Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, May 12, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 07, 2002
What They Say
Universal Century 0079. Amuro Ray finds himself caught up in the war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. He unwillingly becomes the pilot of a prototype Mobile Suit called the Gundam. Now he and the crew of the White Base will have to fight for their very lives as the enemy attempts to destroy this new weapon at all costs. Each combatant will face triumph and turmoil as they battle their way through space to get to their final destination on Earth. The outcome of the war lies in the hands of the Newtype in the anime series that started it all!
Movie II: Soldiers of Sorrow
Movie III: Encounters in Space
The box is done up with iridescent inks that shimmer in the light. The predominant blue color matches the spines of all three movies perfectly. The front and back use the same image featuring the series cast – Zeons on the left, Federation on the right, with Amuro Ray and his Gundam front and center. For those who prefer to orient their boxes with the flat side out, you should be pleased to know that the spine is printed simply with the original Gundam logo in blue, red, and yellow, giving it a classic and classy look.
The only extra included with the set is a 12-page booklet. The booklet provides a personal note from series creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, an introduction to and history of the series, and an overview of the movies. The booklet does contain some spoilers for the series, so it is probably best for those already familiar with the movies or TV series. Though the book isn't comprehensive, it does provide some interesting information about the changes made in converting the 43-episode TV series into the three movies.
|Mobile Suit Gundam Movie 1||Mobile Suit Gundam Movie 2||Mobile Suit Gundam Movie 3|
The impact that the original Mobile Suit Gundam series and the movie trilogy have had on anime is simply impossible to measure. Stylistically, Gundam is the prototype for the hundreds of mecha anime that followed, from Armored Trooper VOTOMS to Macross to Patlabor to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Each of its successors, even including the dozens of Gundam spin-offs, such as War in the Pocket, MS 08th Team, and even Gundam Wing, boldly took the original's basic concepts in different, and wildly entertaining directions.
But even ignoring the historical importance of Mobile Suit Gundam, the show, and especially these three movies, have withstood the test of time. 20 years after their original release, they are still moving, wildly entertaining, even surprising. Start with the story, the characters, the themes, then let the rest follow. Although the basic conceit of the show is the use of anthropomorphic mechanized suits of armor during modern combat, one could conceivably remove the Gundams themselves from the show and still have the heart and soul of the story intact. This is the lesson that the aforementioned series took from Gundam and applied to such great effect. Strong characters, engrossing story, exciting conflict, and above all, balance.
Taking a 43-episode series and distilling it down to three, 2½ hour movies is a daunting task. Even discounting the OP and ED animations, recaps, and redundancies, something must be lost in the translation. However, the creators of these three films were more than capable of rising to the challenge, producing a masterpiece that stands on its own. In many respects, these films transcend the original TV series, freed from the repetition and the less-interesting subplots. Key scenes, re-edited, flow better and create greater dramatic suspense. And in general, the movies maintain most of the epic scope of the longer version.
The series is currently available on three individually available discs, and in a box set containing all three discs in the trilogy. The movies are connected, and no single movie stands on its own, but act merely as three chapters in the same story. Since the boxed version is actually a few dollars cheaper than buying the set separately, and includes an excellent box and an informative booklet, that is the preferred option. However, even if you choose to buy just the first disc to try it out, you can rest assured that you are buying into one of the best anime series ever produced. Just remember, though, in for a penny, in for a pound.
I sincerely hope that those who discover the original Mobile Suit Gundam through this movie can help Sunrise and Bandai realize that there is a market for the original, complete, uncut, and unmodified 43-episode Mobile Suit Gundam series on bilingual DVD in the near future. Though the series is currently tied up with complex licensing agreements and restrictions, it is not unreasonable to expect that an important piece of animation history receive a respectful and technically excellent DVD treatment. This superior release of the movie trilogy is proof that it is possible.
Newly Remastered Transfer,New 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese Audio,Japanese Stereo Audio,English Subtitles
Panasonic Panablack TV, Codefree Panasonic RP56 DVD player, Sony ProLogic receiver, Yamaha and Pioneer speakers, Monster cable. (Secondary equipment, Pioneer 105s DVD-ROM, ATi Rage Fury Pro, ViewSonic A90f, PowerDVD 3.0)
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 441
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam