Mobile Fighter G-Gundam Vol. #08 (of 12) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, April 27, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2003
What They Say
Sai Saici is fed up with being treated like a kid. He's a Gundam Fighter after all, so one day he decides to leave! As fate would have it, he meets the girl of his dreams. Domon meets a girl too, but Allenby is not just an ordinary girl--she's a Gundam Fighter who's been winning all of her matches in under a minute! And her next battle is with Domon!
Meanwhile, Chibodee is plagued by a nightmare from his past, courtesy of his most recent opponent, the clown Romario. And Prime Minister Wong once again changes the rules and allows the defeated Neros Gundam to participate in the matches and fight against Domon!
The Hong Kong Gundam Fights continue on nicely here with lots of good match-ups. But in the end, it’s all about Allenby. Mmm, Allenby.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Though originally released in 1994, the track for this appears to be a pro-logic mix, though I don’t really hear anything coming through the rear speakers unless my ears are playing tricks on me. The Japanese track feels a small bit lower than the English track, with dialogue feeling a slight bit muffled at times. There’s not a whole lot of directionality going on, since when things happen, they’re loud all-encompassing moments of destruction that fill up the entire forward soundstage.
The transfer for this release looks decent, but in general feels like it’s not up to snuff when compared to other Gundam series. The shows look and feel continues to be of a more drab and lifeless feel, even when you do have the bright outdoor exteriors. It may be a bit simply animated, but the only real problems we noticed with this transfer is some occasional cross coloration and aliasing as well as some light color banding during a few areas of solid colors.
The cover is nicely dark and grimy this time around, as with the character images being of Argo and Sai set against the God Gundam and a villain Gundam we got a glimpse of several episodes back. The back cover provides a few shots of the show itself and a few paragraphs of show summary. The discs volume numbering, done in rounds, shows up on both the spine and the front cover, earning good kudos from us. The back cover lists the episode numbers and the basic features of the disc. The insert provides another shot of the front cover while it opens to reveal a bio on Schwarz Bruder and a bio on the Shadow Gundam. The back of the insert provides the production and cast information for the show.
The menus are nicely done though a bit simple. The main static image is of a circuit board while to the right there are some visuals from the episodes playing. Selections are mixed into the circuit board area and access times are nice and fast. There’s little to the disc outside of the basics, so moving about is pretty easy and the layout is fairly standard for Bandai releases. One of the best spots is the episode selection area in how that’s laid out. Very neat.
The G-Files in this installment has a ton of information about the various other Gundams that show up in the second half of the series and goes over a variety of interesting things about them, from how the Mermaid Gundam was designed to things about how Kyral perceives his own Gundam. There’s a lot of text here that really fleshes out what the director was going for.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Eighth Round of G-Gundam places things squarely into the Gundam Fight Tournament with lots of matches taking place here. With so many of them going on, some of the potentially interesting ones get shortened down to a few frames and a quick explanation. This becomes quickly apparent as we start rattling through the list of Shuffle Alliance members outside of Domon that are getting nailed.
The show opens amusingly with the Mermaid Gundam, something that you would think just doesn’t mix well but they manage to actually pull it off. While the episode has some good fights and the usual angst associated with it, it also serves to highlight Sai Saici as he ends up getting involved with the pilots sister. The two end up meeting after helping a food stall vendor who was being picked on and they take up the reins of the stall and help keep it rolling. The relationship between the two plays out nicely and gets Sai to start actually feeling older than he looks.
Of course, this all pales next to what really captures the viewer in this volume, and that’s Allenby. We’re introduced to Allenby by reputation first as she and her Gundam manage to easily beat Argo and his massive Bolt Gundam in under a minute. Her reputation is growing daily, though she’s managed to keep much of it quiet and secret for some time. A lot of this comes from her involvement in the Tournament, as she was never actually asked to become a pilot but rather brought into it by the military after her parents died. Since she started, she’s become a very proficient and powerful fighter.
So it’s little surprise that Wong and Asia decide to test her and Domon against each other, but they didn’t expect the two of them to meet up privately first. The way they meet up is done in true classic form and in a way that I haven’t seen done since Macross. And that only gave it more coolness to me. While about town with Rain and the two kids, they end up at a gaming center where the hottest new game, which is basically a virtual fighting simulator that everyone can see, is being played by one very talented and attractive woman. She handily wins again only to find nobody else will challenge her. Until the very publicly known Domon opts to take her on.
The fight is really a replay of the same things we saw in Macross, as the two veteran pilots faced off virtually against each other and realized just how good the other was. This relationship, which grows throughout the episodes, ends up becoming key during their actual match-up as both of them actually find themselves enjoying the match as opposed to just getting through it, since both of them are so skilled and fun to play off of. It’s just perfectly set up and executed.
The larger plot also gets some movement towards the end, as some of the previously defeated Fighters find themselves being brought into a plan to eliminate the Shuffle Alliance and Domon. There’s also a large sense of foreboding as something creepy feels like it’s being brought into the city as a huge dark container is airlifted overhead to a secret location. Of course, we all know what it is, but it’s set up nicely to reveal the larger plans of those who are vying for power here.
These are some fun episodes, but since they focus more on the fights than the plot, they’re a bit weaker. This gets made up for with Allenby, who simply rocks. This continues to be a highly enjoyable show that provides solid entertainment. Very recommended.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,G-Files
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Fighter G-Gundam