Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #05 (of 10) (Mania.com)

By:Andrew Tei
Review Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2001



What They Say
Universal Century 0079. The War has taken a turn for the worse for the Federation Forces. Amuro has been placed in solitary confinement for ignoring orders. But when Ramba Ral and his men attack the White Base - Sayla's hidden past is soon revealed.

When Bright refuses to release Amuro from solitary, a lone pilot will take matters into their hands - paying the ultimate sacrifice to save the White Base and the Gundam.

The Review!
Kill them all Tomino?s take center stage as the Ramba Ral arc comes to an end while the crew tries to come together after Amuro?s desertion. There are a lot of problems to fix though.

Audio:

The sound track continues to be on par. While there is no real directionality in the show, the sound balances well in this volume. No hisses or pops were detected. Dialogue is clear. Pretty much all sound is directed towards the front sound stage.

Video:

Again, we get the US made opening with its sped up video, CG graphics, and horrible voice overs. This part almost makes me cry. The video still looks like something that was preserved from the late seventies. I noticed a lot of compressions problems on this DVD immediately. Line shimmering, and some small macro blocking. Specks of white that are on the film print show up in every scene. I don?t know why I noticed it so much this time, as I?m sure the other volumes were similar.

Packaging:

The White Base finally gets a cover with all of the crew surrounding it. The subtitle for this episode is ?In Love and War?. This is actually a very appropriate title and covers at least two separate events. Bright is in the center, while Amuro is far off to the side separate from the other Gundam pilots. Mirai is featured on the spine. We get another shot of the White Base and Bright on the back cover. Episode numbers and titles are printed on the back also, which follows the US episode number and not the Japanese one due to the omitted episode in volume four.

Menu:

The menus on the DVD are completely static as the previous volumes are. Submenus include scene selection for each episode, trailers, the credit page, and the MS Encyclopedia extra. The cover image is used in the main image menu to add a little color, and is brighter than the picture used on the cover. Behind the menu selections we see Matilda, Amuro, and M?Quve. M?Quve just looks like slime.

Extras:

The Mobile Suit Encyclopedia is the only extra on the DVD. This time, we finally get some information on the various battleships and cruisers from the series. White Base is a Pegasus-class mobile assault carrier. We also finally get a description of the Minovsky craft system which is what allows the White Base to survive atmosphere re-entry and gives its ability to fly easily around. The Federation Magellan battleship and Salamis class cruisers are also listed. A Musai cruiser is also described, which is the type of ship Char commanded in volume one. The Zanzibar type craft is also shown.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Just when I thought the series couldn?t get any better, we get the four episodes on this DVD and they are fantastic. If you don?t like original Gundam after watching this DVD, I really can?t see how you?ll ever like it. We get a good look at war and the effects it has on the people who conduct it. The Ramba Ral arc ends here, and we get to see the beginnings of the Federation getting more involved with the White Base.

Hand to Hand Combat starts off this set with the bridge crew relaxing back, and Ryu trying to get Amuro to get his act together. Meanwhile Ramba Ral is gathering his forces to make another attack on White Base. Ryu is then sent after Hayato, Kai, and two other crewmen decide that its no longer worth their while staying on White Base. Bright is having serious problems commanding this group. After Ryu catches up with the four, they notice the Gallop making its way toward the White Base. Sayla launches in Gundam, while Amuro mans the anti- aircraft guns. What no one has noticed though is the tanks the Gallop has dropped off carrying a guerilla team lead by Rambal Ral that boards the White Base. The crew of the White Base takes up arms to defend themselves as Amuro and Sayla switch out of Gundam. Ryu gets shot by Ramba Ral in the ship, before Ral catches up with Sayla, who he recognizes as Artesia. White Base forces eventually take out enough of the guerilla troops, so Ramba Ral orders a retreat. His retreat is blocked though, so he kills himself.

Hamon examines her remaining forces in Sorrow and Hatred in order to take revenge on the White Base. Ryu is in the infirmary still due to his injury in the previous episode, but he?s worried about Bright and Amuro. He wants them to resolve their differences and goes to talk to both of them. When Hamon makes her attack, Ryu has Sayla get Amuro out of the brig to defend White Base. The battle doesn?t go well as Amuro must launch in the Core Fighter since Gundam isn?t completely repaired yet. Bright jumps to the conclusion that Amuro is just acting on his own again. Just as Amuro runs out of ammo, he forms Gundam. A hover tank with explosives on board is sent racing towards the White Base which Amuro has to grab to prevent it from hitting the White Base. This prevents Amuro from defending himself against Hamon in a Magnella aircraft from attacking Amuro at point blank range. Just before she?s about to destroy Gundam, Ryu slams a Core Fighter into the Magnella sacrificing himself. Amuro then spins the hover tank away. After the battle, the crew grieves on the battlefield over the loss of one of their own.

In the next episode, White Base eliminates more of M?Quve?s mining operations and during a battle Bright collapses from exhaustion and the stress of dealing with Ryu?s death. We also get a shower scene with Fraw Bow and the kids which was cut from Cartoon Network?s run. M?Quve sets up an attack plan that has his troops destroy all the Minovsky particle emitters on the White Base. Mirai, now in command, has Amuro and Hayato launch in Core Fighters to stop the twenty Dopp fighters approaching White Base. The two of them realize they are overmatched and question their orders. Mirai tries to fix her orders by having the two of them switch to their respective Gundams. Goufs begin to attack in large numbers, and the two barely fend them off. When everyone goes back to the ship to rearm, a particle cannon on the ground rips through the White Base disabling it and forcing them to land. Mirai loses it at this point, and it?s up to Sayla to take command. She tricks the enemy into believing the White Base is even more damaged that it is, which makes the enemy think they can regroup before attacking.

The crew works on repairing White Base in Maitilda?s Rescue and they need parts from General Revil. Meanwhile, the Federation sends Matilda to the White Base with the parts and new Gundam modules. One of the Federation generals, Judoc, leaks the cargo plane route to the Zeon. M?Quve sends a large force to take down Matilda?s Medea transport squadron. Matilda sends out a distress call, and against Mirai?s orders Sayla sends out Amuro in the Core Fighter, Kai in the Guncannon, and Hayato and Job in the Gunperry carrying the Gundam modules. Amuro arrives first and soon runs out of ammo. The Gunperry arrives second, and the Zeons try to destroy it before the modules are launched, but Kai?s takes them out first. Gundam is badly damaged by some Gouf attacks, but Hayato uses the new modules that Matilda has to form the G-Fighter. Gundam hops on the G-Fighter to take out the remaining Goufs that are in the air.

Tomino takes the One Year War to another level with the episodes in this volume. The consequences of Amuro?s desertion, Bright?s inexperience, and the crew?s morale situation all come spiraling together as Ryu?s death happen. Also, the wonderfully planned attack by Ramba Ral to invade the White Base provides us an opportunity to see the more gritty hand to hand part of war. Even when Ramba Ral knows he is going to lose, he doesn?t use the opportunity to make a suicide attack on his opponents, but goes out as a true warrior who?s defeated. At first, I thought the revenge story of Hamon was reminiscent of Icelina?s revenge in volume three, which I found to be a waste of time. Instead, it is used as the vehicle though for Ryu?s sacrifice. Ryu is one of the most experienced fighters on the White Base, so his loss is felt hard. The only part slightly glanced over though is the number of soldiers who were killed in Hand to Hand Combat. The effect of the death on Bright also is staggering as he completely falls a part. Drama, death, heroics, emotion (only, the crying death scene went a little over board), and dirty plots fill this volume.

Every volume of Gundam has gotten better for me, and there?s so much more depth that what you get in the movies. While a lot of movie two is made from these episodes, you should definitely give the full treatment a chance.

Features
English Language,Gundam Encyclopedia

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam