Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #08 (of 10) (Mania.com)

By:Andrew Tei
Review Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, April 09, 2002



What They Say
Universal Century 0079. the White Base is still a target for the Zeon forces, as a renegade soldier attacks. Meanwhile, Char is planning an attack of his own, and Dozul Zabi has set up another attack to expose Char as incompetent. While searching for his father, Amuro meets a mysterious and beautiful woman named Lalah Sune. But the White Base is called on to participate in the most critical battle of the war-the Battle of Solomon.

The Review!
The White Base is back in space and ready to be a decoy so that the Federation Fleet can get into position to start the offensive against Zeon. Amuro?s skills are improving immensely, but it looks like another person may be on the horizon that will affect him in ways we can only imagine.

Audio:

The English sound track provided is a simple stereo mix with no directionality detected. I couldn?t hear any distortions, hisses, or pops in the soundtrack. All the dialogue and music was clear.

Video:

I didn?t notice any of the glaring problems that I found in the last volume. The print is just old, and the video seems jerky but it is due to the way the show was filmed. There is a small amount of line shimmering and some macro blocking. It?s still a lot better than watching something on TV.

Packaging:

The Bigro and the G-Fighter get the main focus of the cover in a large space battle shot. This is a very different cover style than what?s appeared before, with the exception of the White Base cover. It?s nice to see something different. The back features a Z?gock and leader of Zeon, Degwin Zabi. Episode numbers and titles appear on the back.

Menu:

The main menu uses the image from the front cover, and it's similar to past discs. Conskon, Cameron, Slegger, and Lalah Sune are featured in the background image. Submenus include scene selection for each episode, trailers, the credit page, and the MS Encyclopedia extra.

Extras:

The Mobile Suit Encyclopedia is the only extra on this DVD. Zeon?s various mobile space armors are featured here. The Adzam, Grabro, Bigro, Zakrello (the worst armor design in the show), and the Braw Bro. I found the Braw Bro to be the most interesting one, since it is the first armor with the psycommu system installed. I?ll keep quiet about what that is though.

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

We start off Breakthrough with an absolutely pointless battle as a Zeon soldier uses a ridiculous looking mobile suit to try and take revenge. Amuro and Hayato take it out. Char asks for reinforcements to help attack the White Base, and a couple of Rick Doms and a Mousai are sent to form a squeeze on the White Base with the Zanzibar coming in from behind. Bright orders the entire team out, and Sleggar pilots a spare G-Fighter. Everyone works together to take out the fleet, and Amuro takes out the Mousai battleship. In the attack though, the White Base is heavily damaged so Bright takes the ship to the neutral Side 6. Meanwhile, the Federation?s Tianem Fleet heads to Luna II.

In Farewell to Side Six, Dozul believes that Char is incompetent and sends out Conskon?s fleet to destroy White Base. Sayla and Amuro patrol space and encounter a new mobile armor called the Braw Bro. They destroy it, but a part of the armor escapes. The White Base lands in Side 6, where Mirai encounters her fiancée, and to my utter amazement, Amuro meets up with his father! Unfortunately, his father has gone insane from lack of oxygen. Side 6 won?t repair the White Base due to their neutrality, but a businessman offers to repair the White Base at his port outside Side 6. The White Base heads out, but the Conskon?s fleet attacks with twelve Rick Doms. Amuro takes nine of them out easily, saving the rest for everyone else.

A Fateful Encounter introduces a character who will strongly influence both Amuro and Char. When Amuro goes to visit his father again, he encounters a girl named Lalah Sune. Their encounter seems very surreal, as they seem to communicate at some higher level. Char lands on Side 6 in order to collect Lalah Sune. After Amuro finishes with his Dad, he has problems on his way back to the White Base and tries to get assitance. Who stops to help? None other than Char!!!! Amuro immediately senses who Char is, and Lalah Sune is with him. White Base leaves Side 6, and it?s attacked by Conskon again. Lalah and Char watch the battle, and Lalah predicts that Gundam will win. It is for this ability of hers, that Char has made Lalah a pilot. Amuro, sensing the weak spots in Conskon?s ship, destroys it.

Lastly, The Glory of Solomon begins the Federation?s attack on Dozul?s headquarters. As Bright meets with the Federation fleet?s commander for final instructions, he is told that Amuro is talented and different from other people. Dozul knows a fleet is coming after him, but he can?t locate it. When the Federation attacks, they set up a secret new weapon to take out Dozul?s base. Dozul evacuates his wife and child from the base, after the Federations new weapon takes out a large portion of the base. Char is ordered from Side 6 to assist Solomon, and Dozul vows to win with his remaining forces.

Everything seems to be falling into place. Bright is now a very able commander, Kai?s fighting and team skills are much better, and even Sayla seems to be improving. Amuro, well, something is happening to him. Even Fraw Bow realizes now there is something very different about Amuro. Lalah Sune seems to be similar, as they both exhibit abilities to sense what is happening around them. The Federation juggernaut is rolling, and it doesn?t look like the Zeon can stop it.

Part of the fun I have watching these episodes is all the new ways they try to have Amuro take out another mobile armor. Sayla is another great character to watch, since she?s in so much turmoil since she has to fight against her brother. The battle sequences have also gone up another notch in this volume. As we rush towards the finale, I?m brimming with anticipation.

Features
English Language,MS 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: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & 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