Mobile Fighter G-Gundam Vol. #09 (of 12) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, April 28, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2003
What They Say
Chapman has returned seemingly from beyond the grave and he's stronger and more vicious than ever before! Domon and the others wonder if he's been infected by the 'DG cells'.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Wong again changes the rules in an attempt to defeat Domon, this time he allows a tag-team style match. Domon and Allenby must now fight against two fighters. And as if that wasn't bad enough, George DeSand's Gundam Rose is stolen from out of its hangar!
More elements from behind the scenes are starting to emerge, but that’s all secondary because we get more 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.
Chibodee and George get the character slots for this cover and look nice and stylish when set against the big Gundams in the background. 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 Allenby Beardlsey and a bio on the Noble 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, especially in how Ashura and Skull Gundam’s were done as contests in Kodansha for their designs by kids, only to have them turn out to be evil Gundams. There’s also several bits about the little details of the shows that really do a good job in fleshing out the world.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Ninth Round starts to move the story to the bigger tale at hand but also brings in the Shuffle Alliance for some more action.
Things actually kick off in an interesting manner as Chapman is brought back in to play as there’s a definite plan to try and maneuver outside the normal rules of the game. When George de Sand goes to confront him over the death of a friend, he ends up in more trouble than originally planned for when Marie ends up witnessing the murder of someone. Naturally, Domon and friend are hanging around nearby after being intrigued by something George said, and this leads to an engaging little fight with the minions of Chapman’s.
What proves most illuminating is that as the fight goes on, their main opponent is covering up the Devil Gundam skin cells. This strikes right to the heart of the Fighters and sets them a bit on edge about the entire encounter. Added with the creepy feeling from the container that was recently flown in, and there’s a real sense of unease coming from Domon and the others.
One of the more amusing changes to the series that got introduced in the last volume is Allenby. While she may have initially been seen as something of a toss away character, she’s quickly becoming a key player in events. While hanging around with Domon a lot, she ends up at the event mentioned earlier outside of Chapman’s. When the enemy came leaping outside and Domon simply tells her to take out a few of them, she doesn’t question him at all and simply leaps right into action.
She’s also getting quite familiar with Domon, which doesn’t sit well with Rain. Even though she and Domon are no longer competing, Rain doesn’t like the fact that she’s working with Domon on the God Gundam to upgrade parts of it. It’s an amusing dialogue, particularly in the dub, as she throws Allenby out of the cockpit. It’s really surprising at how few episodes it took for Allenby to really become a great addition to the cast and change the dynamic of the relationships. She almost makes me question my devotion to Rain.
The bulk of the episodes here, once you get past the first two really, is all about the Gundam Fights between Domon and other members of the Shuffle Alliance. Before they get that far, there’s a rather fun fight sequence as Domon has to take on two opposing Gundam’s at once as Wong continues to test the abilities of our hero. But it’s really the fights between Domon and the other members of the Alliance that play out well, as they’re either dealing with internal strife over it or they’re gaining new abilities that in the end only help to force Domon to become more powerful through them.
While there’s plenty of fight sequences to make everyone happy who likes them, there’s also plenty of backstory building up with Wong and all his ambitions as well as the return of the Devil Gundam. This round really did its best work though in bringing Allenby to a more prominent position and for that I’m quite grateful. This was a great way to pass an evening, and even after thirty six episodes, I’m still itching for more. Definitely 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