White Base. The Bigro, too fast for them, flies right by them then grasps onto the G-Bull. Sayla readies to fire the beam cannon, but hesitates, wondering if her brother is on board. The Bigro throws the G-Bull away, towards the Earth's atmosphere. On the bridge, Bright orders the Guncannon to launch and talks to Slegger who says he can operate White Base's main cannon if they turn around. The Zanzibar continues to fire on the White Base. Char thinks of how White Base has improved. He also thinks of his sister and finds it unlikely that she could be on board White Base. Sleggar heads to the bridge and asks Bright to turn the ship so he can use White Base's main cannon. Bright tells him to be patient.
Sayla has difficulty moving the G-Bull and Amuro finds his hand full with the Bigro. Amuro is able to maneuver below the Bigro while Sayla battles one of the Doms. Kai launches in the Guncannon. Bright has White Base turn around and Sleggar heads towards the main cannon. The Bigro fires upon the G-Sky, but is hit by the Guncannon. Amuro hopes to do a mid-air conversion now that the Guncannon is here. Amuro fires the G-Sky's missiles at the G-Bull, which stops its freefall. The G-Sky and G-Bull dock with each other. Sayla asks who he thinks is piloting the mobile armor. A Dom fires on the G-Armor as the Gundam is released. The White Base readies its main cannon, just as the Zanzibar as does. Char hopes that his sister is not on board White Base.
Sleggar fires the main cannon, narrowly missing the Zanzibar. Char tells the crew to lure them closer before firing, which they soon do. As the Zanzibar approaches on a collision course, Bright realizes it must be Char on board. The Zanzibar heads past White Base and Sleggar manages a direct hit on it. Sayla continues to do battle against the Doms in her G-Fighter and destroys one of them. The Bigro flies past the Gundam, which becomes attached to it. The increase in acceleration causes Amuro to faint. The Bigro grabs the Gundam and rises it in front of its main cannon, but this wakes Amuro up, who fires at the Bigro, destroying it.
Amuro wonders what happened to the Zanzibar and other mobile suits and Sayla says they retreated. On the zanzibar, one of the pilots, Dimitri asks if he can go after them and Char says to wait since they'll have other chances later. Back on White Base, Amuro asks Sayla why she was asking about the mobile armor pilot. Sayla says it was simply due to the aggression of the pilot. Bright congratulates Mirai and Sleggar on a job well done. Sleggar tells Sayla that he admires her for being able to shoot down a mobile suit. Sleggar asks Mirai if she wants to join him in the shower, but when she declines he heads off with Amuro and the other male pilots.
- Characters Introduced: Sleggar Law, Tokwan, Dimitri
- Deceased: Tokwan
- Mecha Introduced: Bigro, Rick Dom
- Script: Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
- Unit Director: Hiroshi Matano
- Animation Director: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Errors & Goofs
- In 20:06, the Gundam's Beam Rifle Nozzle is present before the Mobile Suit turns around.