Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Vol. #2 (of 4) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, March 09, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2002
What They Say
Pursuing the stolen Gundam, Federation pilot Kou Uraki and his comrades follow Anavel Gato into space. Here Kou experiences a crushing defeat, and must turn to the unlikeliest of mentors to regain his confidence - a former Zeon soldier, whose own destiny will bring him into a fatal collision with Kou.
The second volume of 0083 takes the crew and moves the locale off into space and brings in one of my favorite bad girls of the Gundam universe. The good stuff only gets better here.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. While the original mono or stereo track isn't included, we have been given a full 5.1 remix of the Japanese track as well as a remix of the English 5.1 track that was released a few years ago. The Japanese 5.1 track sounds pretty good overall with some better clarity and definition to the voices across the forward soundstage, but some of the music comes across as giving a really hollow feel at times through the rear channels instead of giving it an immersive feel. You mostly here the rhythmic beat of the 80's drum music in the back, which distracted my wife to no end.
The transfer here is pretty much the same as the first volume, which means we're loving it. The shows quality really shines through here and puts just about all of the previous media releases to shame. There's been a few instances of some slight cross coloration in a few scenes, but nothing that's consistent all the way through. Colors look great and solid on our setup and the overall presentation makes this look like a new show instead of one over ten years old.
The main cover this time features some good mecha combat going on while Cima makes an almost subtle appearance here. The back cover provides a number of shots from the show and gives a decent summary of what to expect. Episode numbers and titles are clearly listed as well as the extras. The insert opens up to provide more details on the timeline of these episodes. The cover is a reversible cover, but our review copy was sent out before the reversible ones could be made, so I'm unsure of what's on the reverse side.
The menu layout for the show is pretty decent if a bit awkward to move around at times. There's two columns on the main screen with a slice of animation playing in the center. The left side has all the setup features and basic playing while the right side has the individual episodes that lead to scene selection. Scene selection is a bit awkward at first until you find the little white bars that show which scene you're selecting. But otherwise, they're decent if average looking menus.
There's some really nice extras here for those who rarely get to see some of the odd pieces that get made in Japan. While we have another solid set of entries in the Gundam Encyclopedia, the sweet extra here is "The Mayfly of Space", which is the animated version of a portion selected from the Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 CD Cinema 2 that Victor Entertainment put out. It's an interesting little piece of animation and anything with this character I want, so I'm a sucker for it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the shift of the ship Albion and its crew to space while on route to Anaheim Electronics on the moon, the shows dynamic changes fairly well and in a good way. Uraki is working hard at getting the specs worked out to make the Gundam space-worthy while Nina's making sure he doesn't come up with the right answers since the core fighter needs to be replaced anyways for proper space use.
Gato and his group are also making their way back to the Delaz Fleet with his prize only to find themselves nearly rammed by being thought of as "space junk" by Cima and her proud rogue fleet. Gato does his best to report her when he meets up with Delaz, but Cima's already come on board as a part of the Delaz Fleet and he has to keep himself quiet, though he does at least warn against her black heart that may betray them all at the end.
Watching the dynamics of the Zeon fleet and its officers is pretty interesting as there's the struggle between being an overwrought military dictatorship and a force for actually freeing the Spacenoids from Earth and Federation rule. Though this struggle isn't as prominent in this series, it's something that creeps into most of the series in one form or another.
What is pretty typical though is the young rookie whose only trying to prove himself. Kou Uraki continues to struggle to be accepted by both Nina and the other veteran pilots. When the Zeon discover that the Albion will be crossing their path where their fleet is set up, Cima is sent out to destroy them before they can properly report the real size of the fleet. Cima heads off with only one ship and a few mobile suits which highlights her arrogant style. Thankfully, when those onboard the Albion see this, they don't think, "oh boy, one ship, piece of cake". No, they go and think they've got someone that's going to be a real challenge here instead, which is smart.
The addition of Cima to the Zeon side provides some real character and flair to the engagements, both in mobile suits and in person. It's amusing when Kou goes up against her in his non-spaceworthy Gundam and for the most part manages to hold out against her highly vaunted skills, much like he managed to with Gato in the first arc.
There's also lots of good stuff going on when we get to the moon and begin to see just how humanity has settled into the lunar world. Amusingly, it seems like everyone on the design and technical side of the Gundam project are gorgeous women in tight short skirts. Nina stands out being one of the few blondes, but I can see passing her over for some of these others. There's a lot of activity going on in this arc that continues to highlight the differences and similarities between those in the Federation and in the Zeon as well as those people who consider themselves part of neither side.
Gundam 0083 is definitely coming off better than I remembered when I last saw it a few years ago and I'm getting into it even more now that I've fleshed out the Gundam universe with more shows. This is great stuff for the Gundam fan.
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Special Reversible Cover,Mobile Suit Gundam Encyclopedia
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083